Monday, 8 June 2009

Phew... Its been a marathon evening trying to get the code for this working well. And there's probably lots I could say about it, but for now a pretty picture.

(Image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, as usual).

The image is a colored map of the three synoptic gospels. Each pixel in the map represents one greek word, and it is colored depending on whether it is unique to that gospel, or is found in other gospels. Exactly as we colored the synoptics when first learning about them.

The color scheme is: Red, Green and Blue for Matt, Mark and Luke only. Yellow (Red+Green light) is Matt+Mark, Cyan (Green+Blue) is Mark+Luke, and Magenta (Red+Blue) is Matt+Luke. Black is triple tradition.

The diagram isn't sorted in any pericope-based order. Each gospel is in its correct order. I figured that would be prettier since at this scale you don't want to know what is corresponding to what.

Three things that strike me immediately (all of which I knew, but the diagram states them very clearly):

1. Mark is short and there's not much in there that's unique.

2. Luke has the most original material (John isn't here of course, if it were it would take that prize).

3. There's a lot more yellow than purple (Matt sticks to Mark more than Luke does).

And one thing I didn't realise.

4. There's twice as much magenta as cyan (Luke is closer to Matt than to Mark).

I don't know if number 4 is just one of those things that I never twigged and is perfectly obvious to everyone else, but the whole Markan priority thing made me assume that Luke would be more similar to Mark than Matt. Anyone else surprised at that? Or is it just me?

Anyway, lots of unpacking of this data to do. I'll post briefly about the techniques used to generate it, later in the week.


  1. Anonymous said...
    Do you have a larger version of the image?
    Ian said...
    Yes. See here:

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