Archive for April 1st, 2009

01
Apr
09

From Dove: Limited Quantity Sale

Now through April 13, buy two titles and get the third free. Sounds like a pretty good economic stimulus to me! Check out the available titles here.

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01
Apr
09

Watch Your Words

Rod Decker offers a brief list of style manuals and writing guides which should prove extremely helpful to anyone in the midst of a research project (e.g., the dreaded dissertation). It’s well worth a look.

He also offers an insight which I cannot echo strongly enough:

Sloppy writing is one of the scourges of the Internet, nearly equal to anonymous web sites/blogs/posts in detrimental effect—but that’s another subject! If you have something to say, it’s worth saying at least in grammatical English, but better yet, in good, clear English. If you want to be heard, write it well. There’s no excuse for sloppiness. If you don’t have time to proofread it and don’t care how it sounds, why should anyone else?

Bloggers, heed these wise words and proofread your posts and comments. Whenever I come across typos or other grammatical mistakes in the blogosphere, I find that it inevitably diminishes the authority of the writer (at least in my estimation). Take a few seconds and look over your writing before committing it to the vastness of the internet. And if you don’t know how to say it correctly, perhaps you shouldn’t be saying it at all.

01
Apr
09

Engberg-Pederson’s Paul and the Stoics: In Two Pages!

In conjunction with Prof. Harry Gamble’s seminar on Paul in modern scholarship, I foolishly volunteered to provide the class with a review of Troels Engberg-Pederson’s magisterial Paul and the Stoics (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2000). This is an absolutely outstanding (albeit thoroughly challenging) and provocative analysis of the relationship between Pauline and Stoic thought. As many reviewers have noted, it is not possible to condense such a rich study into any kind of brief precis, but I crammed as many juicy tidbits as possible into a single handout. Check it out here… but more importantly, check out the entire book. It’s well worth your while!

01
Apr
09

New Testament Notes: Week 11 (Wednesday)

Key issues from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians:

RELC 122 Notes: 4/1

01
Apr
09

Biblical Studies Carnival XL

This month’s carnival is hosted by James Gregory. He’s done a truly outstanding job gathering together and helpfully sorting the best odds and ends from the biblioblogging world… and I should know, because several of those odds and ends came from this very blog. 😉

Be sure to check it out… I always discover valuable posts and comments that I’ve missed.

01
Apr
09

Ehrman v. White: A Scorecard (Opening Statements)

I’ve been reading through the transcript of Bart Ehrman’s recent debate with James White regarding the question, “Did the Bible misquote Jesus?” The first hour was devoted to opening statements. Ehrman’s remarks were pretty familiar to anyone who has read his recent popular treatments of New Testament textual criticism, emphasizing the following:

* The ease with which ancient scribes made errors

* The relative lack of early witnesses to the text of the New Testament (as he notes, ninety-four percent of the extant manuscripts date from beyond the ninth century, and many of the earliest copies are extremely fragmentary)

* The obviously large number of variant readings between the surviving witnesses (although he admits that many of these are inconsequential, relating to minor matters such as spelling)

* Passages which display significant scribal alteration/interpolation (e.g., the Pericope Adulterae, the ending of Mark, etc.)

For his part, White echoed Ehrman’s earlier comment that the majority of variants are not significant in terms of the meaning of the text, noted the extreme similarities between P75 (second century) and Codex Vaticanus (mid-fourth century) and concluded that it reveals the existence of “a very clean, very accurate line of transmission… that goes back to the earliest part of the second century itself,” and suggested that while there may be places in the New Testament where a single variant cannot be chosen with absolute certainty, there are not any places where all of the variants may be dismissed as a possible original. Thus he quotes Rob Bowman, who describes the text-critical process as working a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle with more than a thousand pieces in the box. “The task is weeding out the extra; the originals are there.” His characterizations of brave Christians diligently copying the scriptures in the face of extreme persecution were at times overly romantic (and potentially misleading, as the first systematic persecution of the early Christian movement did not take place until the mid-third century), and his comment that “[w]e have a dozen manuscripts within the first 100 years after the writing of the New Testament” requires clarification (P46, the famous codex of Pauline writings, was certainly copied within a century of the completion of the last portions of the New Testament, but approximately 150 years after the death of Paul). Generally, however, I found it to be a vigorous, passionate presentation.

I’m eager to see the debaters engage one another directly… that should make for more exciting reading.




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© 2006-2009, Matthew Burgess. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use of the original content of this website is strictly prohibited. Quotations or citations should include a link to this website. The views and opinions given here are my own and do not represent those of the University of Virginia (or anyone else, for that matter).
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