Sunday, April 15, 2007

Off to Birmingham; invitation to respond to my paper

Today I am off to Birmingham for the Fifth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. First bike to the train station, then train, then bus, then plane, then train, then bus, then legs ... and if I am lucky I will be in time to hear the conclusion of Ulrich Schmid's opening paper on Monday evening. At least I hope they will save a sandwich or two for me from the evening reception that follows ...

On Wednesday I will read a paper with the title "Theological Creativity and Scribal Solutions in Jude." I came up with the title long before I wrote the paper. When I was a doctoral student I first wrote a full length article on a subject, then prepared a distilled version in the form of a paper for a conference. Now I am just finishing the paper actually on the same day that the conference begins, and there is no article (yet).

Anyway, a draft of the paper with handout will be uploaded at as soon as possible (hopefully during Monday), and you are welcome to post responses to the paper in the comment section of this post. Here is the abstract (I have just added the last sentence which is not printed in the abstract of the official programme):

"The Epistle of Jude contains only twenty-five verses, and yet the number of text-critical problems are numerous and complicated. Therefore, it is not surprising to find certain peculiar readings in the manuscript tradition of Jude, which reflect the ability of the scribes to create intelligent solutions to difficulties and cruxes in their exemplar. The paper presents several such examples of theological thinking, which are of importance, not only for our knowledge and evaluation of individual manuscript witnesses, but also for exegesis in general and the history of interpretation in particular. The paper especially focuses on two examples of "developed misreadings," which may at first sight be regarded as insignificant errors, but which at closer inspection proves to be of theological significance."

If I have occasion in Birmingham to read the responses I might make changes in the last minute (probably with a ball pen). I will make changes in any case. Tomorrow I will read it to myself to see just how much I have to cut off (it seems to be too long for ca. 20-25 minutes). Also, some of the other papers, especially Bill Warren's Tuesday paper on the need for criteria in determining scribal motivations in variant readings, might affect some slight changes—it is good to relate to what others have said during the conference.

If I am very lucky and find a computer with Internet connection I might even blog a few lines from the conference.


  1. I have just made a slight change in my paper. After the first occasion of the word "misreading" I add the sentence: "For convenience sake, the term 'misreading'here includes both errors of the eye and ear."

  2. I'll see you up there Tommy; and, I hope, some others.

  3. In Birmingham, at last, 10.30 PM after 12 hours of travelling. There probably weren't any sandwiches left at the evening reception, I didn't bother to check. I bought some burgers in town while waiting for the bus, then I went straight to Woodbrokes study center, where I am staying. I think most of the guests at the conference are staying here, and it is just 300 meters or so from the conference building, Elmfield house. I am glad they have guest computers here.