Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Münster Colloquium, Images, and CBGM Software and Database

Recently, I have written some reports from the Münster Colloquium zur Textgeschichte des Neuen Testaments, 3-6 August. On the homepage of the INTF, there are now also pictures available from the conference, including a nice group photo in front of the city hall of the town (check out the tall guy in the back row, and his short friend on his left side). In the inner room of this city hall (and in a neighbouring town, Osnabrück), piece negotionations took place for some years (1644-1648), and one part of the piece treaty after the Thirty Years' War was signed here, resulting in the Peace of Westphalia. The interior of that inner room is still intact (but it was temporarily moved during the Second World War). On the wall, several portraits of kings and delegates were hanging. A local and very skilled guide explained who they were (though, I had to find the Swedish king for myself...) and gave us exciting glimpses from this part of history. Although I have been to Münster five times, I have never been inside this room. It was apparently a great privilege to be let in there. In fact, during these days the organizers of the conference made us text-critics feel almost as important as these delegates on the portraits.

On the last day of the conference, Gerd Mink demonstrated the Coherence Based Genealogical Method with practical examples, using the software and database that he and the INTF have developed. A prototype is now also available here, "loaded" with the database of the Catholic Epistles and the textual decisions and stemmata in 3046 variation-units. Researchers are encouraged to try out the software for themselves. This prototype, however, is not the whole software package. It is just the part, "Genealogical Queries," that was used for the demonstration at the colloquium. It is useful to get an overview of what the software can do, in order to learn more. (Unfortunately, there is no English guide, only German.) At this point, one can check and change an individual decision (in the light of the total data from 3045 other decisions made, or in the light of the data in an individual book). It is not possible to go through the text and make independent textual decisions and local stemmata from scratch.

Update: Klaus Wachtel from the INTF announces in the comment section, that a guide in English to the online application of the CBGM will be available in the course of next week.


  1. An updated version of "Genealogical Queries" (an online application of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method) with a guide in English will be available in the course of next week.

  2. "... piece [peace] negotionations took place for some years (1644-1648), and one part of the piece [peace] treaty ..."