Sunday, November 23, 2008

Houghton identifies new early Latin texts

Well, the ETC blog has been unusually quiet during SBL, though many of the bloggers have been attending. I think this may be because so many of them are participating in events while here.

There have been many tc-related events here, some of which clash with each other. However, I thought it would be worthwhile reporting on the 'unveiling' this morning by Hugh Houghton of his recent identification of 4 previously unnoticed Old Latin manuscripts of John's Gospel (or manuscripts which contain a mixture of Old Latin and Vulgate text). They had been overlooked as Old Latin witnesses previously because statistics from test passages placed them reasonably close to the Vulgate. However, this was due to 'block mixture', or the presence of different text profiles within the same manuscripts, which can arise due to the use of more than one exemplar in an ancestor. It sounds like a great discovery.

Update (TW): If I understood correctly, Hugh has added the new MSS to the online VL edition at so anyone can access the text and check it out.


  1. Any chance any of these cover John 7:53—8:11?

  2. Could you elaborate on "early"?

  3. Greetings from SBL all. It is a great conference and I have been taking a lot of notes on my computer, so I might blog some sessions when I get home (I don't have internetaccess directly, and neither do I have time to blog right here in Boston),

    Anonymous, yes, at least one covers the PA with some exciting things there to. But why don't you go over to the website and check out for yourself, because Hugh has added them to the online edition.

  4. nice post, wish i could have came this year, just too far for a student's budget this time. thanks for the link! i didn't know about that site, i look forward to checking it out.

  5. Codex Bezae was "Copied around 400, probably in Beirut."

    That's certainly an earlier date than I've seen anywhere else--making it probably the only OL ms to actually predate the Vulgate.

    Beirut certainly argues for a Syriac influence.

  6. just to echo Tommy - haven't been able to blog from SBL, but looking forward to doing some more in the next days and weeks once I am home.