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Re: Should we keep this up? (Was: Re: Request: help with Colwell's quantitative analysis)

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  • James R. Adair
    I personally have found the debate between Hurtado and Waltz to be interesting, especially when matters of substance and theory are emphasized and personal
    Message 1 of 18 , May 2, 1997
      I personally have found the debate between Hurtado and Waltz to be
      interesting, especially when matters of substance and theory are
      emphasized and personal comments are not. Let me ask the two antagonists
      (and anyone else who wants to respond) about a few specific points that I
      see coming out of this debate.

      (1) Is the existence of a gap of about 10% between groups of witnesses
      really a useful measurement? I can see measuring levels of agreement
      (whether 70% or some other number), but surely manuscripts can always be
      chosen in such a way as to eliminate any substantial gap in levels of
      agreement. Maybe the gap could be redefined in a manner similar to this:
      if one group of mss agrees with one another in 70% of readings, and
      another group of mss likewise agrees among its members in 70% of _its_
      readings, _and_ there is a gap of 10% between any two members of one
      groups vs. the other, _then_ we can identify two different text-types.
      Such a definition would seem to eliminate mixed mss from consideration
      _when determining text-types_ (i.e., not entirely from consideration).

      (2) The 70% agreement has often been questioned. Other than the Byzantine
      and Alexandrian witnesses, does any other group show a 70% level of
      agreement anywhere in the NT? What level of agreement is there among the
      OL witnesses (eliminating D from the Western group)? Bob, what level of
      agreement is there in the groups you identify in Paul?

      (3) What exactly do levels of agreement tell us? They say that mss are
      very similar, but is that really the same thing as saying that they are
      genetically related (as a group)? Does discovery of text-types tell us
      more about where patterns of reading originated or more about where they
      ended up? One way to increase the level of agreement, of course, is to
      correct a ms from another ms, so levels of agreement may not say much
      about historical origin. As an analogy, consider the English language.
      Because of the Norman invasion of England, Modern English contains many,
      many words of French origin. Nevertheless, at its root, it is a Germanic
      language. Using statistical sampling, would we call Modern English a
      member of the Germanic or the Romance text-type (or would we say it's
      mixed?)?

      (4) The word "sample" is being used differently by Hurtado and Waltz, it
      seems to me. Hurtado says, "Bob, in TC 'samples' normally mean sample
      bits, chapters, etc. Second, I collated *all* of Mark, noting *all*
      variations among *all* witnesses chosen, and counted *all* variation-units
      that were *meaningful* -- i.e., where it was possible to measure
      *agreements* of the witnesses." It appears to me that Larry is using
      the word "sample" in a way commonly used in TC circles, whereas Bob is
      using a more formal mathematical (statistical) definition. I think that
      TCers will have to bow to math in this case. Even if "samples" normally
      mean "sample bits, chapters, etc." in TC circles, it is clear that this
      terminology is weak and should be changed to agree with the more rigorous
      math definition, especially when TCers are dealing with statistics.
      Despite the "alls" of Hurtado's study, there is a sample: in the choice of
      manuscripts. It may be a good sample, but it's still a sample.

      I'd be interested to see what Larry and Bob (and others) have to say about
      these points.

      Jimmy Adair
      Manager of Information Technology Services, Scholars Press
      and
      Managing Editor of TELA, the Scholars Press World Wide Web Site
      ---------------> http://scholar.cc.emory.edu <-----------------
    • Robert B. Waltz
      On Fri, 2 May 1997, James R. Adair ... I must apologise for my part in that. I will admit that the recent unpleasantness
      Message 2 of 18 , May 2, 1997
        On Fri, 2 May 1997, "James R. Adair" <jadair@...>
        wrote:

        >I personally have found the debate between Hurtado and Waltz to be
        >interesting, especially when matters of substance and theory are
        >emphasized and personal comments are not.

        I must apologise for my part in that. I will admit that the recent
        unpleasantness about Academic Imperialism made me rather thin-skinned,
        since I am one who does not have university credentials in TC.

        >Let me ask the two antagonists
        >(and anyone else who wants to respond) about a few specific points that I
        >see coming out of this debate.

        Nice to see something I can answer easily.

        >(1) Is the existence of a gap of about 10% between groups of witnesses
        >really a useful measurement? I can see measuring levels of agreement
        >(whether 70% or some other number), but surely manuscripts can always be
        >chosen in such a way as to eliminate any substantial gap in levels of
        >agreement.

        That is my contention. Surprisingly, I do think there is value
        in the concept of the "gap" -- but I don't believe it can be applied
        rigidly. In a large enough sample set, a gap of only a few percentage
        points can be significant.

        Also, I think it more useful to apply the gap to classified agreements
        than to overall percentages of agreement. I offer as an example 630
        in the Paulines. In my overall table of agreements, its closest relative
        is L (77%). That's because 630 has suffered heavy Byzantine correction.

        However, if we look at 630's handful of near-singular readings, we
        find that it shares no fewer than 6 with 1739. Other than 1739 and
        its obvious relative 1881, the next highest rate of near-singulars
        is 3 with B and 2 with p46. So *there* we see a gap of significance.

        By combining these facts, we come to the conclusion (borne out
        by other data) that 630 is a heavily mixed manuscript, more Byzantine
        than anything else, but with a strong infusion of family 1739
        readings (in fact, family 1739 readings outnumber Byzantine readings
        in Romans-Galatians; after that, 630 is effectively purely Byzantine).

        >Maybe the gap could be redefined in a manner similar to this:
        >if one group of mss agrees with one another in 70% of readings, and
        >another group of mss likewise agrees among its members in 70% of _its_
        >readings, _and_ there is a gap of 10% between any two members of one
        >groups vs. the other, _then_ we can identify two different text-types.
        >Such a definition would seem to eliminate mixed mss from consideration
        >_when determining text-types_ (i.e., not entirely from consideration).

        Personally I see a lot of merit in this idea. It makes analysis a lot
        harder, but the concept is good.

        It does leave one problem: It leaves us stuck if we have to investigate
        a text-type which no longer exists in pure form in any manuscript.
        Which, sadly, puts us back where we started in my last argument with
        Hurtado: the advocates of the "Caesarean" text explicitly defined it
        in terms of readings mined from mixed manuscripts.

        Still, if you'll allow me to fudge those numbers a little, depending
        on the sample, I could live with this idea.

        >(2) The 70% agreement has often been questioned. Other than the Byzantine
        >and Alexandrian witnesses, does any other group show a 70% level of
        >agreement anywhere in the NT? What level of agreement is there among the
        >OL witnesses (eliminating D from the Western group)? Bob, what level of
        >agreement is there in the groups you identify in Paul?

        I'll give as much data here as I can type in half an hour. (BTW -- if
        some of the numbers don't agree, blame the fact that I'm retyping all
        this. If there's an inconsistency, tell me and I'll check it.)

        *************************************

        Gospels: If we omit D, and people are willing to live with my samples,
        the "European" Latins (a, b, ff2) seem to agree about 70-80% of the
        time. (By comparison, they agree with D about 60-65% of the time,
        and with D about 35% of the time. They agree with k about 55% of the
        time.)

        *************************************

        I have no good data for Acts.

        *************************************

        I'm going to annotate the data for Paul. :-)

        *************************************

        p46/B type:
        p46: Closest relative is B, 62% of the time. Next closest is 1739, 56% of
        the time. p46 and B also have 34 near-singular agreements, as opposed to
        14 between p46 and Aleph, 21 between p46 and D, 16 between p46 and 1739.
        B: Closest relative is actually the Sahidic, 68% of the time. After that,
        it's about a wash between 1739 (64%) and p46 (62%). Aleph is at 57%,
        D at 42%. But p46 remains the clear winner in near-singulars (34, to
        26 for the Sahidic and 18 for 1739).

