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Re: [textualcriticism] A Beginner

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  • Tony Zbaraschuk
    ... I would recommend doing what I did when I got interested in this a few years ago -- find a major university library and look up Tregelles, Tischendorf, and
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 1 12:42 PM
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      On Fri, Apr 01, 2005 at 03:19:09PM -0000, spatter5on wrote:
      > I'm brand-new to this group. I've been studying NT Greek for nearly
      > two years and am really interested in the little I have learned about
      > Textual Criticism in that time.
      >
      > I'm wondering what's the best next step to take to develope my
      > understanding and knowledge of the subject? I've read a little bit
      > from the internet and Aland's book "Text of the NT".

      I would recommend doing what I did when I got interested in this a
      few years ago -- find a major university library and look up
      Tregelles, Tischendorf, and Westcott and Hort, along with any more
      recent books on textual criticism. Aland is a great summary of
      current research, and Metzger very readable, but both of them (and
      all the current stuff) are reacting to the 19th-century work.

      Which is much more readable than one might think.

      > Is it just a case of studying up on some of the more important
      > documents? Or spending more time in the apparatus of NA? I'm thinking
      > of buying Metzger's Textual Commentary...so I can understand more
      > about variation and why certain ones are preferred...is that a wise move?

      It's worth reading, definitely.

      Textual criticism is a science (or an art?) whose principles are fairly
      easy to understand, but the application of which is fiendishly complex
      as you start digging into nuts, bolts, fifteen-century-old misspellings,
      Greek or Hebrew grammar and linguistic history, and stuff like that.
      The 19th-century authors do a very good job of explaining the basics
      in terms that an interested amateur can understand; I sometimes think
      Aland is just a little too sunk into his art to communicate its basics
      most effectively.

      There are obviously factual and theoretical advances that have been
      made since 1900, and Aland and Metzger are good guides to them, but
      there's still a lot one can learn from the forerunners.


      Tony Z
      --
      When enlightened men go on arguing for a long time, there is a distinct
      possibility that the question is not clear.
      --Voltaire, _The Age of Louis XIV_
    • Jim West
      ... If you can get hold of a manuscript- like Sinaiticus (which believe it or not is available) or one of the papyri, then the best thing to do, after you
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 1 12:43 PM
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        spatter5on wrote:

        >I'm wondering what's the best next step to take to develope my
        >understanding and knowledge of the subject? I've read a little bit
        >from the internet and Aland's book "Text of the NT".
        >
        >

        If you can get hold of a manuscript- like Sinaiticus (which believe it
        or not is available) or one of the papyri, then the best thing to do,
        after you understand quite well the principles of TC, do your own
        collation. Take your Greek New Testament, set it beside Sinaiticus (or
        whatever) and compare them line by line. mark the differences and then
        apply all the tools you have at hand to explain or clarify the differences.

        >Is it just a case of studying up on some of the more important
        >documents? Or spending more time in the apparatus of NA? I'm thinking
        >of buying Metzger's Textual Commentary...so I can understand more
        >about variation and why certain ones are preferred...is that a wise move?
        >
        >

        Yes- it's an excellent help- for understanding why the committee of NA
        has chosen as it has. But it is not a substitute for doing your own
        work or your own thinking.

        Best

        jim

        --
        Jim West

        Biblical Studies Resources - http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
        Biblical Theology Weblog - http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com
      • Kevin W. Woodruff
        Si: I would recommend reading the following books to give you a general idea of the theory and practice of textual criticism: Black, David Alan, New Testament
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 1 1:51 PM
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          Si:

          I would recommend reading the following books to give
          you a general idea of the theory and practice of
          textual criticism:

          Black, David Alan, New Testament Textual criticism: A
          Concise Guide. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994

          Greenlee, J. Harold Introduction to New Testament
          Textual Criticism. Rev. ed. Peabody, Mass:
          Hendrickson, 1995.

          Greenlee, J. Harold Scribes, Scrolls & Scripture.
          Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985.

          Elliot, Keith, and Ian Moir. Manuscripts and the Text
          of the New Testament. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1995.

          Vaganay, Leon and Christian-Bernard Amphoux. An
          Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism.
          Cambridge University Press, 1991.

          Aland, Kurt, and Barbara Aland. The Text of the New
          Testament. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989.

