Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Updates at Syri.ac: NT Apocrypha & New Bibliographical System

Syri.ac has been a leading online site for Syriac resources, and they just announced two improvements to the site. From their announcement:
First, we are excited to introduce a new page at http://syri.ac devoted to the study of the New Testament Apocrypha which can be found at http://syri.ac/ntapocrypha. This is a companion page to the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha page we announced several weeks ago. Hundreds of ancient documents have been have been classified over time under the rubric of 'New Testament Apocrypha' (or sometimes 'New Testament Pseudegpigrapha') — not even including the number of works found in the Nag Hammadi codices. These apocyrphal texts were produced over centuries and by diverse communities. The tenuous connections between them, as a genre or corpus, are either their attribution to apostlic authors or, in terms of content, the 'hidden' stories they reveal about Jesus, the Apostles, Mary, and other New Testement figures. These works, ranging from the 2nd century CE (Protoevangelium of James) to the Islamic period (Gospel of the 12 Apostles), represent both the inventiveness of late antique Christian writers and the popularity of such stories among their readers. Originally written for the most part in Greek or Latin, they were soon translated into Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, Georgian, etc., but many original compositions of Christian apocrypha, or variants on older stories, also originated in these languages. Later Syriac writers (such as Mor Jacob of Sarug among others) were not only familiar with the traditions found in these books, but the apocryphal stories inform the exegetical worldview of several different works in Syriac.
We based the page on the masterful research of M. Geerard, *Clavis Apocryphorum Novi Testamenti* (Turnhout: Brepols, 1992). The page provides information about all published resources on New Testament Apocrypha in Syriac, Arabic, and Garshuni. Many of the resources collected by Geerard are available in the public domain. Thus, we have expanded his work by giving hyperlinks directly to the pages of those resources which are publicly available.

We hope that this page will be a valuable resource for those seeking authoritative publications on NT Apocrypha in Syriac and Arabic. Furthermore, we hope that http://syri.ac can encourage new research on this rich literary tradition and foster fruitful dialogue between scholars working on Judaism, Biblical Studies, Quranic Studies, and the Syriac and Arabic literary traditions.
Second, we have developed a site-wide Bibliography, which can be found at http://syri.ac/bibliography. We are steadily converting all of our pages to this new system. Eventually, all of the individual citations we make throughout the site will have a place in the the site-wide bibliography. The goal is that the user not only has access to important resources on individual pages, but now can also easily access the full bibliographic record for the same important resources. Each bibliographic entry is able
to be recombinable in meaningful ways (e.g. the Works Cited list http://syri.ac/bibliography?f%5Bkeyword%5D=14 on the NT Apocrypha page). The site-wide bibliography is able to be searched, filtered, and sorted by multiple keywords. ...
The pages that have been converted to the new system are fully Zotero-aware, as are the individual bibliographical entries in the site-wide bibliography. If you use Zotero, you can now easily “suck down” any of the references we cite into your own Zotero library. Each entry can also be downloaded as a BibTex, RIS, or MARC file type. Several pages already make use of the new bibliographical system ... soon all the pages on the site
will make use of the new system and their citations will be added to the site-wide bibliography.

We think the new Bibliography offers a major new increase in functionality for users of the site. The Bibliography is not designed to replace the immense work done at the Comprehensive Bibliography on Syriac Christianity http://www.csc.org.il/db/db.aspx?db=SB, but has been built to present all materials cited on syri.ac. As always, we have tried to preserve the immediacy of links to publicly available works available on Archive.org http://archive.org/, which has been a hallmark of the site since the beginning.
Syri.ac is a great resource and reference, and these new enhancements only enhance its offering. I'm a big fan of Zotero, and the new Zotero-aware entries are appreciated.

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