Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
vocesanticae
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Re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by vocesanticae » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:31 am

vocesanticae wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:16 am
Irish1975 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:03 am
vocesanticae wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:49 pm
It'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.
Welcome to the forum.

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.
Great 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.

Socratic question. What's one of your favorite songs that has been covered by another band?
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).

https://vocesanticae.com/2020/09/16/sta ... eparation/

maryhelena
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Re: Bilby responds to re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by maryhelena » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:31 am

vocesanticae wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:14 am
maryhelena wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:30 am
vocesanticae wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:17 pm
Saw a lot of web traffic to my blog coming from this thread, so here I am. Happy to verify my identity in any number of ways, including by writing in the next update/upload to my Gospel of the Poor book or my blogs something funny or cute that Giuseppe asks (within reason, of course).

Any questions I can answer? Problems with my methods or proofs in my book that I can address in the book itself? (Because I am treating it as an iterative Open Science publication to start, complete with hypotheses, scientific method, and lots of scientific proofs, I can make adjustments, corrections, retractions, etc., in the book as it evolves. Which is but to say, I'm sure I've made lots of errors, and I'm more than happy to correct them to improve the book. I'm committed to this work enacting a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement, rather than silly academic gotcha games.
How about explaining your overall theory in plain English i.e. no reliance on Greek (don't have any...)

So far, what I can figure out is that you are proposing that the gospels that we have contain various, for want of a better term, development cycles. I agree.

You also seem to be proposing that the writing of Marcion preceded the writing of Paul. If so, I agree.

If these two points are correct - how about writing a simple synopsis of your theory ?

I really don't want to get lost in another round of Bayes' Theorem or science type explanations. How you got to your theory might well be fascinating to you - I just want the results.... :) I either find the results interesting or I walk on. Not able to evaluable the results because of having no Greek - Greek is only the means to an end. It's the feasibility of the storyline that words have produced that becomes of primary concern. So - lets have your storyline.....
Hi Mary,

Did you read the two "highlights" pages in my book? They are a succinct distillation of my conclusions.

Best wishes,

Mark
Hi, Mark

I'm going around in circles on your web page.....

https://zenodo.org/record/4019978#.X2ItST-Sk2w



All I see on what I take as your book page is lots of detail regarding what you are doing re working on your theory.

One paragraph will do - sort of stand on one foot and state the result of your work without the hundred and one details...i.e. your basic, fundamental, storyline. How does it all come together for you, what picture are you seeing?
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

vocesanticae
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Re: Bilby responds to re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by vocesanticae » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:36 am

maryhelena wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:31 am
vocesanticae wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:14 am
maryhelena wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:30 am
vocesanticae wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:17 pm
Saw a lot of web traffic to my blog coming from this thread, so here I am. Happy to verify my identity in any number of ways, including by writing in the next update/upload to my Gospel of the Poor book or my blogs something funny or cute that Giuseppe asks (within reason, of course).

Any questions I can answer? Problems with my methods or proofs in my book that I can address in the book itself? (Because I am treating it as an iterative Open Science publication to start, complete with hypotheses, scientific method, and lots of scientific proofs, I can make adjustments, corrections, retractions, etc., in the book as it evolves. Which is but to say, I'm sure I've made lots of errors, and I'm more than happy to correct them to improve the book. I'm committed to this work enacting a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement, rather than silly academic gotcha games.
How about explaining your overall theory in plain English i.e. no reliance on Greek (don't have any...)

So far, what I can figure out is that you are proposing that the gospels that we have contain various, for want of a better term, development cycles. I agree.

You also seem to be proposing that the writing of Marcion preceded the writing of Paul. If so, I agree.

If these two points are correct - how about writing a simple synopsis of your theory ?

I really don't want to get lost in another round of Bayes' Theorem or science type explanations. How you got to your theory might well be fascinating to you - I just want the results.... :) I either find the results interesting or I walk on. Not able to evaluable the results because of having no Greek - Greek is only the means to an end. It's the feasibility of the storyline that words have produced that becomes of primary concern. So - lets have your storyline.....
Hi Mary,

Did you read the two "highlights" pages in my book? They are a succinct distillation of my conclusions.

Best wishes,

Mark
Hi, Mark

I'm going around in circles on your web page.....

https://zenodo.org/record/4019978#.X2ItST-Sk2w



All I see on what I take as your book page is lots of detail regarding what you are doing re working on your theory.

One paragraph will do - sort of stand on one foot and state the result of your work without the hundred and one details...i.e. your basic, fundamental, storyline. How does it all come together for you, what picture are you seeing?
Ok. Fair enough. Simply put, the Gospel of Marcion is an Early version of Luke, created in the 80s. It has two sources: Early Mark (75-80) and the first Judean Gospel (Qn, 65-69). Subtract the Markan sourced stuff from the Gospel of Marcion, and basically you have the First Gospel, minus some relatively minor editorial work. That reconstructed First Gospel has the majority of materials scholars have thought to be Q, but it does not have an opening with John the Baptist, Jesus' baptism, or the choosing of the twelve. In Qn, Jesus is depicted as a witty and confrontational slave like Aesop, a politically and financially powerful woman (Mary or Miryam) is the first to anoint Jesus/Joshua as messiah, and Joshua and Miryam together lead a slave revolt. There is *nothing* distinctively Christian about Qn. It is entirely Jewish and pretty much exactly what we see in all other 1st and 2nd century Jewish messianic movements of the time.

vocesanticae
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Re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by vocesanticae » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:44 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:29 am
vocesanticae wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:49 pm
For example, if I gave you three statements, how would you order them sequentially as to when they first emerged in history and how they are related to each other?

1. "May the schwartz be with you."
2. "The schwartz, the force, same difference."
3. "May the force be with you.
In this case, because of my awareness of how puns work, I would probably stack them in the order 3, 1, 2 (original, pun, explanation of pun). But that is only because I know how puns (usually) work in English.

What about something like this?

1. Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy were great Presidents.
2. Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan were great Presidents.
3. Presidents Lincoln and Reagan were great Presidents.

In this case, I would have no idea, because preferences for which Presidents are great can vary from person to person. Maybe person 1 made an assertion, person 2 added a name to the list, and then person 3 agreed with the addition but disagreed with one of the original names. Maybe that exact same process happened in the order 3, 2, 1. Maybe person 2 started with a full list, but persons 1 and 3 each removed the paradigmatic member of the political party to which each belonged (Republican or Democrat). Maybe person 3 named two Presidents, person 1 proposed an alternative for the more modern of the two, and person 3 said, "No, they were all great." Maybe that same thing happened in the order 1, 3, 2. I cannot tell.
Good point. Not all signals are clear. That's why it's crucial to analyze hundreds of signals and their synthesizing journeys over time so as to delineate textual strata clearly.

By the way, you got the sequence right! Nice job! Have you seen Star Wars? Spaceballs? Did you look at their release date?

Did you do a Google search on #2. It was my own phrasing, but now it's published/produced online, both here and on my blog. That *act of publishing* is an historical event, a novel signals synthesis now sent out into the world of human signal transmission. It has a date and time and origin that are verifiable. My act of publishing is historically contingent on previous signal syntheses (namely, Star Wars episode IV being released in 1977 and Spaceballs being released in 1987). For those who analyze Spaceballs for five minutes and compare it with Star Wars, it is obviously a satirical retelling. Those who know both references can get my synthetic pun.

To put it simply, signal syntheses always move forward in time. That's how we need to approach the daunting challenge of identifying and sequencing the various textual strata embedded across the gospels, among many other texts.

On a related note, I've put together a fun little exercise from Star Wars to illustrate how my theorem and related method works in practice:

https://vocesanticae.com/2020/09/16/sta ... eparation/

vocesanticae
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Re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by vocesanticae » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:59 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:09 am
Another question:

if you date Qn before 70 CE, why did not Paul show knowledge of it ?
I date Qn to 65-69 CE, since it shows an awareness of the start of the Jewish War. Most if not all of the authentic textual strata of Paul (which I would differentiate from the problematic and simplistic notion of his "authentic writings") date prior to 65 CE.

Romans 16, as just one example, evidences 2-3 endings / redactional stages/strata. The first strata was a letter of recommendation that may have been authentic to Paul; the latter are likely not, but instead serve as endings to newer/later compilations.

