Thursday, October 13, 2011

Leonard on Middle Egyptian Matthew

Yesterday James (Jim) Leonard, one of our ETC bloggers, defended his Cambridge PhD thesis on the Middle Egyptian Schoyen Codex of Matthew. This manuscript (mae2) had been edited by Schenke, who had maintained that the codex shows signs of a non-canonical Matthew. Though Leonard had been initially drawn to the codex by this idea, he ultimately rejected (and refuted) this notion.

His treatment also contains a number of new reconstructions of lacunae in the manuscript and rearranges two pieces.

A significant conclusion is that mae2 is not actually a weird manuscript at all. In fact, when certain things are taken into account, it is more like NA27 than either 01 or 03!

Well done, Jim!

[Technical note: in the Cambridge system the award of the degree is formally confirmed by a large committee and one does not really 'know' the result of a viva immediately. However, in certain circumstances, e.g. when examiners discuss publication plans, it is legitimate to celebrate in anticipation of formal confirmation.]


  1. Congratulations, Jim! I do not know of anyone who put in as many late nights and Saturdays in the Tyndale Library. You worked so hard for this. Enjoy every minute. Soli Deo gloria!

  2. I am thankful for having two examiners who not only are competent in Coptic, but also competent in New Testament textual criticism: Simon Gathercole (one of our ETC bloggers was the internal examiner), and Darrell Hannah (external).

    I can't say enough how much I enjoyed finishing the examination. :)

    Although the examination experience was incredibly stressful, looking back (after the fact), it was awesome.

    Three cheers to Christian Askeland who gave the best pre-exam advice just prior to the event:

    "Perhaps, a bit of academic Calvinism will settle your nerves ... your fate is basically already decided. They have read it and either like it or not. You just have to show up and try to enjoy the experience as much as possible.

    "Just trust that you are one of the elect. : )

    "At least, recognize that the examiners already know your fate."

    And thanks to Gerald Bray, Bruce Winter, David Instone-Brewer, Peter Head, PJ Williams and many others for advising me to wear a tie.

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  4. Congratulations Jim! Thanx for the talk as well.

  5. Congratulations, Jim. After all those hours sharing a study area with you at Tyndale House I can attest to your hard work. Well deserved!

  6. I remember listening to your presentation back at the SBL in Rome a few years ago, where you shared some material on the Coptic translation technique, and I knew by then that your thesis would be excellent.

    Congratulations Jim!

  7. Occasionally one should wear a tie. But not too often.

  8. "Occasionally one should wear a tie. But not too often."

    Definitely not with shorts, unless you're trying to come off as an elementary student.

  9. Well done!