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Re: [Synoptic-L] the failure of color coding

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  • David B. Peabody
    Leonard, You call attention to an excellent example of the hundreds, perhaps, thousands of judgment calls one has to make in composing a synopsis. It seems
    Message 1 of 19 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Leonard,

      You call attention to an excellent example of the hundreds, perhaps, thousands of
      "judgment calls" one has to make in composing a synopsis. It seems to me that
      this clearly illustrates Dungan's affirmation that no synopsis can be entirely
      "neutral" and/or "unbiased."

      Brian,

      The work of Tom and I differs here from that of my dissertation advisor. In our
      forthcoming synopsis, all three of these pericopae are set out side by side with
      the appropriate underlining and color codes presented.

      However, the relatively few and relatively insignificant verbal agreements
      between Mk and Lk alone, lead me to believe that Farmer's differing judgment on
      this matter is defensible and, on the 2GH, it believe it unlikely that Mark
      worked with Lk 7:36-50 in composing Mk 14:1-11. The best evidence for such a
      link, in my view, is found in the partial agreement on the use of katakeimai in
      Mk 14:3 and Lk 7:37.

      On the other hand, there is sufficient evidence, again in my judgement, to
      sustain a literary relationship not only between Mk 14:1-11 and Mt 26:1-16, but
      also between Mk 14:1-11 and Lk 22:1-6.

      In fact, I would judge that it is likely that Mark essentially utilized Lk 22:1-
      2//Mk 14:1-2 and Lk 22:3-6//Mk 14:10-11 to frame his work with Mt 26:4-13//Mk
      14:1end-9.

      David Barrett Peabody

      Quoting Maluflen@...:

      > In a message dated 8/1/2001 3:40:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      > brian@... writes:
      >
      > << To consider one instance. In the synopsis produced by H. F. D. Sparks,
      > "The Anointing in Galilee" is set out in full (in English) as three
      > parallel synoptic accounts in Mt 26.6-13, Mk 14.3-9 and Lk 7.36-50, the
      > three passages being in long parallel columns and treated as variations
      > of basically the same story. In Farmer's *Synopticon* however (pages
      > 165-166), this same "Anointing in Galilee" in Lk 7.36-50, is totally
      > devoid of any words with coloured background!! Here Farmer has held back
      > from showing in Luke the similarities with wording in the two Anointing
      > passages in Matthew and Mark. Presumably he is here following his
      > "general principle" that it is preferable to "leave some possibly
      > significant agreements unmarked rather than to risk calling attention to
      > imaginary ones". He does not have a definition of "complete verbatim
      > agreement" between synoptic gospels that he can apply here, even though
      > according to his Key to the Color Code the colors are supposed to
      > indicate just such verbatim agreement. He does not know whether the
      > agreements in the three synoptic accounts of the Anointing are
      > significant or imaginary, and has no means of deciding the issue.>>
      >
      > Interesting, Brian. If I could give just one more example of the above
      > phenomenon, at a more micro-level, it might provide food for thought or
      > discussion. In Matt 27:50, Matthew writes AFHKEN TO PNEUMA, to describe the
      >
      > death of Jesus. Now TO PNEUMA is left entirely without color in Farmer's
      > Synopticon, even though, at the death of Jesus in Luke, Luke has Jesus
      > utter
      > the words: "Father, into your hands PARATIQEMAI TO PNEUMA MOU". Besides the
      >
      > fact that Luke's phrase here, taken as a whole, could well be an
      > interpretation of Matt's phrase, taken as a whole (as well as being a
      > biblical citation), the word TO PNEUMA occurs in both Gospels here and
      > could
      > certainly have been colored in red, except for the principle of Farmer's to
      >
      > which you refer. Instead, Farmer has merely underlined PNEUMA in red in
      > Matt
      > 27:50, to indicate a partial verbal agreement between Matthew's [AFHKEN] TO
      >
      > PNEUMA and Luke's ECEPNEUSEN, which are also certainly "parallel". I would
      > have judged the verbal agreement here differently than Farmer has (I would
      > have BOTH colored in full red TO PNEUMA in the two Gospel passages, AND
      > underlined ECEPNEUSEN in red in Lk, suggesting that Luke was developing
      > different meaning potentials in the text of Matt), but the grounds for this
      >
      > difference, I guess, ultimately involve subjective judgment as to what
      > constitutes a "parallel" passage.
      >
      > Leonard Maluf
      >
      > Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      > List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      >





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    • Tim Reynolds
      Awesome. tim ... Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@bham.ac.uk
      Message 2 of 19 , Aug 1, 2001
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        Awesome.

        tim

        "David B. Peabody" wrote:
        >
        > Quoting Tim Reynolds <molad@...>:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > "Brian E. Wilson" wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I think the interesting question arising from trying to color code
        > > > agreements between the synoptic gospels is why no attempt completely
        > > > succeeds.
        > > > >
        > > > I would suggest that accounting for the failure of color coding is
        > > > crucial to solving the synoptic problem.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > It fails because there is no possible coding for the crucial feature of
        > > the textual interrelation (ho exkhon ota akoueto v hos ekhei ota akouein
        > > akoueto v ho exkhon ota akouein akoueto). Any coding system now in use
        > > categorizes "pretty similar" as "identical" for coding purposes.
        >
        > Tim,
        >
        > Your concluding sentence seems to ignore some published material. Specifically,
        > William R. Farmer's *Synopticon* (Cambridge University Press, 1969) utilized a
        > color coding system that does distinguish between identical and similar wording.
        >
        > Specifically, verbatim agreements are overlined in color, as one might do in a
        > book with a (often yellow or pink) highlighter. That is, the words appear in a
        > block of color. Similar words (same lexeme, different grammatical construction)
        > are not overlined, but underlined, as one might do with a pencil. If each of the
        > three synoptic gospels has a different form of the same lexeme, that word in each
        > gospel would be underlined in two colors, one underlining for each of the two
        > parallels.
        >
        > If two are in verbatim agreement and the third uses the same lexeme, but a
        > different grammatical form of it, then the two in verbatim agreement are
        > overlined (in yellow, for instance, if the two in verbatim agreement happen to be
        > Mt and Mk; in green, if the two in verbatim agreement are Mk and Lk; or in red,
        > if the two in verbatim agreement are Mt and Lk. Then, there is also a different
        > colored underlining on these same word(s). If the overlining is yellow in two
        > gospels (Mt/Mk), then a single line in green would also appear under the same
        > word in Mk (partial agreement with Lk) and a single line in red would also appear
        > under the same word in Mt (partial agreement with Lk). In Lk, then, there would
        > be double underlining under the word in partial agreement. One line would be
        > green, for partial agreement with Mk and the other, red, for partial agreement
        > with Mt.
        >
        > These are some of the most complex patterns for a set of only three gospel
        > contexts in parallel, but I hope you get the idea of how this system works for
        > less complex cases.
        >
        > Tom Longstaff and I have developed and utilized a similar color-coding pattern
        > for our forthcoming Markan synopsis, but modifications of Farmer's system were
        > necessary, given certain limits imposed upon electronic publishing (such as the
        > impossibility of doing double underlining in two colors). First, we do always
        > color the letters of identical and/or similar words, but we use full underlining
        > for verbatim agreements and dashed/dotted underlining for partial agreements.
        >
        > Underlining between words indicates agreement in word order, as did Farmer's
        > system of overlining or underlining between words.
        >
        > If you have not done so, you can get an idea of what we will be publishing on CD-
        > ROM in November by browsing a now quite dated sampling of our work at
        >
        > http://www.colby.edu/rel/2gh/synopsis/synopsis3.html
        >
        > and other pericope synopses displayed in that area.
        >
        > Since we are publishing a new and improved version of this synopsis with Trinity
        > Press International this fall, we are not allowed to display the newer version on
        > the WEB. However, this new Markan Synopsis on CD-ROM is advertised in the fall
        > 2001 Trinity catalog to sell for $ 30.00. We, therefore, do not expect that this
        > price will prohibit anyone from purchasing and utilizing this new software.
        >
        > Best,
        >
        > David Barrett Peabody

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Brian E. Wilson
        David Peabody wrote -- ... David, The question is whether any underlining is appropriate if you set out the three Anointing passages (Mt 26.6-12, Mk 14.3-9,
        Message 3 of 19 , Aug 2, 2001
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          David Peabody wrote --
          >
          >The work of Tom and I differs here from that of my dissertation
          >advisor. In our forthcoming synopsis, all three of these pericopae are
          >set out side by side with the appropriate underlining and color codes
          >presented.
          >
          David,
          The question is whether any underlining is appropriate if you set
          out the three "Anointing" passages (Mt 26.6-12, Mk 14.3-9, Lk 7.36-50)
          side by side and compare them. On what criterion are the observable
          agreements in wording between the Lukan and the Markan versions, for
          instance, deemed not to be "imaginary", but significant? After all, we
          can put virtually any two synoptic passages alongside each other and
          observe at least some agreements in wording, such as KAI, or the
          definite article. Where do we draw the line between, on the one hand,
          similarities of wording that are objectively there and unlikely to be
          the result of mere coincidence, and, on the other hand, similarities
          that we may subjectively be reading into the situation, and that are
          "imaginary", in Farmer's terminology?

          It seems to me that in his *Synopticon* Farmer exercised caution in his
          "general principle" stated in the brief Introduction, that is --
          >
          >"to leave some possibly significant agreements unmarked rather than to
          >risk calling attention to imaginary ones".
          >
          It was on this basis that he decided that the observable similarities
          between "Anointing" in Luke and the versions of that story in Matthew
          and Mark should be not be considered significant, so that there are no
          color coded words at all in the Lukan version of the Anointing, Lk
          7.36-50, in his *Synopticon*.

          In my view, ultimately any color coding fails whatever criteria are used
          for determining the line between "imaginary" and significant verbal
          agreements. This is because the vaguer similarities of wording that are
          not sufficiently strong to meet the criteria being used, must be
          accounted for just as much as those clear similarities that meet the
          criteria. Color coding cannot point definitively to a solution to the
          synoptic problem, therefore. It can provide limited data only.

          A solution to the synoptic problem would, in fact, reveal the failure of
          any color coding system to pin-point all similarities of wording
          resulting from the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels
          it posits. I would suggest that identifying the failure of any color
          coding to code all similarities of wording between synoptic gospels, is
          crucial to solving the synoptic problem.

          Best wishes,
          BRIAN WILSON

          >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk/

          Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
          > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
          > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
          _

          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
          List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
        • Stephen C. Carlson
          After reading this thread, I have no idea, if any, what the failure of color coding is supposed to be. The purpose of color coding is to indicate the words
          Message 4 of 19 , Aug 4, 2001
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            After reading this thread, I have no idea, if any, what the
            failure of color coding is supposed to be. The purpose of
            color coding is to indicate the words and lemmata that are
            the same in two or more parallel traditions. Once there is
            an agreement that two passages are to be color-coded with
            respect to one another, then there is no difficulty and no
            failure in color coding.

            This necessarily presupposes some notion that the traditions
            are indeed parallel. Since different people have different
            standards for determining this, usually while being informed
            by a particular source theory, it is not surprising that
            different color coders will produce different results.

            Back to Dungan's notion that synopses are biased, one of the
            ways that synopses are biased is in the identification of
            parallel traditions and the primacy one gives to which of
            many possibles parallels and non-parallels. This problem
            exists prior to the color coding exercise.

            Stephen Carlson
            --
            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
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          • Brian E. Wilson
            Stephen Carlson wrote -- ... Every color code system fails to code all significant similarities of wording between the synoptic gospels. W. R. Farmer saw the
            Message 5 of 19 , Aug 5, 2001
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              Stephen Carlson wrote --
              >
              >After reading this thread, I have no idea, if any, what the failure of
              >color coding is supposed to be.
              >
              Every color code system fails to code all significant similarities of
              wording between the synoptic gospels.

              W. R. Farmer saw the truth of this, and admitted that it applied to his
              *Synopticon*.

              Best wishes,
              BRIAN WILSON

              >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk/

              Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
              > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
              > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
              _

              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
              List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
            • Stephen C. Carlson
              ... 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
              Message 6 of 19 , Aug 5, 2001
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                At 02:45 PM 8/5/01 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
                >Stephen Carlson wrote --
                >>After reading this thread, I have no idea, if any, what the failure of
                >>color coding is supposed to be.
                >>
                >Every color code system fails to code all significant similarities of
                >wording between the synoptic gospels.

                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.

                >W. R. Farmer saw the truth of this, and admitted that it applied to his
                >*Synopticon*.

                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 thread.

                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.

                Therefore, it seems that the imaginary failure of color
                coding has no relevance to solving the synoptic problem.

                Stephen Carlson
                --
                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@...
              • Brian E. Wilson
                David B. Peabody wrote -- ... Congratulations in advance to yourself and Tom Longstaff. What name is the work given in the catalog of Trinity Press
                Message 7 of 19 , Aug 7, 2001
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                  David B. Peabody wrote --
                  >
                  >Since we are publishing a new and improved version of this synopsis
                  >with Trinity Press International this fall, we are not allowed to
                  >display the newer version on the WEB. However, this new Markan Synopsis
                  >on CD-ROM is advertised in the fall 2001 Trinity catalog to sell for $
                  >30.00. We, therefore, do not expect that this price will prohibit
                  >anyone from purchasing and utilizing this new software.
                  >

                  Congratulations in advance to yourself and Tom Longstaff.

                  What name is the work given in the catalog of Trinity Press
                  International, please?

                  Would you be prepared to say in what sense you see the work as a "Markan
                  Synopsis"?

                  Am I right that in your country a printed synopsis with no colors would
                  cost more than $30? Printed synopses tend to be on the more expensive
                  side in the UK because of their large pages. The price of the CD is
                  surely very reasonable.

                  I find that I use different synopses for different purposes. Each seems
                  to have its own particular advantages. I would want to add your synopsis
                  to my collection. I anticipate that your new creation will have its own
                  special uses and be widely used and quoted.

                  Best wishes,
                  BRIAN WILSON

                  >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk/

                  Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
                  > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
                  > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
                  _

                  Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                • Brian E. Wilson
                  Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Stephen Carlson replied -- ... Stephen, I think I may have covered this point in my posting to Michael Grondin, albeit with some
                  Message 8 of 19 , Aug 7, 2001
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                    Brian Wilson wrote --
                    >
                    >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.
                    >
                    Stephen,
                    I think I may have covered this point in my posting to Michael
                    Grondin, albeit with some repetition of what I had already said.

                    Brian Wilson continued --
                    >
                    >W. R. Farmer saw the truth of this, and admitted that it applied to his
                    >*Synopticon*.
                    >
                    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
                    >thread.
                    >

                    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 of
                    "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.

                    Stephen continued --
                    >
                    >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. Farmer explicitly states in the brief
                    Introduction that *Synopticon* can be used in conjunction with "those
                    several excellent modern synopses which facilitate comparison of
                    passages by arranging them in parallel columns after the manner of
                    Griesbach". He thus indicates that his book is not intended to do the
                    job they do. Constructing a color coding of the text of the synoptic
                    gospels does not require the existence of any synopsis at all. A color
                    coding of the verbal agreements between the synoptic gospels could be
                    produced by a computer processing the text of the synoptic gospels with
                    no reference to any synopsis.

                    Dungan's thesis is that it is not possible to construct a synopsis that
                    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.
                    >
                    >Therefore, it seems that the imaginary failure of color coding has no
                    >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.

                    Best wishes,
                    BRIAN WILSON

                    >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk/

                    Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
                    > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
                    > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
                    _

                    Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                    List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                  • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
                    If I may respond .... ... In the Fall 2001 issue of the Trinity Press International catalog you will find the work referred to on page 6. At the top of the
                    Message 9 of 19 , Aug 7, 2001
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                      If I may respond ....

                      > David B. Peabody wrote --
                      > >
                      > >Since we are publishing a new and improved version of this synopsis
                      > >with Trinity Press International this fall, we are not allowed to
                      > >display the newer version on the WEB. However, this new Markan Synopsis
                      > >on CD-ROM is advertised in the fall 2001 Trinity catalog to sell for $
                      > >30.00. We, therefore, do not expect that this price will prohibit
                      > >anyone from purchasing and utilizing this new software.
                      > >
                      >
                      > Congratulations in advance to yourself and Tom Longstaff.
                      >
                      > What name is the work given in the catalog of Trinity Press
                      > International, please?

                      In the Fall 2001 issue of the Trinity Press International catalog you will
                      find the
                      work referred to on page 6. At the top of the page is the announcement of a
                      book entitled ONE GOSPEL FROM TWO: MARK'S USE OF MATTHEW
                      AND LUKE. This work follows-up the earlier volume, BEYOND THE Q
                      IMPASSE. Each of these works is a commentary on the Gospel using the
                      Two Gospel (or Griesbach) hypothesis. Thus it responds to those who have
                      asked for such a fuller treatment of the gospels, rather than discussions of
                      one (or only a few) pericopae.

                      At the bottom of the page, under the heading "Also Available," you will find
                      reference to A SYNOPSIS OF MARK. David Dungan's two essays on
                      synoptic construction will also appear on this CD.

                      > Would you be prepared to say in what sense you see the work as a "Markan
                      > Synopsis"?

                      That question is easily answered. The Synopsis of Mark that will be
                      available
                      later this year includes the complete text of Mark's gospel with the
                      parallel
                      texts in Matthew in Luke in adjacent columns. Those who look at this
                      synopsis
                      will see that we have taken a different approach than the standard synopses
                      to those places where multiple parallels might be identified. The structure
                      of
                      this synopsis reflects the structure of the analysis of Mark in the book to
                      which
                      it is related. Material common to Matthew and Luke but not in Mark (which,
                      on
                      the Two Document Hypothesis would be identified as Q material) does not, of
                      course, appear at all. Neither does material unique to Matthew or Luke. In
                      that sense the synopsis is a limited one, a synopsis that highlights the
                      parallels
                      to Mark - and in that sense it is a "Markan synopsis."

                      As we have noted, David Peabody and I intend to follow-up this synopsis of
                      Mark (with the parallels in Matthew and Luke) with a more conventional and
                      complete synopsis, including all of the material in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
                      It will be necessary for us to use a different structure (following Mark's
                      outline
                      might not produce the best modern synopsis - although it works well for an
                      analysis of Mark). The synopsis of the synoptic gospels, unlike the Markan
                      synopsis, will include the material common to Matthew and Luke not found in
                      Mark as well as the material unique to each of those gospels.

                      Needless to say, David Peabody and I are following the current discussion
                      with a good deal of interest and taking seriously many of the comments about
                      color-coded synopses. Obviously, we are less pessimistic about their
                      usefulness than some participants in the discussion - which does not mean
                      that we do not consider the comments made by those contributors. We
                      appreciate the discussion and are informed by it.

                      > Am I right that in your country a printed synopsis with no colors would
                      > cost more than $30? Printed synopses tend to be on the more expensive
                      > side in the UK because of their large pages. The price of the CD is
                      > surely very reasonable.

                      This is probably correct although I acknowledge that my voice is not an
                      authoritative one on this issue.

                      > I find that I use different synopses for different purposes. Each seems
                      > to have its own particular advantages. I would want to add your synopsis
                      > to my collection. I anticipate that your new creation will have its own
                      > special uses and be widely used and quoted.

                      The synopsis coming out this fall will have special use in connection with
                      the Gospel of Mark and parallels to that gospel in Matthew and Luke.
                      While we acknowledge that we have made no attempt to create this
                      synopsis free of a presumed solution to the synoptic problem, we are
                      convinced that it will be useful to those working with the text of Mark,
                      even if they are working with a different hypothesis. We think that we
                      have created the most exhaustive (and exhausting) display of the parallels
                      to Mark that has yet been produced.