          Comfort, Philip Wesley. The Quest for the Original
          Text for the New Testament Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992.

          Comfort Philip Wesley. Early Manuscripts & Modern
          Translations of the New Testament. Grand Rapids:
          Baker, 1990.

          Black, David Alan, ed. Rethinking New Testament
          Textual Criticism. Grand Rapids Baker, 2002.

          Finegan, Jack. Encountering New Testament Manuscripts.
          Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974

          Metzger, Bruce M. Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An
          Introduction to Paleography. Oxford University Press,
          1981.

          Kevin



          --- spatter5on <spatter5on@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          > I'm brand-new to this group. I've been studying NT
          > Greek for nearly
          > two years and am really interested in the little I
          > have learned about
          > Textual Criticism in that time.
          >
          > I'm wondering what's the best next step to take to
          > develope my
          > understanding and knowledge of the subject? I've
          > read a little bit
          > from the internet and Aland's book "Text of the NT".
          >
          > Is it just a case of studying up on some of the more
          > important
          > documents? Or spending more time in the apparatus of
          > NA? I'm thinking
          > of buying Metzger's Textual Commentary...so I can
          > understand more
          > about variation and why certain ones are
          > preferred...is that a wise move?
          >
          > Thanks (in advance) for your help.
          >
          > Si~
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          >
          >

          Prof. Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div., M.S.I.S.
          Library Director/Reference Librarian, Professor of Bible and Greek
          Tennessee Temple University/Temple Baptist Seminary, 1815 Union Ave.
          Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404, United States of America
          423/493-4252 (office) 423/698-9447 (home) 423/493-4497 (FAX)
          Cierpke@... http://pages.prodigy.net/cierpke/woodruff.htm
        • bucksburg
          Si wrote:
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 2 6:26 AM
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            Si wrote:
            <<I'm brand-new to this group. I've been studying NT Greek for nearly
            two years and am really interested in the little I have learned about
            Textual Criticism in that time.

            I'm wondering what's the best next step to take to develop my
            understanding and knowledge of the subject?>>

            Kevin wrote:
            <I would recommend reading the following books to give
            you a general idea of the theory and practice of
            textual criticism:
            Black, 1994
            Greenlee, 1995, 1985.
            Elliot, 1995.
            Vaganay, 1991.
            Aland, 1989.
            Comfort, 1992 1990.
            Black, 2002.
            Finegan, 1974
            Metzger, 1981.>

            Si, I wouldn't recommend you read any of these books quite yet. Note
            that they were mostly written in the 1980's and 1990's. Now, textual
            criticism has been around for centuries, and just about everything
            anyone needs to know about the CONTROVERSY and METHODS of tc was
            already in print 100 years ago. So books written in the 1980's
            basically only re-hashed what was written in the 50's (of course
            tying in any new textual discoveries, of which there were very few
            during that time), which in turn only re-hashed what was written in
            the 1920's, which in turn re-hashed what was written in the late
            1800's, with the addition of quite a few textual discoveries which
            had gone a long way toward discrediting much of what was written so
            authoritatively in the late 1800's.

            Just to warn you, all of the above books will eventually be
            obsolete, replaced by the corrected and updated editions which will
            be coming off the presses in the next 20 years, by which time the
            entire NT MSS corpus will probably be available online and the text
            of the NT will finally have been collated against every extant
            manuscript.

            I suggest that you restrict yourself for now to reading the founding
            fathers of textual criticism: Greisbach, Tregelles, Hort, Burgon,
            and Scrivener. Once you find yourself agreeing with any of their
            approaches to textual criticism (and they differ widely), THEN read
            the modern experts to see why they consider the approaches of the
            above giants to be obsolete and outdated (and they, too, differ
            widely).

            It will take a lot of work to get your hands on the books I
            recommend. Some of what Burgon wrote is back in print now, but most
            of his NT textual commentary is still in ms form at some museum in
            Britain (something like 30,000 pages as I recall). But if you want
            to avoid pre-digested pablum in coming to your own conclusions on
            this very important but highly controversial subject, you are not
            going to be able to avoid a lot of work.
          • bucksburg
            I m sorry, I momentarily forgot to include Tischendorf on that list of TC founding fathers. Actually, though, I think you can restrict yourself to the founding
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 2 6:36 AM
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              I'm sorry, I momentarily forgot to include Tischendorf on that list of
              TC founding fathers. Actually, though, I think you can restrict
              yourself to the founding fathers whose works were published in English
              (Tregelles, Hort, Burgon, and Scrivener) and not be out a whole lot.
              Otherwise, you are going to have to do a lot of reading in German and
              Latin.
              Daniel Buck
            • Kevin W. Woodruff
              I would have to respectfully disagree. All of the founding fathers of textual criticism (of whom I have nothing but respect) were unaware of the papyri finds
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 3 10:40 AM
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                I would have to respectfully disagree. All of the
                founding fathers of textual criticism (of whom I have
                nothing but respect) were unaware of the papyri finds
                at Oxyrhynchus that have completely revolutionized
                textual criticism. A beginner will have difficulty
                (both practically and monetarily) getting a hold of
                any of the works recommended (with the exception of
                Burgon and Scrivener), As a beginner, pre-digested
                pablum is sometimes a desirable thing.

                Kevin


                --- bucksburg <elwabook@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > Si wrote:
                > <<I'm brand-new to this group. I've been studying NT
                > Greek for nearly
                > two years and am really interested in the little I
                > have learned about
                > Textual Criticism in that time.
                >
                > I'm wondering what's the best next step to take to
                > develop my
                > understanding and knowledge of the subject?>>
                >
                > Kevin wrote:
                > <I would recommend reading the following books to
                > give
                > you a general idea of the theory and practice of
                > textual criticism:
                > Black, 1994
                > Greenlee, 1995, 1985.
                > Elliot, 1995.
                > Vaganay, 1991.
                > Aland, 1989.
                > Comfort, 1992 1990.
                > Black, 2002.
                > Finegan, 1974
                > Metzger, 1981.>
                >
                > Si, I wouldn't recommend you read any of these books
                > quite yet. Note
                > that they were mostly written in the 1980's and
                > 1990's. Now, textual
                > criticism has been around for centuries, and just
                > about everything
                > anyone needs to know about the CONTROVERSY and
                > METHODS of tc was
                > already in print 100 years ago. So books written in
                > the 1980's
                > basically only re-hashed what was written in the
                > 50's (of course
                > tying in any new textual discoveries, of which there
                > were very few
                > during that time), which in turn only re-hashed what
                > was written in
                > the 1920's, which in turn re-hashed what was written
                > in the late
                > 1800's, with the addition of quite a few textual
                > discoveries which
                > had gone a long way toward discrediting much of what
                > was written so
                > authoritatively in the late 1800's.
                >
                > Just to warn you, all of the above books will
                > eventually be
                > obsolete, replaced by the corrected and updated
                > editions which will
                > be coming off the presses in the next 20 years, by
                > which time the
                > entire NT MSS corpus will probably be available
                > online and the text
                > of the NT will finally have been collated against
                > every extant
                > manuscript.
                >
                > I suggest that you restrict yourself for now to
                > reading the founding
                > fathers of textual criticism: Greisbach, Tregelles,
                > Hort, Burgon,
                > and Scrivener. Once you find yourself agreeing with
                > any of their
                > approaches to textual criticism (and they differ
                > widely), THEN read
                > the modern experts to see why they consider the
                > approaches of the
                > above giants to be obsolete and outdated (and they,
                > too, differ
                > widely).
                >
                > It will take a lot of work to get your hands on the
                > books I
                > recommend. Some of what Burgon wrote is back in
                > print now, but most
                > of his NT textual commentary is still in ms form at
                > some museum in
                > Britain (something like 30,000 pages as I recall).
                > But if you want
                > to avoid pre-digested pablum in coming to your own
                > conclusions on
                > this very important but highly controversial
                > subject, you are not
                > going to be able to avoid a lot of work.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                > --------------------~-->
                > Would you Help a Child in need?
                > It is easier than you think.
                > Click Here to meet a Child you can help.
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                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
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                >
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                Prof. Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div., M.S.I.S.
                Library Director/Reference Librarian, Professor of Bible and Greek
                Tennessee Temple University/Temple Baptist Seminary, 1815 Union Ave.
                Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404, United States of America
                423/493-4252 (office) 423/698-9447 (home) 423/493-4497 (FAX)
                Cierpke@... http://pages.prodigy.net/cierpke/woodruff.htm
              • spatter5on
                ... A few months ago I found photos/scans of (i think) the whole of sinaitucus and other ancient manuscripts on the internet somewhere...but I ve lost the
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 4 1:11 AM
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                  --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Jim West <jwest@h...> wrote:

                  > If you can get hold of a manuscript- like Sinaiticus

                  A few months ago I found photos/scans of (i think) the whole of
                  sinaitucus and other ancient manuscripts on the internet
                  somewhere...but I've lost the link. Does anyone know the site. I
                  though there was a link to it from Rod Deckers site, but I can't find
                  it now...?

                  PS - Thanks Jim and everyone else for your suggestions and
                  recommendations...it'll look into them...


                  Si~
                • Wieland Willker
                  Some (pseudo-)facsimiles can be found at: http://www.bibles.org.uk/pdf/bibles/00README.shtml The following two online-works are a MUST-READ: Westcott-Hort
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 4 3:13 AM
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                    Some (pseudo-)facsimiles can be found at:
                    http://www.bibles.org.uk/pdf/bibles/00README.shtml

                    The following two online-works are a MUST-READ:
                    Westcott-Hort intro:
                    http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/Ebind/docs/TC/WH1881/
                    (password: "any" - "any")

                    THE FOUR GOSPELS by B.H. Streeter
                    http://www.katapi.org.uk/4Gospels/Contents.htm


                    you should perhaps also read Robert Waltz' Encyclopedia in toto:
                    http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn/

                    some more links:
                    http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/bibel.html#text

                    Best wishes
                    Wieland
                    <><
                    ------------------------------------------------
                    Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                    mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
                    http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
                    Textcritical commentary:
                    http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
                  • William Warren
                    I would agree with Kevin on the starting point being well served through some of the more recent introductory works in the field. I ve found that a general
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 4 5:23 AM
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                      I would agree with Kevin on the starting point being well served
                      through some of the more recent introductory works in the field. I've
                      found that a general information base that is as up-to-date as possible
                      provides a basic knowledge or overview of the field that is needed by
                      most for digesting the earlier seminal works. On the other hand, I
                      have a number of students in my intro to NT TC courses that are not
                      going to take more than an intro. course to TC, so I need to provide as
                      good an overview of the field as possible in just one semester. If
                      students on the front end already know that they want to go further in
                      TC than the intro course, that would perhaps warrant a different
                      approach. I would also suggest that some acquaintance with the mss. is
                      indispensable, with collating (as several have suggested) and
                      observation of the marginalia, etc. essential.

                      May I also posit a further question in this discussion? What are those
                      who teach TC actually doing in their intro courses? I think a
                      description of what the courses cover would be beneficial to all. For
                      example, in my M.Div. intro. course, I use Metzger, Aland and Aland,
                      and Ehrman and Holmes as the main textbooks for the history and theory
                      side. I've had students make a page of papyrus more often than not and
                      write a favorite verse from a ms. or the GNT on it so they could get a
                      sense of both the materials and processes for papyrus. I use about 2/3
                      of the course for covering the history of the text and method, with
                      collating being done in conjunction with this part so that the nature
                      of the variants and differences between mss. and text-types can be
                      understood, then the last 1/3 of the course covers specific variants in
                      the NT, and looking at the variants in various mss. (via facsimilies
                      and photocopies from microfilms) to verify the citations in the
                      critical editions. In this last 1/3, students use both GNT and N-A,
                      Metzger's textual commentary, and other commentaries on the specific
                      passages that deal with the textual variant under consideration.
                      Readings in works like Westcott and Hort and other seminal works as
                      well as other current works are encouraged through reports, extra
                      credit projects, work on the specific variants, etc. These seminal
                      works are then covered in further courses in the area.

