Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Table of Contents for Porter and Pitts's New Introduction to NT TC

48
Book coverStanley Porter and Andrew Pitts’s new introduction to New Testament textual criticism is out now (according to Amazon) and should be available at ETS/SBL (according to Eerdmans).

Some of the things I noticed in looking at the table of contents: there are chapters on canon and translation, two features that aren’t in the most recent introductions; it seems to be really slim on specific manuscripts and on the history of the discipline (maybe because that’s better covered elsewhere?); there’s a whole chapter on text-types which should be interesting given the current climate of doubt about such things; I don’t see anything on theology and textual criticism which might have made a nice addition; there’s a whole chapter introducing the NA27/28 and UBS4/5 which should be worth comparing to the official user’s guide to the NA28. These are just initial impressions though. Maybe I’ll get my hands on a copy next week.

Here’s the table of contents courtesy of Google:


48 comments :

  1. At first glance, it looks like they have omitted any discussion of conjectural emendation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yours is not the only recent dissertation/monograph overlooked.

      Delete
    2. Oh, honestly, I wouldn't mind them overlooking me personally, it's the entire subject that they appear to have skipped. A phrase search showed just one occurrence in the main text - and that was essentially a throw-away reference. But maybe there's something meatier that I didn't find yet.

      Delete
    3. Well, yours is the only book (I'm aware of) that seriously looks at the theological arguments behind cj. It would have been a perfect engagement partner had they chosen to address the issue.

      I guess the problem is that specialists haven't really been writing TC intros lately, so we get this?

      Delete
    4. Well, thanks for that, though in truth, I checked the author index for Jan Krans before myself!

      Meanwhile, your point about specialists no writing intros lately has got me thinking.

      Delete
  2. Looking only at the preview portion, at least one glaring error exists in the section regarding the Byzantine/majority text position (p.91):

    "In the 1908s, Wilbur Pickering (the first president of the Majority Text Society) published the influential edition, The Greek New Testament according to the Majority Text, and Hodges and his colleague Arthur Farstad continued to publish material in defense of the majority text."

    Something got conflated or omitted here, since Pickering published The Identity of the New Testament Text -- and that in 1977 -- while Hodges and Farstad were responsible for the 1982 GNT in question.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a warm memory that provokes, Maurice: that 1982 GNT by hodges and farstad was my first greek NT; I bought it and a "teach yourself greek" book and worked on it like old Jude every evening. Latter I started noticing differences between my hodges an farstad text and my nasb English bible, and couldn't for th life of me figure out what was going on! Those were good times. I still have that volume, and though I don't use it much, it makes me feel good to pick it up every now and again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. One wonders how much study Porter and Pitts put into the research that resulted in their egregiouslysloppyandfalseasanynovicecanprove statement on page 151 that Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 "have little manuscript support."

    ReplyDelete
  5. I must confess that having dipped into about ten pages, I haven't found one of those ten without relatively serious issues/problems. So I don't think I'll be buying a copy. Maybe I can borrow yours Peter Gurry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only if you promise to leave marginal comments.

      Delete
    2. Also I will say this, what I've read online so far looks to me like a good (read: accurate) reflection of the views many have about the topics covered.

      Delete
    3. You have become a little cryptic there, PJ.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, too much writing today.

      Delete
  6. Mike Kruger loves it, and provides a collection of blurbs. http://michaeljkruger.com/want-to-understand-the-transmission-of-the-nt-text-here-is-a-great-new-resource/

    ReplyDelete
  7. At least that list of endorsements is not completely tribal. Although one should not assume that any of them actually read the book.

    ReplyDelete
  8. There is a need for a textbook that explains the current practice of textual criticism. I don't think the old standards (Metzger-Ehrman, Aland-Aland) are quite up-to-date on contemporary practice, which now is less sanguine about the usefulness of the old text-types (or Aland's categories). Unfortunately for the textbook writers we are in a time of methodological innovation/uncertainty and it is unclear how it will all shake out at the moment. Maybe the time for a new textbook isn't ripe after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which raises a good question, Stephen. What reading should supplement Metzger-Ehrman and Aland-Aland in, say, a second year exegesis class. The Ehrman-Holmes volume would be my choice except that students wouldn't be able to afford their tuition after buying it.

      Delete
    2. If you're looking for a supplement, David Parker's Introduction to New Testament Manuscripts and Their Texts, and I like it a lot though it doesn't stand on its own (nor was it intended to). I'm not sure what level it's appropriate for though; maybe master's students can handle it? Ehrman-Holmes is certainly appropriate for the highest levels.

      Delete
    3. I like it too. In some ways better than the other two. I read it in for my ThM but that was a class just on TC, so not typical.

      Delete
  9. I think you are right Stephen. With NA28 offering an odd hybrid edition, it is also tricky to introduce, since the different parts are based on quite different principles.
    One helpful thing about this book (although it is occasionally irritating as well) is that Porter at least is quite independent; so they will outline what NA28 does and then say that they think it is wrong, or there could be a different way to think about the topic.

    ReplyDelete
  10. According to Amazon's "look inside", on p. 50 the following are the numbers of NT MSS:
    Papyri: 128
    Majuscule mss: 2911
    Minuscule mss: 1807
    Lectionaries: 2381
    Total: 7227

    Can anyone explain how the figures for the majuscules and minuscules are arrived at? Am I missing something or is there a case for conjectural emendation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is always a bit depressing when the major intellectual challenge offered by a book is the task of figuring out how the mistakes were made.

      Delete
    2. I would conjecture a complicated series of mistakes as follows:
      Majuscules: used an old source to get 291. Typo dittography gives 2911 (not recognised as a nonsense reading).
      Minuscules: used an old source to get 2807. Typo substitution gives 1807 (not recognised as obviously incorrect)
      Lectionaries: used an old souce to get 2381. Typed in the old source correctly.
      Total: accurately calculated on the basis of the figures (but no one recognised that it is a far higher number than normally given).

      Delete
    3. I leave it to Stephen Carlson to find the old source.

      Delete
    4. Wow. That's bad. Also because in his How We Got the NT Porter gives 5,700/5,800 as the total.

      Delete
    5. The number 2911 comes from Wikipedia's count of *minuscules* (not majuscules as stated). Don't know where the other numbers come from (Wikipedia's papyri count jumped from 127 to 129 on 10 Aug 2014 is now at 131).

      Delete
    6. Did it come from wikipedia, or does it share a common source with wikipedia?

      Delete
    7. Porter also lists 2911 minuscules in his "How We Got the NT" (see here). Stephen, can you tell when Wikipedia's 2911 was last edited? Was it before or after Porter's other book?

      Delete
    8. It was before, in March 2012. In fact, all of the numbers in Porter's other book could have been derived from Wikipedia in late 2012 without postulating typos. This makes the numbers currently in the textbook all the more curious.

      Delete
    9. And by "Wikipedia," I should point out that the de facto curator of these pages is Leszek Jańczuk.

      Delete
    10. To answer Ryan's question, Porter's other book came out in Nov. 2013, so the Wikipedia pages have public priority and late 2012 is a good time frame for when that book would be drafted.

      Delete
    11. Imho, Leszek Jańczuk actually did a rather good job over the years, all things considered. However he has not contributed to Wikipedia for some years now.

      Just want to be fair to the gentleman, despite some criticisms here (which tended to be a bit selective and overdone, and sometimes language-savvy based) Leszek put a lot of effort and heart into the work, and a fair amount of skill (allowing that this is Wikipedia.) And I am not sure about who is now doing most of the textual work since he left the Wiki scene.

      Steven Avery

      Delete
    12. Amy Anderson6/06/2016 9:49 pm

      Hi folks, I'm reviewing Porter and Pitts for JETS. I know this is an old thread so I hope my comment gets noticed. Your discussion has confirmed my frustrations with this book before Tommy pointed me here. Does anyone have the absolutely up-to-date numbers for the list of Greek witnesses? I don't find a compilation on the VMR. Is Wikipedia accurate???? I'm seeing 134 Papyri, 322 as slightly high for the majuscules, 2882 for minuscules [but I am currently transcribing 2886 (205abs)], 2453 lectionaries. I'd appreciate your help so I won't be as off-base as the book I'm trying to correct! :-)

      Amy Anderson

      Delete
    13. Amy, on the online Liste, just close the "Full Search" window that comes up initially and then you should have the option in the upper right corner to "browse" by MS type. Doing that shows 136 papyri, 286 majuscules, 2,846 minuscules, and 2,389 lectionaries for a total of 5,657. The last two categories take quite a while to load.

      Delete
    14. Amy Anderson6/07/2016 5:19 pm

      That's great help, Peter, thanks!

      Delete
  11. There is another huge couple of howlers on that same page (p. 50), when they quote F.F. Bruce (in a book originally written in about 1946) to the effect that there are huge gaps between classical writers and their earliest manuscripts. Herodotus - only 8 mss, earliest at AD 800 [in fact over 50 mss, earliest II BC]; Thucydides - on;y 8 mss, earliest at AD 800 [in fact over 90 mss, at least as early as I AD].
    Selective interest in papyrology is a bit irritating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy Anderson6/06/2016 10:15 pm

      May I cite your numbers, Peter?

      Delete
  12. Learned it is not.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As a matter of source criticism, should we blame Porter or Pitts for the errors derived from W (Wikipedia or other unknown referents)?

    ReplyDelete
  14. gentlemen, what is actually in november 2015...the total of papyri..majuscules...minuscules...and lectionary...please because i want to up date my data. sorry for my english i'm french ^^...

    ReplyDelete
  15. up date : and i saw today a number a 134 papyri with the new discoverie of a papyrus of the gospel of john...so is the new number 134 for papyri actually is th good one ?....thank you so much

    ReplyDelete
  16. Amy Anderson,
    You may want to consult my review of the same book, at
    http://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2015/12/a-review-of-fundamentals-of-new.html .

    ReplyDelete
  17. (And remember that exact quantities may be a little misleading, since there are many (too many) cases of misidentification, cases of inconsistent disqualification from the list and cases in which two parts of the same MS have been given two identification-numbers, cases in which MSS have been lost, etc.)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Please consider also my review of this book:

    https://www.academia.edu/26120406/Ernst_Boogert_review_of_Fundamentals_of_New_Testament_Textual_Criticism_by_Stanley_E._Porter_and_Andrew_W._Pitts_A_Journal_of_Biblical_Textual_Criticism_21_2016

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Ernst, I would like to promote the free contents of the TC journal, so please download your review from: rosetta.reltech.org/TC/v21/TC-2016-Rev-Porter-Pitts-Boogert.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tommy, of course you are right... But the reference to academia is nothing more than a link to the one you provided... ;-)

    ReplyDelete