Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Review of Parker's Introduction

In the latest Review of Biblical Literature we find a review of David Parker's An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and Their Texts by Matteo Grosso. Recently, I met Matteo at the SBL in Rome, where he presented a paper. He is very appreciative of Parker's approach, although, like most other reviewers, he points out that this is not an actual handbook to NT TC:

[T]he most original features of this work pertain to its content. Certainly, this is not a handbook of New Testament textual criticism as such a genre has been traditionally conceived. Being rather An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and Their Texts from a certain point of view, it offers much more: it starts from the specific treatment of the actual tradents of the New Testament text (the manuscripts), then covers the principal problems of the discipline. It is not just a matter of internal organization: the priority bestowed by the author to the manuscripts is palpable all through the book. Coherent with Westcott and Hort’s golden rule, according to which “Knowledge of documents should precede final judgment upon readings,” which Parker states in capital letters as early as page 2, his approach grants a special focus on the artifacts that carry the New Testament texts and the many ways to deal with them. In doing so, he effectively avoids the always impending danger of overlooking the fact that the text of the New Testament, as reconstructed in the various critical editions in use, is an abstract entity, while it existed (and exists) concretely in many different forms.

Read the whole review here.

In the same issue of RBL a review of Reuben J. Swanson's, Reflections on Biblical Themes by an Octogenarian, by Peter Penner may be of interest. There is an essay by Swanson that deals with textual criticism. Penner writes:

Textual Criticism”: The essay on text criticism is another helpful tool that the author has used with students and ministers interested in the topic of textual criticism. A helpful introduction, illustrations that challenge the reader, and solid work with Greek texts offer much help to the reader who looks for a good initiation to the area. The content demonstrates deep knowledge and years of Swanson’s experience in this field of New Testament scholarly work, even when one could disagree on the interpretation and the outcomes of the argument.


Wieland Willker said...

I have a review here: