Monday, July 26, 2021

Romans 8.34 A question of accentuation?


In the NA28 text Romans 8.34 begins with  τίς ὁ κατακρινῶν; 

This is a little bit exciting not only from an exegetical viewpoint; but also because future participles don't come along every day (there are around a dozen in the Greek NT).

If we look in the apparatus it would appear that not a single manuscript can be cited in support of this accentuation (of the future participle κατακρινῶν). The early manuscripts lack accentuation (generally): P46 01 A B* C D* F G 0289 [good luck if you want to check the vid on the basis of the images in NTVMR]; and the only other option given in the apparatus is  τίς ὁ κατακρίνων; (rendering this as a present participle). It is presumably on the basis of the predominance of the manuscripts that the THEGNT opts for this reading (cf. also Tisch. 1869/72). Here is a picture from Vaticanus


The exegetical discussions seem to hinge on whether Paul's series of questions are all future.

8.33: τίς ἐγκαλέσει κατὰ ἐκλεκτῶν θεοῦ; ...

8.34: τίς ὁ κατακρινῶν; ...

8.35:  τίς ἡμᾶς χωρίσει ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χριστοῦ; ...

    So, very briefly, Cranfield: 'the future is required by the parallel ἐγκαλέσει'. 


Or whether you think the immediately preceding present participle is the most significant: 

8.33b-34a: θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν· τίς ὁ κατακρίνων; 

    So Sanday & Headlam: 'δικαιῶν suggests the present'. I'm tempted to think that the verse numbering has distracted us from the close relationship here.

Does anybody have some wisdom on this? Should I think of the NA28 reading as essentially a conjectural reading? Should I think, on the basis that there is no essential morphological distinction between the two forms, that it doesn't really matter.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Melchior Sessa’s 1538 Greek New Testament online


It was once extremely rare; in 1941, Hatch knew of only 7 copies in the world.

I found one online yesterday at Google Books. Maybe this is old news to you, but it's new to me, and I was excited to find it.

According to Grantley McDonald, “The Basel printer Johannes Bebelius produced three editions (1524, 1531, 1535), based largely on Erasmus’ third edition … Bebelius’ third edition formed the basis of Johannes Valderus’ edition (Basel, 1536), which in turn served as parent for that of Melchior Sessa (Venice, 1538).” (Biblical Criticism in Early Modern Europe, pp. 56–57)

It’s also fun that this edition of the Greek NT has a cat on the title page. That should make some people happy.


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Journal Issue on Biblical Authority and Textual Criticism


The latest issue of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology is devoted to textual criticism and bibliology. The main essays are published versions of the Text & Canon Institute’s inaugural conference from 2020 with some intro essays by Steve Wellum, John Meade, and myself. We’re glad to see this material reach a new audience and thankful to SBJT for hosting it. Don’t mind the 2020 date; it’s a COVID thing. It’s all open access, by the way. 

Editorial: Defending Biblical Authority on the Textual Front

Discipleship and the History of the Bible

Some Missteps in Narrating the Bible’s History

From a Smoking Canon to Burning Hearts: The Making of the Hebrew Bible

Chaos Theory and the Text of the Old Testament

Where Inspiration is Found: Putting the New Testament Autographs in Context

Listening to the Dead Sea Scrolls

What Do James, Peter, John, and Jude Have in Common? Arguing for the Canonical Collection of the Catholic Epistles

Textual Division Markers in Codex Vaticanus


I enjoyed teaching some seminars for the Logos online program this year. In our seminars we looked at Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2 in a variety of manuscripts. We had a very close look at this passage (the end of Hebrews 2 and the start of Hebrews 3) in Codex Vaticanus to try and figure out the temporal relationships between the seven different actions involved in the marking of this textual division. 

Friday, July 02, 2021

Free Edition of 048


I recently found out that Dale Heath’s 1965 Michigan State University Ph.D. dissertation (“A transcription and description of Manuscript Vatican Greek 2061 [Gregory 048].”) is free online, here.

048 is a 5th-century palimpsest that contains text from Acts and the Epistles. When I’ve needed to work with 048, I’ve found Heath’s dissertation helpful. There is a physical copy at Tyndale House, which I used a good bit. That copy says “Taylor University” on it though. It turns out that Heath was a professor at Taylor, but his Ph.D. was from Michigan State. I guess Tyndale House simply had a copy made by (or for?) Taylor.

The signature is too faded for me to make out Heath’s supervisor (UPDATE: supervised by Richard E. Sullivan; thanks Hugh Houghton!), but in the preface, he wrote that it was “gratefully undertaken at the suggestion and under the guidance of Dr. J. Harold Greenlee of Asbury Theological Seminary.”


Monday, June 14, 2021

Roman Writing Equipment


A. Willi, Manual of Everyday Roman Writing. Volume 2. Writing Equipment 

Here is a very useful little e-book with some nice illustrations. 



Saturday, June 12, 2021

ECM Mark and More on the Way


Here’s some happy news out of Muenster: “The ECM of Mark is currently being printed and will be available soon.” I think there is an SBL session on the Mark data. (That reminds me I need to register for SBL.) You can see the initial book listing here which gives July 26 as the release date. More from Muenster:

After the ECM of the Gospel of Mark appears in print, we’ll upload a list of textual changes and split guiding lines online. Like Acts, there will be an online textual commentary, a digital version on the NTVMR, the CBGM (with downloadable docker container), and the Patristic citations database.

We hope these resources will guide readers to better understand the data behind the editions and can provide a solid starting place for further research to take place. Now that a Docker container is available for Acts, anyone can now experiment with the CBGM, which may be the best way to learn how the method works firsthand.
Don’t miss that last sentence. The CBGM has a version you can edit yourself (albeit with some tech know-how). The “black box” is open for anyone with enough motivation to explore it.