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Re: [Synoptic-L] Story dualities

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  • Emmanuel Fritsch
    ... It was not, from mine, a complete account of your own definition. I was just pointing out that what is interesting in the story duality is the second
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 15, 2001
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      I wrote, and Brian answered :

      > >[...] the story duality, according your definition, is consituted
      > >with a simple story, and a second story that merges the first one
      > >with another simple story.
      >
      > I am afraid you have lost sight of the all-important "less coherent"
      > and "more coherent" requirements here.

      It was not, from mine, a complete account of your own definition. I
      was just pointing out that what is interesting in the story duality
      is the second story, the one that present a composite structure and
      may be described as the result of a merging process (which may be
      seen as an account of your coherence requirements).

      I just wanted to focus on these merged stories :

      > >If your hypothesis is right, then the rate of merged stories in the
      > >triple tradition should be significant.
      >
      > Surely in my previous posting I answered this point which you had raised
      > in your previous posting. I reproduce extracts from my answer here --
      >
      > "It seems to me that you are suggesting that in the triple tradition
      > there "should" be instances of two narratives forming a story duality
      > in Matthew that are parallel to two narratives forming a story
      > duality in Mark that are parallel to two narratives also forming a
      > story duality in Luke...
      > In fact there are only two instances of a set of six narratives in the
      > triple tradition that could have produced such a coincidence...

      Focusing only on merged stories that were present (according you)
      in the greek notes, we have not to look for the complete pattern
      of six narratives, but just the three merged stories, one in each
      synoptic.

      If you give me the rate of triple tradition in the global volume
      of synoptic verses, and the number of merged stories present in
      the triple tradition, then I give you the probability for such a
      situation to occur if your LTH were true.

      At the worst case, if no merged story has been preserved in the
      triple tradition, I fear it would appear as a major failure of
      your hypothesis to account the phenomenon you have defined.


      > >The coincidence to which you refer is therefore merely that in the
      > >only two possible instances of a set of six narratives in the triple
      > >tradition that might have produced three parallel story dualities,
      > >both happen to form story dualities in both Mark and in Luke, but
      > >not in Matthew.
      > >On the LTH, of course, this is easily explained as the result of
      > >Matthew having more severely edited the wording of at least one of the
      > >dua-stories of the story dualities concerned, whereas Mark and Luke
      > >have remained sufficiently faithful to the wording of the Greek Logia
      > >to retain the story duality that was present in the Greek Logia.

      * Even if we do not focus on second stories in duality (i.e. merged
      stories) your answer is not an answer : you say there is only two
      instances that might have produced three parallel story dualities,
      but what happened with all the others ? Why do they not appear in
      triple tradition if they were present in the common source ?

      My question is exactly on this fact you present as an argument :
      Why are there only two "possible instances" remaining in the
      triple tradition if so many were present in the greek notes ?

      * Focusing on the merged stories, I understand that for a sake
      of coherence, each synoptic may have canceled one of the story
      constituting a story duality. I even understand for a synoptist
      a global trend to cancel, in a story duality, the merged story,
      rather than the first story that presented a better coherence.
      But I repeat once again, there was no reason for a synoptist
      to cancel with predilection among merged stories, the ones
      that the two other synoptists independently have kept.
      Some merged stories are still expected in the triple tradition.

      > You also wrote --
      > >
      > >Has Matthew deleted all the merged stories ? No.
      > >
      > True. And neither has Mark. And neither has Luke. On the LTH Matthew
      > could well have chosen to do so. He was free either to include or to
      > omit. The same applies to Mark, and also to Luke.
      > >
      > >Had he a reason to delete specifically the merged stories that
      > >remain in Mark and Luke ?
      > >
      > If you are referring to stories in the triple tradition,

      No. I refer to stories found in your posited greek notes.

      If those greek notes existed, all material they contained should
      remain with a significant frequency in the triple tradition.

      If the frequency of story dualities, (and rather : the frequency of
      merged stories involved in your duality) is not significant, then
      it looks hard to assume they belong to a common source.

