Monday, December 18, 2006

ETC Annual Achievement Awards: Nominations

As the end of the year approaches we invite our readers (yes, all of you) to engage in a bout of critical reflection on the major text critical achievements of 2006. We invite nominations for awards in the following categories:

1. Best contribution to biblical textual criticism.
2. Best discussion of an individual manuscript.
3. Worst treatment of textual criticism in a biblical commentary.
4. Best evangelical contribution to biblical textual criticism.
5. Most arcane detail published in any text critical discussion.
6. Funniest item connected to textual criticism of the Bible.
7. Evangelical Textual Criticism Hall of Fame / Life-time achievement Award.

Nominations can be submitted (over the next 2 weeks) as comments or by email.
The 2005 awards are listed here (with earlier posts: here, here, and here).


  1. For category 1- Best contribution to biblical textual criticism: Biblia Hebraica Quinta- Ezra / Nehemiah volume. Hands down, no question.

  2. For #2 I nominate Ulrich Schmid's paper on the date of W. It was quite good. But I also can't think of another good candidate for this category. If somebody else nominates a better one I may end up agreeing with them.

  3. The bog Psalter is more cool than funny. But when the subject is limited to textual criticism, you can only expect so much humor in a given year. So it's my nomination for #6.

  4. Last year there was some discussion about who can qualify for #7. I forget the results of that discussion. And I think Metzger ended up winning. But I know Fee was in the mix. If Fee didn't get last year's, I nominate him for this year's lifetime achievement. But I have to admit, that's mainly because he's evangelical. If there are no theological criteria, I would change my vote to Tov.

  5. Oops. I had neglected to actually check the links to last year's awards. Since Fee was given the NT TC hall of fame award last year, I suppose he shouldn't get another this year. So I nominate Tov.

  6. #2 Schmid is a good nomination. However, I also think that Carlson on 2427 ('not so Archaic Mark') should be considered.

  7. For #2, I vote for Carlson on Archaic Mark.

  8. For #6, I nominate the cartoon of "Tommy" - what happened to it, by the way?


  9. For arcane detail, the various discussions about how time in a safety deposit box on Long Island, and spell in a freezer affected Codex Tchacos must be good contenders. An example from Rodolphe Kasser:

    "This inauspicious freezing apparently produced the partial destruction of the sap holding the fibers of the papyrus together, making it significantly more fragile... Furthermore, this freezing made all the water in the papyrus migrate toward the surface of the papyrus before evaporation, bringing with it quantities of pigment from inside the fibers, which darkened many pages of the papyrus and therefore made the writing extremely difficult to read."


  10. S.J. Gathers

    "For #6, I nominate the cartoon of 'Tommy' - what happened to it, by the way?"

    Actually, I asked Martin to remove it because of the copyright issue. The original cartoon is found here:

    I published this cartoon, not in my newly published dissertation, but in the party programme (a very limited edition indeed) in a slightly modified version (with bald head and the text changed to: "Unlike his fellow seminarians, Tommy preferred a more authentic version of the Bible").

    Ok. I am honored to be nominated, but to be entirely honest I had hoped of another category

  11. Margaret Mitchell and Patricia Duncan's publication of a description and collation of 2427 in Novum Testamentum earlier this year proved to be invaluable.

  12. For #6, the pseudonymous textual critic Nazaroo's copious online dissertation on the authenticity of the Pericope Adulterae, lavishly illustrated with clips featuring Peter Sellers, Bart Simpson, and (formerly) Monty Python.

  13. By virtue of the mere preponderance of the data assembled and examined in his doctoral thesis I nominate Dr Wasserman for #1 and if Peter Head's essay last year is still game his contribution in Novum Testamentum on the Papyrus Bodmer II for #2.


  14. For #4 I nominate Stephen C. Carlson's contribution Not so Archaic Mark.


  15. jennie barbour12/23/2006 12:48 am

    If no. 7 could be for service to evangelical textual criticism by a non-evangelical, then maybe a posthumous salute to James Barr: for OT TC, Comparative Philology and the Text of the OT; for septuagintalists and others, Typology of Literalism; for Masoretic studies, Variable Spellings; and much more I'm sure.

  16. For #5 "Best Arcane Detail..."
    Journal Article - Title in French:

    Comment transformer un appareil photographique en scanner à plat

    English: -Transform a Digital Camera Into a Flatbed Scanner.

    Frédéric Courteille, Ivan Pétillot Jean-Denis Durou, and Pierre Gurdjos

    published in:
    IRIT, Toulouse, France

    The title is a simplification. The article describes some ground-breaking analyses and applications. Shows an amazing technique for flattening curled images, after/during filming via a digital camera. Very useful for imaging some old "wavy" parchment documents. Lots of mathematics involved. But nevertheless, great research with all sorts of potential. I have a copy of the PDF file, if any want the URL link ask me!

    vote from Mr. Gary S. Dykes

  17. James M. Leonard12/26/2006 1:42 pm

    For lifetime achievement, I'd like to nominate Larry Hurtado. Happily, I suspect, there is more to come from his pen regarding textual criticism.

    I just finished reading his book, "The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins." Much more could be said about his qualifications as text critic and evangelical.

  18. James M. Leonard12/26/2006 1:45 pm

    For arcane detail with the most potential, I would like think that Peter Williams' quest for spelling variations should be considered.

  19. I am not sure whether to suggest Hurtado for #1 or #4, but he certainly fits in one of them. And not just for "Earliest Christian Artifacts...," but for his editorial work behind the anthology of essays on W as well. His interest in W was the catalyst that led to the Freer's exhibition of it this year.

    For #1 I hesitantly suggest the exhibition catalog for the biblical manuscripts extravaganza at the Freer Gallery during SBL. I disagree with it at several points, but it is one of the most helpful entry-level teaching aids yet produced in the field.

  20. When is the deadline for nominations?
    Another work I'd like to nominate for #1 is the 2 volume work, Trajectories through the New Testament and Apostolic Fathers, and Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, editted by Gregory and Tuckett, and including a chapter by ETC's own Michael Holmes. It's bibliographic data says it was published in 2005. But I don't think it became available until 2006.

  21. For lifetime achievement, I'd like to nominate Reuben Swanson.

  22. I will throw in another candidate for #6 in the last minute: Lee Woodard's appearance at the SBL in Washington, where he was marketing his book in which he claims a 1st century date for codex W, which is both humorous and sad at the same time.