Monday, February 28, 2011

Free Online Liddell-Scott Jones Lexicon Linked to the TLG Corpus

Announcement from Thesaurus Linguae Graecae 23 February:

The TLG is pleased to announce the release of the Online Liddell-Scott Jones, the premier lexicon for ancient Greek. All lemmata and word forms in the TLG corpus are now linked to a new dictionary page that contains links to LSJ. The lexicon is open to the public.

Read more about this completed five-year project here.

Access the Online Liddell-Scott Jones lexicon here.

Reading New Testament Papyri in Context (forthcoming, Peeters)

Last year I announced some video lectures from the colloquium "Reading New Testament Papyrus in Context," held in Switzerland last October, freely available here on ITunes U here:

Quand l’exégète rencontre le manuscrit: le P66 - Jean Zumstein

Christliche Papyri aus Ägypten - kleine Facetten des großen Ganzen: Exemplarische Wechselbeziehungen - Thomas J. Kraus

Recently Discovered New Testament Papyri and their Significance for Textual Criticism - James Keith Elliott

Des textes comme les autres: réinscrire le Nouveau Testament dans les écrits du monde méditerranéen - Régis Burnet

Les papyrus en Egypte aux trois premiers siècles de notre ère - Paul Schubert

Le Nouveau Testament à l’heure des papyrus égyptiens - Claire Clivaz.

Now Claire Clivaz announces (on the textual criticism discussion group) that the printed conference volume is forthcoming this summer (Peeters):

Claire Clivaz - Jean Zumstein (eds.), in collaboration with Jenny Read-Heimerdinger and Julie Paik, Reading New Testament Papyri in Context - Lire les papyrus du Nouveau Testament dans leur contexte. Actes du colloque des 22-24 octobre 2009 à l'Université de Lausanne. BETL 242. Louvain: Peeters, forthcoming.

Clivaz also freely offers her own chapter, "The New Testament at the Time of the Egyptian Papyri. Reflections Based on P12, P75 and P126 (P. Amh. 3b, P. Bod. XIV-XV and PSI 1497)" here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Can we trust the Bible on the historical Jesus?" 2011 Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum

Today begins the 2011 Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminar.

This year's forum is on the topic, "Can we trust the Bible on the historical Jesus?" featuring main speakers Bart D. Ehrman and Craig A. Evans, and four other speakers: Jennifer Wright Knust, Dale B. Martin, Charles Quarles and Ben Witherington III.

Website here.

Facebook group here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Scribe" or "Copyist"?

In light of recent studies that demonstrate how users/readers of texts were much more typically the ones who introduced changes to the texts, rather than the copyists who generally aimed to copy their exemplar with fidelity, Larry Hurtado proposes that text-critics drop the term “scribe.” In this way, Hurtado urges for less emphasis on “scribes” and “scribal purposes/changes/tendencies”, and more allowance for the role of readers/users.

Do you agree with Hurtado's proposal to drop the term "scribe" and simply use "copyist"? Answer the poll in the right sidebar.

Update: Results of the poll: Yes 18 (33%); No 29 (53%); I don't know 7 (12%). Total votes 54.

Budding TC Scholar

A few days ago, one of our regular readers, Brice Jones, went to the Beinecke library at Yale to examine P49 (P.CtYBR inv. 415) and P50 (P.CtYBR inv. 1543). Brice focused especially on the latter, containing Acts 8:26-32 and 10:26-31. Read his report here.

Further, Brice reports here on his work to transcribe another MS, a Fayumic Coptic MS of the Gospel of John, P. Mich. 3521, for the International Greek New Testament Project (IGNTP). During this examination, Brice has identified some errors in the editio princeps: Elinor M. Husselman, The Gospel of John in Fayumic Coptic (P. Mich. INV. 3521) (KMA 2; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1962).

A student who examines physical manuscripts and scrutinizes manuscript editions? I suspect we have a budding TC scholar here. Now I wonder where he will write his PhD – I have heard he has had several offers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2nd International Septuaginta Summer School

The Septuaginta-Unternehmen of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities of Göttingen offers an "International Septuaginta Summer School" from June 27 to July 1, 2011 in Göttingen.

Students from European and other universities who are interested in the development and history of biblical texts will be given the opportunity to study selected passages of the David and Batseba narratives (2 Sam 11-12) and to form themselves a detailed and nuanced impression of this book’s text history, which is as complex as it is fascinating.

