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Garry Jost Presents at International Conference

Dr. Garry Jost presented at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion in Baltimore in November 2013.

These are among the world's largest meetings for biblical and religious studies scholars, with approximately 10,000 scholars in attendance.

Dr. Jost and a colleague from University of Manchester, England, presented A Preliminary Report on the Families of Manuscripts for the Ethiopic Book of Obadiah. The research project transcribed 33 manuscripts of Obadiah written in Ge'ez, the ancient language of Ethiopia and the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.  The manuscripts date from the 14th through 20th centuries.  In addition, the project identified textual variants in order to group the manuscripts according to their shared variants.

Dr. Jost provided computer scripts to do the following: calculate the percentage of agreement between each manuscript and each other manuscript; color code the values; generate a dendrogram (a tool from the field of statistics based on hierarchical clustering); determine which readings in the text are best able to identify a manuscript's family; determine the "family profile" for each manuscript; and identify which manuscript best represents each family.

Next steps in the project include a linguistic analysis of the variant readings found in the manuscripts.

Garry Jost teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Marylhurst University. His areas of expertise include biblical languages, biblical interpretation, Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and the history and faith of Judaism.

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