Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A New Word from a Non-word in Your NA28?

At 2 Peter 2.14, the majority of Greek witnesses describe a group of people “having eyes full of an adulteress” (ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες μεστοὺς μοιχαλίδος). Charles Bigg concluded in his ICC commentary that the majority of manuscripts “are certainly wrong” since the sense “absolutely requires μοιχείας [adultery]” (p. 283). I suspect that some scribes agreed with Bigg and that explains why we find μοιχείας in 044 and 2344. “Adulteress” (μοιχαλίδος) is certainly the lectio difficilior and should be preferred as it is in most editions (NA28, SBLGNT, WH, Tischendorf).

This is all straightforward enough. But there is a third reading involved here which is μοιχαλίας, a reading which Metzger’s commentary will tell you is unknown elsewhere. A look at LSJ and a search of TLG basically confirm this. LSJ has nothing and, aside from two quotes of this verse from Ephrem, TLG only turns up a single example of μοιχαλίας which is from a first century copy of an astronomical text. Surprisingly, this unattested word has some hefty manuscript support in 01, 02, 33 and about half a dozen minuscules.

What I can’t figure out is why the NA28/UBS5 have changed the spelling from the NA27/UBS4 so that it now reads μοιχαλείας. We know the ECM doesn’t list spelling differences involving ει-ι interchanges (p. 27*), but this appears to be a case where they have changed the spelling as it is found in our extant witnesses. I checked about half of those cited in the ECM and they all attest μοιχαλίας (see below).

I can’t figure out any rationale for this change. Any ideas?

2 Peter 2.14 in 01, 02, 33, 436, and 621

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Online Database of Syriac Manuscripts

There is a fairly new online database for Syriac manuscripts called e-ktobe. The aim of the database—listing “all syriac manuscripts in the world”—is quite ambitious. From the website:
E-ktobe is a database on Syriac manuscripts which aims to collect information on texts, physical elements, colophons and notes. It will enable any researcher to make a request on texts, authors and codicological elements for all the Syriac manuscripts in the world. Thanks to this database, you can search for some material details, do multi-criterial research, and also make a request about one person connected with the making of Syriac manuscripts (copyist, restorer, sponsor, owner...). The main scientific goals of this project are to give insight into the cultural history of Syriac communities and develop Syriac codicology.
Unfortunately the database seems a bit sparse at the moment. If there are 10,000 extant Syriac manuscripts according to one recent estimate (Binggeli, p. 502), then the current database lists about 5% of all Syriac manuscripts. At the moment, a search of the largest catalogue in Europe (the British Library) only turns up five results! Given this, the 136 results filtered for Old and New Testament should be taken as a drop in the bucket.

* * *

On the topic of Syriac, the latest issue of Novum Testamentum has an article by Christophe Guignard on one of the newest majuscules to receive a Gregory-Aland number. In the under text of the Old Syriac palimpsest Codex Sinaiticus, there are four leaves of John’s Gospel from the 4th-5th century. This text has been known for 120 years but is only now receiving its proper GA number. Sadly Guignard doesn’t give us any pictures.

The article is “0323: A Forgotten 4th or 5th Century Greek Fragment of the Gospel of John in the Syrus Sinaiticus,” NovT 57.3 (2015), 311-319.

Friday, June 26, 2015

‘Seven times in chains’: 1 Clement 5.6 and the New Testament

In 1 Clement 5.6 we read that Paul had borne chains seven times: ‘After he had been seven times in chains, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, and had preached in the east and in the west, he won the genuine glory for his faith ...’ (M Holmes translation).

A question then is the source of this idea that Paul had been in chains seven times.

J.B. Lightfoot suggests vaguely the possibility of ‘some other source’
H.E. Lona accepts that it must have stood in the pre-1 Clement tradition, adding that it may have had a symbolic significance (Lona, Der erste Clemensbrief, 163, without specifying what that would be)
E. Zeller suggested that the author added captivities in Caesarea and Rome to the five punishments mentioned in 2 Cor 11.24 (Lightfoot notes that 2 Cor 11.24 doesn’t refer to imprisonments!)
J.D. Quinn made the interesting suggestion that this referred to ‘the number of documents which were at his disposal in the Roman church that referred to Paul as imprisoned’. I.e. Acts, 2 Cor, Eph, Phil, Col, Phile, 2 Tim. (‘Seven Times He Wore Chains (I Clem. 5.6)’ JBL 97(1978), 574-576)

I wonder whether it might be sufficient to think of Acts as the primary source for 1 Clement here:
  1. Acts 16.23-27: in a prison or jail [fulakh//desmwth/rion] in Philippi, with ta\ desma/; 
  2. Acts 21.33: bound with ‘two chains’ [a9lu/sesi dusi/] in Jerusalem 
  3. Acts 22.29: looks back to the imprisonment in Jerusalem 
  4. Acts 23.18: Paul is described, by a Roman centurion, as ‘the prisoner Paul’ [o9 de/smioj Pau=loj]; 
  5. Acts 23.35: Paul imprisoned in Caesarea 
  6. Acts 24.23: Paul (still) imprisoned in Caesarea 
  7. Acts 28.16, 30: Paul under house arrest in Rome 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gospel of Jesus’s Wife ... Again


The most recent issue of the journal New Testament Studies offers a series of articles on the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife controversy, all contending that the fragment is a modern creation and not an authentic ancient manuscript.  The following list summarizes the articles:

New Testament Studies 61.3 (July 2015)

Update (TW): And here is a video interview about the story with Simon Gathercole produced by Cambridge University Press in conjunction with the NTS volume.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

David Parker honoured by the Queen

Congratulations to David Parker.
The Queen has recognised David Parker’s contribution to New Testament Textual Criticism (and incidentally ‘Higher Education’) by appointing him as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). This means David is now eligible to wear various complicated Vestments and Accoutrements (at least according to wikipedia), to defend the honour of Queen, Country and Empire against all challenges, and to enjoy a day out at Buckingham Palace in the company of the England cricketer James Anderson, the rugby players Jonny Wilkinson and Jonathan Davies and the actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Influence of Atticism on the Textual Transmission of 1 John

A master thesis by P. R. De Lange was presented last year at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus and has now come under my radar:

“The influence of atticism on the textual transmission of I John with particular reference to the Alexandrian text type”

The main research focus of this study was to determine more clearly to what extent Atticism influenced textual variants that are considered to belong to the Alexandrian text type. Since the time of Westcott and Hort, the Alexandrian text type has been regarded as a manuscript tradition which is representative of relatively high stylistic Greek. This assumption seems likely, especially given the fact that Alexandria and the areas which gave rise to the manuscripts comprising the Alexandrian text type were cultural centres of learning as well as of a newlyfound Hellenistic awareness within the Roman Empire.

One of the movements stemming from this newfound awareness was Atticism, which was, amongst other things, an artificial literary movement which strove towards emulating the classical Attic literary dialect. However, in the last few decades the question of the alleged presence of Atticist influence in the manuscripts of the Greek New Testament has received its share of conflicting scholarly treatment among textual critics, especially since the 1963 publication of G.D. Kilpatrick s influential article, Atticism and the text of the Greek New Testament. On the one hand, there is common assent that Atticism exerted a profound influence on all Greek prose of the first century. On the other hand, some difference of opinion exists as to whether Atticism actually influenced the composition of the New Testament text in any significant way.

The influence on the transmission of the New Testament texts is another question that still needs a fuller treatment in order to proceed from mere scholarly opinion to a more established empirical degree of certainty. The current study is an investigation into the nature of Atticism and its relationship with the classical Attic dialect. The results of this investigation were then used as basis for an evaluation of the alleged Atticisms in the Alexandrian witnesses, taking the witnesses to the text of I John as sample. In the process, thoroughgoing eclecticism as text-critical method is evaluated, and an adapted reasoned eclectic method proposed with which to conduct the investigation of the variants in I John.

The results have shown that in the textual tradition of I John, inconsistencies of correction and scribal usage occur frequently within the Alexandrian text type and that the correction was predominantly not towards Attic, but rather displayed a tendency towards Hellenistic-Koine usage. In summary, the investigation demonstrates that the uniformity of the Alexandrian text type as a whole, if not completely suspect, should at least be judged very critically when it comes to matters of characteristic features which have for decades been accepted as true, such as the Alexandrian text type s reputation as one displaying stylistically polished Greek. The investigation of I John has shed valuable light on the methodological presupposition that categories of text types are fixed above all doubt, and that they display general typical characteristics. This presupposition has been exposed as false and indicates that one follows it at one s methodological peril.

Download the thesis here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Thomas Kraus on Luke 14.5 and What We Need in Our Critical Editions

The March issue of Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses has an article from Thomas Kraus exploring what text critics need in their critical editions with an interesting example from Luke 14.5. The article is “Kritische Ausgaben des Neuen Testaments und Textkritik: Anmerkungen anhand von Lk 14,5 als Testfall?” ETL 91.1 (2015): 111-130.

In the first part of the article, Kraus raises the following four questions which are then explored by way of Luke 14.5.
  1. What kind of data and how much do we need in our critical editions? Here he mentions the Internet Greek NT Project which “intends to collate and transcribe all extant manuscripts of the New Testament”—an ambitious goal to be sure!
  2. Must someone working on the text have all available variant readings? What about nonsense readings and how should such be determined?
  3. What role does the plausibility of the origin and development of a reading play in relation to the quantity and quality of witnesses that attest it? 
  4. Will the many possibilities of the internet make these first three questions obsolete? (I’m not sure I grasped how this relates to #3.)
Luke 14.5 is a good choice because Kraus discusses the possibility, suggested by Martin and Kasser in the editio princeps of P75, that the majority reading υἱὸς ἢ βοῦς (“a son or an ox”) was originally ὗς ἢ βοῦς (“a pig or an ox”). Martin and Kasser suggested that the original reading could have been corrupted by way of the supralinear line such that υϲ became the nomen sacrum υ̅ϲ̅. The problem with the reading, as Kraus acknowledges, is that none of our witnesses attest υϲ without the supralinear line.

Luke 14.5 in P75
Luke 14.5 in P75

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Book: Early Christianity in Contexts

William Tabbernee (ed.), Early Christianity in Contexts: An Exploration across Cultures and Continents (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014).

I’ve just finished reading this interesting book about Early Christianity which surveys the spread of Christianity from its origin up to around AD 1000. There is an interest in locating the particular form that Christianity took in its diverse locations, and in documenting archaeological information which evidences early Christianity.
Here is a bit of the blurb:
Organized according to geographical areas of the late antique world, this book examines what various regions looked like before and after the introduction of Christianity. How and when was Christianity (or a new form or expression of it) introduced into the region? How were Christian life and thought shaped by the particularities of the local setting? And how did Christianity in turn influence or reshape the local culture? The book’s careful attention to local realities adds depth and concreteness to students’ understanding of early Christianity, while its broad sweep introduces them to first-millennium precursors of today’s variegated, globalized religion. Numerous photographs, sidebars, and maps are included.

So, there are ten chapters as follows:

1. The Roman Near East  2. Beyond the Eastern Frontier  3. The Caucasus  4. Deep into Asia  5. The World of the Nile  6. Roman North Africa  7. Asia Minor and Cyprus  8. The Balkan Peninsula  9. Italy and Environs  10. The Western Provinces and Beyond

The order is interesting as you get taken ‘deep into Asia’ to look at Christianity in China and India, before getting to the more familiar territory of Christian expansion in Asia Minor, Greece, Italy and Europe.

No doubt it would work well as a text which supplements the more traditional approaches to church history (focused on literary texts, Greek and Latin sources, church controversies, theological development, etc.) with information drawn from realia - especially inscriptions and archaeological discoveries. But the book also works quite well as an introduction to the people and churches relevant to the production of the versions of the Bible in the languages of the missions of the churches. This is not the focus, but it is possible to get a good feel for Coptic Christianity and Gothic Christianity and so on. A knowledge of church history is pretty fundamental for textual criticism, so this book is a great help on the general background and historical and ecclesiastical contexts for the versions.

Occasionally the focus of interest in inscriptions and archaeology is expressed at the expense of literary texts which are routinely distrusted (including even NT texts such as Acts and others, although individual authors have taken different views on some critical questions - from a purely NT perspective Peter Lampe’s treatment of Rome in chapter 9 was a highlight).

