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Re: [Synoptic-L] CD of color-coded synopsis

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  • 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 1 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 2 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

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • 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 3 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





          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 agree with what you say here, including the comment that non- parallelism similarity is a
          Message 4 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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            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".
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