# Friday, February 03, 2006

Coffee-licious — though too bad they messed it up with all that milk.

Post Author: rico
Friday, February 03, 2006 9:00:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, February 01, 2006

PJ Williams of the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog writes about Why spelling matters.

He's not discussing English, he is discussing the practice of consolidating spellings (mostly) for words within editions of the Greek NT. And he thinks the practice is suspect.

I think this makes sense. We're dealing with lemmatised and morphologically analysed texts now, for the most part. That is, we can find specific forms despite different spellings if the text itself has different spellings where MS evidence is convincing. We don't need consolidated spellings to find the same form of the same word for concording/searching purposes.

Make sure to read PJ Williams' post; he goes into much more detail than I do here. It would be a big task, though. It makes me wonder — what does Reuben Swanson do in his NT Manuscripts project? If he charts the variants in differing MSS against Vaticanus, wouldn't his volumes reflect this data?

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 4:57:29 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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I've been looking into 2Pe 1.5-7 as part of a home-group study I'm taking part in. If you've read ricoblog for awhile, you know I love these repetitive structures because they drill concepts into my brain. And I think translations that dump this stuff into straight prose miss something. First, here's the English (from ESV):

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement 
    your faith with virtue,
    and virtue with knowledge,
    and knowledge with self-control,
    and self-control with steadfastness,
    and steadfastness with godliness,
    and godliness with brotherly affection,
    and brotherly affection with love. (2Pe 1.5-7, ESV)

Here's the Greek:

Καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦτο δὲ σπουδὴν πᾶσαν παρεισενέγκαντες ἐπιχορηγήσατε
    ἐν τῇ πίστει ὑμῶν τὴν ἀρετήν,
    ἐν δὲ τῇ ἀρετῇ τὴν γνῶσιν,
    ἐν δὲ τῇ γνώσει τὴν ἐγκράτειαν,
    ἐν δὲ τῇ ἐγκρατείᾳ τὴν ὑπομονήν,
    ἐν δὲ τῇ ὑπομονῇ τὴν εὐσέβειαν,
    ἐν δὲ τῇ εὐσεβείᾳ τὴν φιλαδελφίαν,
    ἐν δὲ τῇ φιλαδελφίᾳ τὴν ἀγάπην. (2Pe 1.5-7, NA27)

Even when you read this in the English, you get the idea of some sort of process with the next item building on the previous. But is that what is really going on here? Is Peter (or "the author", depending on your view of authorship here) really positing that there is some sort of cascading relationship/progress between all these qualities such that:

 -> virtue
     -> knowledge
         -> self-control
             -> perseverance
                 -> godliness
                     -> brotherly affection
                         -> love

That is, is a strict progression/structure in mind? I can't supplement my faith directly with knowledge, but virtue has to intervene? Well ... I really don't think so. I don't think there are six qualities that I need to progress through to get from faith to love. That doesn't seem to jive with 1Co 13 which talks about faith, hope and love (where's hope in the above progression?) Some of these qualities are "fruits of the spirit" as seen in Ga 5.23, and there is no progression stated there, it's just a flat list.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Ga 5.22-24, ESV)

And some things in that list aren't directly reflected in 2Pe 1.5-7. Now, this is just me thinking out loud here; I haven't done any deep study and I haven't read any commentaries. But I think 2Pe 1.5-7 is saying that each of these qualities are things we need to pursue, and that we are not to pursue any to the exclusion of another. They are all to be on the increase.

Look again at how v. 5 starts: "For this very reason". This points back to vv 3-4. The basic conclusion of those verses is that as Christians, we are "partakers of the divine nature" and that we have therefore "escaped the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire". It is because we are partakers of the divine nature and have escaped corruption (in Pauline terms, we are no longer slaves to sin, we are now slaves to righteousness) that we instead pursue these other things. And that's what vv 8-11 reiterate:

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2Pe 1.8-11, ESV)

Note the bold text, it marks areas that refer to the above list of qualities (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love). We're not to have a selection of these qualities, or even one of them (the seemingly ultimate love based on the structure of the list); we're to have them all. And they're all to be increasing.

Is that then what it means that these things are "supplemented" (ἐπιχορηγέω)? This is an important verb because it is the verb that (if you're diagramming this baby) all of the prepositional phrases hang from. The same word occurs later in 2Pe 1.11, with "will be ... provided" its translation in the ESV. In v. 5, ἐπιχορηγέω is a second person plural aorist imperative, hence "supplement". This is addressed to the hearers of the letter; they are to supplement or add to their existing qualities. To their faith, they are to add virtue. To their virtue, they are to add knowledge. And so on. Everything is on the increase. It isn't a recipe -- it is turning up the volume across the board.

Last question, then: What's up with vv 10-11?

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2Pe 1.10-11, ESV)

Is this saying that "turning up the volume across the board" (as I put it above) results in not falling (πταίω, BDAG p. 894 be ruined, be lost)? I have my thoughts (in a word, "no"), but it is getting late so I'll hold off explaining them (indefinitely; I may never come back to finish this thread). But if you have thoughts, please feel free to leave some comments.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, February 01, 2006 12:13:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, January 31, 2006

OK, not so many notes but I did want to combine two things in this post.

First, Loren Rosson's The Busybody blog hit 10000 visits. Excellent. You should contribute to that number and visit the site; particularly his posts about the C.S. Lewis book Perelandra and his post on Dangerous Ideas.

Second, Happy Birthday Joe Cathey! If you haven't read Joe's blog before, you should. It is a mix of interesting stuff (particularly material dealing with Hebrew Bible, archaeology, etc.) that you're not likely to find elsewhere.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 1:43:36 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, January 28, 2006

I've mentioned my little manuscript transmission experiment in the past. I've begun practicing copying Greek text from an exemplar. I've noticed a few things as I've been practicing.

1. I copy Greek word by word as an exercise, I don't stop to read and comprehend the text. That is, I don't read the Greek, translate it, understand it, then write it out. I read the word in my head, then I write it down.

2. Larger or unfamiliar words take longer to process. This stands to reason but I hadn't thought of it before. It also means these words end up written more stretched out because I devolve into letter-by-letter copying instead of word-by-word copying.

3. Smaller and common words are easy to copy. Again, this stands to reason. But it bears mentioning.

4. The letters zeta and xi are hard to write. At least for me they are. But I'm thinking through the mechanics and, at least for my handwriting style, I think I have an easier way to write them. But because they occur relatively infrequently I just don't get practice with them in words.

5. Upsilon and nu end up looking the same when I write quickly. That is, I tend to not point the bottom of my nu when I'm writing quickly; this makes my nu look like an upsilon at times. And that could be confusing to read (e.g. του and τον).

6. It is easy to mis-copy similar sounding words. Since I read the words and hear them in my head then write the word I hear, I find myself making mistakes (itacism, typically) because I mis-copy the word phonetically.

There's more, to be sure, but I need not go into it here. I will, however, swallow my pride and put up a couple of graphics that show my horrible, horrible penmanship. I will say that I'm just writing, not worrying too much about shape or form of the letters (as is evident, to be sure). The first effort was done a few days ago with a fine-tipped roller-ball style pen (a uni-ball Signo).

On my second attempt I used a wider pen (a Bic Mark-it fine point permanent marker) and played around with color. I realized that it will be easier to mark things I'd like to color (e.g., names of God/Jesus in red in this example) on the exemplar than to try and catch it mentally as I copy.

The other brain-dead thing I realize is that a wider nib means I need to write bigger and, likely, less hurriedly. Also: Can you spot the variant inadvertently introduced in the second graphic? The exemplar is Second Timothy in Westcott/Hort without accents and punctuation. I know there is at least one spelling variant and one casing variant, though there are likely more things I've introduced that I haven't stopped to notice yet.

I'll likely play around with a few more copies of things before starting on the copy I'll make for the project.

Update (2006-01-28): Suzanne notes a link with a sample of her handwriting along with further commentary. Sounds like we're running into the same things. That's encouraging. Also, I realized I have another handwriting sample I can link to -- that of P.N. Harrison's Problem of the Pastoral Epistles, which has a handwritten edition of the Pastorals in an appendix. (See 2Ti 1.1-2.1 here) Two years or so ago I scanned the pages and put them online. Check 'em out.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, January 28, 2006 1:13:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, January 26, 2006

No, really, it's cool. Here's a site where you can create your own graph paper as PDF files. All sorts of styles. Spec your stuff, save to PDF, use over and over and over and over again.

(Thanks, Bob, for the pointer!)

Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 26, 2006 6:55:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, January 25, 2006

For those interested, Publishers Weekly is running an interview with Bart Ehrman on his recent book Misquoting Jesus.

The interview is really short, so don't get your hopes up. FWIW, I blogged briefly on the book back in July when PW had a preview of the book.

books | links
Post Author: rico
Wednesday, January 25, 2006 8:56:02 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Since Murray left a comment on the original post asking about the status, I thought I'd take a minute to blog an update.

The experiment is a go. Three people have contacted me with interest and I've sent them some materials to get started. At least one has started. I fully intend to do some copying, but haven't had a spare moment to get going yet. I figure four samples is enough to at least look at. As samples come in, and as I collate them, I'll keep y'all informed as to what's happening.

If you're interested in copying out, by hand, Second Timothy please let me know. More details here.

Update (2006-01-24): Just took a spare moment to get started and whipped out most of chapter 1. Hoo-boy is my MS hand bad. Well, my handwriting in my native language is bad, so I guess it is no surprise my Greek handwriting isn't the most legible. Collation should be a hoot!

Update II (2006-01-25): Wow, just got two more folks interested in playing the scribe. Sweet! Anybody else? Feel free to email me.

Update III (2006-01-26): Suzanne, one of this experiment's most enthusiastic participants, leaves a comment below with an update to her status. I appreciate Suzanne's contribution and I appreciate her blogging. Yep, she blogs for the Better Bibles Blog but also has her own unique corner of blogdom in Abecedaria (which I've recently listed in the blogroll at the right). If you like ancient language and are generally interested in writing systems, check out Abecedaria! And ... if I get my act together and swallow my pride, I may actually take a digital photo of a practice page I copied of the start of 2 Timothy and post it on the blog! So stay tuned.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 9:59:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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