Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 8134
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by MrMacSon »


Key early points
  1. [3.34-4.14] Influenced by Mathias Klingardt, Jason BeDuhn and Markus Vinzent, Bilby thinks "Marcion's Gospel is actually our earliest repository of significant data signals in what became early Christian tradition. So that's what I'll go through today: how I'm trying to bring together data science and the study of Marcion's Gospel to see if we can recover the earliest historical strata, ah, that underlie the texts that eventually became the Gospels. But not just the canonical Gospels. We have early signals, probably, preserved in the Gospel of Thomas and various papyrus fragments and other kinds of texts".
    .
  2. [6.05f] Bilby briefly discusses these books:
    Bilby.1.History.Valley.2023.Jan.png
    Bilby.1.History.Valley.2023.Jan.png (478.69 KiB) Viewed 361 times
    1. Bilby has 'reverse-translated' Jason BeDuhn's English version of Marcion's Gospel, presumably from BeDuhn's 2013 book, The First New Testament Canon [or perhaps an updated version of it], into Greek and that is with BeDuhn who is checking and checking it against Tertullian, Epiphanius, etc., and that should be out in the next 3-6 months: "It will be the definitive edition of Marcion's Gospel; and I'll explain why as we get along [in this presentation, which is Powerpoint based]."
      .
    2. He says Gramaglia is an Italian translation of Klinghardt, 2015, yet with added thorough commentary including philological commentary & notes. Also, Gramaglia sees Marcion's gospel as a two-source gospel; he sees it as an earlier version of canonical Luke; and he sees both as different passes at appropriating Q material: Marcion being an earlier 'pass' at that.
      1. Giuseppe posted about it on BC&H in Oct 2017 viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3576
    3. Nicolotti and and Gianotto's version is deeply indebted to Klinghardt's but it is fresh and quite different in that it accounts for all the variants.
      1. Giuseppe posted about it on BC&H in May 2022 viewtopic.php?p=137138#p137138
      2. Bibly published on the Klinghardt and Nicollet datasets: https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... n's_Gospel
    4. Klinghardt's 2021 English version has taken into accounts criticisms of his 2015 German edition, so it includes lot of corrections
https://zenodo.org/record/7542445#.Y8XoK_5Bze8
Last edited by MrMacSon on Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 8134
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

selected Bilby publications

Post by MrMacSon »

Selected publications (in a different order here):
  1. Classical Greek Models of the Gospels and Acts: Studies in Mimesis Criticism. Co-edited with Michael Kochenash and Margaret Froelich. CSNTCO 3. Claremont: Claremont Press, 2018. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3745598 https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvbcd1wt
    1. "First Dionysian Gospel: Imitational and Redactional Layers in Luke and John," in Classical Greek Models of the Gospels and Acts: Studies in Mimesis Criticism. CSNTCO 3. Edited by Mark G. Bilby, Michael Kochenash, and Margaret Froelich (Claremont: Claremont Press, 2018), 49–68. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3745622 https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvbcd1wt.11 https://isbnsearch.org/isbn/9781946230188
      .
    2. "Mainstreaming Mimesis Criticism," in Classical Greek Models of the Gospels and Acts: Studies in Mimesis Criticism. CSNTCO 3. Edited by Mark G. Bilby, Michael Kochenash, and Margaret Froelich (Claremont: Claremont Press, 2018), 3–16. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3745619 https://isbnsearch.org/isbn/9781946230188
  2. "Normalized Datasets of Harnack's Reconstruction of Marcion's Gospel." Journal of Open Humanities Data 7.24 (2021) 1–7. https://doi.org/10.5334/johd.47
    .
  3. "Normalized Datasets of Hahn's and Zahn's Reconstructions of Marcion's Gospel." Journal of Open Humanities Data 7.31 (2021) 1–5. https://doi.org/10.5334/johd.63
    .
  4. "Normalized Datasets of Roth's Reconstruction of Marcion's Gospel." Journal of Open Humanities Data 7.27 (2021) 1–6. https://doi.org/10.5334/johd.57
    .
  5. Bilby, M. G. (2021). Normalized Datasets of Klinghardt’s and Nicolotti’s Reconstructions of Marcion’s Gospel. Journal of Open Humanities Data, 7, 32. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/johd.70


    Abstract
    These are the first normalized, peer-reviewed, and morphologically enriched datasets to be published based on the reconstructions of Marcion’s Gospel by Matthias Klinghardt and Andrea Nicolotti. Two files were generated for each reconstruction: the first consisting of human-readable Postclassical Greek; the second of lemmatized and morphologically tagged text following the openly licensed BibleWorks Greek Morphology schema. Among several recent critical reconstructions of Marcion’s Gospel, those of Klinghardt and Nicolotti stand out as ambitiously maximalist and fully continuous, with considerably higher word counts than found in other recent reconstructions. These are the fourth and final batch in a series of normalized and enriched Greek datasets of major reconstructions of Marcion’s Gospel published by JOHD.


