Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Facebook: Unofficial SBL/AAR Group - The Mysteries of Codex Sinaiticus

  1. Default Facebook: Unofficial SBL/AAR Group - The Mysteries of Codex Sinaiticus

    Here I will summarize the highlights of a few threads on this SBL unofficial group.

    April 5, 2016
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Soci...4937705456465/

    The Mysteries of Codex Sinaiticus

    It was suggested by a student/associate of Daniel Wallace that the issues below would make an interesting topic for an SBL meeting in 2017. (He was hoping SBL could have a negative response to such a talk, finding holes and errors galore. ) Now, I have never been to an SBL conference, although I did come close to travelling to a few conferences. And I would likely join and attend if there is a paper on this topic, allowing that the ETS might really be a more compatible venue. Another possibility would be a special conference (In Vienna there was a scholarly conference in 2014 on Simonides, and there is some overlapping interest from those participants. They know a lot about Simonides, not so much about Sinaiticus.)

    We know that searching out this issue at times will get dismissive response from those professionally involved in textual criticism, often with an appeal to the J. K. Elliott book. (Contrast the helpful, inquiring response on the Bible Criticism and History Forum). For that reason I have added explanations of the "argument from fallacy" used in the dismissals, and a review of the Elliott book, explaining why it is a totally inadequate source for the topic.

    Intro complete, I will share a post, welcoming feedback.

    The beginning of the post, about the Archimedes Palimpsest, referred to a couple of scholars on a manuscript forum. They may be on this forum as well, and the principles apply here, so I will keep the intro context.

    ==============================

    April 5, 2016

    The Mysteries of Codex Sinaiticus

    Greetings. Some of our esteemed members have written on the Archimedes Palimpsest, a manuscript from which Constantine Tischendorf (1815-1874) heisted, or abstracted, a leaf. And they have done superb conservation and analysis and science work with parchment forensics. And wonderful video stuff is on the net from talks. (added: look up the talks online by William Gerard Noel.)

    Tischendorf is most famous for Codex Sinaiticus. From the point of view of manuscript condition and colour, the two main parts of Codex Sinaiticus, Leipzig 1844 and England 1859 (formerly St. Peterburg), have very severe anomalies. They are "exceptional" in a way that is beyond the normal chemical processes of deterioration and that points to artificial interference.

    A simple look shows you that they are radically different in colour. The 1859 British Library section has an unusually large colour variance, and is overall "yellow with age". And every page is yellowed.

    In contrast, the 43 leaves of the Leipzig two sections are all a pristine white parchment. Ernst von Dobschütz, (1870-1934) in Halle near Leipzig even said "snow-white". Amazing. This can be seen at a glance in a composite picture of the ms. that puts all the pages into one unit.

    Historically, in 1862-3, the accusation was made that the manuscript had been coloured artifically in the 1850s. Lemon-juice was referenced as the tool. And because of the dates this would only affect the St. Petersburg part, not Leipzig. And this accusation was simply never checked by going to "the manuscript facts on the ground" .. until after the CSP brought the parts of the ms together by digitization in 2009. Note that this colouring event would cause precisely the anomalistic colour variances we see today. (Interestingly, the Tischendorf method of abstraction was also noted.)

    While there were earlier interesting, singular, observation references, all this became apparent only after the superb Codex Sinaiticus Project of 2009 visually combined parts of the manuscript into one digital unit. In fact, the two manuscripts had been hardly ever seen and handled by any scholars, so all this can be called "The Tale of Two Manuscripts".

    Many questions arise, some involve both sections of the ms. Such as why a manuscript that was supposed to be heavily used for a millennium, handled, corrected, changed, moved .. and then stored for another 500 years, is without grime and without the normal signs of manuscript aging. (This flexibility and suppleness and ms. youth can be seen online in a wonderful British Library video as well.)

    The Codex Sinaiticus: The Oldest Surviving Christian New Testament - The Beauty of Books - BBC Four
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4Xkv2gjzZw

    The skilled Russian scientist Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov (1854-1946) said that the reason was simple .. the manuscript was really not all that old. An observation that was not shared in the English manuscript histories. (Nor to the Brits when they bought the ms. in the Russian fire-sale of real and fake items in the 1930s.)

