Friday, July 29, 2022

First Corinthians 10:9 - "the Lord" or "Christ"?

             Leaving the Gospels momentarily, today we explore a textual variant in the Pauline Epistles:  in First Corinthians 10:9, did the text originally say “Nor let us tempt Christ” (Χριστόν) or “Nor let us tempt the Lord” (Κύριον) or “Nor let us tempt God” (Θεόν)?  All three readings are nomina sacra (sacred names, usually written in contracted form), and thus, with the nomina sacra in play, amount to the difference between ΧΝ, ΚΝ, and ΘΝ.

Erasmus' text of I Cor. 10:9 (1522)
            The treatment of this variant by editors, publishers and printers of the (mainly) Byzantine Text has been consistent:  Erasmus (all editions), Gerbel (1521), Stephanus (1550), Melchoir Sessa (Venice) 1538, John Fell (1675), Bengel (1734), and Scholz (1836) all have favored “Χριστόν”; Griesbach also had Χριστόν in the text.  Χριστόν is read in Hodges & Farstad’s Majority Text (1982), and in the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform (2005), and in the Solid Rock Greek New Testament. 

            English Bibles in use today with “Christ” in First Corinthians 10:9 include the KJV, NKJV, EOB (Eastern Orthodox Bible), WEB, EHV, and also the CSB, ESV, NET, NIV 2011, NLT, NCV (New Century Version), and NRSV.

I Cor. 10:9 (Nicolaus Gerbel, 1521)
            Κύριον was consistently adopted by most editors of the critical text, other than Griesbach, until about 1970:  “Lord” was the reading adopted by Lachmann (1831), Buttmann (1862), Tregelles (1869), Tischendorf (8th edition, 1872), Westcott & Hort (1881), Eberhard Nestle (1904), Alexander Souter (1920), and the Nestle-Aland compilation up to and including the 25th edition.  The first and second editions of the United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament also read Κύριον.      

I Cor. 10:9 (Fell, 1675)
            Consequently, “Lord” has appeared in First Corinthians 10:9 in several English Bibles of the past 150 years, including the Revised Version (1881), the American Standard Version (1901), the Revised Standard Version, the Living Bible, the New Life Version, the New American Standard Bible (1960 & 1995), the New International Version 1984, and the Tree of Life Version (2011).  Meanwhile, the Tyndale House GNT reads “κύριον” and the SBLGNT reads “Χριστόν.”

            Now let’s look at some text-critical data: 

Fell's footnote (1675)
             In 1982, in New Testament Textual Criticism:  Its Significance for Exegesis:  Essays in Honor of Bruce M. Metzger, a chapter by Carroll D. Osburn focused on this variant.  Osburn’s data is far more detailed than any other apparatus:  in support of Χριστόν, Osburn listed P46, D, E, F, G, K, L, Ψ 056 0142 0151 and 489 minuscules (including 1 6 18 35 69 88 131 205 209 323 330 424 440 451 489 517 547 614 618 629 630 796 910 945 999 1241 1242 1243 1245 1270 1315 1353 1424 1448 1505 1611 1646 1734 1738 1739 1827 1852 1854 1881 1891 1912 1982  1984 2125 2200 2400 2412 2492 2495), numerous Old Latin witnesses including itar, b, d, dem, e, f, g, o, x, z and the Vulgate, the Peshitta, the main text of the Harklean Syriac, the Sahidic version, and the Bohairic version.   

I Cor. 10:9 in Codex Sinaiticus     
           Κύριον, meanwhile, is supported by À B C P 0150 33 43 104 181 255vid 256 263 326 365 436 1175 2110 2127 2464 and 22 other minuscules, and the margin of the Harklean Syriac, the Armenian version and the Ethiopic version.

            Osburn’s thorough list extends to two other readings:

            Codex A, 2 81 1127 1595 and 14 other minuscules (and 2815 which Osburn did not list, but Swanson does) read Θεόν.

            Nothing appears between ἐκπειράζωμεν and καθως in 97 1729* 1985 and 2659.

             Settings aside Θεόν and the complete absence of any nomina sacra, Osburn focuses on the contest between Κύριον and Χριστόν.  Things get very interesting in the patristic evidence: 

            The earliest support for Χριστόν is Marcion (the arch-heretic from Pontus who worked for a while in Rome c. 140); Epiphanius, in the late 300s, claimed that Marcion changed the text from Κύριον to Χριστόν.  But, as Osburn argues, it is reasonable to understand Epiphanius’ claim as a presumption – i.e., that Epiphanius’ text read Κύριον and he assumed that Marcion had changed it – rather than as an observation.  Slightly later is Irenaeus (in Against Heresies, Book 4, ch. 27), and slightly later than Irenaeus are Clement of Alexandria, Origen (in a statement preserved in the margin of GA 1739), and Theotecnus (bishop of Caesarea-in-Palestine, and an associate of Origen), writing against Paul of Samosata for the Council of Antioch (268).  

            The bishops involved in the Council of Antioch in 268 also produced the Letter of Hymenaeus, of which Osburn provided a relevant extract, which implies that “neither Paul of Samosata nor his opponents were aware of a biblical text which read other than Χριστόν in v. 9.”  (Osburn mentioned in a footnote, however, that the text of the Letter of Hymenaeus printed by M.J. Routh in 1846, and by E.Schwartz in 1927, has Κύριον.) 

            Also in support of Χριστόν are Ambrosiaster, Ephraem Syrus, Pelagius, Augustine, Pseudo-Oecumenius, and Theophylact.  Chrysostom also cites I Cor. 10:9 with Χριστόν three times.

            Κύριον is supported by Epiphanius, Theodoret of Cyrrhus (in a substantial quotation in his commentary on the Pauline Epistles), Cassiodorus, John of Damascus, and Sedulius Scotus.  Chrysostom is cited as using κύριον once.  

           Now let’s analyze this evidence and reach a conclusion. 

I Cor. 10:9 in Tregelles' text.
            The case for κύριον is not lightweight:  agreements of À and B were considered practically decisive by Westcott & Hort, and their judgment held sway for over a century, though as early as 1899 Theodor Zahn, as Carroll noted, firmly opposed it.              

            Χριστόν has in its favor the support of very early and geographically diverse patristic witnesses.  The discovery of P46 with Χριστόν (written as ΧΡΝ - see BP II f.49 in the online Chester Beatty Papyrus Collection on the fourth line from the bottom) probably should have instantly elicited a change in the critical text here, inasmuch as with its discovery, Χριστόν scores high on multiple metrics:  it is the reading of the oldest manuscript; it is the reading of the most manuscripts (by far); it is the reading of the most diverse array of manuscripts; it is the reading favored by a strong combination of early patristic writers.  About the only counter-argument that favors Κύριον is the internal consideration that Paul would be unlikely to have written that the Hebrews in the wilderness tempted Christ – but as indicated in a note in the NET, Osburn built an effective cumulative argument that the case against Χριστόν driven by this internal evidence is weak.  I cannot think of any reason but haste, and perhaps over-reliance on the work of Tregelles (who had no access to P46) to elicit the Tyndale House GNT’s adoption of κύριον.  It was due to over-reliance upon À and B that κύριον was ever adopted in printed Greek New Testaments; hopefully the days of such over-reliance, repeatedly shown to be merely a disguised bias, are behind us. 

              Χριστόν merits confident inclusion in the text.                     



Monday, July 18, 2022

Against KJV-Onlyism: Stop Usurping the Original Text

          In the second half of the 1800s, some textual critics were wary of the momentum that was building in England and the United States in favor of a revision of the English Bible.  (Some individuals had already made new English translations – such as Living Oracles and The Book of the New Covenantbut they had little impact.)   But the situation changed when the Revised Version was published in 1881.  Its New Testament base-text reflected, for the most part, an abandonment of the Byzantine Text (which generally has the support of most Greek manuscripts), and an almost complete embrace of the Alexandrian Text, especially at points where the Alexandrian Text is supported by two early manuscripts, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.

          Meanwhile in America, defenders of the traditional text – as reflected in the English King James Version – tended to be suspicious of textual revisions, mainly for three reasons.  I give them in no particular order:  (1)  Some of the individuals calling for revision were doctrinally aberrant (with Unitarian tendencies).  (2)  Much analysis still needed to be done upon both already-known and newly discovered materials.  (3)  Future discoveries of pertinent materials were likely to make revisions obsolete virtually before the ink dried.  (The short lifespan of revisions was illustrated in Tischendorf’s eighth edition of the Greek New Testament, following his encounter with Codex Sinaiticus, in which Tischendorf changed the text in 3,505 places, compared to the seventh edition.)

