Summer Scholar: Touching the Ancient Texts

Professor Graeme Bird and student Sarah Seibert examine an ancient text.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories exploring what Gordon professors are up to in between semesters.

Graeme Bird, associate professor of linguistics and classics, has always been fascinated by the ancient stories and their modern meanings. And his students can’t help but catch his vision, as the Gordon Tartan recently reported. From June 13-16, he travels to Texas as part of his scholarship on rare and biblical texts. Here’s some of what Bird said about the trip:

“I’ll be going to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, with a current and a former student, recent graduate Paul Johnson, history major, who currently teaches Latin at a school in Malden, Mass., and sophomore Sarah Seibert who has studied two years of New Testament Greek at Gordon. They are two of only 20 successful applicants at the Logos at Baylor program, and the workshop is part of their summer institute for students interested in textual scholarship and Christian apologetics.

The purpose of the one-week seminar on Papyrology (among other things) is to learn about the handling and interpretation of ancient papyrus manuscripts. The two students each won a scholarship to participate in the weeklong workshop, and the event is directly related to Gordon’s loan of an 1800-year-old papyrus of Homer’s Iliad. I imagine part of the session will involve instruction in the construction and transmission and proper handling of ancient manuscript, as well as how to decipher them and work out their dates, from examination of different letter shapes and styles, etc.  But I’m keen to find out.”

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