Saturday, October 20, 2018

Proto-Sinaitic Again

It has been a couple of years since this topic came up (previous posts here and here), If anyone still actually cares about Douglas Petrovich's speculations on Proto-Sinaitic, David Falk has a rather devastating review in the Review of Biblical Literature.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Oldest Text of the Odessey?

News reports (here, and here) report the discovery of a third century A.D. clay tablet with lines from Homer's Odessey found near the temple of Zeus at Olympia. Some of the reports claim that this is the oldest copy of the Odessey ever found. The claim, however, is missing two words: in Greece. Some of the news reports included the two words, others did not. The two words are significant. Back in 1988 (thirty years ago) Orsolina Montevecchi listed 93 copies of the Odessey that are older (some five-hundred years older). Those copies, however, were found in Egypt.

It is also worth noting that the date of the new manuscript from Greece is about a millennium after the typical date for Homer. This serves as a reminder that there is often a large gap between when a literary text is written and the date of the earliest manuscript.

So cheers to the archaeologists and the Greeks for this new discovery. And a groan for the careless editor who left out two important words. Small details can make big differences.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thoughts from Relatives

The following thought was written by my ninth cousin twice removed when he visited Heidelberg:
I went often to look at the collection of curiosities in Heidelberg Castle, and one day I surprised the keeper of it with my German. I spoke entirely in that language. He was greatly interested; and after I had talked a while he said my German was very rare, possibly a "unique"; and wanted to add it to his museum.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

In Case You Were Wondering

In the announcement in the Deseret News for the new volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, there are a number of nice pictures. The first one is a picture of a papyrus, one I have looked at a number of time. It is P. Joseph Smith XI. Unfortunately, the papyrus is shown upside down. Oops.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

But It Goes

The following was spotted just outside the Church at St. Wendel during the Easter Market:

Saturday, May 6, 2017

America and the Bible 2017

The Barna group has their 2017 report on American engagement with the Bible. There are a few interesting things to come out of the report:
  • The general attitude toward the Bible has been more or less constant since 2011 with a couple of exceptions: Skepticism towards the Bible has nearly doubled in that time, but is down from the past couple of years. There has been a more or less corresponding drop among those who are friendly toward the Bible, but most of that came between 2011 and 2012.

  • More than three quarters of those who are skeptical of the Bible are actually better categorized as hostile towards the Bible. The number of those who are skeptical of the Bible is less than the number of Americans who regularly read the Bible.

  • Almost a third of Americans never read the Bible.

  • Despite the increased use of various electronic scriptures, most people would rather read a Bible in print.
Although the report did not correlate the categories, it might not be coincidental that the number of people skeptical of the Bible may be a subset of those who never read it.