                      An advanced M.Div. level course builds on this one with more emphasis
                      on paleographical features, collating, and methods of analysis (with
                      more readings in the seminal works included at this level). A course
                      on the history of the Bible with major emphasis on canon development is
                      also offered. From that point, we begin Ph.D. level seminars.

                      paz,

                      Bill Warren
                      Director of the Center for New Testament Textual Studies
                      Landrum P. Leavell, II, Professor of New Testament and Greek
                      New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
                      On Apr 3, 2005, at 12:40 PM, Kevin W. Woodruff wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > I would have to respectfully disagree. All of the
                      > founding fathers of textual criticism (of whom I have
                      > nothing but respect) were unaware of the papyri finds
                      > at Oxyrhynchus that have completely revolutionized
                      > textual criticism. A beginner will have difficulty
                      > (both practically and monetarily) getting a hold of
                      > any of the works recommended (with the exception of
                      > Burgon and Scrivener), As a beginner, pre-digested
                      > pablum is sometimes a desirable thing.
                      >
                      > Kevin
                      >
                      >
                      > --- bucksburg <elwabook@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> Si wrote:
                      >> <<I'm brand-new to this group. I've been studying NT
                      >> Greek for nearly
                      >> two years and am really interested in the little I
                      >> have learned about
                      >> Textual Criticism in that time.
                      >>
                      >> I'm wondering what's the best next step to take to
                      >> develop my
                      >> understanding and knowledge of the subject?>>
                      >>
                      >> Kevin wrote:
                      >> <I would recommend reading the following books to
                      >> give
                      >> you a general idea of the theory and practice of
                      >> textual criticism:
                      >> Black, 1994
                      >> Greenlee, 1995, 1985.
                      >> Elliot, 1995.
                      >> Vaganay, 1991.
                      >> Aland, 1989.
                      >> Comfort, 1992 1990.
                      >> Black, 2002.
                      >> Finegan, 1974
                      >> Metzger, 1981.>
                      >>
                      >> Si, I wouldn't recommend you read any of these books
                      >> quite yet. Note
                      >> that they were mostly written in the 1980's and
                      >> 1990's. Now, textual
                      >> criticism has been around for centuries, and just
                      >> about everything
                      >> anyone needs to know about the CONTROVERSY and
                      >> METHODS of tc was
                      >> already in print 100 years ago. So books written in
                      >> the 1980's
                      >> basically only re-hashed what was written in the
                      >> 50's (of course
                      >> tying in any new textual discoveries, of which there
                      >> were very few
                      >> during that time), which in turn only re-hashed what
                      >> was written in
                      >> the 1920's, which in turn re-hashed what was written
                      >> in the late
                      >> 1800's, with the addition of quite a few textual
                      >> discoveries which
                      >> had gone a long way toward discrediting much of what
                      >> was written so
                      >> authoritatively in the late 1800's.
                      >>
                      >> Just to warn you, all of the above books will
                      >> eventually be
                      >> obsolete, replaced by the corrected and updated
                      >> editions which will
                      >> be coming off the presses in the next 20 years, by
                      >> which time the
                      >> entire NT MSS corpus will probably be available
                      >> online and the text
                      >> of the NT will finally have been collated against
                      >> every extant
                      >> manuscript.
                      >>
                      >> I suggest that you restrict yourself for now to
                      >> reading the founding
                      >> fathers of textual criticism: Greisbach, Tregelles,
                      >> Hort, Burgon,
                      >> and Scrivener. Once you find yourself agreeing with
                      >> any of their
                      >> approaches to textual criticism (and they differ
                      >> widely), THEN read
                      >> the modern experts to see why they consider the
                      >> approaches of the
                      >> above giants to be obsolete and outdated (and they,
                      >> too, differ
                      >> widely).
                      >>
                      >> It will take a lot of work to get your hands on the
                      >> books I
                      >> recommend. Some of what Burgon wrote is back in
                      >> print now, but most
                      >> of his NT textual commentary is still in ms form at
                      >> some museum in
                      >> Britain (something like 30,000 pages as I recall).
                      >> But if you want
                      >> to avoid pre-digested pablum in coming to your own
                      >> conclusions on
                      >> this very important but highly controversial
                      >> subject, you are not
                      >> going to be able to avoid a lot of work.
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> textualcriticism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >
                      > Prof. Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div., M.S.I.S.
                      > Library Director/Reference Librarian, Professor of Bible and Greek
                      > Tennessee Temple University/Temple Baptist Seminary, 1815 Union Ave.
                      > Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404, United States of America
                      > 423/493-4252 (office) 423/698-9447 (home) 423/493-4497 (FAX)
                      > Cierpke@... http://pages.prodigy.net/cierpke/woodruff.htm
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
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                      >
                      >
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