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[«] Posts From the Blog "OTTC: A Blog for Old Testament Textual Criticism"(#317)

March 16 2018, 5PM

Gary Rendsburg writes an illustrated survey of the oldest post-DSS Torah scrolls known today in The World’s Oldest Torah Scrolls. It includes background and discussion of the oldest known fragments and scrolls, as well as images of each. [Biblical Manuscripts] [digital imagery] [Gary Rendsburg] [paleography] [Torah Scrolls]


Eibert Tigchelaar's lecture Beautiful Bookhands and Careless Characters has been posted online by the University of Birmingham. He proposes classifying scribal hands according to skillfulness, beauty, and regularity. He also suggests that there ... [Hebrew Manuscripts] [paleography] [scribal hands] [scribes]

November 29 2017, 4AM

Just announced... a new cooperation between the FJMS and NLI! This looks very promising for future resources for studying Hebrew manuscripts!The Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society (FJMS) and the National Library of Israel (NLI) are pr... [digital humanities] [digital imagery] [Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society] [National Library of Israel] [online resources]

September 8, 10AM

Pieter van der Horst has a sympathetic but critical review of Liv Ingeborg Lied, Hugo Lundhaug (ed.), Snapshots of Evolving Traditions: Jewish and Christian Manuscript Culture, Textual Fluidity, and New Philology. I think he does a fair job... [Book Reviews] [Material philology]

August 25, 8AM

AJR has published Josh Mugler's review of Sidney Griffith's The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the 'People of the Book' in the Language of Islam. It sounds like a very interesting overview of important issues that would be well worth fu... [Arabic] [Biblical Manuscripts] [Islam] [translations]

August 3, 1AM

Haaretz has a brief article highlighting the Hebrew manuscript digitization project of the National Library of Israel that gives some background to the project. This project is opening access to a vast trove of Hebrew manuscripts to a broad audience, and ... [digital imagery] [Hebrew Manuscripts] [Ktiv] [National Library of Israel]

July 5, 10AM

Kim Phillips has identified a new codex as written by Shmuel ben Yaakov, the scribe of the famous "Leningrad Codex". This is a codex of the former prophets (labelled L17), and Kim takes the interesting opportunity to compare it to the Leningrad Codex to b... [Leningrad Codex] [Masoretes] [scribal hands] [scribal practices] [scribes] [Shmuel ben Yaakov]

May 15, 12 PM

Mladen Popović has put up a call for applications for the Dirk Smilde Scholarship at the University of Groningen. Highly recommended! [scholarships] [University of Groningen]

May 1, 1AM

Two new books from Helsinki colleagues that are sure to be of interest:Insights into Editing in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near EastWhat Does Documented Evidence Tell Us about the Transmission of Authoritative Texts?edited by R. Müller and J. Pakka... [Book Notices] [Dominique Barthélemy] [editions (variant literary)] [empirical models] [Kaige-recension] [literary criticism]

April 29, 7AM

I just posted a short blog post on two ways to use Logos Bible Software Dead Sea Scrolls resources to help in Biblical Studies. Thanks to Tavis Bohlinger and Logos for the opportunity! [digital humanities] [logos]

April 28, 2AM

Dan Machiela writes on Ancient Jew Review The Aramaic Language of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Why it Matters and What Lies Ahead. In this interesting post he discusses the linguistic dating and classification of this important corpus. [aramaic]

April 21, 1AM

Zachary Cole has published a new book on Numerals in Greek NT manuscripts that sounds very interesting, including for those interested in Septuagint manuscripts.Numerals in Early Greek New Testament Manuscripts Text-Critical, Scribal, and Theological Stu... [greek manuscripts] [numerals] [paleography] [scribal practices]

April 11, 12 AM

Owen Jarus has a new article on recently sold DSS-like fragments that will be of interest to readers. There is also an interesting picture gallery of DSS in the US.HT Peter Gurry [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Forgeries] [private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls]

April 6, 3AM

Kim Phillips has an interesting discussion of a fragment from the Cairo Genizah that explicitly states an often-implicit convention among several of our most important Masoretic codices with regard to the layout of the text before the Song of Moses in Deu... [Cairo Genizah] [Deuteronomy 32] [layout] [Masoretes]

April 5, 1PM

Hugh Houghton just announced that his book The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts is now available Open Access and can be freely downloaded from the OUP website. It is a great resource for those interested ... [Latin] [online resources]

March 15, 1AM

Credo Courses has a great offer right now of a free audio course on New Testament Textual Criticism by Daniel Wallace, one of the leading evangelical practitioners in the field. I'm looking forward to listening to that in the near future while working on ... [Courses] [new testament textual criticism]
So apparently I missed Pi day, but I figured I would offer one fun equation a day late to honor the occasion. This is a preview of a forthcoming publication of mine on methods for reconstructing fragmentary scrolls in a conference proceedings volume. So h... [Mathematics] [reconstructions]

March 13, 3AM

Emanuel Tov reviews Ron Hendel's Steps to a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible in RBL. I have often felt that Tov was more focused and reliable on the nitty-gritty philological details, and Hendel moreso on the philosophical and methodological unde... [Book Reviews] [The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition]


Hindy Najman has a glowing and interesting review of Benjamin D. Sommer's Revelation and Authority in Marginalia.HT Agade [authority] [Book Reviews] [Inspiration] [scripture]


The University of Groningen and KU Leuven ERC project "The Hands that Wrote the Bible: Digital Palaeography and Scribal Culture of the Dead Sea Scrolls" has produced its first publication, A Digital Palaeographic Approach towards Writer Identificatio... [digital humanities] [digital imagery] [digital paleography] [Hebrew Manuscripts] [KU Leuven] [paleography] [University of Groningen]

March 7, 5AM

Everyone who has worked with the DSS has probably had that annoying time when you are working on a passage and check to see if any scrolls have it, only to find that there are none. The preserved remains are often quite meager, though it's extremely hard ... [Biblical Manuscripts] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [logos]


