But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Larry Hurtado - Apologetic Report

I note with appreciation James McGrath’s newly-published review of my collection of essays, Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early ChristianJesus-Devotion (Baylor University Press, 2018), in Review of Biblical Literature here.

As I’ve sometimes complained about reviews of my books that...

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Another of the stimulating essays given in the recent colloquium in Edinburgh is by Jörg Frey, “Between Jewish Monotheism and Proto-Trinitarian Relations:  The Making and Character of Johannine Christology.”  I can’t do justice to this rich and thought-packed...

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A multi-author volume on “digital humanities” and ancient manuscripts has appeared:  David Hamidović, Claire Clivaz and Sarah Bowen Savant, ed., Ancient Manuscripts in Digital Culture: Visualisation, Data Mining, Communication, DBS 3 (Leiden: Brill,...

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Friday, 17 May 2019 19:39

New Resource of Johannine Studies

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Serving as an assessor of a book-proposal for Oxford University Press brought me the rewards of several recent volumes, one of them:  The Oxford Handbook of Johannine Studies, eds. Judith M. Lieu and Martinus C. De Boer (OUP, 2018).  The publisher’s online catalog entry here.

The...

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Sunday, 12 May 2019 21:23

Text-Collections and an Emergent NT Canon

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A recent survey of the contents of Christian manuscripts from the first three centuries focuses on identifying which texts were combined in the same manuscript:  Michael Dormandy, “How the Books Became the Bible:  The Evidence for Canon Formation From Work-Combination in...

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Friday, 10 May 2019 18:43

“Quests for Freedom”: Second Edition

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The second edition of the multi-author volume, Quests for Freedom(edited by Michael Welker), has been published (Cascade Books, 2018; publisher’s online catalog entry here).  I posted about the book when it first appeared (here).  It’s a wide collection of...

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My recent postings about Paul’s use of “YHWH texts” have elicited several queries about the data.  There are five “pre-Christian” biblical manuscripts in Greek that are relevant:

4QpapLXXLevb (4Q120), Leviticus, lst cent BCE, uses ιαω (iao) for...

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Monday, 06 May 2019 23:21

“YHWH Texts” and Jesus: A Follow-up

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Further to my posting yesterday about David Capes’s paper on “YHWH Texts” applied to Jesus in Paul’s letters, a couple of comments of my own.

First, it is worth noting that, to judge from ancient manuscripts of the early Roman period, the treatment of the name of God, the...

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Monday, 06 May 2019 00:28

Capes on “YHWH Texts” and Jesus

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Another of the papers written for the recent colloquium on “Varieties of Theism” was by David Capes, “Jesus’ Unique Relationship with YHWH in Biblical Exegesis.”  In the paper Capes returns to the subject of his 1992 book, Old Testament Yahweh Texts in...

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Thursday, 25 April 2019 19:55

“Texts and Artefacts”: Paperback Edition

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The collection of some of my essays on NT textual criticism and early manuscripts, Texts and Artefacts, published in hardback in Autumn 2017 is now forthcoming in paperback, and so at a much cheaper price.  It’s due out in May and can be pre-ordered now at £26.09 here. ...

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Wednesday, 24 April 2019 20:58

The Gospel according to Mark: A Noteworthy Text

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In the ecclesiastical calendar, today (25 April) commemorates St. Mark, the traditional author of the Gospel according to Mark (hereafter GMark).  Whoever its author, GMark is a noteworthy text.  Apparently, the pioneering written narrative account of Jesus’ career, presented in a...

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Wednesday, 17 April 2019 19:33

Newman on “Doxa”, God, and Jesus

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I return here to giving a brief summary of the papers delivered in the recent two-day colloquium held in New College.  Carey Newman (Director of Baylor University Press) wrote on “God and Glory and Paul, Again.”

In this paper Newman returned to the subject of his important...

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Friday, 12 April 2019 01:16

Religious Freedom and Early Christianity

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I’m pleased to point to the publication of my essay in which I argue that pre-Constantinian Christianity provides an early impetus and argument for freedom of religion.  It appears in the online magazine, Marginaliahere.  The editors chose the title, which uses the word...

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As I indicated in my posting about the colloquium held here this week, the plan is to publish the finished form of the papers in a multi-author volume later this year.  In the meantime, I aim to present brief summaries of the papers on this blog site.  The presenters were not expected to...

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Tuesday and Wednesday this week there was a special colloquium held in New College here in Edinburgh focused on the variety of ways that gods are treated in the ancient Greco-Roman period.  It was not open to the public, and so I’ve waited till it was over to blog about it.

This was a...

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019 19:26

Chester Beatty Manuscripts Online

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Two online avenues for accessing the Chester Beatty Library biblical manuscripts are now available.

The earlier one is via the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (link here).  The CSNTM made fresh and high-resolution digital images of the Chester Beatty manuscripts a few years...

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Sunday, 07 April 2019 00:52

Wax Tablets: A Follow-up

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I’ve been surprised (pleasantly) at the number of comments and interested readers responding to my posting yesterday about the use of wax tablets by writers in the Roman era.  Here are a few further comments:

  • Wax tablets survive and can be viewed in some museums.  You can see a scale...

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One the questions currently intriguing me is how the authors of texts such as the Gospels may have gone about their composition of them.  What were the “mechanics” and the physical items used?  One of the studies that I’ve come across is this one:  John C. Poirier,...

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In an earlier posting (here) I noted the indications of a remarkable investment of time, effort, and expenses in the composition, copying and distribution of texts in early Christian circles, especially (but not exclusively) Christian texts such as became part of the NT.  I offer here a few...

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019 19:52

“Pagan” Knowledge of Early Christian Texts

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Scholars continue to probe whether and how early Christian texts such as those that make up the NT show knowledge and influence of “pagan” literary texts.  But far less frequently is the question asked whether literate pagans gave any attention to early Christian texts.  I...

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Friday, 15 March 2019 22:16

On “Spitballing” and Informed Inferences

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Having spent a few decades investigating early Christian usage of the codex and what all was entailed, including reading everything I could find written by other scholars about ancient books, and examining examples of rolls and codices for myself, I find it by turns amusing and a bit annoying when...

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Thursday, 14 March 2019 19:56

The “Investment” of Early Christians in Texts

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In previous posts I’ve emphasized the importance of early Christian manuscripts as material artifacts, not only copies of texts (e.g., here).  An associated matter is the effort and expense involved in the production, copying, and dissemination and usage of these texts as manuscript...

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Monday, 11 March 2019 20:06

Galen and His Codices

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In response my query to Jan Bremmer (a bibliographical phenomenon!) about a matter, he referred me to an article published some years ago now that discusses evidence of Galen’s attitude toward and use of the codex bookform:  Matthew Nicholls, “Parchment Codices in a New Text of...

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It was long thought (especially in some Protestant circles) that second-century Christianity lost track of the Pauline emphasis on “justification” by God through faith.  One of the most influential studies that established this view was by the famous Edinburgh scholar, Thomas F....

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Sunday, 10 March 2019 00:04

Books and Authors

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In my PhD studies (many years ago now), I was privileged to be supervised by Eldon J. Epp.  And one of the advantages was his meticulous concern for correct grammar.  So, e.g., I was made to note that “data” is a plural noun, requiring, thus, a plural verb.

I recall also that...

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