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New Volume on “Digital Humanities” and Ancient Manuscripts

May 22, 2019

A multi-author volume on “digital humanities” and ancient manuscripts has appeared:  David Hamidović, Claire Clivaz and Sarah Bowen Savant, ed., Ancient Manuscripts in Digital Culture: Visualisation, Data Mining, Communication, DBS 3 (Leiden: Brill, 2019).   The further good news is that it is published “open access” and so available online here.

“Digital humanities” refers to the use of computer-related technology in the conduct of scholarly work in traditional Humanities subjects.  In this case, we’re looking at the use of this technology in the study of ancient manuscripts.

Of the many interesting articles in the volume, I cite two in particular:

H.A.G. Houghton, “Electronic Transcriptions of New Testament Manuscripts and Their Accuracy, Documentation and Publication,” reviews the use of transcription of NT manuscripts in the work of NT textual criticism, and proposes areas for improvement.  The download link is here.

James F. McGrath, “Learning from Jesus’ Wife:  What does Forgery Have to Do with the Digital Humanities?” cites the process by which the initial claims for the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment were assessed and shown to be false, noting that various individuals and types of expertise were involved, including, crucially, investigative journalism.  He also explores briefly how digital technology might be used in the future both to create further forgeries and to detect them.  But also he notes how technology might be used in the near future in acquainting students with manuscripts and other artifacts.  The download link for his article is here.

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One Comment
  1. McGrath makes an important point: the scholarly knowledge and the new technologies developed from and for the study of texts, can also often be used, manipulated, unfortunately, by forgers. To produce more convincing forgeries.

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