Harmonization Triggers

Dirk Jongkind reflects on harmonization triggers, especially in the Pauline corpus. In part, he suggests,

Apparently there is something in tightly argued prose that puts it in less danger of textual change than simple narrative, especially narrative with synoptic parallels. Yet even within the Pauline corpus the same phenomena are present that you can find in the Gospels. Ephesians and Colossians contain sufficient parallel material to allow for cross-contamination, and the same happens with Galatians and Romans.

For the balance of Jongkind’s comments, see his original post on Tyndale House’s Greek New Testament blog. See also the cross-post and further discussion on Evangelical Textual Criticism. For more information on Tyndale’s Greek Testament project, see also Tyndale House GNT and the in-post related links.

Strack and Billerbeck via Internet Archive

The Internet Archive has PDF scans freely available three volumes of Hermann Strack and Paul Billerbeck’s Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch (München: Beck, 1922–1961):

Each of the files is reasonably large (75.7–81.5 MB). So, they may take some time to load on slower connections or browsers.

As a side note, these PDFs cover the whole New Testament. But, the SBL Handbook of Style notes a 6-volume edition of Strack and Billerbeck’s work (§6.4.7). Does anyone with better knowledge of the 6-volume version know whether (a) volumes 4–6 have contents beyond those of volumes 1–3 listed above, (b) the 6-volume version is simply a different printing of the 3-volume version, or (c) something else?

Biblical references in systematic theologies

At theLAB, Rick Brannan has an interesting post about the most frequently cited verses in a selection of systematic theologies. Especially by comparison with the size of the two testaments, New Testament references vastly outnumber Old Testament references (90% to 10% in the top 100 most frequently cited texts). As a supplement to the analysis, it might also be interesting to see a bibliography of the exact systematic theologies involved in the accounting would be interesting, as well as whether there would be some way of calculating whether the sample size is large enough to be statistically significant (e.g., within the publication date ranges represented).

Rick promises “a follow-up post that uses the same approach to Biblical Theologies.” That post is sure to provide some interesting results too. Meanwhile, see the full text of Rick’s current post at theLAB.

Wallace, “Medieval manuscripts”

ETS logoIn its first 2017 issue (currently behind the society membership paywall), the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society has a version of Daniel Wallace’s presidential address from the 2016 annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting: “Medieval Manuscripts and Modern Evangelicals: Lessons from the Past, Guidance for the Future” (5–34). Per the abstract, the essay focuses on

paratextual and codicological material in medieval Greek NT manuscripts … that have been largely neglected by evangelicals. Five such features are touched on in this article: (1) the growing canon consciousness and emergence of the codex and their interrelationship; (2) subscriptions (scribal notes at the end of NT books, often reflecting very early traditions) and colophons (blessing, supplication, or mild complaint by a scribe at the end of his codex); (3) the significant but essentially ignored role of female scribes through the centuries; (4) the part that paratextual features in these MSS played in helping scribes to memorize scripture; and (5) the visual priority given to Scripture over tradition in MSS with commentaries.

The article has a substantial and interesting discussion of each of these points, as well as some helpful additional discussion and bibliography in several of the footnotes.

TNT updates

The two latest posts on the Tyndale New Testament blog contain some interesting further comments about the edition and its preparation.

The edition was based on Tregelles’s text because

by starting from Tregelles we go back beyond Westcott-Hort and their influential and lucid textual theories, but not as far back as the Textus Receptus. We could have opted for the text of Lachmann too, but I think that Tregelles is more explicit, and certainly more accessible, in justifying his methodology and theoretical approach. Another reason is that Tregelles is the most recent critical text that was not included in the triad of texts used to create Nestle’s first edition (Westcott-Hort; Tischendorf 8th; Weymouth [in itself the result of a comparison of editions]) or fourth (Weymouth replaced with Weiss).

The next entry discusses text(s) and the relationships among works, editions, and manuscripts. The post comments, in part,

Most people who think for a moment about the text and the various forms in which it appears, solve the question the same way as Plato did. Different manuscripts with their slightly different wording, and even different translations of the text in a wild variety of languages, all constitute different instances of the same text.

This same dynamic often functions unconsciously too when congregants in a church setting might “open their Bibles,” agree that they are all looking at “the Bible,” and yet have different versions like the ESV, NIV, or NRSV of the “same text” among them.

For these posts’ full comments, see The First Step: Digitising Tregelles and The Text of the New Testament, of an Edition, and of a Manuscript on the TNT blog.