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
Friday, 17 November 2017 19:16

Translations, Translations

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I’ve recently been asked again about “the best” translation of the Greek NT.  The answer isn’t simple.  All translations of all texts involve multiple factors and decisions to be made.  There is the aim of conveying the source text in a different language, and...

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Sunday, 12 November 2017 21:37

“Texts and Artefacts” Now Published

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I’ve just taken delivery of author’s copies of the newly-published volume of selected essays of mine:  Texts and Artefacts:  Selected Essays on Textual Criticism and Early Christian Manuscripts (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017).  I posted on the book earlier when...

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Saturday, 11 November 2017 23:26

An amusing Rumour

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Here’s an amusing story from last week.  For several years I’ve been on the steering committee of the Mark Group, a programme unit in the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL).  Our programme unit came up for renewal this Autumn, and so was set to approach...

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Thursday, 09 November 2017 00:22

Early Christian Use of “Messianic” Psalms

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The paper that I mentioned in a previous posting (here) and prepared for a conference in Salamanca (held in 2016) is now one of the 32 essays published in my recent volume:  Ancient Jewish Monotheism and Early Christian Jesus-Devotion (Baylor University Press, 2017, the publisher’s...

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Tuesday, 07 November 2017 17:39

Greek New Testaments: Spoiled for Choice!

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Those who want to read the New Testament writings in Greek are now spoiled for choice, with several recent editions published.  Most recently, there is the edition just published mentioned earlier this week here, a project based in Tyndale House (Cambridge), edited by Dirk Jongkind.  A...

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Monday, 06 November 2017 19:08

A New Greek New Testament

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There is a newly-published edition of The Greek New Testament prepared by scholars associated with Tyndale House (Cambridge, UK).   For more information, and for continuing commentary on its features, see the dedicated blog site here.  It is published in the USA by Crossway...

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In preparation for a class on Thursday this week, I’ve been re-reading (3rd time, I think) Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church (Yale University Press, 1995; the UK online entry for the paperback reprint edition here).  I’ve mentioned this book...

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I’ve just been exploring the newly published book by Nicolai Sinai, The Qur’an:  A Historical-Critical Introduction (Edinburgh University Press, 2017; the online listing here).  Of course, the Qur’an and Islam are far too late to be included in a blog site on the...

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A former colleague from a few decades ago has a blog site with lots of advice for young/initial academics, his latest posting: “Write it Out and Write it Down” here.  There are a number of other postings on his site that those contemplating postgraduate study in Theology/Religion...

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Monday, 23 October 2017 23:54

Was “Johannine Christianity” Intolerant?

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In the discussion following the first of his Croall Lectures in New College yesterday, Professor Werner Jeanrond referred to the “Johannine Community” as a group in which he wouldn’t feel comfortable, perceiving it to have been a rather narrow and intolerant group.  It was an...

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Tuesday, 17 October 2017 18:46

Power, Sex, and Academia: Still a Problem?

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The recent (and justified) furore over the sexual aggression against young women by the Hollywood producer raised two thoughts again.  First, it hasn’t been mentioned that the US President is himself an admitted sexual predator who bragged about his own sexual aggression as a...

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Friday, 13 October 2017 20:08

Exalted Human Claims in the time of Jesus

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The discussion of Andrew Loke’s new book in which he proposes that Jesus saw and spoke of himself as “truly divine” reminded me of some interesting Qumran fragments and the discussion about them.[1]

These fragments are often referred to by scholars as portions of a...

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 18:59

“The Son of Man”: An Obsolete Phantom

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In recent comments, some have pointed to scholars who have posited that when Jesus used the expression “the son of man” he was referring to some other, future figure, not himself.  This is a view that once was quite widely shared, and so will be found frequently in older...

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 19:48

“The Son of Man”: Encore

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In comments responding to my recent postings on Andrew Loke’s book, some have pointed to the remarkable messianic figure in the “Parables” of the composite writing known as 1 Enoch (chaps 37-71).   It has become now somewhat fashionable to date the Parables earlier than...

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Monday, 09 October 2017 19:24

“Divine Christology”: Loke Replies

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After my posting yesterday here, pointing to the new book by Andrew Loke, and offering some reasons for my inability to assent to his argument, he sent me a reply.  For the purposes of scholarly dialogue and public information, I agreed to post his reply.  I have added a few comments in...

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Sunday, 08 October 2017 21:51

The Origin of “Divine Christology”?

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A new book presents the argument that the key reason that Jesus became a recipient of worship in earliest Christian circles is that he claimed divinity and the right to receive worship:  Andrew Ter Ern Loke, The Origin of Divine Christology, Society for New Testament Studies Monograph...

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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:47

Summer Biblical Study in Cambridge, 2018

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The “Vacation Term for Biblical Study” (VTBS) has announced early-bird bookings for the 2018 sessions to be held in Cambridge:  two back-to-back weeks, 29 July – 3 August, and 5-10 August.  Each week is a complete programme unto itself, so you can book for either week or...

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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:29

Conference on Atonement, June 2018

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I pass on notice of a conference on “Atonement:  Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity,” scheduled for 4-6 June 2018 in the University of St. Andrews.  It promises main presentations from some key figures, and invites short paper proposals from others....

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I note that my forthcoming collection of selected essays in the LNTS series is now available for pre-order and at a reduced price:   Texts and Artefacts:  Selected Essays on Textual Criticism and Early Christian Manuscripts (London:  Bloomsbury T&T Clark), the...

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Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:36

Patristic Citations . . . Encore

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In a previous posting I complained that some scholars point to the use of biblical texts in early figures such as Justin Martyr as evidence that these biblical texts were circulating in a very “loose” way, with “wild” variations in the copies at that time.  My complaint...

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Sunday, 24 September 2017 20:09

A “D-Cluster” in Acts? Epp’s Recent Article

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Eldon Epp (my revered former teacher, and a senior figure in NT textual criticism) has a recent (and very large) article presenting the argument that there was a dual stream of textual transmission of the book of Acts in the earliest centuries:   “Text-Critical Witnesses and...

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Saturday, 23 September 2017 03:51

Paul and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35

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A couple of readers have asked for my comments on the news story on Philip Payne’s recently-published article in which he discusses scribal features of Codex Vaticanus as these pertain to the question of the originality of 1 Corinthians 14:34-25.  (The news story, e.g., here....

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Friday, 22 September 2017 00:36

The Internet and Scholarly Discussion

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The Internet does not necessarily serve us well when it comes to scholarly discussion of topics.  As an experienced “blogger” attempting to promote scholarly work now, I know this well.

On the one hand, it’s wonderful to post something and then within days (or even hours) to...

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Thursday, 21 September 2017 18:21

Recent Studies on Early Christian Textual Transmission

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In light of my recent postings about the textual transmission of early Christian texts (especially, but not exclusively, the Gospels), I note again two other recent volumes that are rich in data and intriguing in analysis.

Alan Mugridge, Copying Early Christian Texts: A Study of Scribal Practice,...

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 19:49

Textual Stability and NT Studies

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Claims by some that the earliest period of textual transmission of the Gospels was so “wild” that we cannot take extant early copies of the Gospels as a good representation of what the authors may have written are all belied in practice by NT scholars, including those who make such...

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