      Take another example : if there is many widows in all synoptics,
      but very few in the triple tradition, you may deduce that the
      widow thema is common to first century christians, and has been
      integrated in each synoptic independently from the other one.

      If in your set of merged stories, there is a lack of merged
      stories present in the triple tradition, then we may deduce
      that these merged stories are not due to a single author, but
      are a global behavior of several redactors.

      a+
      manu

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    • Brian E. Wilson
      Brian Wilson wrote (to Emmanuel Fritsch) -- ... Emmanuel Fritsch replied -- ... Emmanuel, It seems to me that you have imported into the discussion an idea of
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 17, 2001
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        Brian Wilson wrote (to Emmanuel Fritsch) --
        >
        >It seems to me that you are suggesting that in the triple tradition
        >there "should" be instances of two narratives forming a story duality
        >in Matthew that are parallel to two narratives forming a story
        >duality in Mark that are parallel to two narratives also forming a
        >story duality in Luke.
        >
        Emmanuel Fritsch replied --
        >
        >Focusing only on merged stories that were present (according to you)
        >in the greek notes, we have not to look for the complete pattern
        >of six narratives, but just the three merged stories, one in each
        >synoptic.
        >
        Emmanuel,
        It seems to me that you have imported into the discussion an
        idea of your own, and not of mine, that one of the two dua-stories
        forming a story duality is a "merged story". I do not hold this view. I
        do not agree with this description. I think you are mis-understanding
        what I am saying about the story dualities that can be observed in the
        synoptic gospels.

        I think this idea of "merged stories" has caused you to ignore the most
        characteristic feature of a story duality as explicitly stated in the
        definition of a story duality - that when the word-roots the same and in
        the same order are omitted from one dua-story the remainder does not
        contain material that makes more consistent sense than the dua-story as
        a whole, whereas when the same word-roots are omitted from the other
        dua-story, the remainder does contain material that makes more
        consistent sense.

        On the Logia Translation Hypothesis, this occurrence can be explained as
        follows -- (1) the writer of the Greek Logia produced one story (which
        we may call the "simple dua-story"), (2) the writer came across a second
        story that he wanted to expand, (3) he selected **only some** wording
        from the first dua-story and used this to expand the second story so
        forming the second dua-story, (4) but he made this expansion *awkwardly*
        so that the resulting dua-story (which we may call the "composite dua-
        story") displayed observable inconsistencies. Please note that it is the
        fourth step of this explanation that is by far the most important, since
        it accounts for the most distinctive feature of a story duality that I
        have described above. If we dis-regard the fourth step, we dis-regard
        the most crucial characteristic of what a story duality is.

        Please note also that the four steps do **not** define a story duality,
        but are an explanation of the occurrence of story dualities assuming
        that the Logia Translation Hypothesis is true. Story dualities are
        observed in the synoptic gospels irrespective of any attempt to account
        for their existence under any synoptic documentary hypothesis. They are
        data, not synoptic documentary hypothesis.

        To return to your question above, therefore, we do not have to look for
        any pattern of "merged stories" at all. The idea of "merged stories"
        belongs elsewhere in the study of the synoptic gospels.

        You seem to be saying that the LTH is improbable because in the synoptic
        gospels there are no occurrences of a composite dua-story in Matthew
        that is parallel to a composite dua-story in Mark that is also parallel
        to a composite dua-story in Luke. As it happens, neither is there any
        instance of a simple dua-story in Matthew that is parallel to a simple
        dua-story in Mark that is also parallel to a simple dua-story in Luke.
        Now on the LTH, each synoptist independently chose material from the
        Greek Logia, and independently edited the wording of the material he
        chose. On the LTH, therefore, whenever any synoptist came across any
        simple dua-story in the Greek Logia he was free (1) to include the dua-
        story in his gospel and copy the wording reasonably faithfully, (2) to
        include the dua-story in his gospel but edit the wording fairly heavily,
        (3) to omit the dua-story. Furthermore, the synoptist was free to do
        the same three things whenever he came across a composite dua-story in
        the Greek Logia. On this view, therefore, (which assumes the LTH, of
        course), a story duality came into existence only if a synoptist chose
        option (1) in the case of the simple dua-story, and if a synoptist (not
        necessarily the same synoptist) also chose option (1) in the case of the
        composite dua-story.

        For the same composite dua-story to occur in all three synoptic gospels,
        therefore, all three synoptists would, coincidentally, have had to
        exercise **the same option** (1) in the case of **the same composite
        dua-story** from the Greek Logia. But this is not the end of the matter.
        For if this was the only coincidence, we would not know that the dua-
        story concerned was indeed a composite dua-story. We cannot know that
        any observed story in the synoptic gospels is a composite dua-story
        unless we can observe its corresponding simple dua-story. For a
        composite dua-story to be observable in the triple tradition, therefore,
        yet a further coincidence is required -- that coincidentally at least
        one synoptist exercised option (1) in relation to the corresponding
        simple dua-story in the synoptic gospels.

        On the LTH, therefore, the occurrence of a composite dua-story in the
        triple would be the result of a multiple coincidence -- (1) that
        Matthew coincidentally selected the composite dua-story, (2) that
        Matthew coincidentally fairly faithfully retained the Greek Logia
        wording of this composite dua-story, (3) that Mark coincidentally
        selected the same composite dua-story as Matthew, (4) that Mark
        coincidentally fairly faithfully retained the wording of this dua-story,
        (5) that Luke coincidentally selected the same composite dua-story as
        Matthew and Luke, (6) that Luke fairly faithfully retained the Greek
        Logia wording of this composite dua-story, (7) that at least one
        synoptist selected the simple dua-story that corresponds to the
        composite dua-story considered in the previous six coincidences, and
        (8) that the synoptist(s) in the seventh coincidence fairly faithfully
        retained the Greek Logia wording of the simple dua-story concerned. The
        coincidence required is eight-fold. I would suggest that it is hardly
        surprising, therefore, that there is no observed instance of a composite
        dua-story in the triple tradition. (Similarly, it is hardly surprising
        that there is no observed instance of a simple dua-story in the triple
        tradition.)
        >
        >If you give me the rate of triple tradition in the global volume
        >of synoptic verses, and the number of merged stories present in
        >the triple tradition, then I give you the probability for such a
        >situation to occur if your LTH were true.
        >
        I would suggest that the idea of "merged stories" is out of place here.
        I think the statistical model you envisage does not correspond to the
        account the LTH gives of the occurrence of story dualities and which I
        have just described. A valid statistical model would have to take into
        account the eight-fold coincidence needed to produce a triple tradition
        composite dua-story, for instance.
        >
        >Take another example : if there is many widows in all synoptics,
        >but very few in the triple tradition, you may deduce that the
        >widow theme is common to first century christians, and has been
        >integrated in each synoptic independently from the other one.
        >
        I think it is the most basic mistake in using probability theory to
        suppose that it is possible to **deduce** that something happened by
        statistical considerations of sampling. If a coin with a head on one
        side and a tail on the other is spun twenty times and gives "heads" each
        time, it is nonsense to say that we can "deduce" from his data that the
        coin is biassed. This would be a fundamental misunderstanding of the use
        of probability theory. The twenty consecutive "heads" could have been an
        unlikely coincidence, and the coin not biassed.
        >
        >If in your set of merged stories, there is a lack of merged stories
        >present in the triple tradition, then we may deduce that these merged
        >stories are not due to a single author, but are a global behavior of
        >several redactors.
        >
        Really? I would suggest it is absolutely impossible to deduce the
        "global behaviour of several redactors" from the observed data in the
        synoptic gospels. Your idea that such a deduction can be made shows a
        complete lack of understanding of what a hypothesis is. No hypothesis of
        the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels can possibly
        be deduced from the observed data in the synoptic gospels. A hypothesis
        is not the end of a chain of reasoning, but a question posed at the
        beginning of a testing of the hypothesis against the observed data.

        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".
        _

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      • Emmanuel Fritsch
        Short sumary of this answer to Brian : 1- The debate about merged stories or composite story is not relevant. 2a- When focusing on composite stories,
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 17, 2001
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          Short sumary of this answer to Brian :
          1- The debate about "merged stories" or "composite story" is not relevant.
          2a- When focusing on composite stories, simple story are not relevant
          2b- The three synoptist copying faithfully a pericope is not a
          coincidence : it constitutes the triple tradition. (according LTH)
          3- What happens to hypotheses when they do not match data.