It is a bit unfortunate that there is no concluding reflection. Obviously the diversity of early Christianity, and the explanation of that diversity in terms of different local contexts, comes through the whole book. Among the other features that come through to me was the importance of martyrdom in the whole early growth of the church, and in the specific local remembering of faithful martyrs in the construction of churches. A second interesting feature is the role of women as agents of mission, especially into the social elite at various places. A third feature is the importance of monastic centres for education and resourcing and training leaders (and although not discussed, we might add, praying).

The book is well documented, with an extensive bibliography with many leads to track down. Surely no reader will not be informed by the wide-ranging contents of the book. Among my particular notes (things to add to lectures, things that I had forgotten, or never knew; things to check out further etc.) are the following (I include these to prove that I was paying attention and as illustrative of the sorts of things you might learn in this book):

  • One of the earliest Christian inscriptions is on the tomb of Avircius (“Abercius”) from around AD 200 which speaks of ‘having Paul in the carriage’ (p. 5) [more to read on this, as the editor thinks of Avircius as ‘an avid reader of the Gospels and the letters of St. Paul’ p. 4]
  • Melito of Sardis (late 2nd cent) came as a pilgrim to Judea and Galilee ‘to ascertain the biblical canon’ (p. 19)
  • According to Eusebius, the fifteen bishops of Jerusalem before the time of Hadrian were all circumcised (HE IV.5.1-4; cf. Horbury, 2006; p. 25)
  • According to Eusebius, Origen had a library of 30,000 books in Caesarea (HE VI, p. 28)
  • I didn’t know that quite a few recent scholars have argued that the letter of Mara bar Serapion might not be from AD70, but be a fourth century school exercise. (p. 64) Five or six items of bibliography to check out on that one for my lecture on Jesus outside the New Testament.
  • According to Eusebius, the church in Edessa claimed to have the original correspondence between Jesus and king Abgar. (p. 85)
  • The earliest Chinese Christian monument (the Xian inscription from AD 781) includes a reference to the ‘twenty-seven books of scriptures which explain the great reformation to unlock the barriers of understanding.’ (p. 163)
  • On p. 197 in relation to the Oxyrhynchus papyri it is suggested (I think by Malcolm Choat) that ‘the city is unusual only in the amount of papyri found there, and we may reasonably see its level of Christianization as roughly representative of other Egyptian cities.’ (p. 197 - need to mull that one over)
  • One of the Scillitan Martyrs (from AD 180) said that in his satchel he had ‘books and letters of a just man named Paul’ (p. 233 - good to remember)
  • According to the Acts of Barnabas, he was buried clutching his own copy of Mark’s Gospel (p. 312) 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Conference: The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril


The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of rare books, maps and manuscripts 

Seminar, British Library London, 26 June 2015 

The theft of and illicit trafficking in rare books, maps and manuscripts looted from sovereign and other libraries and similar repositories around the world is a global problem that threatens the preservation of the recorded history of mankind. Remarkably, however, there have been few conferences devoted to the examination of the many issues that pertain to this problem.

Consequently, the Art Law Commission of the UIA has teamed up with the British Library and the Institute of Art and Law in London to invite those who deal with rare books and other priceless written materials, including representatives of dealers, collectors, auction houses, national collections, law enforcement officials, security experts, attorneys and others, to present a full-day comprehensive seminar devoted to a thorough review of the many aspects of this global epidemic.

Upon the conclusion of the seminar, the various participants and attendees will be encouraged to continue the discussion throughout the following year to address the problems raised and begin to develop a comprehensive set of principles that we hope will lead to the development of solutions to prevent widespread theft and trafficking and restore stolen items to their rightful owners for the benefit of everyone. The plan would be to then hold a follow up seminar in New York in 2016 to assess progress in this area and plan future actions.

Organised by the UIA, the British Library and the Institute of Art and Law


Registration, coffee

Welcome Address

Kristen Jensen, Head of Collections and Curation, British Library
Introductory Key-Note: Manuscripts as Chattels and Chattels as Manuscripts: How archives, books and manuscripts relate to cultural material at large
Professor Norman Palmer QC (Hon) CBE FSA, Barrister, Expert Adviser to the Spoliation Advisory Panel, Chair of the Treasure Valuation Committee 2001-2011
Panel I – The Extent of the Problem: Notorious Examples of Rare Book Theft

– Ivan Boserup, Former Head of Manuscripts and Rare Books, The Royal Library, Copenhagen
– Margaret Lane Ford, International Head of Books and Manuscripts, Christie’s, New York
– Professor Keun-Gwan Lee, Professor of Law, Seoul National University
Moderator:  Giuseppe Calabi, CBM&Partners, Milano
10.40-11.00 Coffee break
Panel II – The Legal Framework for Retrieving Stolen Books: An International Case Study

– Sharon Cohen Levin, partner at WilmerHale and former Chief, Money Laundering & Asset Forfeiture Unit, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York
– Jerker Ryden, Senior Legal Advisor, National Library of Sweden
– Jutta Freifrau von Falkenhausen, Lawyer, Berlin
Moderator:  Howard N Spiegler, Partner and Co-Chair, Art Law Group, Herrick, Feinstein LLP
Key-Note II –  The Protection of Ancient Books and Manuscripts: the Turkish Experience

Professor Sibel Özel, Head of Private International Law, Marmara Üniversitesi, Istabul
12.30-13.30 Lunch break
Panel III – The Perspective of the Rare Book Trade

– Richard Aronowitz-Mercer, Head of Restitution Europe at Sotheby's, London
– Norbert Donhofer, President of International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)
– Stephen Loewentheil, Founder and President of 19th Century Rare Book and Photograph Shop, Baltimore
Moderator: Monica Dugot, International Director of Restitution, Christie’s
Panel IV

Preventing the Theft and Trafficking of Rare Books

– Greger Bergvall, Manuscripts, Maps and Pictures Division, National Library of Sweden
– Denis Bruckmann, Director of Collections, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
– Christian Recht, Senior Legal Advisor, Österreichisch Nationalbibliothek, Wien
Moderator:  Kristian Jensen, Head of Collections and Curation, British Library
15.30-16.00 Coffee break
Concluding Discussion: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future

– Norbert Donhofer, President of ILAB
– Kristian Jensen, Head of Collections and Curation, British Library
– Sharon Cohen Levin, partner at WilmerHale and former Chief, Money Laundering & Asset Forfeiture Unit, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York
– Hetty Gleave, Partner, Hunters Solicitors, London
 Moderator:  Gerd-Jan van den Bergh, Bergh Stoop & Sanders, Amsterdam
End of Conference – Wine reception

More info
The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of rare books, maps and manuscripts - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/events/the-written-heritage-of-mankind-in-peril#sthash.sltg4eQg.EEPn6E0l.dpuf
The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril: Theft, Retrieval, Sale and Restitution of rare books, maps and manuscripts - See more at: http://www.bl.uk/events/the-written-heritage-of-mankind-in-peril#sthash.sltg4eQg.EEPn6E0l.dpuf

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Index of Variants Discussed in Relation to the CBGM

Local stemma for 2 Peter 3.10 in the CBGM
Local stemma for 2 Peter 3.10/48-50
Following a question on Facebook regarding whether the CBGM had influenced the conjecture at 2 Peter 3.10 (οὐχ εὑρεθήσεται), I thought it would be good to have an index of all the places where there has been discussion of the CBGM in relation to particular variants. At the moment, this is as close as we can get to having any kind of textual commentary on the Catholic Epistles. Reading through the examples from the editors really is the best way to get a sense for how the CBGM is influencing their textual decisions. So having them all in one list is handy.

I’ve split the list into discussions (a) published by those working on the Nestle/ECM text and (b) those who aren’t. The format here is pretty straightforward. After each verse reference I give the source number followed by the page number. Some of these are more illustrations than discussions, so I’ve tried to mark with an asterisk (*) those places where the source is most explicit about how the CBGM has influenced a particular decision. Most of them are, however, still very brief. Let me know if I missed any.

Update (3/2016)

the best single source for discussions is now Klaus Wachtel’s article on Acts published in the TC journal (2015). It’s #11 under Discussions by the Editors.

Update 2/2019

This list can also be found at the end of Peter J. Gurry, “How Your Greek NT Is Changing: A Simple Introduction to the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM),” JETS 59, no. 4 (2016): 675–689.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Do you know what is missing in Legg’s volumes on Matthew and Mark?

