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.