Thursday, June 14, 2012

James R. Royse's Technological Journey

In 2008, James R. Royse published Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri, which is a revised and updated version of his dissertation that he completed at the Graduate Theological Union in 1981 for the requirements of a Th.D.

In the preface he notes "one favorable aspect of the delay" of publication:
One favorable aspect of the delay is that the technological means at my disposal for producing the work have improved greatly. I was pleased in 1980-81 to be able to use an IBM Selectric typewriter with both Greek and Latin elements, to interchange continually the elements, and to write by hand letters from Hebrew (such as the ubiquitous Aleph) and other languages. The days of using such antique hardware for a work such as this seem now to lie closer to the days when one used papyrus for the writing material than to the present. The years of revision of the dissertation have permitted me to transfer the text into various forms, and I have produced the final version using Nota Bene 8.oc running on a PC with a 1.91 Ghz CPU (already outmoded hardware, I fear). Indeed, the ability to edit the text freely without laborious re-typing has perhaps made it possible for me to complete this work, and there can be no doubt that the accuracy of the work has been enhanced by such means.
–James R. Royse, Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri, xiv-xv.

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