Thursday, June 28, 2018

(Not) a new conjecture

23
A.H. Cadwallader, ‘Tertius in the Margins: A Critical Appraisal of the Secretary Hypothesis’, New Testament Studies 64 (2018), 378–396.

There are lots of things of interest in this article about the role of Tertius in Romans 16.22. One of the claims of the article is that Tertius’ greeting was originally a marginal note, incorporated into the text by an early copyist. Although this is claimed as an original contribution of the author, in actual fact it repeats in practically every element the theory advanced by Hugo Grotius in 1646, and discussed in ten different scholarly works on the text of Romans between 1835 and 1898 (and on this blog last year). It seems like The Amsterdam Database of New Testament Conjectural Emendation (online at http://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-conjectures) should be more widely known among NT scholars (and editors).

23 comments :

  1. Thus, the peer review process at NTS is not as good as it should or used to be?

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    1. You can't expect the average New Testament scholar to actually know very much.

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    2. Is Francis still the general editor of NTS?

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    3. PMH: You can't expect the average New Testament scholar to actually know very much.

      In Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, all the scholars are above average....

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  2. Cf. in general Dale C. Allison Jr., “Exegetical Amnesia in James,” ETL 86 (2000), 162-66.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. As editor I have used the Amsterdam database to improve articles, and it has helped me improve my own work. It is a fantastic resource. Cadwallader’s article will likely be added to it.

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    1. You therefore obviously did not read Cadwallader’s article before publication? Otherwise you would’ve spotted the clearly unoriginal claims made?
      Francis Watson must’ve read it, together with at least two peer reviewers? How can three reputable NT scholars on the advisory board of NTS NOT conduct a very basic search to ascertain the originality or unoriginality of an article?
      NTS’s reputation has dropped over the past few years ...

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    2. The information will be available next week, with the new instalment of the Amsterdam Database.

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  5. What, no, I am not in the editorial board of NTS any longer. I served on that board in 2014-2016. Now I am one of the editors of TC: A Journal of Textual Criticism together with Jan Krans, the father of the Amsterdam database.

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  6. In fact, now that I know of that resource it is the first place to when encountering a ”new” conjecture. However, I have contributed to the database, which now even include forged variants :-).

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  7. The problem that Peter addresses mainly concerns section 4 of the article.

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    1. Thus, NTS did the right thing to publish this article despite section 4 containing incontestable unoriginal false claims? Is the peer review system at NTS rigorous enough?

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  8. I understand that anonymous comments are allowed here, but when questions of reputations and trustworthy sources arise, they may perhaps simultaneously apply to comments from anonymous.
    (Or perhaps I am oversensitive because of a sockpuppet who, oddly, agreed with one of De Vaux's mistaken claims about Qumran mss: that they were all deposited in a short time all by war refugees, rather than that at least some were carefully deposited and protected over decades by a group that thought of themselves as a sort of Tabernacle in the wilderness, awaiting a time with a new, purified Temple, a time to again use those mss.)

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    1. If I may clarify, by "war refugees" here, I include the settlers at Qumran; the seventy-named sockpuppet excluded them.

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    2. The negative anonymous comments are getting a bit tiresome. If you can’t use your name when criticizing someone publicly, maybe don’t make it publicly.

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  9. I don't necessarily think that there is a massive issue in the Peer Review of this article, or this journal, on the basis of this particular issue. Yes, a footnote saying that Grotius had a similar idea in 1646 would have been helpful, but it wouldn't probably have changed the actual argument much - the issue is discussed by Cadwallader in much more detail and with some attention to the papyrological evidence more generally. Peer Review is a hit and miss affair in my opinion.

    A bigger issue is probably the invisibility of conjectures for the current generation of general NT scholars. Anyone reading an older NA with any care would come across a whole range of interesting and stimulating conjectures (yes, often with incorrect or problematic attribution). Now there is practically nothing in NA28, so if you know about the Amsterdam Database you are blessed and can seem incredibly well informed, but if you do not know you are cursed.

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  10. 3 points to the first one to spot the allusion there.

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