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Irish1975
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Re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by Irish1975 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:02 am

vocesanticae wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:16 am
Movie production today is obviously far more involved and complicated an undertaking than the production of ancient texts.
Is it? Movies are made in a matter of months. From conventional Paul to the First Edition (circa 160 according to David Trobisch), the New Testament gestated for a hundred years. Also, there is a movie industry, a set way of doing things, a professional role for all participants. But our authors, although they wrote literature in the generic sense, had only the Hebrew Bible as a precedent, which they sought to “fulfill” with an artistic subtlety we can only partly comprehend.
Socratic question. What's one of your favorite songs that has been covered by another band?
The Ataris’ version of Boys of Summer is fun. They swap out Don’s reference to the Grateful Dead and instead sing “I saw a Black Flag sticker on a cadillac.”

In folk music, the rules are all different, because it’s not about a studio version. You can strip the song for parts, turn it upside down, rip its heart out, like in the early days of hip hop. Or like what John did to Mark.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Bilby responds to re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:26 am

maryhelena wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:31 am
I'm going around in circles on your web page.....

https://zenodo.org/record/4019978#.X2ItST-Sk2w



All I see on what I take as your book page is lots of detail regarding what you are doing re working on your theory.
Mary, he is pointing to the "highlights" section in that file. You can download the PDF if it makes it easier. The highlights are on pages 15-16.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

maryhelena
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Re: Bilby responds to re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by maryhelena » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:43 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:26 am
maryhelena wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:31 am
I'm going around in circles on your web page.....

https://zenodo.org/record/4019978#.X2ItST-Sk2w



All I see on what I take as your book page is lots of detail regarding what you are doing re working on your theory.
Mary, he is pointing to the "highlights" section in that file. You can download the PDF if it makes it easier. The highlights are on pages 15-16.
Thanks, Ben
I downloaded the file.

Summary highlights....that's just a list. Pieces of a puzzle that need to be put together to create a picture. It's the picture I'm looking for not the puzzle pieces. It's the picture, the storyline, that needs to be presented. After all, it's the story that sells... Mark needs to put all his puzzle pieces together.....one paragraph should do it... ;)
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:46 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:29 am
vocesanticae wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:49 pm
For example, if I gave you three statements, how would you order them sequentially as to when they first emerged in history and how they are related to each other?

1. "May the schwartz be with you."
2. "The schwartz, the force, same difference."
3. "May the force be with you.
In this case, because of my awareness of how puns work, I would probably stack them in the order 3, 1, 2 (original, pun, explanation of pun). But that is only because I know how puns (usually) work in English.

What about something like this?

1. Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy were great Presidents.
2. Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan were great Presidents.
3. Presidents Lincoln and Reagan were great Presidents.

In this case, I would have no idea, because preferences for which Presidents are great can vary from person to person. Maybe person 1 made an assertion, person 2 added a name to the list, and then person 3 agreed with the addition but disagreed with one of the original names. Maybe that exact same process happened in the order 3, 2, 1. Maybe person 2 started with a full list, but persons 1 and 3 each removed the paradigmatic member of the political party opposite that to which each belonged (Republican or Democrat). Maybe person 3 named two Presidents, person 1 proposed an alternative for the more modern of the two, and person 3 said, "No, they were all great." Maybe that same thing happened in the order 1, 3, 2. I cannot tell.
To use a more concrete example from your file, on page 85 you have Mark 2.23 broken out as an example of a verse having two layers (Mark 1, Mark 2):

Mark 2.23, version 1: καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ τίλλοντες τοὺς στάχυας.
Mark 2.23, version 2: καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων, καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν τίλλοντες τοὺς στάχυας.*

* Several Late Mark redactions appear in this episode, their clustering and conspicuous absence from other Gospel strata all tell-tale signs. They begin in Mark 2.23 with MkR2 adapting the LkR2 reference to Jesus “walking through the grainfields” by having him respect property boundaries “walking alongside the grainfields” / παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων, while his disciples disrespectfully “start making a path” / ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν!

First, it looks like version 1 is ungrammatical; either the ἐγένετο needs a nominative subject or the accusative αὐτόν needs an infinitive (there may be other ways to resolve the issue, but those are the two that come to mind).

Second, your notes do present a plausible sequence of events. Mark 1 writes something simple; then Luke 2 adds διαπορεύεσθαι αὐτὸν διὰ σπορίμων; and then Mark 2 both changes that line to παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων and adds ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν, making a distinction between Jesus respectfully skirting the edge of the field and the disciples disrespectfully forging their own road right through it.

My issue with this second point is twofold.

On the one hand, your reasoning seems to require the assumption that the later redactor would make Jesus more and not less respectful. As attractive as this assumption both is and has been for many researchers on the synoptic problem for more than a century now, it is still an assumption, and I feel pretty certain it is not the only assumption that you employ when making such decisions, since this particular one (treating Jesus more or less respectfully, or as more or less respectful a person) comes up only a certain limited number of times throughout the synoptic record; not every single decision is going to hang on this one in particular. So do you somewhere list those kinds of assumptions that your methodology requires? Do you somewhere defend them? (I have not exhausted the PDF file yet, I admit.)

On the other hand, for the phrase ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν, I can easily imagine it being original to Mark 1 as either a Semitism or a Latinism.

Semitism:

Judges 17.8: 8 Then the man departed from the city, from Bethlehem in Judah, to stay wherever he might find a place; and as he made his journey [לַעֲשׂוֹת דַּרְכּוֹ, “to make a way,” OG τοῦ ποιῆσαι ὁδὸν αὐτοῦ], he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah.

The Old Greek shows us exactly what we find in Mark, the active voice of the infinitive of ποιέω used with the accusative ὁδὸν to express the idea of making one's way or taking a trip. (That Judges 17.8 has the aorist infinitive and Mark 2.23 has the present infinitive is a matter of simple aspect, and is of no consequence to the idiom itself.)

Latinism:

1 Samuel 28.22: 22 “So now also, please listen to the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you that you may eat and have strength when you go on your way [תֵלֵ֖ךְ בַּדָּֽרֶךְ, Vulgate iter facere].”

The Latin expression iter facere, "to make a way," simply means to go on a journey. The infinitive facere is active. A simple, uncritical translation of iter facere into Greek would yield ὁδὸν ποιεῖν.

Mark has many of both (Semitisms and Latinisms) throughout the gospel, so to find one here would occasion exactly zero surprise. Then it becomes natural for Matthew and Luke to eliminate what in Greek comes off sounding weird or harsh. (Luke, especially, seems to tend to avoid words and phrases which come off as foreign; there are exceptions, of course, but not as many as Mark is riddled with.)

So is ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν original to Mark or is it part of a later layer? Given that both directions make sense (to my eye, at least), how would we tell? What is the tiebreaker, as it were?
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vocesanticae
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Re: Bilby: a mix of fine exegesis and naive historicism

Post by vocesanticae » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:55 am

Irish1975 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:02 am
vocesanticae wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:16 am
Movie production today is obviously far more involved and complicated an undertaking than the production of ancient texts.
Is it? Movies are made in a matter of months. From conventional Paul to the First Edition (circa 160 according to David Trobisch), the New Testament gestated for a hundred years. Also, there is a movie industry, a set way of doing things, a professional role for all participants. But our authors, although they wrote literature in the generic sense, had only the Hebrew Bible as a precedent, which they sought to “fulfill” with an artistic subtlety we can only partly comprehend.
Socratic question. What's one of your favorite songs that has been covered by another band?
The Ataris’ version of Boys of Summer is fun. They swap out Don’s reference to the Grateful Dead and instead sing “I saw a Black Flag sticker on a cadillac.”

In folk music, the rules are all different, because it’s not about a studio version. You can strip the song for parts, turn it upside down, rip its heart out, like in the early days of hip hop. Or like what John did to Mark.
I'm in completely agreement with Trobisch about the 100 year process, particularly for the Gospels. That is a compilation (like the Pentatech). There were about 10 significant productions/albums released from the start of the process in the late 60s to the conclusion in the 140s or 150s.

Great cover analogy, to show how the retelling transforms the original. Now, if you or another musically gifted singer covered it today and knew well both the original and the Ataris version, do you think traces of both performances might show up in the 3rd cover? Do you think you'd be able to tell if a more recent cover of Boys of Summer was influenced by the Ataris version? And if that more recent cover became popular, and another cover were made 10 years from now, do you think you'd be able to detect the sequence of the covers? Hint: it wouldn't just be the words or the notes, but the style and trends and cultural setting of the *precise time* in which any more recent cover was composed that would give away its later date. When Disturbed covered Simon and Garfunkel's Sound of Silence, they couldn't help but sound like Disturbed and to sound like other music of the 2010s.

All of us are syntheses of the signals we have received in the past. Traces of our past and our present are always there to see in our communications, if we have the eyes and ears to see and hear them.

In the immortal words of George Clooney, "Consider the lillies of the field, G-damn it!"

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