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

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  • 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 1 of 18 , May 2, 1997
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      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 2 of 18 , May 4, 1997
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        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 3 of 18 , May 4, 1997
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          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 4 of 18 , May 4, 1997
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            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 5 of 18 , May 5, 1997
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              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 6 of 18 , May 5, 1997
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                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 7 of 18 , May 6, 1997
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                  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 8 of 18 , May 6, 1997
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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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