Re: SBL Paper on the Origin(s) of the 'Caesarean' Text
- Let me quote the concluding paragraph of Carlson's text:
"It is striking to see how closely this proposed stemma generated by a
completely new technology supports the venerable conclusions of New
Testament textual critics, going all the way back to Westcott and Hort.
Perhaps the main reason why there seems to have been so little progress
in advancing the history of the text since Westcott and Hort is that
Westcott and Hort's theory of the text is so substantially correct that
there is actually little left to advance."
It is funny, I just finished an evaluation of all differences of the
text of WH and NA in the Gospels (451) for my TCG commentary (new
edition in January) and concluded:
"One will probably not agree with my estimation of the evidence in all
cases, but I think it is clear that the WH text still has its value
today. It is slightly inferior to NA, but one cannot say that it is
wrong in all cases. About 60% of all differences are so difficult to
evaluate, that there is a strong possibility that NA is, to some extent
at least, wrong.
In light of the manifold criticisms of WH's opinions regarding the
transmission of the text, it is astonishing that their text is so good
still today. This is on the one hand probably primarily due to the fact
that their basic result, to follow B wherever possible, is not so bad as
it is normally accepted today, and on the other hand, that their
opinions regarding the textual history are, with some qualifications,
probably also basically correct."
Well, this is probably a bit of an oversimplification of a very complex
matter and perhaps I will change the last paragraph a bit for the final
version, but basically I stand by it. (NB: It only refers to the
Gospels, they are my only object of research.)