Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Primer on Paleography...
02/10/2007 - Alan Kurschner
For those who are really ambitious about learning textual criticism and want to place it in a concrete context (the various characteristics of the materials and the human process of making or copying actual manuscripts), I recommend the following classic primer on paleography, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Paleography, by Bruce M. Metzger.
Though someone with a working knowledge of the Greek language will appreciate this book more, it is not necessary to know Greek to get the gist of this specialized discipline--and at best, it may induce you to take up learning Greek.
The book covers the following topics:
How ancient manuscripts were made (Did you know that scribes did not sit at a table to do their work--they sat on the floor, stool, or even stood at times).
Material: papyri to parchment to paper.
The "Codex." Are you aware that it is Christians who invented what we know as the form of the book at the turn of the 2nd Century?
Styles of Greek Handwriting: Uncial, Minuscule, Scriptio Continua
Palimpsest: the "Etch-A-Sketch" of antiquity.
Ancient Punctuation, Abbreviations, and Symbols.
And many more paleographical features....
Computer Textual Comparisons
02/09/2007 - James WhiteA correspondent sent me a screen shot of his Logos program providing a textual comparison. Here is a shot of my Logos comparison screen, followed by BibleWorks doing the same kind of thing.
Another Document for Today's Textual Critical DL
02/07/2007 - James WhiteHere's an additional document for today's DL (UBS2.pdf). I am hoping the landscape orientation doesn't lose too much in the way of detail. Hopefully it will not. This will help to illustrate some common scribal errors, so download it and have it ready for the DL today.
And here are some materials that I wish to make reference to as well:
Trust me, it will make sense!
Finally, just to get you ready for the DL...here is a clip (this is the Islamic version...they even put in subtitles mocking the Christian) from a Deedat debate where Deedat slaughters textual critical information. Not that the Islamic audience would really listen to reason, but, it is always good to know.
Graphics Related to the Textual Critical Series
02/06/2007 - James WhiteI pulled down an image of the end of Jeremiah and the beginning of Lamentations in Sinaiticus (a) from the British Museum. It is super high resolution (12 megs, 4000x5000 resolution). Here is a portion of it, just to give you a feeling of the nature of the manuscript. It is such a good quality picture you can see elements of the vellum (leather) surface.
One of the texts we will examine (not today, maybe Thursday, it all depends on how far we get), is 1 Timothy 3:16. I posted some material on this last year here. When folks who do not know Greek (or even those who do, but who have not been exposed to uncial texts) see the reality of the difference between the two readings at 1 Timothy 3:16, all of the "conspiracy theories" that especially KJV Only advocates, but, that others likewise throw out (like Islamic apologists) evaporate.
Here is an example of the nomina sacra form of "God" as written by the scribe of Codex Alexandrinus. You will note from the preceding article linked above that at 1 Timothy 3:16 it is hard to tell which form is original, so this one is a good bit clearer.
Here is omicron-sigma, hos, by the same hand. The point to be understood is that these would be the two forms at issue in the variant at 1 Timothy 3:16. Anyone can see their tremendous similarity, and hence all the "they took out the deity of Christ!" allegations are seen to be the wild-eyed fanaticism they truly are.
Why Listen to the DL Tomorrow?
02/05/2007 - James WhiteWhy should you listen to the textual criticism series on the DL? Well, here is a brief portion of comments made by Islamic apologist Shabir Ally in our debate at Biola University last May regarding the text of the New Testament. How would you respond? It is my experience that especially Muslims are willing to repeat what leaders like Shabir Ally teach in public without question. So how would you reply to these claims? Listen to the textual criticism series on the DL and find out!
The Textual Criticism Series Begins
02/01/2007 - James WhiteWe kicked off the TC series today on the DL. Didn't get as far as I expected, so I will need to finish up a few items on Tuesday before we launch into the texts themselves. Here's the program (free/high quality).