          ----------------------------

          1- Merged stories or composite stories ?

          > >Focusing only on merged stories that were present (according to you)
          > >in the greek notes, we have not to look for the complete pattern
          > >of six narratives, but just the three merged stories, one in each
          > >synoptic.
          > >
          > Emmanuel,
          > It seems to me that you have imported into the discussion an
          > idea of your own, and not of mine, that one of the two dua-stories
          > forming a story duality is a "merged story". I do not hold this view. I
          > do not agree with this description. I think you are mis-understanding
          > what I am saying about the story dualities that can be observed in the
          > synoptic gospels.

          I imported in the discussion the words "merged story", but not
          the idea, since I found it in your finland paper. I quote (p 15) :

          # Consider the following hypothesis. A writer with a somewhat
          # repetitious style was writing out a set of pieces of Jesus
          # tradition in Greek. Sometimes he came across a story which
          # he felt could be improved in the light of a story he had
          # already recorded. So he deliberately added to one story
          # parts of a story he had previously written out.

          You are describing a merging process, and I feel confident
          when calling the second story a "merged story". I understand
          that someone may disagree with this "merging" idea, but
          certainly not you, since it comes from you.

          You do not like the words "merged story" ? In that case, let us
          replace with "composite story", as you use it in your last mail.
          I do not understand the difference between "merged" and "composite",
          but for the following, it does not matter. Let us now call it the
          "composite story", or "composite dua-story" if needed.

          ----------------------------

          2- The composite stories in the triple tradition.

          > On the LTH, therefore, whenever any synoptist came across any
          > simple dua-story in the Greek Logia he was free (1) to include the dua-
          > story in his gospel and copy the wording reasonably faithfully, (2) to
          > include the dua-story in his gospel but edit the wording fairly heavily,
          > (3) to omit the dua-story. Furthermore, the synoptist was free to do
          > the same three things whenever he came across a composite dua-story in
          > the Greek Logia. On this view, therefore, (which assumes the LTH, of
          > course), a story duality came into existence only if a synoptist chose
          > option (1) in the case of the simple dua-story, and if a synoptist (not
          > necessarily the same synoptist) also chose option (1) in the case of the
          > composite dua-story.

          Please merge options (2) and (3). The question is : whatever the
          pericope in your posited greek notes, when the synoptist came
          across, he was free (1) to remain close enough to let us aknowledge
          a common material, (2) to edit the wording heavily or to omit the
          pericopes, so that the link is now lost.


          > For the same composite dua-story to occur in all three synoptic gospels,
          > therefore, all three synoptists would, coincidentally, have had to
          > exercise **the same option** (1) in the case of **the same composite
          > dua-story** from the Greek Logia. But this is not the end of the matter.

          First bias in your demonstration : when "all three synoptists would,
          coincidentally, have had to exercise **the same option** (1)", it is
          not coincidental at all : it constitutes the triple tradition, which
          is not a minor part of synoptics. But what would look coincidental,
          and, rather, implausible, is to find few triple (1) options for
          composite stories, since when looking the global corpus, the triple
          option (1) (i.e. the triple tradition) is statistically significant.

          Second bias in your demonstration :

          > [...] But this is not the end of the matter.
          > For if this was the only coincidence, we would not know that the dua-
          > story concerned was indeed a composite dua-story. We cannot know that
          > any observed story in the synoptic gospels is a composite dua-story
          > unless we can observe its corresponding simple dua-story.

          We are not counting if a story is or not a dua-story, but if a
          composite (dua-)story is or not in triple tradition. You want
          me to introduce in your count all the possible story dualities
          that would have disappear due to the cancel of the simple story
          in all synoptist. But it is not normal to count these unknown
          composite stories as if they would have reinforced the triple
          tradition.

          We are comparing (a) the numbers of composite stories in triple
          tradition with (b) the numbers of composite stories in your
          posited greek notes. You are saying : we shall take into account
          all composite stories, including those that we can not detect
          because the corresponding simple stories have been canceled
          by all synoptists.
          But how do we count in your posited greek notes the canceled
          duality stories ? They are undetectable. Since they are not
          count in (b), they have not to be counted in (a).


          > For a composite dua-story to be observable in the triple
          > tradition, therefore, yet a further coincidence is required
          > -- that coincidentally at least one synoptist exercised
          > option (1) in relation to the corresponding simple dua-story
          > in the synoptic gospels.

          Same observation as just above. With other words, you give
          here an additional condition "for a composite dua-story to
          be observable in the triple tradition", but this condition
          ("one synoptist exercised option (1) in relation to the
          corresponding simple dua-story") is true for all story
          dualities, (thus for all composite dua-stories), since
          this condition belongs to the definition of the story
          duality as you gave it just three lines above :

          > a story duality came into existence only if a synoptist chose
          > option (1) in the case of the simple dua-story, and if [...]

          This argument is not rhetoric, but pure logic ;-)
          You are not allowed to include canceled composite stories
          in the study after having rejected them in your definition.

          ----------------------------

          3- What happens to hypotheses when they do not match data.

          > >Take another example : if there is many widows in all synoptics,
          > >but very few in the triple tradition, you may deduce that the
          > >widow theme is common to first century christians, and has been
          > >integrated in each synoptic independently from the other one.
          > >
          > I think it is the most basic mistake in using probability theory to
          > suppose that it is possible to **deduce** that something happened by
          > statistical considerations of sampling. If a coin with a head on one
          > side and a tail on the other is spun twenty times and gives "heads" each
          > time, it is nonsense to say that we can "deduce" from his data that the
          > coin is biassed. This would be a fundamental misunderstanding of the use
          > of probability theory. The twenty consecutive "heads" could have been an
          > unlikely coincidence, and the coin not biassed.

          "it is the most basic mistake in using probability theory"... I am
          sorry Brian : I may respect you as a scholar, and learn a lot from
          you about NT, greek language and perhabs history. But I am quite
          confident when saying you can not teach me on probability theory.

          The computing deduction you may say with your experience,
          is : if the coin is unbiassed, the probability to obtain such
          twenty following "heads" is less than 1 against a million.
          (exactly : 1 / 2^20 = 1 / 1,048,576 )

          The common knowlege deduction is : perhabs it could have been an
          "unlikely coincidence", and the coin is not biassed, but until
          we may verify it, I would like rather consider the coin as
          biassed, and bet on "tail" with another coin.

          Would it not be better to consider the LTH as biassed, and play
          with another hypothesis ?


          > >If in your set of merged stories, there is a lack of merged stories
          > >present in the triple tradition, then we may deduce that these merged
          > >stories are not due to a single author, but are a global behavior of
          > >several redactors.
          > >
          > Really? I would suggest it is absolutely impossible to deduce the
          > "global behaviour of several redactors" from the observed data in the
          > synoptic gospels. Your idea that such a deduction can be made shows a
          > complete lack of understanding of what a hypothesis is. No hypothesis of
          > the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels can possibly
          > be deduced from the observed data in the synoptic gospels. A hypothesis
          > is not the end of a chain of reasoning, but a question posed at the
          > beginning of a testing of the hypothesis against the observed data.

          - We have a hypothesis : LTH. We want to check it with facts.

          - We have facts : the story dualities, the related composite
          stories, their distribution in triple radition...

          IF the distribution of composite stories in triple tradition
          is low (and this is still not checked), THEN the LTH would be
          falsified : we find a phenomenon that does not fit the hypothesis.

          Corollary : SINCE composite stories do not come from a unique
          source, they come from various ones : composite stories -and
          thus story duality- are not a characteristic stylistic pattern,
          but come from various sources. THUS story duality results from
          a global behaviour of redactors.

          Note that I join here the conclusion of Ken Olson,
          he reached through other arguments.
          Note also that this is not a hypothesis, but a deduction.

          I am lucky : it is placed at the end of the chain of reasoning.

          a+
          manu

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