        Alexandrian text:
        Aleph: Closest relative is A, 76%. Outside Romans (where 33 is Byzantine),
        33 takes the prize at about 77%. C agrees 76% , 1506 72%, the
        Bohairic 73%. The fragmentary I gets the prize where it exists, 80%.
        For comparison, B agrees with Aleph 57%, D agrees 47%, 1739 agrees 63%.
        A: Closest is C at 77%, followed by Aleph at 76. With B, 53%; with D,
        47%; with 1739, 62%
        C: Closest is A, 77%, followed by Aleph, 76%. With B, 51%; with D,
        48%; with 1739, 63%.
        33: Closest is Aleph, 69%. A C follow at 65% (exclude Romans and all
        these numbers go up by about 7-8 points). With B, 54%; with D, 48%;
        with 1739, 61%.

        "Western" text:
        D: Closest relative , not surprisingly, is d, 84%. Next are F G, 72%,
        then the other Old Latins in the 60-70% range. With B, 42%; with
        Aleph, 47%; with 1739, 47%.
        G: Other than, of course, F f, the closest relatives are D d, 72%.
        With B, 41%; with Aleph, 46%; with 1739, 47%.

        As a typical example of the Byzantine text, we note that K L
        agree 91% of the time.

        Family 1739:
        0243 and 1739 agree 96% of the time. (I hope soon to study this
        relationship in detail.)
        6 agrees with 1739 64% of the time (compared to 69% with L), but
        has 19 near-singular agreements. (Next on the near-singular list,
        other than 424** with 18 and 1881 with 12, is B with 10)
        The corrections in 424 go with 1739 91% of the time, and of 424**'s
        26 near-singulars, 20, or 77%, are shared by 1739. (This is
        extraordinary, since in the typical manuscript at least a third
        of the near-singulars are errors.)
        1881 agrees with 1739 77% of the time.
        1739 itself agrees with p46 56% of the time, with B 64% of the time,
        with Aleph 63% of the time, with D 47% of the time.

        *************************************

        Now to the Catholics. Here I'll just make a table.

        p72 Aleph A B C K 33 323 614 1241 1739 2495
        p72 - 38 43 66 45 21 41 47 39 48 51 39
        Aleph 38 - 60 48 54 37 57 50 45 51 60 46
        A 43 60 - 44 57 35 79 55 52 60 66 50
        B 66 48 44 - 49 20 46 44 32 48 56 36
        C 45 54 57 49 - 42 56 60 51 57 70 51
        K 21 37 35 20 42 - 38 47 52 38 34 48
        33 41 57 79 46 56 38 - 59 58 59 67 54
        323 47 50 55 44 60 47 59 - 50 71 78 50
        614 39 45 52 32 51 52 58 50 - 47 52 82
        1241 48 51 60 48 57 38 59 71 47 - 80 49
        1739 51 60 66 56 70 34 67 78 52 80 - 50
        2495 39 46 50 36 51 48 54 50 82 49 50 -

        *************************************

        To summarize (and I'm using some additional data not offered here):

        In the Gospels, we find that the "Western" group falls on the ragged
        edge of the 70% rule -- so close to the edge that the sample might
        tip things one way or the other. There is a huge "gap" between
        "Western" and non-Western, though.

        In Paul, the Alexandrian, "Western," and Family 1739 texts all
        meet the 70% rule for their stronger members, though some of the
        weaker ones fail. p46 and B *don't* make it, though they are clearly
        akin. In Paul, for my sample, 60% might be a better threshold.
        BTW -- if you observe, 1739 seems to agree with all three of
        the other text-types more than they agree with each other.
        This is the basis for my belief that it forms its own text-type.

        In the Catholics, we find 80% agreement between the members of
        family 2138 (614 630 1505 1611 1799 2138 2412 2495, etc.), with
        subgroups breaking the 90% mark. The members of family 1739
        (C 323 945 1241 1881 2298) gnerally exceed this mark with respect
        to 1739 though not to each other. There is a group within the
        Alexandrian text (A Psi 33 81 436 bo etc.) which exceeds the 70%
        threshold, but neither Aleph nor p72/B are part of it. There
        probably needs to be work done on the Alexandrian text in the
        Catholics. (It may well be that p72/B are a separate text-type.)

        N.B.
        One thing that I think is worth noting is that, in the Catholics,
        1241 agrees with 1739 80% of the time, and C agrees with 1739 70%
        of the time. But 1241 and C agree only 57% of the time. Interesting,
        huh? This ought to tell us something (I'm not sure what yet, but
        it's one of those reasons why I'm concerned with the statistical
        nature of variants).

        >(3) What exactly do levels of agreement tell us? They say that mss are
        >very similar, but is that really the same thing as saying that they are
        >genetically related (as a group)?

        To give a great answer, I say, "Yes and no." That is, a high rate of
        agreement means that they have something in common -- but it may
        be just a bunch of Byzantine mixture.

        In my view, a manuscript (call it X) that is 80% Byzantine and
        20% something else has value only in the 20% that's something
        else. If we want to examine the Byzantine text, we have plenty
        of purely Byzantine manuscripts to look at. For simplicity,
        let's say that X had a Byzantine ancestor B and a less-Byzantine
        ancestor O. Now it may be that a lot of X's Byzantine readings
        came from O; we can't tell.

        But it doesn't matter. I will freely concede to Hurtado, Colwell
        and Tune, et al that X is more closely related to B and the
        Byzantine text than to O and something else. However, I don't
        see that it matters. Since we don't care about the Byzantine
        text (given how many good examples we have), our interest is
        in the small relationship with O.

        >Does discovery of text-types tell us
        >more about where patterns of reading originated or more about where they
        >ended up? One way to increase the level of agreement, of course, is to
        >correct a ms from another ms, so levels of agreement may not say much
        >about historical origin.

        Entirely agreed, from where I sit. See above.

        >As an analogy, consider the English language.
        >Because of the Norman invasion of England, Modern English contains many,
        >many words of French origin. Nevertheless, at its root, it is a Germanic
        >language. Using statistical sampling, would we call Modern English a
        >member of the Germanic or the Romance text-type (or would we say it's
        >mixed?)?

        Depends on the sampling method. :-)

        If we sampled grammatically, or based on words in common use, we'd
        say it's a Germanic language. If we look at a dictionary, where
        obscure Latin-derived words predominate, we'd say it's a Romance
        language.

        In my view, the Grammar is simplified Germanic, the vocabulary is
        mixed. I don't know what one would call the result.

        >(4) The word "sample" is being used differently by Hurtado and Waltz, it
        >seems to me. Hurtado says, "Bob, in TC 'samples' normally mean sample
        >bits, chapters, etc. Second, I collated *all* of Mark, noting *all*
        >variations among *all* witnesses chosen, and counted *all* variation-units
        >that were *meaningful* -- i.e., where it was possible to measure
        >*agreements* of the witnesses." It appears to me that Larry is using
        >the word "sample" in a way commonly used in TC circles, whereas Bob is
        >using a more formal mathematical (statistical) definition. I think that
        >TCers will have to bow to math in this case. Even if "samples" normally
        >mean "sample bits, chapters, etc." in TC circles, it is clear that this
        >terminology is weak and should be changed to agree with the more rigorous
        >math definition, especially when TCers are dealing with statistics.
        >Despite the "alls" of Hurtado's study, there is a sample: in the choice of
        >manuscripts. It may be a good sample, but it's still a sample.

        Thanks for pointing out the difference in language. You're right, I was
        using the mathematical sense -- and not even thinking of other meanings.

        Naturally, I vote for the mathematical use. :-)

        >I'd be interested to see what Larry and Bob (and others) have to say about
        >these points.

        I hope this clarifies things. If not, well, I'll try again next week
        some time. :-)

        Thanks for both the conciliatory words and the curiosity.

        -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

        Robert B. Waltz
        waltzmn@...

        Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
        Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
        (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
      • Bart Ehrman
        ... Mr. Waltz: is it still the case that you haven t actually read any of my stuff? I completely agree that our models have to be mathematically based,
        Message 3 of 18 , May 4, 1997
          On Sun, 4 May 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:
          >
          > If we are to make mathematical analysis of TC a truly respectable
          > discipline, we must create a greater degree of rigour. Now I know that
          > not everyone wants to do this (witness my exchange with Ehrman about
          > the Comprehensive Profile Method. I say that profiles should be created
          > by mechanical means. He says that human beings should create them.
          > There is no "right" answer here; it's just that one way is rigourous
          > and the other is not). All I am saying is that such rigour is required
          > from proper mathematical analysis. Results must be repeatable!