Last edited by MrMacSon on Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 2121
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by Leucius Charinus »

Still listening to this.... Interesting approach to using ancient texts as data. He says there are now about 12 (or it is 9?) different Marcion reconstructions / translations / "datasets". Stylometric analysis bolts in to this approach. This is getting towards the use of AI.

One thing I have not heard Bilby mention (25 minutes in) is the difference between primary and secondary sources as they are utilised by the historical method. For example we do not have any primary evidence text for Marcion. All these reconstructions are based on secondary evidence. Accounts which are at least one step removed from Marcion and, if we can believe the back-story, accounts which are supposedly hostile to Marcion.

Anyway thanks for the link to the vid.
User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 8134
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by MrMacSon »



1.03.33 Jacob
Marcus Vinzent mentions in his book, Marcion and the Dating the Synoptic Gospels, that Tertullian appears to admit in his opinion that Acts of the Apostles was in response against Marcion's Antitheses. What do you think about that?

Bilby
Yeah, un, that’s an area that I have not looked carefully at. I haven't done a close reading of the Antitheses. I've done a close reading of Tertullian's book IV, Against Marcion, and used brass work, but then went back myself and looked at all the citations, quotations, allusions to Marcion’s Gospel. But I didn't start by looking at the Antitheses. I didn't. I didn't start by considering Marcion’s biography or his theology. I just started by looking at what I would say are the vocal signal data. That Marci- that Tertullian attests to for Marcion.

So, I really, and I think this is a scientific point of view, I don't think it's a reasonable scientific position to start with the biography of a person that was later considered heretical. And to use all his detractors from forty to a hundred, two-hundred years later and, you know, especially when they're all depending on each other and they're just, they just, it's like a cascading, you know, array of insults that are being leveraged, you know, launched at Marcion.

I'm partly influenced here by our Joseph Hoffmann. So, in his book on Marcion which, you know, is before Vincent's work, he cast serious doubt on the whole idea that Marcion, you know, came to Rome in the in the, you know, 140s because to Hoffman it just sounds anachronistic. The idea that in the 140s you have Rome as, like, the centre of Christianity, the centre of Christendom; that just doesn't go together with all the other evidence we have about, kind of, the multi-polarity, you know, the multiple centres and urban centres for the spread of this movement and it's texts.

So, you know, I think it fits sort of Catholic historiography, but it doesn't fit Orthodox historiography, ah, necessarily. And it doesn't fit, you know, just the patterns were seeing from, from other texts: the idea that everything is in Rome; it's everything centred out of Rome; Rome is the centre of authority. I mean, yeah, it was the capital but, you know, [of] the empire; but I don't think that meant that this marginal movement, that had many faces in many locations, that they felt any need to visit Rome and travel and, you know, come to account there or something like that. That to me has the the feel of later legend. You know, like the stories about Peter being killed. And Peter's tomb, ah, you know, his martyrarium in Rome. Those date from the late 2nd century. So, a lot of the stuff, works like it's Peter and Rome and Rome is the centre of everything - like Rome’s a beautiful city, I've been there, it's an amazing place - but, you know, the traditions are late 2nd century traditions.

They're not mid-2nd century traditions about an established universal [Petrine(?)] authority that's based in the location of Rome.

1.06.50 Jacob
How different do you think Mark's Gospel was at the time that Marcion was writing his gospel? Like the version of Mark he used?

Bilby
Yeah. How different was it? I think it was substantially different. So it's hard to go through every example, you know, with the time that we have. But what I'm seeing, and I think this aligns a lot with what Vincent has seen in the text, is that that what we call Mark underwent a substantive redaction in the middle of the 2nd century. And that is probably partly what gives us the so-called longer ending, even though there are actually multiple longer endings of marks gospel.

There was a Mark 16 Conference just in this last year that Clare Clivaz and Mina Monier put together [w/ Dan Batovici], looking at all the manuscripts of Mark and showing that there actually not just two end things, the shorter in the longer; there's a middle ending, like a medium-sized ending as well, and then just lots of different versions of the shorter ending and the longer ending. So, it's way more diverse and eclectic than scholars usually let on. But there's a lot of other stuff in Marks-.

And then that later ending, you know, I think you have a distillation, of course, of other earlier traditions like, you know, ah, drinking poison and handling snakes and all this kind of stuff.

That's probably partly indebted to canonical Luke and Acts, um, for that tradition.
Ah, but there are lots of other things that were significantly expansive, like the story of the Gerasene demoniac [Mark 5.1-20; Luke 8.26-39; Matthew 8.28-34]. The way I read it is: that was massively expanded. The Parable of the Sower, the, sort of, the longer explanation of that, um, where it's just kind of an in-depth explanation of the parable and, you know, that The Word is the seed, and all this. That's probably a later expansion, to Mark.

