Evangelical Textual Criticism

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jewish and Christian Scripture as Artifact and Canon

Peter Head is one of the contributors to a very interesting new book but since he hasn't mentioned it yet, humble as he is, here it is:

Jewish and Christian Scripture as Artifact and Canon edited by Craig A. Evans and H. Daniel Zacharias




A fascinating collection of essays that builds upon the growing interest in manuscripts as artifacts and witnesses to early stages in Jewish and Christian understanding of sacred scripture.

Imprint: T & T Clark International
Series: Library of Second Temple Studies, The
Series Volume: 70
Pub. date: 25 Aug 2009
ISBN: 9780567584854
336 Pages, hardcover
$140 (109.70 on Amazon)

You can look inside here.

Publisher's description
Jewish and Christian Scripture as Artifact and Canon constitutes a collection of studies that reflect and contribute to the growing scholarly interest in manuscripts as artifacts and witnesses to early stages in Jewish and Christian understanding of sacred scripture.

Scholars and textual critics have in recent years rightly recognized the contribution that ancient manuscripts make to our understanding of the development of canon in its broadest and most inclusive sense. The studies included in this volume shed significant light on the most important questions touching the emergence of canon consciousness and written communication in the early centuries of the Christian church. The concern here is not in recovering a theoretical “original text” or early “recognized canon,” but in analysis of and appreciation for texts as they actually circulated and were preserved through time. Some of the essays in this collection explore the interface between canon as theological concept, on the one hand, and canon as reflected in the physical/artifactual evidence, on the other. Other essays explore what the artifacts tell us about life and belief in early communities of faith. Still other studies investigate the visual dimension and artistic expressions of faith, including theology and biblical interpretation communicated through the medium of art and icon in manuscripts. The volume also includes scientific studies concerned with the physical properties of particular manuscripts. These studies will stimulate new discussion in this important area of research and will point students and scholars in new directions for future work.

Table of Contents

Introduction — C. A. Evans and H. D. Zacharias
John P. Flanagan, “Papyrus 967 and the Text of Ezekiel: Parablepsis or an Original Text?”

Gregg Schwendner, “A Fragmentary Psalter from Karanis and its Context”

Thomas Kraus, “‘He that dwelleth in the help of the Highest’: Septuagint Psalm 90 and the Iconographic Program on Byzantine Armbands”

Don Barker, “Another Look at Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1353?”

Scott D. Charlesworth, “Public and Private — Second and Third-Century Gospel Manuscripts”

Pamela Shellberg, “A Johannine Reading of Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 840”

Peter Arzt-Grabner, “‘I was intending to visit you, but . . .’: Clauses Explaining Delayed Visits and their Importance in Papyrus Letters and in Paul”

Annette Bourland Huizenga, “Advice to the Bride: Moral Exhortation for Young Wives in Two Ancient Letters”

Marianne Schleicher, “Transitions between Artifactual and Hermeneutical Use of Scripture”

Larry Hurtado, “Early Christian Manuscripts of Biblical Texts as Artifacts”

Stephen Reed, “Physical and Visual Features of Dead Sea Scrolls Scriptural Texts”

Eduard Iricinschi, “‘A thousand books will be saved’: Manichean Manuscripts and Religious Propaganda in the Roman Empire”

Kirsten Nielsen, “The Danish Hymnbook: Artifact and Text”

David Chalcraft, “Some Biblical Artifacts in Search of a Sociological Theory”

Dorina Miller Parmenter, “The Bible as Icon: Myths of the Divine Origin of Scripture”

Peter M. Head, “Letter Carriers in the Ancient Jewish Epistolary Material”

Juan Hernández, “The Apocalypse in Codex Sinaiticus”


Update: As usual, Eisenbrauns (via James Spinti) offers a good bargain (30% off).

11 comments:

  1. I read this portion and had a question: "The concern here is not in recovering a theoretical “original text” or early “recognized canon,” but in analysis of and appreciation for texts as they actually circulated and were preserved through time."

    What does it mean here when it mentions a "theoretical original text"? Is this a denial of a letter sent by the Apostle Paul to the Romans, for example, or is it a statement about there actually being "one, original document" that Paul considered to be the "inspired, inerrant document" that Peter included as part of the "rest of Scriptures"?

    I hope I am asking this question correctly. If possible, could whoever answers this question do so as if you are communicating to a lay person!!

    CQ Machiavelli

    ReplyDelete
  2. I still haven't seen the book. Has anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Juan Hernández Jr.5:00 pm, December 21, 2009

    Hi Peter. The only available copy at the Continuum Booth (at SBL) was sold by the time I got there. I was told that copies were being sent out first to contributors in the UK and Europe, and that some had already received theirs. Those in the US would get them afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In answer to the Machiavellian Anonymite:
    Since the phrase "theoretical original text" is what the book is not concerned with, I wouldn't expect any particular definition or approach to be in view. It is not a denial of anything. The "theoretical original text" of Romans is probably the letter sent to Rome by Paul; but that sort of thing is not what this book collection is about.
    Whether there is a strong internal coherence to the works presented here is an open question.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Peter,

    You say "The "theoretical original text" of Romans is probably the letter sent to Rome by Paul;"

    I would call this the "original text" not the "theoretical" original text; hence, my question. I've been told that many have abandoned the "original text" idea.

    BTW, I hope I'm not giving away too much of my financial plight, but is there a way someone can read a few articles from this book rather than pay the price of the book? I hope all authors get rich, but I just am not in a position to pay this amount.

    Finally, I wonder if this is one of the reasons that there are fewer people getting into TC: namely, it is hard for neophytes to find good material to read to get them interested in this subject. TC books are generally written for the trained TC crowd and written at a level that precludes the neophytes. I know this sounds like a complaint and I don't want it to be; I just want to figure out a way of getting a lot more people interested in TC at an early age, and it may very well require a concerted effort among the current TC scholars to let others in.

    CQ

    ReplyDelete
  6. Peter,

    At the risk of seeming to be a hopelessly obnoxious sales person, let me inform you that Eisenbrauns almost always beats Amazon's price on Continuum books (and others, as well). This is an example:
    http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/EVAJEWISH
    $97.86 (30% off)

    James

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you James. I have updated the main post to include your offer.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Reply to CQ:
    PMH said: "The "theoretical original text" of Romans is probably the letter sent to Rome by Paul;"

    CQ said: "I would call this the "original text" not the "theoretical" original text; hence, my question."

    PMH says: The letter Paul sent to Rome is the original text, any modern attempt to print a representation of that text is a "theoretical original text", since in fact it will be based on various theories and assumptions/convictions about the nature of the evidence. "theoretical" does not have to be a pejorative term.

    ReplyDelete
  9. How to do TC on the cheap:
    a) buy second hand textbooks by Metzger and the Alands
    b) buy second hand edition (NA27 or earlier if cheaper)
    c) read through your favourite book of the NT reading the whole apparatus
    d) read through the same book in some manuscripts (using on-line images)
    e) email authors begging interest/poverty and requesting pdfs of articles (or check on-line for such)
    f) check expensive Brill books in a library

    ReplyDelete
  10. I haven't done any of those--most of which assume a familiarity with Koine. I maintain that if it's possible to do some level of TC without a familiarity with Armenian and Gothic, then it's also possible to do some level of TC without a familiarity with Greek. Or Latin and German, thank you very much Alands.

    My biggest expenditure in 12 years of studying TC as an impoverished layperson was purchasing Dr. Wasserman's thesis on Jude from Eisenbrauns at an incredibly deep discount. I spent slightly less on Tov's palmary work on OT TC, used from Alibris. I hope to finish reading both of them before another 12 years have passed.

    What has helped the most is just hanging out at the TC discussion sites.

    ReplyDelete