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Synoptic Concordance

This afternoon I was looking at some material on the Synoptic Gospels, and came across the Synoptic Concordance: A Greek Concordance to the First Three Gospels in Synoptic Arrangement: Statistically Evaluated, Including Occurences in Acts, 4 vols. by Paul Hoffmann, Thomas Hieke, and Ulrich Bauer (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1999-2000). It is a massive work, with a price tag that takes away your breath. There is more information here, some more in PDF format here, and a sample page here. This is how Thomas Hieke, one of the authors, describes the work:

Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Paul Hoffmann, this research project was undertaken by Dr. Thomas Hieke, and by Dr. Ulrich Bauer, who developed the necessary computer programs. After preliminary planning and experimentation, financed by the University of Bamberg, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has supported the project since 1996. The Synoptic Concordance is a new research tool for the analysis of the first three Gospels, in that it presents an extensive mass of data that facilitates in a major way their literary and linguistic analysis. The advantages of a concordance are combined with those of a synopsis: Each occurrence of a word in the synoptic Gospels, along with a swath of text that provides its context, is displayed in three columns. The effect is that one not only sees the occurrences of a certain word in one Gospel, but also the parallels in the other two Gospels. Prior to the availability of this new scholarly tool, it was necessary first to check the concordance for the occurrences of a certain word, then to look up one by one each reference in a synopsis, and, finally, to take notes, before moving to the next entry in the concordance, and so on. However, by means of the Synoptic Concordance one has in view the whole synoptic situation at one time. One can see all differences and agreements at a glance, so as to compare the first three Gospels regarding their diverging terminology and syntax. In terms of the Two Document Hypothesis, one can see, for example, how Matthew or Luke takes over and changes his Markan source, or how they differ in the redaction of their Q text.

Since these volumes are fairly recent, and given the fact that "the necessary computer programs" were developed ad hoc, I wonder if it's ever going to be available in electronic format. I cannot comment on the quality of the Concordance (I once read that Stephen Carlson had bought a copy of the first volume, and surely most theological libraries must have copies of it), but this is just the kind of work that would lend itself nicely to electronic use... Any takers (at a reasonable price!)?


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 24, 2004 6:35 PM.

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