Thursday, May 21, 2020

New Minuscule 2957 and Its Allies – Guest Post by Post

I want to introduce Darrell Post, graduate of Virginia Beach Theological Seminary, whom I invited to do this guestpost on the newly registered minuscule 2957 (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, Greek MS 053). Darrell has followed this blog for many years and is very interested in New Testament textual criticism. He has done us all a great service by creating and editing useful articles on Wikipedia.

He created the page on New Testament amulet (here). He thoroughly revised and expanded the page for NT papyri (here), uncials (here), minuscules (here), and lectionaries (here).

These helpful lists contain a lot of bibliography and links to images which is very helpful. The lists of minuscules can also be viewed by hosting institution. Darrell told me that someone else started individual pages for each minuscule, but he has not touched those pages since they are full of errors. He just focused on the lists. Here is his guestpost:

Guestpost by Darrell Post

Duke University owns a manuscript (MS 053) of Theophylactus’ commentary on the Gospel of John dated circa 1540 (see images here). The Scripture text appears to be complete with the words of the gospel written in light brown ink and the commentary text in a darker hue. This manuscript has just been issued a GA number, 2957. Wanting to know what sort of text was represented, I collated John 11:1-57 against the 2005 R-P Majority Text. Not surprisingly, MS 053 was found to mostly agree with the Byzantine text with several alternative readings.

Later while collating the text of GA-318, a damaged manuscript containing only John 7:9-12:8, I found it to be a nearly perfect match to Duke’s MS 053. Both manuscripts are commentaries with Scripture text in different color ink, and in John chapter 11 they share almost the exact same words, 943 out 953. Leaving out scribal corrections and most spelling differences, as allowed by the CBGM, the coherence between the two manuscripts is 950 out of 953. The two manuscripts also share a rare abbreviation (IE) of δεκαπεντε and the rare full spelling of Jesus in 11:33 and 38, along with the full spelling of πατηρ in 11:41. They also include a few somewhat hard to find readings of the NA text where it differs from the MT (αυτω instead of αυτου in 11:12, omission of αυτου in 11:54).

According to the test passages evaluated in the Text und Textwert tool available on the INTF web page, GA-318 (and therefore Duke’s MS 053) may be part of a subset of manuscripts belonging to the cluster Wisse identified as Cluster 2148. Working through this list, I have thus far found seven other manuscripts that match the proposed sub-set of Cluster 2148: 315, 742, 817, 819, 854, 1160 and 2735. Several other manuscripts probably also belong to Cluster 2148 including 833, 855, 857 and 2470.

With a few exceptions, all ten of the manuscripts collated thus far include each of the following unique, identifying readings from John 11: The omission of marian in 11:28, the omission of poiesai in 11:37, and the addition of de after the second legei in 11:39.

The table below shows the percentage of agreements between these ten manuscripts for John 11:1-57 against the 953 words in the R-P Majority Text.

318 MS053 315 817 742 2735 819 1160 854 2148
318 100% 99.7% 99.3% 99.2% 99.3% 99.1% 98.6% 99.0% 98.8% 98.3%
MS053 99.7% 100% 99.2% 99.1% 99.2% 99.0% 98.5% 98.8% 98.7% 98.2%
315 99.3% 99.2% 100% 98.8% 98.5% 98.3% 98.1% 98.4% 98.3% 98.0%
817 99.2% 99.1% 98.8% 100% 99.5% 99.1% 99.1% 99.2% 98.8% 98.5%
742 99.3% 99.2% 98.5% 99.5% 100% 99.2% 99.0% 99.1% 99.0% 98.4%
2735 99.1% 99.0% 98.3% 99.1% 99.2% 100% 99.4% 99.5% 99.8% 98.4%
819 98.6% 98.5% 98.1% 99.1% 99.0% 99.4% 100% 99.3% 99.2% 98.0%
1160 99.0% 98.8% 98.4% 99.2% 99.1% 99.5% 99.3% 100% 99.3% 98.3%
854 98.8% 98.7% 98.3% 98.8% 99.0% 99.8% 99.2% 99.3% 100% 98.4%
2148 98.3% 98.2% 98.0% 98.5% 98.4% 98.4% 98.0% 98.3% 98.4% 100%

POSTSCRIPT: Greg Paulson has drawn attention to the fact that Maurice Robinson mentioned this manuscript in a comment on James Snapp’s blogpost about Greek MSS in the K. W. Clark collection at Duke University in 2017: “Also to be included but not yet digitized is Duke Gr. 53 (ca. AD 1450), Commentary of Theophylact on the Gospel of John with NT text interspersed. Peculiarly, this MS has no GA number even yet, although other Theophylact commentary MSS have a GA number). In this MS, the PA is not included, as is typical for commentaries.” Well, now by 2020, the manuscript has been digitized and yesterday it got its Gregory-Aland number – 2957.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sabar on Dirk Obbink

Ariel Sabar has produced an engaging and informative overview of the tragic story of Dirk Obbink and the stolen Egyptian Exploration Society papyri. Naturally, we must all leave Obbink’s guilt to criminal investigations and proceedings. Sabar’s article, however, introduces those outside the EES and Museum of the Bible contexts to the main characters in this drama and the timeline which framed the events.

