Thursday, November 25, 2021

SBL Presentation on “Archaic be Mark” (GA 2427)



At the SBL Annual Meeting in San Diego I gave a presentation on Archaic Mark (GA 2427), "tying up some loose ends." This paper was originally slotted for another day, but since the session was turned into a virtual one it was moved to Friday, and so I know some friends (like Jeff Cate) missed it.  

However, I have now made a new recording of a longer (and therefore more relaxed) presentation of the paper which you can access on the IGNTP New Testament Textual Criticism youtube-channel here where there is a special playlist for SBL 2021. In case anyone else who presented in NTTC would like to upload a recording, you can contact Hugh Houghton who maintains the channel. Below is my conference abstract.

“‘Archaic Mark’ Revisited: Tying Up Some Loose Ends”

The Gospel manuscript known as the “Archaic Mark” (Greg.-Aland 2427) in the Goodspeed Collection of the University of Chicago (MS 972) is now known as a modern forgery and has been removed from NA28. An important breakthrough was made in 2006 by Stephen C. Carlson who identified Philipp Buttmann’s 1860-edition as the textual Vorlage, whereas the final verdict on the case including an evaluation of the physical and chemical make-up, the palaeography and iconography was published by Margaret M. Mitchell and her team in 2010. However, there are still some loose ends of the story. In this paper I will examine the codicology, palaeography, text and iconography of both Archaic Mark and a related manuscript in St Petersburg tracing them back to the same batch of parchment from which the two manuscripts were made, likely in a workshop in Athens around 1914, and likely involving the work of two prominent artists and friends. In this connection, I will also discuss the sometimes thin line between authenticity and forgery, in particular if we distinguish the text from the artifact.

Friday, November 12, 2021

2021 SBL Blog Dinner @ Hard Rock Cafe


Sunday, 21 November 7:00 pm through 9:00; Cost: $56.89 (ouch!)  

Buy tickets ahead of time through Eventbrite, seating is limited.

Inflation is tearing a hole through restaurant profit margins.  In a prior instance, we saved money at a pizza venue only to learn that their reserved room was half the size which they promised.  Apologies in advance to those will struggle to afford the cost for this higher-end two course meal, which includes drinks, a legendary onion ring tower appetizer and a high-end entrée (ribs, steak, salmon or super-duper burger).  We have two vegetarian alternatives, either a salad or veggie burger.

Please purchase tickets by Wednesday, 17 November.  Seating is limited to 35, although we can upgrade to a larger room if we have a strong early response.  Purchasing your tickets in advance ensures our room reservation and saves loads of time at the restaurant.

Everybody is welcome, not just evangelicals or textual critics.

New Book by Ed Gallagher on the Septuagint’s Place in History and Theology


I’m not sure how I missed this new book by Edmon Gallagher called Translation of the Seventy: History, Reception, and Contemporary Uses of the Septuagint. John Meade probably told me about it 10× and I wasn’t listening forgot. So let me remedy that by highlighting the book. I have only just ordered a copy so can’t opine on it but I expect it to be good given his previous work on the subject. Here’s the blurb:

Hardly any text shaped early Christian theology more crucially than the Septuagint. But what meaning does that have for today? Many Christians have argued that God provided the Septuagint as the church's Old Testament. But what about all the differences between the Septuagint and the Hebrew Bible? And what about the extra books of the Septuagint, the so-called Apocrypha or deuterocanonical literature? Written with students in mind, Translation of the Seventy explores each of these issues, with a particular focus on the role of the Septuagint in early Christianity. This fresh analysis of the New Testament’s use of the Septuagint and the complex reception of this translation in the first four centuries of Christian history will lead scholars, students, and general readers to a renewed appreciation for this first biblical translation. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

New Website on Bible History


Over at the Text & Canon Institute, we’ve been working for most of 2021 on a new website to help people understand how we got the Bible. I’m happy to say that this week it went live. It’s aimed primarily at laypeople, students, and pastors and we designed it very intentionally with these groups in mind. To help them find what fits their particular needs and interests, all the content can be easily filtered by category, reading level, and author. The topics cover everything from text to canon to translation and some things in between. At launch, we have 15 articles with hopes of publishing about two a month. If you want to get those when they’re published, be sure to subscribe.

One question I’ve had this week is how the new site compares to this great blog. Personally, I plan to keep writing for both and see them as different venues. At ETC I can get right down in the weeds, be less polished, and can assume a lot more knowledge on the part of the reader. The TCI website, on the other hand, is a place to help the uninitiated understand why TC (among others things) matters and answer their questions without assuming much prior knowledge (for example).

Let me highlight one article in particular for this audience. Maurice Robinson presented on the Spirit’s role in TC a few years back at ETS and we have published a revised version of it here. In it, he argues that a discussion of God’s activity is absent from most modern discussions about TC even though it used to be fairly common. He wants to bring it back into the discussion and argues that we should avoid the extreme of abandoning scientific textual criticism on the one hand and excluding God’s role altogether on the other hand. 

Since we don’t have a comments feature on the new site, maybe we could open a discussion of MAR’s article here.

P.S. I hope you find my favorite page on the new site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

ETC blog dinner at SBL?


So, here’s the deal on the ETC blog dinner. I’ve been up to my ears in work and have not been able to plan anything for the blog dinner. My cobloggers who would otherwise be able to do it are not coming this year. 

Before I put any effort into organizing something, can I get a sense in the comments of how many readers will be at SBL and would like to come to a dinner? I’m thinking it would need to be Sunday or Monday night. Monday is our usual. So, tell me in the comments if (a) you would come, (b) if you prefer Sunday or Monday night, and (c) if you love or hate Hard Rock Cafe. 

I can’t promise I can do it, but if there’s enough interest I will be more willing to try :)

Monday, November 08, 2021

ETC Blog Lunch at ETS


ETS and SBL are nearly upon us. Normally we have a dinner at SBL (I am not in charge of that, and I am waiting to hear more about if/when we can do that this year), and the past few times ETS has met, Peter Gurry has organized an ETC lunch at ETS.

Unfortunately for us all, my co-conspirator won't be at ETS this year, so y'all are left with me. I am really, really bad at picking things like restaurants for this. I would LOVE it if one of our readers would step in and help make it happen. I'll take the first step and propose a time and date.

For anybody who is at ETS and is interested in textual criticism, let's have lunch together on Wednesday, 17 November at 12:45. Let's meet outside the bookstore (because let's be honest, that's the one place that all of us are going to know how to find), and then hopefully someone who knows the area better than me and knows what places are open/what restrictions there are can suggest a good place for us to eat. Feel free to research beforehand and come with ideas.

I'll be there. Who will join me?