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Re: [textualcriticism] Epp on NTTC in HTR 100.3 (2007)

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  • Peter M. Head
    Thanks for drawing attention to this Jan, Firstly the cited abstract is actually the first paragraph and not an abstract of the whole article, which is not as
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 2, 2007
      Thanks for drawing attention to this Jan,

      Firstly the cited abstract is actually the first
      paragraph and not an abstract of the whole
      article, which is not as 'introductory' as it
      would seem. It is definitely worth reading.
      Secondly, it includes a detailed discussion of
      the purpose of NT TC, developing somewhat Epp's
      earlier article on The Multivalence of the term
      'Original Text' (HTR 92 (1999), 245-281) and
      discussing 'original text' and 'Ausgangstext'
      ideas (as well as other things that Eldon has worked on over the years).
      Thirdly, he proposes (I'm not sure how seriously)
      a 'Variant-Conscious Edition' of the GNT and
      produces a sample for Luke 24.50-53; Acts 1.1-2, 9-11.
      Fourthly (as a closing paragraph), he states as a definition of NT TC:
      'New Testament textual criticism, employing
      aspects of both science and art, studies the
      transmission of the New Testament text and the
      manuscripts that facilitate its transmission,
      with the unitary goal of establishing the
      earliest attainable text (which serves as a
      baseline) and, at the same time, of assessing the
      textual variants that emerge from the baseline
      text so as to hear the narratives of early
      Christian thought and life that inhere in the
      array of meaningful variants.' (p. 308)


      At 08:40 02/08/2007, you wrote:
      >Dear listers,
      >
      >You may all like to be informed that the latest issue of Harvard
      >Theological Review has an article by Eldon Jay Epp, "It's All about
      >Variants: A Variant-Conscious Approach to New Testament Textual
      >Criticism" (HTR 100 (2007), pp. 275-308). From the abstract it would
      >seem to be a somewhat introductory article, but my university does not
      >have access to the most recent PDF's, so maybe someone who has (or who
      >sees a "hard" copy!) can enlighten us more.
      >
      >The abstract itself: "The goal of New Testament textual criticism would
      >appear to be simple enough: to restore the original text written by each
      >author of the New Testament books. Upon examination, however, the notion
      >of simplicity vanishes immediately and each of the key terms
      >here—“restore,” “original,” “text,”
      >and “author”—has its problematic
      >c
      >aspects, but more importantly the simply stated goal itself turns out to
      >be inadequate. Grist for the text-critical mill consists of textual
      >readings or variants, which for the relatively small collection of
      >writings called the New Testament are not merely in the hundreds or
      >thousands, or even the tens of thousands, but run to perhaps a third of
      >a million. They stem from the nearly 5,500 Greek manuscripts, some
      >10,000 versional manuscripts, and innumerable patristic citations of New
      >Testament passages."
      >
      >Greetings,
      >Jan Krans
      >VU University, Amsterdam
      >
      >
      >

      Peter M. Head, PhD
      Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
      Tyndale House
      36 Selwyn Gardens
      Cambridge CB3 9BA
      01223 566601
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