# The “de-throning” of the textus receptus and the turn to a critically-based NT text. Westcott & Hort (1880s) were crucial (though they built much on the work of earlier scholars). Today, all scholars agree that our editions of the NT must be based on sound critical principles and the best evidence subjected to critical analysis.
# The discovery & publication of early NT papyri. In particular, the Chester Beatty biblical papyri (which includes both NT & OT) in the 1930s had profound effects thereafter on scholarly notions about the early history of the NT writings. The Bodmer biblical papyri (1950s-1960s) furthered this. We now have copies of NT writings (often partial/fragmentary) that take us back to ca. 200 CE, and so allow us to peek back into the second century. This evidence still needs to be mined further, but has already generated significant shifts in scholarly views (e.g., the demise of the “Caesarean text” of the Gospels, and theories of a 3rd or 4th century “recension” behind the “Alexandrian” text of the Gospels).
# Methods in text-critical analysis. These include more soundly-based quantitative methods (prompted particularly by E.C. Colwell in the 1960s) for establishing textual relationships of manuscripts. Now, with the development of computer-applications, there are further developments, esp. the Muenster-based “Coherence Based Genealogical Method” for attempting to map the “textual flow” of the transmission of NT writings.
Friday, November 05, 2010
On his blog Larry Hurtado has listed what he thinks are major developments in the study of NT/Christian origins over the last century or so. The first three in the list relate to textual criticism: