Daily Gleanings: Miracles (21 October 2019)

Michael Kruger tackles arguments against miraculous events like Jesus’s resurrection based on their low probability of occurrence.

A main point to which Kruger returns is that the interpretation of any given event as miraculous (or not) “is contingent on a person’s overall worldview and the assumptions they make about reality.”

For the balance of Kruger’s discussion, see his original post. For related discussion of Hume by Craig Keener, see this post.

How to Easily Edit and Unedit Zotero Notes

Zotero makes it very easy to edit notes when you need to customize them beyond what a particular style allows. Unediting notes is also very simple, but it is less immediately clear how to do it.

What Goes In and What Comes Out

If you manage citations in Zotero, you should always double check whether you’re getting the correct output for your style requirements.

In many cases, it will be. In some, it might not be.

But when a citation isn’t quite right, I normally find I haven’t put something into Zotero as I needed to.

So before you manually edit notes, try to save yourself some effort. See if you can simply adjust your Zotero records to allow the software to give you the output you need.

Some particular examples might include cases where you’re citing

Zotero’s rich text options can also be helpful since you can use them to refine formatting both in Zotero records and in the citation dialog.

But If You Need to Make Adjustments …

Sometimes though, you might still need to make adjustments to the final citation Zotero gives you.

This is particularly likely if you’re needing to observe a house style that Zotero doesn’t already support and you’re not able or inclined to learn how to create your own citation style file.

If you find yourself in this place, simply open whatever note you need to change in the Zotero editor.

If you’re using the default citation dialog, you’ll need to click the “Z” icon on the left-hand side and choose “Classic View” before you can manually change the citation.

Zotero default citation dialog

After you have the classic citation editor open, click “Show editor” in the bottom left-hand corner of the citation editor dialog box.

Zotero classic edit citation dialog

Once you do so, Zotero will open a miniature word processing box at the bottom of the citation dialog.

Zotero edit citation dialog with the manual editor shown

Simply make whatever changes you wish in this box, press “OK,” and Zotero will update your citation accordingly.

You can follow a similar process to edit specific entries in a Zotero-linked bibliography in your document, if you have one.

And If You Need to Get the Citation Back to How It Was?

So the Zotero editor allows you to make whatever custom changes you need for any given citation.

There is a downside to this process though. Once you manually edit a citation, that citation is “stuck” in that form.

Any changes to that resource’s record in your Zotero database won’t update the citation.

To get a citation that reflects what’s currently in your Zotero database, you could create a new citation and delete the old one that you edited.

But this can be cumbersome, especially if you’ve cited several sources together in a particular Zotero reference.

The better method is simply to edit the note you need to reconnect to your “live” Zotero database. To do so, reopen the classic citation editor, and delete the manually edited version of your citation.*

Press “OK” when prompted to acknowledge that the citation will be empty. And voila—Zotero will reprocess the note and relink it to the information currently in your database.

Using the Zotero edit citation dialog to relink a citation to live Zotero data


To save yourself work in the long run, its always best to avoid manually editing citations when working with Zotero.

But on those occasions where you need some custom output, simply follow the steps here to adjust notes and, if necessary, “give them back” to Zotero to handle automatically.

What editing do you find yourself doing most often in your Zotero notes?

* For this point, I’m grateful to adomasven via the Zotero forums.

Daily Gleanings: Textual Criticism (18 October 2019)

Peter Gurry discusses “a shorter Byzantine reading in the parable of the Prodigal Son”—particularly Luke 15:21. Along the way, he makes some insightful methodological comments along the way.

In particular,

In addition to its good external evidence, the shorter reading has a very obvious transcriptional explanation in parablepsis.

I imagine many will reject parablepsis as less likely than harmonization (so Metzger’s Commentary). But why should such an intentional change be more likely than the equally obvious but unintentional one? Certainly, scribes harmonize to the context. But, from my experience, they accidentally omit by parablepsis even more. Any look at a large apparatus bears this out on page after page. (italics original)

For the balance of Gurry’s discussion and a substantial thread of comments to go along with and provide differing evaluations of it, see the original post.

Daily Gleanings: Overwhelm (17 October 2019)

Michael Hyatt discusses how to stop feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s on your plate.

The possibility of experiencing overwhelm is certainly no stranger to those of us who have been in biblical studies for any length of time. So much of the discussion has pretty ready application to our context too.

That being said, some of it (e.g., the comments on delegation) may be less immediately applicable. But it’s still worth thinking creatively about different options that might be at your disposal.

For instance, instead of thinking about delegation only in terms of giving something to another person, you might find it helpful to think about delegating to software or a system. And that software or system could potentially be free or at least very cost effective.

A case in point might be using a reference and citation manager like Zotero.

Sure, you have to put some time into learning to use whatever tools you adopt. But if the tool will then do for you a good deal of what you would otherwise have to do manually for yourself, it might easily be time well spent.

Daily Gleanings: Ezekiel (16 October 2019)

According to Tommy Wasserman,

Another portion of the 2nd-3d-century Papyrus 967 (LXX, RA 967), discovered in 1931, that contains parts of Ezekiel, Esther and Daniel has now been digitized and is available on-line.

The newly digitized portion is of Ezekiel. For more information, including links to some of the images of 967, see Wasserman’s original post.

Daily Gleanings: Monastic Manuscripts (15 October 2019)

The Monastic Manuscript Project provides

a database of descriptions of manuscripts that contain texts relevant for the study of early medieval monasticism, especially monastic rules, ascetic treatises, vitae patrum-texts and texts related to monastic reforms. [L]ists of manuscripts for each of these texts[] are linked to manuscript descriptions. The purpose is to offer a tool for reconstructing not only the manuscript dissemination of early medieval monastic texts but also to give access to the specific contexts in which a text appears.

The database supports current edition projects and draws attention to understudied texts and the transmission of fragments, excerpts and florilegia.…

Most pages provide links to a number of web resources, such as manuscript catalogues, online texts and translations, digitized manuscripts and repertoria.

HT: Roger Pearse