TC Girl

Because life wasn't boring enough...

2:58 PM

Edito Maior Critica in 1970

Posted by TC_Girl |

Today I read a very old article in New Testament Studies 16 (1970) by Kurt Aland, “Novi Testamenti Graeci Editio Maior Critica,” 167-77.

It’s interesting to see Aland’s comments on the development of the Editio Maior Critica. On p 170-171 he said, “Perhaps it will be confirmed, when we have the Editio maior critica, that the representatives of the families I, 13, 1424, etc., have been understood correctly by research until now and that the character of these families has been adequately described. But it is just as possible, even probable, that there will be variations in both directions.” Well, he was right. Obviously I am more familiar with Family 13 – and indeed they (M√ľnster) have suggested that Family 13 may not be such a happy little family after all. Hopefully some of my work will shed a bit of light on the matter (as well as some extremely important Family 13 work going on at the University of Birmingham). But it’s still encouraging to see that these projections by K. Aland were somewhat accurate. Then again, I suppose one could argue that his projections were so vague that they were inevitable – like a horoscope for TC. Either way, at least we know we aren’t groping in the dark. (Just a poorly lit room.)

3:12 PM

An old article and some new thoughts..

Posted by TC_Girl |

I just read Aland’s old paper “The Twentieth-Century Interlude in New Testament Criticism” (from Text and Translation: Studies in the New Testament Presented to Matthew Black, Cambridge, 1979. 1-14.). Apparently (in 1973) Epp said that textual criticism had made little advances in recent years and was therefore in an “interlude” of some sort. It seems as though Epp was speaking primarily about American scholars – but never quite acknowledged this difference in the paper (and thus ignored the amazing advances made in Europe). Interesting. I wonder if Epp ever responded to Aland?

I’m also still working on Parker’s new book “New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts.” Initial thoughts:
It is going to be a very helpful resource for many students (and scholars). I’ve already marked books and articles that I need to buy/read. He usually lists these resources in his footnotes. Well, they aren’t footnotes – and actually, I don’t know what I think about his decision not to use footnotes. Instead, he puts his notes (with a very small font size) between paragraphs. It’s unusual.

He also seems to ignore CSNTM when listing resources for NT MS images online. Strange. Speaking of images online: that’s exactly how one has to access the images he references in his book. He has no illustrations in the actual book. They are all online. I don’t like this. It would be nice to have either option. I tend to read when I’m away from my computer – otherwise I’m distracted. However, in order to read this book I literally need to have my computer right next to me. Plus, what are the chances that his website will be available in 200 years? (This was my very first thought – silly, maybe, but data rot is an important issue.)

Anyway, as always, it’s easier to be critical than to praise. It’s obviously a great book. I am enjoying it immensely.

2:00 PM

The battle of the definitions!

Posted by TC_Girl |

Today’s entry will be fairly short. I just began reading Parker’s An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts. Yeah, I know – I’m a year late. But I’ve been a little busy this year. Hmm. So, I had already seen a few reviews before reading this book. I know, for instance, that Parker’s definition of “variant” did not receive a warm reception. I can see why after reading the introduction. Parker states that a variant reading should be defined as “the entire text as it is present in a particular copy” (p. 5). Yet he notes that this definition is not pragmatic. I’m not sure how a definition of variant that is not practical will help a textual critic, but there you have it. He at least recognizes the problem.

Well, that’s it. See, I said it would be short.

Aasgard, Reidar. “Brothers in Brackets? A Plea for Rethinking the Use of [] in NA/UBS.” JSNT 26.3 (2004): 301-321.

It’s Ash Wednesday, and what better way to start Lent than with an article about… brackets! Yes, today I’m looking at Reidar Aasgard’s article “Brothers in Brackets? A Plea for Rethinking the Use of [] in NA/UBS.” Ok. Time for some honesty: This has to be the worst title I have ever seen for an article. It screams, “Don’t read me! I’m boring!” And… well, it’s actually kind of amusing. How can you resist reading an article with such a dull title?

Aasgaard has a bone to pick with editorial committees responsible for the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece and UBS Greek New Testament texts. You see, critical editions of the NT are infamous for using confusing and ambiguous classification systems. Any first year Greek student can tell you this. Aasgaard is particularly concerned with the use of brackets (yes, these: [] – but not these: [[]]) to indicate material of questionable authenticity (301).

So, I checked the bracket definition in NA27 (2001), page 6*:

“Square brackets in the text ([ ]) indicate that textual critics today are not completely convinced of the authenticity of the enclosed words (cf. Mt 18,19; Ac 16,; for word order, 1 Cor 10,20). These passages are always noted explicitly in the apparatus so that the reader may evaluate them independently. The reading given in the text shows the preference of the editors. For practical reasons the evidence given in the apparatus always includes the support for the reading in the text. Square brackets always reflect a great degree of difficulty in determining the text.”

Anyway, Aasgaard decides to find out whether or not these brackets are still necessary. He counted every single occurrence of brackets and calculated their average occurrence in various texts (Gospels, Paul’s undisputed letters, etc.). He takes examples from NA/UBS where the use of adelfoi is bracketed and attempts to demonstrate that – in a few cases - a conclusion about the authenticity can be easily reached (thus rendering the brackets unnecessary). He even suggests places where brackets should be added (noting inconsistencies in the assignment of brackets by the editorial committee, 318).

His conclusions are helpful. For instance, when evaluating a text in brackets, it is best to look for similar bracketed occurrences before making any decision as to its authenticity (or lack thereof, 319). He also suggests methods that are pretty generic, like using both internal and external criteria (320). But he’s right – consistency in bracketing isn’t something that seems to have been a concern for the NA and UBS editors.

Well, that’s it for today. TC Girl thinks Aasgaard needs to go with something a bit more upbeat next time... like, "NA/UBS: A Veritable Bracketing Hell!"


7:15 AM

What's the point?

Posted by TC_Girl |

Ahh, my first post. Well, I'll do a quick introduction to the purpose of this blog... and then I'll get right down to it.

I'm going to post my terribly mundane experiences and thoughts on here. (Isn't that exciting?) I suppose my TC posts will have some merit as not many women work in this field. But, aside from that, I'm afraid you won't find much.

My TC posts are only passing thoughts on articles and books. They do not contain material that I ever intend to publish. I have not spent hours combing over them. If you're looking for research, reviews, etc., head over to one of the many professional TC blogs out there. :)

Anyway. Onward and upward.