This site, edited by Ian Scott of Tyndale Seminary, contains online editions of many Old Testament Pseudepigrapha in various ancient and medieval languages, though the basis for most is Greek, with Latin also well represented. The Introductions to each text are original and helpful, including a description of the manuscript evidence across multiple versions, and an annotated bibliography of print editions designating manuscripts used, which can also be browsed by author or keyword and searched. The currently available electronic texts are often a transcription of an out-of-copyright edition, and sometimes include evidence from multiple manuscripts; eclectic texts taking into account extant versions in Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, and other languages are planned.
While the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha is still very much a work in progress, it is laudable for its efforts to make widely available the electronic text of these important documents, and thus multiplying possibilities for research. The full texts of widely cited works such as the Lives of Adam and Eve and the Testament of Abraham, which are not yet in Perseus or other open access digital library, can now be employed in DH research, for example corpus analysis with the statistics program R; copyright information varies by text, and a full statement is given here: http://ocp.tyndale.ca/copyright-and-permissions
The Corpus Coranicum is a long-standing research project at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, under the direction of Prof. Angelika Neuwirth, established in 2007 and currently funded through 2025. Its ultimate goal is the production of a comprehensive commentary on the Qur’an, based on both the textual tradition, especially early manuscripts, and literary passages, including biblical traditions, which shed light on the context of its production. A beta version of the online commentary is now available. One can browse by sura and verse (displayed with a special font, “Coranica”), exploring a facsimile of the associated page(s) in the 1924 Cairo print edition; scanned black-and-white photographs of the associated page(s) in early manuscripts from the archive of G. Bergsträßer, assembled in the 1920s, lost, and sensationally rediscovered in 2008; variant readings; “Texte aus der Umwelt des Korans,” most frequently from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament (the latter given in Greek, not Syriac); and an associated commentary. Of course, this magisterial project is also a massive undertaking, and the final two sections are only available for certain verses. The “Texte aus der Umwelt,” in particular, is a wide-open field, and is currently the subject of intensive research, as evidenced especially by the recent creation of IQSA. As Qur’anic studies rapidly develops, there is no question that Corpus Coranicum will be an essential resource.
This important site collects a number of disparate resources, most of them related to eTexts in various dialects of Coptic, including such classic offline items as the Packard Humanities Institute’s CD 5.3 and 7, with the Sahidic New Testament and the Nag Hammadi Library; as well as the Searchable Sahidic Bible, now in its Beta version, which Askeland is currently developing with Matthias Schulz. Also included are a comprehensive list of Coptic fonts, organizations, and learning resources on the internet.
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.
The Talmud blog, edited by Shai Secunda and Yitz Landes, with regular contributors Amit Gvaryahu, Ophir Münz-Manor, and Ron Naiweld, has a wide variety of posts on Talmudic culture. The topics range from musings on the Israeli movie “The Footnote” (a fascinating drama involving Rabbinics scholarship) to the inscriptions of the Sasanian mage Kerdīr; indeed, a significant number concern Judaism in Late Antiquity, in both the Roman and Sasanian Empires. Conference updates, book reviews, and even surveys of recent dissertations are also included. The toolbox collects a number of useful resources, such as a blogroll and web resources for rabbinic studies; links to digitized books, including e-texts; and a wonderful collection of links to images and transcriptions of Talmudic manuscripts.
Vetus Latina Iohannes, also known as the Verbum Project, is an online, electronic critical edition of the Old Latin Gospel of John from the manuscripts (Patristic citations are not included at this point); it is one of the earliest online DH projects within early Christian studies, founded in 2002. The Verbum Project is housed at the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, under the direction of David Parker. Each of the manuscript witnesses is described, including previous editions and reproductions consulted, as well as notes on the features recorded in the Verbum Project’s transcription. The edition, which is powered by Peter Robinson’s COLLATE software, can be viewed as a synopsis of all manuscript witnesses for a particular verse, or as continuous text from a given manuscript (and optionally, according to page format, which includes features such indentation, justified texts, the obeloi and other marks).
This site offers basic information on the Old Latin (Vetus Latina) versions of the bible, which remain comparatively intractable and overlooked in research on the history of the biblical text and of early Christianity. Last updated in 2008, it nevertheless contains some useful information, including a book-by-book list of the available editions, an ongoing project of the Institut Vetus Latina in Beuron, published by Herder Press. Also useful is the explanation of the numbering system for Old Latin manuscripts, which includes a few stray images. To my knowledge, the only fully digitized Old Latin manuscript is Codex Bezae at Cambridge; some important codices, such as Codex Veronensis (4), are partly photographed as part of the Verbum Project, which I will review shortly. The extensive note cards of patristic citations, held at the Institut Vetus Latina, have been digitized and are available for a subscription fee from Brepols, but even this resource can be difficult to navigate.
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 →
A large percentage of Coptic literature consists of translations from the Greek, beginning with the Septuagint and the New Testament, and continuing through “gnostic,” apocryphal, and patristic texts. Walter Ewing Crum’s A Coptic Dictionary (Oxford, 1939), a major accomplishment in the field, reflects this connection by listing Greek equivalents for Coptic words in biblical and patristic texts (though not exhaustively; see “Preface,” viii). However, Crum did not include Greek loan words in the dictionary, which are numerous. Continue reading →