                      How widely it will be used or cited remains to be seen.

                      With good wishes,

                      Thomas R. W. Longstaff
                      Crawford Family Professor
                      Department of Religious Studies
                      Colby College
                      Waterville, ME 04901
                      tlongst@...




                      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                    • Stephen C. Carlson
                      ... Yes, your response to Mike Grondin has clarified your point. Nevertheless, I still take umbrage at characterizing the lack of indicating non-verbatim
                      Message 10 of 19 , Aug 7, 2001
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                        At 09:32 AM 8/7/01 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
                        >Brian Wilson wrote --
                        >>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.

                        Yes, your response to Mike Grondin has clarified your point.

                        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
                        pointed out.

                        >Brian Wilson continued --
                        >>W. R. Farmer saw the truth of this, and admitted that it applied to his
                        >>*Synopticon*.
                        >>
                        >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
                        >>thread.
                        >
                        >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.

                        Then why do you continue to cite Farmer in this connection?

                        >Farmer argues that the inadequacy of his *Synopticon* is the result of
                        >"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.

                        This illustrates the failure in choosing only one passage as the
                        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 --
                        >>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. ***

                        True, but irrelevant. Dungan's criticisms, although discussed in
                        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 that
                        >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.

                        Actually, Dungan makes three independent criticisms of biased synopses:
                        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 no
                        >>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.

                        Phrased in this manner (though the term "non-parallelism similarity"
                        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 Carlson
                        --
                        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

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                      • David B. Peabody
                        Brian, I have interleaved some responses below. ... Thank you. Tom and I look forward to critical responses to this work, particularly from persons like
                        Message 11 of 19 , Aug 7, 2001
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                          Brian,

                          I have interleaved some responses below.

                          Quoting "Brian E. Wilson" <brian@...>:

                          > David B. Peabody wrote --
                          > >
                          > >Since we are publishing a new and improved version of this synopsis
                          > >with Trinity Press International this fall, we are not allowed to
                          > >display the newer version on the WEB. However, this new Markan Synopsis
                          > >on CD-ROM is advertised in the fall 2001 Trinity catalog to sell for $
                          > >30.00. We, therefore, do not expect that this price will prohibit
                          > >anyone from purchasing and utilizing this new software.
                          > >
                          >
                          > Congratulations in advance to yourself and Tom Longstaff.

                          Thank you. Tom and I look forward to critical responses to this work,
                          particularly from persons like yourself who have done some serious thinking about
                          the Synoptic Problem and the making of synopses. Certainly we would hope that the
                          membership of Synoptic-L would have some interest in what Tom and I have
                          composed.

                          > What name is the work given in the catalog of Trinity Press
                          > International, please?

                          The title of this synopsis, as indicated on page 6 of the fall 2001 Trinity Press
                          International catalog, is "A Synopsis of Mark. A Synopsis of the First Three
                          Gospels Showing the Parallels to the Markan Text.

                          > Would you be prepared to say in what sense you see the work as a "Markan
                          > Synopsis"?

                          This synopsis is Markan in the sense that we have utilized the running text of
                          the whole of Mark as the "lead gospel," if you will. Hopefully, next to this
                          running text of Mark, we have displayed all of the contextual parallels to Mark
                          and quite a few, if not all, of the non-contextual, verbal parallels, as well.
                          For instance, in one pericope, we utilized nine columns to display all of what we
                          would consider to be the relevant evidence.

                          This synopsis may, therefore, primarily be described as "Markan" because we have
                          not yet included in it the complete texts of Matthew and Luke, only those
                          passages in Mt and Lk that relate, sometimes even rather "loosely," to a parallel
                          in Mark. As soon as we can complete the work, we will offer an "upgrade" to this
                          synopsis in which the entirety of the texts of Matthew and Luke will be included.

