Pursuing My Passion for Textual Criticism

Yesterday I started answering the question of how I moved on from doing research principally on New Testament textual criticism to do other things, mainly involving different aspects of the literature and history of Christianity in the first three centuries CE.   I pointed out there that my training/education was actually not in textual criticism, but mainly in the exegesis (and theology) of the New Testament, and on various aspects of the history of earliest Christianity (from the historical Jesus to ...

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What *Greek* Version of the New Testament Do I Use?

 

I often indicate that when citing the New Testament in English, I’m giving my own translation, and that understandably has led some people to think I’ve actually citing a completed translation that I’ve made but not published.  A reader of the blog recently asked me how he could get access to the translation.  But I’ve never written a translation of the NT; when I say that a quotation is in “my” translation I simply mean that I’m reading the Greek ...

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Fundamentalist Arguments Ad Absurdum about the “Original” Text of the NT

I’ve been looking for a scrappy question to tangle with, and today I received one!

 

QUESTION:

You make the case that we do not have the original New Testament manuscripts.  In fact, we do not have any complete manuscripts of books that eventually became part of the New Testament until the 3rd century, correct?  The response often given by fundamentalist Christians is this:  So, you don’t believe that Socrates died by drinking hemlock?  You don’t believe ...

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Did Jesus Write Anything in the New Testament?

I have mentioned two apocryphal letters forged in the name of Jesus himself, one written to a King Abgar and the other, well, dictated to the cherubim in heaven from the cross.  Several readers have asked me about New Testament examples, one in the famous story of the woman taken in adultery in John 8, and the other the seven letters allegedly dictated by Christ in Revelation 2-3.

As to the first, yes, as many of you already know, even though ...

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Finishing my Dissertation

This is the third and final post I’ll do on my dissertation the Gospel quotations in the writings of Didymus the Blind, advised by great New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger.

 

Different dissertation advisors have different approaches to supervising a dissertation. Some are extremely hands on, to the point of working over every thought and every sentence. Not too many are like that, because if they were, they would never do anything else with their life. Plus, the idea is for ...

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The Core of My Dissertation on The Gospel Quotations of Didymus the Blind

Here is the second of three posts on how Bruce Metzger directed my rather technical dissertation on the Gospel quotations of the fourth-century church father Didymus the Blind, from six years ago on the blog.

THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF MY POSTS OF MY RELATIONSHIP WITH BRUCE METZGER, MY MENTOR

As I started thinking about how to write up this second post on my dissertation (the first post was posted some days ago), I remembered one of my clearest ...

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Bruce Metzger and Me: Finding a Dissertation

Bruce Metzger, my mentor in graduate school, for both my Master’s degree and my PhD, has been invoked a number of times in recent comments on the blog.  I thought it might be interesting to repost a few reminiscences I made about my work with him.  These come from posts that appeared six years ago — when most of you weren’t on the blog.   They will all be on my dissertation.

When I entered my PhD program at Princeton ...

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What I Saw at St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai

Yesterday I responded to a reader of the blog who wanted me to repeat a post from a few years ago about my visit to St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai, the famed place where Moses allegedly received the Ten Commandments.   The full story took two posts, and here is now the second, where I explain one of the most memorable experiences of my travels.

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In my last post I began to relate an anecdote about ...

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Does Luke Flat Out Contradict Himself?

Sometimes readers ask questions that have answers they probably would not suspect in a million years.  My guess is that this is true of the following interesting query about a contradiction between the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts (written by the same author) about the ascension of Jesus.

 

QUESTION:

Talking of authors who contradict themselves any idea why Luke has Jesus ascending on the day of his resurrection but Acts places it 40 days later!? This seems like quite ...

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Non-Disclosure Agreements

Several people have made comments or raised questions about Non-disclosure Agreements with respect to Dan Wallace and the so-called (but no longer) First Century Mark.   For many years Dan refused to explain what he was talking about when he mentioned in the public debate with me in February 2012 a new discovery of a Gospel of Mark that dated to the first century.  In a later post I may say something about why I was immediately skeptical about it (he ...

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