Monday, April 06, 2020

Hernández: 2020 Alexander Thompson Memorial Lecture

Before the coronavirus madness, Juan Hernández Jr. delivered this year’s Rev. Alexander Thompson Memorial Lecture at Princeton Theological Seminary. The lecture is titled “Recovering Revelation’s Forgotten Textual History: Josef Schmid’s Magnum Opus for the Twenty-First Century.” If you’ve already finished Tiger King, you now have something to watch.

Juan also sent this photo and says, “Also, with B.B. Warfield above my left shoulder and a sneering Josef Schmid directly to my right, I had to walk a fine line in talking about the value of historical perspective in the textual criticism of the book of Revelation!”

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Another Revision of the NASB

Over the last few years, I noted that the NASB, last updated in 1995, is currently undergoing a major revision (see here and here). Today, a video came out from Pastor John MacArthur that faculty at his university and seminary have been working on yet another revision of their own.

It will be called the Legacy Standard Bible. MacArthur describes it as “the expositor’s dream Bible” and says it is bound to be the “most accurate and most consistent translation in English.” So, they are aiming for the fences.

The only changes he mentions in the video are the use of “Yahweh” for the divine name (יְהוָה) and “slave” for doulos (δοῦλος). You may remember that the original HCSB also used Yahweh, but then reversed course in the CSB. As for doulos, MacArthur has previously emphasized why he thinks this is so important (see his book on the subject). MacArthur and his church and schools are well known around the world for their emphasis on the importance of doctrine, which include being cessationist, dispensational, inerrantist, and complementarian. It will be worth seeing if these are reflected in any particular ways in the translation. (My hunch is that most of the original NASB committee shared these views as well.)

The revision committee named in the video includes Abner Chou, William Varner, Jason Beals, Iosif Zhakevich, Mark Zhakevich, and Paul Twiss. New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs is set to be out by next March. He does not mention who will publish it but it is licensed from the Lockman Foundation which owns the rights to the NASB. You can watch the announcement in this video starting around 7:20.

My main reaction to this news is: why is this needed? Are the changes really enough to justify an entirely new translation? In any case, I will be most interested to see what they do text critically in the New Testament, especially with Varner on the committee. This may be one of the first NT translations in a long time to have three different critical editions of the Greek New Testament to work from.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Text & Canon Institute’s Fellowship Application Open

Co-blogger, Peter Gurry, and I want to invite serious MDiv grads who intend to pursue a PhD in the areas of Textual Criticism (Old or New) or Canon Studies to consider applying to Phoenix Seminary’s Master of Theology in Biblical Studies and especially the Text & Canon Institute’s Fellowship scholarship. Fellows receive a scholarship for up to $10,000 towards their degree and work alongside the directors in implementing the vision and mission of the TCI.

Peter and I had the wonderful opportunity to mentor our first fellow, Clark Bates, this past year. In addition to completing ThM coursework and helping with Scribes & Scripture events and our inaugural church conference Sacred Words, Clark has been working on a ThM thesis entitled, “Συρμεογραφεῖν Ὠκύτης: An Historical and Paleographical Analysis of the Origin and Advancement of the Greek Minuscule Hand.” Hopefully, we will have more to say about his thesis and his future plans in the coming weeks.

Clark has also provided some kind comments on the ThM program at Phoenix Seminary and the TCI, which I leave here.
As I now look toward my PhD program, I am able to reflect on this year and recognize that were it not for the TCI, Phoenix Seminary’s ThM program, and especially Drs. Meade and Gurry, I would not be as prepared as I am today. I am able to make a contribution to the field of biblical studies. I have the knowledge necessary to engage the conversation, the necessary research skills, the language skills to engage international scholarship, and the confidence to promote my research. I cannot recommend Phoenix Seminary, and especially the Text & Canon Institute, more highly. I hope always to be connected with their work and to spread the word of its mission everywhere I go. Anyone desiring to work in the fields of Old or New Testament Textual Criticism and/or the reception history of the Bible, should absolutely consider the TCI for their future endeavors.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

“Text-Critical Thursdays” On-line (IGNTP)

Today Hugh Houghton on behalf of the IGNTP Committee announces Text-Critical Thursdays here (pasted below). This is an online seminar series that will take place in May and June on the Zoom platform with academic papers on New Testament textual criticism from conferences cancelled because of coronavirus. Sign up to the mailing list moderated by Hugh and myself; there are also a few places for further submissions.

The International Greek New Testament Project has set up an online seminar for New Testament textual criticism

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of cInternational Greek New Testament Project is establishing a series of online seminars for those who had papers accepted at such conferences to present their work online to a global audience.
onferences on the New Testament due to take place in the next few months have been cancelled. In order for scholars of the text of the New Testament still to benefit from sharing news of current research, the the International Greek New Testament Project is establishing a series of online seminars for those who had papers accepted at such conferences to present their work online to a global audience.
The series of seminars, entitled “Text-Critical Thursdays” is planned to run throughout May and June. Each session will last one hour on the Zoom platform, and will include one or two papers and time for discussion. The time will normally be from 1500 to 1600 UTC, but may vary according to the location of the presenters. Subject to the agreement of presenters, each session will be recorded and made available online for those who are not able to participate in the live session.
A dedicated mailing list has been set up for the seminar through the UK’s JISCmail service. Details of the seminar timetable, links to join the presentations and accompanying material will be disseminated on this ‘NTTC’ list. In addition it may be used for discussion of the paper and news of publications in the field (which would normally be displayed at such conferences). This is an openly accessible, public list on which individuals manage their own subscriptions and all posts will be moderated.
Those interested in presenting work at the seminar should contact Professor Hugh Houghton at the University of Birmingham, who is co-ordinating this initiative on behalf of the IGNTP. Participants have already signed up from the USA, Switzerland, the UK and Australia.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Sacred Words Videos Online

The videos from our recent Sacred Words conference are now online at the TCI YouTube channel. We filmed all the speakers in the main auditorium. This included Peter Gentry on the text of the OT, ETC’s own Anthony Ferguson on DSS, Stephen Dempster on OT canon, and Dan Wallace on NT text. (We didn’t have the equipment to film the other breakout speakers.) It was really a great conference and we were pleased with how it turned out, especially for our first such event. Thanks to all our speakers!





Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Tendency with Word Order Variants

One of the cutest illustrations of transmission tendencies as to word order is found with the conjunction γαρ.

Have a look at the following clauses:

Luke 6:23 (and 6:26, almost identically) κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.

2 Cor 1:19 ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ γὰρ υἱὸς Ἰησοῦς χριστὸς ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν δι᾿ ἡμῶν κηρυχθείς, δι᾿ ἐμοῦ καὶ Σιλουανοῦ καὶ Τιμοθέου, οὐκ ἐγένετο ναὶ καὶ οὔ

You will notice that γαρ in both examples comes as the fourth word of the clause; uncomfortably far from its customary place. In each of the instances above part of the tradition has remedied the felt anomaly (and some other witnesses have partial solutions):

Luke 6:23 κατὰ ταῦτα γὰρ ἐποίουν …

2 Cor 1:19 Ὁ γὰρ τοῦ θεοῦ υἱὸς Ἰησοῦς / Ὁ τοῦ γὰρ θεοῦ υἱὸς Ἰησοῦς [P46]

In the first instance τα αυτα has become ταυτα, with the loss of one of the accented units. The second shows simple relocation, with P46 doing its own thing.

I don’t know of any other examples in the New Testament where γαρ occurs this far to the right. However, I have noted a number of other cases where γαρ was moved from third to second position in the clause, though not with the same consistency as our examples.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Festschrift for Maurice A. Robinson On-line

In 2014, Mark Billington and Peter Streitenberger edited a volume of essays, Digging for the Truth: Collected Essays Regarding the Byzantine Text of the Greek New Testament, to honor Maurice A. Robinson, Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).

One of the contributors to the volume, Abidan Paul Shah, former PhD student of Robinson, introduced the Festschrift at SEBTS and made available this videoclip of the presentation. At 4.20 you can see the honoree enter the stage to receive his book.

Since the book is now out of print, one of the editors, Peter Streitenberger, has now made it freely available here.

As readers will notice, the volume is written mainly from a pro-Byzantine text perspective, which is understandable since Robinson, in my opinion, is the most respected proponent of this school, which represent a very small minority of scholars in the discipline today. Read more about this perspective in Robinson’s own article, “The Case for Byzantine Priority,” in TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism.

Neverthelesss, it is a pity that there has not been another Festschrift for our co-blogger Maurice reflecting a wider perspective. I would have liked to contribute to that. On the other hand, I did participate in a symposium at SEBTS in 2014, invited by Maurice, to discuss the pericope adulterae, the text to which he has devoted much of his career (read my reports here and here with more links to summaries). The result of this consultation was published in The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research, LNTS 551, ed. by D. A. Black and J. N. Cerone (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016). See my announcement here.

Let me conclude this blogpost by citing from the preface of my recent book To Cast the First Stone (co-authored with Jennifer Knust) where I express my gratitude to Maurice as he reached out to a Swedish new-comer to the field:
Tommy would first like to thank Maurice Robinson, who was willing to suggest a topic for his bachelor’s thesis at Örebro School of Theology on a particularly interesting variant in the pericope adulterae, which led to his first research visit to the INTF in Münster and eventually resulted in his first academic publication [here]. In spite of different views regarding the history of the New Testament text, Maurice has always been gracious and helpful to both of us.