Thursday, July 14, 2011
Textual criticism and Qur'ān manuscripts
Although not entirely relevant to this blog, we should note the publication of Keith E. Small's Textual Criticism and Qur'ān Manuscripts. Small's PhD was a comparison of textual variation in NT and qur'anic mss, and it is the focus on the latter which is published here. However, because of his experience in NT TC there is comparison with the NT, and interaction with familiar scholars (Epp, Metzger, etc.). The study examines 22 mss of Surah 14:35-41: 'nineteen from Islam's first four centuries and three from within the last two centuries' (p. 15). Manuscripts considered include ones from Istanbul, San'a, Samarkand, the British Library (including of course BL Or. 2165), and eleven from the Bibliotheque nationale de France (often miscalled the Bibliotheque Nationale de Français). The analysis is divided as follows: orthographic variants involving long vowels, copyist mistakes, diacritical mark variants and variants affecting grammar, rasm (i.e. consonantal) variants, variant verse divisions, physical corrections to manuscripts.