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Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark: Scroll or Codex?

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  • Ron Price
    ... Stephen, I ll sketch the basic argument and the *nature* of the evidence. The technique each of these authors appears to have used is to plan the document
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 30, 2002
      I wrote:

      >> It is the discovery of such traces (patterns)
      >>indicating documents which have a whole multiple of four pages which
      >>gives me confidence that Mark, Matthew, Luke (first and second editions)
      >>and Acts, plus a few other NT documents, were codices from their very

      Stephen Carlson replied:

      > Would it be possible/advisable if you could briefly sketch
      >the basic argument and evidence?


      I'll sketch the basic argument and the *nature* of the evidence.
      The technique each of these authors appears to have used is to plan
      the document in terms of meaningful sections and to allocate a number of
      pages to each section. Given a posited model which says a book had N
      pages (where N is derived either by measuring prominent sections or by
      computer search), the basic evidence consists of matches between section
      and page boundaries. They are not of course exact matches, for we live
      in a real world, so part of the problem is deciding what tolerance to
      allow. A section boundary cannot be more than half a page from a page
      boundary, so for random sections the mean deviation is 1/4 page. Initial
      data led me to expect a mean deviation of at most 1/12 page. Long
      experience led me to demand a maximum mean deviation of 1/16 page for
      the model to be valid, but the model needs to pass other tests as well.
      Identifying sections which would have been meaningful to the author is
      itself a very difficult task. Commentaries vary enormously in the way
      they divide books up into sections. For instance, they don't have a clue
      about Luke at a detailed level, and Acts seems to have too many clues
      leading to a great variety of divisions. I've had to devise a numerical
      algorithm specially in order to analyse the text and get more objective
      evidence for the original sections. The net result of my investigation
      into the original sections has led me to have a very high regard for the
      authors' skills. For they produced some beautiful structures, including
      more symmetry than is usually supposed, and this is part of the evidence
      for the validity of the hypothesis. This investigation is one reason why
      I'm so scathing about the Q derived from the 2ST. These NT books were
      beautifully planned, so I cannot believe that the sayings source would
      have been such a pig's ear.
      A third and crucial piece of evidence is provided by a comparison of
      the page sizes (Greek letters per page) of the validated models for the
      various books. These were derived independently, yet they are related in
      an extraordinary pattern. (To put these in print would give too much
      away prior to publication.)
      Another issue was whether NA27 represents the original text
      sufficiently closely. I used GNT3 (=NA27) as the basis, though in some
      cases I've posited certain textual variants as original. In a few cases
      I've posited (with good reasons) early interpolations which have left
      the original readings without textual support. On the whole, though, my
      evidence provides independent confirmation of the essential originality
      of the NA27 text. In Mark the beautiful and in part detailed structure
      proves beyond reasonable doubt that 6:45-8:26 was a part of the original
      text, and that the ending at 16:8 was original. The beautiful structure,
      linked to a model which has a whole multiple of four pages, constitutes
      the major evidence that Mark was a codex from the beginning.

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

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