Re: Improbable Probability Statements

From: Jim Beale (
Date: Sat May 24 1997 - 05:39:15 EDT

At 1:43 PM +0000 5/24/97, Mark Goodacre wrote:

>My own impression is that there is very little in NT scholarship that
>has taken statistics seriously. One attempt is K. Grayston and G.
>Herdan, 'The Authorship of the Pastorals in the Light of Statistical
>Linguistics' in NTS 6 (1959-60), pp. 1ff. They conclude that the
>Pastoral Epistles are certainly not by Paul on the basis of their
>method. As a non-expert, though, I would not be able to judge what
>they say. Is anyone else familiar with this (or similar) articles?

I think it was Benjamin Disraeli, the great statesman, who said that
there are only three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics!


Statistical analysis _can_ be quite useful, if carefully done; but
often (not always!), I think, the results express the presuppositions
of the analyst. And always, always, the results of an incomplete
induction are open to reevaluation as more information comes to light.

In Christ,
Jim Beale

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