Wednesday, November 28, 2007
  Audio Blog Posts
I have posted a couple of new items to the 5 Minute Bible site this week:

After a long gap for marking since the previous post:

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007
  Late Mechanical Age III artefacts
Text criticism is not everyone's cup of tea (odd expression! but one I grew up with...) indeed, the discussions that get specialists in the field excited often leave others yawning. And yet, it is vital to any and all biblical interpretation. A bit like a visit to the dentist, no fun (sometimes far from it) but important and not to be avoided!

However, John's substantial and argumentative review of the new fascicles of Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ): Taking Stock of Biblia Hebraica Quinta (and perhaps inevitably also of the whole field of textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible) makes interesting and even entertaining reading.

Not long ago the Targuman had a post Ehrman @ PSU that included the subtitle "Making Text Criticism Sexy". This is what John achieves, though perhaps for a different audience ;-) Writing like this:
According to James Sanders in his review of BHQ 18, a review more rambling, believe it or not, than this one, “Another highly commendable trait of BHQ is that of presenting the text honoring the te’amim or masoretic accent marks.”[9] Would that this were true.
Will hold my interest, even when the topic is text criticism!

Once again, I am left wondering, bewildered at the attachment of biblical scholars to the codex as tribal totem. As John points out, thanks to the explosion of information about earlier (than Medieval) forms of the text in the last century or so, printing such works has become a massive task:

Upon completion, BHQ is slated to be issued as a single volume containing text, masorah, and apparatus. An accompanying volume is expected to contain the other components of the fascicles that are now coming out: an introduction to each textual unit, notes on the masorah parva, notes on the masorah magna, notes on the critical apparatus, and an index of cited works.

That may not be realistic. Text, masorah, and apparatus of the two BHQ fascicles published so far exceed by 20 and 60 per cent in cumulative girth their equivalents in BHS. A single-volume edition is still imaginable, but will be bulky. Based on the fascicles published to date, it seems likely that the commentary to the single volume edition will require three volumes, not one.
Oh, goody! A three volume Bible to carry into class... Not only this, but John also points out the need for "Updateability" (in a section of that title). Any reference work of this sort needs to be updateable, information available changes... So, you ask - well I do even if you didn't! - is this magnificent opus being produced and disseminated electronically, thus allowing me to subscribe to the latest edition. Well, no. We scholars produce "books", so we'll be stuck with the out of date, three volume (how practical!) but beautifully bound codex edition. Or, after a decent delay, in case the electronic edition diminishes sales of the (horrendously expensive to produce) print edition, we can buy at an inflated price (though happily now a little lower than the angels print edition) a convenient, portable, searchable, updateable electronic edition.

Oh, boy, how the primitive culture (Late Mechanical Age III) of these biblical scholars causes them to suffer in order to maintain their signs of tribal allegiance!

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