          But no one, generally speaking, was saying that text-critical endeavors were not worthwhile.  No one opposed the Revised Version with more vigor than John Burgon, but Burgon was not categorically opposed to revision.  Burgon wrote (in Revision Revised, 1883, the following, in a footnote on p. 21:

            “Once for all, we request it may be clearly understood that we do not, by any means, claim perfection for the Received Text.  We entertain no extravagant notions on this subject.  Again and again we shall have occasion to point out (e.g., at page 107) that the Textus Receptus needs correction.   We do but insist (1) That it is an incomparably better text than that which either Lachmann, or Tischendorf, or Tregelles has produced : infinitely preferable to the ‘New Greek Text’ of the Revisionists.  And, (2) That to be improved, the Textus Receptus will have to be revised on entirely different ‘principles’ from those which are just now in fashion.  Men must begin by unlearning the German prejudices of the last fifty years; and address themselves, instead, to the stern logic of facts.”

          Notice Burgon’s statement that “the Textus Receptus needs correction.  Burgon argued, though, that much more work needed to be done on the text before such a revision could be successfully undertaken:  in paragraph 23 (p. xxix) of the Preface to Revision Revised, Burgon stated, “After many years it might be found practicable to put forth by authority a carefully considered Revision of the commonly received Greek text.” Burgon also wrote (Revision Revised, p. 20), “Nothing may be rejected from the commonly received Text, except on evidence which shall clearly outweigh the evidence for retaining it.”

          It is now 2022.  Much of the study and research that Burgon hoped would be undertaken – and more – has been undertaken.   The Byzantine Text has been published, and is available to the public in the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform and, with some differences, in Hodges & Farstad’s The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text.

          Yet congregations have arisen in which the King James Version’s base-text – the Textus Receptus – is regarded as perfect and incapable of correction.  The Textus Receptus has even been treated as if it is immutable and authoritative by “Confessional Bibliologists.”  At least, I have never seen a “Confessional Bibliologist” agree with Burgon that the Textus Receptus needs correction, or say forthrightly that any reading anywhere in the base-text of the KJV New Testament is not original.

          Progress has been made since Burgon’s time – but KJV-Onlyists have either not acknowledged it, or else regarded it as unpalatable when served up on the same plate as the heavy pro-Alexandrian bias that is on display in the Nestle-Aland and UBS compilations (the main base-text for the NIV, ESV, CSB, NASB, NLT, and NRSV).  Some textual changes which impacted English Bibles in 1881 and more recently (looking especially you, TNIV and NIV 2011) were steps backwards.  But today, let’s consider the points in the text of the Gospels where definite progress has been made, away from the compilations of the 1500s and early 1600s, toward the original text.

          Specifically:  look at these readings which are supported not only by the Westcott-Hort compilation, and by the Nestle-Aland compilation, but also by Hodges & Farstad’s Majority Text and by the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform.  In other words, look at all the places in the text of the Gospels where the basis for what is read in the KJV is NOT the majority reading, and where the Textus Receptus is not, and never has been, the “Antiochan line” that KJV-Onlyists routinely pretend that it is). 

          A very thorough list of readings in the Textus Receptus that are not in the Majority Text has been made available online by Michael Marlowe.  Marlowe has presented detailed lists of such readings found in Acts 1-14, Acts 15-28, Romans, First & Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First & Second Thessalonians, First & Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, First & Second Peter, First, Second, & Third John, Jude, Revelation 1-11, and Revelation 12-22 (and he has also made a collection of variations found in different editions of the Textus Receptus that were published in the 1500s).

          Focusing on the Gospels, here are 100 readings which everyone should acknowledge as improvements on the King James Version.


4:18 – do not include the proper name “Jesus.”

5:27 – do not include “”by them of old time”

6:18 – do not include “openly”

7:2 – do not include “again”

8:5 – do not include the proper name “Jesus”

8:15 – replace “unto them” with “unto him”

8:23 – replace “a boat” with “the boat”

9:4 – replace “knowing” with “seeing”

9:36 – replace “weary” with “were harassed”

11:16 – read “others” instead of “fellows”

12:8 – do not include “even” after “Lord”

12:35 – omit “of the heart” after “treasure”

14:22 – replace “his disciples” with “the disciples”

14:22 – replace “a ship” with “the ship”

18:28 – replace “that” with “what”

18:29 – remove the word “all” at the end of the verse

19:9 – replace “except it be for fornication” with “except for fornication”

20:21 – replace “the left” with “your left” 

20:26 – replace “let him be your servant” with “must be your servant”

24:17 – replace “any thing” with “things”

24:27 – remove the word “also”

25:44 – remove the word “him”


4:4 – remove “of the air”

4:9 – remove “unto them”

5:11 – replace “mountains” with “mountain”

6:15 – remove “or”

6:33 – replace “the people” with “they”

6:44 – remove “about”

7:3 – replace “oft” with “with the fist” or “ceremonially”

8:24 – add “I see them” between “I see men” and “as trees walking”

8:31 – include “of the” before “scribes”

9:7 – remove “saying”

10:2 – remove “the”

10:14 – remove “and” after “Me”

10:28 – remove “Then”

10:29 – include “sake” after “gospel’s” at the end of the verse

11:4 – replace “the” with “a”

12:20 – remove “Now” at the beginning of the verse

12:23 – remove “therefore”

12:32 – remove “God”

13:9 – replace “be brought” with “stand”

14:9 – include “And” at the beginning of the verse

15:3 – remove the words “but he answered nothing”


2:21 – replace “the child” with “him”

2:22 – replace “her” with “their” (As far as I know, no Greek manuscript made before the time of Erasmus which reads “her”)

3:2 – replace “priests” with “priest”

3:19 – replace “his brother Philip’s” with “his brother’s”

4:8 – remove “for” before “it is written”

5:30 – include “the” before “publicans” (or “tax collectors”)

6:10 – replace “the man” with “him”

6:10 – remove “so”

6:26 – remove “unto you”

6:28 – remove “and” before “pray”

7:11 – replace “the day after” with “soon afterwards”

7:31 – remove “And the Lord said” at the beginning of the verse

8:3 – replace “him” with “them”

8:34 – remove “went and”

8:51 – replace “James and John” with “John and James”

10:6 – replace “the son” with “a son”

10:12 – remove “But”

10:20 – remove “rather”

11:54 – remove “and”

12:56 – replace “of the sky and of the earth” with “of the earth and of the sky”

13:15 – replacd “hypocrite” with “hypocrites’’

13:35 – remove “Verily”

16:25 – inclde “here” after “now”

17:6. Read “you have” instead of “you had”

17:9 – remove “him”

17:24 – remove “also”

19:23 – remove “the” before bank”

20:5 – remove “then” after “Why”

20:9 – remove “certain” before “man”

22:17 – remove “the” before “cup”

22:42 – . Read “willing to remove” instead of “willing, remove”

22:45 – replace “his” with “the”

23:25 – remove “to them”

23:55 – remove “also”


1:28 – replace “Bethabara” with “Bethany

1:29 – replace “John” with “he”

1:39 – remove “for”

1:43 – remove “Jesus”

1:43 – add “Jesus”

2:22 – remove “unto them”

3:2 – remove “Jesus”

4:30 – remove “Then”

4:31 – remove “his”

6:24 – remove “also”

7:16 – include “Therefore” after “Jesus”

7:29 – remove “But”

7:33 – remove “unto them”

7:50 – remove “Jesus”

9:36 – include “And” before “Who”

10:16 – replace one fold” with “one flock”

13:25 – include “thus” after “lying”

14:23 – replace “words” with “word”

14:30 – remove “this”

16:3 – remove “unto you”

17:20 - replace “shall believe” with “believe”

20:29 – remove “Thomas”

           Two non-original readings outside the Gospels may serve (as representatives of a much larger number of readings) as examples of inaccuracies in the Textus Receptus that impact translation.  (1)  In Philippians 4:3, most manuscripts read Ναι (“Yes”) instead of Και (“And”) at the beginning of this verse.  (2)  In Colossians 1:6:  most manuscripts include the words καὶ αὐξανόμενον (“and growing”), a phrase which would be vulnerable to accidental loss due to its occurrence between the words καρποφορούμενον and καθως.

         The original readings listed here all have one thing in common:  they are doctrinally benign.  Everyone interested in maintaining the actual traditional text, and not a compilation marred by non-original scribal inventions, should accept these God-given readings, and reject the readings in the Textus Receptus that were concocted by scribes.  Whatever rationale KJV-Onlyists have had to prefer the Textus Receptus – sentimentality, the influence of propaganda, stability for stability’s sake, or whatever – should be outweighed by the rationale that prefers God-given readings over readings (or absences) made by scribes.  A thief does not become king by sitting on the king’s throne, even if he sits there a long time.      



Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Interview: Jeff Kloha of Museum of the Bible

     Did you know that the Museum of the Bible has a podcast, and that it often orbits the subject of New Testament textual criticism?  Recent interviews at the podcast have featured Tommy Wasserman, Juan Hernandez, and Michael Holmes.  Joining us today is Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, who serves as Chief Curatorial Officer at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., to tell us more about the MotB podcast, Today at Museum of the Bible.  Which can be heard on Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, and IHeartRadio.

 ● Dr. Kloha, when did MotB’s podcast officially begin? 

 JK:  When COVID shut down the museum, we started posting the audio from the lectures over the past several years so that people had access to museum content online.  In June 2021 we started the interview format, which we now try to post weekly.

 ● Over the course of about 90 episodes so far, the podcast has covered a pretty eclectic mixture of Bible-related topics.  Textual critics interviewed include Elijah Hixson, Peter Gurry, and more.  About how often do you expect to feature topics relevant to New Testament textual criticism?

 JK:  The theme, “Today at Museum of the Bible” reflects the wide variety of ways that people today are researching, teaching, and leading in areas related to the museum themes: the history, stories, and impact of the Bible.  The topics are eclectic because I interview people who visit them museum, or are there for a speaker series, or happen to be in Washington. We’ve had good response at the museum to topics related to manuscripts, translation, and archeology. And the museum’s Scholars Initiative sponsors two excavations in Israel and an imaging project at St. Catherine’s monastery at Mt. Sinai. So those topics do come up regularly in the podcast as well.

● Have you announced any new discoveries related to NT manuscripts on the podcast?  


JK:  No, we haven’t announced new discoveries on the podcast. In the interviews, I try to help convey to a general audience these interesting and sometimes esoteric topics. New discoveries would be announced first in a more formal setting, but we would certainly follow up with a podcast. One topic that we did discuss in a podcast is a revised transcription of the famous “Wyman Fragment” of Romans, which Daniel Stephens will be publishing in the next issue of New Testament Studies. We’ve been able to read more lines of text and individual letters after two rounds of multi-spectral imaging, and he also discusses the results of two C-14 tests. There aren’t any revolutionary findings in the article, but it is always helpful to refine the data and be more precise in what we know about the individual manuscripts.


● Repeatedly the podcast’s focus has been the Shroud of Turin.  Do you think the Shroud of Turin has been studied enough?


JK:  Many people, of course, will tell you that it has not.  There are some pretty intriguing unanswered questions. And as technology is refined and scientific testing becomes more precise, the right additional tests could answer some questions which currently do not have answers.  For example, the image on the Shroud has not been replicated at the same level of detail.  How was it produced?  Even if, somehow, it is connected to the resurrection of Jesus, how did that produce the image?  We’ve had a great response to that exhibit.  It is one of, if not the most, recognizable image of Jesus or any person from the Bible. So, people are familiar with it, familiar with the mystery of the object, and it gives an opportunity to point back to the ways that the Shroud reflects the descriptions of Jesus’ passion in the gospels.


● Is there one exhibit-item at MotB that gets more attention than all others? 

JK:  You mean other than Elvis’ Bible?  Individuals resonate with different items.  But some obvious highlights are the Washington Pentateuch, the P. Bodmer XXIV (Rahlfs 2110) Psalms papyrus, the beautiful, illuminated Hours and Psalter of Elizabeth de Bohun, and on the Impact of the Bible floor, a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1809 and the original manuscript draft of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  The breadth of the museum’s collections is impressive, and in one place you can see pretty much the entire history of the Bible, from Ancient Near Eastern backgrounds to the ongoing work of translation that is still happening today.


Dr. Jeffrey Kloha
Our collections web database features over 500 objects with images and descriptions.   [These include P39, illuminated manuscripts, GA 0250 (Codex Climaci Rescriptus) and various highlights.]


● One of your most interesting episodes (to me) was an interview with Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, about the history of Armenian Christians.  Will he return to the podcast when MotB opens the special Armenian exhibit next year?


JK:  Fr. Hovsep and the entire Armenian community has been wonderful to work with. In addition to Fr. Hovsep we featured Dr. Christina Maranci and Dr. Jesse Arlen on topics related to the Bible and the Armenian people. I’m sure we’ll talk with Fr. Hovsep again.


● Can you tell us what to expect from that upcoming exhibit?  


JK:  Armenians were the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion, and their beautiful alphabet was invented to create a written language for the Bible. Their liturgy, church architecture, and manuscripts are both familiar and also have a uniqueness to them. And the story of the history of Christianity among the Armenians is one of perseverance through many challenges: The Parthians, Islam, Mongols, Communism all attempted to stamp out Christian identity. And their resilience even through horrific events like the Armenian Genocide is inspiring. So, in way way, the exhibit will be a “history of the Bible” and “impact of the Bible” exhibition as expressed through the Armenian people.