This year‘s lecturer of the summer school is Kristin De Troyer, Professor for Old Testament and Hebrew Bible at St. Mary‘s College of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Flyer with further details here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A scribe with a very long life

Today we had a look at minuscule 223, dated to the XIVth century in the Kurzgefasste Liste. Metzger mentions that the same scribe was also responsible for lect. 279 and minuscule 1305. Interestingly, in the same Kurzgefasste Liste the first is dated to the XIIth century and the later to the XIIIth century (AD 1244 to be exact). Either the scribe, Antonios, had a remarkably long career spanning three centuries, or there is some problem.

Since the images of both minuscule 223 and 1305 are available on the CSNTM website it shouldn't be too hard to establish what is going on. Or is it?

Colophon of 223 (folio 267 verso):

Colophon of 1305 (folio 269 verso):

The two colophons are very much alike in lettering and content. Ἀντώνιος ὁ Μαλάκης τάχα καὶ μοναχός (the full name as in Vogel and Gardthausen) knows himself as both the serial sinner (πολιαμάρτητος colophon of 223) and as a bigger sinner than any other sinner (ἁμαρτωλότερος πάντων τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν colophon of 1305); in all other details the colophons are identical. I happily admit that knowledge of one's own sin is a good step towards obtaining eternal life, yet this seems not sufficient to explain the dating of his work to the 12th, 13th, and 14th century. Note also the year in the colophon of 1305.

Though the form of minuscule script used in the colophon is not much different, that of the main text is. Minuscule 223 is very neat (neater than the colophon, in fact), while 1305 is wilder, more flourishes and uses more abbreviations.

If we assume the year AD 1244 is correct, it seems that a scribe could use a variety of scripts during his lifetime and that the range of scripts are extremely tricky to date with any precision.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Reliability of the New Testament

Papers from the Greer-Heard Forum in 2010 (noted then here and here) have now been published in:
The Reliability of the New Testament: Bart Ehrman and Daniel Wallace in Dialogue, ed. Robert B. Stewart (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011).
Among samples available on the Fortress website is chapter one, a transcript of the original debate between Ehrman and Wallace. Other chapters are by Holmes, Martin, Parker, Warren, Heide, Evans, Raquel. (These I have not seen as yet.)

For a brief discussion of Martin Heide's paper, “Assessing the Stability of the Transmitted Texts of the New Testament and the Shepherd of Hermas”, (pp. 111-145) see Larry Hurtado's Blog.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Oldest Valentine?

The Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts blog hightlights what could be the oldest valentine.
In February 1477, Margery Brews, a Norfolk gentlewoman, sent her beloved John Paston two Valentine letters. They were written on the eve of their marriage and, besides expressing Margery's undying love for John, reveal the couple's concerns for their future.


The letter (written on Margery's behalf by Thomas Kela, a clerk of Sir Thomas Brews), is signed

"Be your Voluntyne / Mergery Brews"

Read the whole story include image of one letter here.

And Happy Valentine

Friday, February 11, 2011

Online Facsmiles of Sahidic Coptic MSS

Today there are over 180 extant Coptic MSS of the Gospel of John in the Sahidic Coptic dialect, as reported by Karlheinz Schüssler in his overview, “Some Pecularities of the Coptic (Sahidic) Translations of the Gospel of John,” Journal of Coptic Studies 10 (2008): 41-62.

Most of these MSS are fragmentary, but there are five complete MSS of John (i.e., sa 505, 506, 508, 561, 600), thirty-eight lectionaries, and three other liturgical MSS. Schüssler has published facsmile editions and transcriptions of sa 505 and sa 506 online on his website Biblica Coptica.

Both MSS are from the Monastery of Apa Jeremias (Saqqara) dated to around 600 C.E. These editions contain images facing transcriptions presented in a convenient e-book format.

Karlheinz Schüssler is editor of Journal of Coptic Studies, and Biblia Coptica, a series which lists all the Coptic biblical mss. He is currently working on a text of John in Sahidic for the International Greek New Testament Project.

More on Schüssler's personal webpage.

For Coptic resources on-line, see here (Coptica) and here (compiled by co-blogger Askeland).

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Comma Johanneum new data

Daniel Wallace reports a further ms with the Comma Johanneum in the margin here. [ref from Daniel Hill]

Reviews of Houghton's Augustine’s Text of John and Author's Response

Recently the RBECS (Reviews of Biblical and Early Christian Studies) blog published two reviews of H. A. G. Houghton Augustine’s Text of John. Patristic Citations and Latin Gospel Manuscripts (Oxford: OUP, 2008) written by Dan Batovici, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge (here), and J. Cornelia Linde, Department of History, University College London (here). RBECS has also published Houghton's response (here).