    Gavin Moorhead, in the Codex Sinaiticus Project literature, wrote:
    Parchment Assessment of the Codex Sinaiticus Gavin Moorhead - May 2009
    http://codexsinaiticus.org/.../conservation_parchment.aspx

    "White sheep or calves and goats will tend to produce white parchment, whereas animals with darker coats will produce parchment showing shadowy brown patterns. ... The colour of parchment varies with animal type, making process and condition or state of decline. New parchment can be near white but as it ages or is exposed to detrimental factors it will start to yellow and go brown-black if left to degrade completely. The colour change can also be influenced by the type of degradation and degree of gelatinization. (see fig. 14)"

    So the Leipzig pages forgot to yellow, and stayed snow-white, overturning manuscript chemistry. Why?

    More on these mysteries can be studied at:

    Codex Sinaiticus Authenticity Research
    www.sinaiticus.net

    Sinaiticus - authentic antiquity or modern?
    http://www.purebibleforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=65

    Review of J. K. Elliott book
    http://www.purebibleforum.com/showpost.php?p=503&postcount=4

    Your thoughts, explanations, counterpoint and feedback welcome.
    Thanks!

    Steven Avery
    Dutchess County, NY
    SART
    Sinaiticus Authenticity Research Team

    Last edited by Steven Avery; 08-29-2018 at 12:04 AM.

  2. Default

    This next was an Exodus evidence thread, that then went into conspiracy theory, tin hats, and Sinatiicus.
    SBL Group
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SocietyBiblicalLiterature/permalink/2056437131306519/


    Brent Landau
    "Is it accurate to tell my students that there is absolutely no evidence outside of the Bible that the Exodus occurred? I assume this is still the consensus among HB/OT scholars, but wanted to double check."
    Ron Wyatt was brought up, with a Snopes-attack, so I responded:

    Typical Snopes. Cherry-pick the satire, wrongly promulgated by some, and ignore the substantive issues.

    The Exodus Case - 1st edition was 2002

    Lennart Moller
    https://www.amazon.com/Exodus-Exodus.../dp/8772477083
    The Exodus Case.jpg
    James McGrath asked why I though Lennart Muller was a good source:

    Steven Avery:

    James, good question.
    I read the book carefully about 15 years ago, and I think I have it upstairs, I saw one or two weak points and many strong points. (The main weak point had to do with a picture that I felt was improperly labeled.)

    The one negative review of the book, in some "scholarly" spot, was really a mess, very low quality.

    Afaik, the other "professional archaeoloists and biblical scholars" have generally not interacted with the book or the data, so they are not particularly relevant.

    =================

    As a similar example, related to SBL:
    This type of non-interaction dismissal is often the case (e.g. the Sinaiticus authenticity "tin hat" approach at SBL, from scholars who do not interact with the data, the facts on the ground.)

    =================
    There was some back-and-forth about conspiracy and the Tommy Wasserman "tin hat" and one post about Sinaiticus, which led to the later thread (next post.)
    Last edited by Steven Avery; 03-28-2018 at 07:45 AM. Reason: Exodus evidence

  3. Default Sinaiticus back-and-forth with Elijah Hixson

    The above led to a Sinaiticus thread, and a discussion with Elijah Hixson (which we continued privately after the mods suppressed the discussion.)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Soci...7765447840354/


    Codex Sinaiticus - an 1840 AD production

    =================

    James McGrath - "By all means do pontificate about your views on Sinaiticus as well..."

    Well I don't do "pontificating" - more like learning, studying, listening and sharing.

    =================

    The most important evidences are simply off the radar of the textual "experts".


    The evidence is clear, from the 2009 Codex Sinaiticus Project, that the 2nd part of the ms that is now at the British Library was coloured, and you can see a stained yellow. This is the part that left Sinai in 1859. -- AFTER


    The 86 pages that left Sinai in 1844 for the Leipzig University Library are white parchment. -- BEFORE (what Uspensky saw for the whole ms. in 1845 and 1850).


    We can see every page, BEFORE and AFTER colouring by the Codex Sinaiticus Project, professional photography accomplished to exacting standards of uniformity.

    Why the difference?

