We have completed the first round of grants from the Society’s reserves to projects which advance “education through study of and research into the New Testament and related writings” in the UK (from our Constitution), and have made four awards.
The successful bids received in the first round were each for £500, as follows:
Dr Alan Garrow (Sheffield Interdisciplinary Institute for Biblical Studies) will work with an information technology consultancy linked to the University of Leeds to explore the feasibility of applying Artificial Intelligence techniques including text analytics and natural language processing to understanding ancient scribal capability. This would then be used to test the plausibility of particular solutions to the Synoptic Problem. Once the project is complete, the analysis including the raw data behind it, would be openly accessible online.
Prof Chris Keith (St Mary’s University, Twickenham) will be able to bring a scholar from North America to give a key paper at a conference on ‘Cultures of Reading in the Ancient Mediterranean: Jews, Christians, Greeks, Romans’, 8-9 May 2020, organised by the St Mary’s Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible. The conference is bringing together classicists, and scholars of second temple Judaism and early Christianity, engaging with William A. Johnson’s model ancient ‘reading cultures’. The outputs will include an edited volume on the conference theme. The conference is open to scholars and research students in the UK. Details here.
Mr Anthony Royle (PhD student, Dublin City University) will work with the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin to provide leaflets to promote and enhance public engagement with the New Testament manuscripts held at the library, in conjunction with the 90th anniversary of the library’s purchase of the Pauline collection of manuscripts in 2021. Mr Royle will engage in qualitative research to assess the impact of these leaflets. Outputs from this project will be the leaflet for members of the public, and a paper proposed for the British New Testament Society meeting in 2021, with a view to publishing an article in a learned journal.
Mr Ethan Johnson, Ms Martina Vercesi, and Mr Taylor Gray (PhD students, University of St Andrews) will use funding to cover accommodation for three plenary speakers at a conference on ‘Aspects of Belief in Ancient West Asia and the Mediterranean Basin’ to be held at St Andrews, 3-5 June 2020, bringing together scholars of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, History, Archaeology, Philosophy, and Classics, including established scholars and early-career researchers. The conference is open to scholars and research students in the UK. Details here.
Note: a second round of funding is available. Read more here.