Ariel Sabar, ‘The Case of the Phantom Papyrus.’ The Atlantic (June 2020).

Thursday, May 07, 2020

James Snapp discovers two more folios of 064!

Saint Catherine's Monastery - Wikipedia
St. Catherine’s Monastery,
where these new folios of 064 are.
In case you missed it a few days ago, James Snapp has discovered two previously unidentified folios of 064 at the Sinai Palimpsests Project website.

If you go over to see the images of 064 at the VMR, you’ll notice there are gaps from Matt. 26:70–27:13 and from Matt. 27:30 to 27:44. These two gaps correspond exactly to the text on two folios Snapp identified from Sinai, Syriac 7.

Also incredibly helpful is the pseudo-facsimile transcription James made, which even mark differences from the Robinson-Pierpont text.

Well done, James, and congrats on the find! See the whole post here, and the initial announcement here.


Final note: this discovery follows Head’s Rule.

Monday, May 04, 2020

News from Zondervan on the NASB 2020

I recently noted a second revision of the NASB being done by John MacArthur. I have discussed the first revision before and given some samples of it. Today I discovered that Zondervan has a website with some additional info about the first revision of the NASB, now called the NASB 2020.
Zondervan is honored to continue its long-standing relationship with the Lockman Foundation in publishing the New American Standard Bible. Even while the publishing world eagerly awaits an update to the NASB text, we are delighted to be able to continue to publish new, beautiful Bibles in the NASB 95 text even after the NASB 2020 is in print.

Zondervan has once again partnered with 2K/Denmark to create an exclusive Zondervan Comfort Print typeface-this time for the NASB. Both the new 95 editions as well as the forthcoming 2020 editions will be set in this new typeface. The first wave of new NASB 95 Bibles will appear in February 2020. We must wait for the translation update to be complete, but if all goes according to plan then we anticipate the first wave of Zondervan NASB 2020 editions to appear in spring 2021.
The highlighted part is what is new to me. This means that sometimes in the next few years, the NASB95 will be in print right alongside the NASB20 and both alongside MacArthur's LSB (Legacy Standard Bible).

I also note that the Zondervan webpage says that all the new editions of the NASB will be verse-by-verse rather than set in paragraphs. This is one of my least favorite features of the NASB so it's sad to see this being maintained.

You can

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Some Light COVID-19 Reading from Wuppertal

Few texts are more pertinent during a time when paracetamol, hand sanitisers, toilet paper, pasta, and yeast are hopelessly sold out (perhaps never to be seen again on this side of eternity) than the Apocalypse of John.

In this vein, I'd like to bring to everyone's attention a recently published collection of essays Studien zum Text der Apokalypse III (ANTF 51), edited by Marcus Sigismund and Darius Müller, in collaboration with Matthias Geigenfeind. This is the third instalment in a series of studies primarily by internal and external collaborators on the ECM Revelation project housed at the Institut für Septuaginta- und biblische Textforschung at Kirchliche Hochschule Wupperal. In keeping with the previous two volumes, the vol. 3 too is broad in scope and might have just something to lighten up your pandemic-laden days.

Here's the TOC:

Aus der laufenden Arbeit an der ECM der Apokalypse, by Marcus Sigismund

Kollation und Auswertung neu zugänglicher Minuskeln der Apokalypse, by Markus Lembke and Darius Müller

Apk-Zitate bei Gregorios Palamas, by Marcus Sigismund

Form und Funktion der Apk-Zitate bei Theodoros Studites, by Marcus Sigismund

Die Vetus Latina Apocalypsis Iohannis, by Matthias Geigenfeind

The Earliest Attainable Text of Ethiopic Revelation, by Curt Niccum

Die georgische Überlieferung der Johannesapokalypse, by Nino Sakvarelidze

Ein früher Textzeuge der arabischen Johannesoffenbarung, by Martin Heide

Ein Apk-Zitat des Hypatios von Ephesos, by Marcus Sigismund

Marginalglossen in GA 2323: Edition und Übersetzung, by Peter Malik and Edmund Gerke

The last essay is, as you may have noticed, co-authored by yours truly, and presents the first fruits of my continuous work on this tradition of scholia. On this particular occasion,  I was happy to team up with Edmund Gerke who concocted a German translation of the scholia and rigorously checked each gloss.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Text critics who are cat people

I figure we could all use a bit of lighthearted fun during these difficult times, so I give you: textual scholars and manuscript specialists with cats!

