Friday, May 22, 2009

Umlauts and Kumquats

I am pleased to announce that, as of today (22 May 2009), my student Edward D. Gravely was awarded the PhD in NT Textual Criticism on the basis of his comprehensive study of all the Vaticanus Umlauts (Keith Elliott as outside reader, with publication recommended):

Edward D. Gravely, "The Text Critical Sigla in Codex Vaticanus" (PhD dissertation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, 2009).

I am equally happy to announce that, on this same day, my student Jonathan C. Borland was awarded the ThM in NT Textual Criticism on the basis of his thesis concerning the Pericope Adulterae (also with favorable pro-publication comments from Keith Elliott, who viewed the thesis per his request):

Jonathan C. Borland, "The Old Latin Tradition of John 7:53-8:11" (ThM thesis, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC, 2009).


  1. Congratulations to teacher and students alike! May their further studies be fruitful.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  2. Yes, this is great. I look forward to reading both of the studies.

  3. Maurice, congratulations to your students and to you! I'm delighted to learn of some serious work done on the double dots of Vaticanus and the text of the pericope adulterae. Thanks for letting us know about these works.

    Dan Wallace

  4. Excellent news. What was Edward's conclusion on the distigme?

  5. sorry, distigmai :)

  6. I reached several conclusion in the course of my study. As with all work on the umlauts, my conclusions were stated with due (sometimes excessive) caution.


    1. There is insufficient “mechanical” evidence regarding umlaut placement to overturn Canart’s conclusion on the age of the umlauts.

    2. There is a “marginal colon” siglum in the New Testament portion of Vaticanus, but it does not appear to have a text-critical function as the umlauts do.

    3. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that any of the extant papyri manuscripts (or other manuscripts with similar texts) were responsible for the production of the umlauts.

    4. The scribe(s) who placed the umlauts had access to a manuscript(s) that did not have the PA at John 7/8 but did have some additional text at the end of John. The most likely candidate for this manuscript is an ancestor of Family 1, and there is a statistical correlation between the umlauts in the Gospels and variation between Vaticanus and the primary manuscripts in the Family 1 tradition. It is also clear, however, that an ancestor of Family 1 almost certainly is not sufficient to produce all of the umlauts in the Gospels of Vaticanus.

  7. Congrats Ed and thanks for posting these conclusions.
    Can't wait to read the discussion in relation to your first conclusion. [if there is a way to read it before Nov do let me know - I'm doing a paper on this topic at SBL.]