Friday, October 2, 2015

One Less Worry

I was comforted by this thought from Elder Russell M. Nelson reflecting on the calling of apostles:
You look at a university or a big business where there’s a vacancy. A search committee works hard to find suitable successors. They do well but it’s always a worry. Here, it is not a worry. You know the work of the Lord will be done by His servants.
Thank heavens that the calling of apostles is done by the Lord instead of a university committee.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Religious Studies at BYU

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, former president of BYU, outlines the place of Religious Studies at BYU in a recently published interview:
I think we will want to keep asking hard questions: how much is practical, how much is needed, how many lines of communication do we need, and what books are good enough to carry our imprimatur. When we know which products those are, then we should do a world-class job with them. I would like this [the Religious Studies Center] to become known as the scholarly voice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on matters that would normally be considered as "religious studies." When people think, "Where do I look to see the real heartbeat of intellectual life and academic contribution for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," I want them to think BYU, and at BYU when the issue is religious scholarship, I want them to think of the Religious Studies Center.
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Thomas Wayment, "The RSC Turns Forty: A Convesation with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland," Religious Educator 16/2 [2015]: 3.)
Later in the interview Elder Holland also gave kudos to BYU Studies for its work in that field.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Provenance of Greek New Testament Manuscripts

There are a number of lists of New Testament manuscripts available, most of them based on the one at the back of the Nestle-Aland edition of the Greek New Testament. A good list will tell you about where the manuscript is found now, what texts it contains, and when the manuscript is thought to be written. What the lists do not tell you is where the manuscript was found. So this list is to provide that information, to the extent it is known.

I am arranging the list chronologically as well as geographically. Many of the dates in the standard lists are wrong. I am adjusting the dates following the new ones given by Orsini and Clarysse (two papyrologists) rather than the standard ones given by theologians. Papyrologists can at best date business hands to the nearest half-century; literary hands can at best be dated to the nearest century. (So I think that even some of the Orsini and Clarysse dates are too precise.)

I have also included a number of other details about some of these manuscripts that are not well known. The contents only mention the book or books that show up in the manuscript and in most cases the entire book is not attested. I have added the Trismegistos number and links for those interested in more information.

Take the question marks seriously.

Oxyrhynchus (Bahnasa)
p104 (= TM 61782, Matthew)
p90 (= TM 61625, John)
P.Oxy. 50 3528 (= TM 59983, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Oxy. 69 4706 (= TM 69384, Shepherd of Hermas)
p30 (= TM 61860, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians)
P.Oxy. 69 4705 (= TM 69383, Shepherd of Hermas)
p1 (= TM 61787, Mathew)
p5 (= TM 61630, John)
p18 (= TM 61636, Revelation)
p20 (= TM 61618, James)
p27 (= TM 61854, Romans)
p29 (= TM 61701, Acts)
p69 (= TM 61700, Luke)
p70 (= TM 61789, Matthew)
p100 (= TM 61619, James)
p101 (= TM 61786, Matthew)
p103 (= TM 61785, Matthew)
p106 (= TM 61631, John)
p107 (= TM 61632, John)
p108 (= TM 61633, John)
p109 (= TM 61634, John)
p111 (= TM 65894, Luke)
p113 (= TM 65896, Romans)
p114 (= TM 65897, Hebrews)
p119 (= TM 112358, John)
p121 (= TM 112360, John)
P.Oxy. 15 1828 (= TM 59987, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Oxy. 50 3527 (= TM 59986, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Oxy. 69 4707 (= TM 69385, Shepherd of Hermas)
P. Oxy 3 404 (= TM 59989, Shepherd of Hermas)
p22 (= TM 61629, John)
p23 (= TM 61620, James)
p77 (= TM 61784, Matthew)
p13 (= TM 61861, Hebrews)
p28 (= TM 61635, John)
p78 (= TM 61695, Jude)
p115 (= TM 65898, Revelation)
P. Oxy. 15 1783 (= TM 59991, Shepherd of Hermas)
p39 (= TM 61638, John)
p9 (= TM 61639, 1 John)
p125 (= TM 117814, 1 Peter)
p10 (= TM 61868, Romans)
p123 (= TM 113259, 1 Corinthians)
p15+16 (= TM 61859, 1 Corinthians, Philippians) p17 (= TM 61862, Hebrews)
p71 (= TM 61794, Matthew)
p102 (= TM 61790, Matthew)
p110 (= TM 65893, Matthew)
p120 (= TM 112359, John)
P.Oxy. 9 1172 (= TM 59993, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Oxy. 13 1599 (= TM 59992, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Oxy. 50 3526 (= TM 59993, Shepherd of Hermas)
p19 (= TM 61798, Matthew)
p21 (= TM 61796, Matthew)
p48 (= TM 61702, Acts)
p24 (= TM 61641, Revelation)
p51 (= TM 61869, Galatians)
p122 (= TM 112361, John)
p127 (= TM 119313, Acts)
p54 (= TM 61622, James)
p105 (= TM 61803, Matthew, amulet)
p35 (= TM 61802, Matthew)
p112 (= TM 65895, Acts)
p36 (= TM 61662, John)
p124 (= TM 113260, 2 Corinthians)
p26 (= TM 61898, Romans)
p52 (= TM 61624, John)

Hermopolis (el-Ashmunein)
P.Iand. 1 4 (= TM 59982, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Berl. 13272 (= TM 59990, Shepherd of Hermas)
Koptos (Qift)
p4+64+67 (= TM 61783, Matthew, Luke)
Aphroditopolis (Atfih) (?)/Panopolis (Akhmim) (?)/Arsinoites(?)
p46 (= TM 61855, Romans, Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians)
p45 (= TM 61826, Matthew, John, Luke, Mark, Acts)
Aphroditopolis (Atfih) (?)
p47 (= TM 61628, Revelation)
Panopolis (Akhmim)
p66 (?) (= TM 61627, John)
p72 (= TM 61420, Protevangelium of Jacob, 3 Corinthians, Odes of Solomon, Jude, Melito of Sardis Peri Pascha, 1 Peter, 2 Peter)
P. Bodmer 38 (= TM 59994, Shepherd of Hermas, Dortheus Visio)
Hipponon (Qararo)
p40 (= TM 61846, Romans)
Egypt (further specification unknown)
p95 (= TM 61651, John)
p87 (= TM 61857, Philemon)
p98 (= TM 61626, Revelation)
p32 (= TM 61853, Titus)
p75 (= TM 61743, Luke, John)
p91 (= TM 61699, Acts)
p49 (= TM 61858, Ephesians)
p65 (= TM 61856, 1 Thessalonians)
p8 (= TM 61704, Acts)
p116 (= TM 66065, Hebrews)
p50 (= TM 61709, Acts)
p62 (= TM 61839, Matthew, Greek and Coptic [Akhmimic], Daniel)
p81 (= TM 61911, 1 Peter)
p82 (= TM 61706, Luke)
p86 (= TM 61793, Matthew)
p89 (= TM 61863, Hebrews)
p117 (= TM 68759, 2 Corinthians)
p126 (= TM 68735, Acts)
P.Hamburg 24/P.Iand. inv. 45 (= TM 59995, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Prague I 1 (= TM 59996, Shepherd of Hermas)
p88 (= TM 61757, Mark)
p85 (= TM 61644, Revelation)
p118 (= TM 68810, Romans)
p6 (= TM 61656, John in Greek and Coptic [Akhmimic]; James in Coptic; 1 Clement in Coptic)
p93 (= TM 61650, John)
p99 (= TM 61873, Romans, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians)
p94 (= TM 61885, Romans)
p63 (= TM 61661, John)
P. Amherst 2 190 (= TM 59999, Shepherd of Hermas)
p25 (= TM 61823, Matthew)
p76 (= TM 61669, Matthew)
p96 (= TM 61810, Matthew, Greek and Coptic [Sahidic])
P.Berl. BKT 6 (= TM 60001, Shepherd of Hermas)
p31 (= TM 61901, Romans)
p73 (= TM 61814, Matthew)
p74 (= TM 61742, Acts, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude)
p80 (= TM 61645, John)
p42 (= TM 62320, Luke in Greek and Coptic)
P.Mich 2.2 130 (= TM 59984, Shepherd of Hermas)
P.Berl. 5513/BKT 6.2.1 (= TM 59988, Shepherd of Hermas)
p12 (= TM 62312, Hebrews 1:1 and Genesis 1:1-5 palimpsest amulet over a letter)
p37 (?) (= TM 61788, Matthew)
p38 (?) (= TM 61703, Acts)
p53 (= TM 61827, Matthew, Acts)
p57 (= TM 61707, Acts)
P.Berl. 5104 (= TM 59997, Shepherd of Hermas)
p56 (= TM 61721, Acts)
p33+58 (= TM 61731, Acts)
p3 (= TM 61732, Luke)
p55 (= TM 61671, John)
p34 (= TM 61903, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians)
p79 (= TM 61907, Hebrews)
200-500 (?)
p7 (= TM 61747, Luke)
p11 (= TM 61908, 1 Corinthians)
p14 (= TM 61886, 1 Corinthians)
p68 (?) (= TM 61902, 1 Corinthians)
Theadelphia (Batn el-Hatit)
P.Mich. 2.2 129 (= TM 59985, Shepherd of Hermas)
Narmouthis (Medinet Madi)
p92 (= TM 61852, Ephesians, 2 Thessalonians)
Djeme (Medinet Habu)
p2 (= TM 61744, John in Greek and Luke in Coptic)
p44 (= TM 61825, Matthew, John)
Khirbet Mird, Israel
p83 (= TM 61808, Matthew)
p84 (= TM 61775, Mark, John)
Wadi Sarga
p43 (= TM 61673, Revelation)
Aphrodito (Kom Ishqau) (?)
p97 (= TM 61698, Luke)
Nessana (Auja Hafir) Israel
p59 (= TM 61676, John)
p60 (= TM 61677, John)
p61 (= TM 61906, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon)
Krokodilopolis (Medinet el-Fayyum)
p41 (= TM 61739, Acts, in Greek and Coptic)
A few things stand out. First, we do not know the provenance of a large percentage of these manuscripts.

Another is that a number of the Greek manuscripts are actually bilingual Greek-Coptic manuscripts and they start appearing in the fourth century. The language switch helps explain why there are comparatively fewer copies of the Greek New Testament from Egypt after about 500.

A large percentage of our Greek New Testament manuscripts come from Oxyrhynchus. Most of those come from the third century. All the Oxyrhynchus manuscripts were found in the garbage dump. They were discarded manuscripts.

Half the manuscripts (5 of 10) from Arsinoites contain the book of Acts. Three quarters of the Sinai manuscripts contain 1 Corinthians.

Our second century manuscripts are all gospels (Matthew, John, and Luke) and the Shepherd of Hermas. The Revelation of John and James are also early popular works.

The early attestations at Coptos come as something of a surprise since Coptos is not really on  the radar of scholars in early Christianity. Arsinoites is another place that does not show up as a site of importance to those studying early Christianity but it has produced the second greatest number of papyri from a known site. Hermopolis is also not noted for its early Christian community and perhaps should be.

A number of the papyri come from the land of Israel rather than Egypt, though they figure in somewhat later.

The presence of Barnabas, 1 Clement, and the Shepherd of Hermas probably surprise some people but Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas are included in the canon of scripture of Codex Sinaiticus, 1 Clement is included in Codex Alexandrinus. Note that the attestations are almost all early. After these books were excluded from the canon, they fell out of favor and generally stopped being copied.

Shepherd of Hermas is much more popular than the Gospel of Thomas and yet it figures much less prominently in the scholarship about early Christianity.

The lists in Nestle-Aland are very good at telling you which verses are actually attested but they are not good at telling you if works outside the Protestant New Testament are part of the manuscript or if there are languages other than Greek.

Provenance has not figured into discussions of New Testament manuscripts and perhaps it should.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Edwin C. (Ted) Brock

I just received new that Edwin C. (Ted) Brock passed away yesterday. This comes as something of a shock since I just saw Ted last month in Florence. I have known Ted for a number of years. He was very knowledgeable and very kind. My condolences to his wife, Lyla. I will miss him.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Brief History of Religious Studies

This brief history of Religious Studies comes from George Marsden, who previously had written a history of how the American university system had gone from Protestant establishment to establish non-belief:
The rise of religion departments in many universities during the mid-twentieth century originally had as part of its rationale the promotions of . . . broadly Christian or Judeo-Christian ideals. Religion could be viewed as a special field of scientific study, but also as a source of inspiration going beyond science. Usually the religion taught was broadly ecumenical and interfaith, allowing little room for more traditional versions of Protestantism, Catholicism, or Orthodox Judaism.

During the 1960s and the 1970s the field of religion continued to grow, but in order to establish its academic credibility, it was increasingly marked by an emphasis on the scientific study of religion and decreasingly seen as a haven in the universities, or even in mainstream church-related colleges, for religious perspectives. The leaders in the field of religious studies now more often presented it as analogous to the social sciences rather than to the uplifting humanities, such as literature. The transformation in religious studies since the early 1960s had some parallels in the field of literature. Literature was no longer regarded first of all as uplifting, as it had been in the 1950s, but rather became a field whose academic status was legitimated by technical methodologies, often evidenced by esoteric terminology. Segments of religious studies followed similar paths, transforming themselves into cultural study and the comparative studies of the history of religions.

The new religious studies raised the academic credibility of the field and brought fresh insights on many religious phenomena. From the point of view of our own inquiry, however, they must be seen as part of the wider trend of insistence that the only place for religion in the mainstream academy is as an object of study.
(George M. Marsden, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 21-22.)
In Religious Studies, as in most of academia, you are supposed to check your religion at the door.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Does Anyone Actually Believe This?

Recently a government website launched making comparisons between the cost of going to various universities. Looking at their data, something does not pass the smell test. Here are a number of universities and the government claims about how much it costs to go to each school for a year (arranged highest to lowest):
Catholic University of America $34,086
Emory University $28,463
Duke University $28,058
University of Notre Dame $27,845
University of Chicago $25,335
Columbia University $22,672
Yale University $16,743
Stanford University $15,713
University of Utah $14,114
Harvard University $14,049
University of California-Berkeley $13,769
Brigham Young University $13,070
University of Wyoming $11,292
Utah Valley University $9,642
I do not believe these numbers. Who seriously thinks that it is cheaper to go to Harvard or UC Berkeley than the University of Utah? Emory, Harvard, and Yale have roughly comparable tuition (in the $45,000 range). Something very strange is going on here.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Arthur Brooks at BYU

The intelligent and thoughtful Arthur Brooks visited BYU on Tuesday and talked to the Wheatley Institute. Mostly he talked to the students. I took notes and was going to post something on it, but you can read a good summary here.