SHELLEY L. BIRDSONGThe Last King(s) of JudahZedekiah and Sedekias in the Hebrew and Old Greek Versions of Jeremiah 37(44):1–40(47):6[Die letzten Könige von Juda. Zedekia und Sedekias in der hebräischen und altgriechischen Fassung von Jeremia 37(44):1... [Book Notices] [Exodus] [Jeremiah] [syriac]

March 4, 5AM

Jacob W. Peterson has some interesting thoughts on important technological developments that have revolutionized textual criticism in From Scribe to Screen: How Technology is Changing Textual Criticism. He points out developments in multi-spectral im... [digital humanities] [digital imagery] [multi-spectral imaging] [optical character recognition]

February 14, 4PM

Ancient Jew Review has published my short discussion on the relevance of the Dead Sea Scrolls to pentateuchal criticism, entitled Reflections on the Textual Development of the Pentateuch in Light of Documented Evidence. There is much more to say about thi... [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Pentateuch] [Pentateuchal criticism]

February 12, 7AM

The most recent volume of the Review of Biblical Literature has the following reviews of interest:James H. Charlesworth, Lee Martin McDonald, and Blake A. Jurgens, eds.Sacra Scriptura: How “Non-canonical” Texts Functioned in Early Judaism and Early Ch... [Book Reviews]

February 9, 11AM

William Ross has a nice interview with Natalio Fernández Marcos to commemorate LXX day 2017. :) [Interviews] [Natalio Fernández Marcos] [Septuagint]
Marieke Dhont has an interesting blog post on LXX manuscripts in the Vatican library that might be of interest! [digital imagery] [Septuagint] [Vatican Library]


My wife pointed out to me last night that Hebrew University just published a press release announcing the discovery of a 12th scroll cave near Qumran. Apparently the excavators found numerous scroll jars, some linen used for wrapping the scrolls, and one ... [Archeology] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Excavations] [Looting] [Qumran]

February 6, 12 PM

Reinhard Kratz has an interesting article Insights into the Growth of Biblical Literature from the Dead Sea Scrolls in Ancient Jew Review. Keep an eye out for more similar articles soon, because Andy Perrin made an arrangement to publish with AJ... [Pentateuchal criticism]

January 31, 6AM

The Book & The Spade has an interesting short interview with Brent Seales, who recently successfully digitally unrolled the Leviticus scroll from Ein Gedi. He is quite optimistic about his ability to read unopened Herculaneum papyri, and his project i... [Brent Seales] [digital humanities] [digital imagery]

January 30, 1PM

Only tangentially related, perhaps, to OTTC, but it is worth pointing out that a number of scholarly organizations have publicly protested the recent temporary immigration ban of the Trump administration. The general argument is that it interferes with sc... [ethics]

January 28, 12 PM

Peeters is now advertising Seth Adcock's new book "Oh God of Battles! Steal My Soldiers' Hearts!": A Study of the Hebrew and Greek Text Forms of Jeremiah 10:1-18. The book is a revised version of his doctoral dissertation under Kristen De Troyer... [Book Notices] [Jeremiah]

January 26, 4AM

Kristin De Troyer has announced her next LXX summer school in Salzburg. Highly recommended for anyone interested in learning textual criticism from one of the foremost experts in the field!ON BIBLICALMANUSCRIPTS ANDTHEIR USE IN BIBLICALSTUDIESSummer Schoo... [Kristin De Troyer] [Septuagint] [training opportunities]
Garrick Allen has released a call for papers for an upcoming conference entitled Herman Hoskier and the Future of Textual Scholarship on the Bible (28-30 August 2017). The topics and lineup sound like they will make for a great conference! See more inform... [Conferences]


Helen Dixon has posted an interview with Anneli Aejmelaeus, recently retired professor and Septuagint specialist from the University of Helsinki. I had the pleasure of working with her for the past couple of years and greatly enjoyed my time in Helsinki. [Anneli Aejmelaeus] [Interviews] [Septuagint]
For Academic Week 2017, Brill has made several volumes freely downloadable. Thanks to Brill for this generous offer! :) Among those most of interest to readers of this blog, see:Studies in the Making of the Early Hebrew Book Marvin J. HellerMedieval ... [Book Notices]

December 22 2016, 5AM

A recent article notes that a couple of small, as-yet undeciphered fragments were discovered in recent salvage excavations in the Cave of the Skulls.HT Daniel Falk [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Excavations]

December 13, 1AM

Will Ross blogs with an interesting interview with José Manuel Cañas Reíllo, the editor of the Göttingen LXX edition of Judges. José gives an interesting window into the work of an editor and a sneak peak into the edition he anticipates to complete i... [Judges] [Septuagint]

December 10, 1PM

In the most recent RBL Ed Glenny reviews Sigmund Kreuzer's The Bible in Greek: Translation, Transmission, and Theology of the Septuagint. It sounds like an apology for the Antiochene/Lucianic text in Septuagint research and a good read for anyone interest... [Antiochene text] [Book Reviews]

December 9, 2AM

A new issue of ZAW (128, no. 4) is out including some articles of text-critical interest.The Analysis of the Pentateuch Kratz, Reinhard G.Comparing Critical Editions: BHQ Proverbs and HBCE Proverbs Hendel, RonaldHT Agade [articles] [Journals]

November 29, 8AM

Arstein Justnes laments the inclusion of several post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments in Accordance modules. Somewhat annoyingly, he rejects two Exodus fragments identified by Eshel and Eshel as forgeries... :) I guess that makes more work for me in ... [Accordance bible software] [Forgeries]


A new book has been announced in honor of John Collins that contains a number of articles of text-critical interest.Sibyls, Scriptures, and Scrolls: John Collins at SeventyEdited by Joel Baden, Yale University, Hindy Najman,University of Oxford and Eibert... [Book Notices]
As an interesting follow-up to the recent discussion about the origin of the Hebrew alphabet, there is apparently an upcoming lecture on a bilingual Egyptian-Semitic abecedary from Theban Tomb 99. Sounds interesting! If anyone is able to attend, do tell!H... [abecedaries] [alphabet] [Egyptian texts] [Proto-Canaanite]

November 22, 8AM

A recent article publicizes the theory of Douglas Petrovich's theory that Hebrews invented the alphabet. Petrovich claims to identify new letters on inscriptions from Egypt and read them as Hebrew, from which he argues that the Hebrews invented the a... [alphabet] [Egyptian texts] [epigraphy]

November 21, 2AM

An important Samaritan Ten Commandments tablet has sold at auction for $850,000! Apparently it is dated to the 4th century, which would make it a very early witness to the Samaritan version.HT Todd Bolen [auctions] [Decalogue] [epigraphy] [Samaritan Pentateuch] [samaritans]
So apparently the Israelis are going to launch another expidition to look for Dead Sea Scrolls in the West Bank. It will be very interesting to see what they find.HT Todd Bolen

November 19, 1PM

Michael Langlois weighs in on the Jerusalem papyrus in "How a 2,700-year-old piece of papyrus super-charged the debate over UNESCO and Jerusalem". [Forgeries] [Hebrew Manuscripts] [Papyri]

November 17, 2AM

As a fitting follow-up to Hendel's new book, Brill has announced the forthcoming publication of a new book on editions of the Hebrew Bible.Andrés Piquer Otero and Pablo Torijano Morales, eds. The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions: Studies in Cele... [Book Notices] [critical editions]

November 10, 1AM

I just received word of a new book by Ron Hendel laying out the theory behind the Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition series. I always enjoy reading Hendel's methodological work, so I'm sure this will make for a good read. :)Steps to a New Edition of th... [Book Notices] [Oxford Hebrew Bible] [Ron Hendel] [The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition]

November 9, 8AM

In the latest newsletter of the Genizah Research Institute, Stefan Reif reports on a conference on the Hebrew texts of Ben Sirah. They also highlight a new book on Greek translations in Byzantine Judaism, which will be of interest to those interested in t... [Ben Sirah] [greek manuscripts] [Greek Revisions of the LXX] [Septuagint]

November 8, 1AM

The most recent RBL has three reviews relevant to OTTC:Guide to Hebrew Manuscript CollectionsRichler, BenjaminJerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2014 pp. x + 409.2nd Edition. $60.00La Biblia griega Septuaginta 3: Libros poéticos y sapi... [Book Reviews] [Hebrew Manuscripts] [Nehemiah 11-12] [Septuagint]

November 5, 4AM

I just received word from Andy Perrin that Peter Flint has passed away. He will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues. Peter was well known for his important contributions to the study of the text of the Bible (particularly his work on the Psalms scr... [obituaries]

November 3, 1AM

Christopher Rollston gets more specific on his concerns about the morphology of the text of the Jerusalem Papyrus in a recent blog post "The Jerusalem Papyrus: Complementary Notations".HT Rick Bonnie [Forgeries] [Hebrew Manuscripts] [Papyri]

November 1, 1AM

Baker is advertizing a new edition of Ellis Brotzman's Old Testament Textual Criticism, now co-authored with Eric Tully. I enjoyed reading the first edition, which is a great simple introduction to the topic. It will be interesting to see what the new edi... [Book Notices]
Eve Harrow has an interesting interview with Shmuel Ahituv on the Jerusalem Papyrus.HT Agade [Hebrew Manuscripts] [Interviews] [Papyri]

October 27, 1AM

Joseph Ryan Kelly interviews Eva Mroczek about her new book The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity. [Book Notices] [Interviews]
An upcoming conference has a number of speakers working on scribes and texts in Judah in the Persian period.From Josette Elayi [] ================================ASPEP Conferences (Association for the research on Syria-Pales... [Conferences]
More conferences and jobs to consider from the COMSt email list:Dear COMSt members and subscribers, as usual, I would like to share with you some information/announcements that could be useful or interesting to some of you: Conferences and call... [Conferences] [jobs]

October 26, 2PM

More news sources on the new Hebrew papyrus seized by the IAA. Eitan Klein is quoted in Live Science as saying that the papyrus is dated to the 7th century BCE, rather than the 8th. Christopher Rollston suspects it may be a modern forgery on anc... [Forgeries] [Hebrew Manuscripts] [Papyri] [Papyrology] [pre-exilic texts]

October 24, 12 AM

Jason Zurawski sends word of the 9th Enoch Seminar, From tôrāh to Torah: Variegated Notions of Torah from the First Temple Period to Late Antiquity in June 2017. Sounds like an exciting lineup!------------------------------------------------------------... [Conferences] [Pentateuch] [Torah Scrolls]
I have several friends and colleagues working in Munich now, and their Distant Worlds group seems to be quite an exciting research context. See below their announcement for two postdoctoral positions.From Walther Sallaberger [mailto:WaSa@assyr.fak12.uni-m... [jobs]

October 23, 12 PM

I have just heard of reports of a new papyrus from Judah mentioning Jerusalem that sound very exciting (NB the photo on the news article is not of this papyrus, but a much later semicursive document)! It was discovered in the Judean Desert and purchased o... [documentary texts] [Papyri] [Papyrology] [pre-exilic texts]

October 20, 3AM

New from SBL Press:L’influence de l’araméen sur les traducteurs de la LXX principalement, sur les traducteurs grecs postérieurs, ainsi que sur les scribes de la Vorlage de la LXX Anne-Françoise LoiseauLoiseau presents examples of Greek... [aramaic] [Book Notices] [Septuagint]

October 19, 6AM

Nina Burleigh has a recent, short Newsweek piece out on possible DSS forgeries: "Newly Discovered Dead Sea Scrolls are Skillfully Crafted Fakes, Experts Suspect". Not much new, but interesting to see coverage in popular media outlets.HT Rick Bonnie [Forgeries] [private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls]

12 AM

I just received word of a new Brill volume on Digital Humanities projects and Biblical Studies that looks interesting.Ancient Worlds in Digital Culture, Edited by Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley, David Hamidović in collaboration with Apolline Thromas.The volu... [Book Notices] [digital humanities]

