Philemon: uncial style

Here is an uncial style reading of Paul’s letter to Philemon that I decided to create.  The script type is in the style of the Alexandrinus manuscript (from Linguist Software).  I decided to mimic ancient New Testament manuscripts with the exception that I used spaces between the words.  I attempted to retain the nomina sacra as faithful as possible.  Below is a download of the PDF.

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A screenshot sample.

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It appears quite well on a tablet… about the size of some of the old manuscripts!  In my opinion, it has a P66 feel to it.

Download: Philemon uncial PDF

Bauckham lectures online

I posted this back in March 2011 on a different blog.

Photo credit, Ferrell Jenkins

Richard Bauckham has been traveling in the U.S., giving lectures at various places (see his lecture schedule), as various bibliobloggers have pointed out.  I had the chance to visit one day of the lectures at SBTS in February.  See below for the links.

During the first lecture, there was one particular point in which Bauckham, when discussing the gospels as biographies rooted in the narrative of biblical history, caused me to reflect upon Homer’s Iliad.  He mentioned that Matthew’s genealogy lists all those names to remind readers of key developments throughout the biblical story of Israel.  At that point I was reminded of Homer’s catalogue of ships in Iliad 2.484-785.  There is a long list which, at first, seems to be a long, boring list of data of the ships from different places and regions.  But if you think about it, Homer’s first readers would have been excited to hear of a ship from their own region or hometown — that their roots were somehow involved in an inevitable epic war.  That is an aspect we may easily overlook.  And, in a way, like Homer, Matthew reminds his readers of Jesus’ roots which trace back to key figures in biblical history.

I’m not sure how much of that thought would really relate, but it was an interesting thought nonetheless.  I mentioned this very briefly to Prof. Bauckham when he was signing my copy of his Eyewitnesses book, but there was no time for real discussion since there was a long line of people behind me.

Lectures at Heritage Christian (via Jim Davila)

Lectures at Southern Seminary (via Clifford Kvidahl)

(photo credit)

Conference: Ephesus as a Religious Center under the Principate

Photo credit: Jeremy O'Clair

There is a conference scheduled at Harding School of Theology in Memphis, TN, May 2012: “Ephesus as a Religious Center under the Principate,” in honor of Richard Oster, professor of New Testament at HST.  As time passes I’m sure more detail will emerge.  It looks like it will be an interesting meeting.

Tentative presenters:
Steve Friesen— University of Texas at Austin
Ulrike Muss— University of Vienna
Elisabeth Rathmayr—Austrian Academy of Science
Peter Scherrer— University of Graz
Dan Schowalter— Carthage College
Greg Stevenson— Rochester College
Jerry Sumney— Lexington Theological Seminary
Christine M. Thomas— University of California Santa Barbara
James W. Thompson— Abilene Christian University
Trevor Thompson— Abilene Christian University
Hilke Thuer— Austrian Academy of Science
Paul Trebilco— University of Otago, New Zealand
James Walters— Boston University School of Theology

Latin WORDS + Lion

The lovable crutch, Latin WORDS for Mac (the studious Latin student shouldn’t use it!) is not supported with the new Mac OS X Lion upgrade.  If you rely on this application, the web version will have to be the default choice until there is an upgrade for Whitaker’s WORDS. I doubt it will happen.*

* Update: Read the comments below about Interpres (or click here).

Grading: what were they thinking?

I’m grading tests for Latin 1 and I found some of the students’ conjugation of esse interesting:




!!!  Although I didn’t give them any points, it made me smile.  Or maybe it should make me cry.

On the Dating of the Vesuvius Eruption (3)

Part 2.

Foods and Other Plant Material

While some scholars are now considering an autumnal dating instead of 24 August in the year 79 C.E., [1] one of the discussions focuses on the harvest gatherings of fruits and other plant material found–at Pompeii and the surrounding Campanian area–which were trapped in time during the eruption.  These would include items such as ‘pomegranate, chestnut, dry figs, raisin grape, pine cone, dates,’ [2] among other things.  For example, at Oplontis in the villa of L. Crassus Tertius, traces of autumnal fruit, such as grain residues from grapes were discovered. [3] Another indication from Oplontis leaning towards an autumnal date, many stalks with residue, from a harvest in progress, were discovered around the winepress of the country villa of Terzigno. [4] Though, there is some evidence which favors a summer eruption.  At Herculaneum, nuts in large quantity, hulls, almonds, figs and other edible material were found.  Ciarallo and Carolis indicate that the almonds mature at the end of August and that figs ripen at the end of the month as well.  These things, among other details, favor a summer dating. [5] Although there seems to be a mixture of evidence from the fruits and various plant material, other evidences need to be investigated.


It is known that at Pompeii casts of the dead reveal evidence of wearing heavy clothing and fabrics at the time of the eruption; at Herculaneum a skeleton was found with a fur cap. [6] Could these discoveries favor an autumnal dating?  Surely this would indicate that it was a time of year when it is cold and, therefore, people were wearing heavier clothing.  This would hardly make sense with a hot summer day.  On the surface, this seems to be a plausible case for an autumn time period, but one must further evaluate the circumstances.  At the time of the eruption, falling debris of pumice and ash certainly would have caused inhabitants to take necessary safety precautions.  In Letter 6.16, Pliny writes that his uncle and others tied cushions on their heads with sheets for protection against the falling pumice debris as they were fleeing from unsafe buildings (6.16.16).  One can infer that others found with heavy clothing would have intended the same—such clothing for protection.  However one views the circumstances, it seems the clothing evidence would be inconclusive whether it was a summer or autumnal eruption.  On the one hand, if it was on a hot summer day in August, the circumstances of the eruption may have prompted the people to wear protective clothing.  But on the other hand, if it was in the autumn, the heavy clothing could have been used for colder weather, for protection, or both.

Although these matters concerning fruits, plant material, and clothing all remain debatable for discussion, there is further evidence which may lead to more determinative support of an autumnal eruption.  We’ll look at this in more detail next time!

[1] E.g., Pappalardo, Berry, Beard, Rolandi, Paone, Lascio, Stefani, and others.
[2] Rolandi et al., 94.
[3] Pappalardo, 211.
[4] Annamaria Ciarallo and Ernesto De Carolis, ‘La data dell’eruzione,’ Rivista di studi pompeiani 9 (1998): 65.
[5] Ibid., 67.
[6] Pappalardo, 211.