Saturday, March 17, 2007

Is BAR really this unprofessional? Or am I this clueless?

I must say, up front, that I really enjoy reading Biblical Archeology Review magazine (BAR for short). The variety of articles (especially now that it has combined with its sister publication, Bible Review) has always been valuable. I have shared the magazine with some fellow believers and we all find the material noteworthy, even when the authors' belief systems disagree with our own.

But the March/April 2007 edition had an obvious error that gave me pause as to the level of careful editing BAR receives--or the careful attention to detail that the authors give. Twice, on pages 42 and 45, author Vassilios Tzaferis refers to the fish acrostic icthys as follows:

Ιησουζ Χρισιοζ Θεου Υιοζ Σωτηρ

Do you see what I see? Not only was Χριστος spelled wrong, without the tau, but the final sigmas were replaced with zetas.

I am not a Greek scholar, but I have studied Koine Greek for one whole year (and all the proper Greek scholars can laugh at me now). And while handwritten Greek letters can be difficult to read, especially if you don't know the language, I would have thought the editors would have caught this. (Here, I am giving the benefit of the doubt to Tzaferis, although it is possible he could have gotten this wrong.)