I am excited to announce that my article "A Coptic Fragment of the Gospel of John with Hermeneiai (P.CtYBR inv. 4641)" has just been published in New Testament Studies 60.2. I have uploaded the article to the "Publications" section of this website (click here). The article is an edition of a Coptic NT fragment that I discovered at Yale University last summer. It is important not only because it is a NT fragment but also because it is a "hermeneia" manuscript of John—in Coptic. I blogged about this manuscript several months ago (see here) and it sparked a great deal of interest. If you want a brief summary of the significance of this piece without reading through the article, then see that blog post. The manuscript has now been registered by Münster in the official list of Coptic NT manuscripts, with the SMR number "sa 402."
I had a wonderful experience publishing with NTS. I have published in several journals, but the editors at NTS really set the bar when it comes to quality, from submission to publication. It went through many rounds of review and the copy editor Iveta Adams has the sharpest pair of eyes that I know.
1) So, I learned today that David C. Parker's Living Text of the Gospels (Cambridge, 1997) is freely available online here.
2) Abebooks.com is selling a personal copy of William H. P. Hatch's Facsimiles and Descriptions of Minuscule Manuscripts of the New Testament (Harvard, 1951) here. The front matter reads thus: "To Helen and Robert with worlds of love from Father (father in Greek)." According to the bookseller's description, "Robert is his son Robert McConnell Hatch (episcopal bishop and author in his own right) and his wife Helen (daughter of Margaret and James Thayer Addison)." The bookseller has actually uploaded an image of the dedication demonstrating Hatch's penmanship:
This would be a really special book to have on the bookshelf and if I had $227 sitting around, I would definitely get it.
3) In May, the University of Copenhagen will host a conference titled "A World of Well-Ordered Societies? The Rules and Regulations of Ancient Associations." Apparently, the actual conference will take place at the Danish Insitute at Athens. A list of conference speakers and papers may be found here.
My fine colleague here at Concordia University, Calogero A. Miceli, has written a blog post over on the Perspective Criticism blog titled, "Perpective Criticism and the Gerasene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20)." Be sure to check it out!
This semester, I am teaching Introduction to Christian Origins at Concordia University, and one of the plans was to take my students to McGill University's library to see some ancient manuscripts. Due to scheduling conflicts among students, I made this field trip non-obligatory. Out of 41 students only 10 attended, but those 10 had a great experience. The fine curator of McGill's Rare Books and Special Collections, Dr. Richard Virr, was kind enough to allow us an entire hour to handle and discuss a variety of ancient papyri, parchments, wooden and stone tablets, ostrika, a scroll, and a Cuneiform stone cylinder. One of the stone tablets dates from 2,000 B.C.E. and was purchased from the British Museum.
McGill has five Oxyrhynchus papyri (P.Oxy. 1517, 1541, 1555, 1674, 1685) and a few others from different or unknown provenances. They also have a small collection of Coptic fragments (not to mention manuscripts written in other languages), one of which I discovered a couple years ago and published in ZPE 184 (see the publication here). Interestingly, this manuscript, a palimpsest, had been purchased from Erik von Scherling in the 1950s, but since no one ever documented the locations of purchased von Scherling items, the fragment was as good as lost. My rediscovery of the fragment led to the identification of the manuscript (2 Samuel 10), as well as the manuscript to which it belongs—P.Monts. Roca II 4—housed in Spain. Anyway, I used this story as a demonstration of what papyrologists do and how manuscripts get discovered, lost, rediscovered, published, etc. It was an excellent conversation piece and it was also nice to be reunited with it.
P.Oxy. 1517 is interesting because of its mention of two otherwise unknown villages: θῦρις and Δάχμων. There is also a wooden Coptic funerary tablet that was published by Naphtali Lewis in the 1930s. Dr. Virr tells me he thinks it may be a modern forgery. I also came across an interesting piece that seems to be unpublished. I need to do some more detective work, but it may well be another missing von Scherling item. Stay tuned!