Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Some horrid typos in Sanders's Paul: A Very Short Introduction

I love E. P. Sanders, Paul: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2001) and always assign this little book as essential reading for my class on Life and Letters of Paul (itself formerly taught by Ed Sanders here at Duke).  In re-reading sections of it this term, I noticed some horrendous typos on one page.

In the table headed "Terminology for righteousness and faith" on p. 54, we see the following list of Greek transliterated words:

dikaistyne (righteousness, justification
diksios (righteous, just)
dikaisun (to justify)
pistis (belief, faith)
pistos (believing, faithful)
pistetein (to believe)

Only pistis and pistos are ok; the others should of course be dikaiosunē, dikaios, dikaioun and pisteuein.

I checked the older version of the book, Paul (Past Masters; Oxford: OUP, 1991) and there, in what is also a much nicer printing that is much more readable, the transliterations are accurate.  So it looks like the problem occurred in the typesetting of the new Very Short version.  I hope that they can correct this before the next printing -- it looks so horrible.


Tom Verenna said...

Typesetting is a pain. I've had to correct the copy-editor on a few occasions when reviewing 'Carpenter' pre-printing. Some were still in the HB edition even after I suggested corrections. This all came about when the copy-editor decided to use SPIonic instead of unicode (all the Greek had already been set to unicode). Always sad when you catch avoidable accidents like this.

Jim said...

any sort of careful editing will catch most such egregious blunders but in academic publishing such are just embarrassing.

AKMA said...

"Formally" or "formerly"?

Jens Knudsen (Sili) said...

"(itself formally taught by Ed Sanders here at Duke)"

I see what you did there. Either that, or the Bierce-Hartman-Skitt-McKean Law of Prescriptive Retaliation strikes again.


I'm trying to read Joel Watts' book, but the typos (I presume) are driving me up the wall.


How does this book compare to Pervo's The Making of Paul (if you know it)? I rather enjoyed that one, however loath I am praising a felon, I have to admit that I enjoy his writing.

Mark Goodacre said...

Ah, well spotted. That jumped up to bite me in the backside when I was complaining about typos! But it also beautifully illustrates the fluid nature of blog text in that it's now corrected and outside of this comments thread, no one would be any the wiser.

Mark Goodacre said...

Hadn't heard of that before, Sili. Googled for it and also came across "Muphry's law", which is kind of delightful.

Haven't read Pervo's new book yet.