Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog Dinner

This year at the Society of Biblical Literature, the Evangelical Textual Criticism folks from Tyndale House, Cambridge University hosted a dinner at Baltimore’s Hard Rock Café. The dinner was on Sunday, Nov 24, shortly after the last session on New Testament textual criticism at SBL. It seemed strange to have a dinner for Greek geeks at a restaurant that is intentionally loud (even if the music is awesome!), since all of us would rather debate, “Is it an and or an or?” than discuss human trafficking, world peace, or the central message of the New Testament. Greek geeks—who know how to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t.’ In other words, anal people.

That’s what made the printed menu so ironic. Each one of us had a little card at each place setting. Here’s a picture of the card:


Notice the spelling of ‘Criticism’: the ‘ic’ is missing! A case of haplography due to parablepsis.

The evening was great. Peter Head of Tyndale House spoke about the blogs on the ETC website and the impact the ETC is making on the discipline. The ETC is the best place to go to get up-to-date news on biblical textual criticism.

ETC group

Peter Head speaking at ETC Dinner, Hard Rock Café, Baltimore

A good number of evangelical textual critics were there, along with students, interested parties, and other textual critics. I didn’t do a head count but it seemed like over fifty people were present. There were stimulating conversations taking place at every table (“Is it an and or an or?” and even a few more significant than that). Jerry Pattengale of the Green Scholars Initiative announced at the beginning of the evening that the Greens had offered to buy everyone’s dinner. Thank you, Greens, for your generosity!

I look forward to next year’s dinner and the update on the discipline that the boys at Tyndale House have a bead on.

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6 comments on “Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog Dinner

  1. Thanks so much, Dr. Wallace, for keeping us abreast of such goings on. We Greek geeks out here can only dream of such gatherings, but we always enjoy the crumbs that fall from the table. :-)

  2. And what is it called when the original photo is zoomed out so far that the original is not completely readable, and from that a scribe scripts a hand copy into a wire bound notebook, with associated errors in reproduction on account of the fine print being too small to be reproduced accurately?

    Any New Testament scribes ever face that problem?

    Wes K

    PSOf course, I double-clicked on the original photo and had a perfectly readable document before my eyes. A luxury unavailable to our pre-medieval and medieval friends.

    PPSSounds like a perfectly lovely evening!!!

  3. […] There were several sessions on the text of the New Testament this year. Even though 10,000 people come to the SBL/AAR conference, the NT textual criticism sessions usually have only 25–50 die hards in attendance. The world’s leading textual critics are there, and the lectures are scrutinized by friends and foes alike. After one of the sessions, the Evangelical Textual Criticism group hosted a dinner at Hard Rock Café, which was sponsored by the Green Scholars Initiative. Dan Wallace, Rob Marcello, and Dana Cooper (all from CSNTM) attended several of the sessions. Dan and Rob also attended the dinner. For more information on the ETC dinner, see Wallace’s blog. […]

  4. It was a very nice evening. I should only remark that not all of the ETC bloggers who hosted the dinner are Tyndale folks.

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