● Will there be a new Armenian-exhibit-related book?    


JK:  We’re hoping to produce an exhibition guide for the project.  The exhibition will not feature any new finds or research projects.  The Matenadaran has an amazing collection and a very talented staff, and they are in the process of making their resources available more broadly. I really appreciate how the Matenadaran is on the highest hill in Yerevan, with the main boulevard leading up to it. It is a wonderful symbol of the centrality of the written word and the Scriptures to Armenian identity.


● When you interviewed Mark Gaither of CSNTM, he referred to four Greek manuscripts at MotB that a team from CSNTM has photographed.  Those are 0206, GA 1361, GA 2120, and Lect 2383.  Does MotB have more than those four?  What about minuscule 64? 


JK:  We have not imaged that manuscript because it is in fragile condition and will need extra care and time for imaging, more than the CSNTM team had time for.  The museum has received a grant to equip its own imaging lab, so we will make and release high-res images when that equipment is up and running.


● Is there a set of complete digital page-views of GA 1429 that could be made available online? 


JK:  Brian Hyland, one of our curators, has become quite expert at provenance research and tracing down tiny clues to complete a manuscript’s history. The page on our site gives a pretty detailed summary of Brian’s research, and our decision to return this manuscript to the monastery where it was used by the community prior to the terrible looting in 1917. We hope that other institutions with manuscripts from that monastery, including some in the U.S., also return the items in their holdings. 

            We believe that it is the right thing to do, and we were already in discussions with the Ecumenical Patriarchate for a collaboration. We are honored to display several manuscripts on loan from the Patriarchate as well as liturgical objects that show the connection between the biblical text and liturgical practices. So, it has blossomed into a great exhibition for our guests, and the monastery will have their manuscript back again. We will be returning the manuscript physically in late September during an event at the monastery.


● How much stuff does MotB have from the Schoyen Collection?  Will it be the focus on a future podcast-episode?


JK:  We have about a dozen objects that had been in the Schoyen collection previously, including the Wyman Fragment. On our collections database you can search the term “Schoyen” and see most of them. They were released by that collection, placed on the market, and have sufficiently documented ownership history that we can hold and display them.


● Dumbarton Oaks is only about a 15-minute drive from the Museum of the Bible.  Has MotB ever kicked around the idea of working out a co-operative venture with Dumbarton Oaks, displaying the manuscripts and other antiquities that are there?


JK:  One of the great things about Washington is the many museums, many of which have objects that are connected to the Bible and its impact. The National Gallery, of course, has a stunning collection of religious art.  The Walters Museum in Baltimore has a fantastic manuscript collection.  And Dumbarton Oaks has a surprisingly large and deep collection of Byzantine materials, including manuscripts.  Pre-COVID I talked with them about a few potential ideas. But whether those bear fruit or not, people can still head over there and see their collection (and gardens), which is worth a visit all on its own.


● Is there any chance of ever seeing Codex W at the MotB, or highlighted it at the podcast?


JK:   The Freer Gallery, unfortunately, does not display that manuscript.  They do have a full set of high-resolution images online.  But the manuscript is apparently in fragile condition and at this point they are not comfortable displaying it, let alone loaning it.


● Is MotB able to host special events or exhibits featuring items from American manuscript-collections, like the ones at Chicago and Duke?


JK:  Most of the loans are for special exhibitions.  So, if it makes sense for the content and goals of the exhibit, we reach out to institutions for potential loans.  One challenge that many people may not be aware of: almost all museums cap the length of manuscript loans at three months.  Parchment is a very durable material, of course, but travel and changes in relative humidity can cause parchment to buckle, which then may cause ink to flake off the surface.  So, loans for manuscripts are among the most difficult.  For the permanent galleries, we prefer to rely on items from our own collections.


● What subjects can we expect to be covered in 2022-2023 at the podcast?


JK:  In the fall we will have a special exhibition on the Samaritans, and for Christmas one on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem – two very interesting topics and great exhibitions.  There will definitely be some conversations about those.  And, in January we will be opening a special “Scripture and Science” exhibition, so again that will be an ongoing topic. And we are also adding lectures featuring archeologists and researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority—again, archeology is a popular and important topic. Beyond that, it will be pretty much whoever shows up at Museum of the Bible.


Thank you, Dr. Kloha, for sharing about Today at Museum of the Bible.