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More on Gospel Statistics

Stephen Carlson of Hypotyposeis interacts with my previous comments on some of his blog entries on the statistical use of certain words in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. He says that he's not out to establish some sort of literary dependence, and adds:

the purpose of my exercise, however, is somewhat more preliminary to that question, which is to begin to set up some criteria for distinguishing words that are actually more relatively frequent from those that are apparently so due to our limited samplings of the vocabulary of each of the evangelists.

I couldn't agree more. As a matter of fact, that's how I view the relevance of the use of statistical studies of that nature. They are good at showing us the choice of words the authors/redactors have made in order to best suit the points they are trying to get across. IMO, vocabulary has a lot more - or at least as much - to do with subject matter than with any kind of dependence (which obviously has taken place anyway and should certainly be kept in mind!) It goes without saying that the subject matter of the Gospels is similar, but the outlook, theological emphases, etc. aren't. That's why, me thinks, there are peculiarities (known as Mattheanisms, Lukanisms, and so on).

As for my "subtle" invitation to share a bit about the tools used in his study, he has clearly gone beyond the call of duty. He used Bibloi and a custom made C program. I would recommend you to read the whole blog entry.

Finally, Stephen has added my weblog to his blogroll. Much obliged!


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 22, 2004 3:58 PM.

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