Studies in the text of Acts (was: Languages for specific biblical books in TC)
- Ken Litwak wrote:
> Going back to D, I know the question of the text of Acts is veryIn a Ph.D. seminar on Textual Criticism, we've just finished (yesterday)
> complex, based on what readng I've done. I'd be interested in what
> othes think the most likely "solution" to this problem might be. Since
> trying to find Lukanisms in D seems to have not borne adequate fruit,
> some other approach to assessing the value of the readings of D seems in
> order but I haven't figured out a way, though I'm interested in
> Osborne's view (I think that's the right name). Thanks.
working through a series of monographs, most concerned with the 'Western'
text of Acts. My observations:
1.) James Ropes's offering in *The Beginnings of Christianity* provides a
very detailed (if dated) overview of all the pertinent textual material.
His thesis--that the Western text was the product of an intentional
rewriting of a fairly laconic earlier text (something like the text behind
B) to fit the needs of a primitive canon--while not ultimately proven, is
certainly interesting and suggestive. I thought Ropes's monograph was the
best of the bunch, but I'm the one who reviewed it, so I'm biased.
2.) Parker's *Codex Bezae: An Early Christian Manuscript and Its Text*
provides an extremely detailed study of the physical characteristics of
Bezae--the person who reviewed it referred to it as "an autopsy." The
detail is mind-numbing, the argument is difficult to follow, and the
reconstruction of the history of D seems to be a reach, at times.
3.) Epp's *Theological Tendency* provides a solid foundation for the later
work of Ehrman, Parsons, et. al. This is a terribly valuable work,
although Epp's not always consistent with his methodology.
4.) Wilcox's *Semitisms of Acts* doesn't seem to lead anywhere: Daryl
Schmidt has published an article--I think in NT Studies--on the
difficulties of attempting to categorize Semitisms, Septuagintalisms, etc.
The article focuses on Revelation, as I recall, but I think he's published
a similar paper on Acts. Or possibly he delivered it at a meeting--I can't
5.) Strange's *The Problem of the Text of Acts*, which I haven't
completely digested yet, offers a series of fascinating suggestions for how
the two texts originated. I'm not as taken with his central thesis--that
both texts came from Luke, published posthumously (spelling?) by his
friends. Luke wrote a history of the early Church, circulated it privately
to a small group of friends, then annotated one copy (via marginal notes,
etc.) according to his friends' suggestions. When he died, both copies
ended up in print: the pre-Western text includes the marginal
notes/comments, the pre-Alexandrian text doesn't.
Strange follows many of the same ideas as Harry Gamble (*Books and Readers
in the Early Church*), and makes many fascinating suggestions that are
tangential to his thesis. I need to spend some time with this book.
6.) A. Klijn suggests that the pre-Western text was not recensional, it is
rather a gathering of traditional material coming from certain communities
in the Church. It and the pre-Alexandrian texts of Acts arose from
different milieu, possibly Jewish vs. Gentile or urban vs. rural.
It was an interesting session.
Pastor, DeSoto Christian Church, DeSoto TX
Ph.D. candidate in New Testament, Baylor University
"A system of morality which is based on relative
emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar
conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing
- On Sun, 20 Apr 1997, Perry L. Stepp wrote:
> Ken Litwak wrote:[snipped]
> > Going back to D, I know the question of the text of Acts is very
> In a Ph.D. seminar on Textual Criticism, we've just finished (yesterday)
> working through a series of monographs, most concerned with the 'Western'
> text of Acts. My observations:
>I am glad to see so many members of this list agree with me that this
> 2.) Parker's *Codex Bezae: An Early Christian Manuscript and Its Text*
> provides an extremely detailed study of the physical characteristics of
> Bezae--the person who reviewed it referred to it as "an autopsy." The
> detail is mind-numbing, the argument is difficult to follow, and the
> reconstruction of the history of D seems to be a reach, at times.
is a good book. My praise for this book might have sounded a bit
exaggerated, but I praise it so highly because what you refer to as
"mind-numbing detail", I consider the bare minimum to properly
evaluate the quality of the copying work.
Even this might sound exaggerated, and of course, this level
of detail is not possible with many of the much smaller fragmentary
manuscripts. But Parker's example remains an ideal even in those
cases, as did Colwell's work.
>Parker has the same complaint about Epp's work, and offers some
> 3.) Epp's *Theological Tendency* provides a solid foundation for the later
> work of Ehrman, Parsons, et. al. This is a terribly valuable work,
> although Epp's not always consistent with his methodology.
promising corrections. But even Parker finds much useful in
Waiting for the blessed hope and the appearance of the glory of our
great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13).
PS: Is anybody on this list working on a similarly detailed work on
- On Wed, 30 Apr 1997, Matthew Johnson <mejohnsn@...> wrote, in part:
[I'm going to ignore the question of the relationship between D and d,
even though it seems obvious to me that the two are closely related --
perhaps not translated from each other, but clearly assimilated --
to get to the question I know more about.]
>PS: Is anybody on this list working on a similarly detailed work onWhat are you hoping for? We obviously can't compare its Greek and
Latin sides. :-)
But are you interested in a study of 1739, or of 1739 and its relatives?
Birdsall's dissertation was a fairly comprehensive look at 1739, 0121,
6, 424**, and 1908 in Paul. You should also study Zuntz on 1739.
Gamble had something to say about it in Romans, but I don't agree
with his conclusions (he completely ignored the relatives of 1739,
which to my mind invalidates his conclusions).
French scholars (Duplacy, Amphoux) have done extensive work on the
Catholic Epistles, including studying Family 1739.
The groups who are working on the text of Acts have also reached
some conclusions, but I don't know what they are except that they
have established the existence of a Family 1739 there also.
Finally, I have been working on 1739, off and on, for about five
years now. At the moment I amlooking at 1739's closest relatives in
Paul (0243 and 1881, neither of which was known to Birdsall).
It will be a while before I get all this material into shape, but
you can see an outline of the information at my web site (URL
below). I won't claim it's all you'll want, but it's what I could
put together in a few hours. Look in the section on the minuscules,
then go to the entry on 1739 and family 1739.
Robert B. Waltz
Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
(A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)