Tag Archives: Important publications

Language & Identity in Early Christian Texts


(Larry Hurtado)  Earlier this week I finished reading the newly-published version of the PhD thesis of another of our recent students:

Julia A. Snyder, Language and Identity in Ancient Narratives, WUNT 2, no. 370 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014).

She demonstrates admirable familiarity with principles of linguistics, especially socio-linguistics, applying herself to three case-study texts:  Acts of the Apostles, Acts of John, and Acts of Philip.  For each text, her question is whether the terminology of speakers varies with difference audiences being addressed.  In particular, when Christians are portrayed addressing other believers do they use different terminology (e.g., in referring to Christ and/or God) than when addressing “outsiders”?

It’s data-rich, measured and careful in making judgements, and to my mind persuasive in them.  Congratulations, Julia!

A New Study of Codex Alexandrinus


(Larry Hurtado)  I’m pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth study of Codex Alexandrinus, a fifth-century manuscript, one of the three earliest codices containing the entire Christian Bible:   W. Andrew Smith, , A Study of the Gospels in Codex Alexandrinus: Codicology, Palaeography, and Scribal Hands (Leiden: Brill, 2014).  It’s all the more a pleasure to note this publication as it’s based on Smith’s  2013 PhD thesis completed here.  I am pleased also to have served as his principal supervisor.

The book focuses on the Gospels, but also addresses wider questions of codicology (i.e., the physical features of the codex itself).  Smith then probes with considerable expertise the scribal hands (he argues for more than one scribe), and marginalia, and various other matters.  The result is surely the most detailed study of Codex Alexandrinus in many years, and a ground-breaking study of the Gospels in this manuscript in particular.

“Peter–Apocalyptic Seer”


Another of our recent PhD graduates, John R. Markley, has had his thesis published in a respected monograph series:  John R. Markley, Peter–Apocalyptic Seer (WUNT 2.348; Tuebingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2013.  Congratulations, John!

The focus of the book is on the question of whether/how the portrayal of Peter in the Gospel of Matthew was shaped by the apocalyptic genre.  Markley argues affirmatively, proposed that in Matthew the figure of Peter is presented as more than a disciple and positive or negative example, but also as an exclusive recipient of revelation of Jesus’ significance.

My colleague, Paul Foster, acted as primary supervisor for the thesis (and has a good reputation for guiding PhD students to success in their work).

New Book on Jews in the Graeco-Roman Period


Perusing the current Mohr Siebeck catalogue, I’ve just noticed that our own Dr. Margaret Williams has a new book out (she’s too modest to have mentioned it):  Jews in a Graeco-Roman Environment (Tuebingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2013; ISBN 978-3-16-151901-7).

This is mainly a collection of essay-length studies previously published in a variety of journals and multi-author works, most of them based on epigraphical evidence and dealing with the Jewish Diaspora in the Graeco-Roman period.  The essays include discussions of the Jewish community in Rome (history, burial practices, organisation), other Jewish settlements in the Roman world (including Aphrodisias, Corycus and Venusia), Jewish naming practices (including use of alternate names, the formation of fesetal names, and the increasing preference in Late Antiquity for Hebrew names).

In a framing introductory essay, Dr. Williams engages the reception of these studies among scholars, and she notes any changes in the evidence arising from re-editing of inscriptions.

We’re pleased to have Dr. Williams as a member of CSCO, and I congratulate her on this new publication of a body of her scholarly work.

“New Documents” Vol 10


I’ve just received my copy of Volume 10 of the valuable series, New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity, eds. S. R. Llewelyn and J. R. Harrison (Eerdmans, 2012).  For those who don’t know the series, each volume reviews publications of texts and inscriptions from a preceding period of years.  This latest volume covers 1988-1992.

The original publications (typically journal articles) are cited, but the editors/contributors in fact make their own analysis and offer their own comments on the items addressed.  The work represented in these volumes is also invested toward the larger/long-term project of a massive database (with extensive annotations) on all ancient papyri from Egypt pertaining to early Christianity.

The latter project has been the dream of Prof. Edwin Judge, whose energy and vision early on guided the emergence of the Ancient History Documentary Research Centre in Macquarie University (Australia), and the “New Documents” series is based in that Centre (which now forms part of the Ancient Cultures Research Centre in Macquarie).

As with previous volumes in the series, this one covers a wide spectrum of genres and topics, citing recent publications of texts on philosophy, magic, “cult and oracle”, public life, household, “Judaica” and “Christianity,” some 29 component-articles in all, plus indexes of subjects, words (Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic), ancient authors & works cited, inscriptions, papyri, and texts cited from the Bible, Qumran and Rabbinic works.

For those of us who are not professional epigraphers or palaeographers, but who would like to harvest relevant information on new publications in these fields, this series is a valuable (even unique) tool.    Thanks to all involved!