Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas Goodies

I got a few nice books for Christmas, two of which I asked for and one I didn't (though it looks interesting):

Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique, ed. by Mark Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin.
The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture by N.T. Wright.
Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses by Theodore Dalrymple.

I also got some money, some from a gift, some from beating my dad and brother thoroughly at bowling (my highest score of the evening was 177, which might be my highest score ever). The first was a book I've had my eyes on for a while, having seen it in the DTS library at some point. A quick perusal aroused my interest:

Christ and Culture by H. Richard Niebuhr.

The rest I spent on some "classics". The only excellent bookstore in Beaumont is a Barnes & Noble. I saw a classics series that I hadn't seen before. The volumes are about 5 inches tall, mostly unabridged, have gold edges (I've always thought that was cool), are hardcover, and come with a nice built-in bookmark (something else I really dig in books). The size is nice because that makes them easily portable. Also nice is that they are only 5 or 6 bucks a piece. I got the following:

The Prince and The Art of War by Machiavelli.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by A. C. Doyle.
Treasure Island by R. L. Stevenson.
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.
Walden by Thoreau.

Not a bad catch. I've started reading The Prince. The advice in it will come in very useful when I try to subjugate a people under my sovereign thumb through force or deception (the term "Machiavellian" was aptly named after the author). Until then I'll just take pleasure in the fact that I'm reading a book that was at one point apparently rather influential.

There were a few books I read some of over the break, including The Last Word, mentioned above, and an introduction to the field of linguistics. The only book I actually started and finished over the break was Candide, by the infamous Voltaire. Very interesting book. I'll have more to say about that one in another post.

So, overall, not a bad catch.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

More Info on the Complutensian Polyglot

Rico reminded us on his blog that he posted about the Complutensian a few months ago here. He has some more useful information there if you're interested. He says he has book envy. It's really more like page envy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I Have Some Old Paper Now - I Am SO Complutensian

I turned the corner. It was dark in the alley, but I knew what I needed it. It was an addiction. I had to see my dealer.

Moving through the crowded alley, I saw the man I needed.

“Hey Reed. I need…you know…somethin’…”

“I got what you need,” he replied. “It’s a little pricey. It’ll cost you $450.”

“$450!,” I exclaimed. “ Look man, that’s a lot of dough.”

He said, “Look. This is good stuff. You just don’t pick this stuff up anywhere. Most people sell it for about $600. This is a good price, especially for what you’re getting.”

Not able to withstand it any more, I pulled out my wallet, forked over the money, and walked away with my leaf of a Complutensian Polyglot.

Okay, so it wasn’t really anything like that, though the dealer’s name is Reed, it did cost that much, and I did get a leaf of the Complutensian Polyglot. Actually, I got quite a bit more. Hope you like lots of pics. If you’re on dialup, I pity the time it will take you to download the images. Actually, they may all be downloaded by the time you read the following paragraphs. You’ll see a lot here. But first, a little explanation.

The fame for being the first to publish a Greek New Testament goes to the rather well-known Desiderius Erasmus, a feat he accomplished in 1516. It was an accomplishment, despite its flaws. Much less well known is the first printed (1514-1517), but not published (not distributed), Greek New Testament, done under the guidance of Cardinal Jimenez de Cisneros of Alcala, Spain. The Latin name of the city was Complutum, and it in accordance with this name that the Complutensian Polyglot was named. The Complutensian Polyglot (hereafter CP) is actually quite a bit more than just another Greek New Testament. It was a significant work of scholarship that took a number of years to finish, spanning both the Old and New Testaments. In the New you get the Greek text and the Latin Vulgate side-by-side. In the Old you get the Hebrew (with notes about Hebrew roots in the margin), the Vulgate, and the Septuagint (the latter with interlinear Latin translation) side-by-side, with the text of the Targum Onkelos (an Aramaic commentary on the OT, essentially) at the bottom (only for the Penteteuch), which is also accompanied by notes on the roots of Aramaic words in the right margin. I hear that there are even other bells and whistles in other volumes. Anyway, getting back to the story, because they distributed their volumes after Erasmus, their work never achieved the prominence of Erasmus. This is particularly unfortunate because of the general belief that their work was far superior.

Quite a bit later, in 1966 to be exact, a volume of the CP was broken up into individual leaves, packaged very nicedly, and published for the members of the “Book Club of California.” Along with the leaf comes a very nice work called “The Great Polyglot Bibles,” describing the history of the CP and two other polyglots. 400 copies were published. This set is actually very excellent and classy. So here are the pics of not only the leaf, but of the set as a whole.

The leaf and book are kept in a box covered in purple cloth, just large enough to fit the folio book and leaf inside, whose dimensions are about 14” tall and 10” wide, so its pretty big as far as most books go these days.

Inside the box you see the materials, which enclosed in this cover, a rust-colored, thick, but flexible, protection for what’s inside. Inside the cover on the left is written, in pencil, the number 168. I’m taking that this is number 168 of the 400 published.

Inside that is a little note. Not significant, but I figured I’d put it up anyway.

Afterwards are a number of blank pages, then one that states the title of the set. This is not pictured.

Next is the part of the folio that actually contains the leaf. Here’s the cover of that:

Next is another publishing note, talking about the type of paper, fonts used, the press used (an 1830 hand press…interesting…), etc.

Next is a reproduction of the title page of the CP.

So. You want to see the actual leaf? Well, I guess so. Here is a pic of the first page, followed by the reverse side.

If you want to figure out what text this is from on your own, skip this paragraph. Do you…wait…wait…I guess not. This is from Genesis 32:31, about half way through, and following. The first page ends at 33:8. The other side picks up at the beginning of 33:9 and goes through almost the end of 33:19. Here are a few close up shots from the first page. Starting at the left (the inside), the Greek with interlinear Latin:

The Latin is above the Greek text, though don’t let that confuse you. I think the note above says something like “____ (don’t know the first word) Greek LXX (short for Septuagint) with interpretive Latin). My Latin is rusty, so please be nice :). The font is readable, though it is not as nice as the font used on leaves of the NT (Metzger’s “Text of the New Testament” has a picture, if you have it).

In the middle is the Latin Vulgate:

As you can see from the bigger pics, this is the most narrow column. The typeface is pretty readable.

On the outside of the leaf is the Hebrew:

The winner for best typeface easily goes to the Hebrew. That is an excellent printing job. very readable. On the right are some notes on roots. For example, you can see that the root for “face” is listed on the right. The consonant spelling is correct, though the voweling is a little off.

Next comes the bottom of the page on the left, Targum Onkelos.

Note that it is labeled above “Interp. chal.”, so it is called “Chaldee” and not “Aramaic.”

To its right is a Latin translation of the Chaldee/Aramaic.

The title is “Tranfla.Chal.” Note that the “f” is really modern “s”, so we can see that this is the translation of the Aramaic portion. To the right are some notes on the roots of some of the Aramaic words.

Next is a reproduction of the colophon page.

Next is the self-named treatise “The Great Polyglot Bibles.”

Next is the first page. Every page is lined with images like these, which I believe are from the CP.

So, that’s basically it. Now, for you textual critics who handle this kindof stuff frequently, I’d like to take the leaf out. Right now it is glued in. Any way of dealing with that without damaging either the leaf or its containing folio? If it helps, here’s a few pics of the glued edge.

First from the front (leaf is on the bottom).

Second from the back.

This, by the way, definitely falls in the category of “that would be cool,” rather than “that is necessary.” But, hey, it’s nice to do it occassionally. I can’t normally afford this kind of stuff, but I’ve been saving up Birthday money and got some Christmas money a little early.

If you want any higher resolution pics, let me know. I’ll email them.

Sophocles, Oh Sophocles

I got an early Christmas present the other day from two of my Greek students, Edward and Nina. Looking at the package I could tell that it was probably a book, which is, of course, excellent. I opened it and saw that they had given me this:

Of course, I think "Cool, a very nicely bound English translation of Sophocles. And it even has a really nice case." Wrong. I opened it and find this:

Of course, now I'm really digging this. Apparently its an edition of the Greek text. Wrong again. It's better. It's a diglot!