Random fact about S.C.E. Legg’s two volumes with variants on Mark and Matthew:
they have no page numbers!

S.C.E Legg, Euangelium secundum Marcum, Nouum Testamentum Graece secundum Textum Westcotto-Hortianum. Oxonii: e typographeo Clarendoniano, 1935.
———. Euangelium secundum Matthaeum, Nouum Testamentum Graece secundum textum Westcotto-Hortianum. Oxonii: e typographeo Clarendoniano, 1940.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

CSNTM Expedition in the Greek Press

As noted earlier on the blog, CSNTM is currently on a major expedition in Greece digitizing the entire Greek NT collection of the National Library—over 300 manuscripts. It’s a huge undertaking and the results should be well worth it. If you read modern Greek (or know how to use Google translate), there are two articles in the Greek press on the expedition. There are some nice pictures included. Godspeed to the team, especially in what look like very tight working conditions!


In further confirmation of Head’s Rule, Dan reports on his blog of discovering an uncatalogued manuscript of the apostolos in the binding of a 12th century lectionary.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Tov, Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research

A completely revised and expanded third edition of Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research will be published by Eisenbrauns this summer.

Publisher’s description
This handbook provides a practical guide for the student and scholar alike who wishes to use the Septuagint (LXX) in the text-critical analysis of the Hebrew Bible. It does not serve as another theoretical introduction to the LXX, but it provides all the practical background information needed for the integration of the LXX in biblical studies. The LXX, together with the Masoretic Text and several Qumran scrolls, remains the most significant source of information for the study of ancient Scripture, but it is written in Greek, and many technical details need to be taken into consideration when using this tool. Therefore, a practical handbook such as this is needed for the integration of the Greek translation in the study of the Hebrew Bible.
The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research is based on much background information, intuition and experience, clear thinking, and a solid description of the procedures followed. The author presents his handbook after half a century of study of the Septuagint, four decades of specialized teaching experience, and involvement in several research projects focusing on the relation between the Hebrew and Greek Bibles.
The first two editions of this handbook, published by Simor of Jerusalem (Jerusalem Biblical Studies 3 [1981] and 8 [1997]), received much praise but have been out of print for a considerable period. This third edition presents a completely revised version of the previous editions based on the many developments that have taken place in the analysis of the Septuagint, the Hebrew Bible, and the Qumran Scrolls. Much new information has also been added.
Eisenbrauns has been involved in the marketing of the previous two editions and is proud to offer now its own completely new edition. A must for students of the Hebrew Bible, textual criticism, the Septuagint and the other ancient translations, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Jewish Hellenism.
Product Details
Publisher: Eisenbrauns
Publication info: Forthcoming, summer 2015
Bibliographic info: ca. xxvi + 260 pp.
Language(s): English
Cover: Paper
ISBN: 1-57506-328-X
ISBN13: 978-1-57506-328-7
Price: $42.75

Link to order page (Eisenbrauns)

Jim Spinti tells me that there is currently a special offer:

Purchase the Tov book and Barthélemy’s Studies in the Text of the Old Testament together and Eisenbrauns will give you the Barthélemy book for 30% off. Just enter TOVETC in the “Purchase Order” field of your order when you check out.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Commenting Tips

Just a quick note for our faithful blog commenters. Blogger allows for some basic HTML formatting which you may find useful. You can bold, italicize, and link as follows:
  1. If you want to italicize something, just enclose it in <em> or <i> tags like so: I <em>love</em> the ETC blog = I love the ETC blog. Notice that with HTML, the closing tag is always marked by a forward slash (/). This tells the browser where to stop italicizing.
  2. You can do the same with bold using either <b> or <strong> like this: I <b>hate</b> using von Soden’s apparatus = I hate using von Soden’s apparatus.
  3. Links are slightly more complicated but will make you feel young and hip. To use links, just enclose your text in an <a> tag and put your URL in the href attribute like so: <a href="http://tinyurl.com/pweo5bv">don’t end up like Peter Head</a> = don’t end up like Peter Head.
Like all good things, use in moderation.

