Friday, February 28, 2020

Mount Athos Repository On-line

The wonderful news has just reached me that over 3,000 digitised manuscripts at Mount Athos have been made available online (at this point only 177 are on parchment) in the Mount Athos Repository.

This is Karakoulis’s announcement (HT Hugh Houghton):
Thanks to the financial support of the European Union, a big part of the cultural heritage of the Holy Mountain of Athos has been digitised. The material includes manuscripts (Byzantine and post-Byzantine), early prints, documents and letters, material culture, photos etc. One should, however, be cautious about the “catalogue” entries: they are often not based on reliable catalogues. Some of the monasteries have undertaken the task of creating new catalogues (often with great success, such as the catalogue of Vatopedi manuscripts by Lamberz).
I hope new digitised manuscripts will be added successively to the repository including the hundreds of Greek New Testament manuscripts which are kept in the libraries of Athos.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Lying Pen of Scribes Postdoc


Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Digital Humanities and the Dead Sea Scrolls

"A fixed-term 100 % position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Humanities and Education, as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Digital Humanities and Dead Sea Scrolls, affiliated to the Department of Religion, Philosophy and History for a period of three years. The position is located, at present, at Campus Kristiansand. The starting date is 1 August 2020." (Official advertisement)

For those intimidated by the thought of moving to Norway, I would highly recommend both the team and the project, which are both world-class.  Don't think about it, just apply!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Links around the Web

Meade and I have been up to our necks in final prep for the Sacred Words conference this weekend which has meant I haven’t had time for blogging. Instead, here are some TC-related links and news from the past few weeks.


Speaking of conferences, Pete, Dirk, and Kim Philips will be speaking in Frisco, TX April 2–4, 2020. Don’t miss it if you’re in the area. Details at Also in April, Dan Wallace will be giving two lectures at TEDS on textual criticism. See here.

“Hebrew Manuscripts: Journeys of the Written Word” exhibition at the BL March 19–August 2, 2020. Watch the promo video and get more at

News and Publications

Geoffrey Khan has just published a new two-volume book on The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Both are open access. Ben Outhwaite says, “These volumes represent the highest level of scholarship on what is arguably the most important tradition of Biblical Hebrew.”

John Meade has completed his 10-years-in-the-making edition of the Hexeplaric fragments! Here’s an interview with the seminary about it.
PS: Do the hexaplaric readings of Job affect our English Bibles? JM: In short, yes. The hexaplaric readings usually agree with the Hebrew text upon which our English translations are based. But in some cases, they differ and preserve an older text. I’ll limit myself to two examples where the ESV has based its translation of Job on Hexaplaric versions, but you may not have known it...
Hixson on the ending of Mark – Hixson has written a nice, accessible article on the ending of Mark’s Gospel for the Gospel Coalition.
Uncertainty here makes us uncomfortable, but we lose nothing of our faith if Mark ends at 16:8, and God often calls us to trust him in the face of uncertainty. Without faith it’s impossible to please him, after all. Since faith is the assurance of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1), and seen hope is not real hope (Rom. 8:24), it wouldn’t be walking by faith if God answered all of our questions. That would be walking by sight. With or without Mark 16:9–20, the tomb is empty, Jesus has purchased our pardon, and we can be certain of that.
Jongkind on how Greek improves understanding of the text at the Crossway blog
In conclusion, do we need Greek in order to appreciate the examples discussed above? It certainly helps. It puts us in a position where we can “Come and see,” where we listen directly. Reading Greek (and likewise the Hebrew of the Old Testament) helps us to develop a sensitivity to the beauty of the language that is difficult to appreciate otherwise. And it is not just about beauty; it is also about meaning. Thankfully, we can explain all this in modern English. But for those who can, the blessing of approaching Scripture in the original is a great privilege.
Myths and Mistakes is the runner-up in NT for the Biblical Foundations Book Award. I’m not entirely clear on what the criteria were, but Tom Schreiner nicely says, “Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism breaks new ground, and although it eschews simplistic solutions, gives us new confidence that the Bible is the word of God.” 

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

40% off Myths and Mistakes

Our Myths and Mistakes giveaway has now ended. Congrats to our winners! As a consolation prize for those who didn’t win, IVP has offered a special discount code for 40% off and free shipping (US only I assume). Just use the discount code IVP40 40IVP20 in the shopping cart. Please note that the discount does not show until you log in. Order here.

Friday, January 31, 2020

‘Written on your hearts’ 2 Cor 3.2

There is a variant reading in 2 Cor 3.2 where the main editions generally follow the weight of the manuscript evidence in reading ἡμῶν in the phrase ἐγγεγραμμένη ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν ‘inscribed in our hearts’:
ἡ ἐπιστολὴ ἡμῶν ὑμεῖς ἐστε, ἐγγεγραμμένη ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν, γινωσκομένη καὶ ἀναγινωσκομένη ὑπὸ πάντων ἀνθρώπων (2 Cor 3.2; NA28 = THEGNT except for ἐνγεγραμμένη)
NA28 alerts us to the variant reading (THEGNT does not): ἐγγεγραμμένη ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν (01 33 1175 1881). This is a reading which is often preferred by commentators (e.g. M. Thrall; and NT Wright in Wycliffe Hall Chapel yesterday!) because it is far simpler to think that since “you” (the Corinthian believers) are “our” letter (of recommendation), this is something written on “your” (i.e. the Corinthian) hearts and thus known and read by every one (who sees the Spirit at work in the Corinthian believers). If it is written on Paul’s heart (and Timothy?), how is it known and read by everyone?

So I confess that I am tempted by this reading, but I haven’t fully thought it through (or read anything except Thrall!). Does anybody have any particular wisdom to share?

Here are these passages (just for interest):

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Joey McCollum: Introducing the open-cbgm library

The following is a guest post from Joey McCollum. Joey is a research associate at Virginia Tech, a co-editor of the Solid Rock Greek New Testament (with Stephen Brown), and one of the translators behind Max and Moritz in Biblical Greek (with Brent Niedergall, Dave Massa, and Steve Young). I’m very happy to share with you his independent work to produce an editable version of the CBGM. The changes he introduces are worth discussing and I hope that conversation can begin here on the ETC blog.

1. Introduction & Goals

The open-cbgm library is an open-source software implementation of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM).  In this guest post, I’d like to highlight how the open-cbgm library has accomplished the following objectives.

When I began the project back in October 2019, I had a few goals in mind. First, I wanted it to be open source, so that others could use the CBGM from end-to-end independently, study the code to understand what’s going on “under the hood,” or copy and modify the code to suit their own needs. Second, I wanted the library to fit into existing workflows with other text-critical tools. Third, I wanted to implement features that other textual critics have expressed an interest in seeing in the CBGM. And finally, I wanted the library to be fast—specifically, fast enough to handle the daunting task of constructing a complete global stemma for a book of the New Testament.

2. How It Works

Regarding the first goal, I’m pleased to say that the software is now freely accessible on GitHub at It works on Linux, Mac, and Windows computers. Platform-specific instructions on installing and using it are available on the GitHub page.

Towards the second goal, the open-cbgm library works with inputs in the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) XML format, a digital humanities standard used by transcription and collation tools developed by the Institute of Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE) and supported in the INTF’s Virtual Manuscript Room (VMR) workspace. The TEI guidelines offer natural ways to encode lists of witnesses, variation units, and collation data, and the TEI graph-related elements lend themselves well to representing local stemmata of variant readings (see Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Representation of a local stemma in TEI XML. The “directed” graph type indicates that specified edges are one-directional. The “node” elements correspond to readings, and the “arc” elements to proposed genealogical relationships between prior and posterior readings. Note the inclusion of subvariants (the defective reading cf) and ambiguous readings (zw-b/d).

The idea is that with minimal modification (the addition of local stemmata to variation units), the output of existing tools could serve as the input to the open-cbgm library. To my knowledge, no one else has encoded local stemmata using TEI XML, so my hope is that the practice will catch on. It seems more convenient, consistent, and compliant with known standards to have all of the input data in one place.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Logos Conference in Washington (June 2020)


Logos in Washington, DC

Apply to Logos 2020! Click here to access the application.

Please note that the deadline to submit an application is 11:59 pm GMT (British time) on Sunday, 16 February 2020.
  • What: A summer workshop on museums, biblical texts, vocation, and the Christian mind that is offered by SCIO with funding provided by Steve and Jackie Green
  • Where: Held at Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
  • When: Programme dates: 31 May – 13 June 2020
  • Enquiries: please email
The workshop: It is primarily intended for graduate students (including graduating seniors who will begin advanced studies in Autumn 2020) and Logos alumni who have completed their education. Applicants should be working in Biblical-related studies with a special focus on ancient texts and manuscripts, museum studies and education programmes, history of the Bible, reception history, ancient languages, and related disciplines. Applicants should be considering a vocation in one of these academic fields.

We are delighted that the Museum of the Bible will be hosting the Logos 2020 Workshop. Logos 2020 will make use of the Museum’s holdings, curatorial staff, classroom space, and laboratories. Subsequent Logos Workshops will alternate each year between Washington, DC and Oxford (Logos 2021 to be held in Oxford).

Logos offers an opportunity to be taught by experts in the fields of curation, text preservation, history, theology, textual studies, and museum studies and education programmes more broadly.

The lecture series for Logos in Washington, DC, are as follows:
  • Lecture series: Current issues in textual studies
  • Lecture series: Oxford, scholarship, and the Christian mind
  • Lecture series: The vocation of Christian scholars in the modern university
  • Text seminars on studying manuscripts in ancient languages: Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Ethiopic (languages offered are dependent on successful applicants preferences).
For more information, see: