Tyndale House Newsletter – October 2016

Tyndale House October Newsletter

This Tyndale House Newsletter is reproduced here by permission of the Tyndale House Communications Dept.

P. Beatty III (𝔓47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text

Peter Malik, one of our recently appointed Research Associates

Peter Malik, one of our recently appointed Research Associates, is working on a daily basis on the Codex Climaci Rescriptus. Amidst this work Peter is preparing to publish his Cambridge PhD dissertation successfully completed while at Tyndale House.

Malik investigated the earliest extensive handwritten copy of the Book of Revelation. In P. Beatty III (𝔓47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text, he applies codicology, palaeography and a knowledge of scribal practice to shed new light on the text.

Due out in 2017 and using the latest developments in digital photography this data-rich publication by Brill will offer, for the first time, high-resolution colour photographs of the manuscript.

‘Where Art Thou, O Hezekiah’s Tunnel?’

Another scholar to bring a fresh look on Biblical scholarship is Dr Mary Hom with her publication in the Journal of Biblical Literature this autumn.

Dr Mary Hom with her publication in the Journal of Biblical Literature this autumn

‘Where Art Thou, O Hezekiah’s Tunnel? A Biblical Scholar Considers the Archaeological and Biblical Evidence concerning the Waterworks in 2 Chronicles 32:3-4, 30 and 2 Kings 20:20’

Journal of Biblical Literature  Vol. 135, No. 3 (Fall 2016), pp. 493-503.

Mary writes: “The increase of Iron Age archaeological discoveries in the City of David in recent years has precipitated debates regarding the identification of the tunnel that Hezekiah built, as described in 2 Chronicles 32:30 (cf. 2 Kings 20:20). The possibility of Channel II instead of Tunnel VIII as the actual conduit that Hezekiah built in response to the approaching Assyrian threat has gained increasing attention among both archaeologists and biblical literary scholars, and new discoveries in the past fifteen years have both answered questions and raised new ones. This article is a rigorous interdisciplinary evaluation of the evidence from both fields, and it may be seen that when the issue of identifying Hezekiah’s tunnel is taken in consideration with an understanding of the biblical text in its ancient Near Eastern literary milieu along with the most reliably expert findings in archaeology, several recent questions may be resolved.”

Scholarship in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Revd Christophe Sadiki of the Anglican Church of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a land of past troubles, but future potential. Thanks to our International Scholars Programme we were able to welcome the Revd Christophe Sadiki of the Anglican Church of the Congo to Tyndale House for three months over the summer.

Christophe’s dissertation topic is “The Corruption of the Monarchy in Israel with Reference to Deuteronomy 17: 14-20; 1 Samuel 8; 1 and 2 Kings; a Look at the DRC”. He explains: “I think that this topic is pertinent in our African context where corruption is a scourge that is contributing to poverty among our people. It will challenge scholars to think about and interpret the Word of God in a way that speaks to the DRC context. Upon graduation I am planning to join the faculty at the Anglican University of Congo where I will be engaged to train leaders for the Anglican Communion in the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo.”

Christophe has clearly found these months a huge stimulus to his doctoral research and it has opened a new world of enquiry to him. The community at Tyndale House have welcomed him warmly, assisted him in so many ways, practical and academic, and provided a supportive environment for his studies. A mentor allocated to him has been assiduous in his supervision, meeting him weekly and prompting Christophe to take new avenues of thought, and compare different traditions and methods of study.

Christophe himself seems to have made the most of every moment, refusing to allow the newness of the culture and climate to stand in his way. It has been difficult to get him to take time off and rest! On his final day in Cambridge he was extremely positive about every aspect of his time here. He was very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet readers and was very grateful to everybody who had helped and encouraged him during his stay.


Tyndale Fellowship conferenceOver 120 scholars attended the Tyndale Fellowship conference, held at High Leigh Conference Centre this summer. The theme was ‘Marriage, Family and Relationships’. Each study group held six sessions, with plenary lectures including:

  • The Old Testament Lecture: ‘The Patricentric Vision of Family Order in the Book of Deuteronomy’ (Dr Daniel I. Block)
  • The Philosophy of Religion Lecture: ‘Marriage and the State: Cut the connection’ (Dr Daniel Hill)
  • The Ethics and Social Theology Lecture: ‘Does English law need “marriage”?’ (Professor Julian Rivers)
  • Special lecture: ‘Scars Across Humanity’ (Dr Elaine Storkey)

 

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These are examples of the many ways in which we here at Tyndale House are seeking to support and foster high level biblical scholarship in service of the church. Churches, seminaries and universities across the world need people who are intellectually and spiritually equipped to provide the most informed Christian teaching and education.

Will you help the next generation of biblical scholars by praying for us and supporting us financially? If you are outside the UK, your support is particularly powerful at this time when the Pound Sterling is so low.

With warmest regards,

Peter Williams

Tyndale House’s Global Library Project

Tyndale House's Library Catalogue giving access to Global Library

An Update on the Global Library Project

Theology on the Web has been working with Tyndale House to expand the number of electronic resources it can offer via its Global Library Project. As I noted here, I have just completed scanning and uploading 22 of the British Academy’s Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology which are in the Public Domain. These have now been integrated into the Tyndale House database (see here and use the “type of media” drop-down to select “e-books” and/or “e-journals”) so that the electronic version appears in the search for these titles. Several thousands of the journals articles which I host relating to Biblical Studies have also been added to this resource, so allowing scholars around the world the opportunity to benefit from the treasures contained in the library.

I hope to visit Cambridge again in early September to discuss the next stage of the digitisation project, of which I am only a part.

STEP Bible Software v.2.0 Released

Many Christian scholars from overseas who have spent time studying in the UK return to their own countries find their ministry of training others to understand the Bible frustrated. This is because the in-depth Bible Study resources, so readily available in universities in the UK, are now out of their reach – both physically and financially. This is even more frustrating when one realises that about 85% of the evangelical churches in the Two Thirds World are led by people with no theological training at all. It is a problem that I have been aware of for many years – indeed it was the inspiration behind Theology on the Web – “making biblical scholarship accessible” which led me to launch my first website in 2001.

STEP Bible version 2.0

The folks at Tyndale House in Cambridge share this vision and are working hard to meet the need for biblical resources. For me it is always a pleasure to visit there and meet members of the team working on their Scripture Tools for Every Person (STEP) project. This software, now in Beta version 2.0, is already one of the most powerful original-language Bible study tools available and is intended to be made available free of charge. There are plans to add hundreds more Bible translations, secondary literature and other resources – see the slideshow here. If you haven’t already visited the website – stepbible.org – I would strongly recommend that you do.

The STEP Bible in action

Here is a short video that gives a helpful introduction to just some of the things the STEP software can do: