Friday, October 28, 2011

Here and There

Some points of interest on the internets:

The latest Scripture Language Report from the UBS reports that "Bibles have become available in ten more languages and New Testaments in 27 more than this time last year." (HT: Bibliablog)

David Lamb hates Study Bibles (and I sympathise).

Rod Decker approves of the NIV non-rendering of selah in the Psalms (here and here). Jim Hamilton is not so keen (here).

The papyri of the University Library in Groningen, The Netherlands are online.

Also there is quite a full report of the Hurtado study day (featuring Professor Wasserman) over at BECS.


  1. Sir, please do not call me "professor."

  2. I love study bibles. I traded a copy of the Swedish Studiebibeln (5 vols.) for the color facsimile of Codex Vaticanus (1968 edition).

  3. Surely, I would swiftly trade an ESV Study Bible for the 1968 color facsimile of Vaticanus!

    But then Non-Professor Wasserman will probably respond "Don't call me Shirley" and also complain that he doesn't teach nuns....

    Yet this whole Study Bible thread raises an interesting issue: what about all those Greek MSS surrounded by or interspersed with commentary? Are they not also "study Bibles"?

    Should we like David Lamb then "invoke the curse" of Revelation upon these MSS, since as Lamb declares, these "appear to have the same authority as Scripture because they [the comments] are printed right there on the same page."

    Somehow I don't think the ancient scribes or commentators saw matters in precisely the same light.

  4. On study bibles, my take as one involved directly in Bible translation is that it serves a particular end-user, notwithstanding their deficiencies. This is especially true for end-users who do not have direct access to good libraries much more to internet connections.For such end-users, these study bibles are a library in themselves already.

    The obvious drawback, of course, is that these study bibles eventually take an authoritative status, justifiable or not.

  5. An article linked at David Meadows' Explorator, "New NASA technology reveals ancient texts" by Harold Raley claims that a St. Catherine palimpsest examined by a NASA camera revealed
    " extremely ancient portion of the Gospel of John, perhaps dating from the second century and which contains wording missing in the conventional biblical text."
    Does anyone here have further information? Thanks

  6. I'd merely observe that St Catherine's Monastery does not normally have manuscripts anything like approaching the second century in antiquity because the monastery wasn't around then. Obviously, manuscripts could have been brought from elsewhere, but such an age would (I believe) be unparalleled for the collection. Much more likely is that (as often) an investigator or reporter is giving an overly optimistic assessment of age.

    However, more details would of course be of interest.

  7. I think 'perhaps dating to the second century' has become a kind of default setting for PR announcements of new mansucript discoveries.

  8. If publishers were to stop printing the words of Christ in red, then they would be able to start putting Selah and Psalm titles in red. Then readers would know not to read the rubric.

    Of course, Selah is sung as part of the Masoretic cantillation.

    Anyway, the move to put Selah in a footnote is just another part of the widening gap between many modern translations and the really ancient ones which largely result from redefinition of the task of translation in the last century or so.