Here are a few personal lines of what is going on in relation to my research just now.
On Tuesday I traveled from my hometown Örebro to Lund university (500 km). On that day I completed my final course in the PhD programme, which means that I officially earned the degree that day, although the real trial was of course the examination in December previously reported on this blog. After having earned my degree I could also apply for a research post which has been announced (and the final day for application was March 7). I had prepared the application 16 pages long. For the description of the research project (3 pages) I wrote my short proposal last weekend under the heading: "'Orthodox Corruption' Revisited: Scribal Motivation in New Testament Textual Transmission". I do not think that I will get the post, because I saw who some of the other applicants were (folks that have earned their degree during the last five years are eligible). In any case, I will write something on the subject, as soon as I have time, but I have to prepare papers for three conferences (Birmingham colloquium, SBL International and Annual Meetings). In the afternoon I went to the exegetical seminary (OT + NT), which funny enough was a presentation of a paper by professor Bengt Holmberg on Bauer's thesis with the title "Did Heresy Emerge before Orthodoxy? Walter Bauer's Thesis on the Earliest History of the Church in Later Research" (my quick translation). Two of the questions for the discussion that followed was: a) How much (justified) critique can an historical hypothesis be subjected, before it "suffers the death of many qualifiations?"; and b) To what degree does the erroneous terminology, "orthodoxy" and "heresy," affect the result of an (historical) examination?
I spent the Wednesday morning in the university library, where there is a collection of 800 papyri, which has been completely forgotten since the 30's! Back then, an interested librarian bought them for the university, and from that particular purchase, the other part of this particular lot went to Ann Arbour in Michigan so maybe in APIS some items will be reunited in the digital realm. Only 50 of the papyri have been edited. Now there is a project in co-operation with APIS to digitize the lot. I saw about 20% of the collection on Wednesday. They were brought out in boxes that contained the papyrus items mounted in glass. However, this had been done 75 years ago, and the tape around the glass had dried out, so the glass fell open, and out the very fragile fragments, some of which lay in the bottom of the box!!! I am glad that there is now a conservation project going on, but only one person is working on this project, and it will take a long time. I did not discover any Christian papyri, but some of the items contained religious language (APOLLWN, hAGIOS, MEGALOS QEOS), but no nomina sacra were spotted.
More to follow soon: new discoveries of and in manuscripts