# Thursday, September 16, 2010

Folks who have read ricoblog for a long time know I’m no fan of Bart Ehrman’s popular-level books.

But like him or hate him, I think Bart shines in translations and editions of ancient texts. I’m a fan of his Apostolic Fathers edition (though I do like Holmes’ better) and have said on the blog before he should stick to translations and critical editions.

So when I paged through my recently-received Oxford Press “Religion” catalog, I smiled when I saw Bart Erhman and Zlatko Plese, The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations (amazon.com). I’d heard rumors he was up to something along these lines, and I’m glad to see it’s in print (or, soon to be in print). This is on my must-have list (have I mentioned my birthday is in less than a month?). Amazon gives it a Feb 2011 date in spite of the 2010 the Oxford catalogue ascribes to it. If anyone out there wants to send along a review copy, I’d love to dig into it before then. I have hope beyond hope I can get a copy at ETS/SBL in Atlanta in November.

Here’s the blurb (from Amazon):

Bart Ehrman—the New York Times bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus and a recognized authority on the early Christian Church—and Zlatko Plese here offer a groundbreaking, multi-lingual edition of The Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com), one that breathes new life into the non-canonical texts that were once nearly lost to history.

In The Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com), Ehrman and Plese present a rare compilation of over 40 ancient gospel texts and textual fragments that do not appear in the New Testament. This essential collection contains Gospels describing Jesus's infancy, ministry, Passion, and resurrection, as well as the most controversial manuscript discoveries of modern times, including the most significant Gospel discovered in the 20th century—the Gospel of Thomas—and the most recently discovered Gospel, the Gospel of Judas Iscariot. For the first time ever, these sacred manuscripts are featured in the original Greek, Latin, and Coptic languages, accompanied by fresh English translations that appear next to the original texts, allowing for easy line by line comparison. Also, each translation begins with a thoughtful examination of key historical, literary, and textual issues that places each Gospel in its proper context. The end result is a resource that enables anyone interested in Christianity or the early Church to understand—better than ever before—the deeper meanings of these apocryphal Gospels.

The Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com) is much more than an annotated guide to the Gospels. Through its authoritative use of both native text and engaging, accurate translations, it provides an unprecedented look at early Christianity and the New Testament. This is an indispensable volume for any reader interested in church history, antiquity, ancient languages, or the Christian faith.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, September 16, 2010 8:21:47 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Oh, yeah.

If I had a quarter for every time someone asked me about Logos doing Migne's Patrologia Graeca over the years ... well, I guess I'd have about five bucks. But still, that's a lot! Maybe I'll get to cash in on it some day.

Why? Because Migne's Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Graeca, Part 1 (Vols 1-18) is on prepub at Logos Bible Software.

This is big, and we want to do it—the whole blasted PG, all 161 numbered volumes (166 volumes in print). All of the text, not just the Greek parts. I spent the last week living in the first 18 numbered (20 in print) volumes to evaluate them and let me tell you there is some real cool stuff in there.

We can only do it if enough people are interested, though. So get thee to the prepub page, and sign up!

Update (2008-07-10): Rod Decker (NT Resources Blog) responds in the comments asking about the usability of "untagged" versions of the text. My basic response is that if one approaches a text primarily as a database, then this is a valid question. But overall, I'd say the texts themselves are valuable. The ability to look up citations of these fathers in lexica, commentaries and other studies (e.g. Drobner's Fathers of the Church (amazon.com)) is valuable. I can't tell you the times I've seen a citation in a footnote, sitting as a lonely, orphaned reference with no other content, that I've wanted to look up but can't (try reading Luke Timothy Johnson's Anchor Bible commentary on 1&2 Timothy without wanting to look one of these up). Reading the text is valuable too. I'd say that the Latin materials (dissertations, translations, etc.) are valuable even though they are largely inaccessible to many. But this is one of those big tasks of Biblical Studies* that just needs to get done, somehow, in some way. And this is the best way we can come up with to try to start that task. Maybe it'll work; maybe it won't. But we've got to try.

