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tc-list Epp's recent article

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  • U.B.Schmid
    When reading Eldon J. Epp s recent article: *The Multivalence of the Term Original Text in New Testament Textual Criticism*; HTR 92/3 (1999) 245-281, I could
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 2, 1999
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      When reading Eldon J. Epp's recent article:
      *The Multivalence of the Term "Original Text" in New Testament Textual
      Criticism*; HTR 92/3 (1999) 245-281,
      I could hardly follow his case. Among the many problems I encountered there is
      one concerning his elaboration of what "falls within the proper domain of
      textual criticism" (p. 268). Epp (p. 269) says
      "1. Textual variants signaling *predecessor literary activity*, such as prior
      compositional levels, versions, or formulations, would provide legitimacy for,
      among others, the following: Hypotheses about early sayings traditions or
      sources, or about early gospel harmonies--because of variant readings in the
      sayings of Jesus tradition... [...]
      2. Textual variants signaling *successor literary activity*, such as
      reformulation or adaptation of an earlier level of composition, would provide
      legitimacy for the following: Hypotheses about alterations to writings in the
      interest of orthodox or heretical theology..." (emphasis his).

      Maybe I misinterpret Epp's formulations, but I have to solve the following
      riddles:
      Isn't Epp portraying textual variants as if they (or some of them) possess one
      single inherent quality that can be identified from the onset "signaling" this
      or that? How can we be sure about the one and only quality? How can we
      distinguish the one single quality from the other, thus neetly falling into the
      two categories outlined by Epp? It is puzzling that out of the five
      illustrations for his "predecessor literary activity" category, according to
      Epp, no less than three could be placed into the other category, i.e. "signaling
      successor literary activity". What's the use of such vague categories?

      I'm particularly looking forward to getting responses from those who actually
      read the mentioned article and/or attended the lecture at the SBL meeting in
      Orlando. Maybe I view the whole issue out of proportion.
      ------------------------------------------
      Dr. Ulrich Schmid
      U.B.Schmid@...
    • Professor L.W. Hurtado
      Ulrich Schmid asks for responses to Epp s recent HTR article (a polished version of his presentation to the NTTC session in Orlando, to which I was a
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 3, 1999
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        Ulrich Schmid asks for responses to Epp's recent HTR article (a
        polished version of his presentation to the NTTC session in
        Orlando, to which I was a respondent). I have to preface my
        comments by reminding folk that Epp was my PhD supervisor, and
        that I admire his scholarship greatly. I count him as a true friend
        and a fine gentleman as well as an excellent scholar.
        In the Orlando session, however, my assigned role was as critical
        respondent, and I found Epp's paper (and the published HTR
        version) both stimulating and at places puzzling. It is the particular
        role of scholarly interlocutors to focus on the critical points, and I
        did so and will do so here.
        The puzzling statements and passages that Schmid highlights can
        be better understood when seen in the light of some work by close
        friends of Epp: Koester and J.M. Robinson, both of whom have
        argued that certain textual variants = evidence of "prior recensional
        activity/stages" (e.g., Robinson's recent essays on the textual
        variant in the parable of the lillies that "spin/card").
        One of the things I criticized in my Orlando response was what I
        judge to be an insufficiently critical acceptance of assertions by
        Koester (and Robinson), e.g., on the supposed total fluidity and
        relatively wild transmission of NT writings in the 2nd century. (See
        also my comments on Koester's assertions in my essay in D.G.K.
        Taylor, _Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts_,
        Birmingham: Uof Birmingham Press, 1999).
        As often the case, Epp in his essay seems to have been trying
        both to explore TC questions not addressed frontally by other
        scholars, and also trying to formulate and clarify things. (Much of
        what I admire in his work over the years has been in these
        directions.) I take his arguments as more suggestive for further
        reflections and criticisms, and by no means an adequate or
        uncontroversial statement.
        Larry Hurtado

        L. W. Hurtado
        University of Edinburgh,
        New College
        Mound Place
        Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LX
        Phone: 0131-650-8920
        Fax: 0131-650-6579
        E-mail: L.Hurtado@...
      • Mark Goodacre
        The following will probably be of interest to the list: the POxy web site has added an image & short discussion of P.Oxy. LVI 4499 (recently published papyrus
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 15, 1999
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          The following will probably be of interest to the list: the POxy web site has added
          an image & short discussion of P.Oxy. LVI 4499 (recently published papyrus
          fragement of Revelation), with its "616" reading:

          http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/POxy/beast616.htm

          Mark
          --------------------------------------
          Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
          Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
          University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
          Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
          The New Testament Gateway
          All-in-One Biblical Resources Search
          Mark Without Q
          Aseneth Home Page
        • Mark Goodacre
          ... Actually that should be P.Oxy LXVI, shouldn t it (their mistake)? Another typo on the same page has stigma for sigma . The other images from Vol. 66
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 15, 1999
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            On 15 Dec 99, at 15:22, Mark Goodacre wrote:

            > The following will probably be of interest to the list: the POxy web site
            > has added an image & short discussion of P.Oxy. LVI 4499 (recently
            > published papyrus fragement of Revelation), with its "616" reading:
            >
            > http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/POxy/beast616.htm

            Actually that should be P.Oxy LXVI, shouldn't it (their mistake)?
            Another typo on the same page has "stigma" for "sigma". The other
            images from Vol. 66 are available at:

            http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/POxy/papyri/TOCs/TOCbody61_70.htm#vol66

            Mark
            --------------------------------------
            Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
            Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
            University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
            Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

            http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
            The New Testament Gateway
            All-in-One Biblical Resources Search
            Mark Without Q
            Aseneth Home Page
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