October 15, 3AM

Owen Jarus writes about newly purchased DSS fragments in the Museum of the Bible and Schøyen collections in Live Science. An interesting--if brief--account of how these collections were assembled.HT Årstein Justnes [Dead Sea Scrolls] [private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls]
ACOR in Amman, Jordan has opened up a call for applications for upcoming fellowships that might be worth considering for some readers.From China Shelton []: ======================================ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACOR FELLOWSHIPS  201... [jobs]
In November there will be an interesting codicological conference on manuscripts consisting of multiple different texts. While only a handful of the papers explicitly address biblical texts, this phenomenon is of great interest for the study of late antiq... [Conferences]
Hugh Houghton recently published a review of Yii-Jan Lin's The Erotic Life of Manuscripts: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Biological Sciences. He is generally appreciative of her attempt to prompt conversations on important issues about how textu... [Book Reviews]

October 12, 1AM

Innocent Himbaza has a new article out in Biblica.Innocent Himbaza, «Critique textuelle et critique littéraire en 2 Samuel 6,2: une généalogie des témoins textuels.», Biblica 97 (2016) 440-453.2 Sam 6,2 raises both textual and literary questions. On... [articles] [Journals]

12 AM

There is an upcoming conference in Lausanne on the authorship of the Pentateuch in light of documented scribal practices and contexts that sounds interesting. The emphasis on scribes does not seem immediately evident from the paper titles, but hopefully t... [Conferences] [Pentateuch]
Mladen Popovic informs me of an upcoming conference on Aramaic paleography. If you are in Leiden tomorrow, I highly recommend it. Mladen will be discussing the Groningen digital paleography project, and the other papers sound interesting as well.Palaeogra... [Conferences] [paleography]

October 10, 12 PM

Eibert Tigchelaar suggests that a number of new DSS fragments are likely modern forgeries or authentic fragments from sites other than Qumran in a new Live Science article Are These New Dead Sea Scrolls the Real Thing? There is a rising suspicion abo... [Forgeries]


If you have many thousands of dollars to spare, Sotheby's is currently auctioning off the collection of Bibles by Charles Ryrie for a pretty penny.HT Todd Bolen [auctions] [Private collections]
I recently saw David Willgren's new book The Formation of the 'Book' of Psalms: Reconsidering the Transmission and Canonization of Psalmody in Light of Material Culture and the Poetics of Anthologies. I am currently reading his dissertation, of which the ... [Book Notices] [Psalms]
Via Agade, news of two relevant openings:From Matthew Goff [] ===================================Job Title:  Postdoctoral Scholar in Religion Job ID:  40904Location:  Tallahassee, FL TemporaryDepartment of ReligionRespon... [jobs]

October 7, 1AM

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University has opened 7 appointments of visiting research scholars. The institute has a broad scope, which would easily include readers of this blog. [jobs]
Andrew Dunnin writes a critical, but appreciative review of Hugh Houton's The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts. Hugh's book focuses on the NT manuscript tradition, but it is also valuable for studying Latin OT manu... [Book Reviews] [Latin]
Brill announces a new book to be looking for this year:Andrés Piquer Otero and Pablo Torijano Morales, eds. The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions: Studies in Celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the Complutensian PolyglotThe volume has a great ... [critical editions] [editions]

October 6, 6AM

OUP is soon to publish Sara Milstein's new book Tracking the Master Scribe: Revision through Introduction in Biblical and Mesopotamian Literature. I had the chance to read through parts of her dissertation and found it very interesting, so this will undou... [Book Notices] [Mesopotamia] [scribal practices]
Semitica 58 (2016) has just been released, with several articles that will be of interest to readers of this blog:Who Possessed the Promised Land? Scribal Scholarship in the Formation of Patriarchal Narrative(s) and the Holiness CodeMTSHISELWA, NdikhoA So... [Semitica]
Eythan Levy and Frédéric Pluquet have produced a nice piece of software for deciphering difficult inscriptions/ostraca called Scrypt, which is available for free online. The basic principle is that you list all of the possible letters for each... [digital humanities] [epigraphy] [ostraca]
Eugenia Sokolinski sent out on the COMSt email list the following compilation of job postings and upcoming conferences that might be of interest to readers of this blog:Openings- research consultant for Oriental manuscripts at the University and Re... [jobs]

October 5, 1PM

Mladen Popovic recently posted a Ph.D. scholarship for the Faculty of Theology at the University of Grongingen. The Qumran Institute (and related research) is a happening place right now, and I strongly encourage eligible candidates to apply! Most of our ... [Groningen] [jobs]

October 4, 12 AM

Matthew J. Hama has posted a review of Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayments' Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources. It sounds like a great resource, though it is quite unfortunate that they excluded the LXX materials... ... [Oxyrhynchus] [Papyri] [Papyrology] [Reviews]

September 27, 1AM

The most recent RBL has a review by Ian Werrett of Alex Jassen's Scripture and Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The review is long, but a good (generally appreciative) summary of the important points of the book. In particular, Jassen stresses how nonpentateu... [authority] [citations] [Halakah] [Jassen] [legal texts]

12 AM

From Pauline Lee []: =============================The Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University is inviting applicants for a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. As the chair of ... [jobs]

September 23, 5AM

The past couple of days have seen exciting developments in the release of results from the virtual unrolling of a charred Leviticus scroll from Ein Gedi. For popular news articles, see:New York TimesNPRJerusalem PostNational GeographicMore importantly, tw... [carbonized manuscripts] [digital humanities] [digital imagery] [Ein Gedi] [Leviticus]

September 22, 2AM

It is worth pointing out a few books and articles that have come out recently that may be of relevance to readers of this blog.Wolfgang Kraus, Michael N. Van Der Meer, and Martin Meiser (eds.), XV Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint ... [articles] [Book Notices] [unprovenanced artifacts]

