The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts has digitized 10 new gospel manuscripts, with dates ranging from the 10th to the 14th centuries. For additional details, see CSNTM’s announcement or view the manuscripts in their online library.
The latest issue of the Tyndale Bulletin carries Kim Phillips’s essay, “A New Codex from the Scribe behind the Leningrad Codex: L17.” According to the abstract,
Samuel b. Jacob was the scribe responsible for the production of the so-called Leningrad Codex (Firkowich B19a), currently our earliest complete Masoretic Bible codex. This article demonstrates that another codex from the Firkowich Collection, containing the Former Prophets only, is also the work of Samuel b. Jacob, despite the lack of a colophon to this effect. The argument is based on a combination of eleven textual and para-textual features shared between these two manuscripts, and other manuscripts known to have been produced by the same scribe.
Phillips acknowledges that definitively linking the scribes of L and L17 isn’t entirely possible. But, he helpfully marshals several different lines of evidence to suggest the strong possibility of this connection.
The history of scribal hand identification in Codex Sinaiticus is a fairly complicated one. The most recent identification, splitting the work of Tischendorf’s scribe B in B1 and B2, was attempted by Amy Myshrall in a 2015 contribution, as a result of the work on the Codex Sinaiticus digitizing project completed in 2009. This article will assess the argument proposed by Amy Myshrall for distinguishing the two new scribes, and it argues that there is not enough reason to adopt the newly proposed distinction.
HT: Peter Gurry
William Ross has an interesting interview with Robert Kraft that focuses on Kraft’s path toward and work in the field of Septuagint Studies, in addition to his hopes for its future.
Peter Head has helpfully spotted what seems to be an erratum in NA28’s text of Phil 1:23. There is perhaps some room for debate on the matter (e.g., Maurice Robinson’s initial reply). But, Klaus Wachtel has taken “a note for a correction in the next printing of NA28” in the direction of Head’s observation.
On Academia.edu, Matthew Larsen has posted his recent Journal for the Study of the New Testament essay on “Accidental Publication, Unfinished Texts and the Traditional Goals of New Testament Textual Criticism.”
Peter Head has started a related discussion on the Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog.
In 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.
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).
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.
The Tyndale House Greek New Testament is set to be released with Crossway on 15 November 2017, just in time for SBL. The text is already available for pre-order on Amazon.
According to the volume’s blurb, the principal editors, Dirk Jongkind and Peter Williams, have
taken a rigorously philological approach to reevaluating the standard text—reexamining spelling and paragraph decisions as well as allowing more recent discoveries related to scribal habits to inform editorial decisions.
will explore what such method means in practice at the hand of examples, and also probe the boundaries of such approach. However, in practice the emphasis on scribal behaviour implies that if, in the past, exegetical and theological arguments have been used to address a particular variant unit, we happily ignore these arguments if there is also a perfectly adequate transcriptional explanation.
Geoffrey Smith has made available offprints of new transcriptions for 5258 (132), containing fragments of Eph 3:21–4:2, and 5259 (133), containing fragments of 1 Tim 3:13–4:8. Dated to the third century, 5259 (133) is the earliest published witness to 1 Timothy.