On Wed, 16 Dec 1998 07:46:57 -0600 dd-1@...
>Andrew, Denny Diehl here
>I wondered the same thing. I just ordered (but it was back-ordered
>because they are out of stock)
> The Complete Text Of The Earliest New Testament
> Manuscripts edited by Philip Comfort & David Barrett
>from CBD Retail price $49.99 CBD price $24.95.
They are not out of stock -- the book has not yet been published by
Baker, and has been delayed with new publication dates for the last year
or so. Current publication date is now set for March 1999.
> Here is the blurb:
>"Compiled for the first time in one volume! Comfort and Barrett
>present a Greek transcription of 55 of the earliest New Testament
>Manuscripts. Two-thirds of the original New Testament is here, and
>many of its portions are dated nearly 200 years earlier than the Codex
>Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Background information (date, location of
>discovery) accompanies each transcription. 656 pages, hardcover.
Blurbs are always so wonderful and positive. I have a pre-publication
xerox copy, and I would suggest that text-critics will have high levels
of disappointment in the format and claims regarding the MSS as found in
this volume when it comes out.
One egregious example out of many: P39 is claimed to be totally identical
with B, which could only work if the reconstructed portions in fact agree
with B and offer *no* other possibilities (which they do, if one consults
Grenfell and Hunt's original edition).
Also, the format for presentation of the Greek text is extremely crowded,
and one seriously could wish that a monospaced Greek font had been used
instead of a proportional one.
Add to that the fact that the layout and presentation of the
reconstructed + extant portions of the papyri and uncial fragments
antedating AD 400 (and that is all that there is in the volume, in
accordance with Comfort's conclusion that the reading of 2 out of 3 of
the earliest MSS is automatically "best") does *not* conform to the usual
style or conventions for reconstruction as found in, e.g. the Oxyrhynchus
volumes (e.g. supplied portions have only one bracket, before the extant
text, and not [ ] enclosing the supplied words), and it is not
surprising that this volume appears careless in overall production.
Nevertheless, it still is a reasonably accurate presentation of the data
of the pre-AD 400 papyri and uncial fragments, and can serve a useful
purpose, even if it does not look as professional as it should and even
if Comfort (as usual) claims far more than is warranted in regard to the
MSS he presents.
It also should be noted that Comfort's book will be out of date by the
time it is published, since it will not include the new papyri and uncial
fragments listed in the latest Muenster _Bericht_ volume (1998) which I
just received (though p101, p102, p104 are included). The early papyri
which remain unincluded will be p100, p103, p106, p107, p108, p109, p110,
p111, p113, p114, and p115, and uncial fragment 0308. Of course Comfort
readily found room for 7Q5, and basically proclaims its authenticity :-)
Also, the MSS included are not facsimiles, but transcriptions and
reconstructions in typeset format (using that poor-quality proportional
font mentioned above). There apparently will be photographs of sample
pages of some (but not all) of the MSS heading various sections.
Maurice A. Robinson
Professor of NT and Greek
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina
You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com/getjuno.html
or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]