          Mr. Waltz: is it still the case that you haven't actually read any of
          my stuff?

          I completely agree that our models have to be mathematically based,
          repeatable, and rigourous. I thought that was why I developed the
          comprehensive profile method in the first place. If you have suggestions
          about the method itself, I really would like to hear them, since there are
          several doctoral dissertations being written right now that are using it,
          and refinements could prove quite useful (Vincent Broman's comments have
          been extremely helpful; I have to say that I prefer his approach of
          offering suggestions of a method that he has read and understand to
          your approach of criticizing a method you haven't even examined; but
          maybe it's a matter of taste).

          With respect to our disagreement, it is not over either rigor or
          repeatability. It's over how one *decides* what constitutes a variant or
          not and how one goes about using these variants to classify manuscripts.
          The points you're raising over that issue are precisely what is at stake,
          in part because they show that the decision cannot be made mechanically
          until you, a subjective being, actually *make* these decisions. I.e.,
          it's wrong to say that I think human beings "should" make decisions; I
          think humans *have* to make them. There is no choice about the matter.
          The question about whether they are rigourous or not in doing so is
          altogether different. (BTW, your point that binary agreements always
          create a Byzantine vs. a non-Byzantine reading of course is obviously
          false, so I wonder what you're thinking of. Could you tell me, by the
          way, if you've evaluated yet the standard criticism of the earlier methods
          of establishin a Caesarean text by considering only those variants that
          differ from the Byzantine text? To most of us, this criticism is
          absolutely valid, and based precisely on a rigorous set of
          considerations.)

          -- Bart D. Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
        • Robert B. Waltz
          TCers -- In the last week or so, I ve gotten several requests for information on the use of statistics in TC. In one sense, that s good; it means I ve been
          Message 4 of 18 , May 4, 1997
            TCers --

            In the last week or so, I've gotten several requests for information on
            the use of statistics in TC. In one sense, that's good; it means I've
            been getting you thinking. But I haven't been much help in my replies.
            Given that the questions keep coming in, I think I have to try to give
            something of an overview of *why*.

            The basic question that has been asked is, "What is a good mathematical
            reference for TCers?" As far as I know, there is none. If there were,
            I would be quoting it, rather than stumbling along looking for methods
            of my own.

            Now I'll admit that there could be a great reference out there somewhere.
            But I doubt it. And the reason that I doubt it is that we haven't even laid
            all the groundwork.

            To give an example: In the last few decades, we've done a great deal to
            define what constitutes a "variant." Epp and Fee are among the big names
            here. They've given us a nomenclature both for the variants themsleves
            and for their nature. What they haven't given us is a rigid system for
            determining the scope of variants. And the latter is vital.

            Consider this: In Larry Richards's statistical analysis of the Catholic
            Epistles, he goes to great lengths to make all his variants binary
            (that is, to have *two and only two* readings). As I recall (and I'm
            not checking this), he had only four ternary variants (those with
            three readings) in his whole set of a hundred and some.

            By contrast, about 25% of the variants in the apparatus of UBS/GNT
            are ternary (or of even higher order).

            Does this matter? You bet it does! If all variants are binary, then
            in general we can say that, for any variant, one reading is Byzantine
            and one reading is non-Byzantine. This means that, if two manuscripts
            both have the non-Byzantine reading here, then they automatically
            agree. In other words, agreement in non-Byzantine readings is meaningless;
            every manuscript -- even one that is purely Byzantine -- will have 100%
            agreement with every other in non-Byzantine readings.

            But it's worth remembering that Lake, Streeter, et al *defined* the
            "Caesarean" text in terms of the non-Byzantine readings. If all variants
            are binary, then *all* manuscripts become "Caesarean" under this definition.
            Whereas, if many of our variants are ternary, there are two non-Byzantine
            readings, and agreement in non-Byzantines becomes a meaningful statistic.

            Is anyone prepared to state that the existence or non-existence of a
            text-type depends entirely on how many readings we allow at a variant?
            Seems pretty silly to me....

            If we are to make mathematical analysis of TC a truly respectable
            discipline, we must create a greater degree of rigour. Now I know that
            not everyone wants to do this (witness my exchange with Ehrman about
            the Comprehensive Profile Method. I say that profiles should be created
            by mechanical means. He says that human beings should create them.
            There is no "right" answer here; it's just that one way is rigourous
            and the other is not). All I am saying is that such rigour is required
            from proper mathematical analysis. Results must be repeatable!

            Another problem with recommending a math text or reference to TCers
            is the level of math required. I don't know about your colleges,
            but my school offered two statistics courses -- one, called "Statistics,"
            was taught by the economics department, and had no prerequisites.
            The math department offering was called "Probability and Statistics,"
            and had as prerequisites multi-variable calculus and linear algebra.

            Now I'll tell you the truth: the Economics version of the course was
            more "useful." They taught you a lot more things. In Probs & Stats,
            we didn't even learn such basic tools as chi-square testing. Instead,
            we studied possible outcomes, probability distributions -- and
            where and when one can apply various methods. The Economics class
            never taught that. And it's a real lack. Those economic students
            frequently applied tests and formulas to results where they simply
            didn't apply. But I frankly don't know how to *tell* people how
            to apply the tests until they've reached the level of mathematical
            maturity implied by four semesters of calculus, linear algebra, etc.
            (There may be a way; I just don't know it. :-)

            To show how much work there is to be done, I will point out that,
            in the six or so years since I first started applying statistics
            to textual criticism, I have refined my methods five times. And
            I *still* don't have a method that lets me plug in a collation
            and have the computer read off the text-type of the resulting
            manuscript. I have a lot more data than I used to, and it's all
            very pretty, but it isn't rigorous. (And, I fear, I'm about used
            up. I'm 35, and mathematicians stop having ideas at 30. So somebody
            else will likely have to take up the torch.)

            This brings up another point. I may, at some point, have said that
            Colwell and Tune and/or Hurtado are wrong in their definition of a
            text-type. I should not say that. Their methods are faithful to
            their definition.

            But note that word: "Definition." They have *postulated* the
            definition of a text-type (70% agreement, 10% gap). That is, they
            have said that "this is what we mean by a text-type."

            That is a legitimate mathematical method. They could, for all
            it matters mathematically, define text-types in terms of the
            color of ink used in the manuscript. This is logically consistent.
            It's just that the results wouldn't match what we instinctively
            think of as a text-type.

            The informal definition of a text-type is "the loosest grouping
            of manuscripts between which some degree of relationship can be
            discerned." Now I say that, due to mixture, this definition
            contradicts the Colwell/Tune definition. Allow me enough manuscripts,
            and I will show you a set in which there are no 10% gaps.

            That is the reason why I did, and do, reject the Colwell definition.
            I've spent the last several years trying to find a definition which
            more or less conforms with what we already knew, without shutting
            us off from new discoveries. And I am the first to admit that I
            have failed. I believe I have constructed an accurate picture of
            the text-types in Paul and the Catholics -- but I also admit
            that this is based on my informal analysis of the statistics
            I produce, not on the statistics themselves.

            The Colwell/Tune definition carries with it two seemingly
            unnoticed corollaries:

            1. A text-type can only exist if it has a pure representative
            2. A sufficiently mixed text cannot belong to a text-type.

            I personally reject this. By this definition, the Alexandrian
            text did not exist in the Gospels until B and Aleph became known!

            I would postulate something different:

            1. Text-types exist.
            2. Text-types need not have a pure representative.

            On that basis I have stumbled around (and stumbled is the right word!)
            looking for a mathematical rule that will let me prove the existence
            of text-types.

            I hope that is a decent summary of the situation. We can't just go
            out and call on mathematicians to help us out. If we ever want TC
            to be a rigorous subject (and I say *if*, because some do *not*
            want it to become one), we need to get our house in order. Get
            our definitions straight, study the nature of variants so that
            we know what tests we can apply. If we do that, then maybe finally
            we can write the textbook that everybody wants.

            All right, the voice yapping in the wilderness will now stop yapping
            for a bit. :-)


            -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

            Robert B. Waltz
            waltzmn@...

            Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
            Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
            (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
          • Robert B. Waltz
            ... To answer the question: Yes, I have read various things you have written. But to answer the *implied* question: No, I haven t gotten to the article on the
            Message 5 of 18 , May 4, 1997
              On Sun, 4 May 1997, Bart Ehrman <behrman@...> wrote:

              >On Sun, 4 May 1997, Robert B. Waltz wrote:
              >>
              >> If we are to make mathematical analysis of TC a truly respectable
              >> discipline, we must create a greater degree of rigour. Now I know that
              >> not everyone wants to do this (witness my exchange with Ehrman about
              >> the Comprehensive Profile Method. I say that profiles should be created
              >> by mechanical means. He says that human beings should create them.
              >> There is no "right" answer here; it's just that one way is rigourous
              >> and the other is not). All I am saying is that such rigour is required
              >> from proper mathematical analysis. Results must be repeatable!
              >
              > Mr. Waltz: is it still the case that you haven't actually read any of
              >my stuff?

              To answer the question: Yes, I have read various things you have written.
              But to answer the *implied* question: No, I haven't gotten to the article
              on the Comprehensive Profile method. I admit that this is something I
              need to do -- but it hardly affects my discussion of the Colwell/Tune
              definition.

              [ ... ]

              > With respect to our disagreement, it is not over either rigor or
              >repeatability. It's over how one *decides* what constitutes a variant or
              >not and how one goes about using these variants to classify manuscripts.
              >The points you're raising over that issue are precisely what is at stake,
              >in part because they show that the decision cannot be made mechanically
              >until you, a subjective being, actually *make* these decisions. I.e.,
              >it's wrong to say that I think human beings "should" make decisions; I
              >think humans *have* to make them. There is no choice about the matter.

              In part I agree. But human beings are always subjective, and should
              be kept *out* of the process as long as possible. (Sez I.) So I
              prefer to use the computer to do every bit of the work it possibly
              can. There may be methodological bias in my programming -- but at
              least that bias will affect all manuscripts equally.

              >The question about whether they are rigourous or not in doing so is
              >altogether different.

              I will try to be charitable and assume that we are using "rigour" in
              different ways. So what in the world do you mean if you do not mean
              something that can be done absolutely mechanically? (This excludes,
              of course, the meaning in mathematical logic -- but even I don't
              see any way to apply mathematical logic to TC.)

              >(BTW, your point that binary agreements always
              >create a Byzantine vs. a non-Byzantine reading of course is obviously
              >false, so I wonder what you're thinking of.

              What? Assume that, at some point of variation, there are two readings,
              A and B. That is what I mean by a binary variant.

              If this is true, then there are only two possibilities: Either the
              Byzantine text is split (which can happen, of course, but is not
              especially common), or one of the readings is Byzantine and the
              other is not. For simplicity, let's say that reading B is Byzantine
              and A is not. Together so far?

              Now take two manuscripts, X and Y. Since, *by definition of a binary
              variant*, they can only have reading A or reading B here, there are
              four possible results:

              1. X reads A, Y reads A -- Comment: This is the only case where both are
              Non-Byzantine. And X and Y agree.
              2. X reads A, Y reads B -- Comment: Y is Byzantine, so this is not a
              case where both are non-Byzantine.
              3. X reads B, Y reads A -- Comment: X is Byzantine, so this is not a
              case where both are non-Byzantine.
              4. X reads B, Y reads B -- Comment: Both Byzantine, so this is not a
              case where both are non-Byzantine.

              In other words, *if all readinngs are binary*, then wherever two manuscripts
              are non-Byzantine, they agree.

              Q.E.D.

              This does not admit of argument. If you wish to prove this statement untrue,
              you must attack the premise that all readings are binary. I do not say that
              all readings are binary, only that, if they are, then agreement in
              non-Byzantines is meaningless.

              Or were we disagreeing about what "agreement in non-Byzantines" means?

              >Could you tell me, by the
              >way, if you've evaluated yet the standard criticism of the earlier methods
              >of establishin a Caesarean text by considering only those variants that
              >differ from the Byzantine text? To most of us, this criticism is
              >absolutely valid, and based precisely on a rigorous set of
              >considerations.)

              I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you asking, "have I examined
              the Lake/Blake/New/Streeter system of defining the 'Caesarean' text in
              terms of its divergences from the Byzantine text?"?

              If so, the answer is that I have not repeated the experiment that they
              undertook, so I do not know if the "Caesarean" text exists. I have suspicions,
              but no final answer.

              However, I have no objection, in theory, to their method. They applied it
              incorrectly (the TR is *not* the Byzantine text), and of course they
              applied it circularly. That means that they needed better application of
              their method, not a better method.

              Let me try asking the question from the other direction: Do you insist
              that a text-type can only exist if there is a pure representative of the
              type? Because I will readily concede that there are no surviving pure
              representatives of the "Caesarean" text. All of them, from Theta on
              down, are mixed (if they form a text at all). But if you cannot examine
              manuscripts at the points where they are free of Byzantine mixture,
              how can you examine that lost text?

              ***

              Let me make another observation on this exchange. Those who are
              neutrals (lucky you :-) will observe that I keep being attacked
              at *the same points.* Usually it's where I have questioned a common
              assumption, but not always.

              The one thing that is universal is that we are debating over
              postulates. Colwell, or Ehrman, or Hurtado, are offering postulates.
              (You don't think Colwell postulated his definition? Consider how
              he "derived" it. He looked at one small set of data, offered
              some numbers -- and by some amazing process those numbers have
              become gospel, accepted without proof by very many TCers.)

              So I would ask a question: What is wrong with trying alternate
              postulates? I can't give a TC analogy -- but I can state one
              thing with certainty: Mathematics has always gotten richer when
              it has tried using different postulates.

              -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

              Robert B. Waltz
              waltzmn@...

              Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
              Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
              (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
            • Professor L.W. Hurtado
              As Jimmy Adair and a couple of others think they found some value in the exchanges Bob Waltz and I had late last week, and as substantive matters continue to
              Message 6 of 18 , May 5, 1997
                As Jimmy Adair and a couple of others think they found some value in
                the exchanges Bob Waltz and I had late last week, and as substantive
                matters continue to be on the table, I hope I shall be permitted
                patience for another contribution. (And Bob, I never saw our
                exchanges as shouting matches, at least on my end.)
                Adair highlights some interesting matters. Also, in his response to
                Adair and in his subsequent posting Waltz makes a number of
                statements that require some clarification in my view, merely to be
                able to understand what he means before I can evaluate them. Let me
                try to be concise and itemize matters.
                1.) It bears remembering what Colwell (and Tune) were up to in the
                two or three relevant essays in Colwell's _Methodology_ collection in
                which the % matters come up. Colwell posits that the only
                helpful definition of "text-Type" is "a group of manuscripts, not .
                . . a list of readings" (Colwell, _Methodology_, p. 9). That is
                essential to understand the quantitative method he tried to develop.
                We're trying to group mss so that we can then proceed toward a
                history of the NT text. In order to do this, we can apply the
                Colwell-Tune quantitative approach, and in this approach they offered
                as a *quantitative* definition of a text-type (i.e., group of mss),
                70% or more agreement in point of variation where any two of the
                leading witnesses of all known major groups share a variant across a
                significant body of text (in my view the collation has to be book by
                book across whole books).
                As I've stated the reason for the 70% figure is simply that when they
                did this exercise in their sample, and when Fee carried out his
                exercise in John and when I did mine in Mark, we found that the major
                reps. of Hort's "Neutral" type and of the "Byzantine" type agreed at
                this level and their agreement was separated from agreement with
                major reps of other text types by 10% or more. These figures might
                well be modified, if one changes the nature of the experiment to ask
                other questions, but that would say nothing about the usefulness of
                the figures *for the purpose at hand*--viz. to group mss into
                text-types and to then see where and whether new mss fit with any of
                these groups.
                Thus, when Waltz says that we can introduce enough mss to make the
                "gap" of agreement much smaller, this is misleading. One might well
                introduce mss that are "weak" members of a text-type/group and
                the agreement of these mss with the text-type of which they are
                weak members would *not* be separated as distinctly from their level
                of agreement with members of other text-types. But the validity
                of the 10% "gap" and the 70% agreement observation is that these
                figures are functional quantitative definitions of the behavior of
                *major/good reps. of text-types when collated with major/good reps.
                of all other known text-types*. Thus, that weaker members of the
                text-type might not exhibit this behavior is very interesting, almost
                predictable, but not relevant for the validity of the definition of
                strong members of a text-type, at least a text-type like the Neutral
                and Byzantine ones.
                2.) There has been some confusion over the word "sample". Given that
                we cannot collate all known Greek mss, we have to chose well certain
                representative mss for any such exercise. I suppose one could call
                such reps "samples", but "samples" in at least some social science
                exercises can involve *random* sampling, and when you're choosing
                particular mss because they are already thought to be leading reps.
                of groups this is hardly "sampling".
                Moreover, when the purpose is to measure the agreements of mss (a)
                where the mss collated vary, and (b) where their variations enable us
                to say anything about agreements with one another, then if we count
                all such places how is this a "sample"? I suppose one could think of
                such variation units as "samples" in the sense that they are not
                every word/phrase in the NT, but only places where the text varies.
                But, again, "sample" implies a portion of the relevant data. But if
                all the relevant data is counted, how is it only a sample?
                Waltz cites critically L. Richardson's study of the Johannines, and I
                too have strong reservations about R's approach, which, N.B. is *not*
                the sort of application of quantitative analysis that Fee and I have
                practiced and advocated.
                3) With respect (sincere, though my patience
                wears thin at times), Waltz makes several statements that either seem
                to me incorrect or else not comprehensible to me.--He allgeses as
                what he calls corollaries of the Colwell-Tune method (a) that a
                text-type can exist only if it has a pure representative, and (b)
                that a sufficiently mixed ms can't belong to a text-type. Both are
                incorrect allegations. To repeat: per Colwell, a text-type is a
                group of mss that can be shown to belong together in some objective
                way (i.e., open for others to examine and test). No pure rep is
                required, only that a group of mss exhibit sufficiently strong
                agreement to indicate that they are a group. Mixed mss may show up
                as weaker members of such a group, or a group of "mixed" mss. might
                exhibit sufficient agreement to form a group. I really don't see
                where Waltz gets these corollaries, for the studies done using and
                adapting the Colwell-Tune approach demonstrate my statements.--Waltz
                alleges that Fee & Epp haven't given us "a rigid system for
                determining the scope of variants", and Waltz regards this as
                "vital". I'd really like Waltz to specify what in the impressively
                cogent discussions in chaps. 3-4 of the recent Epp/Fee _Studies in
                The Theory & MEthod_ volume he takes issue with, and where in these
                discussions he finds mis-steps or omissions. E.g., the "recommended
                definitions & limitations" on Epp/Fee pp. 57-61 are fairly explicit
                and precise. Can you improve on these paragraphs, Mr. Waltz? If so,
                please specify.--Waltz criticizes the Colwell-Tune quantitative
                definition (70%, etc.) as contrary to "what we instinctively think of
                as a text-type". "Instinctively"??? Given that some have used
                text-type to = a "pattern of readings" and others (my preference) an
                identifiable major group of mss distinguisable from other major
                groups, where does instinct come in?--Mr. Waltz quite commendably
                wants "mathematical analysis" in NT TC to be "a truly respectable
                discipline" and calls for "a greater degree of rigour". I therefore
                fail to understand how it is an advance to list mere numbers of
                agreements of two mss in "non-Byzantine" readings. And I simply
                don't know what his tables of numbers and percentages mean. Mere
                numbers and percentages mean nothing without a context. Percentages
                of what? Numbers of what? Mr. Waltz earlier mentioned counting
                variantion units from N/A27, but I didn't catch the details. Could
                you please give us a simple statement of what it is you do, as
                scientifically clear as possible? Merely stating alleged results
                without the scientific notation of process is near useless.
                --What do you mean by seeking to "apply the gap to classified
                agreements"?
                --What do you mean by "near-singular readings"?
                --How is it rigorous or meaningful to make a judgment about mss
                relationships based on a handfull of readings (as in Waltz's list of
                6 agreements of 630 with this or that ms)?

                Finally, as I've stated earlier (and demonstrated in my study of the
                Codex W) quantitative analysis is only the *first step* in grouping
                mss and in analysing their relationships. It has to be complemented
                with analysis of the specific readings shared by mss. No one has
                suggested that I know of that quantitative agreement alone is more
                than a rough measurement and one with heuristic value.
                L. W. Hurtado
                University of Edinburgh,
                New College
                Mound Place
                Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LX
                Phone: 0131-650-8920
                Fax: 0131-650-6579
                E-mail: L.Hurtado@...
              • Robert B. Waltz
                On Mon, 5 May 1997, Professor L.W. Hurtado ... If you read my web page, you ll note that I quote that statement too. Although this,
                Message 7 of 18 , May 5, 1997
                  On Mon, 5 May 1997, "Professor L.W. Hurtado" <hurtadol@...>
                  wrote, in part:

                  >Adair highlights some interesting matters. Also, in his response to
                  >Adair and in his subsequent posting Waltz makes a number of
                  >statements that require some clarification in my view, merely to be
                  >able to understand what he means before I can evaluate them. Let me
                  >try to be concise and itemize matters.
                  >1.) It bears remembering what Colwell (and Tune) were up to in the
                  >two or three relevant essays in Colwell's _Methodology_ collection in
                  >which the % matters come up. Colwell posits that the only
                  >helpful definition of "text-Type" is "a group of manuscripts, not .
                  >. . a list of readings" (Colwell, _Methodology_, p. 9).

                  If you read my web page, you'll note that I quote that statement too.

                  Although this, too, is something that might be worthy of discussion.
                  Is a text-type a group of readings or a group of manuscripts?
                  If it is a group of manuscripts, how do we determine which manuscripts
                  belong except by looking at some list of readings? And if it is a
                  list of readings, how do we choose the readings except by looking
                  at the manuscripts containing them?

                  I wonder, therefore, if we can separate manuscripts and readings.
                  (I'm not being dogmatic here; I just don't know. Thoughts, anyone?)

                  >That is
                  >essential to understand the quantitative method he tried to develop.
                  >We're trying to group mss so that we can then proceed toward a
                  >history of the NT text.

                  With which goal I hearily agree -- probably more heartily than most
                  on this list, since I don't trust internal evidence if I don't have
                  to.

                  >In order to do this, we can apply the
                  >Colwell-Tune quantitative approach, and in this approach they offered
                  >as a *quantitative* definition of a text-type (i.e., group of mss),
                  >70% or more agreement in point of variation where any two of the
                  >leading witnesses of all known major groups share a variant across a
                  >significant body of text

                  Notice that I said in my last post that this is a consistent method.
                  I just don't think it produces quite the results we want. Also, it
                  really *does* assume the solution. It's all very well to say that
                  we need to start somewhere. Believe me, I know the need! My
                  database defaults to comparing limited lists of manuscripts.

                  But we need to make our assumptions as few as possible. If we just
                  keep *assuming* that this witness or that is "the best," we can
                  never tell if something else is better.

                  >(in my view the collation has to be book by
                  >book across whole books).

                  I agree in part with that last. That is, one has to be alert for
                  block mixture.

                  However, complete collation of all manuscripts is simply not possible
                  at this time. So if we are to study all manuscripts, we must use a
                  sampling technique. (Note that I am not saying this is *good*; I'm
                  saying this is *necessary.*) This means that we may not have enough
                  data points, especially for short books, to produce detailed results
                  book-by-book. To get more statistical accuracy, we need to check
                  book-by-book for block mixture, and then -- if possible -- study
                  results for an entire corpus. Only that way can we involve enough
                  readings to be certain our results are reliable.

                  >As I've stated the reason for the 70% figure is simply that when they
                  >did this exercise in their sample, and when Fee carried out his
                  >exercise in John and when I did mine in Mark, we found that the major
                  >reps. of Hort's "Neutral" type and of the "Byzantine" type agreed at
                  >this level and their agreement was separated from agreement with
                  >major reps of other text types by 10% or more. These figures might
                  >well be modified, if one changes the nature of the experiment to ask
                  >other questions, but that would say nothing about the usefulness of
                  >the figures *for the purpose at hand*--viz. to group mss into
                  >text-types and to then see where and whether new mss fit with any of
                  >these groups.

