Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bill Warren Looks to Salvage Possible Remains

CNTTS Director Bill Warren is on vacation this week, but now we know where: North Arabian Sea


  1. "A self-proclaimed 'expert treasure hunter' claims to be conducting an underwater search for Osama bin Laden's remains to prove that the al Qaeda leader has in fact been killed.

    "As CBS is reporting, Bill Warren says he is using his 180-foot-long boat, currently docked in western India, and high-tech equipment able to detect anything underwater to locate bin Laden's corpse, which was quickly buried in the North Arabian Sea on May 2. 'I'm doing it because I am a patriotic American who wants to know the truth,' Warren...."

  2. I'll be content to accept the eyewitness testimony. By now the sharks have gobbled him up. The fact that the sea will one day give up her dead will suffice for now.

  3. Homonymity is a common problem faced by biblical researchers. Almost any given Hebrew name is attached to up to a dozen different Israelites. Even Jesus shared some form of his given name with several other biblical figures--the source of a major textual problem in Jude 5.

    In the case of homonymity, context can be a major distractor. For example, finding a Muslim Arab named Khalid al-Musri living in Germany would appear to give the correct context for an Al Qaeda terrorist--until one examines exactly how many Khalid el-Masris (there are many ways of spelling it) live in Germany.

    On the other hand, finding a reference to a righteous man named Daniel in Ezekiel 14:14 does seem the right context for the prophet and stateman Daniel. When one considers how many men named Daniel in the Babylonian empire were legendary for their righteousness during Ezekiel's time--well, we now know of only one, whether you spell his name the Hebrew or Aramaic way. Anyway, the Babylonians knew him as Belteshazzar.

    So, applying the science of homonymology to this case, we find that whitepages.com lists 1725 people named William Warren in the U.S. Six of them are in Dallas alone. "Bill" is the most common nickname for "William." Therefore we have less than a tenth of a per cent chance of identifying any given American called Bill Warren by his name alone.

    Looking for dead bodies on the bottom of the sea floor is not the context in which one would expect to find a photographer of ancient Greek manuscripts. The closest thing to an ancient Greek manuscript ever found on the sea floor was the Antikythera Mechanism, which is considered an inscribed artifact rather than a continuous text manuscript.

    Therefore, identifying Bill Warren the American manuscript hunter with Bill Warren the American looter of Davy Jone's Locker is fallacious.

  4. um, white man, I think the op was facetious, not fallacious.

  5. Jim, Why didn't you ask if you could travel with your boss?

  6. And Peter Head from Australia is rocking as ever, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Head.

  7. From the wiki page noted by Tommy, I particularly like the statement: 'If you've ever lived and loved the nightlife, chances are, some stage during your carousing, cruising, boozing and late night losing, you'd have come across Peter Head.'

  8. And as expected from a NT scholar Peter has released the record "King of the Cross" too.

  9. Homonymically speaking, Peter Williams seems eminently qualified to join Bill Warren in this search.

  10. In keeping with our theme of homonymity, those of you who wonder what I do when I'm not editing the Greek NT or Apostolic Fathers might take a look at either of these sites:



  11. Same here with my (losing) boxing career on the side....


    (We won't talk about all the various court cases, convictions, and misconduct issues that also can be found on the internet with my name attached).

  12. Apparently, I am president of "Emeritus" winery:


  13. regarding Holmes on Homes --

    living in the Toronto area as I do, where Mike Holmes is a household name and is dubbed "Canada's most trusted contractor", I had a heck of a time last year approaching my dissertation defense after our Mike Holmes was named as my external examiner!

    I mean, everyone I talked to would ask about the upcoming defense, and when I told them his name, even those within the field would invariably reply something like "Really? Serious?!? THAT'S AWESOME!!!!" Witnessing their level of enthusiasm, I would quickly realise that they were making a homonymical error and would gently correct them. No offense to our Mike, but the disappointment in them was palpable!

    It didn't help that I spend my days working as a contractor myself, so people always assumed - perhaps not unreasonably - that I had found a way to synthesize my two worlds - textual criticsm and contracting - and thus the other Mike Holmes was a necessary expert for my defence.

    Come to think of it, maybe I should have done some sort of synthesis; perhaps "A Study of the Coherence Based Genealogical Method Co-related to the Declining Rafter Lengths of Hip Roofs" or maybe "An Investigation of Early Scribal Habits, Specifically in Regards to Whether Their Paragraphs Were Spaced on 16" Centres" Even better: "Distigmai in Codex Vaticanus -- Nothing But Misapplied Caulking?"

    No one could say I wasn't cross-disciplinary then, and it would probably sell better than conjectural emendation is!

  14. That reminds me of a mistake I made several years ago: hearing of a book (Sense and Absence) about the end of Mark by J. Lee Magness, I assumed that J. Lee Magness of UNC was the author. After all, how many Bible professor-authors named J. Lee Magness can there be? But as it turns out, there are two of 'em! It was a memorable lesson that a calculated guess can be logical and probable and still be wrong.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.