“The Greek Papyri” by George Milligan

George Milligan [1860-1934]
George Milligan [1860-1934]
The following public domain article is now available in PDF:

George Milligan [1860-1934], “The Greek Papyri – with special reference to their value for New Testament study,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 44 (1912): 62-78.

George Milligan was an noted biblical scholar in his day as this extract from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography makes clear:

It was a notable pioneering achievement for Milligan to issue, while still at Caputh, a standard commentary on St Paul’s epistles to the Thessalonians (1908), in which among other things he applied the new papyrological evidence to a re-examination of the Pauline grammar and vocabulary. He began his great work, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament (1914–29), in collaboration with J. H. Moulton, and after the issue of part two in 1915 completed it single-handedly. Its comprehensiveness and accuracy provided a foundation for successors to build upon, while remaining readable and full of human interest.

I suspect that this lecture is little-known, but I hope that, like his other works, it will still prove of Interest today.

The Greek Papyri by George Milligan

The most significant fact in the modern study of the New Testament is the recognition that it has a history, and consequently that its several books can only be fully understood in connexion with their surroundings or the special circumstances that called them forth. Everything, therefore, that throws light on the outward conditions of the New Testament writers is of value. And it is just here that we are in a peculiarly favourable position to-day. In the past, archaeological discovery has been mainly concerned with the Old Testament, but now the light it sheds has been extended to the New Testament, and is largely derivable from the immense number of texts on stone, on earthen ware, and on papyrus which recent discoveries have brought within our reach.

It is only with the papyrus texts that we are at present concerned, and for their preservation we have to thank them marvellously dry climate of Egypt. The first finds were made at Gizeh as far back as 1778, but it was not until 1877, when several thousands of papyri were unearthed at Crocodilopolis, or Arsinöe, the ancient capital of the Fayûm district, that public interest was fully aroused. The work of exploration was afterwards extended to Tebtunis, Oxyrhynchus, and other likely sites, with the result that we have now thousands of these texts in our hands. Some were discovered in the ruins of old temples, others in the cartonnage of mummies; but the greater number were found in what were literally the dust or refuse heaps on the outskirts of the towns or villages. The old Egyptians, instead of burning their waste-papers, as is the custom amongst ourselves, were in the habit of tearing them up and throwing them out on these heaps, where, thanks to a covering of desert sand, they have lain in safety all these years.

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Biblical Studies Carnival – August 2014

Biblical Studies Carnival - August 2014

Welcome to the August Biblical Studies Carnival!

This is the first Biblical Studies Carnival I have ever hosted. I have learnt a great deal from the experience and hope that you enjoy reading the post.

Old Testament

Scot McKnight has an interesting discussion of how Christian theologians in the 1800s used the idea of “Pre-Adamites” and points out some of the motivations behind the various theories adopted. Guy Waters considers whether it is essential that Adam be understood as being a historical person and concludes in the affirmative.
Claude Mariottini analyses Richard E. Averbeck’s fascinating essay “Breath, wind, spirit and the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament”. Brian Collins considers the significance of “land” in Genesis 8 and 9 (here | here). Craig Keener has a three-part series on the Conquest entitled “Slaughtering the Canaanites” (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3). Rusty Osborne has a helpful study on the correct translation of “Asherah”. Rick Sumner has a discussion about the enduring value of Samuel Sandmel’s paper on “Parallelomania”. I found it interesting that he reaches the same conclusion as I did when I uploaded the article to the Web in 2008. Peter Mead offers an overview of Psalm 46 and some of the reactions it can evoke.

David deSilva has put the first of his videos produced for on-line courses at Ashland Theological Seminary on YouTube – this one on an introduction to the Septuagint (HT: Clifford Kvidahl). Larry Hurtado offers some scholarly resources of the LXX. The possible end of Aramaic is a living spoken language is discussed by Claude Mariottini, who also considers possible references to elephants in the Old Testament as he celebrates nine years of biblioblogging this month.

 – Old Testament Related Book Reviews

Thomas Bolin reviews: Jim West, Ezra-Nehemiah: Person in the Pew Commentary Series.

James M. Bos reviews: Jason T. LeCureux, The Thematic Unity of the Book of the Twelve.