And it has a pretty nice Greek font. Here's a close-up:

Here's the inside cover, just in case you want to track one down for yourself:

It's got lots of nice pics inside as well. Like


Thanks, Edward and Nina. Very nice gift!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

On Greek Voice And The Ordering Of Subjects

I've been doing a lot of reading in the last week on Greek voice. I find this whole "no deponency" argument very interesting that some like Conrad, Taylor, and Pennington are advancing. I was also surprised to learn that this really isn't a new idea, and that you can even find it in A.T. Robertson and Moulton.

Of course, it's way too early to have a real opinion on this. I'm still gathering data. And speaking of, anybody know of a critique of Carl Conrad's "New Observations on Voice in the Ancient Greek Verb" (found here)? I find his arguments very interesting, and would like to see if anyone has a rebuttal to make.

It is also very unfortunate that we've reached our discussion of voice in the class and that I don't have a satisfactory answer yet. That's a bummer. Maybe next year :)

As I've mentioned before, I'm writing the curriculum as we go in the class and am pulling translation assignments from the greater collection of Koine Greek instead of just NT Greek. Well, two more observations about how the process is going. First, I really think pulling in translations from outside the NT has been very valuable for them. I have heard statements about how this stuff outside the NT is much more difficult. I even got a statement the other day that the Greek of the Didache of very difficult. For those of you who have translated from the Didache, I'm sure you'll concur that it is actually relatively simple Greek to translate. The difference, I think, is the source, and that my students have never read the Didache and have no memory to draw on (consciously or subconsciously). This makes it more of a challenge to them and actually requires them to rely on their Greek skills, and not their memory of texts read. Excellent...

Second, I took a similar route to Mounce this time in that I covered all nouns first, leaving verbs for later. On the next revision I'm definitely NOT going to do it that way. I'm thinking that I'll probably cover second and first declension, then infinitives, then aorists, then presents, and then finish off nouns. Having earlier exposure to verbs , I think, will be very beneficial. Unfortunately, this is going to make me change a great deal of the instruction and assignments that have been prepared so far in the curriculum, but that's fine. I was going to make a lot of changes anyway!

Infinitives. Starting with and basing everything off of infinitives has turned out to be quite a stretch for me. I am SO used to saying "that's the third principle part of λυω" that it is hard to consistently switch to "that's the third principle part of λυσαι, λυειν." Old habits die hard. I'm finding this at least as difficult as the switch from Erasmian to a more modern pronunciation of Greek. Of course, in this case the change is even more invasive. Basing everything off of the aorist infinitive requires more than just the reordering of chapters. It requires the reordering of how to approach verbs in general. We'll see how this turns out.

And finally, for all my billionaire friends (and I have so many!), will one of you please buy me this book?

Dr. Conrad has commented that there is a more up to date document, a sketch of his latest thinking. It can be found here.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Yes, the pictures of the study were nice. But what is the reaction in person? Here are the first visitors who were neither family nor someone who helped me work on it:

That's right. Pure shock and awe. It's that cool. Glad you came by, Jeff and Jenni.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Greek Class Update: Starting Verbs

We're finally starting verbs. It has been a seemingly long trek through nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, but it's over.

One of the negatives about 1) only having class once a week and 2) writing a grammar that works well on that schedule is dealing with subject matter areas that require a whole lot to really get what's going on. Case in point, an introduction to the Greek verb system. There's a lot there. Definitely the longest chapter so far. I'm going to help mitigate the damage to my students by keeping the homework and vocab memorization low, so I think they'll be ok. But this Monday I imagine several of them will feel like they're drinking from a fire house (which thinking of this makes me chuckle about that seen from "UHF" That was seriously funny). But, they're a smart group. I think they can handle it!

I'm A Hockey Fan

I went to the Stars versus Sharks game last night because I wanted to hang out with my bud Mike. As it turns out, I not only enjoyed hanging out with him, but also thoroughly enjoyed the game. I think that I am officially a hockey fan now. And I even got to see a fight. I want to go again.

And the Stars won, btw...