6638Re: [Synoptic-L] the failure of color coding
- Aug 7, 2001At 09:32 AM 8/7/01 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
>Brian Wilson wrote --Yes, your response to Mike Grondin has clarified your point.
>>Every color code system fails to code all significant similarities of
>>wording between the synoptic gospels.
>Stephen Carlson replied --
>>You said this before. It didn't make sense then, and it still does
>>not make sense now even after being repeated. It might be more helpful
>>to explain what is meant and address the valid points others brought
>>up, rather than to repeat oneself in pretty much the identical words.
> I think I may have covered this point in my posting to Michael
>Grondin, albeit with some repetition of what I had already said.
Nevertheless, I still take umbrage at characterizing the lack of
indicating non-verbatim similarities by color coding as a "failure"
of color coding. Color coding also does not give me your email
address, but I would not call that a "failure" because it is
outside of its intended purpose. Similarly, color coding's non-
indication of certain similarities where there is no lexical
agreement is not a "failure," because color is not intended to
capture that information. That information is instead captured
by the arrangement of the material in parallel columns, as Mike
>Brian Wilson continued --Then why do you continue to cite Farmer in this connection?
>>W. R. Farmer saw the truth of this, and admitted that it applied to his
>Stephen Carlson responded --
>>It does not seem valid to generalize Farmer's admission of leaving
>>"some POSSIBLY significant agreements unmarked" (emphasis added) in his
>>synopticon to "EVERY color code system fails to code ALL SIGNIFICANT
>>similarities" (emphasis added) as asserted and reiterated in this
>I entirely agree. I am not sure why you pursue this line of thought. I
>did not produce my statement by generalizing your quotation from Farmer.
>Farmer argues that the inadequacy of his *Synopticon* is the result ofThis illustrates the failure in choosing only one passage as the
>"cases where two or more passages in one gospel may be parallel to one
>or more passages in another". His conclusion is that this entails that a
>color coding of the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke is in danger of
>either being incomplete or of calling attention to imaginary agreements
>of wording between synoptic gospels.
parallel. It is not a color-coding failure; it is a parallelism
failure. Generally, as Dungan later discovered, it is impossible
to choose which one passage to be "the" parallel, because different
source theories may view different parallels as the primary parallel.
>Stephen continued --True, but irrelevant. Dungan's criticisms, although discussed in
>>Farmer's flaw, which was later discovered by Dungan, was that his
>>attempt to "determine the nature and extent of the verbatim agreements
>>among the Synoptic Gospels WITHOUT ANY REFERENCE TO A PARTICULAR SOURCE
>>THEORY" (emphasis added) is impossible. That, I submit is the problem,
>>not the color coding.
>I think you are very confused here. Farmer's *Synopticon* is not a
>synopsis. It is a color mapping of the verbal agreement between the
>texts of Matthew, Mark and Luke. ***
reference to synopses, are not limited to synopses but to any tool
that purports to show the literary relationships between parallel
synoptic texts. This is true whether Dungan realized it or not.
>Dungan's thesis is that it is not possible to construct a synopsis thatActually, Dungan makes three independent criticisms of biased synopses:
>is unbiassed with respect to particular synoptic documentary hypotheses.
>This has nothing whatsoever to do with color coding the text of the
>three synoptic gospels to high-light verbal agreements between them. It
>has rather to do with, for instance, the various pericope divisions that
>can be followed by those constructing a synopsis.
text, arrangement, and pericope subdivision. Focusing only on the last
criticism does not tell the full story, especially when my argument was
directed to the second criticism.
However, all three criticisms are applicable to Farmer's Synopticon.
Farmer had to choose a text for his synopticon. That text, NA 25,
was partly established under the assumption of Markan priority. Farmer
had to decide which parallel passage is be the color coding reference.
That decision presupposes a particular arrangement. Farmer's decision
of whether to color code to another parallel in the same paragraph, e.g.
Mark 1:2, presupposes a particular pericope decomposition. All of
Dungan's criticisms are readily applicable to Farmer's Synopticon,
even though Farmer's Synopticon is technically not a synopsis.
>>Therefore, it seems that the imaginary failure of color coding has noPhrased in this manner (though the term "non-parallelism similarity"
>>relevance to solving the synoptic problem.
>Again, I think I may have covered this point in my posting to Michael
>Grondin. In my view the synoptic problem is to put forward a hypothesis
>that accounts well for the non-parallelism similarities, as well as for
>the parallelism similarities, between the synoptic gospels.
is a bit too infelicitous), the issue may have more relevance to
the synoptic problem, but it is important to remember that the
synoptic problem exists in the first place because of the so-called
"parallelism similarities," without which the so-called "non-parallelism
similarities" may be insufficient to establish that some literary
relationship exists between and/or among the synoptics.
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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