Let me follow up with a little popular exercise I put together to show how signal synthesis tracing and stratum separation works in practice. It's basically all about becoming geological/forensic detectives who have a clear sense of the unique cluster of signature signals in each redactional stratum and can peel apart the layers within later composite texts. Not really different in practice than JEDPH work on the Pentateuch; we just need to start reading the synoptics as a unified compilation akin to the Pentatech and then trace the strata across *all of them* simultaneously, not just individually (as Raymond Brown did with the Gospel of John).vocesanticae wrote: ↑Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:16 amGreat points. Movie production today is obviously far more involved and complicated an undertaking than the production of ancient texts. But the basic principle that ancient Gospel texts were productions (either scripts read aloud, or transcripts of performances) applies. Like listening to records, you can sample the signals between them to detect the process of synthesis.Irish1975 wrote: ↑Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:03 amWelcome to the forum.vocesanticae wrote: ↑Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:49 pmIt's not simply about tracing the *direction* of signal transmissions. It's about tracing the process of how signals are synthesized over time (the third signal transmission type), and coupling this with triangulation (the basic principle for locating anything in space as well as time), to ensure independent transmission of two other signal types. The third type is the key, but it has to work in concert with the other two. The core of the theorem for sequencing texts is that synthesizing only goes forward in time, *never* backwards. Like our DNA, our speech and thought patterns are combinations of what came before. We can never give birth to the earlier combinatory signal sets that are our parents or grandparents. They can only give birth to us, and we to our children, and so on. Evolution isn't just the basic principle of life; it is how all signaling works. Evolution can be degradation or evolution of traits that are disadvantageous, but there is and can never be de-evolution.
The scripture/movie analogy can be illuminating. In movie culture, the sequential process of screenwriting, production, and editing make up an elaborate but to us familiar means of cutlural expression. There had to have been a similarly elaborate, complicated, difficult process for christian scripture, except unfortunately we know so little about it. To continue the analogy, all we have is the final movie. So how can we make sound inferences about the production process, when this signal transmission might have originated in the screenplay, that one might have come from the director, and this other one as a final edit?
It’s even worse with literature than with movies, really, since anything can be radically rewritten at any stage of production. There isn’t the cumbersome fact of having to use cameras and footage. So when it comes to the NT gospels, I worry that we’ll always be making assumptions about the process of production that are inherently slippery because based on ignorance, projection, etc.
In the 20th century, scholars such as Gunkel and Bultmann gave us “form criticism,” which generally (and still today with figures like Ehrman) appeal to the dubious presumption of “oral tradition” as a mediating process between original event and published text. This is just one variable about the production process, but it yields radically different outcomes for historical research. I don’t see how we can ever get “scientific” about our assumptions about scripture production, just as we would never attempt to scrutinize the art of Hitchcock or Welles or Antonioni on a “scientific” basis.
Socratic question. What's one of your favorite songs that has been covered by another band?
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