Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Three PhD positions on 1 Cor. at KU Leuven


Good news out of Belgium: KU Leuven, Belgium, offers 3 PhD positions (4 years) for suitably qualified candidates to form part of the research team of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) funded Odysseus project “1COR – Text, Transmission and Translation of 1 Corinthians in the First Millennium”.

The project’s main goal is to produce full scholarly editions and textual analyses of 1 Corinthians with a multilingual perspective.

The doctoral studies may focus on citations of 1 Corinthians in Early Christian writers, the text in liturgical manuscripts, the textual developments in the Latin tradition or other versional evidence.

Further information and application details can be obtained through the following link:

The deadline for applications is 7th June 2022.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Prof. Henk Jan de Jonge (1943–2022)


I’ve heard now from several of you about the passing of Prof. Henk Jan de Jonge. His name may be most familiar to our readers for his work on Erasmus and the Comma Johanneum, work I have referenced even in the last year. Here is the in memoriam from his colleague in Leiden. If any have personal memories, please do share in the comments. 

Of Leiden schools

Henk Jan de Jonge was born in Leiden in 1943. He studied classics in Leiden in the 1960s and combined this, his first love, with the study of the New Testament, early Christian literature and patristics. His first job brought him to the Leiden Faculty of Theology, where he assisted in the monumental project of a critical edition of the Greek text of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, under the supervision of the Leiden professor of New Testament Marinus de Jonge, with whom he shared much more than the coincidence of their family names. The two professors De Jonge and their students constituted a “Leiden school” of historical-critical research of early Christian literature that aimed at historical precision and reliability, often in vigorous debate with a historically grown academic consensus that did not meet their standards of scholarship, and with more modern hermeneutic approaches.

Research themes

Henk Jan de Jonge obtained his PhD in Leiden in 1983 with a dissertation on the long and bitter debate between Erasmus and the Spanish humanist Diego López de Zúñiga (Stunica) over the text of the New Testament. In this, a second line of his impressive academic production became evident: the study of the reception, textual history and exegesis of the New Testament in early modern Europe. He combined these two lines of research – the historical-critical study of earliest Christianity and the history of Biblical exegesis in early modern times – at the highest academic level until his premature death. This led to many authoritative publications and editions in both areas and a large international scholarly network.

His stern interpretation of his field of research and teaching and its relevance implied that Henk Jan attempted to contribute to the study of the pivotal themes of earliest Christianity: the death, resurrection, and commemoration of Jesus. The centrality of these themes and his unyielding defense of historical-critical scholarship often brought him in conflict with others and gave rise to public debates, live and in writing, to which he successfully brought his sharp pen and equally sharp tongue.

Career in Leiden

After an early start as lecturer in New Testament studies in the University of Amsterdam, Henk Jan returned to the Leiden Faculty of Theology in 1985. In 1987, he was appointed to a chair by special appointment on the History of Biblical Exegesis in early modern times, and in 1991 he succeeded Marinus de Jonge to the Leiden Chair of New Testament and early Christian literature. He acted as dean of the Leiden Faculty of Theology twice and left a distinctive mark on academic theology in the Netherlands during his long service to his chair. Apart from his academic publications, he impacted the field in various ways: in first instance through his teaching and supervision of doctoral candidates. He was known as a demanding teacher and supervisor. In addition, he frequently engaged in public debates on central themes in early Christianity and their current relevance for scholarship, church, and society. He was strongly committed to the Église Wallonne in Leiden, and to the history of francophone

Protestantism in the Netherlands

Henk Jan was deeply involved on all possible levels in the life and the history of Leiden University. This involvement ranged from historical work on Scaliger to the arduous task of drafting the Latin diplomas for new study programmes and for honorary doctorates. The strong affection he felt for Leiden university was mutual: he acted as dies orator and had the distinctive privilege of placing the cappa on Queen Beatrix’ shoulders on the occasion of her Leiden honorary doctorate in 2005. He acted as pro-rector during PhD defences with great regularity and with a legendary sense of decorum.

Travels with Homer

It is never easy to retrieve the person behind the academic persona, and as a scholar, Henk Jan de Jonge was in many ways larger than life: at times imperious and always critical, committed, and precise. He was also a family man, spending his summers on a Greek island of choice in the company of his family and a Teubner edition of Homer. He was a remarkable and witty speaker and raconteur and someone who was capable, sometimes, of self-mockery. His colleagues, doctoral candidates and students all have a large stock of anecdotes about Henk Jan, but also an indelible memory of him, and we will all miss him very much. That is, of course, even more strongly the case for those who mattered most to him: his wife, Marjan, his sons, Hans, Casper and Lodewijk, and their families.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Clare Rothschild on the Muratorian Canon


 Congratulations to the author!

 See also our previous blogpost "Is the Muratorian Fragment a Late Antique Fake?"

Friday, April 15, 2022

Good Friday Hymn


I enjoyed this hymn in church this morning. I'm not so sure my daughter was interested in my discussion of the third verse. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

CSNTM Conference near Dallas, TX

There’s still time to register for the CSNTM Text & Manuscript Conference. The gathering will take place May 19th–20th near Dallas, Texas. The theme is Pen, Print, and Pixels and features plenary speakers Prof. H.A.G. Houghton, Dr. Kathleen Maxwell, Prof. Holger Strutwolf, Dr. Dirk Jongkind, and Dr. Jan Krans.

For more information and registration visit

Donation of a Manuscript Leaf (L1663) to the Goodspeed Collection


Two years ago or so I discovered a new leaf from a lectionary in Uppsala. This was the seventeenth Greek New Testament manuscript in Sweden and I started to research it, which eventually led to the publication of the open-access article "A New Leaf of Constantine Theologites the Reader’s Lectionary in Uppsala University Library (Fragm. Ms. Graec. 1 = Greg.-Aland L1663)." I blogged about this manuscript in December last year and provided a link to my newly published article (blogpost here).

At the time of writing and blogging, this lectionary was divided between at least four collections in three countries; besides the leaf in Uppsala,  the other three were: McGill University (Montreal), Ms. Greek 11 (one leaf); University of Chicago, Joseph Regenstein Library Ms. 879 [formerly Goodspeed Ms. Grk. 34] (110 leaves); Edgar M. Krentz (s. n.) in Chicago (one leaf, which is in the image here). 

On 18 March, 2014, Brice C. Jones announced in a blogpost his discovery of the missing leaf in the Rare Books and Special Collections of McGill University in Montreal and managed to connect it to the two other parts in Chicago and (then) St Louis (where E. Krentz lived at the time). Jones had found out in the library files that it had come to McGill library in the 1930s and that it was purchased from the Swede Erik von Scherling (1907–1956) who run a bookshop in Leiden and traded in manusripts and other ancient artifacts over a period of almost 30 years. Interestingly, Edgar Krentz, the only private owner of another leaf, noted Jones’s blogpost and commented, “I got my leaf in 1961 from the Internationale Antiquaria[a]t in Amsterdam, Menno Herzberger the owner."

In November last year, the sad news reached me that Edgar M. Krentz had passed away (obituary here). Before that, Krentz had been made aware by Margaret Mitchell of my research and the fact that the larger codex of which he owned a leaf (image above) was located in the same town, in the university library, and he expressed a wish to donate it. However, he passed away shortly thereafter. I offered my condolences to his son Peter Krentz, W. R. Grey Professor of Classics and History at Davidson College, and told him about my research, and both he and representatives of Chicago University Library have now notified me that the donation has been realized a few days ago. Krentz was able to see the bound codex, and reports that it looks like his father's leaf had been extracted from the bound volume (the stitching matched up), and I believe that this will be true also of the McGill and Uppsala leaves.

In my article, I treat the problematic practice of biblioclasty, i.e., when manuscripts are torn apart and loose leaves are sold in order to increase profit. This donation is a marvellous and very unusual example of the opposite practice – to reunite what once belonged to one and the same codex. Perhaps other private owners of loose leaves can follow the same example and donate leaves to public institutions that have the facilities to curate and preserve ancient manuscripts and make them available for research and display.