P.S. On the subject of the blog, I’ve removed the Google Friend Connect box from the sidebar because it was super slow. (For all two of you that still use it, it is accessible from the green “g” in the sidebar.) I’ve also fixed up the mobile version of the site so you can waste more time read the blog on the go. As always, let me know if you encounter problems.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

New NT Papyrus Manuscripts

One of the great things about working in the field of NT manuscripts and textual criticism over the last decades has been the steady flow of new material. Just to show two strands of that flow:
  • NA26 (published in 1979) listed NT papyri up to P88; and majuscules up to 0276. 
  • NA27 (published in 1993) listed NT papyri up to P98; and majuscules up to 0301.
  • NA28 (published in 2012) listed NT papyri up to P127; and majuscules up to 0303.
 Recently new manuscripts of both types have been added to the online list in the VMR:

P128: VI/VII  (5 frags; single col.): John 9.3-4; 12.12-13, 16-18. New York; MMA Inv. 14.1.527
P128 is the Johannine portion of P44, now categorised as a separate papyrus, following (I presume) the conclusion in the IGNTP John Papyri volume that the two fragments ‘are without doubt by different hands’. (photos of the small John fragments are in that book as well as at the VMR). Interesting that the Liste states that they are all from a single page, this would suggest a possible liturgical text (as the original editors). The John transcript folk have provided a transcript (the clue is in the name) which places the different fragments over three separate pages (and hence reflecting a continuous text).

P129: III (4 frags; single column): 1 Cor 7.36-39; 8.10-9.3; 9.14-17; 9.27-10.6

P130: III/IV (1 frag; single col.): Heb 9.9-12, 19-23

P131: III (1 frag.; single col.): Rom 9.18-21, 22- 10.3

These three are not attributed to any particular location, but clearly are the first fruits of the Green Collection papyri. So congratulations are due to the Green Collection for that. Clearly they are making progress on the publication of the first volume of their Greek papyri (mentioned previously on this blog). No photos are available as yet (although somewhere on this blog there is a fuzzy photo of the Romans papyrus). It is, of course, interesting to note that the dates now assigned to these papyri are a century later than were first pronounced (as this blog has suggested on many occasions). On other details we await the forthcoming publications.

Majuscules up to 0323 are also listed. Many of these are extremely interesting, but I don’t have time right now to work through them all.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

New (and Old) INTF Website

The website for the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (INTF) is being updated. The new URL is uni-muenster.de/EvTheol/intf and not all the old content is available there yet. But they’ve just put up a link to the old website which is available at egora.uni-muenster.de/intf.

Moving websites can be tricky. So it’s worth keeping an eye out to make sure everything gets moved safely.


The NTVMR website has also just been updated with a new design and updated backend. Troy Griffitts explains, “You should notice many new things on the NTVMR starting this week. We’ve upgraded to a newer version of our portal framework, and many new features are available for you to use.” If you look at Troy’s own page you’ll notice some interesting new items like Matthew Transcriptions, Coptic Collations, and Apparatus Builder etc. Not all of these seem to be working at the moment, but lots to look forward to.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Paolo Trovato’s New Book on Lachmann’s Method

A new book came out last October that I think deserves the attention of NT text critics, especially those working on all things stemmatic. It’s written by Paolo Trovato, a prolific Italian philologist (the same Trovato putting on the summer school).

The book is Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Lachmann’s Method: A Non-Standard Handbook of Genealogical Textual Criticism in the Age of Post-Structuralism, Cladistics, and Copy-Text (Padova: libreriauniversitaria.it , 2014).

This is now, in my opinion, by far the best book on Lachmannian stemmatics and should supercede Paul Maas as the first place to turn to understand this classic method of textual criticism. Trovato has done English readers a special service by making a point to include translated quotations from Italian textual critics. This is valuable material that is otherwise inaccessible to students who don’t read Italian. (That said, the French is generally untranslated.) This alone made it worth the price for me. Although focused on classical and medieval works (only Paul Wegner’s Student’s Guide and Epp’s article on classification get a mention for Biblical textual criticism), there is much here by way of principle to benefit any textual critic. Written with verve but also with a thorough knowledge of the subject, it should serve beginning students and seasoned scholars admirably.

You can read the first 30 pages here.

Here is a taste of what caught my attention as I read it: