Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Recent Journal Articles on Textual Criticism

While looking at the new journals shelf last week I noticed a number of text critical articles have come out recently.

Novum Testamentum  57.5

This article investigates the textual history of the explicit quotations of Isaiah in the Acts of the Apostles of Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (Acts 7:49–50; 13:34; 13:47) by introducing the concept of “Old Testament awareness.” This concept can be defined as the degree to which a NT tradition, at any stage of its transmission history, is aware of a quotation stemming from the OT. OT awareness can be identified in the layout of Codex Bezae (e.g., the indentation of text in the manuscript to indicate OT quotations), the text of quotations (e.g., readings that can be shown to be a subsequent change towards an OT tradition) and the context of the quoted text (e.g., the quotations’ introductory formulae). Through assessing the OT awareness of Codex Bezae’s explicit quotations of Isaiah, different stages in the transmission history of the text of these quotations in Codex Bezae’s Acts can be identified.
Laurent Pinchard, Des traces vétérotestamentaires dans deux variantes du Codex de Bèze (Mt 26,55 et 28,8) jugées harmonisantes, pp. 418–430
Codex Bezae is traditionally famous for its harmonising tendency compared to other early majuscule manuscripts of the Gospels. In this article we suggest that, based on two examples drawn from Matthew, some of its variant readings have striking lexical correspondence with passages from the Old Testament. As a result, it is more likely that they probably transmit an original reading as opposed to being the result of a less capable scribe, who would have corrected an earlier text to make it closer to the parallel passages from the Synoptics. The passages examined are Jesus’ arrest on the Mount of Olives (Mt 26.55) and the women’s encounter at the tomb on Easter day (Mt 28.8).
Also in NovT, Simon Crisp and J. K. Elliott review vols. 1–2 of the New Cambridge History of the Bible  and Hugh Houghton reviews Die Vetus Latina-Fragmente aus dem Kloster St. Gallen.

New Testament Studies 61.4

Joel D. Estes, Reading for the Spirit of the Text: nomina sacra and πνεῦμα Language in P46, pp. 566–594
This study examines every reference to πνεῦμα in NT Papyrus 46 (P. Chester Beatty ii / P. Mich. Inv. 6238) and whether or not it is contracted as a nomen sacrum. Against expectations, the scribe does not always use nomina sacra to designate the divine Spirit, nor are other kinds of spirits always written out in full. This discovery destabilises the assumption that we can access the scribe’s understanding of πνεῦμα simply by identifying where nomina sacra do and do not occur. At the same time, such scribal irregularity itself may illustrate wider theological ambiguities among some early Christian communities concerning the status and role of the Holy Spirit.
Peter Malik, The Corrections of Codex Sinaiticus and the Textual Transmission of Revelation: Josef Schmid Revisited, pp. 595–614
The role of manuscript corrections in studying textual transmission of the New Testament has been long recognised by textual critics. And yet, the actual witness of corrections may at times be difficult to interpret. A case in point is Josef Schmid’s seminal work on the text of Revelation. Following Wilhelm Bousset, Schmid argued that a particular group of corrections in Codex Sinaiticus reflected a Vorlage with a text akin to that of the Andreas text-type. By dating these corrections – unlike Bousset – to the scriptorium, Schmid utilised their witness to trace the text of Andreas back to the fourth century. Recently, Juan Hernández has shown that the corrections cited by Schmid were significantly later, hence calling his fourth-century dating of Andreas (among other things) into question. Through an analysis of the corrections cited by Schmid, supplemented by a fuller data-set of Sinaiticus’ corrections in Revelation, this study seeks to reappraise Schmid’s claims concerning the textual relations of these corrections, and identify their role in the later transmission of the text of Revelation.

Tyndale Bulletin 66.1

Lincoln Blumell, A New LXX Fragment Containing Job 7:3–4 and 7:9, pp. 95–101

This article presents an edition of a papyrus fragment from LXX Job that is housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. The fragment likely dates to the sixth century A.D. and comes from a codex. On the recto the fragment contains Job 7:3–4 and on the verso Job 7:9. [Includes two black and white photos.]


  1. Some real oddities in this lot. Perhaps the articles are clearer in logic than the summaries.

  2. Do text critics often use the word Vorlage the way Malik does in the above abstract? I usually reserve it for reference to translations.

    1. Vorlage = exemplar. Some versionalsits actually prefer to use "source text" rather than Vorlage.