                          Nevertheless, even in its current form, we have already included a considerable
                          amount of material common to Matthew and Luke that is not also found in Mark.
                          Such material appears, or instance, in passages that some advocates of the Two
                          Document Hypothesis would label "Mark-Q overlaps".

                          This synopsis was also constructed for the primary purpose of illustrating the
                          argumentation made in *One Gospel From Two. Mark's Use of Matthew and Luke.* This
                          form of the synopsis is, therefore, also "Markan" because that book focuses on
                          the composition of Mark.

                          This forthcoming volume is also advertised on page 6 in the fall 2001 TPI
                          catalog. In the book we say that our "ideal reader" will have our electronic
                          color-coded synopsis open as he or she reads this book. Such, at least, are the
                          hopes of this forthcoming volume's co-authors, Lamar Cope, editor, David L.
                          Dungan, William R. Farmer+, Thomas R. W. Longstaff, Allan J. McNicol, editor,
                          David B. Peabody, lead editor, and Philip L. Shuler.

                          Unfortunately, this book will not now be published as soon as the synopsis, which
                          should be available for purchase for the first time at the Annual Meeting of the
                          SBL in Denver, November 2001 and from TPI, of course, anytime thereafter. The
                          book will appear as soon as possible after that, now probably sometime in the
                          spring or summer of 2002.

                          > Am I right that in your country a printed synopsis with no colors would
                          > cost more than $30?

                          Yes. For instance, Aland's Greek synopsis is currently listed for sale at $ 69.99
                          in the on-line catalog for the American Bible Society.

                          Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum. Greek Synopsis of the 4 Gospels - K. Aland,
                          editor. The Nestle-Aland 26th edition text, with full critical apparatus and
                          parallels from the apocryphal Gospels and Patristic sources. Key to sigla. GBS,
                          Stuttgart, 1990 14th revised edition, 4th printing. Cloth, 27 x 22 cm., xxxii,
                          590 p.

                          Since the same volume is distributed world-wide, it has the same large pages you
                          note as characterizing printed, black and white, synopses available in the UK
                          (cf. Bernard Orchard's synopsis). Of course, Aland's synopsis also includes the
                          Gospel of John, a rich collection of annotations relating to textual variants, a
                          complete text of the Gospel of Thomas, excerpts in Greek from Patristic texts
                          relating to the gospels, etc. It is certainly worth its price.

                          However, I understand that all texts of the Bible distributed by the American
                          Bible Society, including Aland's synopsis, are subsidized. That is, the buyer
                          does not pay the total cost of the publication of text of the Bible or "portions"
                          of it. Handbooks on the Bible or parts of it or commentaries on the Bible,
                          however, even if extensive amounts of Biblical text are quoted, are not
                          subsidized.

                          > Printed synopses tend to be on the more expensive
                          > side in the UK because of their large pages. The price of the CD is
                          > surely very reasonable.

                          As you have quoted me above, Tom and I would agree and hope that cost will not
                          prohibit anyone from using this new synopsis.

                          > I find that I use different synopses for different purposes. Each seems
                          > to have its own particular advantages. I would want to add your synopsis
                          > to my collection. I anticipate that your new creation will have its own
                          > special uses and be widely used and quoted.
                          >
                          > Best wishes,
                          > BRIAN WILSON

                          I also use a variety of synopses for various purposes and, of course, hope that
                          you and others will find a place for this new synopsis in whatever collection of
                          tools or aids for the study of the gospels you may have.

                          Best,

                          David Barrett Peabody





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                        • Brian E. Wilson
                          Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Stephen Carlson replied -- ... Stephen, I agree with what you say here, including the comment that non- parallelism similarity is a
                          Message 12 of 19 , Aug 8, 2001
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                            Brian Wilson wrote --
                            >
                            >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.
                            >
                            Stephen Carlson replied --
                            >
                            >Phrased in this manner (though the term "non-parallelism similarity"
                            >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,
                            I agree with what you say here, including the comment that "non-
                            parallelism similarity" is a bit too infelicitous. I will try and do
                            something about that.

                            Best wishes,
                            BRIAN WILSON

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                            > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
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