# Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I blogged back in May about some errata I’d noticed in Ehrman and Pleše’s Apocryphal Gospels. I had been focusing on fragmentary gospels then.

I’ve been working through my list of agrapha, and in consulting Ehrman and Pleše, I note one more issue.

John 8:7; 10-11 in ms D and Later Greek Manuscripts p 356

The first is trivial; typical reference citation in English texts should use a comma to separate verse references, so the heading should be “John 8:7, 10–11”. (They use a comma for this purpose elsewhere, so this seems like an oversight.)

The second is not so trivial. Instead of the text of D (Bezae), they have printed the text of NA27. The text of D is as follows, from my facsimile of Scrivener’s transcription and checked against NA27 apparatus:

ως δε επεμενον ερωτωντες ανεκυψεν και ειπεν αυτοις· ο αναμαρτηετος υμων πρωτος επ αυτην βαλετω λιθον. … ανακυψας δε ο Ιη(σου)ς ειπεν τη γυναικει που εισιν ουδεις σε κατεκρεινεν κακεινη ειπεν αυτω ουδεις κ(υρι)ε ο δε ειπεν ουδε εγω σε κατακρεινω υπαγε απο του νυν μηκετι αμαρτανε.

It also appears the translation offered by Ehrman and Pleše may at least be influenced by the NA27 text. There are really slight changes in Bezae, so it is impossible to tell for sure; I’d recommend they review the translation as well before releasing a revised/second edition.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7:16:20 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You may or may not have heard of a project that Logos (disclaimer: Logos Bible Software is my employer) has been working on for awhile. It is called the Faithlife Study Bible (FSB). But it is so much more than a study Bible.

Faithlife Study Bible Logo

[Note: I have details on how you can get a free copy of the Faithlife Study Bible using a coupon code available only to readers of this blog. It is at the bottom. Skip down there if that’s what you’re really interested in.]

Logos Bible Software is a library. It grows with you, at your pace, for your needs. Historically, however, folks who use Logos tend to be pastors, people studying to be pastors, people who teach studies in church groups, and people pursuing academic biblical studies.

We wanted to create something for the majority of folks who are not pastors or studying to be pastors, who attend groups as participants instead of teachers. We wanted it to work well on tablets and other mobile devices, so it is easy to take with you wherever you go. And we wanted a community to be able to work together. This is who the Faithlife Study Bible is for, and what the Faithlife Study Bible is. It is the study Bible that starts where you are and grows with you.

Cool stuff about Faithlife Study Bible:iPad 1

  • If word count is your measure, it is big.  1.4 million words big.
  • The study Bible is new and fresh. It is not recycled content. And it will not be static. It is designed from the start as a digital resource, and new media and content will be updated and expanded as time marches on.
  • Over 400 photos, videos, and infographics. Logos actually sent a team to Israel to take photos and shoot video footage for this. It is all brand new stuff.
  • It includes the Lexham Bible Dictionary. That’s gotta be good, because I wrote a few articles for it. It has 2700 articles and 1.5 million words, and over 200 different contributors.
  • Three layers of study notes. The basic notes form the core, but there are also indicators you can click on that lead to deeper content, more discussion, and links into other discussion in other books available for Logos Bible Software.
  • It is designed for groups to use. So set up your Bible study group, and you can all share your notes via Faithlife and also in Logos Bible Software.

Really cool stuff about the Faithlife Study Bible:iPad 3

One of the really cool things is that the Faithlife Study Bible works with seven different translations. What does that mean? Well, print study Bibles are usually version-specific. In their notes, they reproduce phrases from the translation they are printed with. So they are limited to one translation (NIV, NASB, ESV, NKJV, whatever). With the Faithlife Study Bible, if you switch your preferred translation, the notes switch with you. Using the NIV? Great. Switch to ESV? the study Bible notes switch with you. The phrasing that quotes the Bible actually changes translation so your notes reflect your preferences.

One of the other really cool things is that it comes with the Lexham English Bible (LEB) for free. (Admission: I’m biased because I put a lot of sweat into this one.) The LEB is a new translation. It tends toward “literal” on the translation spectrum, but it is still readable. Logos released the NT in 2009 and the OT in 2012.

Need to know more? There are a host of videos available on the Faithlife Study Bible web site explaining all of the features.

Even more cool tech stuff about the Faithlife Study Bible:

Once you have the Faithlife Study Bible:Ipad 2

  • It has dedicated iOS and Android apps (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, and other Android devices)
  • It works in Logos Bible Software (Mac, PC, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire)
  • It works on Biblia.com (online)

I haven’t even begun to tell you about the growing community at Faithlife.com. Faithlife.com is the community where notes and questions are shared, groups are formed, prayers are prayed and life is lived. For lack of a better term, it is a social network. But it isn’t Facebook. It is group oriented, not self-oriented. It is built to be private with you in control of how much of anything is shared to any particular group you are in community with, so you’re not sharing everything with that creepy guy you knew in high school who friended you. Faithlife.com is designed to be a place where your church and the groups in your church can interact and grow and share what you’re learning — when you’re not together in person doing that already. I’ll probably blog more about Faithlife.com in a later post.

Getting the Faithlife Study Bible for FREE

The folks at Logos gave me a special coupon code for readers to use to license a copy of the Faithlife Study Bible. The license is good through March 2014. Here’s how to get it:

  1. Go to http://faithlifebible.com/free
  2. Enter your coupon code: RickBrannan
  3. Download the app
  4. Log in with your Logos.com/Faithlife.com account
  5. Enjoy the Bible!

Note that the “Logos.com/Faithlife.com account” are the same thing. Your Logos account. If you don’t have one, you can easily make one; and you will be prompted to do so. If you do have a Logos account, use it. And FSB will show up in your Logos Bible Software the next time you start it.

Do check it out, and do let me know what you think. And tell your friends. It is a great resource for folks who have a tablet or smart phone and are looking for a Bible app. Thanks!

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:39:38 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, June 03, 2012

There are so many things happening in so many departments at Logos Bible Software (my employer) that long ago I lost the ability to keep track of it all.

So I might be late in mentioning, but did you know that Logos has two (2) books by Hans-Josef Klauck on pre-pub? They are Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Content and Exegesis and The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction. Both are excellent, and both are worth reading.

Further, Logos already has two books by Klauck available, and these are great as well. The first is The Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction. It is worth reading if you can get a deal on it, but was published by T&T Clark so is a little spendy. The second is The Religious Context of Early Christianity: A Guide to Graeco-Roman Religions and is a little more reasonable ($34 as I write this post).

The two books that are on pre-pub are published in print by Baylor University Press, and happily they provided me with review copies (thanks again) back when they were initially published. I devoured them and still consult them today. Here are the two on pre-pub with links to the posts I wrote about them when reviewing them:

Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Content and Exegesis

The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction

Bottom line: If you are interested in learning about early Christianity and its literature (outside of the NT) and generally about Graeco-Roman religions, Klauck is a good source to turn to. These books largely serve as textbooks and they are well written. I believe all four are translations and expansions from the original German editions. While I don’t agree with everything he writes (who agrees with everything they read?) these are solid introductory volumes that will ground you well in the subject matter. Ignore them at your peril.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, June 03, 2012 8:29:06 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, May 15, 2012

There was some talk in the blogosphere last year about P.Oxy 5072. (here, here, here, and here) It has been published in the most recent volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (vol. 76, p. 1-10, ed. J. Chapa) and, even better, images are online (recto, verso), and they’re clear and relatively readable.

After all the hubbub, however, nobody (that I have seen) has really mentioned it again, let alone really interacted with the text of the papyrus. I ran across it again when looking for fragments of ‘apocryphal’ gospels in Greek to include with the fragments in my Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha project. I am still unsure if P.Oxy 5072 will be included in that work (should I? please let me know!), but am leaning towards doing so.

I could not, however, locate vol. 76 of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri in a library anywhere near me. A friend (you know who you are) came to the rescue and sent along pictures of the article. For that I’m grateful. It gave me an opportunity to work through the text visible on the papyrus images available online in consultation with the official transcription and reconstruction.

I begin by readily admitting I am not familiar with more recent volumes of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri; I have only been able to examine portions of the first 15 volumes in any detail while working on other fragments (e.g. P.Oxy 840; P.Oxy 1224) as those volumes are in the public domain and relatively easily available via archive.org. But those early volumes seem, to me, much more helpful than this portion on P.Oxy 5072. Grenfell and Hunt give a transcription, they discuss possibilities, they determine which they think is most likely, and they give a translation. Their work is very helpful, most of the time.

Chapa’s discussion, however, nearly made me pull my hair out. The issues and possibilities are thoroughly discussed, but positive statements are almost never made about which possibilities could be thought most likely and why. To be sure, Chapa does make some decisions in that reconstructions are included in the transcriptions. Even still, I was frustrated that Chapa’s discussions and suggestions concluded with text like “again, this is speculative” and “which makes it difficult” and “but the expected traces are not visible” and the like. I appreciate the discussion of options (it is helpful and thorough) and understand there is a place for “scholarly caution,” but I also want decisions and positive prescriptions. Of course guessing about reconstructions is not certain. That’s the point, and that’s why experts need to weigh in.

Also, I was a bit surprised that there is no translation of P.Oxy 5072 given; though perhaps lack of translation is standard with the newer P.Oxy volumes. Since no translation was available, I thought I’d offer a preliminary transcription and two(!) translations below. While informed by Chapa’s work, I do not simply copy it. If you consult the below against the transcription in P.Oxy 76, you’ll find a few spots where I’m more uncertain than Chapa is (rightly so, I have not examined the actual papyrus, only the images online) and perhaps even differ. You will note that I did not put any accents/breathing marks on the text (they are in Chapa’s reconstruction in P.Oxy 76). I also do not include Chapa’s reconstructions in this transcription, though I do translate Chapa’s reconstructions and mention them in the notes (so one can see what I’m translating). The suggestions I offer as reconstructions are things that seem relatively secure to me; I even differ with Chapa in a few spots.

I would not be surprised if there are typos in the transcription and issues with the translation. This is not final, by any means. I’m still working through it and need to do more work examining the possible parallels. If you cite it, please note its provisional nature, and please link to this page.

Also, rather than note actual/probable numbers of missing characters using specific under-dots, I simply note that a group of characters is missing with a “[…]”. Images are readily available (recto, verso) so check them for the actual layout. “.” indicates a visible but indiscernable character. Letters with under-dots indicate uncertainty. Recto line 3 υ(ι)ε indicates an expanded abbreviation and possible nomen sacrum, as does verso 9 βα(σι)λεια. If you hover the asterisk at the end of most lines, you should see a note pop up. All notes are offered at the end, numbered by line, though some may be slightly edited/expanded.


  1. [...] ε̣ναντιον̣ [...]ου.[...]
  2. [...] αλλα κατε̣ρρησσ̣εν οσα.[...]*
  3. [...]ν̣ ανεκραξ̣ε λεγων υ(ι)ε [...]*
  4. [...].ες προ κα̣ιρου ημας π.[...]*
  5. [...] επετιμη̣σεν αυτωι̣ λε̣[γων...]*
  6. [... εξ]ε̣λθε απο του ανθρωπου̣ [...]*
  7. [...].ελθων εκαθισεν .[...]
  8. [...].των̣ πε.[...]*
  9. [...]ς περιες.[...]*
  10. [...]ον ενδυσ̣[...]*
  11. [...]ει̣ τις αυτω[...]
  1. [...]before [...]
  2. [...] but he tore apart as much as [...]*
  3. [...] he cried out, saying, Son [...]*
  4. [...have] you come before the time us .[...]*
  5. [...]he rebuked him, say[ing...]*
  6. [... go] out from the man[...]*
  7. [...].going he sat down .[...]
  8. [...of] them [...]*
  9. [...Jesu]s [...]*
  10. [...][...]*
  11. [...] someone to him [...]

… before … but he tore apart as much as … he cried out, saying, "Son … have you come before the time us …?" … he rebuked him, saying, "… go out from the man …" … going he sat down … of them … Jesus … someone to him …


  1. [...].[...]
  2. [...]μετ̣[...]..ο̣υ ομο.[...]*
  3. [... δι]δασκαλον εγω δε σε απ[...]
  4. [...]ου μαθητην και εση αισ̣[...]*
  5. [...].α̣τα ναι λεγω υμιν .[...]*
  6. [...].ου υπερ εμε ουκ εστ[ιν...]*
  7. [... μαθ]η̣της ει ουν γραμματικ̣[οι...]*
  8. [...]Ιεροσολυμα και ει σοφ[...]
  9. [...]τα..[...] . δε βα(σι)λεια [...]
  10. [...]..εν υμ.[...]*
  11. [...].των απεκ̣[...]*
  12. [... μ]αθ̣ητας̣ α̣.[...]*
  13. [...].[...]
  1. [...].[...]
  2. [...].[...]...[...]*
  3. [...a] teacher, myself but you I will [deny...]
  4. [...of] my disciple and you will be shame[fully...]*
  5. [...las]t things. Yes, I say to you, fr[iend...]*
  6. [..of] him more than me, not he [is...]*
  7. [...dis]ciple. If then scrib[es...]*
  8. [...]Jerusalem and if [...]
  9. [...]..[...] and Kingdom [...]
  10. [...be]fore yo[u...]*
  11. [...inte]lligent he kept hid[den...]*
  12. [...d]isciples [...]*
  13. [...].[...]

… a teacher, but I myself will deny you … of my disciple and you will be shamefully … last things. Yes, I say to you, friend … of him more than me, he is not … disciple. If then scribes … Jerusalem and if … and Kingdom … before you … intelligent he kept hidden … disciples …

Notes By Line


  1. [no notes]
  2. There is a possibility that instead of οσα. at the end of the line, it could be ο σα., thus opening the door for possible readings like ο σατ[ανας] or others. Chapa discusses and dismisses this, noting that "traces of ink" exclude these as possibilities (Chapa 10).
  3. Parallel passages that mention casting out of demons (Mk 5:7; Lk 8:28; Mt 8:29) all use υιε του θεου in address of Jesus; it is very possible this is used here too.
  4. Chapa reconstructs the beginning of the line as ηλ]θες, in line with parallels (particularly Mt 8:29).
  5. Chapa reconstructs the end of the line as λε[γων.
  6. Chapa also suggests εξ]ελθε at the beginning of the line.
  7. [no notes]
  8. Chapa reconstructs the beginning of the line as α]υτων.
  9. Chapa reconstructs the beginning of the line as Ι(ησου)]ς.
  10. Chapa does not read the last character in the line (σ) as it could be either an omega or a sigma, but from the images it appears to be consistent in shape and placement with other probable sigmas (cf. especially verso line 4).
  11. [no notes]


  1. [no notes]
  2. Chapa notes the following parallels for reconstructions of lines 2–5: Lk 12:8–9; Mt 10:32–33; Lk 9:26; Mk 8:38.
  3. [no notes]
  4. Chapa reconstructs the beginning of the line as μ]ου; the end of the line as αισ[χυνομενος.
  5. Chapa notes the following parallels for reconstructions of lines 5–7: Mt 10:37–38; Lk 14:26–27, 33. He reconstructs the start of the line as εσ]χατα and the end of the line as ο φ[ιλων.
  6. Chapa reconstructs the beginning of the line as αυ]του. He also suggests εστ[ιν at the end of the line.
  7. The word μαθητης seems frequent, hence the suggestion at the start of line 7 and line 12. This agrees with Chapa. The end of the line, however, Chapa neglects to reconstruct because γραμματικ[οι/γραμματικ[ος is not known in the New Testament as it has been received. However, the word is in use (Is 33.18; Dan 1.4, 17), and I think it could have been used here in a sense similar to γραμματευς.
  8. [no notes]
  9. [no notes]
  10. Chapa reconstructs the beginning of the line as εμπρο]σθεν; the end of the line as υμω[ν.
  11. Chapa reconstructs the beginning of the line as συν]ετων; the end of the line as απεκ[ρυψε.
  12. Chapa also suggests μ]αθητας at the start of the line.
  13. [no notes]
Post Author: rico
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:34:59 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I’ve been working through fragmentary texts and agrapha for my Greek Apocryphal Gospels project. As such, I’ve been referencing Ehrman and Pleše’s The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations (amazon.com) (henceforth EP) heavily, as well as Andrew Bernhard’s Other Early Christian Gospels (amazon.com). Both are invaluable.

I’ve found a few things that can probably be classed as “errata” in EP. None are really a big deal, but I thought I’d record them here. I would like to give EP a hearty “Thanks!” for the wide margins, it makes adding notes (and line numbers used by different editions for easy reference) much easier. These notes are largely for my own purposes, to keep them all in one place; but I figure they might be helpful for others as well.

I should say again: I’m very happy with EP’s edition. It is wonderful in that it gives the original language and a modern translation of everything included, and as a result, I’d say, is required for anyone interested in the history of the early Christianity and its development. Whether you like him or not, Ehrman is an excellent writer and his skill shows through on the translations in this volume.

P.Berol. 11710 EP pp 238-239

EP and Bernhard have the text in the same order but disagree on terminology. That is, EP have:

  • Fragment a recto
  • Fragment a verso
  • Fragment b recto
  • Fragment b verso

Whereas Bernhard has:

  • Fragment a verso
  • Fragment a recto
  • Fragment b verso
  • Fragment b recto

“Recto” and “verso” are terms that have to do with the orientation of fibers of the papyrus; Bernhard actually uses arrows instead of the term as terminology is in flux and lacks specificity. Some use “recto” and “verso” as synonyms for “front” and “back”, respectively, regardless of the fibers of the papyrus (recto = horizontal fibers, verso = vertical fibers). I’d chalk EP’s difference up to that, however, there are other places where EP have papyri ordered verso-recto. Also, EP are using Bernhard’s transcription, so the difference is even more confusing.

Again, there is no functional difference in the transcription or EP’s translation; the lines fall in the same order. It is just the description of recto/verso.

P.Egerton 2 EP pp. 252

EP have have the recto/verso (and content) of fragment 3 swapped. These are fragments with little recognizable content. Anyway, Bell & Skeat (and Bernhard) go frag 3 verso, then frag 3 recto. EP go recto, then verso. This is a little confusing because EP note (p. 246) that they’ve followed Bell & Skeat’s sequence of the fragments.

P. Merton 51 EP pp. 257

Note 1 on the bottom of the page has “Mark 9:7”, it should be “Mark 7:9” (cf. Rees, p. 3).

Gospel of Thomas Greek Fragments, P.Oxy. 655 p. 344

In EP, Saying 36 purports to be in col 1 lines 1-17, but actually floats onto the 18th line. On the next transcription page (p. 346), it notes the next fragment starting on line 17, and that is the line based on the numbers given on that page.

In Bernhard, the lines given are 0-17. EP 1/Bernhard 0 is completely reconstructed. My guess is that EP should be numbered like Bernhard.

Gospel of Mary, Greek Fragments pp. 589

EP note they are using the edition of Pasquier, “We have taken the text from the edition of A. Pasquier” but doesn’t note if that is for the Coptic only, or for Coptic + Greek. My guess is that the Greek comes from Lührmann, but that is simply because most other fragmentary Greek comes from Lührmann. Also, I think the either the image of P.Ryl.463 “page 2” on the Rylands library site have recto/verso misstated (or are using to mean front/back instead of fiber direction, or the ‘V’ on the image here doesn’t mean what I think it means).

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, May 09, 2012 9:39:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, May 01, 2012

If you hadn’t noticed, Bart Ehrman now has a blog, of sorts: ehrmanblog.org. He also has a new popular book, on “Did Jesus Exist?”

More importantly, in the past year he and Zlatko Plese released their diglot edition of the Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com). It is awesome, you should get a copy. Really. And in December 2012 another scholarly-level book is slated, Forgery and Counter-Forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (amazon.com). It is already on my Amazon wishlist. I’m sure I won’t agree with parts of it, but I can’t wait to read what he’s got to say (any early review copies available? :-) )

Why mention all of this? I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Bart Ehrman’s books in the past. It reached its zenith at the point of the Gospel of Judas release where I wrote a post called “Bart Ehrman has Jumped the Shark.” I’ve calmed down a bit since then.

While I gratefully consume most of Ehrman’s scholar-level stuff (edition of the Apostolic Fathers, Apocryphal Gospels, translations and editions of other writings) his popular-level stuff gives me heartburn so I don’t plan on reading any of it. But not for the reason you’d think. It’s because he’s such a good writer, and I don’t like where he ends up.

Anyway, I think it was a smart move for Ehrman to start a blog. Yes, I realize he’s charging for it; but that’s OK, and the proceeds are for good causes. Still, it is a good idea. Why? Because it humanizes him. Without an online presence (beyond an author-based site to serve as marketing hub for his books), it is easy to think of him as far away and unattached to reality; he is easy to discount and write cheap shots (you know, like about him jumping a shark). But if he writes regularly (and makes stuff publicly available with some regularity) people will get a better idea of who he is, what he’s about, and why he does what he does. And that’s a good thing.

I’m looking forward to reading more from his blog (well, the publicly available stuff). And can’t wait for the book in December.

Side note: Long-time ricoblog readers know that a “Bart Ehrman” frequents the comments from time to time. If that really is Bart Ehrman, then my invitation to dinner here at my home in Bellingham (or heck, at SBL in Chicago, though I’m sure your schedule is booked) still stands.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 10:01:05 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, April 02, 2012

GreekApocGospJust over two weeks ago, Logos (my employer) put an edition of the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha on pre-pub. This meant that when enough pre-orders were made to cover the cost of the project, we would begin development. I mentioned it on this blog, it was mentioned on the Logos blog as well.

I was expecting it to take a few months for costs to be covered. To my surprise, it took about 10 days.

So I wanted to make sure all those who haven’t yet deleted this feed from their readers also knew that this project is now under development.

I’m going to have to do some shifting of my schedule to begin the necessary work; there is much to do — more research, writing, and some code to write. I don’t have a time frame for release, but am committed to make sure it happens in a timely manner.

Thanks to all those who pre-ordered! And you can still pre-order at the discounted pre-pub price!

Post Author: rico
Monday, April 02, 2012 7:25:32 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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