The reviews and the author's response were first presented in a review-session dedicated to Houghton’s monograph at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 2010,(session 1630).

Update: Hugh Houghton's monograph is also featured on the new Biblindex blog, which also refers to the bookreview by Craig R. Koester in Review of Biblical Literature.

Eugene Ulrich Receives NEH Fellowship

The Observer (a newspaper serving Notre Dame and Sait Mary's newspaper) recently reported that Notre Dame professor Eugene Ulrich has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to pursue his book entitled "The Bible in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Faculty webpage of E. Ulrich

Selection of published books by E. Ulrich

Three Titles by Tov on Eisenbrauns Sale

Eisenbrauns features a 10-days sale on three works by Emanuel Tov on textual criticism:

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible
by Emanuel Tov
Fortress Press, 2001. Cloth. English.
ISBN: 9780800634292
List Price: $55.00
Your Price: $38.45

Now available in an updated second edition, this classic will prove an indispensable addition to the scholar's library. Emanuel Tov offers extensive descriptions of the major witnesses to the text of the Hebrew Bible, the Hebrew texts from Qumran, the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, the Aramaic Targumin, the Syriac translations, the Vulgate, and others.

Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert
by Emanuel Tov
Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah - STDJ 54
Society of Biblical Literature -SBL, 2009. Paper. English.
ISBN: 9781589834293
List Price: $49.95
Your Price: $37.46

This monograph is written in the form of a handbook on the scribal features of the texts found in the Judean Desert, the Dead Sea Scrolls. It details the material, shape, and preparation of the scrolls; scribes and scribal activity; scripts, writing conventions, errors and their correction, and scribal signs; scribal traditions; differences between different types of scrolls (e.g., biblical and nonbiblical scrolls); and the possible existence of scribal schools such as that at Qumran. In most categories, the analysis is meant to be exhaus... (more)

The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research
by Emanuel Tov
Jerusalem Biblical Studies - JBS 8
Simor, Ltd., 1997. Cloth. English.
List Price: $51.00
Your Price: $40.80

Don't forget to also check out Tov's online publications.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sisters of Sinai video

While looking for some information on the Cambridge Faculty of Divinity website, I stumbled upon this excellent video covering the "Sisters of Sinai" (Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Gibson) as well as their legacy in Cambridge. Among others, the video interacts with the publication "Sisters of Sinai" by Janet Soskice which has been previously discussed on this blog (also here).

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The January 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival Published

Jim West has composed the biblical studies carnival of January here bringing together "the best posts from as many biblioblogs as possible."

Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament

Soon to be published:

Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament:
Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence

Edited by Daniel B. Wallace

Kregel Publications, 2011

Publisher's description
Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament is the inaugural volume of The Text and Canon of the New Testament series, edited by Daniel B. Wallace. This first volume focuses on issues in textual criticism—in particular, to what degree did the scribes, who copied their exemplars by hand, corrupt the autographs? All but one of the chapters deals specifically with New Testament textual criticism. The other addresses textual issues related to an early apocryphal work, the Gospel of Thomas.

The book begins with the full transcription of Wallace’s presentation at the Fourth Annual Greer-Heard Forum, in which he and Bart Ehrman debated over the reliability of the New Testament manuscripts. Adam Messer looks at the patristic evidence of “nor the Son” in Matthew 24:36 in a quest to determine whether the excision of these words was influenced by orthodox Fathers. Philip Miller wrestles with whether the “least orthodox reading” should be a valid principle for determining the autographic text. Matthew Morgan focuses attention on the only two Greek manuscripts that have a potentially Sabellian reading in John 1:1c. Timothy Ricchuiti tackles the textual history of the Gospel of Thomas, examining the Coptic text and the three Greek fragments, using internal evidence in order to determine the earliest stratum of Thomas. Brian Wright thoroughly examines the textual reliability of the passages in which Jesus appears to be called God, concluding that “the textual proof of the designation ?e?? as applied to Jesus in the NT merely confirms what other grounds have already established.”

Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament will be a valuable resource for those working in textual criticism, early Christianity, New Testament apocrypha, and patristics.

Order page from Eisenbrauns.

HT: Brice Jones