Do We Have the Original Text? Some Optimism in Textual Criticism

textual criticism

Over the last few decades, the world of textual criticism has had a less than an optimistic feel about it.  While the central purpose of textual criticism has traditionally been the recovery of the “original” text (regardless of whether one is dealing with the New Testament or any ancient text), some are now suggesting that it should not necessarily be the goal of the discipline.  Bart Ehrman, commenting on the attempts to recover the original text, declares, “It is by no means self-evident that this ought to be the goal of the discipline…there may indeed be scant reason to privilege the ‘original’ text over forms of the text that developed …

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Is the Church over the Bible or is the Bible over the Church?

Codex Sinaiticus

It is well known that misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the origins of the NT (and OT) canon abound on the internet. Da Vinci Code style claims are in plenteous supply–ranging from the claim that the Council of Nicea established the NT canon to the claim that apocryphal gospels were as popular (if not more so) than the canonical gospels.

Of course, if one were to respond to each and every erroneous claim on the internet there would be time for little else. But every now and then, an article combines so many misconceptions about the canon is a single place, that a response is warranted. This is the case with the …

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Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: A Festschrift for Larry Hurtado

Larry Hurtado

It is now public knowledge that there is a new Festschrift coming out for my friend and doktorvater at the University of Edinburgh, Larry W. Hurtado.  It is entitled: Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism (T&T Clark, 2014). Originally the big announcement was going to be made at SBL this November (with all the contributors present), but the cat was accidentally let out of the bag early.

The collection of essays in this new volume, edited by my fellow Edinburghers, Chris Keith and Dieter Roth, are centered around the themes of the Gospel of Mark, ancient Manuscripts, and early Christology–three subject areas that have dominated Larry’s research. While most of the …

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Two Recent Reviews of “The Early Text of the New Testament”

EarlyText-cover

I was pleased to see two recent positive reviews of my co-edited volume (with Chuck Hill), The Early Text of the New Testament (Oxford, 2012).  As a side note, the book is now out in paperback for only $45 (which I mentioned in a prior post here).

Over at the Review of Biblical Literature, Amy Donaldson concludes her review:

For anyone interested in the early text of the New Testament, the state of research, and further avenues of study in this topic, this book is a valuable introduction and reference tool.  For those interested in specific books of the New Testament or patristic authors, the individual chapters on

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