Monday, January 30, 2012

SBL International, Amsterdam 2012: papers accepted

Members of our research group will present some important papers at the coming SBL International meeting in Amsterdam, in July.

Silvia Castelli will present on Wettstein’s Greek New Testament:
Beyond the Received Text? Discerning Patterns in Wettstein’s Textual Decisions
In his Novum Testamentum Graecum 1751-1752, Johann Jakob Wettstein reprints the received text, yet indicating very clearly his proposed omissions, additions, and substitutions. Are there patterns to be discerned in Wettstein’s decision in favour of certain variant readings? And does he somehow motivate his choices? Through a systematic analysis of Wettstein’s changes to the received text, some answers to these questions will be provided.
Bart Kamphuis will present on conjectural emendation proper (beware: rather long abstract ahead):
Problems and Causes: A Classification of New Testament Conjectures
The reflection upon conjectural emendation of the text of the New Testament has generally been limited to the question to which degree such emendation can be permitted. Little attention has been paid, by contrast, to the corpus of literally thousands of conjectures that have actually been made since Origen. This gap is currently being filled in Amsterdam by the VU University research project New Testament Conjectural Emendation: A Comprehensive Enquiry.
In any research into a large set of data, classifications are made for the purpose of analysis. My study of the conjectures discussed and made in Holland from 1846 to 1906 (what I call the Dutch Movement of Conjectural Criticism) has led to the classification of New Testament conjectures proposed in this paper.
The key to this classification is the idea that, in principle, the reasoning behind every conjecture concerns both the problem as perceived in the transmitted text and the cause of the supposed textual corruption. It turns out that all problems and causes mentioned in the analysed argumentations can be classified into a limited number of types. The classification of conjectures can thus be projected onto a two-dimensional table, with types of problems on the one axis, and types of causes on the other. Every sufficiently substantiated conjecture occupies at least one cell in this table.
This classification makes it possible to discern patterns in the conjectural criticism of particular scholars and even in the history of New Testament conjectural criticism in general.
If this all does not convince you that you should come to Amsterdam and visit the “Working with Biblical Manuscripts” sessions, or even submit a proposal yourself, while you still can (today, January 30, and tomorrow), I throw my hands up in despair.

Or perhaps one final presentation can tip the scales for you. Even though the 2012 SBL International meeting will be in my hometown, and I did not really have to submit a paper in order to justify my presence (financially, that is), I could not refrain from the following proposal, which – to my great relief – my co-chair Tommy Wasserman accepted without much ado.
Who coined the name “Ambrosiaster”?
Traditionally, the coinage of the name “Ambrosiaster” for the author of an important commentary on the Pauline epistles has been attributed to Erasmus. (“Ambst” is mentioned more than 400 times in the current Nestle-Aland apparatus.) As demonstrated by René Hoven in 1969 already, the attribution to Erasmus cannot be sustained. A recent attempt by Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe (2007) mentions the 1686–90 edition of Ambrose’s works by the Benedictines of St Maur, but their use of the name “Ambrosiaster” can be shown to depend on earlier sources. This paper will establish that Jülicher, in 1894, was pointing in the right direction when he mentioned “around 1600” for the first use of the name “Ambrosiaster”, and solve the riddle of its coinage once and for all.
See you in Amsterdam!