Seven Resources from the Electronic British Library Journal
- Yes, there is such a thing as the Electronic British Library Journal. Most of its articles are . . . let's focus on the positive. A few of its articles pertain to New Testament textual criticism in one way or another and they are pretty interesting. Here are seven of them. Each one can be downloaded as a PDF.
Article #13, "Some Greek Gospel Manuscripts in the British Library: Examples of the Byzantine Book as Holy Receptacle and Bearer of Hidden Meaning," by Mika Takigushi, was exceptional. This was part of a 2003 dissertation. The article is at http://www.bl.uk/eblj/2011articles/pdf/ebljarticle132011.pdf .
(I was impressed by her analysis of some enigmatic gematria that was featured in a MS. I'm not sure if anyone in North Carolina or Texas would have gone through the trouble of sorting all that out. It is a brilliant bit of work. Multiply times a thousand! Of course!)
(2) At http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1998articles/articles.html
Article #12, by J. H. Bowman, is "Codex Alexandrinus and the Alexandrian Greek Types." It is mainly about printing-type, not text-types! (16 pages)
(3) For you OT-researchers: at http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1997articles/articles.html
Article #8 is at http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1997articles/pdf/article8.pdf and it is an article by Eva Frojmovic about an /illustrated/ Esther scroll.
(4) At http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1990articles/article14.html is an article by T. S. Pattie about the transmission of Ephraem Syrus' composition "On Repentance." It includes some arcane information about extant copies of Ephrem's lesser-known works (such as sixteen Hymns to Nicomedia). (14 pages)
(5) At http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1987articles/articles.html
Article #1 is also by T. S. Pattie, and focuses on the Latin transmission of Ephrem Syrus' composition "On Repentance." (25 pages)
(6) At http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1977articles/articles.html
Article #1, by T. S. Pattie, is about Codex Sinaiticus. An interesting quotation from page 4: "The text of our Bible is supremely well attested, but there are a few puzzles. One of these is the ending of the Gospel of Mark, which has two main forms, the long ending and the short ending. The Sinaiticus agrees with other early manuscripts like the Vaticanus in having the short ending. Another puzzle is the story of the adulterous woman (John 7:53-8: 11) which some manuscripts place after John 7:36, or 7:52, or 21:24, or even after Luke 21: 38. The Sinaiticus, like the Vaticanus, omits the adulterous woman altogether. Are we to assume that there was at an early date an editorial decision to leave out both of these sections, this decision being reflected in the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, but not in the text which became standard in the Orthodox Church and thence in the Authorized Version? It seems quite likely."
Also, this article features a picture of the ending of the Gospel of John, with the initially-written end shown as it appeared under ultraviolet light. (I don't think this picture is even available at the Codex Sinaiticus website!) (6 pages, or 7 counting the legalese page) It speaks for itself about at least one copyists' attitude toward ending-material that was considered secondary.
(7) At http://www.bl.uk/eblj/1977articles/article15.html
There is an article by C. J. F. Dowsett about the Armenian Awag Vank Gospels, produced in 1200 (the date is established exactly by a colophon); the copyists states that he copied from "a true and select original." Unfortunately the author was more interested in the history implied by the colophons than in the text of the manuscript. There are pictures, including pictures of what appear to be the opening pages of Matthew and Mark and Luke and John (identifiable by their animal-symbols). (29 pages)
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.