Monday, July 12, 2010

New Blog by Larry Hurtado

I am delighted to announce (a bit late) that Larry Hurtado has a new blog!

I am sure there will be a lot of posts on matters relating to textual criticism. At this point we can read about Larry's visit to Münster here and here, and about the staurogram here.


  1. The Essay on the Ending of Mark appears to be at least 5 years old:

    'The most recent major defence of the “long ending” as genuinely Markan was from Farmer (1974), but it did not sway scholarly opinion.'

    Whether scholarly opinion has been swayed by it or not, James L. Snapp Jr.'s definitive defense of the Long Ending has been available online since 2006.

  2. Make that James E. Snapp Jr. The reviewer, like so many patristic sources, was quoting from memory, with similar results.

  3. There's been some discussion on the use of the staurogram in Coptic. Can someone who knows Coptic have a look at this image and confirm that it's actually the Coptic word for "cross" or "crucify?"
    Gospel of Thomas

  4. Daniel, the word in question is a Greek loan word, and yes, it is the Greek/Coptic word for "cross." In the picture, of course, it is a nomen sacrum.

  5. More than just a nomen sacrum: it's an ideogram along the lines of "RU going 2B @ the game 2nite?"

    'Stauros' is spelled sigma (s) tau (tau) rho (r) omicron (o) sigma (s). The 'tau,' like the 'R' in the sentence above, is pronounced by name rather than by sound.

    Even further than that, it's an iconic symbol, because the juxtaposition of the T and R form a visual image of Christ on the cross.

    Rather ironic, that the very word(s) some people prefer to translate as "stake" or "impale," based on the earliest possible meaning of the word(s), cannot possibly be translated that way from the staurograms in the earliest extant manuscripts. And some of these same people make such a big deal of ideograms of YHWH in the earliest Gk mss of the OT.

  6. Yes, Daniel, I know how to spell "stauros," and am well aware of the function of the staurogram. There are certainly several possible terms for this phenomenon-pictogram, ideogram, Christogram, tau-rho compendium, tau-rho monogram, etc. But I think a more common identification of this phenomenon is "nomen sacrum." This doesn't suggest NS is a more valid term, just a more commonly used term for abbreviations like this.

  7. Okay, one last question for the Coptologists here. How does the tau/ro differ orthographically from the Coptic character for the numeral 900?

  8. It will be interesting to see how long he lasts.

  9. I have never seen this character used for the number 900 in a Coptic manuscript, but according to Layton's grammar, it appears to be the same.