Bible as Notepad

Bible as Notepad is a conference that gathers an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars to study notes, comments, and scribbling, in biblical and related manuscripts.


10.12.2014 - 09:00 to 12.12.2014 - 14:00

Whereas the Bible is among the world’s most studied books, most scholars are primarily occupied with its textual contents, and most editors of biblical texts concentrate on the text found within manuscripts’ columns. However, annotations are found in manuscripts cross-culturally and the notes may sometimes shed new light on the development of text traditions and historical engagement with biblical manuscripts. These other categories of writing on manuscript folios and the cultural practices that produced them have not received the attention they deserve. Hence, the Bible as Notepad conference will address annotations in different manuscript and language traditions, the various relationships
between text in the column and notes in the margins, and the roles and functions of annotated manuscripts as cultural artifacts, exploring – empirically and theoretically - the various practices that produced them.

The invited speakers include scholars of codicology, religious and biblical studies, Dead Sea Scrolls, church and book history from Israel, the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway.

The conference will take place 10-12 December 2014 at MF Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo, Norway.

Bible as Notepad is organized by Liv Ingeborg Lied and Matthew P. Monger at MF Norwegian School of Theology in cooperation with the research project ‘Biblical’ Texts Older than the Bible, The Norwegian Bible Society, and The Schøyen Collection.

The conference is sponsored by Fritt Ord, MF Norwegian School of Theology, ‘Biblical’ Texts Older than the Bible and The Norwegian Bible Society.

Bible as Notepad will be open to a limited audience.


Wednesday 10 December
9.00 Formal opening - Rector Vidar L. Haanes
9.15 Liv Ingeborg Lied “Introductory reflections: Bible as notepad”
9.45 Marilena Maniaci “Written evidence in the Italian Giant Bibles: Around and beyond the sacred text”
10.45 Coffee break
11.00 Ted Erho "A classificatory survey of marginalia in Ethiopic Old Testament manuscripts"
12.00 Lunch
13.00 James R. Davila “Notes in the text? The unique secondary readings in MS Leiden Or. 4730’s text of the Hekhalot Rabbati”
14.00 Loren Stuckenbruck “Marginal notes on the liturgical use of Enoch in the Ethiopian tradition”
16.30 Exhibit of annotated manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection. By invitation only
20.00 Dinner

Thursday 11 December
09.00 Patrick Andrist “Notes, graffiti and paratexts in the manuscripts of the Greek Bible. Some theoretical questions“
10.00 Malachi Beit-Arié “Glosses by users of Hebrew handwritten books”
11.00 Coffee break
11.15 Michael Philip Penn “Commenting on Chalcedon”
12.15 Lunch
13.30 Mor Polycarpus Augin Aydin “The poetic art of East and West-Syriac colophons”
14.30 Jeff Childers “Divining Gospel: Classifying manuscripts of John used in Sortilege”
15.30 Coffee break
16.00 Hindy Najman “‘Philologie der Philosophie’: Revisiting the limits and possibilities of philology”
17.00 Otfried Czaika “Used theological and spiritual books in Scandinavia ca 1450-1600”
18.00 Exhibit of Scandinavian bibles Hans-Olav Mørk
19.00 Dinner

Friday 12 December
09.00 Daniel Falk “Marginal marks in Psalms scrolls and liturgical manuscripts from Qumran”
10.00 Break
10.15 Kipp Davis “Margins as media: The long insertion in 4QJer-a (4Q70)”
11.15 Break
11.30 Årstein Justnes and Torleif Elgvin “In the footsteps of the scribes of the great Isaiah scroll (1QIsa a)”
12.30 Closing remarks
13.00 Lunch
14.00 End of conference


Subscribe to the conference by using the form below:

By registering you will receive conference materials, coffee, tea and snacks.

Prices including all meals: NOK 1500,-
Prices without meals: NOK 300,-

For more information, please contact Matthew P. Monger at: