Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Distigmai in Vaticanus: New Version of Payne's Response

Phil Payne has sent me a new version of his response to Head's critique concerning the marginalia in Codex Vaticanus, dated 15 March, which has been extensively edited and rewritten, as he says, "to take into consideration comments received. It includes evidence from the distigmai in the margins of the LXX of Codex Vaticanus and particularly distigmai in the margins of the Hexaplar Codex Colberto-Sarravianus (4th-5th century LXX G) proving that distigmai were in use to mark even more sophisticated textual variants (entailing differences between Hebrew and Greek
texts) at close to the time Codex Vaticanus was written.”

Read it and make your own opinion. The document is now available for download here and in the right sidebar among TC Files (where it has replaced the earlier version).

A wider question to think about: how does a blogdiscussion like this (including uploaded documents) work together with scholarly publishing on the issue. What are the advantages/disadvantages? I don't have the answers, although I realize that the different sides may understand each other better and sharpen their argument accordingly.


  1. My own view is that this sort of publication is inappropriate.

    My own teacher, J.A. Emerton, who obviously learned his habits in the 'Old School' before the internet arose, always said that it was wrong to critique unpublished work (e.g. an unpublished dissertation) in published work. Essentially you are using the platform of publication to critique someone who cannot defend themselves (there are of course countless legitimate reasons for why research might not have been published). I often see this principle violated in publication nowadays, but continue to think that it is a good principle.

    Now of course the internet and blogs blur the distinction between published and unpublished because there are different degrees of publication.

    However, what we have had here (both on the blog and in this paper) is a voluminous response to an unpublished paper.

    Of course, Payne should be allowed to respond (with appropriate length) to critiques of his position that are mentioned on this blog. However, his main initial response should await the publication of Head's paper.

    Personally, I would tend to be disappointed by any response that could not respond to a short SBL presentation at equivalent length or less than the original paper.

    This is not to say that Payne could not publish a supplementary paper of greater length. This, however, should not be framed as a response or critique of an unpublished paper.

  2. Good points. I should point out that I asked Peter beforehand if he thought it was a good idea to let Philip post this response on our blog, and Peter agreed that we could do it. I think that was very generous, and I also think it has been wise of him to mainly refer to his coming publication. On the other hand, I think Peter admitted that this activity has helped him to write a better article and we will all gain from that.

  3. Fair comments. I don't think Peter is exactly suffering from a knockout here. However, one does wonder what impression is given to those outside the field as to what the state of play is.

  4. Am I blind?
    How do you download the PDF?

  5. Wieland, what happens when you click on the link (in the post or in the right sidebar under TC Files)? I come to a page where I can download the file (look in the right top corner "Download"). Please tell me if you do not succeed. Then I will have to look into it.

  6. I can only read it online.
    The "Download" button only brings me to another page for online viewing.

  7. Wieland, for me it works perfectly to download with Safari, Firefox and Opera. Are you using IE?

  8. Wieland, can you rightclick on the download button and get an option to "fetch the linked file"?

    Otherwise I don't know how to solve this problem other then sending you the document in an e-mail.

  9. Wieland, SCRAP IE8, and use Firefox or Safari or alike.

  10. In my view it is a confession of failure when a certain web content is running on specific browsers only.

  11. Wieland, it would be very interesting to know if you can upload any of the other TC files with IE8. If so, something else is wrong.

  12. The internet has changed everything. I spend a lot more money on books, new and used, then I did before Internet. And it's almost always in response to hearing about the book online--usually in a discussion forum when I am told something along the lines of, "If you want to be able to intelligently discuss ___, then you really need to spring for a copy of __'s _______, which is the definitive work on the subject."

    Just for an example, I would never have spent $21 (don't forget the $6 shipping) on a paperback called Men and Women Together had the author not been able to match me point for point and assure me that there was that much and more if I would just buy the book now with my ETC blog discount.

    Not only is the author influencing me in ways that never would have happened without the internet, but I'm also influencing the author, something that would never have happened if my only exposure to the book was a hurried peek in front of the New Books shelf in a bookstore. And the author in turn is incorporating my feedback into future publications.

    How to footnote an anonymous comment to a blog entry is something that will need to be worked out by future stylists.

  13. > How to footnote an anonymous comment
    > to a blog entry is something that will
    > need to be worked out by future stylist

    I'm picturing the poor scholar a hundred years from now, just praying the latest critical edition of the internet archive from 2012 just might have a glimpse of the blog referred to in the esoteric paper so he can finally finish his thesis.

    Or will he just treat it as we treat Papias and just be happy with what actually did survive;).