Goettingen: Day 10

DSCF3129My time in Goettingen has been very profitable thus far. I have scanned or photographed most of the necessary manuscripts (mss) for my project (of course one can’t have too many, but I think I have the important ones).

Dr. Gentry and I took a trip to Koeln (Cologne) on the 20-21,  in order to meet Professor Hagedorn and his wife Ursula Hagedorn. They would probably not approve of my high praise of their hospitality and help, so I will keep it brief. We arrived in Koeln and were met by the Hagedorns, who happily drove us to our hotel so that we could check in. Then we drove to their house, where they served us one of the best home cooked meals I have had in Germany. Then we proceeded to “talk shop,” and for me and the Hagedorns, that means the Catena of Job 🙂 [catena: chain in Latin, the comments from the church fathers are “chained” together]. Their work space is in the upstairs of their house. They have one room for work (Kollationen!) and another room where they store the microfiche of the manuscripts and other relevant sources. It was very clean and everything was in its place when we arrived. I asked questions and received valuable answers to them. Midway through the visit, they wanted to make sure that I had all I needed to complete my project. They loaned me the microfiche of their ms U (Ra 3005), which is a very important ms for the project, since it is an accurate witness to the oldest catena of Job and the hexaplaric readings contained therein, and it is not available at the Septuagint Institute in Goettingen. They then proceeded to ask if Dr. Gentry and I had their works on the Job catena, published by De Gruyter. Dr. Gentry had the first of the four volumes, and I had the ones from Southern’s library :). Amazingly, they gave me volumes 2, 3, and 4 (they did not have any copies of volume 1 left) and Dr. Gentry volumes 2 and 3. This is an amazing gift to a poor PhD student. When I thought they could not do any more for us, they invited us to dinner on the Rhine river and bought us dinner. We only spent a day with them, but I will never forget them nor their generous hospitality to me. I hope our paths will cross again.

We also had a chance to give them Ra 476 (a catena ms containing Job), which Dr. Gentry had acquired, and they were very happy to have it. I’m sure I will have questions about it in the weeks and months to come, which I will send to Professor Hagedorn, and I’m sure he will be more than happy to respond.

One closing reflection is in order. During our time with the Hagedorns, it was absolutely evident that they wanted to encourage and help a young scholar such as myself. They were excited to see someone studying and using their materials, which they had worked so hard to produce, and someone who was trying to bring more light to some of the same old questions. Let’s be mindful of the shoulders we stand on, and when, Lord willing, we are in that position, let’s be very quick to encourage young scholars in their work in any way we can. I will never forget my visit with the Hagedorns in June 2011. I hope I never forget the measure of encouragement they have extended to me since I began corresponding with them.

Göttingen Trip: June 13-28

I have the privilege of traveling to Göttingen, Germany for dissertation research (“A Critical Edition of the Fragments of Origen’s Hexapla: Job 22-42”; Hexapla Institute) at the Septuaginta-Unternehmen.

I am very grateful to Southern Seminary for providing the external studies grant, which makes this trip possible. It is great to see that this school is providing financial support for its students to carry out this type of research.

I have been working on my dissertation for about a year now, and I have completed the text and apparatus for Job 22-38. During this time, I have logged a number of questions, which can only be decided by looking at the manuscripts directly; therefore, the best course of action is to be in the place which has archived all of the microfiche and photographs of all of the relevant manuscripts. Also, through the course of studying the textual witnesses, I have come to see which witnesses are the most important. I will scan these mss so that I can check them at later stages.

Deo uolenti, I also will be meeting Professor Dieter Hagedorn in Cologne (Köln). Professor Hagedorn has published a number of works, which are absolutely essential to my research (Olympiodor, Diakon Von Alexandria – Kommentar Zu Hiob; Johannes Chrysostomos Kommentar Zu Hiob; Die Alteren Griechischen Katenen Zum Buch Hiob to list a few). Professor Peter Gentry put me in email correspondence with Professor Hagedorn this past December. I have emailed him at least once or twice a week since then, and he has been a faithful correspondent to reply to each of my questions, often emailing whatever pictures of the mss he had at his disposal. I look forward to meeting him in person on June 20th to discuss some of my questions in person.

I will try to post each day of the trip so stay tuned for updates.

Home again, Home Again…

Well, we arrived last night into Louisville, safe and sound, praise and thanks to our Lord.  The trip had no obstacles to report and was smooth as could be expected.

We accomplished everything we needed to accomplish, so praise and thanks to the Lord for that.  I acquired all the information pertaining to the mss of Job, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs that we needed.  I read through all of the CPA and Dr. Gentry and I collated about half of the material on the plane and during the lay over in Atlanta, and we will finish it next week sometime.  Dr. Gentry had most all of his final questions pertaining to his edition answered by the Leiter.  It was a very productive trip, and I’m already thinking about how to make it happen again :).

But I’m so glad to be home again with my wife and daughter.

Goettingen Day 5

Well, we are coming to the end of our trip.  In fact if I get a chance to post tomorrow, it will have to be from Frankfurt in the evening.  We leave Goettingen sometime between 1:15 and 3:15 PM tomorrow afternoon so that we can make our early morning flight on Wednesday.

Well, I went to get the broetchen again this morning.  I think I did a better job of communicating, but I am certainly the English speaker in a foreign land :).  The picture below is of the baeckerei to which I went every morning.  Not sure if we will get rolls for lunch tomorrow since our departure time is close to lunch.  I hope I taste that goodness one more time :).

The picture to the right is of the St. Albani Kirche, where the church service was held.  It is a beautiful building.

I also have some pictures of where I have been working the past week.  The stand up desk behind me was actually Alfred Rahlfs’.  I found it to be pretty neat.

Well, I will finish the CPA tomorrow.  Basically, I have Eccl. 12:1-2 to read through, and then I will be in a position to collate the the CPA of Eccl. to Gentry’s edition.  It has been an interesting exercise in methodology, since we have chosen to collate a daughter version to a nearly finished critical edition, rather than collating the daughter version to the collation book from the start.  I’m actually checking a previous collator as I work through the CPA, and I’m correcting some mistakes he made.  But I’m in a better position to do this because I’m collating the version to the edition, not to the collation book, which sometimes but not always agrees with Gentry’s lemma.  Thus, I start by comparing the CPA with Gentry’s reconstruction of the OG.  Most times the CPA agrees with this Version, but sometimes it does not.  When it does not, the CPA usually agrees with one of the variant readings and its place in the text history can be discerned clearly.  In a couple places, CPA agrees with the Syro-hexapla and these two witnesses are the only witnesses to a particular variant, which is interesting, since these are two Aramaic versions of the LXX.  This may indicate a genetic relationship, but with the Versions it is always difficult to prove these relationships.  Anyways, now I’m rambling on and on, and I need to get back to work.

I will also finish scanning and photographing mss. tonight and tomorrow.  I think I will sleep well tomorrow night :).

Goettingen Day 4

Today, I had time to learn more about German culture.  My day started with Dr. Gentry calling and asking me to pick up the broetchen (rolls or small bread) on my own.  I have observed him do it the last three days and so I thought I could give it a shot.  I just needed to order vier broetchen bitte “four rolls please” and ask for a receipt mit cassenbon bitte “with a receipt please.”  The awkward part happened when she gave me the look of, “will that be all for you today?, and I had no response for this.  I think I said something like genau “exactly” when I should of said something like das ist  genug “that is enough.”  Anyways, it was exciting and I plan on doing it again tomorrow.

After this errand, we went to an ecumenical church service between the local baptist and lutheran churches in town.  There were some parts liturgical and some parts contemporary.  It was all in German so I did not understand much of it, but the singing was fun and I was trying to translate the lyrics.

After church we hopped on a train for Northeim Germany (10 minute train ride north of Goettingen) to eat lunch with a wonderful Christian German family that Dr. Gentry knows from previous visits.  They graciously paid for our meal and drove us from the restaurant back to Goettingen.  It was a wonderful time and I will not forget the generosity extended.

When we returned to the Institute, I immediately set out to work on the mss.  and the CPA.  I have only one fragment left of the CPA, which can be split over the two days left.  So I’m on target here.  I have still more mss. to look at.

I still need to walk by Walter Bauer’s house to check it out.  I like that Germany memorializes these scholars by placing plaques on their houses with the scholar’s name and area of expertise.  Then in the case of the Lagarde Haus at least, the discipline is carried on in the house.  It’s wonderful, really.

Goettingen Day 3

Well, I do not have a lot of time to write, but I wanted to mention a few things.

In terms of research, it looks like I will meet my goals for this trip.  I have a manageable chunk of the CPA left, which I should finish on Tuesday morning and I will collate it with Dr. Gentry’s edition on the plane ride home :).  Although there is a paucity of CPA material for Ecclesiastes, it has been interesting to see how it translated the Greek text.  I have found a few interesting variants that I might share later.

I’m still working at tracking down the mss for Job, and so far there has been success here.  I hope I have enough time to finish :).  Dr. Gentry also has me working on Ecclesiastes mss.  If I get all of this done, there is yet another project I can do for him [updating the Gregory of Agregentius commentary in the apparatus].  The edition is due out this year, so I guess this is what you call crunch time.

Today, we went to the market and bought some Wurst and broetchen for lunch.  I’m becoming a connoisseur 🙂 since I can now taste the difference between good Wurst and better Wurst.  After this we ran our usual errands, but we had to plan ahead since on Sunday the stores are closed.  About the only thing we will buy tomorrow will be the broetchen for dinner.

I hope to get out and walk around sometime, but with the combination of less than desirable weather and lots of work to do, so far I have not managed to get out to see all I have wanted to see.

Goettingen Day 2

Well, I slept soundly from 6:30 PM to 5:00 AM this morning.  I’m told that “jet lag” sometimes wakes one up in the middle of the night for an hour or so and then one can fall sleep again.  However, I did not have this problem :).  The Lord caused me to sleep well and he gave me a fairly productive day considering the learning curve.  I had to find alot of light switches in the dark in the Lagarde Haus, take my first shower in Germany [not any different than in the US], ready and eat breakfast etc.  Shortly after this, Dr. Gentry and I went to get the daily bread.  There is a bakery not five minutes walk from the Unternehmen, where we buy fresh bread every day.  The bread was very tasty with cheese or with honey.

Today, I began work on the Christian Palestinian Aramaic fragments (CPA of Ecclesiastes (5th-8th C).  It is basically Syriac, but it has a slightly different script and its morphology is different in places, but overall it is not much more difficult to read than Syriac.

The Unternehmen has three Job mss. that I will be able to use for my research, which is exciting.  More on that at a later time.

Notes on Germany. The weather here reminds me of New England in the winter.  It is dark and overcast and cool (-0.8 C) during the day.  Unfortunately this makes the walks into town a little less enjoyable than they could be, but I still find the town to be quite beautiful.  I have yet to take my camera out, but I hope to do so in the next couple of days.  Saturday and Monday look like they will be clearer, but we shall see.

For now, I must get back to the research.  Tschuss.

In Goettingen Safe and Sound

Well, we arrived in Germany this morning at 1:20 AM Eastern Time, 7:20 Frankfurt time.  The Lord blessed our travels by working things out for us to catch the next immediate ICE (Intercity-Express) train with a direct route to Goettingen.  The plane was on time and our luggage was near the front of the line, so we were able to make the 8:45 train, rather than wait two hours for the next train.

By 12:30 PM Goettingen time we were settled at the Septuaginta-Unternehmen and then we went to buy groceries.  This errand is a little different here than at home, since we only buy groceries for one day at a time.  We bought what we needed for today and tomorrow morning, but we will go back to Kaufland (Shopland) for the rest of tomorrow’s groceries.

All in all it was a productive day.  Now, we need to stay awake until 6:30-7:00 and get a full night’s sleep and Lord willing tomorrow begin those research projects :).

Thanks for your prayers and may you continue praying for us.

Departure for Goettingen Today

Well, only in the providence of God would it happen that a young aspiring Septuagint scholar, like me, would have the opportunity to visit the Septuaginta-Unternehmen in Goettingen, Germany (this is the “Mecca” of LXX studies).  I’m accompanying Peter Gentry for the next week and he will be putting me to work on collating the few fragments of Ecclesiastes preserved in the Christian Palestinian Aramaic version for his critical edition.  In addition to this task, I will also be trying to track down some Catenae mss. for my own project on the Hexapla of Job.  Nancy Woods has finished the Hexapla for Job 1-21 and she made great use of the Goettingen edition by Ziegler and the new edition by the Hagedorns (The Nachlese), but she listed some “unused mss,” which were not collated or used by either Ziegler or the Hagedorns.  I want to track down as many of these mss. as I am able so that our work on Job will be complete in this area.  I also look forward to walking around Goettingen and taking in as much as is possible in one week :).

Please pray for safe travels for me and Dr. Gentry and pray that our short trip (Jan. 13-20) will be very productive.  I will post if the research becomes interesting.