Thursday, April 30, 2009

SBL Boston, Book Review of James Royse Scribal Habits in Early Greek NT Papyri, pt. 2

In the first part of my report on this book review session, I summarized Juan Hernandez presentation. He kindly offered the full version, which is now available for download in the right sidebar (TC Files). In this second part I was initially going to post a summary of the next presenter, Kim Haines-Eitzen's response to Royse's monograph. However, earlier this week I received a message from James Royse himself who, in this spirit of sharing, offered his complete response, which he has re-edited since the meeting. I will therefore now post the first part of this response. After this series is complete, the full version (PDF) will be made available among the TC Files.

James Royse responds (pt. 1):

First, let me thank AnneMarie Luijendijk for organizing this session, and my fellow panelists for their perceptive and generous remarks. It is, of course, an honor for an author to have one’s work reviewed by such distinguished scholars of the text of the Bible. And I am pleased, and more than a little embarrassed, that my work, begun when we were all very much younger (if alive at all), has received such positive reception. Time does not permit a full discussion of all the points that they raise. Very generally I would wish to second the calls for further investigation of various issues; there is much to be done in the study of these six papyri and other important manuscripts, and in the study of scribal habits, and there are too few of us to give adequate attention to all the readings in all the manuscripts. Nevertheless, the panelists have raised some points to which I would like to reply, in the spirit, well illustrated by their remarks, of scholarly cooperation in advancing our common goal of shedding light on the process of the transmission of the text of the New Testament. I will basically follow the order of the speakers, but with some cross-references.

First, there is Juan Hernández:
I appreciate Hernández’s comments, and am pleased to have been associated in some small degree with his doctoral work. I confess that some of the details of my dissertation have faded from my mind with time, and have been overwritten with the revisions and expansions found in the current book. Indeed, hearing Hernández’s description was in some ways like hearing of someone else’s work. But I am very grateful for his kind words, and for his comments about the role that my dissertation played in his own study of the New Testament text. As a very small footnote to all this, the appendix in my dissertation on P46 and the Ethiopic, to which Hernández refers, was not included in the revised book. Rather it is cited as a forthcoming article. At some point I decided that separate publication would be more appropriate, and would save some space in the current book. However, I never seem to be able to put the finishing touches on the article. Perhaps the enthusiasm of the current session will enable me to conclude that little work as well, although for now it exists only as an appendix in the dissertation.

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