Sunday, January 31, 2010

Subjective genitive of πίστις in Ignatius's letter to the Romans?

I was recently reading Ignatius's letter to the Romans and found an instance of the famous "πίστις Χριστοῦ" construction. Here's the passage (Ehrman's text, minus punctuation):

Ἰγνάτιος ... τῇ ἠλεημένῃ ἐν μεγαλειότητι πατρὸς ὑψίστου καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ μόνου υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἠγαπημένῃ καὶ πεφωτισμένῃ ἐν θελήματι τοῦ θελήσαντος τὰ πάντα ἅ ἔστιν κατὰ πίστιν καὶ ἀγάπην Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν ... (Ignatius, Rom. salutation)

As far as I can tell, the only way to construe the highlighted phrase as an objective genitive is to read it as as a second prepositional phrase modifying πεφωτισμένῃ (after ἐν θελήματι ...) instead of as a phrase modifying θελήσαντος.

I hear that JTS has just accepted an article arguing that "πίστις Χριστοῦ" appears throughout the Apostolic Fathers as a subjective genitive. I'm looking forward to seeing what it has to say.

In the meantime, does anyone see any considerations that would swing the construal one way or the other?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mistaken Hebrew tattoos

Check out this funny post at Codex on mistaken Hebrew tattoos.

Also see Josh McManaway's comments.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Graduate School? Just Don't Go

...says Thomas H. Benton in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Here's a memorable excerpt:

Nearly every humanities field was already desperately competitive, with hundreds of applications from qualified candidates for every tenure-track position. Now the situation is becoming even worse. For example, the American Historical Association's job listings are down 15 percent and the Modern Language's listings are down 21 percent, the steepest annual decline ever recorded. Apparently, many already-launched candidate searches are being called off; some responsible observers expect that hiring may be down 40 percent this year.

What is 40 percent worse than desperate?

The majority of job seekers who emerge empty-handed this year will return next year, and for several years after that, and so the competition will snowball, with more and more people chasing fewer and fewer full-time positions.

Meanwhile, more and more students are flattered to find themselves admitted to graduate programs; many are taking on considerable debt to do so. According to the Humanities Indicators Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, about 23 percent of humanities students end up owing more than $30,000, and more than 14 percent owe more than $50,000.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sin: A History

I just read a brief but very interesting review of Gary Anderson's new book, Sin: A History, here:

Then I found Bruce Marshall's take (this is really worth reading):

Then I learned about this upcoming conference on Anderson's book at the Augustine Institute in Denver:

I have not read the book; but I plan to, as soon as possible. It looks like it will be a helpful work for people with New Testament questions and a challenge to many assumptions that have become so familiar they are no longer even seen as such. Even if, in the end, you strongly disagree with Anderson, I suspect that being forced to grapple with his arguments should in the long run sharpen your own.

Is there anyone out there who has worked through it or is aware of other reviews?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Stephen Chapman on Canon

Karyn Traphagen has some remarks about an article by Stephen Chapman on Canon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

John Anderson's Interview w/ Richard B. Hays of Duke University

John Anderson, formerly of Duke but now a doctoral student at Baylor, has an interesting Interview w/ Richard B. Hays of Duke University. Dr. Hays does most of the talking, er, writing.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Matthew Thiessen's new JBL article on Gen 17:14

Fellow Duke PhD student and Duke Newt contributor Matthew Thiessen has a fascinating article on Genesis 17:14 in the new issue of JBL. Thiessen argues that critical texts of this verse ought to read as follows (By the way, can anyone tell me how to use Hebrew and Greek characters in blogger? I don't know how so here's the translation):

And the uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin on the eighth day, that soul shall be cut off from his people, he has broken my covenant. (p.642 emphasis added)

The crucial part is "on the eighth day", which the MT and every modern translation I am aware of lack.

There are lots of reasons why this variant is important, but the thing that interests me the most is the fact that the longer reading is found in all extant LXX manuscripts, the Samaritan Pentateuch, Jubilees, (and possibly 8QGen frag. 4), and yet it is almost universally dismissed in favor of the reading found in the MT.

I don't think it's unfair to say previous discussions of this verse have relied on an uncritical confidence in Codex Leningradensis, and a corresponding excessive suspicion of anything that contradicts this codex. Check out Thiessen's entire argument to see why.