Sunday, 24 February 2013

Call for Papers - Society of Biblical Literature 2013 annual meeting (Baltimore, MD: 11/23/2013-11/26/2013)

The Art and Religions in Antiquity program unit welcomes paper proposals on the art and material culture of any ancient religious tradition and encourages papers that address the use of art and material culture in service of religion. Every paper proposal will be considered.

The Art and Religions of Antiquity section especially seeks paper proposals that address:
1) "The Art of Pilgrimage in the Ancient World": For this session, we seek papers that address the practice and materiality of pilgrimage. The Art and Religions in Antiquity program unit is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Vikan will respond to the contributions presented in this session. Dr. Vikan recently stepped down from the Directorship of the Walters Art Museum, which he held since 1994 after serving as the museum's Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Medieval Art since 1985. Before coming to the Walters, Dr. Vikan was Senior Associate for Byzantine Art Studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC.

2) "Art and Religion at the Walters Museum, Baltimore MD (<>)": For this session, we seek papers that address the Walters Museum's permanent collections (with a particularly strong collection of illuminated manuscripts) or visiting exhibits (Jacob Lawrence's Genesis Series; Egypt's Mysterious Book of the Faiyum).

3) A third session will consist of invited papers to review The Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient World edited by Michele R. Salzman and William Adler.

All abstracts should be submitted through the SBL website (<>). The Art and Religions of Antiquity section will consider all proposals.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Call for papers - the XVII Conference on Patristic Studies Oxford 10-14 August 2015

Today it is a pleasure to invite you to the next, the XVII Conference on Patristic Studies Oxford (10-14 August 2015), to visit our newly designed website (, to register and to submit your abstract there. Hopefully, it should be much easier to do this than last round, but if you encounter problems, please don't hesitate to send me an email and I will do the best I can that you can get registered and submit your abstract. All deadlines - especially for the early bird discounted fees, you will find on the website (

As you will see, the website looks different - but we would like to improve it even more. It would be wonderful, if you could send me a few photographs of previous conferences, as we could create a small archive on the site that presents such photos to recreate memories.

Again, you can also visit our blog ( where we are going to publish the abstracts, as soon as they are accepted. Please note, we are also publishing reviews on our blog, call for papers, conferences and others - if you wish your book to be reviewed please ask the publishers to send the book to my King's College London address.

While we are preparing for the next Conference, let me also update you on the progress of the publication of the proceedings of the 2011 Conference. All papers that have been accepted (we had more than one third more submissions compared to 2007), have been layouted, and all authors should have received these layout proofs in the meantime. If you have not seen these proofs, please get in touch with me (and attach your original submission), so that we can trace, if anything had gone lost in the process. Despite much care, I still discover some correspondence which has gone astray.
To give you an insight into the publication of the proceedings, I attach the latest version of the distribution of articles to volumes - as you will see, it is planned that we are publishing the proceedings in around 20 volumes - and, for the first time, we will start these volumes with a number of special volumes (partly edited by special editors), often derived from workshops of the 2011 Conference. I hope, this innovation will meet with colleagues approval and serves as an invitation to suggest your own workshop for the 2015 Conference.
As work has well progressed, we are confident that the volumes will come out sometime in summer of this year 2013, hence barely 2 years after the close of the last Conference. Let me thank you and all colleagues for your tremendous support (delivery, fine pre-editing according to the Style Guide, quick returns and correspondence, your kind reminders, generous understanding and the immense work our peer reviewers have done - thanks to all).

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


“The Tradition of the New Testament: Treasures New and Old”
University of Birmingham 5th-6th March 2013
Provisional Programme (as of 30.1.2013)
Monday 4th March
4.00 pm IGNTP committee meeting (provisional)
7.30 pm Social event for participants arriving on Monday (provisional)
Tuesday 5th March
9.30 am Conference registration (Room G-06, OLRC)
10.00 am Dr Stephen Carlson – Did Scribes Really Corrupt the Text of the New Testament? A Look at the Textual History of Galatians
10.30 am Ulrike Swoboda – The Gospel of John and its Original Readers
11.00 am Coffee
11.30 am Dr Jan Krans – New Testament Conjectural Emendation and the Church Fathers
12 noon Rebekka Schirner – Augustine as a Textual Critic of the Old and New Testament
12.30 pm Lunch
1.15 pm Coach departs for excursion to Leicester (provisional)
10.00 pm Coach returns to Woodbrooke
6.00 pm University of Birmingham Cadbury Lecture Professor Gavin D'Costa (University of Bristol)
Distinctive voices require distinctive universities. The case for theology and a Christian
university. (Separate event: see
Wednesday 6th March
9.00 am Dr Satoshi Toda – The Eusebian Canons
9.30 am Oliver Norris – Evidence of an unusual Gospel harmony in the Carmen Paschale of Sedulius
10.00 am Extended coffee break
11.00 am Prof. Tom O’Loughlin – Divisions as Exegesis in the Book of Revelation as found in the Book of Armagh
11.30 am Dr Simon Crisp – “Dear Dr Nestle...”: The Correspondence of Erwin Nestle with the BFBS and the ‘Nestle-Kilpatrick’ Greek New Testament Edition of 1958
12 noon Lunch
2.00 pm Dr Hans Förster – The Text of the Gospel according to John
2.45 pm Dr Toan Do - Ἁμάρτητε or ἁμαρτάνητε? Reading 1 John 2:1b with the CBGM
3.15 pm Dr Amy Anderson – Family 1 in Mark: Preliminary Results
3.45 pm Concluding round table
4.00 pm Break
7.00 pm Conference Dinner (Michael Tippett Room, University Staff House)

“The Tradition of the New Testament: Treasures New and Old” Abstracts (in order of papers)
Dr Stephen Carlson – Did Scribes Really Corrupt the Text of the New Testament? A Look at the Textual History of Galatians
Ever since the publication of Bart D. Ehrman’s Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, many textual critics have been interested in how textual variants reflect the theological controversies alive during the transmission of the text. Specifically, Ehrman charged that the proto-Orthodox scribes who
copied the text changed it to conform it to their Christological preconceptions about what it must
have meant. Ehrman’s book has been widely influential, and several scholars have extended his
thesis to apologetic and other theologically charged variants. On the other hand, his critics have
claimed that Ehrman’s approach is ahistorical, overgeneralizing his conclusions from
disembodied readings rather than looking at the tendencies of individual manuscripts and textual
In my 2012 dissertation from Duke University, I have examined the textual history of Paul’s
Epistle to the Galatians, with particular attention to Ehrman’s claims about the Orthodox
corruption of the New Testament text, and to what extent his claims hold in the transmission of
the Byzantine and Western texts of Galatians. This paper will summarize my results, showing
that there is no uniform tendency of theological textual corruption throughout the transmission
of Galatians, although one can see an anti-Judaic tendency in the early transmission of the
Western text, particularly with regard to Paul’s statements about the Law.
Ulrike Swoboda – The Gospel of John and its Original Readers
The project P24649-G15 “The gospel of John and its original readers”, financed by FWF (The
Austrian Science Fund), deals with the question of the intended reader of the Gospel of John. The
evidence in the Gospel seems to be contradictory, which makes this a puzzling and controversial
question for scholarship. By using two methods in combination, textual criticism and collocation
analysis, it might be possible to provide additional evidence for this question. The basis for the
research will be foremost the Greek text and the Latin and Coptic versions with their variants.
The comparison of the translations and their respective variants might provide information
about the presupposed knowledge, which the author implied for his intended readership.
Through the collocation analysis of the Greek text it might be possible to show what kind of
details are explained in the Gospel of John and what details are omitted because they are assumed
to be known by the original readers. It is assumed that there is a certain method behind what it is
explained and where an explanation is omitted. Therefore the aim of the project is – after first
collecting the data, using these two methods – to discuss whether the collected data prove to give
additional insight for the debate about the original / intended readers of the gospel of John.
Dr Jan Krans – New Testament Conjectural Emendation and the Church Fathers
Church Fathers, when working with biblical texts, dealt with manuscripts and their difficulties.
While many on occasion mentioned variant readings, some were even engaged in textual
criticism in that they consciously collected information and tried to evaluate it. On some rare
occasions, patristic writers practised conjectural criticism. This paper explores patristic textual
criticism in order to weigh the importance of conjectural emendation. It will review previous
scholarship, list the key players and passages, and finally put the issue of patristic conjectures in a
wider perspective.
Rebekka Schirner – Augustine as a Textual Critic of the Old and New Testament
No one would deny that Augustine, whose life and writings have had a major influence on the
development and understanding of theology and philosophy, is one of the most outstanding
personalities of Late Antiquity. But while the focus of research interest has mainly been on his
methods of biblical exegesis, his basic use of biblical manuscripts and his attitude towards textual
variants of biblical verses (Old and New Testament) have been largely neglected.
Although Jerome is usually presumed to be the greatest philologist among Latin church fathers,
there are many passages throughout Augustine’s writings which exhibit a certain degree of
awareness of manuscripts as historical artefacts as well as some kind of philological sensitivity for
various textual readings: In his De doctrina Christiana he emphasizes the importance of accurate
copies of the Bible for exegetical purposes – a condition which can be obtained through collatio
and emendatio of codices ex uno interpretationis genere. Thus he defines textual criticism, or rather
criticism of translations, as a basic step towards the interpretation of biblical texts itself.
It is therefore not surprising that indeed a number of passages can be found in Augustine’s works
where he applies several principles which are also relevant regarding the methods of modern
textual criticism (like the consideration of the number or age of manuscripts containing a certain
reading) – an approach which leads to the favouring of one reading over the other(s). There is,
however, an even larger number of passages where the church father compares Latin variants of
biblical verses and, with or without the Greek text as reference point involved, accepts the
different Latin renderings, as each of them can – in his opinion – contribute to a broader meaning
of the respective biblical text. Nevertheless, the church father occasionally rules out a certain
reading of a manuscript or group of manuscripts, since it can – according to Augustine – be
ascribed to an error or misunderstanding of either the translator or the scribe or to an
intentional alteration of the text or rather translation.
In my paper, I will take a look at Augustine’s method of evaluating codices and their texts to
answer the questions of if and to what degree theological considerations outweigh philological
Dr Satoshi Toda – The Eusebian Canons
Eusebius of Caesarea is one of the best scholars among those who are called Church Fathers, and
