Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ending the Year on a High: The Euthalian Apparatus

It is quickly running to the end of this year, and it started to look like as if no exciting books were going to appear this year at all. However, when I came in Tyndale House this morning, I found an unexpected but most pleasant surprise waiting for me. Vemund Blomkvist had sent me his dissertation on the Euthalian apparatus.

Vemund Blomkvist,The Euthalian Apparatus: Text, Translation, Commentary Series of Dissertations Submitted to the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo / Acta Theologica 39 (Oslo: Unipub, 2011).

So far I have had tremendous fun with this study, which does exactly what the title says (with the limitation that it concentrates on the chapter titles (κεφαλαια - τιτλοι), the introductions to the big divisions (προλογοι), and the υποθεσεις to the individual letters. Blomkvist's interest is not text-critical but that of reception history - which is totally legitimate, especially when one puts so much work into translating and bringing together all this material that is also of interest for people with different questions. Truly original work, and research that will spark off other research.

Just the translation of and commentary on Euthalius would have been tremendous, but Blomkvist also throws in the 'Marcionite' prologues (which I actually hold to be originally Marcionite - pace Dahl and Ulrich Schmid), the Priscillan edition (from the Latin), the υποθεσεις on Paul of Theodoret, and the same by Theophylact.

I hope to come back later with some further thoughts, but one of the fascinating gems is worth sharing straightaway. Since the author had worked with and has access to the notes of the late Nils Dahl, he mentions a discovery made by Dahl in four Latin mediaeval manuscripts of Monte Cassino where the Euthalian prologue to Paul is fused with the Muratorian canon. Harnack had discussed the Muratorian part back in 1898, but did not mention the importance of finding Euthalian material in Latin.

Congratulations to Vemund with this excellent dissertation!

Update: Blomqvist will defend his thesis publicly tomorrow (15 December). English summary is found here.[TW]


  1. Dear Dr. Jongkind,

    Does Blomkvist address the question regarding to what extent the Euthalian Apparatus affects the textual criticism of the NT manuscript tradition, if at all? Are there a few examples that could be presented?


    Jonathan C. Borland

  2. So who and when and where does he think Euthalius was?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  3. There is no application to NT TC in this work, and neither is there an attempt to bring the introductory questions to the whole apparatus any further. Blomkvist rightly maintains that to do so requires a critical edition of the Euthalian material. Blomkvist is interested in questions such as the depiction of Paul in the titles and the genre of hypotheses. In the commentary on the text of Euthalius there are numerous fascinating observations about the structure of the work and the vocabulary used.