Monday, January 21, 2008

The Bible in Its Traditions project

A notice on Jim West's blog brought "The Bible in Its Tradition" being undertaken by École Biblique et Archéologique Française project to my attention. I think this is an intriguing project. I've always thought it would be neat to produce a Talmud-like presentation of the biblical text surrounded by a variety of witnesses to that text or a variety of responses to that text. You need to read the whole proposal to see the scope of the project, but I think it can only be helpful to give attention for OT texts not only to the Massoretic text and the Septuagint but also to the Vulgate as a distinctive text reflecting Latin-speaking Christianity's reading of the OT. Even more deserving, special attention is being paid to the Syriac texts. For the NT, they will attend to the Byzantine/Majority text "because of its traditional value," i.e., as a distinctive reading of the NT reflecting a long history of Christian reception. It is not being privileged, and it will be set alongside the Nestle-Aland 27th as well as the Textus receptus and the Vulgate and the Peshitta. Excellent!
The printed version will not be able to provide all these texts, but note that they are also anticipating producing an online version of the work that will do so, kind of a modern, online polyglot text. Yes, we can pull together all these texts today using BW7 or Logos, but I appreciate that these are being drawn together as a resource for understanding the reception history and traditions connected with a particular biblical text.

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