                  I'm not saying that you didn't achieve these results. I'm saying the
                  value you find depends on the sample. In your system, based on variants
                  found in two or more witnesses in a group of less than a dozen, the
                  addition of even one more manuscript, depending on its nature, could
                  significantly alter your results.

                  >Thus, when Waltz says that we can introduce enough mss to make the
                  >"gap" of agreement much smaller, this is misleading. One might well
                  >introduce mss that are "weak" members of a text-type/group and
                  >the agreement of these mss with the text-type of which they are
                  >weak members would *not* be separated as distinctly from their level
                  >of agreement with members of other text-types. But the validity
                  >of the 10% "gap" and the 70% agreement observation is that these
                  >figures are functional quantitative definitions of the behavior of
                  >*major/good reps. of text-types when collated with major/good reps.
                  >of all other known text-types*.

                  Assume that to be true. It very well may be. It still leaves you
                  unable to assess mixed manuscripts. And I would claim that there
                  are several known text-types that exist *only* in mixed manuscripts.
                  The "Caesarean" text type, if it exists, is an example. The p46/B
                  type of Paul, if *it* exists, is an example.

                  And there is at least one undisputable example: Family 2138 in the
                  Catholics. This is a very large family (I've personally gathered
                  statistics for 614 630 1505 1611 1799 2138 2412 2495, and there
                  is evidence that there are many more.) On average, these manuscripts
                  agree with each other in about 70%-80% of the cases. But if we look
                  at the reading found in the majority of these manuscripts, they
                  all agree with that 80%-90% of the time. What's more, in my spot
                  checks, *every time they deviated,* it was in the direction of the
                  Byzantine reading. In other words, here is a group where the members
                  meet the Colwell definition, but even so can be shown to be slightly
                  mixed. It doesn't take much to see that only a little more Byzantine
                  mixture would have knocked the group below the Colwell threshold.
                  Does it cease to become a text-type just because the members are
                  a little more mixed? I don't see it that way.

                  >Thus, that weaker members of the
                  >text-type might not exhibit this behavior is very interesting, almost
                  >predictable,

                  More than predictable. A logical necessity.

                  >but not relevant for the validity of the definition of
                  >strong members of a text-type, at least a text-type like the Neutral
                  >and Byzantine ones.

                  But this is my key objection: I don't care about using *only* the
                  strong members of a text-type. Sure, it's nice where they are
                  available. But I refuse to write off the weak ones.

                  >2.) There has been some confusion over the word "sample". Given that
                  >we cannot collate all known Greek mss, we have to chose well certain
                  >representative mss for any such exercise.

                  I'm afraid I don't accept that, either. If you haven't studied all
                  manuscripts, how do you know which are representative? (This strikes
                  me as too obvious for words.)

                  Better to sample a large number of manuscripts than to know only
                  a handful in detail.

                  I'll give an example. There is a family in Paul consisting of 330, 451,
                  and 2492. (Incidentally, Maurice Robinson confirmed the relationship
                  between 330 and 451 in Acts.) This group seems to have an interesting
                  and independent text (though it's mostly Byzantine, and I don't know
                  if there was ever a pure non-Byzantine type behind it). If we insisted
                  on looking only at well-known, pure witnesses, we would never know that
                  this group exists.

                  >I suppose one could call
                  >such reps "samples", but "samples" in at least some social science
                  >exercises can involve *random* sampling, and when you're choosing
                  >particular mss because they are already thought to be leading reps.
                  >of groups this is hardly "sampling".

                  "Sample" as I have been using it applies not to manuscripts but
                  to readings. And sampling need not be random; a "sample" is just
                  a bunch of stuff. In certain instances one prefers a random sample.
                  However, I would point out that often one does *not* want a random
                  sample. Without going into details (all the more so since I don't
                  remember them), consider all the political polls that call up lists
                  of people carefully selected to meet certain characteristics.

                  Now this may sound like I'm agreeing with Hurtado and saying that one
                  should use selected manuscripts. I'm not. Remember, I use "sample" to
                  apply to readings. We may choose to select readings carefully (although
                  frankly I tried in my work on the gospels to select them randomly).
                  But I would strongly argue that we cannot selectively choose manuscripts.
                  When a pollster calls John Smith, it's because the pollster known that
                  John Smith is 35-50 years old, has two years of college, has two
                  children, etc. When we leave, say, manuscript 223 out of our calculations,
                  is it because we know its text? Much more likely it's because we *don't*
                  know its text. In other words, we are creating a biased sample without
                  even knowing the biases.

                  I have elsewhere said some rather unkind things about the Alands'
                  "manuscript categories" and "thousand readings." I still don't think
                  it's an adequate classification tool. But at least it lets us separate
                  the bulk of Byzantine manuscripts from the ones which are something
                  (it hardly matters *what*) else. I would maintain that this is where
                  we have to start.

                  [ ... ]

                  >Waltz cites critically L. Richardson's study of the Johannines, and I
                  >too have strong reservations about R's approach, which, N.B. is *not*
                  >the sort of application of quantitative analysis that Fee and I have
                  >practiced and advocated.

                  Agreed. It's a modified Claremont approach. And, actually, I agree
                  with many of Richards' results. I find the same three families
                  non-Byzantine families he does (though I use different and, I think,
                  more informative names: "Alexandrian," "family 1739," "family 2138").
                  My complaints with him are that his collations are inaccurate, that
                  "Mixed" is not a text-type, and that his three so-called Alexandrian
                  groups are actually separate text-types (surely this is obvious
                  in the case of Family 2138!)

                  > 3) With respect (sincere, though my patience
                  >wears thin at times), Waltz makes several statements that either seem
                  >to me incorrect or else not comprehensible to me.--He allgeses as
                  >what he calls corollaries of the Colwell-Tune method (a) that a
                  >text-type can exist only if it has a pure representative, and (b)
                  >that a sufficiently mixed ms can't belong to a text-type. Both are
                  >incorrect allegations.

                  Let's be clear: Not the Colwell-Tune *method*, the Colwell-Tune
                  *definition.*

                  I'm going to demonstrate my point very simply. I've done this before;
                  I hope (sorry, but I'm going to be acid here) you'll read it this
                  time.

                  Let's start with a pure manuscript of a text-type. Call it M.
                  Assume, without loss of generality (to put that in layman's terms,
                  the way I construct this example will work for any number of readings),
                  that there are six points of variation we might study. Number
                  them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (how's that for original). At each of these
                  points let "A" represent the reading of M. Our alternate reading,
                  which we may consider to be the reading of the Byzantine text, is "B."

                  Make two copies of M; call them N and P. Initially, both N and
                  P have the same profile:

                  N P
                  --- ---
                  1. A A
                  2. A A
                  3. A A
                  4. A A
                  5. A A
                  6. A A

                  Now let's randomly mix three Byzantine readings into N and P. Let's
                  say that N receives Byzantine readings at 1, 3, and 4; P gets them
                  at 2, 3, and 5. So now our profile is:

                  N** P**
                  --- ---
                  1. B A
                  2. A B
                  3. B B
                  4. B A
                  5. A B
                  6. A A

                  Now copy N** (call the result Q) and P** (call that R). Then destroy
                  M, N, and P.

                  If we compare Q and R, they agree only twice: at 3 (where both are
                  Byzantine) and at 6 (where both have the original reading).

                  Now I say that Q and R still represent -- albeit badly -- the original
                  text-type of M. But they *do not* meet the Colwell definition, and
                  no manuscripts mixed in this manner can.

                  Try it yourself, with as many readings and as many Byzantine corruptions
                  as you like. If you don't want to do the math yourself, the article
                  on mathematics on my web page (see the section labelled "Probability")
                  will show you the expected degree of agreement between manuscripts
                  which have suffered various degrees of mixture.

