But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Evangelical Textual Criticism - Apologetic Report
imageWhat follows is not a review. It is a teaser and brief orientation to one of the most comprehensive projects on the text of the Hebrew Bible. Brill’s Textual History of the Bible (THB) is a four volume work in process. Volume 1: The Hebrew Bible consists of three massive parts; that is,...

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imageHere is a quote I came across today in Kirsopp Lake’s inagural lecture at the University of Leiden. Note very carefully howLake argues for the need for conjecture. In the context, he is explaining why he thinks Westcott and Hort failed “spectacularly” in their preference for 01...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 02:11

Corpus of Christian Palestinian Aramaic online

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imageNYU’s Ancient World Digital Library has the Corpus of Christian Palestinian Aramaic now online for free. This includes both volumes of the Christian Palestinian Aramaic New Testament Version from the Early Period by Christa Müller-Kessler as well as the Christian Palestinian Aramaic Old...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 00:31

Looking for advice on “Categorizing MSS”

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Good morning from St Paul, where we finally got some rain on our parched gardens,I am re-writing a textbook for beginners on TC of the Bible. The OT part was pretty good, but the NT part needed to be re-done. I’m now in the section that introduces some of the important MSS. We only introduce...

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Monday, 17 July 2017 13:24

Batovici: Two B Scribes in Codex Sinaiticus?

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imageIn the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, Dan Batovici has a new article arguing against splitting the “B” scribe into two.
Abstract: The history of scribal hand identification in Codex Sinaiticus is a fairly complicated one. The most recent identification, splitting...

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Elijah Hixson has sent me a YouTube video that has Josh McDowell interviewing Scott Carroll about “First Century Mark.” The video is posted below to which I have added a partial transcript for reference. The video was uploaded on November 15, 2015, but given what Carroll says in the...

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 10:30

Reviews of Lin’s Erotic Life of Manuscripts

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imageSometime in the spring while my head was still in boxes, BBR published my review of Yii-Jan Lin’s provocatively titled book The Erotic Life of Manuscripts: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Biological Sciences (Oxford, 2016). I must say that I did not expect to like the book...

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Back in 2012 I posted a brief note about some Christian graffiti in Smyrna that was dated by Roger Bagnall to before AD 125 (and mentioned in R. Bagnall, Everyday Writing in the Graeco-Roman East (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011, 2012 pb), 22f., see here). I suggested that if the...

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Before the recent news about Hobby Lobby broke, Facebook alerted me to the book by Candida Moss and Joel Baden titled Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby (Princeton). Amazon lists it as coming in October and Tommy’s post says there will be an SBL panel on the book which will no...

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imageIn the latest issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 60.2 (2017): 283–99, Gregory Goswell has contributed an article entitled “Putting the Book of Chronicles in Its Place.” His “aim is to unsettle any developing consensus that Chronicles must be...

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imageEarlier today, the United States filed a civil complaint to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae. As alleged in the complaint, these ancient clay artifacts originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and were smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and...

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Tuesday, 04 July 2017 21:54

Sister of Leningrad Codex Discovered!

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imageCongratulations to Kim Phillips, Tyndale House Research Associate, for discovering a manuscript of the Former Prophets by Samuel ben Jacob the scribe of the Leningrad Codex. This should make a significant difference to our understanding of the main manuscript used for the study of the Hebrew Bible...

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University of Michigan Press has a book coming out this year that looks interesting. Discarded, Discovered, Collected: The University of Michigan Papyrus Collection by Arthur Verhoogt is “the first-ever history of Michigan’s celebrated collection of papyri offers nonspecialists an...

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imageIn his little book on miracles, C. S. Lewis has a chapter explaining why miracles should not be thought of as breaking the laws of nature. Instead, he says, they should be thought of as God introducing something new to nature which nature then acts on in typical fashion. He illustrates with a...

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Wednesday, 28 June 2017 07:02

Armin Baum Responds to Ehrman on Pseudapigraphy

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imageIn the latest issue of JBL, Armin Baum has a response to Bart Ehrman on pseudapigraphy. In his big book on forgery in early Christian polemics, Ehrman argues not only that pseudapigraphical texts were intended to deceive (and were regarded as such by readers) and that forgers sometimes thought...

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imageIt’s just over ten years since Bart Ehrman published his bestselling Misquoting Jesus (reviewed here) and almost ten years since Christanity Todaycalled textual criticism one of “the hottest issues in evangelical theology.” In that time, textual criticism, particularly of New...

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imageSome time ago, I posted Hort’s review of Dean Burgon’s defense of Mark 16.9-20. Along with that, and more interesting than the review, was a letter that Hort sent to Westcott about his review and the importance of its timing. Hort tells Westcott that he hopes the review is out before...

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I can’t remember where I came across Bruno Chiesa’s work, but I think readers here will at least be interested to know of its existence. The two pertinent volumes I have in mind are titled Filologia storica della Bibbia ebraica or Historical Philology of the Hebrew Bible. Volume 1...

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Thursday, 15 June 2017 23:38

Forging Antiquity Website and Blog

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imageimageHere is the new website for the Macquarie University/Heidelberg University project led by Malcolm Choat and funded by the Australian Research Council:"Forging Antiquity: Authenticity, forgery and fake papyri"And the related blog Markers of AuthenticityQuestions of authenticity, forgery, provenance...

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017 19:30

Text und Textwert for Revelation

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imageDarius Müller announced the latest (and last) volume of the Text und Textwert a few months back. As users of the ECM know, the TuT volumes are used to determine the most important witnesses cited in the ECM and these are then further reduced for citation in the NA. So for this and other...

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 01:20

Error in NA28 apparatus (Phil 1.23)

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I should say at the outset that finding errors in NA28 is rewarding because they are so few and far between, and because you are pitting your wits against the best in the business. Finding errors in NA28  is a sport based on a fundamental level of respect in the colleagues who have over the...

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Here’s a little anecdote on how John Bunyan once responded to a Cambridge critic about his use of the English Bible:
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To these years before the Restoration belongs also the story of Bunyan’s encounter on the road near Cambridge with the university man, who asked him how he, not having the...

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Friday, 09 June 2017 06:21

Phoenix: The New Hotbed of Textual Criticism

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imageManuscripts love the heat—and so will you
 
The Gurry family has just landed in the blazing sun of Phoenix, Arizona where I will be teaching New Testament in the fall. By my count, this means that the number of Biblical text-critics in the city has just doubled—amazing! (For those who...

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"Knowledge of documents should precede final judgement upon readings." Useful though this adage by Westcott and Hort is, it is also a little bit of an open door: lots of things should precede ‘final judgement’ (and when is anything ‘final’ in our discipline?) But what are...

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Digital humanities Center at the University of Balamand has just launched “PAVONe”, Platform of the Arabic Versions of the New Testament. Here is the news piece with pictures of the launching event. The Platform contains a huge number of Arabic manuscripts of the four gospels and...

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