Tagging the PG Greek texts morphologically would be a large task. I won't say we (Logos) haven't thought about it, because we have. But since we're unsure how/if a task of that magnitude would work in a timely fashion in concert with the production of the first 20 volumes, we chose not to address the subject of "tagging" in the prepub description. We're more interested in first making the content available as text instead of as facscimile scans (which you can find in Google Books and perhaps other sources, though note these are not Logos' sources for the material). If there is support for that (already large) task then there may be support for further enhancement of the texts as well.

* Reminds me of a quote of Fred Danker in John Lee's book on the History of NT Lexicography. Danker is quoted as saying, "Scholar's tasks are not for sissies". I love that quote.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, July 09, 2008 2:00:17 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]
# Thursday, January 17, 2008

A friend just pointed this out to me, sitting on an FTP server at National Geographic.

It's hi-res images of what appear to be all of the pages of Codex Tchacos, which contains the Coptic of the Gospel of Judas. My guess is that these images match the plates in the Critical Edition of the Gospel of Judas, but if anyone is doing serious work with the Coptic of Judas (or any of the other documents in Codex Tchacos) then you probably want these images instead.

And, while we're on manuscript stuff, have y'all seen the online edition of Codex Gigas? (hat tip: Mark @ Biblical Studies and Technological Tools blog) If not, you should. It is way cool! Have fun playing with the "Browse the Manuscript" feature. Also: I didn't know that Gigas had editions of Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews in Latin, amongst other stuff. How cool is that? Here all along I'd just thought it was a Latin Bible.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:23:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In an earlier post, I mentioned The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction (amazon.com) by Hubertus Drobner, translated by Siegfried Schatzmann.

Like Mike Aquilina, a copy arrived for me today! Many thanks to Hendrickson for sending it along. And it looks wonderful. The bibliographies look great (full, and sectioned into sections like 'Editions', 'Bibliographies', 'Dictionaries' and stuff like that). So you get an idea of what the book is about, here's the last paragraph of the Preface to the English Edition:

It [the book] is not a "manual" that intends to cover the entire field in all its details. It is a textbook that presents an overview of the most important authors, works and themes, imbedded in their historical, political, and ecclesiastical background. For everything beyond this basic aim, the numerous bibliographical data given serve to point the way to further and more specialized studies. (Drobner xvi)

Here's a link to the Table of Contents. Here's a link to the Introduction. Here's a link to a sample chapter. And here's the blurb from Hendrickson:

Good, solid, contemporary introductions to patristic authors and writings are difficult to find in the English-speaking world, and European volumes are expensive. This volume, which is Siegfried Schatzmann’s translation of Lehrbuch der Patrologie, offers English-speaking readers easy access to Hubertus R. Drobner’s traditional introduction to early Christian thought.

Hubertus R. Drobner brings patristics scholarship up to date in this traditional introduction. His work is sufficiently broad to be a useful summary of early Christian history and the expansive strokes of doctrinal debate and development and provides a clear presentation of early Christian thought.

Drobner introduces new materials throughout this recently updated edition of his handbook. A general map and several timetables add to the clarity of the volume.

The Fathers of the Church is valuable in its presentation of contemporary studies and views. Patristics students will benefit from this dependable overview of early Christian texts, and scholars and libraries will appreciate the extensive bibliography, indexes, and other resources.

Here's a somewhat abbreviated Table of Contents:

Introduction: Patrology as Subject

Part One: Apostolic and Postapostolic Literature
   Introduction: The Rise of Christian Literature
   Chapter One: Biblical Apocrypha
   Chapter Two: Postapostolic Literature

Part Two: Literature of the Period of Persecution (Mid-Second to Early Fourth Centuries)
   Introduction: The Impact of Persecution
   Chapter Three: Greek Literature
   Chapter Four: Beginnings of Latin Literature

Part Three: Literature of the Ascending Imperial Church (Early Fourth Century to ca. 430)
   Introduction: Essential Features of the History of the Fourth Century
   Chapter Five: First Phase of Arianism
   Chapter Six: Apollinarianism and the Second Phase of Arianism
   Chapter Seven: Pastors, Exegetes and Ascetics
   Chapter Eight: Monastic and Hagiographic Literature
   Chapter Nine: Augustine of Hippo

Part Four: Literature of the Transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages (ca. 430 to the Mid-Eighth Century)
   Introduction: Retrospective Collections and Progressive Works
   Chapter Ten: Theological Controversies of the Fifth Century
   Chapter Eleven: Literature of the Latin West
   Chapter Twelve: Literature of the Greek East

Part Five: Literature of the Christian East
   Chapter Thirteen: Independent Bodies of Literature
   Supplementary Bibliography

All in all, it looks wonderful and also looks to be a great counterpart to Moreschini and Norelli's Early Greek and Latin Literature: A Literary History (amazon.com); though Drobner looks to have more information on area it treats (Patristic Literature) and the bibliographies look more complete and, at least in the English translation, more geared toward English readers.

Updated: I've begun a series as I read the book.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 11:06:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]
# Monday, June 11, 2007

Huh? What's that Latin doing in the title? Read on, wayward one.

A few years back (can it already be two years?) I posted on the cool typography of the Complutensian Polyglot New Testament. At the end of the post, I commented on the typographic device at the end of the NT, which I reproduce below:

A kind soul named Rob Flamming stumbled across the post and translated the Latin for me. Below is his translation.

Thanks to God. For the perpetual praise and glory of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, the recent printing and careful emendation of this sacrosanct work of the new testament and book of life in Greek and Latin characters has been brought to a happy completion in this most glorious Complutese university due to the command and financial support of our our most reverend father in Christ, his excellency, the lord friar Francis Ximine de Cisneros, cardinal priest of the titulus of Saint Balbina of the holy Roman church, Archbishop of Toledo of Spain, arch-chancellor to primates and to the kingdom of Castille, by the industry and ingenuity of the honorable man Arnold William from Brocarius, master of the art of the press, in the one thousand five hundred fourteenth year of the Lord, on the tenth day of the month of January.

In some comments, Rob opines the following:

It occurs to me that "master of the art of the press" would be a fitting title for you (or any other text geek), and particularly distinguished if you say it in Latin. And you can add a "Dei gratia" (by the grace of God) like the mediaeval kings did to keep themselves from getting too proud as they listed their titles. "Ricardus, Dei gratia artis impressoriae magister".

I think I'll have to add that to my business card.

Post Author: rico
Monday, June 11, 2007 12:09:49 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]
# Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sacred-texts.com has editions of both of these authors up.

Herodotus: The History of Herodotus, tr. by G.C. Macaulay. Parallel English and Greek (unicode) text. (FYI, Perseus version here)

Tacitus: The Works of Tacitus, tr. by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Parallel English and Latin text. (FYI, Perseus version here)

Check 'em out. If you know your citation, it may be faster to access the sacred-texts.com static copy than Perseus.

greek | latin
Post Author: rico
Saturday, November 12, 2005 4:10:57 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]
# Friday, April 15, 2005

I'm like a boy with new toys. What are those new toys? They're PDF versions of way-old editions the Greek New Testament, of course (editions available here; watch out, the downloads are sizeable).

In light of my previous post on the coolness of the Complutensian Polyglot, it makes sense to me to check out the competition: Erasmus' 1516 edition. So here we go.

First, look at this awesome frontispiece from the Gospel of Matthew. It's a little much for my tastes, but it's typical for the style of the day (from the little reading I've done on typesetting from this period). Note that you can click on any of these images to see them in a seperate window, some of them will be larger than they are inline below.

The drop-caps are the coolest part. The artistic stuff around the edges, while interesting, just doesn't do it for me. Another nice aspect of this edition are the introductions to the books. However ... they're in Greek; Erasmus didn't provide the Latin translation. (note: His 1522 edition does have parallel Greek and Latin of this content).

But what about the Bible text proper? Here's the beginning of First Timothy. Again, the drop-caps are prominent. Also interesting (to me, anyway) is the all-cap presentation of the name of Christ in the Greek, but not in the Latin.

But how does this compare to the Complutensian? Well, here's 1Ti 2.3-6, which I also provided for the Complutensian? (image here). 

I see a few differences immediately. First, the Complutensian is much more readable, at least for my minuscule-challenged eyes. If I know the text (as I do in this case) I can figure out that the first two blobs really do represent τουτο γαρ, but I couldn't prove it to you. Second, remember that the Complutensian is aligned at the word level through the use of superscript letters previous to lexical units. No such innovation in the Erasmian text. But Erasmus does have the name of Christ in all-caps, which is an interesting practice, especially in light of the manner in which the tetragrammaton is treated in Hebrew texts.

I do like Erasmus' Latin font better than the font used in the Complutensian. But that's not enough to sway me to Erasmus. My vote is still for the Complutensian. Now that's typesetting.

Lastly, there is the famous historical matter to check into. What did Erasmus really do with 1Jn 5.7-8? (NKJV: For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.) You know what I'm talking about. The legend as I've heard it is that Erasmus didn't put this text into his first edition, but he was beat up by the Vulgate readers such that he made his famous promise: "If you can find a Greek manuscript with that content, I'll publish it". Well, what does Erasmus have in his first edition?

No sign of the explicit mention of the members of the Godhead in Trinity there. So the first part of the legend has merit. What about the second part? I haven't downloaded Erasmus' 1518 edition yet (though it is available, it is 200+ megs) but I did grab his 1522 edition. Check it out:

Do you see that? Yep, it's longer. Through the magic of modern technology, let's get a better look at what's going on in there:

Sure enough. The text is added. And it's been in pretty much every Textus Receptus-based edition since. The Greek MSS with this reading, by the way, are 61 (16th century), 629 (14th century) and 918 (16th century). There are others that have the above as a varia lectio, but who knows when those readings were added to the original MS, or where they came from (most likely a retroversion from Latin back into the Greek, I'd think). I'd guess 629 might be the actual MS that prompted Erasmus to make the change, though that is pure speculation by someone (that's me) with no right to speculate on such text-critical issues.

Post Author: Rico
Friday, April 15, 2005 6:49:06 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]
# Thursday, April 14, 2005

[NOTE: When this post was written in April 2005, several PDF facsimiles of editions of the Greek New Testament were available from bibles.org.uk. They no longer appear to be available. The downloads are sizeable and I am not able to provide them for download or FTP or delivery on DVD. Apologies, RWB]

I've mentioned this before, but I'm a bibliophile when it comes to stuff dealing with the Greek New Testament. If it has to do with the Greek NT and it was published in the mid to late 1800s or early 1900s, chances are I want it. I enjoy the content, the conclusions, the scholarship and the typesetting.

I'm even more excited about early editions of the Greek New Testament, but I know that I'll never own any of these editions. But I have found a few as PDF files. Today I grabbed a PDF facsimile of the Complutensian Polyglot (PDF is approx. 500 megs, available via bibles.org.uk). And it is so very cool.

The Complutensian Polyglot is notable for a number of reasons. First, it is a polyglot, meaning that it presents the text in more than one language (poly + glot ==> "many tongues", roughly).

It was printed between 1514-1517 and as such is the earliest printed (type-set) representation of the Greek New Testament. But it wasn't available until 1522, which means the Erasmian edition of 1516 was the first available printed Greek New Testament; even though the Complutensian is the better Greek text and despite the fact that it was technically complete before Erasmus completed his text. The NT has Greek and Latin in parallel. Check it out (click any graphic for a larger version):

This is 1Ti 2.3-7. If you look closely, you'll see that each word in the Greek and Latin is preceded by a small superscript character. This is a form of alignment. That's right, the text, while typeset in parallel columns, is aligned at the word level through the superscript number device. I've said it before to others, but these early typesetter dudes were studs. Check it out:


Little known to anyone who hasn't read John Lee's fantastic book A History of New Testament Lexicography, the Complutensian Polyglot also has the earliest example of a printed Greek lexicon. The last volume contains a glossary of Greek words with their Latin equivalents.

But that's not all. The Complutensian Polyglot is an edition of the whole Bible. That is, the Greek New Testament is only 1/3 of the book. There are volumes of Hebrew Bible content. Here's a sample from Genesis 1:

That's right. The left column is the LXX ... with interlinear Latin glosses! The middle column is Jerome's Latin. The right column is the Hebrew. If you look closely ... you'll see superscript letters in the Latin column and in the Hebrew column; so there is (I'd guess) a word-for-word alignment going on here too. How cool is that? I don't know Hebrew, so I have no idea what information the right-most margin contains. In addition, if Targum Onkelos has content to represent, the Aramaic is made available as well.

This is scholarship and typesetting that was going on in the early 1500s. I am continually amazed at what was accomplished just in this edition (let alone other typesetting and scholarship from the era), and that in just a few years (1514-1517? By hand? Whoa!). Here we are today, with our computers and our desktop publishing systems ... and we couldn't set something like the above without a whole lot of complaining, grudging and whining, once we got past the Hebrew font issue and figured out a hack around the interlinear portion. Speaking of which, check out the detail on that interlinear portion:

Look at that beautiful work. The Latin gloss is above the main line of the Greek text. You can barely make out the Greek once you account for the minuscule-esque script. Cross-references in the margin. I'll say it again — these guys were studs.

Not only that, but guess what? The supplementary volume (you remember, the one with the Greek-Latin glossary?) also has a Hebrew-Latin lexicon. Yep. You're reading that correctly. Check it out:


Here's some more detail showing a couple of articles in their entirety:

Now, remember — no computers. Nothing but dudes, type (which they probably cut themselves) and a press, along with desire and a bunch of elbow-grease. Not only that, but they sure knew how to end the NT. Why don't we see typographic devices like this in our modern Bibles? Would it cost too much to have the graphic design department whip something out? Would the extra page and ink really sink the budget and cause us to lose money? This is the right way to end the NT, giving all glory to God. If you know Latin and can translate more than the first line, feel free to send me your translation. I'll post it at the end of this article and link back to your blog/website/whatever.

Update: As I work my way through the Latin (I don't know Latin, so it's mostly what I can intuit based on my knowledge of Spanish and Greek) I see that the first few lines do mention the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but the rest of it seems to list the balance of folks involved in the production -- a few cardinals and some other folk. Then it ends with the date (Jan. 10, 1514?). As I said, I may very well be mistaken as I don't know Latin. But that's what seems to be going on in the final typographical device.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, April 14, 2005 4:38:42 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]
# Monday, January 03, 2005

So, I followed Stephen C. Carlson's advice and checked out TextKit. I was planning on doing that anyway, but knowing that whatever they had was OK was a good thing and it prompted me to do it sooner rather than later.

I'm poking through the first bits of Latin for Beginners by Benjamin L. D'Ooge, at least for now.

I'm realizing is that there are a lot of rules having to do with pronunciation. Penults, antepenults, dipthongs, short vowels, long vowels, vowel 'quantity' and syllable 'quantity', etc. Then I realized: Greek has a lot of this same stuff, and I don't consciously think of it when I'm reading Greek ... I just read it. So that's encouraging.

One disadvantage is that I don't get to actually hear anyone pronounce Latin. So I poked around the internet a bit. I found GreekLatinAudio.com, which has some MP3 files of various books of the NT, read from the Greek NT and the Vulgate NT. But the volume was very low and almost inaudible, and the enunciation didn't seem to be that great (but the sound was pretty faint ... ). But it's better than nothin'. Maybe I'll burn some tracks on a CD so I can crank it on my stereo. Then the neighbors will really think I'm weird.

Question: Are there pronunciation debates amongst Latinists similar to the pronunciation debates one finds regarding NT Greek? (e.g. Erasmian vs. Modern vs. ... )

Update: Regarding the Latin at GreekLatinAudio.com, Stephen C. Carlson (Hypotyposeis) writes in the comments:

I just listened to the first part of Mark 1 at GreekLatinAudio.com. It does not conform to any of the three systems I outlined above, and the speaker's knowledge of Spanish (as a second language?) is constantly interfering with his pronunciation. I don't recommend this AT ALL.

He also provided a helpful synopsis of Latin pronunciation — more than I'd anticipated. Thanks, Stephen, for the helpful comments.

greek | language | latin
Post Author: Rico
Monday, January 03, 2005 10:25:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]