George J. Brooke reviews: Florentino García Martínez; Hindy Najman and Eibert Tigchelaar, eds., Between Philology and Theology: Contributions to the Study of Ancient Jewish Interpretation.

Tim Bulkeley reviews: Jim West: Ruth: Person in the Pew Commentary series.

Joseph Lam reviews: Alan F. Segal, Sinning in the Hebrew Bible: How The Worst Stories Speak for Its Truth.

Was Noah Good?Peter J. Leithart reviews: Carol M. Kaminski, Was Noah Good?: Finding Favour in the Flood Narrative (Library Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies).

Claude Mariottini reviews: David G. Firth and Paul D. Wegner, eds. Presence, Power, and Promise: The Role of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament.

Pekka Pitkanen reviews, Volkmar Fritz, The Emergence of Israel in the Twelfth and Eleventh Centuries B.C.E.

Carol Newsom’s, "Daniel” in the Old Testament Library seriesJim West reviews: Carol Newsom’s, “Daniel” in the Old Testament Library series.

Lena Sofia Tiemeyer &Hans M. Barstad, eds., Continuity and Discontinuity: Chronological and Thematic Development in Isaiah 40-66Jim West reviews: Lena Sofia Tiemeyer & Hans M. Barstad, eds., Continuity and Discontinuity: Chronological and Thematic Development in Isaiah 40-66.

Apocryphal Literature

Apocryphicity has a series on three posts about texts due to be published in Brent Landau, ed., New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | and announces a call for papers for a symposium to take place in New York at the end of September.

– Apocrypha Related Book Reviews

The Infancy Gospel of ThomasTony Burke reviews: Constantine T. Hadavas, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas: An Intermediate Ancient Greek Reader.

Oda Wischmeyer reviews: Jeremy Corley, Sirach.

Dead Sea Scrolls

Jim Davila notes the launch of a website defending the controversial conclusions of John Allegro on the Scrolls.

New Testament

Jacob Cerone has produced interesting studies on the Greek text of the Gospel of Mark (9:19 | 10:13), while Michael Bird notes both a recent article on Mark’s possible provenance and Paula Gooder’s defence of the historicity of the Gospels. Craig Keener contrasts the feast of Herod and the meal Jesus provided for his followers (Matthew 14:1-21). James Crossley (herehere), Chris Keith (here | here) and Michael Bird interact over the criteria of authenticity and – specifically- the historicity of John’s Gospel.

Phillippians (apparently “Bible-book of the month”)  is covered by Lynn Cohick in a video series (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5) (Thanks to Jeremy Bouma for posting the links.) Phil Long continues his insightful exposition of Philippians on Reading Acts: 3:1-3, 3:4-6, 3:7-11, 3:12-17, 4:1-3, 4:4-7).

In the light of current events in and around Israel, Ian Paul tackles the notoriously complex issue of Israel’s future in the land (Part 1 | Part 2) and concludes:

Because of all this, I do not believe that, remarkable though it is, the establishment of the State of Israel in 1947 is a ‘fulfilment’ of ‘end times’ ‘prophecies.’ Neither do I believe that Israel has a divine right to the land which trumps all other rights. I do want to defend the right of Israel to exist, and to be a particular homeland for Jews around the world, and to use reasonable force to defend itself—like any other nations. But I do this on grounds other than ‘divine right’ or ‘prophecy.’ [emphasis in original]

Donald Hagner shares his recollections of NT scholar George Eldon Ladd who clearly had a lasting influence on his students (Part 1 | Part 2). Wayne Coppins shares an insight into German NT scholarship with a post on Benjamin Schliesser and the Cosmic Interpretation of pistis in Gal 3.23, 25.

Chiastic Structure of Ephesians 5:21-33
Chiastic Structure of Ephesians 5:21-33

Kay Bonikowsky looks at the chiastic structure of Ephesians 5:21-33 and provides this superb illustration (right).

Matthew R. Malcolm has a couple of posts on the alleged dynastic conflict between the family of Annas and the family and followers of Jesus, which he considers worthy of scholarly consideration (see here and here). D. Miller looks at what Luke says (or does not say about the observance of the law in Luke-Acts (here & here).

BiblcalStudiesOnline provides links to a video lecture series by Richard Bauckham and Chris Marshall on the historical Jesus at Carey College, 7-8 August 2014 and Jim Davila foresees a Colloquium on the Star on Bethlehem to take place in October.

 – New Testament Related Book Reviews

N.T. Wright, Pauline PerspectivesKevin Brown reviews: N.T. Wright, Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978-2013.

James Allison, International Critical Commentary on JamesKevin Brown reviews: Dale Allison, James: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary.

Paul's Divine ChristologyDave Capes reviews: Chris Tilling, Paul’s Divine Christology.

Jack Collins reviews: Robin Jarrell, Fallen Angels and Fallen Women: The Mother of the Son of Man.

G.K. Beale, The Book of RevelationMatt Dabbs reviews: G.K. Beale, The Book of Revelation (NIGTC).

Diglot reviews: John Granger Cook, Crucifixion in the Mediterranean WorldDiglot reviews: John Granger Cook, Crucifixion in the Mediterranean World.

Herbert W. Bateman IV, Interpreting the General Letters: An Exegetical Handbook

Eis Doxan reviews: Herbert W. Bateman IV, Interpreting the General Letters: An Exegetical Handbook.

Charlesworth and Pokorny, eds. Jesus Research. 2 Vols.

Nijay Gupta reviews: Charlesworth and Pokorny, eds. Jesus Research. 2 Vols.

Nijay GuptaChris Keith, Jesus Against the Scribal Elite reviews: Chris Keith, Jesus Against the Scribal Elite.

Abson Joseph reviews: Matthew V. Johnson, James A. Noel, and Demetrius K. Williams, eds., Onesimus Our Brother: Reading Religion, Race, and Culture in Philemon.

Mike Kok reviews: Jim West, Mark: Person in the Pew Commentary Series.

Phil Long reviews: Sean Freyne, The Jesus MovementSean Freyne, The Jesus Movement.

Pettit and Mangum, Blessed Are the Balanced: A Seminarian’s Guide to Following Jesus in the AcademyPhil Long reviews: Pettit and Mangum, Blessed Are the Balanced: A Seminarian’s Guide to Following Jesus in the Academy. [Note also Andi Naselli’s post and book review on a similar subject here].

David A. deSilva, Galatians: A Handbook on the Greek Text.Matthew D. Montonini reviews: David A. deSilva, Galatians: A Handbook on the Greek Text.

Carl Mosser reviews: Jody A. Barnard, The Mysticism of Hebrews: Exploring the Role of Jewish Apocalyptic Mysticism in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Also worth mentioning is Matthew D. Montonini’s brief run-down of forthcoming New Testament commentaries and Brian Small’s collation of book reviews of commentaries on the letter to the Hebrews.

Textual Criticism

On Evangelical Textual Criticism Peter Gurry provides a detailed report on the fifth Summer School of Greek Palaeography in Oxford. Larry Hurtado offers a summary of his recent article  “God or Jesus? Textual Ambiguity and Textual Variants in Acts of the Apostles,” [in the multi-author volume, Texts and Traditions: Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott, edited by Peter Doble and Jeffrey Kloha (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2014), pp. 239-54.)].

Hurtado also announces the publication of:

W. Andrew Smith, A Study of the Gospels in Codex Alexandrinus: Codicology, Palaeography, and Scribal Hands (Leiden: Brill, 2014).

and goes on to say:

The book focuses on the Gospels, but also addresses wider questions of codicology (i.e., the physical features of the codex itself). Smith then probes with considerable expertise the scribal hands (he argues for more than one scribe), and marginalia, and various other matters. The result is surely the most detailed study of Codex Alexandrinus in many years, and a ground-breaking study of the Gospels in this manuscript in particular.

Biblical Languages

Jeremy Bouma presents five good reasons why learning biblical languages is still important and Jim West extends an invitation to those wanting to learn Hebrew.

Biblical Archaeology

The discovery of a pre-70AD coin-hoard near the site of the new Jerusalem-Tev-Aviv Highway is noted by George Athas, Bible PlacesFerrell Jenkins, John Byron, Jim Davila, The Sacred Page and Claude Mariottoni, making it the “most commented on” archaeological discovery in August. Michael J. Caba’s “artefact of the the month” is the Esarhaddon Stela.  Larry Hurtado records the results of the excavations at the site of a Roman Fort in Binchester, Co. Durham that demonstrate the presence of Christians there and Ferrell Jenkins reports the “awl-inspiring” tale of the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East.

Bible Places covers the Siege of Lachish Wall Relief, the discovery of a board game in the ruins of the ancient city of Gezer, the use of drones in archaeology surveys and 3D scanners to examine ancient pottery. The blog also has helpful weekly summaries of activity in the field of biblical archaeology (here, here, here and here).

Jack Sasson’s elevation to an honorary council member of the International Association for Assyriology is recorded by Jim Davila. Peter Leithart has a post on how the story of Noah’s Flood is depicted on 3rd Century AD coinage and Matthew R. Malcolm ponders the significance of a 2nd Century AD letter square from Smyna.

Claude Mariottoni has an excellent post on the significance of Hezekiah’s Seal and the discovery of a Canaanite wine cellar at Tel Kabri also catches both his attention and that of Jim Davilaarenmaeir reports on the discovery of a new seal found at the site of ancient Gath. Also worth mentioning here is Jim West’s link to the archive of BBC Radio 4 series In Our Time which deal with Ancient Greece.


Inerrancy: Five ViewsThe inerrancy debate continues with John Byron re-posting the results of the latest US Gallop poll on the Bible’s historical accuracy. Scot McKnight provides a review of Inerrancy: Five Views dealing with objections. He writes in a later post that he thinks that inerrancy:

…is a disruptive child in the theological classroom. He or she gets all the attention of teacher and students. A biblical view of inerrancy demotes it under the word true, all as part of God’s choice to communicate efficiently and sufficiently. When the word “true” governs the game it’s a brand new, healthy game. Good teachers know how to handle disruptive children.

Michael Bird responds to McKnight’s critique of his section of the book and has some general thoughts to add here. Chris Tilling takes issue (well, 17 issues to be exact) with Albert Mohler’s contribution to the same volume. Michael Bird commends two recent articles by Armin Baum on inerrancy and canonicity.

Greg Beale contributes the first of what is to be a series of responses to Peter Enns’s “Aha” Moments. Christopher Skinner offers his take on the new series here.

Miscellaneous Book Reviews

Bradford A. Anderson reviews: Alison M. Jack, The Bible and Literature.

David M. Maas reviews: Thomas R. Schreiner, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments.

Ken Schenck reviews: Paul Ricoeur, Interpretation Theory.

Ken Schenck reviews: Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, Chapter 17.

Nina Collins, Healing on the SabbathJim West reviews: Nina Collins, Healing on the Sabbath.

New BiblioBlogs

James Crossley – Harnessing Chaos

And Finally…

I wanted to thank Phil Long for inviting me to host the August Biblical Studies Carnival. It has been tremendously helpful for me to work through the biblioblogs systematically and it encouraged me to update my blogrolls (please update your links to biblicalstudiesorguk blogspot com, which is now redundant). My apologies if I haven’t included your favourite post above. Despite being the holiday season, many blogs were still surprisingly active.

September’s Biblical Studies Carnival

Next month’s Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted by Mike Skinner at cataclysmicblog.com. There are still vacancies for Carnival hosts for November and December 2014 and for all months in 2015. Please contact Phil Long [plong(at)gbcol.edu] if you  can help.

Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology Vol 12 now on-line

Volume 12 of the Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology is now available on-line here.

Christopher Newton, “Divine Purpose and Prophecy,” Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology 12 (2013): 1-17.

Deseree Whittle, “Engaging Rastas,” 18-33.

Las G. Newman, “Can Jamaica Be Restored?” 34-47.

D.V. Palmer, “New Testament Theology,” 48-92.

Gosnell L. Yorke, “A Review of John Paul Heil’s Ephesians,” 93-99.

Taneika Wedderburn, “Valedictorian,” 100-104.

Devon Dick, “Our Sin-Filled Life and God’s Forgiveness,” 105-112.