    Simonides and Kallinikos told us in 1862-64. Tischendorf, and/or his allies, actually stained the ms with items like lemon-juice or herbs to give the ms an appearance of age. It took 150 years for any independent researchers to know about this history and look at the two sections and see what had happened.

    ==================

    There are many other corroborating evidences that Sinaiticus was made c. 1840, picked up by Tischendorf, yellowed artificially, and pawned off as 1500 years old. Much of it required fresh, independent research, like the:

    a) Uspensky translation, including white parchment
    b) sense-line homoeteleutons that work from Claromontanus
    c) 1843 Barnabas of Simonides with the supporting review.


    Other materials became available in regular scholarship, like the letter from Tishendorf to his brother in 1844 saying that the 43 folia simply came into his possession (thieve’s jargon) further demolishing his 1859 creative self-serving fabrication of saving the folia from fire.


    ==================


    The standard scholarship has worked with print editions that hid the salient features, including the Tischendorf facsimile edition and the 2011 Hendrickson and British Library edition. It has also focused on the out-of-date James Keith Elliott book on the Simonides controversy, a book which for some unknown reason omitted the incredibly important information from James Anson Farrer using the Spyridon Lampros Athos catalogues.


    ==================


    Codex Sinaiticus Authenticy Research
    http://www.sinaiticus.net/

    ==================

    Your feedback welcome!

    ===================


    And I also suggest you watch the 2-minute BBC video showing the current condition of the supposed 1650 year old, heavily used over the centuries manuscript:


    The Beauty of Books - BBC
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4Xkv2gjzZw

    Both sections are in "phenomenally good condition" (Helen Shenton, British Library) And appearance of age by colour is not like attempting to create an aged parchment, it is simply trying to give the yellowish appearance "yellow with age" as Scrivener said.

    ====================

    Steven Avery
    t is a simple fact that lemon juice, coffee, tea, harbs, tobocco are used to give parchment an appearance of age.

    And you can see a lot of streaky stains on the 1859 part of Sinaiticus (none on the 1844).

    No materials testing has ever been done on the ms. When BAM planned tests in April, 2015, they were cancelled.

    It is also a clear fact that Tischendorf lied about the circumstances around the ms. Creating a self-serving cover story of saving leaves from fire, when he simply lifted (stole) five quires and a bit more from an intact codex in 1844.

    And it is totally clear that the ms. has no provenance before the extraction of 86 pages by Tischendorf in 1844, and that Simonides knew there was no provenance, and no library catalogue entry.

    So who is the conspiracy theorist?

    Steven
    Evidence? Sure. The visual observation of every leaf matches the most consistent historical conclusion. The historical conclusion includes the knowledge that this precise colouring was described in 1862-1864 as having occurred in the 1850s, which fits perfectly with the two sections wide distinction, 1844 and 1859. Which we can see today on every page of the ms.

    Observation and history provide the core evidences, corroborated by many additional notes like Simonides doing the Greek Barnabas and Hermas, the sense-line homoeoteleutons matching Claromontanus, the “phenomenally good condition” and much more.

    Maybe your question is whether we have chemical test evidence? As the owners of the ms have never allowed any materials testing of the ms., there is simply no materials testing evidence available for any conclusions.

    There are photography measurements however, including the colour of the parchment leaves, and those measurements support the colouring scenario. The unusual visual staining, combined with the supple condition, all point to the c. 1840s conclusion, and the artificial colouring.

    Steven
    Nick Sayers brought up the lack of testing and the analogy of ms. 2427.

    Bill Brown brought up his usual nonsense.

    And then one gal started attacking Chick Publications. leading to various rather ignorant comments by various members. I did get a chance to explain the genetic fallacy.


    Mark Leuchter
    Sure. The genetic fallacy says that you will judge an argument based on how you view the source.

    "The genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virtue) is a fallacy of irrelevance involving a conclusion that is based solely on someone's or something's history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context."

    e.g. One poster here gets all riled up because some people involved in the Sinaiticus studies are supposedly "homophobes", non-inclusive, etc. As if that posturing has anything to do with the authenticity of Sinaiticus.

    The title of the association being "Society of Biblical Literature", not the "Society of Political Correctness." Christians generally do not evangelize here, and I prefer if that is a two-way street.

    More fundamentally, a common argument is that because some of the people who have been in the forefront of raising the issue of Sinaiticus authenticity have a very positive view of the King James Bible, therefore the issue itself should be dismissed.

    This is silly. As an example, for years I had a favorable view of the AV and yet I argued FOR Sinaiticus authenticity. Simply because I did not know all the facts at that time.

    It is true that those who have a Reformation Bible perspective would naturally be in the forefront of studying the mss. that made up the Westcott-Hort recension, being skeptical of the enterprise. And those in the Critical Text environment might hand-wave the difficulties.

    The bottom line with Sinaiticus, though, is the compelling evidences that the ms. is simply not 4th century, and it was created c. 1840, as either a replica or a forgery of an ancient manuscript.

    That is why the 1859 part was coloured to give the appearance of age, why it has sense-lines homoeoteleutons from a later ms, why it is in such "phenomenally good condition", why Simonides "coincidentally" had editions of both Hermas and Barnabas before the Sinaiticus discovery, and why Simonides and Kallinikos had so much inside knowledge of the Tischendorf shenanigans, and of the lack of any earlier provenance for the ms.

    It was not easy to expose all these elements until after the 2009 Codex Sinaiticus Project, and other improvements from the Internet age (e.g. translating Uspensky, finding the 1843 Barnabas and Star of the East, and SEEING the ms. colours.)
    A little discussion of the David W. Daniels book from Chick Publications.

    A little discussion of Raphael Golb.

    More Bill Brown nonsense.
    (Often, because of his vulgarity and weakness in logic, and other deficiencies, I simply do not bother with his posts.)

    The better Elijah Hixson discussion section starts here (he had been involved in some similar discussions a year or two earlier on another forum, I will try to stick that in here as well.)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SocietyBiblicalLiterature/permalink/2057765447840354/?comment_id=2060906910859541&comment_tracking=%7B" tn"%3A"R2"%7D

    And I will plan on summarizing Elijah's position and take a few minutes to summarize from our back-and-forth after Robert Cargill suppressed the substantive discussions. As you see, this forum is much more about political correctness and posturing than any scholarship substance. The attempts of Elijah Hixson being the exception.

    Steven

  4. Default SBL group and pervert posturing

    Then this SBL got into the whole bogus "inclusiveness" political posturing.

    You might think the "Society of Biblical Literature" would be a place sympathetic to Christian perspectives. However, there members are often more interested in Pervert Protection and Propaganda than Bible matters. Here are my three posts when they starting going into tiring haranges about the bogus "inclusiveness" nonsense.

    =====================

    So does SBL say anything in its bylaws or recent statements about non-discrimination against LGBTQ persons?
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Soci...7521672531398/

    Here are the three posts I put in, before the group decided to be "non-inclusive" against Christian perspectives.

    ======================


    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SocietyBiblicalLiterature/permalink/2077521672531398/?comment_id=2077778995838999&reply_comment_id=2077 901039160128&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9% 22%7D

    So does SBL consider interpretations and convictions of Bible beliefs that are not approved and not politically correct to be therefore non-included in SBL discourse?

    E.g. Would a paper deemed sympathetic to looking at the scripture interpretation that sodomy is perversion be suppressed?

    Would a paper that considers divorce and remarriage (when the first spouse lives) to be against Bible teaching and historic Christian praxis similarly be non-included?

    Is this a discussion about how non-inclusive the SBL should be?
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SocietyBiblicalLiterature/permalink/2077521672531398/?comment_id=2077778995838999&reply_comment_id=2078 058885811010&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R8% 22%7D

    The issue on its merits?

    Should the government force you to bake a Rainbow sodomy cake, a Christian symbol cake, an Isis suicide-bomb cake or a Trump and the porn stars cake ... if the cake is offensive to your beliefs.

    Freedom of association trumps a bogus government forced inclusiveness every day of the week.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SocietyBiblicalLiterature/permalink/2077521672531398/?comment_id=2077778995838999&reply_comment_id=2078 087962474769&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R4% 22%7D

    Oh, the agenda you are supporting is in fact one of attempting to use government coercion against:

    individual conscience
    right of association
    freedom of speech.
    constitutional liberties

    And why were you offended at a Rainbow sodomy cake but not at all about a Trump and the Porn Stars cake?