his erudition covers not only historiographical areas, but also what is concerned with the Bible
(the Old as well as New Testaments). This paper will pay special attention to the so-called
“(Evangelical) Canons of Eusebius”, and explore various implications they contain; and in the
course of the presentation, some problems relevant to the textual criticism of the Gospels will
also be discussed.
Oliver Norris – Evidence of an unusual Gospel harmony in the Carmen Paschale of Sedulius
Identification of the Gospel text that lies behind Sedulius’ Carmen Paschale, a 5th century Latin
hexameter poem on the miracles of the Old and New Testaments, has long resisted the efforts of
those scholars who have worked on the poem. Mayr's 1916 study, which was the first to examine
the question in detail, concluded that Sedulius was using a 'Vulgate' text; Van der Laan's 1990
study, the most recent attempt at finding an answer, concluded that Sedulius used an Old Latin
version of the Gospels as his source text. Between these two, Moretti Pieri's 1969 study compared
Sedulius' text with the Latin Diatessaron found in the Codex Fuldensis and Ciasca's Latin
translation of the Arabic Diatessaron. Her findings were inconclusive, but she opened a door
through which this paper proceeds. Contrary to the Fuldensis and the Arabic Diatessaron,
Sedulius' account of the Temptations of Christ follows a Lucan, rather than a Matthean order.
Such an order is unusual for Diatessaronic witnesses but is found in the Persian Diatessaron, the
Pepysian Gospel harmony and the as-yet-unpublished Gospel harmony of Clement of Llanthony.
This paper compares Sedulius' account of the Temptations against the accounts found in these
three Gospel harmonies and examines whether Sedulius' Carmen Paschale could be considered a
witness to a 5th century Old Latin Gospel harmony tradition.
Prof. Tom O’Loughlin – Divisions as Exegesis in the Book of Revelation as found
in the Book of Armagh
In the text of Revelation in this codex (Dublin, Trinity College 52) there is a rare division system
of this book into thirteen sections. The headings for each division are then repeated in a piece of
triangular 'word-art' at the end of the text and presented as a summary of the text. When this is
examined in conjunction with the map of the New Jerusalem (which was an existing item of
exegesis used in this codex: it depends on a Vetus Latina version of Revelation whereas that in this
codex is Vulgate), it can be demonstrated that a very definite way of understanding this text was
being embedded in its lay-out in the manuscript.
Dr Simon Crisp – “Dear Dr Nestle...”: The Correspondence of Erwin Nestle with
the BFBS and the ‘Nestle-Kilpatrick’ Greek New Testament Edition of 1958
At the end of the Second World War the British and Foreign Bible Society turned its thoughts
towards revision of its 1904 edition of the Greek NT, which was based on the Stuttgart edition of
Eberhard Nestle. BFBS contacted Nestle’s son Erwin, who had taken over responsibility for the
Stuttgart editions, with a view to instigating cooperation in preparing a new edition for the
English-speaking world. Erwin Nestle turned out to be a prolific correspondent, and the BFBS
archives preserve a series of letters stretching over more than a decade, which provide
fascinating insights into the preparation of an edition of the Greek NT, in both its technical and
its human aspects. The paper will introduce this correspondence and draw some conclusions for
contemporary editorial practice.
Dr Hans Förster – The Text of the Gospel according to John
The full textual evidence of the Gospel of John including the early versions will be accessible in
the Editio Critica Maior. It is already obvious – and will become even more obvious – that the text is
astonishingly stable if compared as well to the text of the Hebrew Bible and its versions as to
other texts from the early time of Christianity. This raises the question whether the stability of
the text is of importance for the evaluation of possible levels of redaction which have been
detected by literary criticism.
Dr Toan Do - Ἁμάρτητε or ἁμαρτάνητε? Reading 1 John 2:1b with the CBGM
For 1 John 2:1b, the eighth-revised edition of Nestle-Aland 27 (1994) lists three variants for
ἁμαρτάνητε in place of ἁμάρτητε. Since then more manuscripts have been added to the list. The
2003 Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior (ECM and recently NA28) provides twentythree variants, plus lacunae, for ἁμαρτάνητε. Since the difference between these subjunctive
moods occurs in the purpose clause (here the ἵνα-clause), the meaning of each variant has little to
do with the tense (the factual time) of the verb, but rather with its aspect. Each variant has the
potential to affect and nuance its theological interpretation: It questions the authorship or
editorship of the text; it alters the aspectual types of action in the purpose clause. These variants
obviously call for different interpretations of the entire verse 2:1, in that the grammatical and
theological distinctions between ἁμάρτητε and ἁμαρτάνητε can only be fully appreciated through
a careful examination of the contexts of the text. This distinction, while subtle, calls significant
attention to the kinds of action or Aktionsarten perceived through the aspect of the present and
aorist subjunctives.
Applying the criteria in the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) compiled with the
MSS in the ECM, this paper evaluates the different readings of 2:1b in the textual tradition to see
whether ἁμάρτητε or ἁμαρτάνητε is most likely to be the initial text. A text-critical analysis,
backed by the CBGM, suggests that ἁμάρτητε is the better reading in accordance with the textual
tradition for 2:1b. Thus, the variant ἁμαρτάνητε (in 614 1832 and rell) is probably due to scribal
Dr Amy Anderson – Family 1 in Mark: Preliminary Results
This paper is a report on work in progress on the members of Family 1 in Mark. It will present a
full comparison of the three core members, which are likely to give us the reading of the
archetype as nearly as it can be done. One focus will be on the question of whether 1582 or 2193
is the better representative of the archetype.
The registration form can be found here.