Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Bible as Notepad Conference

I'M OFF TO OSLO, for the Bible as Notepad Conference, noted earlier here. As you can see from the program, I am presenting a paper on “Notes in the Text? The Unique Secondary Readings in MS Leiden Or. 4730’s Text of the Hekhalot Rabbati." The abstract is as follows:
MS Leiden Or. 4730 is a late (16th or 17th century) Italian manuscript that includes the complete text of the Hekhalot Rabbati (Synopse §§81-277), the longest text in the corpus of the Hekhalot literature. It seems to come from a good Vorlage with a high density of original readings, but at some point this text has been extensively altered by a scribe. The manuscript contains hundreds of unique secondary variants, including omissions, replacement of words with synonyms, or other changes in wording. In effect, rather than being annotated with notes in the margins, the text was overwritten with notes in the text itself. These alterations can be detected only through traditional textual criticism, which reveals a pattern of unique secondary readings. From a traditional text-critical perspective they are "clutter" to be dismissed as useless for reconstructing a (more) original text. But from the perspective of New Philology they evidence a peculiar pattern of deliberate scribal alterations, one that has the potential to tell us more about this creative scribe and the scribe's agenda. This paper will catalogue and categorize the unique secondary readings in this manuscript in order to make some sense of what the scribe was doing and why.
As usual, I have preposted some things for while I am away and I will blog as time and internet connections permit, so please keep coming back as normally.