    The fact that you desire to be an agent of a movement using government tyranny is the simple fact of the matter.

    You are free to attend anywhere you want, but for SBL to be an agent of tyrannical pressure groups, Christian or Sexual Gender Equality so-called, is quite a dumb idea.
    The thought and speech police booted me off the forum, which I did not mind. It is my reasonable service to speak truthfully on the issues.

  5. Default Daniel Wallace and the grammatical personification of the Holy Spirit

    Checking my notes, earlier there had been a thread on

    Daniel Wallace and the grammatical personification of the Holy Spirit
    August 12, 2015
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Soci...9951803955056/

    Recently I placed a short post (or paper) on the CARM forums discussing the Daniel Wallace paper "Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit".

    Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit (2003)
    Bulletin for Biblical Research 13.1 - Pages 97-125
    Daniel Wallace (b. 1952)
    https://www.ibr-bbr.org/…/BBR_2003a_05_Wallace_HolySpirit.p…

    The above is the PDF url. It is a good read and you may want to read or skim the paper first.

    =============

    The main thesis of the Wallace paper is that Greek grammar analyses that is used to argue for the personhood of the Holy Spirit are flawed. The Wallace paper examines the grammatical arguments, while leaving aside the larger question whether personhood should be held from an interpretative or doctrinal or exegetical perspective. Simply put, greek grammar in the NT should not be marshaled as part of the evidence.

    Within NT commentary, especially since Charles Hodge in 1871 (the earliest given by Wallace) there has been seen a proposed Johannine usage of constructio ad sensum, the using of masculine grammar, and this was conjectured to indicate that the Holy Spirit was masculine and a person. And Dan Wallace actually criticizes, quite properly, about two dozen modern Bible interpreters on this point. And even a couple of grammarians (although most grammarians do not make this personhood argument.) In some cases the interpreters simply have the pneuma / πνεῦμα, or the Holy Spirit, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον (John 14:26 is an example) incorrectly considered to be the antecedent referent of the masculine grammar.

    And as a truly discordant irony, a Textkit post in 2014 http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php… pointed out that the compatriot and fellow editor of Wallace, W. Hall Harris III, takes exactly this position on the Daniel Wallace NETBible bible.org site: https://bible.org/seriespa…/17-exegetical-commentary-john-14 . Oops.

    Beyond that, and even more to the heart of the matter, my post points out that, quite ironically, the Daniel Wallace thesis works 100% with the Reformation Bible (Received Text) editions that Daniel Wallace rejects, and totally fails with the Critical Text editions that Wallace supports. (A delicious irony! At least, for those of use affirm the TR as the pure Greek, and do not accept CT theory.)
    .
    And although this Dan Wallace paper has been influential for 12 years (quite properly so) this element, of not working with his text but working with the TR, has been entirely missed. Three variants, two ultra-minority in the Greek, are the focus of my forum post. One from Acts is not given in the Wallace paper at all and is in fact a simple refutation. One from Mark is mentioned by Wallace in a different context and the significance bypassed. And one from 1 John (the earthly witnesses) is given an attempt with huge conceptual holes. The three variants examined show that the Wallace paper is simply unable to be reconciled with the Critical Text. Yet it does work with the Received Text!

    Your thoughts and feedback welcome.

    Thanks!
    .
    ========

    As a sidenote, not in the current edition of my post, Dan Wallace is apparently not familiar with some earlier history of personification involving men like Johann Bengel and John Pye Smith and John Oxlee (and a number more, eg. Thomas Sheldon Green and Henry Alford, a separate post of this history would be worthwhile.) Where similar positions were taken only in the context of the heavenly witnesses debate. Bengel is unusual, since he had both verses, yet the order of the heavenly and earthly witnesses flipped, so his grammatical position was a bit flipped as well . Afaik, Oxlee, in debating with Frederick Nolan, did not press the point, and ended up taking the very questionable analogy position that the heavenly and earthly witnesses would have the same non-functional grammar as the earthly witnesses alone, if the earthly witnesses are not personification.

