The Unbelievable Past Conference

I wish I could make it to this amazing-looking conference coming up in September… The Unbelievable Past Conference, 14–16 September, 2016 Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? Constructions of Provenance, Narratives of Forgery University of Agder Wednesday Open lecture at Myren Gård: 18:00– Nina Burleigh (Newsweek), “Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in [Read More…]

The Library of the Camaldoli Hermitage

The highlight of visiting Camaldoli in Italy this summer (other than the Enoch Seminar academic conference itself) was the visit to the hermitage higher up on the mountain, and seeing some of the precious old books in their library. I shared some photos when I was there, but without explanation, and so here are some [Read More…]

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John the Jew, Kingship, Priesthood, and Divinity: Enoch Seminar Day 3

The morning sessions I attended both focused on John 5. We explored fascinating questions such as: whether the argument that an obedient son does what he sees his father doing requires a particular ontological understanding of divine sonship, or works equally well if it is the relational sonship of the Davidic king that is in [Read More…]

Penn Libraries Holy Land Collection

I learned not long ago about the Penn Libraries Holy Land Collection. Here’s the address, so that you can explore it further: http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/holyland/index.html [Read more…]

The Atheist Game of Telephone

A friend shared this meme, together with the comment, “Showing that whatever else atheists are, they are not students of history and historical criticism.” The irony is that the claims in the image above themselves circulate and circulate in the manner of the telephone game, among atheists and other self-proclaimed “skeptics” who are nothing of [Read More…]

How Many Variants?

Peter Gurry has written an interesting post about variants in the manuscripts of the New Testament. The short version is that one first has to define what one means by “variants,” since we do not have an original against which to compare, and even then it can be unclear precisely what number one ought to come [Read More…]

Syriac Summer School

VHMML has added a range of resources to its website, including a school for learning to read Syriac manuscripts. Byzantine News shared news about the summer school HMML and Dumbarton Oaks will be holding this summer. Tony Burke blogged about the critical edition of the Syriac Infancy Gospel of Thomas that he has been working on. Of [Read More…]

Paul Must Have Been Angry

  The idea for this joke came about in my Sunday school class yesterday. We have been studying 1 Corinthians, and found ourselves talking about what made Paul’s letters persuasive before they were scripture. For those who may not get the joke, our oldest manuscripts of the New Testament are written in all upper-case letters, not because [Read More…]

Counting Manuscripts and Which Manuscripts Count

Peter Gurry shared the above image graphing the number of manuscripts we have from each century. Keep in mind that centuries are a convenient timekeeping device, and it is not as though a manuscript copied new year’s eve on the last day of the second century is more valuable than one copied the following day. In fact, [Read More…]

Identification of Authors in Ancient Literature

A discussion here on this blog brought up the question of whether other ancient works may, like the Gospels, have initially circulated without an author being indicated, with the attribution to the author being added only subsequently to the manuscript tradition. This led to a blog post by Matthew Ferguson, which made comparisons to the works of [Read More…]


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