When I read that, it sounds a lot like Justin Martyr, who is writing in the 140 or 150s, right(?) He has this theology of the logos spermatikoi; this grammatic/dramatic word. The, you know, and it's sort of middle Platonic, the word that goes out and inspires and illuminates people all over the place.

The Markan explanation of the Parable of the Sower sounds a lot like that; where I think the earliest version of Parable Sower is probably referring back to things like dynastic succession. Seeing Jesus as actually a royal figure and possibly married or, or at least partnered with Miriam and having children and then hiding that child. Quite possibly. I think the early version of Mark is more interested in things like dynastic succession in the line of Jesus and James. With the Parable of the Sower. And I think Revelation actually is recounting some of this: about the woman going out to the desert to hide the child.

So yeah, I think early Mark is more concrete. And it's more interested in like, revolutionary politics around 70. But the expanded version of the Parable of the Sower is concerned with middle Platonic philosophy in the in the 140s.

The story of Jairus’s daughter, same thing. It's an inclusio. It's built around the story of the haemorrhaging woman. Marcion’s Gospel has hardly any of that. But, and, the early version of Mark probably had a minimal story about the woman haemorrhaging, the problem of haemorrhaging.

And then the story of Jairus’s daughter is sort of put around that as a, like, a doubling of the story and all these parallels in terms of the ages and gematria and so on.

That's probably all mid-2nd century stuff.

And I don't want to be out of turn, but I showed Austin Bush who’d written a chapter on the Gerasene demoniac and its imitation of Cyclops legends. And he said, ‘yeah, I'm, you know, I'm fairly convinced by your redactional, you know, construction of that.’ So that was nice to hear.

1.10.43 Jacob
Do you think that the Gospel of Mark used the Q document as a source, as the three-document hypothesis suggests?

Bilby
Yeah, I think the early version of Mark is responding to some of these. Actually many, many. The way I'm reconstructing it, it's not just things like the deals about controversy where early Mark is responding to Q or, you know: everything hidden will be disclosed. Various logia. It’s more than that.

If, if Q, is is a passion narrative. That early Mark actually was taking its cues. It's not just its logia cues, but it's agatic cues; from, from this earlier story about Jesus. But I think also responding to it, right(?), and actually radically revising it.

I was listening to James Tabor’s interview with you - just the other day - and he was talking about, you know, how Mark is like this radical, you know, sort of anti- anti-logia, maybe, tradition.

And I think there's actually a lot of validity in that. So, if Q, for instance, has women followers as the very first followers of Jesus, and women as the first witnesses of the resurrection; what does Mark do with that? He erases them completely, right? And he takes the story of, you know, um, the story of the woman anointing Jesus, which I think is really, like, making him the Messiah, right(?) Anointing him.

It's a woman who makes Jesus in the Messiah in Q. It's not, it's not John the Baptist at a river. It's Miriam. Right?

And the very first anointing story that's in Q as I've reconstructed it. So, it's a woman who makes him the Messiah.

Mark flips the script completely, and Jesus is made the Messiah by John, essentially by God the Father as a male figure through John the Baptist, a male figure. So, I see Mark as a, like, a radical rewriting and challenge, actually, to Q, as, as evidence of the earliest women followers of Jesus.


User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 2777
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by mlinssen »

Right on.
And Mark abuses the women by giving them a cameo appearance after the death of IS and he blames them for nobody knowing of the resurrection
Last edited by mlinssen on Tue Jan 17, 2023 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Giuseppe
Posts: 12071
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by Giuseppe »

MrMacSon wrote: Tue Jan 17, 2023 1:28 am

1.10.43 Jacob
Do you think that the Gospel of Mark used the Q document as a source, as the three-document hypothesis suggests?

Bilby
Yeah, I think the early version of Mark is responding to some of these. Actually many, many. The way I'm reconstructing it, it's not just things like the deals about controversy where early Mark is responding to Q or, you know: everything hidden will be disclosed. Various logia. It’s more than that.
Very interesting. Also Dennis MacDonald argues for a Mark being anti-Logia.

Kirby thinks that the parable of the Lamp is a Markan invention? Or is he agreeing independently with me about Mark being against the implications of the parable of the Lamp?

The logia assume that a message is going only now to be revealed in the full light of the sun. Mark is against a such arrogant revelation hence he introduces the secrecy in his Gospel: the message is not still disclosed completely, things are still hidden, etc.
User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 2777
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Anointing the feet or head of IS: John, Luke, Mark, Matthew

Post by mlinssen »


It's a woman who makes Jesus in the Messiah in Q. It's not, it's not John the Baptist at a river. It's Miriam. Right?

And the very first anointing story that's in Q as I've reconstructed it. So, it's a woman who makes him the Messiah.

Ow that's so very nice, and would explain so much

John 11:1 Now a certain man was ailing, Lazarus of Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 And Mary was the one having anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and having wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.

John 12:1 Therefore six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised out from the dead.
2 Therefore they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with Him.
3 Therefore Mary, having taken a litra aa of fragrant oil of pure nard, of great price, anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Luke 7:37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner. And she having known that He had reclined in the Pharisee’s house, having taken an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and having stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with the tears, and she was wiping them with the hairs of her head, and was kissing His feet, and was anointing them with the fragrant oil.

Mark 14:3 And of Him being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, aa of Him having reclined, a woman came having an alabaster flask of fragrant oil of pure nard, of great price. Having broken the alabaster flask, she poured it on His head.

Matthew 26:6 And of Jesus having been in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, aa 7 a woman came to Him, having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and poured it on His head as He is reclining.

It is always very infotaining to read the gospels in this order where all agree ...

So John invents the anointing, Luke follows, Mark annuls it.
And do observe how the Marcionite redaction in Luke turns Mary into a sinner by proxy.
I think Bilby is on to something here!
User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 2777
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by mlinssen »

I've thankfully laid a hold on the book of Mark G Bilby and it is raucous, unconventional, challenging, provoking - and right up my alley

1425 pages yet most of that is covering one verse per page so don't let that number dishearten you, although quite a few pages are filled to the rim

As usual I will focus on the textual analysis and see where the goodies are - his dating still is too careful for my taste, and I naturally entirely disagree with Judaic origins. But let's separate conclusion from analysis as usual, and I am looking forward to comparing notes

Let me kick off with a first few bits:

1. GMcn had two and only two sources: Qn (65–69 CE) and Early Mark (Mk1, 75–80 CE). CE). Hundreds of triangulated signal transmissions confirm this, even based on minimalist critical reconstructions.
2. GMcn was not a later version of Luke significantly contaminated by Matthew. Instead, GMcn was an earlier version of Luke (Lk1) used often by by Early Matthew (Mt1). Dozens of triangulated signal transmissions confirm this, both for materials originally sourced in Qn and Mk1.
3. GMcn was more of an inspirational source than a verbatim textual source for the Gospel of John. Only a few clear signal transmissions appear, but broader narrative frames and themes (e.g., the miraculous catch of fish, post-resurrection appearance tied to eating fish, Dionysian tropes for Jesus) are clear.
4. GMcn was not based on canonical Luke. Instead, GMcn was, together with early strata of Mark, Matthew and John, used as a source in the redaction of canonical Luke. Hundreds of diverse, triangulated signal transmissions confirm this, as do the next several points.
5. Almost all of the most artistically and dramatically powerful stories in Luke were not randomly missing or later excised from GMcn; they were never part of it: prologue, birth of John foretold, annunciation, visitation, birth of John the Baptist, nativity, adoration of the infant Jesus, John preaching repentance and to tax collectors, genealogy of Jesus, baptism of Jesus, temptation of Jesus, decision to go to Jerusalem, woes against Galilean towns, Good Samaritan, visit to Mary and Martha, warning against Herod, Prodigal Son, weeping over Jerusalem, widow's mite, Pilate declaring Jesus innocent, lamenting women, divergent criminals, two of the last sayings of Jesus, (most of) Emmaus Road, and the ascension.

Save for the highlighted parts and the early canonicals, I tick off all those boxes
User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 2777
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by mlinssen »

3) Biblical Studies publishing is absurdly slow, thoroughly biased, profoundly elitist, technologically inept and insular, and ridiculously expensive for researchers. Journal articles often take 2–3 years to go through the cycle of review and publication. Books can go even more slowly. Reviewers and editors at major presses often have religious and political prejudices that prevent potentially disruptive approaches (e.g., myth criticism) from gaining an audience. A lot of publishing and teaching in Biblical Studies props up religious ideological prejudices with a veneer of academic respectability, instead of contributing to scientific progress. Scholarship is only generally considered valid and meritorious when it conforms to a narrow and restrictive range of genres, i.e., books, articles, and chapters, and certainly not datasets, code, or DH platforms or applications, even less citizen-science or crowdsourcing initiatives. Getting published with elite presses is believed to convey prestige, but such volumes often cost hundreds of dollars, making them unaffordable for most researchers and even most libraries. With cost as a major barrier to access, scientific progress is stunted.
rgprice
Posts: 1281
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:57 pm

Re: Mark G Bilby: Marcion's Gospel and Data Science

Post by rgprice »

As impressive as it all sounds, I think he's missed a whole lot. But I certainly do appreciate his approach and its a welcome change in the field.
Post Reply