    Here is the clearest early English example of the earthly witnesses personification of spirit (and water and blood) argument in the debate:

    Scripture Testimony to the Messiah Vol 3 (1821)
    John Pye Smith
    https://books.google.com/books?id=gAE3AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA546

    "the neuter nouns are, by the composition of the sentence, personified"

    The issue had heated up in 1780 after the letter from world-class scholar and linguist Eugenius Bulgaris had pointed out that verse 8 falls without verse 7, as a solecism caused by a false alteration of the text, the loss of the previous verse. Since the credentials of Bulgaris were impeccable, responses had to be crafted that would counter the force of his position.

    Generally the weakness in these response attempts, if they were more than superficial claims, was that they would attempt to reference the standard grammar, including the grammar of Matthiae. And try to give an analogy, e.g. with Proverbs 30:29 in the "LXX". However, the writers could go on the false presumption of a type of symmetry .. if masculine nouns can easily have neuter grammar, surely neuter nouns can easily have masculine grammar!

    Boinnggg. Eugenius Bulgarius had strongly emphasized that this is not the case in his letter! And in fact, in the paper above, Dan Wallace has a curious footnote (p.99 footnote 7) where he discusses the BDF lack of examples of neuter nouns and masculine grammar. Followed by the "lacuna" in another major resource, BDR. One wonders if Dan Wallace may have conjectured a reverse reason for these lacks ... "presumably because it is so common". Hmmmm...
    We should make sure this is properly covered in the heavenly witnesses section.

  6. Default Daniel Wallace - statistical illiteracy in textual scholarship

    Daniel Wallace and Statistical Illiteracy in Textual Scholarship
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Soci...1974271419476/

    Please examine the math in this article. Daniel Wallace responding to Wilbur Pickering. An article which has been available for reading for over 25 years, since 1991.

    This section was recently quoted on Facebook, by a respected creationary scholar, as part of an attack on the TR-AV and Majority positions. And is frequently quoted online. I am including the full section that would to like to be viewed with some some statistical savvy.

    ======================================

    The Majority Text and the Original Text: Are They Identical?
    Daniel Wallace
    https://bible.org/…/majority-text-and-original-text-are-the…

    Daniel Wallace
    "There are approximately 300,000 textual variants among New Testament manuscripts. The Majority Text differs from the Textus Receptus in almost 2,000 places. So the agreement is better than 99 percent.

    How different is the Majority Text from the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament or the Nestle-Aland text? Do they agree only 30 percent of the time? Do they agree perhaps as much as 50 percent of the time? This can be measured, in a general sort of way. There are approximately 300,000 textual variants among New Testament manuscripts. The Majority Text differs from the Textus Receptus in almost 2,000 places. So the agreement is better than 99 percent. But the Majority Text differs from the modern critical text in only about 6,500 places. In other words the two texts agree almost 98 percent of the time " **

    ** footnote - "Actually this number is a bit high, because there can be several variants for one particular textual problem, but only one of these could show up in a rival printed text. Nevertheless the point is not disturbed. If the percentages for the critical text are lowered, those for the Textus Receptus must also be correspondingly lowered."

    ======================================

    The problem we have here is that this is not fuzzy math, this is full-blown bogus math. The methodology used is totally false.
    .
    The number of textual variants calculated globally (i.e. all Greek mss) is an unrelated number to the affinity between any two specific texts. Two texts do not get closer together if the total variant count is seen to be 1,000,000. They do not get farther apart if the total variant account is seen to be 50,000.

    And note, this should be easily recognized by the smell test. 6,500 variants in 8,000 verses can have various measurements of affinity (see below) .. however, coming up to 98% is extremely unlikely, with any sensible measure.

    There is also nothing complicated in realizing that the math does not fit. Anybody who read and understood the classic Darrell Huff book "How to Lie With Statistics" should be able to find the problem in a couple of minutes. And recognizing the problem here does not require any special skills or training.

    ========================================

    What can be done?

    If simple statistical calculation is wrong in textual science, how about graphs and more sophisticated presentations? An example: articles on the topic of manuscripts through the centuries by Daniel Wallace and James White have used graphs that are similarly using false methodologies. The purpose: to present a "revisionist history" (Maurice Robinson's phrase), and to give the impression that the Byzantine text and its variants entered the text late. And to give the impression that the early centuries were massively Alexandrian. (E.g. 100+ localized papyri fragments, technically each one a mss, from gnostic-influenced Egypt, totaling a couple of NT books, is capable of skewing any statistical calculation that is based only on numbers of mss. And this is one of many problems.) We can see in textual science that the goal of agitprop can outweigh scholarly study and the hoped-for sound math, statistical and graphic presentation.

    Maybe SBL and ETS should have seminars teaching about the basics of statistical manipulation. And should reviewers of papers be vetted for elementary statistical competence?

    And here is a kicker. If a textual writer flunks the elementary logic of statistical understanding, are they likely to be strong in other areas of logical analysis?

    ===========================================

    Sidnote: finding an agreed-upon method to measure pct of affinity between two texts is not easy. Since the measurements used are subjective and variable (verses, words, etc. how many variants is a 12-verse omission/inclusion? and are you weighing variants?) And there can be a variety of results. This problem, a bit more sophisticated, is rarely mentioned when affinity numbers are given. This is a more general critique of the use of numbers in the textual science.

    By contrast, for a three-way comparison of the nature of:

    "The Peshitta supports a Byz-TR text about 75%, the Alex text about 25%"

    it is easier to establish a sensible methodology that can be used with some consistency and followed by the readers and statistic-geeks quite easily.

    Although even there the caution lights should be on, especially about the weight of variants, for which I offer a maxim for consideration:

    "Variants should be weighed and not counted"
    Followed by some discussion, mostly with Eric Rowe.

    This was published in the Journal Bibliotheca Sacra. BibSac 148 (1991) 150-169. And then in June 2004 it was posted on the internet. So it is not meant as a loosey-goosey recent blog post, for which you would make some allowance. Notice above I pointed out that it has been read for 25 years.

    My concern here is not just Daniel Wallace, but also what this says about a type of scholastic and statistical dullness in the textual realm as a whole. I would even cordially ask the people who have been in this dialog, on the other side, why they did not catch this blunder. And blunder it is, please follow below.

    ===============

    Eric, your point in the first post is good in terms of emphasis, but it still does not address the fundamental issue.

    Daniel Wallace uses -- ** and textual scholars read and accepted ** a calculation number that simply has no relationship at all to the question of affinity.

    It is not that he used a questionable or inferior methodology, he placed as the divisor a ** totally unrelated ** number. This is NOT a case of using verses instead of letters or words as the baseline, this is simply a statistical abomination.

    If you are not sure, take my example of the OP, using say 20,000 as the total number of variants (which is possible on a more restricted count.) Then, all of a sudden, affinity would be about 67%. Oops! The problem, the number, the total number of variants counted in the ms tradition globally, whether 20,000, or 300,000, or a million, is simply not related to the affinity question.
    The purpose here from Daniel Wallace was not to say that Byz-TR text comparison is closer than the Byz-CT comparision. That is obvious from the number of variants, 2,000 to 6,500. (That minimizes the difference because of the weighing issue, but it is at least sensible.)

    =====================

    The purpose was in fact to give an absolute comparison, by pct, of the affinity. Including the Byz to the CT of 98%. And this 98% was used to conclude that the difference is no big deal.
    .
    "Not only that, but the vast majority of these differences are so minor that they neither show up in translation nor affect exegesis. Consequently the majority text and modern critical texts are very much alike, in both quality and quantity."

    This is totally false "vast majority ... neither show up in translation", since it is meant to be referring to the differences, usually seen in the apparatus, between the Byz and CT, which are in fact generally translatable, many thousands of them. (Similarly, about 1/2 of the 2,000 TR-Byz differences are translatable, such numbers are often a bit fluid.) The two texts are not " very much alike, in both quality and quantity."

    And, even worse, this bogus conclusion was all keyed off the bogus 98%, so it is a big OOPS if you say that it would not matter if he had 67%. The paper was in fact built on the statistical mess.

    The errant methodology was used to give an absolute conclusion, not simply for resulting number comparison purposes.
    And there are four more posts where I continue to go into the Daniel Wallace errors.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •