We are pleased to announce the recent publication of Hugh Houghton's monograph Augustine's Text of John: Patristic Citations and Latin Gospel Manuscripts by Oxford University Press.
The data, description and review below is from the OUP online catalogue(also order page):
Price: £50.00 (hardback)
Publication date: 4 September 2008
336 pages, 216x138 mm
Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies
What sort of Bible did Augustine have? How did he quote from it - and was he accurate? Do Augustine's biblical citations transmit readings not found in any surviving manuscripts? This book is part of a major project on the Old Latin versions of the Gospel according to John, and uses Augustine as a test-case to examine the importance of the evidence provided by the Church Fathers for the text of the Gospels. The early history of the Latin Bible is reconstructed from Augustine's comments in his treatise De doctrina christiana (On Christian teaching). Details are assembled from sermons, letters, and other writings to show how Augustine and his contemporaries used the Bible in the liturgy of the Church, public debates, and in composing their own works. Augustine's own methods of citing the Bible are analysed, and features are identified which are characteristic of citations produced from memory rather than read from a gospel codex. The second part of the book is a chronological survey of the biblical text in Augustine's works, showing how he switched from using the older versions of the Gospel to the revised text of Jerome, which later became known as the Vulgate. Finally, a verse by verse commentary is provided on all the significant readings in Augustine's text of John, assessing their significance for the history of the Latin Bible, and in some cases the Greek tradition as well. Details are also given of Augustine's exegesis of particular verses of the Gospel, making this an indispensable handbook for biblical scholars and church historians alike.
"Houghton demonstrates to the twenty first century reader, accustomed to printed texts, copyright and immediate access to almost any text anywhere in the world, the impact which oral culture had upon Christian exegesis and use of Scripture. The first four chapters constitute a wonderfully lucid, step by step initiation into the discipline, art and practice of textual criticism, which enable the reader (whatever their previous knowledge or experience) to follow the author with enthusiasm and interest into the serious work of textual criticism which takes place in the remaining two-thirds of the book. The chapter on Augustine's exegesis deserves special mention: it is an outstanding treatment of a somewhat neglected area in Augustine studies." - Carol Harrison