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New PhD Projects in Edinburgh

June 10, 2011

Over on the CSCO blog-site I’ve posted about this year’s Review Boards for our first-year PhD students in NT/Christian Origins (, and here I want to mention the new thesis-projects of the students I’m supervising. 

Lonnie Bell is working on the 2nd/3rd-century manuscripts of the Gospel of John, probling the nature of the transmission of GJohn in this early period.  These are the earliest direct witnesses to the GJohn, and his project promises to enrich our grasp of what forces and practices were at work in the textual transmission of this text (and, by extension, other NT texts).  It’s quite common for scholars to assert that the 2nd century was a time of “wild” textual variation.  Bell’s work may help us to get a firmer picture of things.

Carlos Sosa’s project is a critical analysis of the place and function of the theme of creation in the Gospel of John.  There is a considerable diversity in scholarly views of this matter, but little by way of criteria and controls on what does or doesn’t count as an “allusion” to the Genesis creation accounts in GJohn.  Sosa offered a sober and cogent proposal for assessing the matter.

Josaphat Tam is analyzing the language used in the Gospel of John to describe the apprehension of Jesus.  His study will involve identifying the vocabulary, tracking where it appears in GJohn, and weighing the various scholarly proposals about this language.

I’m looking forward to their progress and the outcome of these interesting thesis-projects.

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  1. Yvette permalink

    I really find Sosa’s topic interesting. When he is finished, I hope it gets published. (I am sure he hopes the same thing. 😀 )

  2. In relation to the first, text-critical project, Juan Chapa, as you may recall, will soon publish a survey of the early papyri of John in a volume edited by M. Kruger and Charles Hill (you have an essay in there as well). Also look out for a forthcoming monograph by Scott Charlesworth on the early transmission of the Gospels in the Papirologica Fiorentina series (I do not know when it will be published; it is a revised version of Charlesworth’s doctoral thesis).

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