Monday, July 06, 2015

New Book on Codex Sinaiticus

Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript 
The volume arising from the major conference on Codex Sinaiticus in the summer of 2009 (see blogs here for the programme and here and here for “highlights”), is advertised in the most recent British Library catalogue for publication in June 2015, as follows:

There is an interesting mix of papers and contributions on both LXX and NT (including two papers on Hermas), with four papers on the modern history of the various portions, including archival work in Sinai and in the British Library and a first-hand report on the New Finds, and five papers on various aspects of the Codex Sinaiticus Project: conservation, photography, transcription etc.

Up-date: My copy arrived today, so the book is now available. Here is a table of contents:

Section 1: Historical Setting 1
1 Codex Sinaiticus in Its Fourth Century Setting
Harry Gamble

Section 2: The Septuagint
2 The Septuagint in Codex Sinaiticus Compared with Other Sources
Emanuel Tov
3 Reconstructing Quire 17 Folio 1: Joshua 12:214:4
Rachel Kevern
4 Codex Sinaiticus and the Book of Psalms
Albert Pietersma

Section 3: Early Christian Writings
5 Codex Sinaiticus: Its Entrance into the Mid-Nineteenth Century Text-Critical Environment and Its Impact on the New Testament Text
Eldon Jay Epp
6 Codex Sinaiticus and the Formation of the Christian Bible
David Trobisch
7 The Corrected New Testament Text of Codex Sinaiticus
Klaus Wachtel
8 Codex Sinaiticus: An Early Christian Commentary on the Apocalypse?
Juan Hernández Jr
9 Some Observations on Various Features of Scribe D in the New Testament of Codex Sinaiticus
Peter M. Head
10 The Presence of a Fourth Scribe?
Amy Myshrall
11 The Appearance of Hermas’s Text in Codex Sinaiticus
Dan Batovici
12 The Shepherd of Hermas and Its Inclusion in Codex Sinaiticus: Almost Scripture
Archbishop Damianos of Sinai
Translated by George S. M. Foskolos

Section 4: Modern Histories of Codex Sinaiticus
13 One Story – Different Perspectives: The Discovery of Codex Sinaiticus
Christfried Böttrich
14 The Recent History of Codex Sinaiticus: Insights from the Sinai Archives
Nicholas Fyssas
15 The British Museum Purchase of the Codex Sinaiticus
William Frame
16 The Recovery of the New Finds at Sinai: A First-hand Report
Panayotis G. Nikolopoulos
Translation from the Greek original by George S. M. Foskolos

Section 5: Codex Sinaiticus Today
17 A Physical Perspective of Codex Sinaiticus: An overview from British Library Folios
Gavin Moorhead, Sara Mazzarino,
Flavio Marzo, Barry Knight
18 The Conservation and Photography of the Codex Sinaiticus at Saint Catherine’s Monastery: Not Quite Finished
Hieromonk Justin of Sinai and Nikolas Sarris
19 The Digital Sinaiticus Transcription: Process and Discovery
T. A. E. Brown
20 The Making of the Codex Sinaiticus Electronic Book
Peter Robinson
21 The Transcription and Reconstruction of Codex Sinaiticus
David Parker
22 Codex Sinaiticus and its Importance for Contemporary Christianity
Steve Walton


Yale Library Website on Medieval Bookbinding

No comments:
Yale University Library has a helpful website called the Traveling Scriptorium that’s meant to serve as a teaching aid for the study of the medieval and early modern book. It’s run by by the library’s conservators and curators and, although updates appear infrequent, what’s online is really helpful and well presented. I expect the material would work great in a classroom and their photos would look great in a presentation. Here are the PDFs that are online:

Here are samples from the Medieval Manuscripts PDF:

HT: @roger_pearse

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

1 comment:
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.