Image credit: co-blogger Amy Anderson (used with permission)

Obviously, I would love to include myself in the following list, but since my current landlord doesn’t allow pets, I’m limited to hoping the neighbor’s friendly cat stops by when she’s out prowling the neighborhood, or stopping to pet any cats I find on the street while I’m out running errands. Anyway, some of the rest of us are in alphabetical order.

Amy Anderson
Amy writing a book review. Image credit: Amy Anderson (used with permission).
Christian Askeland
Christian, with his daughter’s cat, “Mouse,” who, I’m told “would kill and eat her human slaves under the right circumstances,” but nevertheless is “super soft and hilarious.” Image credit: Christian Askeland (used with permission).
Josephine Dru
“Easter cat.” Image and caption credits: Josephine Dru (used with permission).
We met on Resurrection Sunday. She was a stray trying to join my friends’ kids in their backyard egg hunt.
[L] This photo may look slightly blasphemous, but please note: 1. my hand is in the human’s spot, and 2. I still consider Bella my second best Easter gift ever.
[R] She insisted on helping. Her contributions were brief but bilingual. Fitting for her middle name (Natanya).
Peter Gurry
Pete getting some help in a YouTube debate.
Dan Gurtner
Gus Gus working on P.Oxy. 403. Image credit: Dan Gurtner (used with permission).
Rendel Harris (1852–1941)
According to this recent biography by Alessandro Falcetta. See Harris and his cat Zenon here.
Hugh A.G. Houghton
Dorcas and Barnabas, before they began work on the ECM. Image credit: Hugh Houghton (used with permission).
Larry Hurtado (1943–2019)
On his cat, Cupar, see the preface to Hurtado’s book, Earliest Christian Artifacts.
David Parker
Source: the possibly-now-defunct “Cats Who Edit” page (HT: Hugh Houghton), thankfully still available here via the Wayback Machine because nothing on the internet ever truly goes away.
Elizabeth Schrader
Elizabeth hard at work. Image credit: Elizabeth Schrader (used with permission).
James Snapp
James (here with Elway) blogs at Image credit: James Snapp (used with permission).
Klaus Wachtel
Source: “Cats Who Edit“ (see caption above under David Parker’s picture).
Nigel Wilson
Image credit: Wilson’s faculty page at the Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford. Who knew that the legendary palaeographer is a cat person? This is a new life goal for me right here—to make it to a point in my life where I can have a faculty/staff page with a photo like this one.
Mae Gilliland Wright
With Hermione the “office cat” who likes to eat important documents. Thankfully, Mae’s excellently organized thesis on Clement of Alexandria’s text of Paul remains uneaten and available here. Image credit: Mae Gilliland Wright (used with permission).

Honorable mentions:

Whoever runs this Twitter account.

The anonymous monk of Reichenau monastery who wrote (or perhaps copied) the 9th-century poem in Old Irish, Pangur Bán, about ‘hunting words’ while his cat, Pangur Bán, was hunting for mice.

Whoever made and/or owned these manuscripts.

The University of Michigan’s Karanis excavation teams in the 1920s and 1930s, who had dogs and also two cats named Topsy and Sipsy. See Terry G. Wilfong, “Dig Dogs and Camp Cats at Karanis: The Animals of the 1924–1935 University of Michigan Expedition to Egypt“, in Beyond Hatti: A Tribute to Gary Beckman, ed. Collins/Michalowski (Atlanta, Lockwood Press, 2013), pp. 325–341.

UPDATE: I have updated the post to add Dan Gurtner.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Wycliffe Hall New Testament Research Group


Wycliffe Hall New Testament Research Group

Our  NT Research Group has gone online and we are hosting the following seminars this term. The first two are based on recently completed PhD theses; the last two are more ‘work in progress’. Some of these will probably be of interest to readers of this blog (if time-zones allow of course): 

9:00 – 10:00AM (British Summer Time) on Wednesdays online (email the convener for an invitation)

Week 1 (Wed 29 April): Dr Simeon Burke (Research Development Advisor [Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences] at the University of Cambridge), From Sayings to Texts: The Literary Contextualisation of Jesus’s Words in the Writings of Tertullian of Carthage and Origen of Alexandria

Week 3 (Wed 13 May): Michael Dormandy (Lecturer in New Testament, Ripon College Cuddesdon), All in One: Textual Characteristics of the Early Whole-Bible Manuscripts

Week 5 (Wed 27 May): Jacob Rodriguez (Oxford DPhil Student): Evidence for the Use of Mark’s Gospel in Early Christian Catechesis (PSI 1041 Reconsidered)

Week 7 (Wed 10 June): Ruth Norris (Cambridge PhD Student): Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15, and the Significance of Matthew’s Grammar

All welcome
Convener: Peter M. Head (