                  [ ... ]

                  >Waltz
                  >alleges that Fee & Epp haven't given us "a rigid system for
                  >determining the scope of variants", and Waltz regards this as
                  >"vital". I'd really like Waltz to specify what in the impressively
                  >cogent discussions in chaps. 3-4 of the recent Epp/Fee _Studies in
                  >The Theory & MEthod_ volume he takes issue with, and where in these
                  >discussions he finds mis-steps or omissions.

                  You completely missed the point of what I was saying. What I was
                  out is that the way we set variants determines what statistical
                  analysis we can use. I showed why, too.

                  I pointed out that Epp & Fee made great progress in this area.
                  But their work was not related to statistical analysis, merely
                  to classification. We need to add the statistical element -- e.g.
                  do we insist on binary readings, etc.

                  Those who think I am denigrating Epp would be advised to read all
                  the various postings in which I have quoted Epp's opinions *against*
                  the orthodox views of textual critics.

                  [ ... ]

                  >Waltz criticizes the Colwell-Tune quantitative
                  >definition (70%, etc.) as contrary to "what we instinctively think of
                  >as a text-type". "Instinctively"??? Given that some have used
                  >text-type to = a "pattern of readings" and others (my preference) an
                  >identifiable major group of mss distinguisable from other major
                  >groups, where does instinct come in?

                  Plenty of people around here have said "I know a text-type when I
                  see one." Perhaps I mis-spoke; maybe some people on this list
                  don't have a feeling for text-types. The "instinctive" definition
                  is "the highest [loosest] degree of relationships between manuscripts
                  that we can perceive."

                  A lot of people have perceived the "Caesarean" text. Zuntz perceived
                  the p46/B text. Neither meets the Colwell definition. That must say
                  something.

                  [ ... ]

                  >And I simply
                  >don't know what his tables of numbers and percentages mean. Mere
                  >numbers and percentages mean nothing without a context. Percentages
                  >of what? Numbers of what? Mr. Waltz earlier mentioned counting
                  >variantion units from N/A27, but I didn't catch the details. Could
                  >you please give us a simple statement of what it is you do, as
                  >scientifically clear as possible? Merely stating alleged results
                  >without the scientific notation of process is near useless.

                  I *never once* mentioned "variantion units from N/A27" with respect
                  to my most recent table (for the Catholics). I did say the numbers
                  were precentages of agreement. I may not have said in the last post
                  that these were based on the variation units in GNT3 and T&T. But
                  I have stated that in the past. I've also put most of the details
                  on my web page.

                  >--What do you mean by seeking to "apply the gap to classified
                  >agreements"?

                  That depends on what system of classifications one uses. Ehrman
                  has one, I have another -- and we disapprove of each others'
                  methods. So I can't answer that categorically. But the idea
                  is that, for any given manuscript and any given statistic,
                  *other than overall agreements*, there will probably be a gap
                  how close it stands between its immediate relatives and how
                  it stands with respect to non-relatives. The size and nature
                  of that gap, however, are dependent on the statistic, the
                  manuscript, and the control manuscripts.

                  >--What do you mean by "near-singular readings"?

                  The technical definition is "a reading is near-singular if it is
                  supported by no more than x manuscripts of those being examined."
                  The number x will, of course, depend on the number of manuscripts
                  examined. I've been working with 30-50 manuscripts, and typically
                  use x=5 or x=6.

                  >--How is it rigorous or meaningful to make a judgment about mss
                  >relationships based on a handfull of readings (as in Waltz's list of
                  >6 agreements of 630 with this or that ms)?

                  Oh muses, I call on you to make people read what I say!

                  I used a sample of 550+ readings. In this set, 630 was found to
                  have a certain number of near-singular readings (19, I believe).
                  Of these 19, 6 agreed with 1739. No other manuscript had even
                  close to that many near-singular agreements.

                  ***

                  My apologies to all of you caught in the crossfire. I hope this
                  will be my last reply to Hurtado on this subject. If others of
                  you have questions, feel free to ask. I hope I will be able to
                  answer -- but I can't spend time like this repeating myself.
                  Sadly, I have a real job too....

                  -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

                  Robert B. Waltz
                  waltzmn@...

                  Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
                  Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
                  (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
                • Professor L.W. Hurtado
                  Thanks to Robt. Waltz for his response to my previous posting. I too hope that my previous postings have been sufficiently clear to make it possible to move
                  Message 8 of 18 , May 6, 1997
                    Thanks to Robt. Waltz for his response to my previous posting. I too
                    hope that my previous postings have been sufficiently clear to make
                    it possible to move on to other things now, with only the following
                    brief clarifications:
                    Waltz writes:
                    > If it [a text-type] is a group of manuscripts, how do we determine
                    > which manuscripts
                    > belong except by looking at some list of readings? And if it is a
                    > list of readings, how do we choose the readings except by looking
                    > at the manuscripts containing them?
                    If the question we seek to answer is whether a given selection of mss
                    constitutes an identifiable group such as a "text-type", then we
                    collate them across a large body of text counting their behavior at
                    all points of variation, and then asssessing the count in comparison
                    to the behavior of other manuscripts that can afford us what we think
                    might be a valid analogy and/or contrast. Thus, we compare counts
                    with counts, agreement of mss with agreement of other mss. It's
                    *overall significantly high levels of agreements in variants* that is
                    the crucial indicator of a text-group. Analysis of readings comes
                    later, and enables us to say something about the *nature/quality* of
                    the kind of readings "preferred" by a given group, and about the
                    "mixture" or other factors that have influenced the text of the
                    group.
                    (And, by the way, "mixture", by which Waltz seems to assume always
                    influence of one kind of ms upon another, is only *one* way that a
                    ms might acquire kinds of readings. Scribes can quite independently
                    have produced the same variants, e.g., harmonizations, stylistic
                    improvements, etc., because they had same/similar tastes and
                    concerns. This is why we have to go by *overall high numbers of
                    agreements* and not merely small numbers of shared readings.)

                    > Notice that I said in my last post that this is a consistent method.
                    > I just don't think it produces quite the results we want. Also, it
                    > really *does* assume the solution.

                    > But we need to make our assumptions as few as possible. If we just
                    > keep *assuming* that this witness or that is "the best," we can
                    > never tell if something else is better.
                    But, as Waltz will surely know, the essence of scientific work is to
                    assume/hypothesize something *which we then devise a means of
                    testing*. The Colwell-Tune type approach offers a means of testing
                    whether mss are what we might have assumed. There's nothing wrong
                    in assuming something so long as (a) you're aware of the assumption
                    you're making, and (b) can devise a means of testing the assumption.
                    Thus, if we assume that Codex W has sufficiently strong agreement
                    with Theta and 565 to make it a "pre-Caesarean" witness, and then we
                    conduct the exercise in Mark I conducted in my published study, the
                    Colwell-Tune approach indicates that W does not in fact show anything
                    approaching strong enough agreement to indicate any particular
                    relationship twixt W and Theta in Mark. And when you then follow
                    this up (as I did) with detailed analysis of the *particular
                    readings* W and Theta do share, you find that even the *kinds* of
                    shared readings are less likely to be the result of any direct
                    relationship of the two mss.
                    Of the Colwell-Tune approach Waltz writes:
                    > I'm not saying that you didn't achieve these results. I'm saying the
                    > value you find depends on the sample. In your system, based on variants
                    > found in two or more witnesses in a group of less than a dozen, the
                    > addition of even one more manuscript, depending on its nature, could
                    > significantly alter your results.
                    For what it's worth, for the published version of the study I did add
                    another ms (565) to the original list (in the PhD thesis version),
                    and the results were strengthened! I have always wanted since then
                    to have the chance to run, say, L and 33 in Mark through this
                    collation, to see if we can say anything more precise about how and
                    whether they are in fact (as often thought) "weaker"
                    Alexandrian/Neutrals in Mark, and if so what other affiliations they
                    might have and/or what kind(s) of readings they may prefer. I do
                    doubt that this would alter the evident & strong relationships show
                    among primary Neutrals/Alexandrians and primary Byzantines. So, I
                    rather doubt that it would "significantly alter results" in fact.
                    But it might contribute to our grasp of the mss added.

