Acton Institute Powerblog

A Second Renaissance?

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

Sunday’s Independent has three pieces on the recent application of technological advances to ancient manuscripts, which are making readable previously illegible manuscripts. According to the paper, “infra-red technology has enabled hundreds of ancient Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems, composed by classical greats such as Sophocles, Euripides and Hesiod, to be deciphered for the first time in 2,000 years.”

Also thought to be contained in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri are early copies of Christian texts, possibly including gospel accounts. Examples of the classical texts discovered are the only surviving lines from Epigonoi (“The Progeny”), a tale of the siege of Thebes by by Sophocles (495-405 BC):

Speaker A: . . . gobbling the whole, sharpening the flashing iron.

Speaker B: And the helmets are shaking their purple-dyed crests, and for the wearers of breast-plates the weavers are striking up the wise shuttle’s songs, that wakes up those who are asleep.

Speaker A: And he is gluing together the chariot’s rail.

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Comments