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<< Return to SBL Forum Archive A New Resource: Online Critical Pseudepigrapha

The SBL is delighted to welcome a dynamic and significant online resource into its Publications program: the Online Critical Pseudepigrapha (http://www.purl.org/net/ocp ). The OCP offers free access to electronic critical texts of the Old Testament pseudepigrapha and related literature. In addition to providing multilingual texts of select works, allowing users to view the evidence in all the extant languages simultaneously and side by side, the OCP presents textual variants through a dynamic interface that allows readers not only to view the textual variants for any section of text but also to view the running text of a given manuscript. The OCP also provides annotated listings of the textual witnesses to and printed editions of the pseudepigraphal texts included on the site.

The OCP was conceived in 2004 under the leadership of its current project directors and general editors: Ian W. Scott (Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, Canada); Ken M. Penner (Acadia Divinity College, Wolfville, NS, Canada); and David M. Miller (Briercrest College and Seminary, Caronport, SK, Canada). The OCP is also served well by a distinguished project review board, whose members include James H. Charlesworth, Craig A. Evans, and Robert Kraft.

In the short time since its inception, the OCP has posted a considerable number of critical texts. Pseudepigraphical texts presented with critical apparatus include: Testament of Job; 1 Enoch (in process); and Testament of Adam (in process). Twenty-four additional texts are currently offered without a critical apparatus:

Testament of Abraham
Life of Adam and Eve
Letter of Aristeas
Aristeas the Exegete
Aristobulus
Artapanus
2 (Syriac Apocalypse of) Baruch
3 (Greek Apocalypse of) Baruch
4 Baruch (Paraleipomena Ieremiou)
Cleodemus Malchus
Eldad and Modad
Eupolemus
Apocryphon of Ezekiel
Ezekiel the Tragedian
History of the Rechabites
Jubilees
Lives of the Prophets
3 Maccabees
4 Maccabees
Philo the Epic Poet
Pseudo-Eupolemus
Psalms of Solomon
Testament of Solomon
Theodotus


Finally, several other documents are currently under preparation: Ben Sira; Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs; Sibylline Oracles; and the nonsectarian Aramaic pseudepigrapha from Qumran.

The process of creating an electronic text is relatively simple but extremely demanding in terms of the time, expertise, and attention to detail required. For example, editors, typically (1) digitize a base-form of the text; (2) collate and tag manuscript variants into a single XML (Extensible Markup Language) document; (3) prepare additional resources, including a description of the document's textual history, a bibliography of scholarship on the document, and a list of other online resources relevant to the study of the document; and, in some cases, (4) prepare a new eclectic text for the document. The job is not finished even then, however, since each document is examined by a member of the project review board and carefully proofread against the print edition of the standard text being reproduced. Helpful "Text Status" descriptions with each pseudepigraphal text allow users to monitor the progress of each document and ensure that they are using completely reliable texts.

The SBL applauds the initiative and devotion of all those involved with making the OCP the best online resource for critical pseudepigraphal texts and takes great pride in adopting the OCP as an electronic publication of the Society. We invite members and nonmembers alike to visit the OCP website in the very near future and to welcome this resource as an important part of the SBL Publications program. For further information, please contact Ian W. Scott , Ken Penner , David Miller , or Bob Buller .

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Citation: , " A New Resource: Online Critical Pseudepigrapha," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited Sept 2006]. Online:http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=599

 
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