September 15, 12 PM

Just in case you thought the obscure chronological details that so concerned ancient scribes were no longer of interest, a new article in the Jewish Bible Quarterly is trying to reinvigorate the debate over how long the Egyptian sojourn was. In How L... [chronology] [Exodus 12] [harmonization]
The recent Journal of Biblical Literature volume has one article that might be of particular importance for the understanding of the pesharim and the reception of the scriptures in Second Temple Judaism:The Compositional Development of Qumran ... [articles] [commentaries] [pesharim]

September 8, 4PM

The Society of Biblical Literature sent out an email yesterday to its members announcing a new SBL Policy on Scholarly Presentation and Publication of Ancient Artifacts. Essentially, the SBL Council has voted to endorse and enforce the The American S... [ethics] [Society of Biblical Literature] [unprovenanced artifacts]

September 4, 10AM

The W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research has released its call for applications for the next round of fellowships. I was an ECA fellow in the Spring of 2015, and I very much enjoyed my time there. It was a great opportunity to learn abo... [Albright Institute of Archaeological Research] [jobs]

August 29, 1PM

Isaac Oliver de Oliveira has pointed out a review of Michael Satlow's How the Bible Became Holy, for the Enoch Seminar. Gregory Paulson's review of Satlow is fairly critical of his treatment of the Christian literature, which follows on Ron Hend... [authority] [Bibliology] [Reviews]

12 PM

The University of Helsinki is calling for applications for doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and university researchers. Having spent the past two years with the Centre of Excellence, "Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions," I can personally v... [Helsinki] [jobs]

August 28, 1PM

Antony Perrot recently pointed out an article by Klaas Worp to me that will be of interest to readers of this blog: "Psalm 9.22-26 in a 4th-Century Papyrus from the Western Desert in Egypt" in Vetus Testamentum, Volume 66, Issue 3, pages 473 – 478.ABS... [Psalm 9] [Septuagint]

August 16, 5PM

This is part 2 of a series. See also part 1. Myriam Krutzsch gave some reflections on the material analysis of papyrus supports based on her years of experience as a conservator and recent collaboration on material analysis with Ira Rabin. She discussed i... [Conferences] [Papyri] [Papyrology] [Psalms]

August 15, 3PM

The 28th International Congress of Papyrology took place in Barcelona from 1-6 August, and it was a great success. While there were far too many papers to discuss them in any depth, I would like to highlight a few papers that were more relevant for OTTC.T... [Conferences] [Papyri] [Papyrology]


I just learned that Todd Hanneken was awarded an NEH grant for his Jubilees Palimpsest Project. The project will involve photographing the 5th-century underwriting of the Milan Latin Jubilees palimpsest with Spectral RTI. The Latin portions of Jubile... [digital imagery] [Jubilees] [Projects]

August 13, 12 PM

The Centre for Information Modelling – Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities at the University of Graz is hosting a symposium on Digital Scholarly Editions as Interfaces from 23-24 September 2016. The program and abstracts have been post... [Conferences] [digital humanities] [Electronic Editions]

August 12, 3PM

Peter Gurry has pointed out that Brill has released information on the publication of the Museum of the Bible volume Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection. In addition to several introductory and overview articles, there are publications of ... [Daniel] [Dead Sea Scrolls] [Exodus] [Ezekiel] [Genesis] [Jeremiah] [Jonah] [Leviticus] [Micah] [Museum of the Bible] [Nehemiah] [Numbers] [private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls] [Psalms]

July 13, 5PM

The program of papers for the EABS/IOQS Leuven 2016 meeting has now been published. Among the many interesting papers, I identified these as directly relevant for OTTC, though there may be more:Oren Ableman, Digitizing and Cataloging the Dead Sea ScrollsA... [Conferences]

July 7, 11AM

Miika Tucker just put out an excellent report on a recent workshop on patterns of change in the development of biblical texts we had in Helsinki with a number of CSTT members and Michael Segal. It was quite a beneficial format, and I very much enjoyed get... [Conferences]

July 5, 2AM

Michael Segal's new book Dreams, Riddles, and Visions: Textual, Contextual, and Intertextual Approaches to the Book of Daniel has now been published. Based on interactions with Michael on his work on Daniel, I'm sure it will be an important contribut... [Book Notices] [Daniel] [Michael Segal]

June 27, 10AM

Alessandro Bausi (General editor), Pier Giorgio Borbone, Françoise Briquel-Chatonnet, Paola Buzi, Jost Gippert, Caroline Macé, Marilena Maniaci, Zisis Melissakis, Laura E. Parodi, Witold Witakowski, eds. Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies: An Intro... [Armenian] [Christian Palestinian Aramaic] [codicology] [Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies (COMSt)] [Conservation] [Coptic] [digital humanities] [Ethiopic] [Georgian] [paleography] [Slavonic] [syriac]

June 18, 2PM

Having been working with Greek codices recently, I have been faced with the complicated issue of what terminology to use in describing the codices. One particularly problematic term that I keep coming back to is what to call the leaves of a book, each of ...

12 PM

I just learned from Suzanne Wijsman that the British Library has an online glossary of codicological terms that may be of help for those seeking to understand obscure technical jargon. It is also illustrated, which helps. [codicology]

June 16, 2AM

Mark Goodacre recently pointed out an article identifying the owner of the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife." The article in the Atlantic by Ariel Sabar entitled "The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus' Wife" is a fascinating expose on the life and mind of t... [Coptic] [Forgeries] [Gospel of Jesus' Wife]

June 13, 2PM

From 6-8 June, I had the opportunity to attend the EAJS Lab Research Approaches in Hebrew Bible Manuscript Studies in Aix-en-Provence. The workshop--organized by Élodie Attia-Kay, Samuel Blapp, and Antony Perrot--was a great success. We were graciou... [Cairo Genizah] [Conferences] [Material philology] [online resources]

12 AM

I recently had the opportunity to meet Viktor Golinets, and I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight a helpful set of classified bibliographies he has produced that are very helpful and pertinent for the study of the text of the Hebrew Bible. See his... [bibliographies] [Hebrew Manuscripts] [Semitic Languages] [Viktor Golinets]

June 11, 5AM

Continuing on the theme of the day of X-ray technology, an article entitled "Virtual Unrolling and Deciphering of Herculaneum Papyri by X-ray Phase-Contrast Tomography" has recently been published online (thanks to Elvira Martin-Contreras for po... [carbonized manuscripts] [Ein Gedi] [Herculaneum] [Leviticus] [Papyri] [Torah Scrolls] [X-ray]


This week I spent a good amount of time with several medievalists in Aix-en-Provence discussing Hebrew Bible manuscripts, which I will write about in more detail in the near future. Many were studying the so-called "European Genizah," which is actual... [book bindings] [European Genizah] [X-ray]

May 4, 2AM

Michael Langlois has organized a conference on the Samaritan Pentateuch and pre-Samaritan Qumran texts on 26-27 May in Strasbourg. It looks very timely and interesting, and I wish I could be there. If you are in the area and have the time, it sounds like ... [Conferences] [pre-Samaritan texts] [Samaritan Pentateuch]

May 1, 3AM

I recently updated my list of online manuscripts and editions, which can be found on the tab above or here. If you know of any helpful resources not listed, please do comment, and I will try to incorporate them as time permits.
Christian Askeland has posted a job as research projects coordinator at the Museum of the Bible here. It sounds like a good opportunity for anyone with good skills working with manuscripts and ancient languages, as well as administrative skills to help or... [jobs]
I am happy to announce that I just accepted a postdoctoral research position at the University of Groningen with Mladen Popović as part of the ERC project, "The Hands that Wrote the Bible: Digital Palaeography and Scribal Culture of the Dead Sea Scrolls.... [jobs] [paleography]

April 23, 11AM

Browsing the digitized manuscripts of the British Library today, I happened across a wonderful manuscript that I had never seen before, and I thought it might be worth highlighting. BM Or 2540 is the remnants of a Karaite codex containing the Hebrew ... [Arabic] [Exodus] [Karaite]

March 28, 5AM

I just learned of a recent study that suggests that the measured amount of lead in the ink of two fragments from the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum implies the intentional use of lead in ink from before the destruction of Mt. Vesuvius (79 CE). This is...

February 26, 4AM

Eibert Tigchelaar and Mladen Popović have put out a joint call here for two Ph.D. students to join in a research project focusing on heterogeneity in the DSS. Both of these positions sound like great opportunities for graduate students looking for a... [jobs]

January 28, 8AM

In January's Cairo Genizah fragment of the month, Ben Outhwaite highlights a contract from 1021 CE between the scribe Samuel ben Jacob and a patron to copy and supply with Masorah a codex of the prophets and writings. Samuel is to be paid the handsome sum... [Cairo Genizah] [Leningrad Codex] [scribes]

January 25, 1PM

Todd Bolen points out an interesting Newsweek article on the use of new imaging techniques to decipher Elephantine papyri, discussing multispectral imaging and X-ray/CT scans. [digital imagery] [Newsweek] [reconstructions] [Todd Bolen]


VU University Amsterdam is hosting two summer school classes on The Bible in the Syriac Tradition and Syriac Chrisitanity in Context between 16-30 July, for those interested in learning more about the Syriac Bible and tradition. It sounds like a... [Syriac manuscripts] [training opportunities]

January 23, 4PM

After finally deciding to dig a little deeper into a pesky textual problem regarding the number of descendants of Jacob in Exodus 1:5, I found myself once again being pulled into a black hole of textual data. The variants arise from a harmonization t... [Exodus 1] [Genealogies] [harmonization]

January 19, 2PM

Peter Flint gives a nice preview of his work on the Hebrew Bible Critical Edition of the Psalms and his Eerdmans' edition of the Qumran cave 1 scrolls here. [Great Isaiah Scroll] [Peter Flint] [The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition]

January 15, 5AM

For those who don't know, Kristin De Troyer has a particular passion for doing summer schools in textual criticism, and she has done a number in Göttingen in the past. This year, the Septuaginta-Unternehmen will not be hosting a summer school, but Kristi... [Joshua] [Kristin De Troyer] [training opportunities]

January 12, 11AM

Nahum Sarna's JPS Exodus commentary is available for free on Logos this month as part of their Free Book of the Month offer. Not a bad deal!

January 7, 3AM

In a recent Enoch Seminar Online review, Atar Livneh calls attention to an important book on Rewritten Scripture that warrants the attention of those working on the topic:Ariel Feldman and Liora Goldman, Scripture and Interpretation: Qumran Text... [Reviews] [Rewritten Scripture]

December 29 2015, 2PM

For those interested in keeping up with methodological discussions in New Testament textual criticism, TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism has released the results of a panel discussion on the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method that might be... [Coherence-Based Genealogical Method]

December 16, 5AM

The Albright Institute of Archaeological Research has posted a call for applications for a three-month postdoctoral fellowship available to European researchers here. You can find more information and apply here. The AIAR also has a number of other good f... [fellowships] [jobs]

November 30, 2PM

In part 2 we will survey some of the text-critically relevant papers from SBL 2015, though there were many others I was not able to attend.The combined Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible/Philology in Hebrew Studies session with the theme "Theory a... [Conferences]

November 21, 7PM

The first SBL session I went to today was a very helpful session on critical editions from the German Bible Society. Richard Weis reviewed in detail the historical development of editorial principles that set the stage for BHQ, which he illustrated from e... [Conferences]

November 20, 5PM

The Evangelical Theological Society held its annual meeting in Atlanta from 17-19 November, and I thought I would summarize some of the text-critically relevant papers for those who did not attend.Russell Fuller and Richard McDonald argued that the s... [Conferences]

May 23, 1AM

I received the following announcement from Peter Robinson, which may be of interest to some. For Old Testament scholars who may not know, Peter Robinson has a long-standing project editing the Canterbury Tales and is one of the leaders of the use of the d... [Canterbury Tales] [Electronic Editions] [electronic transcription] [Peter Robinson] [Textual Communities]

March 17, 7AM

I have posted online the final version of my doctoral thesis A Contextualized Approach to the Hebrew Dead Sea Scrolls Containing Exodus for the University of Birmingham under Charlotte Hempel, which I successfully defended on 25 February 2015 without... [Dissertation] [Exodus]

