Recent Books on the Paratextual Features of Early Christian Manuscripts

There is more to a text than merely the words on the page.

This is a principle that is often missed, even by modern readers. When a person reads a book, of course the intellectual attention is primarily centered upon the words and the meaning of those words. But, most readers don’t realize that there are many factors beyond the words that affect one’s reading experience. Such factors often go unnoticed as they operate in the background, often imperceptibly.

Some examples of such “paratextual” features: the size of the page, the size of the font, the spacing between lines, the margins/borders, the use/non-use of color, section headings, chapter headings, the …

Continue reading...

Here’s What I’ve Been Up to Academically

For those reading this blog, I trust you’ve benefited from the variety of posts that deal with issues related to the origins of the NT canon (or text). I have written those posts with a wide audience in mind, hoping they are helpful for just about anybody who wants to learn more.

At the same time, I know some of you may be interested to know of some more academic books or articles I have been working on over the last few years that deal with the NT canon, or NT manuscripts, on a more technical level.  Those kinds of articles, because they are not “blog” articles, tend to get …

Continue reading...

Is There a First-Century Fragment of Mark’s Gospel? Apparently Not

Over the last several years, there has been much discussion in the blogosphere (and beyond) about the possibility that a fragment of Mark’s Gospel had been discovered which could reliably be dated to the first century.

Most notably, the fragment was alluded to by Dan Wallace in his 2012 debate with Bart Ehrman (though no details were offered due to Wallace having signed a non-disclosure agreement). But it has also been mentioned by Scott Carroll, Craig Evans, and Josh McDowell.  There was an even article about the fragment in Forbes.

Needless to say, many scholars were skeptical about the possibility of a first-century Mark for a …

Continue reading...

What Do Manuscripts Tell Us about the Origins of the New Testament? A Preview of the Tarwater Lectures

One of my favorite things about books is not just reading them but holding them.  Especially old books.  I love the feel of a book in my hand that many people have read before me.  There’s that musty bookish smell when you flip through the pages.  There’s the worn out covers and notes in the margins.

When you read a book like this you feel like you are walking a well-worn path that many others have trod before.

And it is precisely this sort of experience that is absent with the arrival of modern e-book technology.  Whether we are reading on a Kindle reader or off our tablets (or smartphones), …

Continue reading...

Looking for More Than Blog Posts? Here are Some Recent Academic Articles on the Origins of the NT Canon

For those reading this blog, I trust you’ve benefited from the variety of posts that deal with issues related to the origins of the NT canon. I have written those posts with a wide audience in mind, hoping they are helpful for just about anybody who wants to learn more.

At the same time, I know some of you may be interested to know of some more academic articles I have written over the last few years that deal with the NT canon, or NT manuscripts, on a more technical level.  Those kinds of articles, because they are not “blog” articles, tend to get lost in the shuffle.  And even …

Continue reading...