Friday, October 10, 2014

Aquila's Translation in the Cairo Genizah

Almost exactly a year ago my article on the Aquila manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah (noted here) appeared in the Journal of Jewish Studies. The main point of the article is to argue that we actually don't know whether these manuscripts originated among Christians or Jews, despite the common assumption among scholars that they are Jewish manuscripts. A few months after its publication, the article received this ringing endorsement from Peter Head: "I would say that this article is more interesting than it sounds." That's about the best you can hope for in scholarship--not as boring as expected!

In the article I interact a little bit with Larry Hurtado in regard to the issue of the nomina sacra, since one of the Aquila manuscripts features some of these forms and Hurtado has cited this usage in his own work (esp. ch. 3 here). Hurtado has now read my article and largely endorses its conclusions--which, again, are fairly cautious: we should not presume that the manuscripts are Jewish, but neither will the evidence allow us to affirm a Christian origin. But, given the current state of our knowledge, the latter is at least as strong of a possibility as the former. Hurtado explains well and briefly in this post the evidence on either side of the issue, and points out a few things of which I was unaware (the article by Niessen) or failed to mention (the codex bookform as a possible indication of Christian origin).

Hurtado's post is part of a series he's doing on materials from the Cairo Genizah (prior posts here and here).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Article on Deuteronomy

Got the news last week that my Vetus Testamentum article "Cult Centralization in the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Origins of Deuteronomy" is now available. Brill wont allow posting the article on my page, so you wont find it there, but I think VT is a pretty easy journal to access. I'd be happy to send a PDF to anyone who requests it.

You'll find an abstract of my article at the link above. I've discussed the subject on this blog before, a few years ago (here, here, and here). These posts became the basis for the published article. I'll have another article on the Samaritan Pentateuch coming out in January. I'll note it when it appears.