The British Library, which labels itself “The World’s Knowledge” with some justification, has a large collection of ancient manuscripts in diverse languages and media, probably the most impressive in the world. Less well known, perhaps, is its outstanding blog, which includes both reflections on collection items as well as entries on newly digitized texts, including the Egerton Gospel and Codex Alexandrinus. The latter has a great entry on the conservation process, as does the entry on “Some Syriac Manichaean Treasures in the British Library.” Ephrem’s otherwise lost Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion, and Bardaisan, preserved as a palimpsest on Add. 14623 was recovered by Charles Mitchell, with the help of a certain “re-agent” at the turn of the century. The nature of this unidentified chemical is discussed, along with the eminent possibilities for reading the earlier text with the help of advanced digital photography. This wonderful post explores other significant holdings on Manichaeism, such as the Chinese Compendium on the Teachings of Mani, the Buddha of Light.
This very popular Spanish blog, entitled “El Blog de Antonio Piñero,” contains posts by its namesake, a Professor of Greek Philosophy at la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, as well as weekly contributions by Gonzalo Del Cerro and Fernando Bermejo-Rubio. These are helpfully written for a general audience, with an overall focus on the historical Jesus and the New Testament. However, Piñero and Bermejo were both involved in the Spanish translation of the Nag Hammadi Library, and the blog does reflect this broader reach. Bermejo-Rubio in particular has a number of interesting posts on varied topics in Late Antique religions, such as Apollonius of Tyana and Manichaeism.
This important blog on Christian apocrypha was established about six years ago by Tony Burke of York University. The author posts updates and commentary on recent scholarship about apocryphal literature, as reflected in publications, conferences, and on the web. Burke, along with Brent Laundau of the University of Oklahoma, is co-editing the two-volume More Christian Apocrypha (forthcoming with Eerdmans, beginning 2013); his site also contains a useful breakdown of many apocryphal texts that will appear in this work, almost all of them highly interesting, but with no English translation and limited bibliography, which is duly provided.
The Coptic conference in Rome is off to a fast start! Among the many interesting communications today at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, two concerned fascinating and unpublished apocryphal texts (fragments, unfortunately), digital images of which have graciously been made available online before their print publication, allowing scholars and the interested public to study them immediately. Professor Karen King of Harvard presented a tiny, poorly-written portion of a manuscript page, owned by a private collector, which features a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples in which he mentions “my wife.” Continue reading
This large bibliographical database covers all periods from the Roman Empire to the present. Late Antiquity, with the development of the Christian Holy Land, is well represented. Like the Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity, it is hosted at Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Early Christianity. The bibliography can be browsed alphabetically by author, year, era (Roman Palestine, Byzantine Palestine, Islamic Period, Crusaders, Mamluk Period, Ottoman Period, and Modernity), or according to a very large number of keywords based on tags for each entry, a feature that offers significant searching power. Continue reading
The personal website of Brannon Wheeler includes a number of interesting resources for early and medieval Islam. There is a collection of pages on the biblical prophets, with a resume of Islamic traditions concerning them, abridged from his study of the Qisas al-anbiya, Prophets in the Quran: An Introduction to the Quran and Muslim Exegesis (Continuum, 2002). Manuscript illuminations are provided for each prophet, though they are not cited – my guess is that they are Persian and Ottoman. An additional section contains pages on the tombs and shrines of prophets, accompanied by photographs of the contemporary site. There is a growing field (though one with an extended and highly contested pedigree) on interconnections between early Islamic, Jewish, and Christian tradition, as evidenced, for example, by the recently announced Society for Qur’anic Studies, the organization of which is to be coordinated initially by the SBL. Continue reading
The TITUS site, which is otherwise dedicated mostly to electronic Texts in Indo-European languages, also contains a very large group of texts in Old Georgian; most of these were entered in the framework of the Armazi project for the electronic documentation of Caucasian languages and cultures, an early internet endeavor conducted between 1999 and 2002. Electronic texts include the complete Old and New Testaments, with entries for specific manuscripts and lectionaries; important apocryphal texts, such as the Story of Joseph of Arimathea on the first church in Lydda (for which see my article in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 50); Continue reading
The Heidelberger Papyrussammlung has made a number of color photos (in both 72 and 150 DPI) of very important Coptic papyri available on their website, including: the Acta Pauli, ed. Carl Schmidt (Hildesheim, 1905; P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 300-301), important as a witness to both the text and the Lycopolitan dialect; selections of P. Nepheros, ed. Bärbel Kramer and John Shelton (Mainz, 1987; mostly Greek papyri), an important fourth-century monastic archive from the Heracleopolite nome; Continue reading
This is a premier site for Coptic studies, run by Pierre Cherix of the Université de Genève, containing both original research tools and an excellent selection of e-Books, presented for convenient browsing. Among the former is his “Lexique copte (dialecte sahidique),” which is available for download as a searchable pdf, and lists Coptic words of Greek or Latin origin (noticeably lacking from Crum); I will include a discussion of another tool, his “Index grec-copte,” in a separate post on “Graeco-Coptica.” Continue reading
This bibliographic database, compiled and hosted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Center for the Study of Christianity, covers scholarship in multiple languages from the 17th-century to 2012. One can conveniently browse or search the database by author, year, era, or keyword (reflecting the generous tagging of each individual entry for content). Continue reading