Zwischen Abschreibeverhältnis und frühjüdischer Gedächtniskultur. McIvers experimentalpsychologische Kriterien zur Identifizierung eines Abschreibeverhältnisses zwischen den synoptischen Evangelien, in: Der jüdische Messias Jesus und sein jüdischer Apostel Paulus, Hg. A. D. Baum / D. Häußer / E. Rehfeld (WUNT II/425), Tübingen: Mohr, 2016, 142-177
In a number of experiments with prose texts that were designed to be analogous to the synoptic problem, Robert McIver and Marie Carroll have demonstrated that students are not able to remember unbroken sequences of more than 15 words in exactly the same order as in the source texts. In the synoptic Gospels McIver and Carroll found 9 parallel prose passages with a sequence of exactly the same 16 or more words (up to a maximum of 31 words). They concluded that copying almost certainly occurred in these synoptic parallels. However, McIver und Carroll did not take into account the empirically demonstrable retention rates of people with a trained memory. As research results from experimental psychology and oral cultures reveal, such people can generate text reproductions of up to 36 words that are exactly the same as in the original. From the perspective of experimental psychology even the longest exact word-for-word parallels in the synoptic Gospels can be accounted for on the basis of memorization. There are no examples of synoptic parallels that cannot have been produced by human memory and must therefore be the result of copying. What is more, some of the synoptic parallels with long sequences of exactly the same words contain evidence that can best be explained as the result of memorization.