March 1, 11AM

I just posted a blog post on the CSTT blog about my recent examinations of manuscripts in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, and Birmingham. [digital imagery]

January 23, 5AM

I recently had the opportunity to write a series of short dictionary entries for the Logos e-publication The Lexham Bible Dictionary, including "Ancient Libraries," "Masorah," and "Masoretes." Overall it was a fairly pleasant experience. On reading the fi... [authorial text] [autographa] [editors] [electronic transcription] [logos] [publishing methodologies]

January 8, 2PM

My family and I have been travelling throughout Europe for the past few weeks on a grand Christmas market tour, and I decided to stop by some major European libraries and museums along the way. On the 23rd of December I was able to visit the Ägyptisches ... [digital imagery] [Exodus] [online resources] [Staatliche Museen zu Berlin]

October 20 2014, 2AM

The University of Helsinki is opening another round of applications for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. The Centre of Excellence is a fantastic research environment, and the University is very accommodating to international researchers, so... [jobs] [Post-Doctoral Research]

July 11, 11AM

Robots have now been put to use to copy out the Torah by hand...ish... The Berlin Jewish Museum now features a robot programmed to copy out an entire Torah scroll. It should be able to complete a scroll in about 3 months, rather than the approximately 1 y... [scribes] [Technology]

May 22, 2PM

The Society of Biblical Literature announced today their intent to publish a new critical edition of the Hebrew Bible. This new edition will be called The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition (HBCE). It is the same project as the Oxford Hebrew Bible project, ... [critical editions] [editions] [Oxford Hebrew Bible] [The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition]

March 10, 6AM

I can now confirm some exciting news! I have been awarded an Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Junior Research Fellowship at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR). My family and I will be spending 4.5 months in Jerusalem, fro... [Albright Institute of Archaeological Research] [fellowships] [reconstructions]

February 25, 4PM

The University of Birmingham just released a call for papers for the 4th Annual University of Birmingham Postgraduate Researcher Day Conference here. The conference will take place on 2 July 2014 at the University of Birmingham. The conference t... [Conferences]

February 24, 3AM

I just returned from Lugano, Switzerland from a Research Seminar on the History of the Caves of Qumran on 20-21 February. The conference was well-attended, and was heavily dominated by discussions of the archaeology and interrelationships between the cave... [Conferences] [Genesis] [Genesis Flood narrative] [Schøyen Collection] [tefillin]

November 28 2013, 8AM

Today I officially accepted an invitation to conduct post-doctoral research at the University of Helsinki as part of the Centre of Excellence in "Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions." I will be working in Helsinki from 1 September 2014 to 31 Decem... [Exodus] [Helsinki] [Post-Doctoral Research] [Septuagint]

November 13, 6AM

I had the chance to meet Dan Wallace in Dublin this summer while viewing the Chester Beatty papyri, and I greatly appreciate his desire to make high-quality digital images of manuscripts available online. He and his team have taken photos of all of the Ch... [online resources] [digital imagery] [Septuagint] [Daniel Wallace] [Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts]

November 7, 3PM

The British Library has announced here that they will be digitizing 1250 of their collection of over 3000 Hebrew manuscripts. This includes some very important biblical manuscripts, as well as other Jewish literature. This is a very promising develop... [British Library] [digital imagery] [online resources]

September 18, 2AM

I have been playing around with the search facilities and images on the InscriptiFact Digital Image Library of the West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California. If you register an account with them, you can get access to a number... [InscriptiFact Digital Image Library] [online resources] [digital imagery]

August 14, 8AM

Martin Worthington's Principles of Akkadian Textual Criticism has been digitized by the Glascow University Library and put up on I was quite surprised to find this 2012 book online. I'm not sure of the copyright issues at this point, but... [Akkadian] [online resources]

August 7, 2PM

Ron Hendel has now put his book The Text of Genesis 1-11: Textual Studies and Critical Edition online on While I would have a few minor critiques, this is an excellent work worthy of study by anyone interested in textual criticism and a... [editions] [Ron Hendel] [online resources] [Genesis]

July 6, 3AM

Jack Sasson has pointed out a new book by Sidney H. Griffith: The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the 'People of the Book' in the Language of Islam. It looks like a very interesting read for both textual criticism of the Bible and Judeo-Christian-Islam... [Arabic]

July 4, 3AM

The volumes of the Hebrew University's Textus series are now available freely online here. [online resources]

May 29, 3AM

Picture from the BBC reportScott Bashoor has pointed out to me that the BBC has published a report about the redating of a Torah scroll at the University of Bologna in Italy to around 850 or more years old. It was dated to the 17th century by univers...

May 27, 3AM

Jack Sasson has pointed out an interesting article in Haaretz on the history of the sale of small Dead Sea Scrolls fragments to private collections. Apparently Kando retained several fragments in Switzerland and bequeathed them to his sons.... [private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls] [antiquities market]

May 23, 7AM

In teaching through Luke 21 this week, I came across a significant textual problem that brings to mind an important methodological point.In Luke 21:36, the "Western" witnesses say "that you might be counted worthy to escape" the traumatic events preceding... [apparatuses] [Luke 21]

May 8, 1PM

Jim Davila has posted on PaleoJudaica that Geza Vermes has passed away, due to a recurring bout with cancer. He is survived by his wife Margaret. Vermes was from a Jewish family, turned Catholic priest, who later left the priesthood. He was best know... [Geza Vermes] [obituaries]

April 29, 3AM

Bill Barrick at The Master's Seminary in Southern California has kindly put up his video lectures for beginning and intermediate Hebrew, along with his freely-downloadable grammar and workbook. I had the pleasure of taking a number of classes and seminars... [Hebrew Language] [William Barrick] [online resources]

April 17, 12 PM

Eibert Tigchelaar has posted the schedule for the IOQS conference in Munich this summer here, along with abstracts. I will be presenting a paper on Tuesday afternoon at 15:30, for those who might be interested. "Scribal Treatment of Defective Exempla... [Conferences]

