Friday, November 30, 2007
Mark Session One
This one has the details about proposed future editions on NA which Tommy referred to here.
Have we covered all the SBL sessions yet? Or are there more to be done?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
a) Dean B. Deppe (of Calvin Theological Seminary) on Markan Christology and the Omission of yiou theou in Mark 1:1. I was interested in this paper because it argued for the inclusion of 'Son of God' into the first verse of Mark and included a lot of arguments against my article (NTS 1991) which argued the opposite. I had got to know Dean when he visited Tyndale House on sabbatical and he had kindly sent me an advance copy of his paper. Broadly speaking his argument was that 'Son of God' is so fundamental a concept in Markan Christology, and 'Christ' is such a nuanced one, that to begin with 'the gospel of Jesus Christ' would be a rather misleading summary of Markan Christology. On this basis 'Son of God' practically demands to be original, and the omission can be explained on accidental grounds. Dean's argument was both broadly based and detailed on the textual arguments about 1.1. I wouldn't say that I was persuaded to jettison my early argument, but I thought it was a good discussion.
One specific point he raised concerned the nature of the A corrections to Sinaiticus and whether their inhouse nature supported the idea that they were corrections against the exemplar, which would suggest that the absence of 'Son of God' form Sinaiticus was merely the result of a scribal slip. I pointed out that Milne and Skeat suggest there may be grounds for thinking that the A corrector had access to a different textual tradition (or even one with marginal variants noted). Some more research would be good on this question. Perhaps the Sinaiticus project will address this point.
b) The second paper was by Clinton Wahlen (of Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies and well known to me from his time in Cambridge doing his PhD) on The Freer Logion and Early Eschatological Reflection. This was a detailed discussion of the Freer Logion and an attempt to understand it as a piece of eschatological reflection. There was a useful discussion here too, and some suggestions made about the details of his paper.
c) The third paper was by Marie Noonan Sabin (of Bristol, ME) on A New Ending for Mark? This was not really about a new ending, more of a plea for taking the existing ending at 16.8 in a positive sense: the women were amazed by divine revelation and in awe. She made an impassioned presentation, but I snuck out before the questions so I'm not sure how the group in general received this one.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Klaus Wachtel from the INTF in Münster announced some very good news in the session. Looking back, he stated that it took the INTF 10 years merely to edit the Catholic Letters. Now, however, given the co-operation with IGNTP and funding for 23 years (sic) by a grant from Academy of Sciences in Germany, the plan is to get the whole work done in these 23 years!
Naturally, the work will proceed through several stages:
Stage 1: INTF+IGNTP, Gospel of John (to 2013);
Stage 2: INTF+IGNTP, Pauline (to 2026);
Unfortunately, the presentation went so fast that I did not have time to note stage 3, but it included Revelation (2031). (I know that Jan Krans took a picture of the slide so he can fill in [PMH: see now here]). During this time the INTF will also complete the ECM for the rest of the Gospels and Acts (the latter I believe is another collaborational project). Wachtel also took the opportunity to announce that there will be a colloquium in Münster after the SNTS, 2008 (which, BTW is in Lund, Sweden). The colloquium will focu on the CBGNT, and other notions such as the "initial text", Ausgangstext, etc. The editors of the ECM are very aware that the Coherence Based Genealogical Method (CBGM), that plays a vital role in the new edition needs to be explained and evaluated by other text-critics and scholars, hence the colloquium. Wachtel also mentioned a few words about the NT transcripts on-line. The number of transcriptions on-line is constantly growing, and the website will eventually include both Greek MSS, versions and patristic evidence.
Then David Parker presented "The virtual manuscript room" which will provide an environment for working with manuscripts (far wider than just the NT, it will contain MSS of any text in any language), i.e. images, digitized microfilm, transcriptons, fully searchable databases with bibliography (something like a virtual Kurzgefasste Liste), paleographical and codicological data, textual data and analyses, discussions, etc. It will be possible to go directly from the eletronic edition (like the NT transcript prototype) into the virtual manuscript room.
Anyone can participate! It is a collaborative concept (cf. Wikipedia) where areas of manuscript research will be "colonized". But some areas will need some kind of ackreditation. The initial structures of the "colony" are being created in Birmingham and Münster. The INTF has funding for two posts for two years to develop the GNT manuscript content.
Thus, primary resources will become available everywhere in the world. This will give opportunity to develop collaborative projects which will catalogue large populations of MSS, e.g. the Latin Vulgate, MSS of John Chrysostom. It will provide a common forum for full-time manuscript scholars.
Then presentations followed from a number of scholars working with various areas of the IGNTP of John. I will just list them shortly below:
Ulrich Schmid: the majuscule book and website
Jon Balserak: Vetus Latina Iohannes (=the Verbum project).
Christina M. Kreinecker (an associate of Karl-Heinz Schüssler at the University of Salzburg: Transcription of some 20 Coptic MSS containing the Gospel of John
Peter Williams: Old Syriac; Andreas Juckel: Peshitta, Harclean with retroversion
Further research on the Greek material
Alison Welsby: Family 1 in the Gospel of John
Jac Perrin: Family 13 in the Gospel of John
Chris Jordan: the lectionaries in the Gospel of John (focus on 8-11th century)
Rod Mullen: Greek Patristic Evidence
Bruce Morrill: methodological questions like comparison of the Claremont Profile Method, with the Teststellen-method.
On the Monday morning, under the general title of Individual Variants and the Broad Picture in Mark, we had four papers:
Me (Peter Head) on The Gospel of Mark in Codex Sinaiticus, which included a power-point presentation of features of the way in which Mark is presented in Codex Sinaiticus.
Nick Perrin (now of Wheaton College), “Angered” or “Moved”? Mark 1:41 in Light of Mark’s Exodus Motif and Vicki Cass Philips (of West Virginia Wesleyan College), Jesus, Anger, and Impurity: Investigating Mark 1:40-45 gave constrasting perspectives of how different readings of Mark 1.41 might fit within Mark's broader thematic concerns. Perrin argued that 'moved with compassion' was the best reading for Mark 1.41; on the basis of Mark's concern to portray Jesus as the compassionate one in line with Isaiah 49.9-11. Vicki Cass Philips offered a reading of Mark incorporating 'anger' at 1.41 (somehow I didn't receive a copy of her paper beforehand, so don't have much detail in my notes).
Then Leroy Andrew Huizenga (also of Wheaton College) gave a paper entitled “I Am”: Mark 14:62 in Light of Markan Narrative Dynamics. In this paper he argued that narrative criticism can have a role in textual criticism. He argued that 'the contrast between Jesus’ bold and direct confession before the high priest and Peter’s denial in this Markan intercalation functions best with the shorter reading'.
All of these three papers attempted to connect arguments about individual variants to bigger-picture discussions about Markan purposes and narrative dynamics. They were interesting from that perspective, but not particularly decisive.
Friday, November 23, 2007
L'ange et la sueur de sang (Lc 22,43-44) ou comment on pourrait bien encore écrire l'histoire. (Thèse de doctorat défendue en 2007 à l'Université de Lausanne) Leuven: Peeters (série BiTS), à paraître en 2008.
We await its appearance next year. It apparently argues that these verses are authentic.
Lifted from the comments to a previous post to enable other comments on this session:
The Metzger tribute may have managed to have a balance of Metzger perspectives. It featured two of his students (Holmes and Ehrman) who obviously adored him and his work.
Ehrman's stories were worthy of Comedy Central....For those who weren't there, he took a story from the Metzger "tradition"--an anecdotal story of his life which was supposed to say something of Metzger's character. Ehrman applied some form critical technique to sort out whether the story were apocryphal, or what could have been the sitz im leben Metger or sitz im leben Princeton. The punchline, actually, punchlines, were priceless. Thanks Prof. Ehrman.
The third contributor certainly gave an alternative perspective of Metzger. Princeton Seminary OT Prof. J. Roberts gave us the impression that he respected Metzger, but didn't especially like him or adore him. Roberts expressed his beef against Metzger for allowing a three-person committee to unilaterally revise final readings of the respective NRSV committee, and such like. His contribution also gave us some personal insight into the making of the NRSV. In the end, I doubt that his presentation allowed us to appreciate Metzger much more.
The fourth contributor was Harry Scanlin who had a personal and working relationship with Metzger, through Scanlin's capacity as president (I think) of United Bible Societies. Scanlin gave some interesting insights of a personal nature, as well as some insights in the workings of the UBS GNT.
Of great regret, however, was that Gordon Fee, who was originally slated to give his part in the "Memorial Session in Honor of Bruze Metzger," was ill and unable to attend. I don't have any special insight into what Fee might have said, and we can only hope that perhaps he will give us his thoughts in a future publication. Fee already gave a short, but insightful comment to this blog shortly after Metzger's death. No doubt, however, Fee's presence would have brought us an even deeper and more nuanced appreciation of Metzger than we already have.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
- For me there was too much textual criticism this year. Four official NTTC sessions; two on editions (UBS5; IGNTP); two on textual issues in Mark; two on papyrology (which both included NT mss). With so much on we all had to pick and choose which sessions to go to, which meant some sessions lacked critical mass and some TC friends I barely even saw to talk to throughout the conference. It also meant there was not much time to go to sessions on subjects I teach.
- I was pleased that my own presentations (on Mark in Sinaiticus and P113) both went OK, with no computer problems. After last year's SBL I resolved to buy a decent laptop and learn how to do a decent powerpoint-style presentation. From this year I think I will resolve to continue with this style - with highly visual things like manuscripts it makes such good sense - although given the experience of some of presenters (two I went to had projection problems), I shall resolve in future to also have a decent back-up plan in case the technology doesn't work.
- I enjoyed meeting up with people to share meals with them. I had several organised before-hand and others organised or spontaneous at the conference. At last year's SBL I had the impression of meeting hundreds of people in a 'networking' kind of manner - many brief conversations which were generally superficial and publication oriented. So in repentance of superficiality I resolved this year to avoid all receptions and sit down for meals with individuals and small groups. On the way over I was praying about having ten substantial conversations rather than a hundred superficial ones. This may have been an over-reaction, but worked for me. So thanks to Rikk, Don, Dan, John, David, Simon, Tommy, Jan, Peter, Peter, Rick and Alanna, who shared themselves, and in some cases food, with me this time (I have the distinct impression that I have left someone out of this list so apologies in advance).
- I really appreciated some things in a new way. The militarisation of American society, the awesomeness of air-craft carriers, the attitudes to service of American waiters and waitresses, the Californian surf beaches (specifically the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Ocean Beach - where I had a great breakfast on the pier; Coronado's bike path and the Silver Strand Beach - where I had a great paddle; and Imperial Beach - where I had an all-American breakfast in a greasy-spoon cafe). Thanks to the friendly bloke in the bike-hire place on Fifth Avenue for kitting me out with a great bike for the duration of the conference (the bike and waking up at 5am meant I was able to see a lot of San Diego and the surrounding beaches before the proceedings began in the mornings). I wasn't able to get to the more northerly beaches at any time warm enough to join in the body surfing (nor did I see any really tempting monster surf).
- This year, unlike last year, I took advantage of the weak dollar against the pound the spend a portion of my book allowance on some good books. Mostly general NT, commentaries, and things useful for teaching, and a large-print NA27 for my tired eyes.
Mor Gabriel is the oldest Syriac Monastery in the world (founded in AD 397) and has a long scholarly tradition. Philoxenos (ca. 440-523), later bishop of Mabbug and originator of a revision of the Syriac New Testament (i.e. the Philoxenian version) was among its most famous students. Today Mor Gabriel accommodates a school of Syriac language and theology which preserves and passes on the venerable tradition of Syriac Christianity.
The Mor Gabriel edition of the Pshitto is good news for anyone interested in the Syriac Bible. Compared with the widely used UBS-EPF edition of the NT and Psalms, which is admittedly more handy because of its smaller size, the Pshitto of Mardin (ca. 1250 g.!) is a pleasure for the eye. It has a very clear script (vocalized Serto) and an agreeable layout.
The edition prints the text of a single manuscript, but it reports all important differences with the versions.
A few other features make it even more attractive: headings, cross references, parallel passages. Quite remarkable is the age of Jesus which is indicated at the beginning of each chapter in the Gospels, which tells a lot about the view of the publishers on the historicity of the Gospel reports.
Except for an English translation of the introduction the entire book is in Syriac. In the back some important comments by Church Fathers have been included (p. 660-724, unvocalized Serto). Moreover a one page bibliography, a glossary (p. 726-731), 5 maps and 4 photo's of other Pshitto manuscripts are provided.
The Syriac community in Turkey has a history of suffering and persecution. In 1915, at the end of the Ottoman empire, Kurds and Turks massacred a million Syrians, among them the entire community in Mor Gabriel. At present the Syriac Church is surviving or at best slowly recovering in an environment where Christians are often treated as second class citizens. With this situation in mind one paragraph in the introduction is moving:
"All this work we have undertaken is for us, the staff (İsa Gülten, Kuryakos Ergün, Yusuf Beğtas and İsa Doğdu) nothing but an expression of the sincere love we have for the Syriac language and of our love for our brothers and sisters, beloved ones, friends and relatives, who have a discerning understanding, so that they may read easily and meditate readily the life-giving message of our Lord in this dark age when souls are thirsty and lacking in spirituality. We believe that the Syriac people of the 21st century, if they are to become strong and have respect for these matters of life, they must pursue diligently the true understanding of the teaching of Christ, which is hidden in this Holy Book. They must not dive shallowly but deeply into the varied expressions of its life-giving meaning and go back to the essence and the source of their golden era, before the splendid glory of the Syriac civilisation was over."
Apparently biblical scholarship in Syriac Christianity can still go hand in hand with Christian engagement in Church and ministry.
İsa Gülten, chief editor of the Pshitto dMardin, is arch deacon of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
The New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ: Text according to the Pshitto of Mardin
Istanbul: Monastery of Mor Gabriel in Cooperation with United Bible Societies, 2007
XV + 731 p. + 5 maps and 4 photographs
Hardcover with dust jacket
Monday, November 19, 2007
SBL in San Diego III: New Testament Textual Criticism & Early Christian Manuscript Session on Miniature Codices
Thus, Kraus went on to present a number of examples of Greek miniature codices, and the kind of data included in his prelliminary list (in various level of detail): 1. Publication, ed.pr., inv. no.; 2. Material; 3. Date; 4. Provenance; 5. Dimension; 6. Bookform, extent; 7. Text; 8. Scribe/Hand; 9. Catalogue (here often the LDAB).
Malcomlm Choat then went on with a similar paper, focusing on Coptic miniature codices. One could see that there was a dominance of such codices used for sacred texts, but there were other items as well (like notebooks, writing exercises, magic rituals, etc). Choat, personally, had started to work with the following rough categories in terms of the format:
1. Large format (200+ each side, roughly square)
2. Twice as high (200+) as broad
3. "Aberrants" (much higher than broad, and using Turner's designation)
4. c. 120-160 mm and roughly square
5. Miniature (less than 100 mm both sides, arbitrary number, but actually miniature)
Ann-Marie Luijenduijk, in her paper, focused on one miniature codex in the Princeton library, apparently it was a divination book with Christian oracles. One thing that was clear was the enthusiasm with which Luijenduijk spoke about her "petit book". This enthusiasm and "wow"-feeling is probably the impression of most of us when we encounter a miniature codex for the first time in real life (not on an enlarged image). Maybe this very "wow-feeling" is part of the answer of the significance of the miniature codex.
The IGNTP session this morning was a packout. The IGNTP have decided to hold part of their meeting in public each year and then to go into closed committee meeting. I’d guess that there were 12 or 13 different editorial reports given in 90 minutes. The committee meeting was the first one since the British and American Committees reconstituted themselves into a single committee.
The session in memory of William L. Petersen was a panel session chaired by AnneMarie Luijendijk. The panel consisted of myself, Ulrich Schmid, Lucas van Rompay, and Bart Ehrman.
I began with reflections on Bill’s skill as a reviewer and moved from there to a type of book review, namely a critique of the 2002 book Thomas and Tatian by Nicholas Perrin, which argues that the Gospel of Thomas was originally written in Syriac and contains numerous Syriac catchwords.
Ulrich spoke about a manuscript (a Middle Dutch Harmony of the Gospels from Utrecht) which was lost during WWII. The time and place when it appears to have gone missing were towards the end of the war in Bonn. Ulrich had done lots of archive work, but if the manuscript does still exist it is likely to have been taken home by an Allied serviceman and might remain in the possession of the family. It would be great if there were a volunteer interested in military history to chase up in detail the questions of which troops and personnel were in Bonn at the time to see if the manuscript can yet be located.
Lucas spoke about Bill’s interests in Romanos the Melodist, Efrem, and the Diatessaron. One matter he raised was the likelihood that Efrem’s influence on Romanos was not direct.
Bart discussed Papyrus Egerton 2, comparing it with Gospel harmonies of the second century, touching on matters such as the Gospel of the Ebionites, the Dura fragment, the Diatessaron, Irenaeus, and Epiphanius.
Saturday morning I went to my first session, "Towards a Fifth Edition of the UBS GNT." In the panel was Jan Bühner (presiding), Roger Omansson, Florian Voss, Ulrich Schmid (in place of Klaus Wachtel). One of the important rationales for this session was the wish not only to lay out the plans for the fifth edition, but also to ask the gathered specialists and/or users for advice on various levels, e.g. in relation to the choice of variant units to include, and what to do with the famous and often criticized letter rating system (A-D).
