- To: Synoptic
Cc: WSW; Al Cohen
On: Ascripture Etc
I have received a private communication to the following effect:
"I have enjoyed your suggestion on ascripture, and your advocacy of the term
in response to objections. I don't take it fully seriously, and assume, too,
that it was intended more to provoke and amuse than to alter the face of New
Testament scholarly usage."
Well, now that the subject comes up in its fullness, it is just barely
possible that New Testament usage could do with a bit of alteration. An
armhole here, a cuff there, to let the subject move more comfortably in its
chosen direction. As I once remarked in a different venue, NT people have
names for everything, most of them misleading. But a major reform is
probably not practicable during what for many is a holiday weekend, and I
will not propose one at this time.
[Except that the sooner people start capitalizing Biblical, the better.
Biblical is to Bible as Chinese is to China. Do you folks want to get the
nuclear nations down on you? There is such a thing as enough
Frenchification, in typography as elsewhere. Too many calories; too few
capitals: thin in the wrong places].
My correspondent went on to ask:
"P.S. What is the Warring States Project?"
The 2,250-page answer to that is contained on the web site which I used to
append to my signature, and which I repeat again below. The single-sentence
answer is that the Warring States Project is a research institute, situated
at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which intends to revive the
use of the philological toolkit that was once standard in the humanities,
extend it theoretically (we recently discovered that I cannot with propriety
avoid calling my extension of the Tischendorf Principle, formerly Metzger
Principle, by any other name than the Brooks Principle) so as to deal with
growth texts, which are common in antiquity but are not regularly recognized
by the standard methods for studying antiquity, and then to demonstrate the
power and generality of that toolkit by applying it not only to our home
problem, the classical Chinese text corpus as a whole (including more than
one text which by itself is as large as the entire NT canon), where an
incipient revolution has been hanging fire for many centuries, but also to
selected problems in the cognate and indeed senior fields of Biblical and
Classical Greek (the little excursions into Neotestamentica with which I now
and then venture to trouble this august List are part of the latter agenda).
Hope that helps. If more should be required, a live demo, on the subject of
Proto-Luke, will be available at SBL/San Diego this November. Day and hour
E Bruce Brooks
Research Professor of Chinese
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst