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Archive for the ‘Textual Criticism’ Category

A Bibliography of Greek New Testament Manuscripts: Third Edition

In Brill, Garrick V. Allen, James Keith ELLIOTT, Manuscripts, New Testament, Textual Criticism on October 21, 2015 at 10:28 am

garrick elliott

2015.10.21 | James Keith Elliott. A Bibliography of Greek New Testament Manuscripts: Third Edition. NovTSup 160. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Review by Garrick V. Allen, Institut für Septuaginta und biblische Textforschung, Wuppertal.

Many thanks to Brill Publishers for providing a MyBook paperback inspection copy.

The third edition of J. K. Elliott’s continued work on corralling the vast and ever expanding secondary literature relating to the manuscripts of the New Testament represents a valuable tool for textual critics and material philologists, among many others. Although it is impossible to create a fully comprehensive bibliography, the nearly fifty pages of abbreviations demonstrates that this volume, produced with the assistance of the IRSB at the Université de Lausanne, is as close as they come. The new edition includes all the material from previous editions and supplements[1] and has added relevant studies published since 2000 and other publications that were erroneously omitted from previous editions. Read the rest of this entry »

The Text of Galatians and Its History

In Galatians, Jordan Almanzar, Mohr Siebeck, Stephen C. Carlson, Textual Criticism on June 14, 2015 at 1:40 pm


2015.06.14 | Stephen C. Carlson. The Text of Galatians and Its History. WUNT II/385; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015. Pp. xiv + 308. ISBN 978-3-16-153323-5.

Review by Jordan Almanzar, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen.

Many thanks to Mohr Siebeck for providing a review copy.

Carlson’s study represents the first attempt to implement means and methods drawn from computational biology in reconstructing a critical text of the book of Galatians. To that end he collates and analyzes 92 witnesses and writes his own software that is able to analyze and interpret 1624 variation units in Galatians. Furthermore, his software was designed to account for significant levels of contamination in the manuscript tradition—something that has never before been done. But his study is not purely mechanical. Carlson is well aware of Zuntz’s warning about the pitfalls of purely statistical reconstructions of New Testament stemmata. Read the rest of this entry »

Arabic Manuscripts: A Vademecum for Readers

In Adam GACEK, Arabic Manuscripts, Brill, Manuscripts, Textual Criticism, Transmission history, W. Andrew Smith on December 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm

2013.12.24 | Adam Gacek.  Arabic Manuscripts: A Vademecum for Readers.  Leiden: Brill, 2011. xviii + 350 pages (with 216 ill. and 3 charts). ISBN 9789004221444.

Review by W. Andrew Smith, Shepherds Theological Seminary.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

If the term vademecum is unfamiliar, it refers to a handbook that is carried around at all times for consultation (from the modern Latin “go with me”).  With that in mind, Adam Gacek’s Arabic Manuscripts: A Vademecum for Readers most certainly qualifies as a guide that should be kept readily at hand by scholars interested in various aspects of the study of manuscripts. Gacek, who is a retired lecturer in Islamic Manuscript Studies from McGill University, introduces the vademecum with the qualifier that it is not intended to be a comprehensive manual, but rather “an aid to students and researchers” (xi).

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Contours in the Text

In Bloomsbury, Garrick V. Allen, Hebrew Bible, Jonathan D. H. NORTON, Josephus, Manuscripts, New Testament, Paul, Qumran, Romans, Scribal habits, Scripture, Second Temple, Septuagint, Textual Criticism on December 19, 2013 at 9:01 am


2013.12.23 | Jonathan D. H. Norton. Contours in the Text: Textual Variation in the Writings of Paul, Josephus and the Yahad. Library of New Testament Studies 430; London: T&T Clark, 2011. xiii + 210 pages (PB). ISBN 9780567521996.

Review by Garrick V. Allen, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for providing a review copy.

In this volume, Norton explores Paul’s reuse and awareness of multiple antecedent scriptural traditions in the textually pluriform environment of first century Palestine. His approach blends text-critical acumen and an awareness of exegetical issues in the contemporary discussion. His study “questions Paul’s awareness and encounter with textual plurality in Jewish scripture” (p. 1). Read the rest of this entry »

The Early Text of the New Testament

In Charles E. HILL, Early Christianity, Manuscripts, Michael J. KRUGER, New Testament, Oxford University Press, Papyrology, Peter Malik, Reception history, Textual Criticism, Transmission history on October 10, 2013 at 10:44 am


2013.10.20 | Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger (eds.). The Early Text of the New Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. xiv + 483 pages (HB) ISBN 9780199566365.

Review by Peter Malik, University of Cambridge.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

The present volume is comprised of twenty-two essays (including the extended introduction) written by a wide array of distinguished scholars under editorship of Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger. In the introductory essay entitled “In Search of the Earliest Text of the New Testament”, the editors set out “to provide an inventory and some analysis of the evidence available for understanding the pre-fourth century period of transmission of the NT materials” (p. 2). Read the rest of this entry »

BibleWorks 9

In Bible Works, Codex Sinaiticus, Critical Apparatus, Dan Batovici, Linguistics, Manuscripts, New Testament, Scribal habits, Scripture, Textual Criticism on July 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm


2013.07.14 | BibleWorks 9.

Review by Dan Batovici, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to BibleWorks for kindly sending us the review package.

BibleWorks is a rather visible product on the market of biblical softwares. The 9th version, reviewed here, offers a number of added elements, both in content and to the interface. With respect to the latter, among other features: a fourth column, a verse tab displaying critical notes or a critical apparatus for the verse under the mouse, a tagging tool for Greek NT morphology; I would also mention the set of transcription tools and search tools, which supports the new text-critical element of this software. With respect to content, BibleWorks 9 offers several additional modern Bible versions, the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine text with morphology, the Loeb Classical Edition versification for Josephus, the Moody Atlas of the Bible, and others.

For the present reviewer, the most important additions are the New Testament critical apparatus produced by the CNTTS (Center for New Testament Textual Studies) and the (first) results of the BibleWorks Manuscript Project; together, they open a whole new venue for the utilisation of this product.

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The Human Face of Textual Transmission

In Charles E. HILL, Early Christianity, Edgar Ebojo, Michael J. KRUGER, New Testament, Oxford University Press, Papyrology, Scribal habits, Textual Criticism on April 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm


2013.04.05 | Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger, eds., The Early Text of the New Testament. Oxford: OUP, 2012.  Xiv + 483 pages. HB. ISBN: 978-0-19-956636-5.

Review article by Edgar Battad Ebojo, University of Birmingham.

Many thanks to OUP for kindly providing us with a review copy.

This book is another provocative exploration of the text of the New Testament specifically in relation to the question of its character and quality of transmission as reflected in the earliest extant manuscripts (mostly papyri) dated within the first three centuries of Christian existence, hence, its title.  It is from this time-bound chronological perspective that the 21 articles, written by veteran and budding scholars from the various fields traversed in the book, were impressively and cogently composed, aiming to examine and asses what the text of the NT might have looked like in the earliest surviving manuscripts (and how the NT text [or specific portions of it] was eventually perceived by some of the early Christian writers) in comparison to [and disjunction from] the text of the NT that is now widely known to the modern readers through the printed critical texts. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael P. Theophilos, “On the Pronunciation and Interpretation of ‘Biblical Greek’: A Re-assessment in Light of the Papyri”

In Cambridge, Early Christianity, Michael P. THEOPHILOS, Oxyrhynchus, Papyrology, Samuli Siikavirta, Scribal habits, SEMINAR REPORTS, Textual Criticism on November 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm

This is a report on a paper presented by Dr. Michael P. Theophilos, Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Australian Catholic University, at the New Testament Senior Seminar, Cambridge, 6 November 2012.

Report by Samuli Siikavirta, University of Cambridge.

The programme of the New Testament Seminar at Cambridge can be found here.

One might assume that a Greek-speaking academic with the name Theophilos might be biased when it comes to the pronunciation of Koine Greek. Dr Michael P. Theopilos’ case clearly supported by manuscript evidence, however, made many convinced of or at least interested in the advantages of Modern Greek pronunciation over against the traditional Erasmian pronunciation (or, pronunciations) prevalent in Western academia.

Theophilos began with the common misconception that since we have no exact knowledge of how New Testament Greek was pronounced in its day, the default Erasmian pronunciation is our best option. He laid out some of the scholarship on Greek pronunciation, of which there is no lack. Many scholars, however, such as E.P. Petrounias, fail to note the witness offered by Egyptian papyri (‘The Pronunciation of Ancient Greek: Evidence and Hypotheses’, in A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity [ed. A.-F. Christidis; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001], 545-555.). Read the rest of this entry »

Early Christian Manuscripts: Examples of Applied Method and Approach

In Amulets, Brill, Dan Batovici, Early Christianity, Egypt, New Testament, Oxyrhynchus, Papyrology, Patristics, Reception history, Scripture, Textual Criticism, Thomas KRAUS, Tobias NICKLAS on June 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm

2012.06.13 | Thomas J. Kraus and Tobias Nicklas, eds. Early Christian Manuscripts: Examples of Applied Method and Approach. Texts and Editions for New Testament Study 5. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2010. xx + 243 pp. ISBN: 9789004182653.

Reviewed by Dan Batovici, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to Brill for kindly providing us with a review copy.

This volume is intended as a papyrological follow-up of a previous volume, New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World, published in the same series (TENT 2) in 2006. It features nine articles forming nine chapters varying in size between 15 and 45 pages. Read the rest of this entry »

The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology

In Edgar Ebojo, Oxford University Press, Papyrology, Roger S. BAGNALL, Textual Criticism on May 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

2012.05.10 | Roger S. Bagnall, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.  Xxiv + 688 pages. £95.00 (hardback) and £32.50 (paperback). ISBN: 9780199843695.

Reviewed by Edgar Ebojo, University of Birmingham. 

RBECS would like to thank OUP for kindly providing us with a review copy.

One of the most outstanding inventions of ancient Egypt was the making of a writing material manufactured from the papyrus plant—an indisputable natural treasure of ancient Egypt. As early as 3000 B.C., hand-processed sheets and rolls of papyrus provided an ideal surface for writing with reed pen and cakes of carbon black and red ochre pigment. Read the rest of this entry »