Bühner first gave some history and introduction of the UBS GNT editions. Already in the mid-50s Eugene Nida had the idea to make a manual edition for Bible translators. After the INTF in Münster was founded in 1959, the work, as we know, became closely connected to the scholarly work undertaken at this institute.
Roger Omansson then continued to sketch in more detail the history and development of the various editions, from the first edition that appeared in 1966 up to the fourth edition. For that fourth edition more manuscripts were cited than ever, and 293 variant units were dropped and 284 were added, on the basis of what was of relevance for Bible translators (and which involved significance in meaning), among some other factors. One way that this significance in meaning was judged was the close examination of 15 actual translations in order to see what variant units really affected the choice of the translators (including also the observation of what textual notes appeared).
Later on Ulrich Schmid read out a paper written by Klaus Wachtel of the INTF, who had problems with his flight connection. Among other things, Wachtel described the basis for the selection of witnesses for the GNT4, for which was the Aland categories I-V where used. For the fifth edition, this has now changed altogether as a result of the work of the institute in Münster, as reflected in the TuT series, and development of newer methods (like the CBGM) which allow for a more correct application of the "codex eliminatio", and the focus on significant witnesses representing a broad spectrum of witnesses and crucial points in the transmission history. Among examples, Wachtel mentioned that 322 is a copy of 323 (and will thus be eliminated); 2464 is a late and bad representative of the Byzantine text; manuscripts 468, 424, 617. 1448 and 429 suffice to represent the Harclean group, etc.
One particular feature that was dwelt upon during the session both in the presentation and the subsequent discussion was the letter rating system. Nida had wanted this system for translators that were not necessarily scholars. This is even more true today, as Omansson pointed out, i.e. many translators have never had a course of textual criticism. So what do the translators think now? Do they need the rating system. Some colleagues say "abandon", other "retain". Many translators read the Greek New Testament, but at the same time (or just because of that) they need a guide, especially when approaching the Nestle-Aland edition. But what about the optimism of the ratings? It may create an impression of a secure text, more than it is. In conclusion: if the rating system is to be retained it has to be revised.
In the discussion, I of course took the opportunity to mention (and promote) my own experiment with a rating system in my edition of Jude, where I use different symbols and definitions. To summarize them briefly:
e+i: external evidence and internal evidence unequivocally support the adapted reading
e [greater than-sign] i: external evidence supports the adapted reading, whereas internal reading is ambiguous
e [smaller than-sign] i: internal evidence unequivocally supports a reading whereas external evidence is ambiguous
e=i external and internal evidence are balanced, or, alternatively, external evidence favors one variant reading, internal evidence another.
I suggested that this type of rating system invites the user to also grapple with the state of the evidence and the concept of "external" and "internal" evidence, which are the criteria used also in the reasoned ecclectic approach of the UBS committee. Omansson apparently showed interest, so I presented him with two copies of my book (he asked for one to be reviewed in the Bible Translator).
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Among the journals of particular interest are:
Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Journal for the Study of the New Testament
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha
The Expository Times
In the latter, for example, you can dowload the following items:
David Parker, "Textual Criticism and Theology" in Expository Times 2007 118: 583-589.
Book Review of Tommy Wasserman, The Epistle of Jude: Its Text and Transmission (CBNTS 43; Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2006. SEK 211. pp. xvi + 368 + xvi plates. ISBN 91—22 — 02159 — 0 )by Paul Foster in Expository Times, 5 2007; vol. 118: pp. 411 - 412.
In my opinion, this review is very well written :-)
Friday, November 02, 2007
"Some of the readers of this site may have noticed that the electronic editions linked to from www.iohannes.com -- that is, the electronic NT editions being made by ITSEE at Birmingham (www.itsee.bham.ac.uk) have not been functioning since early 1 November, 2007: over 24 hours, as I write. We apologize for this break in service. The editions are based on a University of Birmingham server, and we are currently seeking to identify and resolve the problem. We will try to fix this a s quickly as we can. Peter Robinson (co-director of ITSEE, with David Parker and Barbara Bordalejo)"
Having checked www.iohannes.com this morning, it appears to me that the problem relates strictly to the body of the Byzantine, Vetus Latina and Majuscule editions and not to the preliminary matter, which remains available.