                    Waltz states (again and again!) that my approach:
                    > . . . still leaves you
                    > unable to assess mixed manuscripts. And I would claim that there
                    > are several known text-types that exist *only* in mixed manuscripts.
                    > The "Caesarean" text type, if it exists, is an example.
                    But I *did* assess "mixed manuscipts" in Mark in my study, for
                    example. I characterized in some precision and detail the "mixed"
                    nature of the text of W and P45, and even Family 13, etc. Not by
                    mere counting, but by then following up the counting with analysis of
                    readings. The full method Fee and I have advocated involves *both*
                    quantitative study *and* readings-analysis, the combination of which
                    permits *identification* of "mixture (by quantitative study) *and
                    characterization* of "mixture" (by analysis of readings identified in
                    the countings). I've staed this more than once but Waltz seems not
                    to have noticed. I hope this will be the last time necessary.
                    Waltz writes:
                    > But this is my key objection: I don't care about using *only* the
                    > strong members of a text-type. Sure, it's nice where they are
                    > available. But I refuse to write off the weak ones.

                    Nor does anyone else "care about using *only* the strong members of a
                    text-type" and urge us "to write off the weak ones". One tries to
                    select good/strong reps of a text type *for the initial purposes of
                    seeing if a new ms belongs to this or that group*. One might also
                    use/select deliberately "mixed" or "weaker" members of a text-type to
                    see if a new ms accords more closely with them or with the stronger
                    members. No one's writing off anything. Where does this notion come
                    from?

                    To my pragmatic statement:
                    > >2.) There has been some confusion over the word "sample". Given that
                    > >we cannot collate all known Greek mss, we have to chose well certain
                    > >representative mss for any such exercise.

                    Waltz reponds:
                    > I'm afraid I don't accept that, either. If you haven't studied all
                    > manuscripts, how do you know which are representative? (This strikes
                    > me as too obvious for words.)
                    And I find it "too obvious for words" that Waltz is mistaken again.
                    Once more: We *have* been studying mss for quite a while, and these
                    studies may have been accurate or less than accurate in conclusions.
                    So, we take what's been done and *TEST* the previous conclusions by
                    some approach/method that will help tell us something. Which is what
                    the Colwell-Tune approach was designed to assist. Which is what Fee
                    did in John (correcting previous identification of Aleph, for
                    example), which is what I did in Mark (correcting previous
                    identification of W, P45, Fam. 13, etc.).

                    > >Waltz
                    > >alleges that Fee & Epp haven't given us "a rigid system for
                    > >determining the scope of variants", and Waltz regards this as
                    > >"vital". I'd really like Waltz to specify what in the impressively
                    > >cogent discussions in chaps. 3-4 of the recent Epp/Fee _Studies in
                    > >The Theory & MEthod_ volume he takes issue with, and where in these
                    > >discussions he finds mis-steps or omissions.
                    >
                    > You completely missed the point of what I was saying. What I was
                    > out is that the way we set variants determines what statistical
                    > analysis we can use. I showed why, too.
                    No, Waltz hasn't shown what he claims in his last sentence. And he
                    hasn't specifically shown what's wrong/missing in the fairly clear
                    definition of variants, variation-units, etc. that Epp offers.

                    >
                    > I pointed out that Epp & Fee made great progress in this area.
                    > But their work was not related to statistical analysis, merely
                    > to classification. We need to add the statistical element -- e.g.
                    > do we insist on binary readings, etc.

                    I've not seen from Waltz anything specifically as to what
                    "statistical analysis" offers us.

                    > A lot of people have perceived the "Caesarean" text. Zuntz perceived
                    > the p46/B text. Neither meets the Colwell definition. That must say
                    > something.
                    Yup. It probably means that "Caesarean" text-type has to be
                    re-thought or else has to be demonstrated as being anything like what
                    we otherwise expect of agreement of mss alleged to belong to the same
                    text-type. I'm satisfied that Theta & 565 show this kind of
                    agreement (or approach it). So there's something in Mark of the
                    period of these mss, and the Colwell-Tune approach helps us to see it
                    in some objective terms.

                    Waltz writes:
                    > The technical definition is "a reading is near-singular if it is
                    > supported by no more than x manuscripts of those being examined."
                    > The number x will, of course, depend on the number of manuscripts
                    > examined. I've been working with 30-50 manuscripts, and typically
                    > use x=5 or x=6.
                    I take it that "technical definition" here must be Waltz's, as I've
                    never even come across the term before in nearly 30 yrs. of NT
                    text-critical work. I've seen "sub-singular", but not this one. But
                    then maybe I've missed it somewhere.

                    So, for my part as well, I hope this final posting is final on the
                    subject for me and has been helpful in clarifying some matters for
                    others.

                    L. W. Hurtado
                    University of Edinburgh,
                    New College
                    Mound Place
                    Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LX
                    Phone: 0131-650-8920
                    Fax: 0131-650-6579
                    E-mail: L.Hurtado@...
                  • Robert B. Waltz
                    I promised not to continue the debate with Hurtado, and I won t. If I haven t made my opinions clear by now, I probably am unable to do so. (E.g. I can t stop
                    Message 9 of 18 , May 6, 1997
                      I promised not to continue the debate with Hurtado, and I won't. If I
                      haven't made my opinions clear by now, I probably am unable to do so.
                      (E.g. I can't stop using mathematical language, which I gather
                      confuses certain people.)

                      But there is one point that I thought I should clarify, since it may
                      be that I *haven't* discussed this before.

                      So here is the quote:

                      >Waltz writes:
                      >> The technical definition is "a reading is near-singular if it is
                      >> supported by no more than x manuscripts of those being examined."
                      >> The number x will, of course, depend on the number of manuscripts
                      >> examined. I've been working with 30-50 manuscripts, and typically
                      >> use x=5 or x=6.
                      >I take it that "technical definition" here must be Waltz's, as I've
                      >never even come across the term before in nearly 30 yrs. of NT
                      >text-critical work. I've seen "sub-singular", but not this one. But
                      >then maybe I've missed it somewhere.

                      The definition is indeed mine. As far as I know, I am the first
                      person to give a precise definition to the term "near-singular"
                      (although it seems to me that I saw it used somewhere).

                      It will be observed that a near-singular reading is not the same as
                      subsingular reading (although all sub-singulars are near-singular,
                      the reverse is not true). Subsingulars are usually defined as
                      readings having support from only one significant document;
                      a near-singular can have several strong supporters. The point
                      is simply that it represents only a small fraction of the
                      tradition.

                      It will be observed that the concept only has meaning when one
                      is studying a fairly large number of manuscripts (I wouldn't use
                      it on a set of less than 25 mss).

                      The goal of the concept is to find the characteristic readings
                      of a text-type, without the inherent biases of having a human
                      being look for them. It also has the mechanical advantage that
                      such a near-singular profile can be computed on the fly. (To
                      compute such a profile, on my slow database on my slow machine,
                      takes about three minutes per 100 readings -- and that's while
                      computing four other statistics as well. Even if the results
                      are arguably not as good as Ehrman's profiles, I can probably
                      find them for a hundred manuscripts in the time it takes a
                      human being to do *one*.)

                      The concept is largely equivalent to any previous system of
                      classified agreements, going all the way back to Hutton's triple
                      readings. However, it avoids Hutton's problem of assuming the
                      solution. (And Hutton *clearly* assumed the solution; his system
                      acknowledged only Alexandrian, Byzantine, and "Western" types.)

                      It should be noted that near-singular agreements in and of themselves
                      are not sufficient to classify manuscripts; we also need overall
                      rates of agreement, and (sez I) at least one other statistic as
                      well. (I prefer more). The reason for this should be obvious:
                      While a distinctive manuscript like B will have many near-singular
                      readings (over 100 in my set of 990 readings in the Gospels),
                      many of the Byzantine manuscripts have none at all -- or if they
                      do have one or two, they are often the result of error.

                      Rates of agreement in near-singular readings are often low -- closely
                      related manuscripts may agree no more than 30-40% of the time. But
                      unrelated manuscripts will often have no near-singular agreements at
                      all. So the statistic can be meaningful, and it is a good place to
                      apply the concept of the "gap."

                      Or so say I....

                      Bob Waltz
                      waltzmn@...
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