History  |  Forthcoming  |  Proceedings  |  For Visitors  |  Home

“Editing the Bible,” the Forty-Third Conference on Editorial Problems, convened by John Kloppenborg, Centre for Religion, will be held on 1–3 November 2007 at St Michael's College, University of Toronto.

An Overview

The Bible, both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, presents unique problems for the editor. In the case of the New Testament, the sheer volume of manuscript witnesses 5300 Greek manuscripts from the late II–XIV CE, along with a large number of manuscripts of early versions in Coptic, Syriac, Latin, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, Gothic offers a daunting problem that requires special techniques for sorting and collating manuscripts, classifying variant readings, and reconstructing an archetype that accounts for subsequent textual transformation. Not only are there thousands of points where the available manuscripts differ from one another it has been estimated that there are 250,000,350,000 variation points, but the complex relationships among manuscripts and cross-fertilizations has made it impossible to establish simple stemma diagrams to establish genealogical relationships. The situation is comparable in complexity to that of the Human Genome Project, where any individual can share characteristics with multiple identity groups. Indeed, mathematical modelling developed for the genome project has now been employed in the analysis of New Testament manuscripts.

In the case of the Hebrew Scriptures, the problem is the opposite: while there are a number of Septuagint manuscripts and many of the Vulgate, the earliest complete Hebrew manuscript is Leningrad B19A (1008/9 CE), which still forms the basis of modern critical editions of the Hebrew Bible. The Aleppo codex from ca 920 CE is no longer complete, having initially disappeared from the synagogue in which it was kept after the synagogue was attacked and burned in 1947. Two-thirds of the manuscript has been recovered but the whereabouts of the other third, including much of the Torah, are unknown. The Dead Sea Scrolls have now yielded fragments of all books of the later Masoretic canon except for the book of Esther, along with a large number of fragments of 1 Enoch and other parabiblical texts. Some of these fragments, especially those of 1–2 Samuel and Jeremiah, show a Hebrew text that is significantly at variance from the later Masoretic text.

Preliminary Programme

All sessions will be held at Madden Auditorium in Carr Hall St Michael's College in the University of Toronto (100 St Joseph Street).

Madden Auditorium, Carr Hall, St Michael's College

   John Kloppenborg (University of Toronto): "Introduction: Editing the Bible"
   John van Seters (Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University): "The Edited Bible: The Curious History of the "Editor" in Biblical Criticism
   Carr Hall

Madden Auditorium, Carr Hall, St Michael's College

MORNING SESSION 9:00 am –12:30 pm
   Hindy Najman (University of Toronto): "Authority and Tradition: Archetypes of Tradition"
   Eugene Ulrich (University of Notre Dame): "Insights from the Dead Sea Scrolls for Future Editions of the Hebrew Bible"
   Sarianna Metso (University of Toronto): "Editing Leviticus"
LUNCH 12:30 – 2:00 pm
   Robert Kraft (University of Pennsylvania): "In Search of Jewish Greek Scriptures: Exposing the Obvious?"
   Kristen de Troyer (Claremont Graduate University): "From Reconstructing the Old Greek Biblical text to Reconstructing the History of the Hebrew Biblical Text: The Contribution of the Schoyen Joshua and Leviticus Papyri"

Madden Auditorium, Carr Hall, St Michael's College

MORNING SESSION 9:00 am –12:30 pm
   David Trobisch (Bangor Theological Seminary): "The First Edition of the New Testament"
   Michael Holmes (Bethel College/International Greek New Testament Project): "What Text is being Edited?"
   Ryan Wettlaufer (University of Toronto): Unseen Variants: Conjectural Emendation and the New Testament
LUNCH 12:30 – 2:00 pm
   Holger Strutwolf (Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung, Münster): "Scribal Practices and the Transmission of Biblical Texts New Insights"
   Peter Head (University of Cambridge): "The Significance of New Testament Papyri for a Critical Edition of the New Testament"
   Klaus Wachtel (Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung, Münster): "The Coherence Based Genealogical Method: A Nway to Reconstruct the Text of the Greek New Testament"
   Judith Newman (University of Toronto)


Please print out the registration form (available as a PDF or MSWord document) and mail it with your cheque (made payable to "Conference on Editorial Problems") to the address provided below. For further information please contact:

Professor John Kloppenborg
Trinity College, Rm 325
6 Hoskin Avenue
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1H8

Enquiries by email: john.kloppenborg@utoronto.ca

Information for Visitors

Rooms have been reserved at the Holiday Inn Midtown, 280 Bloor Street West, Toronto (phone 416.968.0010). Please mention the name of the conference to obtain a preferred rate. Visitors to St Michael's College, the University of Toronto, and also to city, may wish to consult the CEP's information pages, elsewhere on this site.