Review of Basics of Classical Syriac

Steven C. Hallam. Basics of Classical Syriac: Complete Grammar, Workbook, and Lexicon. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016. Pb. 318 pp. US $49.99.

The fact of the matter is that there is a noticeable lack of choice when it comes to Syriac grammars. For most, the immediate choice is Coakley’s Robinson’s Paradigms and Exercises (6th ed. Oxford: Oxford, 2013). However, since Robinson’s first edition appeared in 1915, much has changed in our understanding of language acquisition and instruction. For this simple reason, a new option for Syriac instructors is welcome news.

Like Zondervan’s other Basics of grammars, Hallam adopts an integrated approach […]

Review of The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah

Benyamim Tsedaka and Sharon Sullivan, eds. The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version. Trans. by Benyamim Tsedaka. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. xxxvi + 558 pp. Hb. $100.

Very little is known about the history and nature of the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch (SP). However, what is becoming increasingly clear is the importance of this textual tradition to the study and textual criticism of the Pentateuch. Previously, there has been much speculation about the value of the SP, however, this former assumption is slowly giving way in biblical studies. Indeed, this review, […]

Review of Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction

Ellis R. Brotzman and Eric J. Tully. Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction. 2d. ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016. xvi + 256. Pb. $24.99.

From the time it was first published in 1994, Ellis Brotzman’s Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction, has maintained its place of primacy when it comes to introducing young biblical scholars in the field of Old Testament textual criticism (TC). However, the author and publisher were right to recognize the need for an updated edition. This need is the result of new developments in Old Testament TC, chief among these being the inauguration of […]

Muratorian Fragment as Fraud

Tonight at Duke University’s New Testament and Jewish Studies Colloquium, Clare Rothschild presented on “Muratorian Fragment as Fraud”; Professor Rothschild is Professor of Theology at Lewis University and Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Ancient Studies at Stellenbosch University. Rothschild provides an abstract for the paper:

Scholars are divided as to the origin of the most famous canon list in the history of the Church, dubbed the “Muratorian Fragment” by the Ambrosian librarian Ludovico Antonio Muratori its purported discoverer. Approximately half accept a second-century Roman provenance—on the basis of views held by, for example, Adolf von Harnack and Samuel Tregelles. […]

Review of Making the Biblical Text: Textual Studies in the Hebrew and Greek Bible

Innocent Himbaza, ed., Making the Biblical Text: Textual Studies in the Hebrew and Greek Bible. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 275. Publications of the Institute Dominique Barthélemy 1. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / Fribourg: Academic Press, 2015. xiv + 192. Hb. €65.00.

The Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis (OBO) series is a well-established scholarly series specializing in Archaeological, Egyptological, ancient Near Eastern, and Biblical studies; its volumes are currently published with cooperation from the Universities of Fribourg, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, and Zurich. The present volume represents the 275th publication in the OBO series as well as the inaugural publication in the series […]

Report on Logos in Oxford (2016)

This summer three students from STS were selected to participate in the Logos in Oxford program held at St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford: Jeff DePue (M.Div. program), Denis Salgado (M.Div. program) and Steve Young (MABLL program). This two week workshop, held from 1-15 June, is limited to students working on Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative projects; all three students have participated in the Greek Paul Project (transcribing Greek minuscule manuscripts of 1 Timothy) and Denis is researching scribal habits in GC.170 (formerly P. Bodmer XXIV) for the Greek Psalter Project. As their local mentor at STS, Dr. Andrew […]

Equipping Students with Scholarly Resources

Books Donated by Asset Protectors and Advisors

Thanks to a very generous gift from Asset Protectors & Advisors in Raleigh, NC, the CRBMI has been blessed with a wealth of text-critical volumes to support our coursework and research efforts. Because of the specialized nature of Hellenistic Greek manuscript studies, providing students with access to these resources is cost-prohibitive more often than not. This gift includes:

the massive data of Text und Textwert, which collates 5400 Greek New Testament manuscripts and categorizes their readings based on a number of test passages (Teststellen); the newly translated Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek (yet another BDAG for Greek students to utilize); […]

Review of The Latin New Testament

H.A.G. Houghton. The Latin New Testament: A Guide to its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts. Oxford: Oxford, 2016. xx + 366 pp. + 16 images. Hb. £25.

H.A.G. Houghton is Reader in New Testament Textual Scholarship at the University of Birmingham, where he is also Deputy Director of the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing. The University of Birmingham is at present one of — if not the — most important center for the textual criticism of the Bible in the United Kingdom. This establishes Houghton as one of the most experienced and authoritative voices on the subject with […]

Review of Gorgias Concise Syriac-English English-Syriac Dictionary

Brock, Sebastian P. and George A. Kiraz, eds. Gorgias Concise Syriac-English English-Syriac Dictionary. Gorgias Handbooks. Piscataway: Gorgias, 2015. Pp. x + 457. ISBN 9781463202248. (hb). US $48.


As Brock points out in the preface to this dictionary, “Syriac is the best provided of all the Aramaic dialects for dictionaries, and so one might wonder why another is needed” (vii). However, a few minutes’ use with this dictionary immediately shows the reader its worth. This is a simplified dictionary. Indeed, “concise” is an apt word, but as Brock points out, “The prime reason for the present dictionary is a practical […]

CRBMI Minuscule Ligature/Abbreviation Tool

Some of the student transcribers in the MOTBSI Greek Paul Project may be working with Greek minuscule for the first time. For the novice reader, recognizing some of the ligatures and abbreviations used in minuscule script can be a challenge. Some printed helps are available, but juggling a handful of incomplete lists of images is not ideal. Since students work from a base text, being able to quickly type in a probable text and see what ligatures/abbreviations match is helpful. So students at Shepherds Theological Seminary took the initiative to develop a web tool to do just that. Users can […]