Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beza’s New Testament editions online

When I wrote my dissertation, I had to go to university libraries in the Netherlands to consult Beza’s five maior New Testament editions. Nowadays, most of his editions can be found online, and some even in surprisingly good quality (though without OCR of the Latin texts, let alone the Greek). Especially the Swiss e-rara project is a rich source of 16th-century books.
1582 edition; title page (part)
In numbering the editiones maiores, I follow Beza’s own numbering, which includes as the first edition the New Testament part of Robertus Stephanus’ Latin Bible with annotations. There is no Greek text in this edition, only Beza’s “new translation” together with the Vulgate, and of course his annotations.

Major editions
11556/57: e-rara (Beza’s NT in Volume 2, from [541] onwards) (Bibliothèque de Genève, shelf mark Bb 2341); GB and GB (a better copy).
21565: e-rara (Bibliothèque de Genève, shelf mark Bb 794).
31582: e-rara (Bibliothèque de Genève, shelf mark Bb 2222).
41588/1589: e-rara (Lausanne : Bibliothèque, shelf mark 2015); CSNTM; IA; GB.
51598: e-rara (Bibliothèque de Genève, shelf mark X 2990).

Special cases
1559: unauthorised Basel edition: e-rara (Bibliothèque de Genève, shelf mark Bb 2347); ULB Sachsen-Anhalt.
1563: Beza’s Responsio against Castellio (referred to on the title page of the 1565 and 1582 editions): e-rara (Bibliothèque de Genève, shelf mark Bb 150).
1565: a special copy with Beza’s own handwritten notes in preparation of the third edition (MHR O4 cd (565) a): réro.
1569: Tremellius’ Syriac NT, with Beza’s Greek and Latin text included: e-rara (both volumes); GB (Matt-John).
1594: the Annotationes printed separately: e-rara.
1642: the Cambridge edition, with Camerarius’ commentary: EEBO (limited access).

Minor editions
11565: e-rara.
21567: e-rara.
31580: e-rara; GB.
41590: e-rara
51604: GB (vol. 1); GB (vol. 2).

1575: a Latin-only edition which introduces Chapter summaries: GB.

Suggestions for additions are welcome in the comments; this post will be updated when new sources are found.

20 May 2013: GB link to 41588 added; category “Other” and the 1575 edition added (HT: Emanuel Contac).
19 August 2013: second GB link to 11556 added.
18 September 2013: e-rara link to the 1569 Syriac edition added.
3 February 2016: e-rara links to 11556 and 41588 added.
2 February 2017: e-rara links changed to doi; added shelf marks.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SBL-AAR 2012 (Chicago) – Reaction of a Recidivist

Last week I visited my 12th Annual Meeting of SBL. As usual, it was a huge conference, with more than 10,000 scholars attending. The venue, McCormick Place, is probably the largest convention center of North-America, and its size occasionally resulted in the feeling “Hey, where is everybody?”

Three things struck me in particular during this conference.

The first point is that, for me, SBL-AAR has become the place to meet my colleagues and friends from abroad. The individual and business meetings I have been in were actually at least as important to me as the academic sessions. If you want to arrange things with your colleagues, SBL-AAR is the place to do this.

A second point I noticed was the lively character of the sessions on textual criticism. The crowds drawn to these sessions were large, and the presentations were generally good. This was also the case in the “Constructing Christian Identities” section – here, the study of the second century leads to new insights and progress of the field. Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend the other groups I am always stimulated by: the sections on Early Jewish and Christian Relations and on Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Early Christianity. In my experience, these groups ask the questions that I am most interested in. Their questions concern the textual transmission of the writings we study and the socio-religious contexts out of which these writings originated.

The third point I want to share here regards a disappointment. I was rather disappointed with the book exhibition. For those of you who haven’t ever attended an SBL-AAR: the book exhibit at these meetings is huge. It may be regarded as the Frankfurter Buchmesse for Biblical and Religious Studies. Among the thousands of new books, I could hardly find any really exciting material. It amazed me to see how many new commentaries have been published on Romans, on Luke, on Mark, how many introductions to Paul, to the NT in general and to the historical Jesus were presented here. A certain fatigue got to me. It made me realize that many of us spend our time and energy on rewriting (or unwriting!) books that have already been written, sometimes even long ago. The good news is, that it also made me realize that I was looking for that one book I could not find. And now you may wonder about the subject of that book. If I will be given the time, you might actually get to see the result at a future SBL Annual Meeting...

And thus, in the end, I return from Chicago satisfied and full of plans.

Reflections of an Annual Meeting novice

Looking back at SBL Chicago 2012. My first Annual Meeting, my first time in the USA. What did I learn?

1) That it is not a problem if a hotel makes a reservation mistake, 
as long as there are suites on the 33d floor with a view on Lake Michigan.

2) That Erasmus used funny reference signs for passages he wanted to insert in the draft of his Annotationes:

 (Above: the 1519 supplement to the annotatio on 1 Cor 7:39. Right: three passages, written on a separate folio, that had to be inserted at the indicated places in the text.)
 3) That of buying many books there is no end.

 4) How it feels to be with too many textual critics in one cab (contest: find Tommy Wasserman on this picture.)

 5) That they were glad we were there!

Of course I learned a lot more, such as the fact that Parker not necessarily sides with Ehrman ("you hope"); that when Jesus rescues Adam and Eve from Hades Abel as a rule has a clean chin, but may as well have grown a beard; and that New Testament textual criticism sessions are more interesting and lively than any of the other sessions (but that comes as no surprise to me).

We are very much looking forward to further encounter and exchange this year!

Friday, November 09, 2012


In TC 17 (2012), we just published our second panel review of this year. This time, it concerns contributions made by Michael Holmes, David Parker, Harold Attridge, and Klaus Wachtel, during the 2011 SBL meeting, discussing the SBLGNT edition. Next to the discussion, there is a list compiled by Klaus Wachtel of the differences between SBLGNT and other editions, most notably Nestle-Aland (still 27).