Thursday, December 15, 2005

ETC Annual Achievement Awards: More Nominations?

Up-date: I'm just posting this again to keep it near the top. For earlier posts see here and here and the numerous comments.

As the end of the year approaches we invite our readers (yes, all three of you) to engage in a bout of critical reflection on the major text critical achievements of 2005.
We invite nominations for awards in the following categories:

1. Best contribution to biblical textual criticism.
2. Best discussion of an individual manuscript.
3. Worst treatment of textual criticism in a biblical commentary.
4. Best evangelical contribution to biblical textual criticism.
5. Most arcane detail published in any text critical discussion.
6. Funniest item connected to textual criticism of the Bible.
7. Evangelical Textual Criticism Hall of Fame / Life-time achievement Award.

Nominations can be submitted (over the next 4 days) as comments or by email.


  1. The hall of fame has got to go to B. Metzger or maybe even K. and B. Aland. I'm scratching my head about the others.

  2. To keep ourselves honest (as evangelicals, not contributors), maybe a "Worst contribution to textual criticism by an evangelical" award would be in order.

  3. "Worst contribution to textual criticism by an evangelical"

    How about D.Wallace laying hands on Vaticanus :-)

  4. What about P. W. Comfort and "The Quest for the Original Text of the New Testament" (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992) where A.D.150-200 is described as the early second century for example. See Review by W. L. Petersen in JBL 113.

  5. There are many bad contributions to textual criticism from confessional and non-confessional backgrounds. However, perhaps we should interpret 'worst' as including works that are bad but not obviously so. After all, publications that are obviously of a low standard do not have much effect.

    For sheer quantity of utterly misguided but erudite effort one should consider: A. Merx, Die vier kanonischen Evangelien nach ihrem ältesten bekannten Texte (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1897-1911).

    In the Old Testament there are many contenders including E.J. Kissane and T.K. Cheyne. The New English Bible also deserves a mention for its rearrangement of OT text. Nevertheless, this version also contains some merits.

    Under less-than-helpful evangelical contributions I think that some of the omissions in the TNIV, e.g. a word of address for Mary in John 2:4, might look text-critical, but are actually just translational.

  6. For #1 (best contribution to biblical textual criticism for 2005), if it hasn't been mentioned already, I nominate:

    Frank Moore Cross et al., Qumran Cave 4 XII: 1-2 Samuel (Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 17; Oxford: Clarendon, 2005)

  7. The Gospel of the Savior: An Analysis of P. OXY. 840 and its place in the Gospel Traditions of Early Christianity
    Michael J. Kruger might fit into, and be a contender for, the "best contrib by an evangelical" category.
    Also, you need a catchy title for the award itself, like "Oscar" or "Grammy". I suggest calling them "Metzger"s, as in "And the Metzger for worst treatment of textual criticism in a biblical commentary goes to..."

  8. This is supposed to be for the year 2005 only. Thus it's way too late for Merx and Comfort (or his proofreader/corrector).

    Having successfully introduced him to the TC cyberworld in 2005, I would be amiss in not nominating Andrew W. Wilson, for "New Directions in NT Textual Criticism," self-published online (except for some examples in the final chapter still pending completion in a later edition) at

  9. I agree that the status of the award would benefit by the adoption of an appropriate name.

    My suggestion would be to call the award the Frederick - as in, the Frederick of the Year for ... goes to ... '. This would be in honour of Frederick H. A. Scrivener (he probably would not have approved shortening the award to 'the Freddie', but there's another option).

    Others might suggest the first names of other favourite textual critics such as the Fenton, the Bruce, the Constantine or the Kurt. But Frederick, for me, would have the most advertising and marketing potential.

  10. Frederick could also apply to the Bruce (Frederick Forsythe Bruce).

  11. Is this a joke or a mistake in the naming of Frederick Fyvie Bruce? If the former, I regret my lack of humo(u)r.