# Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Thanks to the fine folks at Baker Academic (Twitter: @BakerAcademic), who sent along a review copy of Clayton N. Jefford’s Reading the Apostolic Fathers: A Student’s Introduction (Second Edition). You can learn a little more about the book at Baker Academic’s web site. The page lists some endorsements, so it is worth checking out.

As the title notes, this is a second edition. The first edition was published by Hendrickson Publishers in 1995. I examined it over the course of a few posts on this blog (here and here). Here’s the blurb for the 2nd edition from Baker Academic’s web site:

The Apostolic Fathers are critically important texts for studying the first century of Christian history. Here a leading expert on the Apostolic Fathers offers an accessible, up-to-date introduction and companion to these diverse and fascinating materials. This work is easy to use and affordable yet offers a thorough overview for students and others approaching these writings for the first time. It explains the context and significance of each document and points to further reading. This new edition of a well-received text has been updated throughout and includes a new chapter on the fragments of Papias.

I’ve gone on record in the past that if I were able to teach an intro class to the Apostolic Fathers, I’d use Jefford’s book. It targets the reader as one unfamiliar with the material, and does well to hit it.

This is true of the second edition as well. There have been some changes, but nothing too major. The largest (and very welcome) change is the addition of a chapter on the Fragments of Papias. There are some other changes I’ve noticed as well, I will go over those in a future post.

What material does the book cover? Here’s the table of contents, which gives you an idea:

Preface to the Second Edition
For the Reader
Introduction: What Are the Apostolic Fathers?

  1. The Letter of Barnabas
  2. The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (The Didache)
  3. The Letters of Ignatius
  4. The Fragments of Papias
  5. The Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians
  6. The Martyrdom of Polycarp
  7. The First Letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians (1 Clement)
  8. The Second Letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians (2 Clement)
  9. The Shepherd of Hermas
  10. The Letter to Diognetus


Post Author: rico
Tuesday, February 05, 2013 8:12:10 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, December 27, 2012

In an earlier post on the NA28, I mentioned that I wanted to do a post on orthographic variation in NA28.

I might be weird, but when reading the front matter (p. 51*), I noticed the following change to the text in 1 Peter:

  • 1Pe 2.25, αλλʼ (ECM/NA28) <= αλλα (NA27).

I hadn’t noticed this change mentioned elsewhere, and I knew (based on lots of previous, boring, pedantic, obsessive-compulsive examination of all the αλλα in the NA27) that there were other spots outside of the Catholic Epistles where I’d noted an αλλα that, following most rules of orthography, should probably be αλλʼ instead.

So I thought I’d peek at the book of Mark, examining orthography between NA27 and NA28. What I found was interesting. Note I’m lazy, so I’m not typing accents/breathing marks.

  • Mk 1.27: NA27 πνευμασι => NA28 πνευμασιν
  • Mk 1.44: NA27 αλλα => NA28 αλλʼ
  • Mk 2.4: NA27 χαλωσι => NA28 χαλωσιν
  • Mk 2.17: NA27 αλλα => NA28 αλλʼ
  • Mk 2.22: NA27 αλλα => ΝΑ28 αλλʼ

After chapter 2, I got bored, so I didn’t check much further. My guess is that most changes are from αλλα to αλλʼ. I have not reviewed punctuation carefully, I was focused on a quick scan of words. But it is clear that the INTF paid a lot of attention to the upper-text as well as the apparatus. The text, even outside of the Catholic Epistles, has been extensively reviewed (as the front matter indicates) and the product is better, I think. Thanks and Kudos to them for this work — unmentioned and by most likely unnoticed — that improves the product.

For the record: I don’t think orthographic changes are actually changes to the text (which is why I was surprised the difference in 1Pe 2.25 was listed on p 51*). The text is no different, the units of meaning are the same, and it communicates the same thing. The words parse/decline the same. I just find this stuff interesting.

Anyone else find any other “undocumented” (at least in the front matter) variations?

Post Author: rico
Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:04:03 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, December 17, 2012

My friend Randall Tan asked me to post this.

As you may or may not know, the Computer Assisted Research Section (CARG) at SBL was not renewed this past year. Leaving the whats and whys out of it, CARG’s lack of renewal leaves a void in the SBL for discussing and showcasing how technology can assist research.

Randall and others are in the process of proposing the “Global Education & Research Technology” (GERT) section for SBL 2013 in Baltimore, MD.

Randall has posted more information, along with further details in PDF attachments, at the B-Greek forum. Please check it out, and if you’re so disposed, see how you can participate in the group.

Here is a paragraph describing more about what the group proposes:

The focus of this proposed new section is not only on the development and use of tools, simulations, and social media for global research and education in the wide-ranging disciplines in the field of biblical studies, but also the design frameworks, the development, the deployment, the assessment, and the dissemination of innovative technology for wider user groups in academia, society, and religious communities. We seek to explore how such tools may extend existing scholarship into digital domains or may introduce new methodologies, novel research questions, and new areas of inquiry. For example, we are interested not only in how to develop databases, but also about how to apply databases in such a way that it helps to stimulate methodological debate on biblical interpretation and potentially open up new or alternative avenues of research. In addition, we are interested in stimulating thinking about how theories of learning (Hebrew and Greek Language, OT and NT Literature) can be influenced and improved by technology.

Post Author: rico
Monday, December 17, 2012 9:53:55 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, December 01, 2012

Thanks again to Hendrickson Publishers for providing a review copy.

There are so many places one could start with a review like this. I plan on starting at the beginning — with the front matter. This is where the edition itself lays out what it is, what it plans to do, and how it does it. I spent some time in the front matter again today, and wanted to run down some of the things mentioned in both the Foreword and the Introduction.

Revisions (not to the upper-text)

Of course we all know the upper-text of the Catholic Epistles is updated in accordance with the ECM (Edito Critica Maior); the apparatus for that material is significantly revised as well. But what else has been revised?

First, the marginal apparatus (cross references) have been revised and checked throughout. You would do well to pay attention to the introduction on these. Do you realize they mark quotations, allusions, and other items? To NT material, OT material, LXX material, and even pseudepigraphic material? There is a wealth in the cross-reference apparatus alone. If you use a print edition of NA28, then pay attention to the references in the outer edition of the page margin.

Second, the citations in the apparatus for Latin, Coptic and Syriac have all been checked.

Third, the patristic citations have all been checked as well, though the intro notes this “particularly” in the Catholic Epistles.

One strange note: There is a paragraph about how great the “digital Nestle-Aland” is going to be, but absolutely no information about it otherwise. No URL, no nothing. The facing page to this paragraph mentions the NTTranscripts web site (http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/) but that is not the ‘digital Nestle Aland’; and according to the referenced page itself, it is only a prototype.

Moving on …

If you are one of the handful of people who ever read the NA27 Introduction, then you are at least familiar with the idea of Consistently Cited Witnesses of “the first order” and of “the second order.” Whether you understood it or not is a different question.

The good news is that you no longer need to understand (or wonder about understanding) the difference between the two. The difference is gone; with NA28, there are only “Consistently Cited Witnesses”. This is a good thing, it makes reading the apparatus a little easier, and makes things less ambiguous for a subset of manuscripts.

Further, thanks to the good work of the Free University in Amsterdam, conjectures are no longer cited in the apparatus! (yay!). There is a project at the Free University that is immensely interesting, focused on building a database of conjectures regarding the text of the NT. The team working on it there are top-notch, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it progresses and integrates into the NA.

In material that has its basis in the ECM, inscriptions and subscriptions will no longer be listed in the apparatus. There are (as the ECM points out) often too many variations of these things to track; in a hand-edition like the NA28, it just doesn’t make sense any more. So NA28 has no apparatus data for inscriptions and subscriptions of books.

Pages 50*–51* list the changes to the Catholic epistles. There are 34. One of them, 1Pt 2.25, is orthographic (NA27 αλλα to NA28 αλλʼ). I will talk about orthography in another post.

Page 55* introduces the ♦ sigla to the apparatus markers. This marks in the uppertext a spot where the editors consider there to be two equally likely options in the text; with the other option listed in the apparatus. This effectively replaces the [brackets] most folks didn’t like. Brackets only allow additions or positive options, they cannot represent an omission. The ♦, which is always used in concert with one of the standard apparatus markers, does this. At present, it is only used in the Catholic Epistles.

As well, in only the Catholic Epistles, the apparatus uses “Byz” instead of the script/gothic ‘M’.

The introduction spends some time interacting with how early versions are handled in the NA28. Citing an early version as evidence for or against a reading is tricky, so it is worth understanding the NA28’s philosophy. My takeaway is that for anything but the most simple/straightforward stuff with early versions, it is probably best to head to the ECM for the full details it provides.

Manuscripts, Manuscripts …

Has anything changed in the apparatus outside of the Catholic Epistles? Yes, but it is pretty subtle. I hope to find a good spot and do a worked example/comparison between NA27 and NA28 in a future post. Until then, here’s what I know.

1. Thanks to Stephen C. Carlson, MS 2427 is no longer cited in the apparatus of NA28. MS2427 used to also be referred to as “Archaic Mark” and it was thought to be a surprisingly good medieval edition of the gospel of Mark. Carlson proved that 2427 was actually a forgery, and the text used was that of Buttmann’s 1860 edition of the Greek NT.

2. Thanks to removing the difference between “first order” and “second order” consistently-cited witnesses, this means that variation listings will be rendered more fully than before. That is, some contexts would not list second-order witnesses because their presence/absence from the list was assumed by virtue of them being second-order witnesses. However, this could be ambiguous in some contexts; the reader was left to guess why particular manuscripts weren’t listed. So some listings will be larger because this ambiguity has been done away with.

Outside of all of this (and the Catholic Epistles), the “language” of the apparatus is largely the same. The same symbols are used, same types of differences/variations represented. If you were comfortable with the NA27 apparatus, you will be comfortable with the NA28.

Is Anything Missing?

From p. 50* of the Introduction, this sad news:

Appendix III in NA27, Editionum Differentiae, is not included in the 28th edition, because the effort of revising it would not have been in reasonable proportion to its prospective usefulness. Today an index of variants based on a comparison of modern editions should be linked to the texts themselves. It is planned that such a tool will become a component of the digital Nestle-Aland, as soon as the necessary funding is available.

My guess is that we will never see this. As long as the ECM remains to be completed, my guess is funding should (rightly, I’d say) be routed to the primary task. But the comparison of modern versions is, I’d argue, important. Not because you use it as primary evidence in making textual decisions, but because you can see the rough spots in the text much easier when you see where modern text-critics disagree, and what readings they take. This is the primary reason I like the apparatus in the SBLGNT (which is an apparatus of select editions), it tells you when text-critics of the past 150 years or so disagree, and what they thought. This, in turn, points out the rough spots that you should probably then hop to an NA or ECM to figure out. Editionum Differentiae, you will be missed.

What’s Next?

Above, I’ve hinted about at least two more posts I’d like to write. One has to do with orthographic variation between NA27 and NA28; the other has to do with a worked example or two, comparing apparatus entries in NA28 to NA27 to see what sorts of things are different. After that, who knows.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, December 01, 2012 9:23:19 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, November 30, 2012

The good folks at Hendrickson provided me a review copy of NA28 (Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th Revised Edition). I’ve been focusing on the front matter, which spell out all of the differences in the edition.

I hope to write review material soon, hopefully starting this weekend. In the meantime, here are the bullet points from an ABS flyer advertising NA28:

  • Extensively revised
  • Simplified critical apparatus structure
  • Includes Papyri 117–127 readings
  • Revised Catholic Epistles (over 30 modifications in the main text)
  • Revised and supplemented cross-references

I think the first bullet is misleading. The INTF may have done extensive work in revising the text, the text itself is not extensively revised. The revisions themselves are rather minimal, as shown by “over 30 modifications” in the Catholic Epistles; that’s really not too many modifications in the scope of things. There has been lots of work; but that doesn’t translate into lots of revisions.

Those are the bullet points, but the real advance with NA28 is, of course the commencement of the process of introducing the text of the ECM into the hand-edition of the NA28, and the resultant changes in the apparatus for the Catholic Epistles. The front matter details all of this, and will be where I focus my attention in these review posts.

Lastly, a quick note on the cover. If you’re wondering (and unfamiliar with GBS publications), the yellow band is not part of the cover, it is paper wrapped around the cover and removable. There are different covers; the edition I was provided is the black imitation leather cover, “flexicover”. There are editions with a dictionary in back, but mine does not have the dictionary.

Post Author: rico
Friday, November 30, 2012 6:47:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In the interest of ensuring someone can find this information if needed, I wanted to report a few more errata from Ehrman & Pleše’s The Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com).

The first item is trivial. On p. 445, note 27, I’m guessing John 19:28-42 should be John 19:38-42.

The second item is less trivial.

In the introduction to the Gospel of Mary, p. 588, there is a statement about P.Oxy 3525: "Measuring 11.7 x 11.4 cm, it contains portions of 4:1–7:3 of the Coptic text."

However, I cannot determine the numbering system used in that statement; and it does not match with the numbering system used in either the Coptic or the English in Ehrman/Pleše. The material in P.Oxy 3525 is similar to that found in chapters/pages 9-10 as numbered in Ehrman/Pleše. I do not have the editions of Lührmann or Pasquier or Tuckett to hand, so I cannot check those; perhaps they would explain it.

Related to this, above that paragraph on p. 588, in a statement about P.Ryl. 463 (note, though, it is referred to as P.Ryl. 473 there), Ehrman/Pleše have: "This was a solitary papyrus leaf, written on both sides, measuring 8.7 x 10 cm, and containing portions of chapters 9-10 of the corresponding Coptic text, with some notable variants."

As numbered in Ehrman/Pleše, though, the material of P.Ryl. 463 aligns with the Coptic chapters/pages 17-19. So there is a disconnect in numbering systems somewhere here too.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 5:53:29 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yes, believe it or not, Advent is coming upon us. I’ve written a short devotional for use in the advent season. It is based on the readings of the Revised Common Lectionary for Year C, which, I believe, is this year. (I wrote the devotional in 2009, which was also Year C.)

I’ve just revised all the quotations from the Bible to use the Lexham English Bible as the license is clear and the material can be used for these purposes.

It was originally written for my church, Grace Church Bellingham. But anyone can use it. There are two versions in PDF. One version is standard 8.5x11. The other is a landscape, 2 column 8.5x11 version of the same.

It is organized by the readings of the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C). Each week’s readings are broken into daily portions, and each day has a short series of questions along with short answers.

My purpose for doing this was to have something for my family to start to read through as a family devotional during the advent season. The questions and answers are hopefully appropriate for such a setting. In reality, the questions (and moreso the answers) are just guidelines — training wheels, if you’d like to think of them that way — the hope is just to stimulate some sort of advent-centered discussion around the day/week readings.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:11:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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