April 10, 12 PM

My article on the Isaiah scroll is now out in the latest volume of Dead Sea Discoveries, for those who might be interested.Longacre, Drew. "Developmental Stage, Scribal Lapse, or Physical Defect? 1QIsaa’s Damaged Exemplar for Isaiah Chapters 34–66." D... [reconstructions] [Great Isaiah Scroll] [exemplar damage]

March 25, 5AM

When dealing with manuscripts, the phenomenon of parablepsis is commonly recognized. Copyists often left out words, phrases, and even longer strings of text when their eyes accidentally skipped from one word or phrase to another with a similar sequence of... [omissions] [homoioteleuton] [parablepsis] [homoioarcheton] [scribal practices]

March 21, 3PM

On behalf of the organizing committee, I am proud to announce that we will be hosting the 3rd University of Birmingham Biblical Studies Postgraduate Day Conference on 3 July 2013 in Birmingham, UK. This conference is aimed at postgraduate researchers from... [Conferences]

March 12, 3PM

Christian Askeland has pointed out a helpful resource for Greek paleography. PapPal has a databank of images of dated Greek papyri for help in dating undated manuscripts. [paleography] [online resources]

January 7, 7AM

Dotan Arad and Esther-Miriam Wagner note a letter from the Cairo Genizah by the Rabbi Joshua Maimonides which is extant in both an autograph draft form and a later scribal copy. This intriguing situation gives us an inside peek into the relationship betwe... [Cairo Genizah] [autographa]

December 27 2012, 9AM

Image flipped from internet news report.Jack Sasson points out an article in a Turkish newspaper claiming that a 1900-year-old leather Torah scroll has been confiscated by police. An (upside-down) image of the manuscript from the news report shows th... [Forgeries]

December 18, 2AM

I just found out via Jack Sasson that the Israel Antiquities Authority has now put images of all of the DSS up online for publish access here. As far as I can tell, they have most all of the manuscripts online, with each fragment/plate imaged in both... [digital imagery]

December 17, 1PM

Working through the 11th century Greek Gospels Lectionary 252, I came across an interesting variant in John 3:9-10. In L252, Nicodemus rebukes Jesus for his ignorance of the regenerating work of the Spirit and then proceeds to instruct him ... [theologically-motivated variants] [homoioteleuton] [Orthodox corruption of Scripture] [L252]

December 15, 8AM

I recently starting transcribing Lectionary 252 for the International Greek New Testament Project, and it made for an interesting exercise. Someone apparently cut the sole of a shoe out of the first folio, which made transcription quite complicated. :) It... [electronic transcription] [L252]

November 28, 7AM

The Freie Universität Berlin will be hosting a workshop entitled Hebrew Manuscripts Studies: An Introduction from 15-19 July 2013."The participants will be introduced to the study of different codicological and paleographical aspects of Hebrew ... [Conferences]

November 20, 5AM

This one looks like an interesting book for comparative studies in textual criticism.The Textual Criticism of Sumerian Literatureby Paul Delnero"The occurrence of textual variation is a significant but frequently neglected aspect of the study of Sumerian ... [Sumerian]

November 9, 3AM

Jack Sasson brings attention to an article in Popular Archaeology noting that Ada Yardeni claims to have identified a common scribal hand in around 50 DSS, including scrolls from multiple Qumran caves and Masada. If this is correct, then it would be a ver... [Qumran] [Masada] [Ada Yardeni] [scribal hands]

October 18, 3AM

I have heard from a number of people that Frank Moore Cross (July 13, 1921 – October 17, 2012) has passed away. Frank Moore Cross was one of the prominent researchers on the Dead Sea Scrolls at an early stage in their publication. He is especially noted... [Frank Moore Cross] [obituaries]

September 5, 5AM

In a recent seminar, we were discussing how Christ is often portrayed as the Ancient of Days in Byzantine iconography. I wondered how this was possible, since the Aramaic of Daniel 7:13 unambigiously has the Son of Man coming up "to" (עד) the Ancient of... [Theodotian] [P967] [Codex Chisianus] [Septuagint] [Daniel 7] [conjectural emendations] [iconography]

June 23, 4AM

The audio for the seminar I gave on "How We Got Our Bible" at Calvary Chapel Birmingham (UK) recently is now online at It is a very brief two-hour lay introduction to issues of canon, textual criticism, and ... [Lectures]

June 16, 8AM

On June 9th, I was able to present my paper "The Many Chronologies of the Genesis Flood Narrative: An Exercise in Evaluating Interrelated Variants" at the 2nd Annual St. Andrews Graduate Conference for Biblical and Early Christian Studies. I surveyed the ... [Conferences]
Today I got to do a two-hour presentation at Calvary Chapel Birmingham (UK) on "How We Got Our Bible." We surveyed three major editorial issues that underly our English translations.1) Which books do we include in our Bibles? (canon)2) Which text of these... [Lectures]

June 2, 1PM

I was just informed that a new online, open-access journal called the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament has now published its first bi-annual volume. The journal will publish on "ancient Near Eastern backgrounds, Dead Sea Scrolls, Rab... [Journals] [Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament]

May 17, 3AM

May 15, 3AM

The postgraduate papers have now been publicized for the University of Birmingham Postgraduate Conference on 6 June. [Conferences]

May 2, 7AM

In DJD 32, Ulrich and Flint make the case that the Great Isaiah Scroll does not reflect a later stage of development than the MT (contra Kutscher), but instead often reflects an earlier stage of development to which the MT adds significant insertions. The... [Isaiah 40] [reconstructions] [Great Isaiah Scroll] [Isaiah 38] [Isaiah 37] [Isaiah 35] [Isaiah 34] [exemplar damage]

April 30, 2PM

Recent conversations in the comments of a past blog post prompted me to think a bit about the overall number of variants in the OT text. I also just finished an article by David J.A. Clines "What Remains of the Hebrew Bible? The Accuracy of the Text of th... [quantification of variants] [2 Samuel 22] [Psalm 18]