Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Strasbourg Conference on the Samaritan Pentateuch and Pre-Samaritan Texts

Michael Langlois has organized a conference on the Samaritan Pentateuch and pre-Samaritan Qumran texts on 26-27 May in Strasbourg. It looks very timely and interesting, and I wish I could be there. If you are in the area and have the time, it sounds like they have a very good line-up of contributors.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Updates to List of Online Manuscripts and Editions

I recently updated my list of online manuscripts and editions, which can be found on the tab above or here. If you know of any helpful resources not listed, please do comment, and I will try to incorporate them as time permits.

Museum of the Bible Job Posting

Christian Askeland has posted a job as research projects coordinator at the Museum of the Bible here. It sounds like a good opportunity for anyone with good skills working with manuscripts and ancient languages, as well as administrative skills to help organize projects to make the holdings more widely available.

Digital Paleography Postdoc

I am happy to announce that I just accepted a postdoctoral research position at the University of Groningen with Mladen Popović as part of the ERC project, "The Hands that Wrote the Bible: Digital Palaeography and Scribal Culture of the Dead Sea Scrolls." See the job description from the call for applications below:

This Postdoc subproject is embedded within a larger research programme titled The Hands that Wrote the Bible: Digital Palaeography and Scribal Culture of the Dead Sea Scrolls, funded by the European Research Council. The main objective of this interdisciplinary project is to shed new light on ancient Jewish scribal culture and the making of the Bible by investigating two aspects of the scrolls’ palaeography: the typological development of writing styles and writer identification. The combination of new C14 samples and the use of computational intelligence as quantitative methods in order to assess the development of handwriting styles and to identify individual scribes will be used to cluster manuscripts as products of scribal activity in order to profile scribal production and to determine a more precise location in time for their activity, focusing, from literary and cultural-historical perspectives, on the content and genres of the texts that scribes wrote and copied and on the scripts and languages that they used.

The goal of the Postdoc subproject is to describe the processes of and developments in three to four centuries of copying the biblical manuscripts found in the Judaean Desert in relation to palaeographic dating and writer identification. The major research question is how variant forms and editions of biblical manuscripts can be correlated to palaeographic dates, to identification of writers, as well as other variables such as scribal practices and different find-sites. Previous scholarship has explained textual variety in terms of chronological developments or sociological differences, or both, based on traditional palaeographical dates, or on models of a Qumran scribal practice, and generally on a smaller sample of manuscripts. On the basis of a database of all substantial biblical manuscripts from the Judaean Desert, the Postdoc researcher will select one more confined group of manuscripts (most probably either Deuteronomy or the Psalms), and qualitatively analyse the differences between the manuscripts as well as in relation to the authoritative text forms of the later traditions, in order to plot such variants against the developing time and the different find places and correlating these not only to traditional text-typologies of text, but also to occurrences of rewriting and so-called Fortschreibung, and to the various scribal practices.

The postdoc will work together with a PhD at the Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering Institute (ALICE), headed by Prof Lambert Schomaker, with experts from the Center for Isotope Research at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, headed by Prof Hans van der Plicht, and with a PhD and student assistants at the Qumran Institute of the faculty.