CSNTM at iTunes U

Center for the Study of New Testament ManuscriptsBefore a minor surgical procedure last Friday, I prepared a gargantuan playlist on iTunes to last through the weekend and beyond. Catching up on video and audio podcasts kept my mind happily distracted as I recovered. Chief among the joys of the weekend was the opportunity to listen to all the audios and videos recently posted at iTunes U by the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, a non-profit organization I’ve mentioned on this blog before (here and here).

In one of those previous posts, I described my delight at hearing Daniel Wallace, the director of CSNTM, speak at an Accordance Users Conference. Given my own passion for digitization in order to preserve rare documents and make them openly accessible to the public, it was a joy to meet him in person. Wallace has led expeditions throughout Europe and the Middle East in search of New Testament manuscripts in his quest to digitize them and make them available for study on the CSNTM website. Wallace is also the author of Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, a widely-used textbook for advanced study of New Testament Greek.

The chief mission of the CSNTM is to photograph every surviving New Testament manuscript, and to make high-quality digitized versions widely available for research, utilizing developing technologies for the study of ancient texts. In pursuit of these aims, the CSNTM mounts expeditions to locate, identify and digitize New Testament manuscripts around the world (read more about CSNTM’s mission).

One can learn much about the preservation and study of ancient manuscripts simply by browsing CSNTM’s substantial website. However, the new resources posted at iTunes U provide an excellent introduction to these topics.

Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, iTunes U
| CSNTM’s description | Open iTunes U to CSNTM Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts |

CSNTM’s resources at iTunes U include short videos on the following six topics:

  1. An Insider’s Look into the work of CSNTM
  2. The Basics of New Testament Textual Criticism
  3. Disputed New Testament Passages: Textual Criticism Put Into Practice
  4. Famous Manuscripts & the Stories Behind Them
  5. Pioneers of the Trade: Famous Text-Critical Scholars
  6. Scribal Methods & Materials

Here’s a more detailed look at the individual videos already available for each topic:

An Insider's Look into the work of CSNTM

The Basics of New Testament Textual Criticism

Disputed New Testament Passages: Textual Criticism Put Into Practice

Famous Manuscripts and the Stories Behind Them

Pioneers of the Trade: Famous Text-Critical Scholars

Scribal Methods & Materials

(Open iTunes U to CSNTM)

Text critic and best-selling author Bart Ehrman recently posted the following video at YouTube, entitled “Is The Original New Testament Lost? A Dialogue with Dr. Bart Ehrman & Dr. Daniel Wallace.” This video records a discussion at Chapel Hill held on February 1 of this year, which is an effective entry point into contemporary discussion of the role of textual criticism, the significance of the discovery and publication of new texts of the Bible, and the work of the CSNTM.

A similar dialogue between Ehrman and Wallace was held in Dallas last October 1, which is available as a DVD from CSNTM. The YouTube video offers the essence of either discussion. The DVD has a much higher production value, showing closeups and shots from different angles, which makes watching less monotonous. Think of the DVD’s cost ($15.50) as a contribution to the work of CSNTM (purchase here; cf. this review).

Can we trust the text DVD

For additional resources, see also my post last fall on the Passages exhibit and Green Scholars Initiative.

Update 8/1/12: Ehrman and Wallace have begun their own blogs. Here’s an example post where Wallace replies to a comment by Ehrman on their debates.

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3 Responses to CSNTM at iTunes U

  1. Laura says:

    So glad you are doing well and that you were able to ‘enjoy’ a few days of rest. Well… sort of enjoy, anyway. 🙂

  2. Michael says:

    This debate was interesting and problematic for me. Sometimes a person listens to a debate like this and there is this kernel buried somewhere in it, but it just doesn’t come to light. I find Ehrman’s position intriguing because I feel like he is standing on the precipice. His scholarship demands are so extremely rigid without holding his own projections on his scholarship suspect. Does that seem to make sense? It seems to me he is a breath away from converting to Eastern mysticism, because he is not convinced there is such a thing as sufficient reason to any conclusions in textual criticism. I don’t quite know how he maintains any sense of the necessity of his teaching anything on scripture, unless as a keeper of the gate he is there to turn others away through his skepticism. Yet, I know this is not an uncommon life in academe. That’s why from the outside looking in it seems like a cloistered existence infused with unspeakable temptations to some line of despair.

    Wallace’s arguments seem well-tempered, but not necessarily an avalanche of compelling evidence. It seems to me that this debate was a starting point. I suppose though most people will just come away from it with some kind of impression of one guy winning over the other instead of pursuing the issues brought out in this debate. And for the person looking for ammo to disbelieve the authenticity of scripture, they need go no further than Ehrman for validation of their belief. The same may probably be said of Wallace, although I didn’t come away with the impression that he was as dogmatic in his belief as Ehrman.

    Would love to know your take on the matter.

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