Monday, May 08, 2006

Ehrman, Studies in the TC of the NT

Thanks to the author of an anonymous comment, who pointed out that Brill is advertising a new book by Bart Ehman entitled Studies in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. See here. Before we all go out and purchase a copy (at just 139 USD or 105 Euros) it might be worth calculating how much of it we each individually possess.

I paste below the Brill advertising with a comment by Eldon Jay Epp. Thereto I append my own comments.

'For the first time in one volume this book presents contributions to the textual criticism of the New Testament made over the past twenty years by Bart Ehrman, one of the premier textual scholars in North America. The collection includes fifteen previously published articles and six lectures (delivered at Duke University and Yale University) on a range of topics of central importance to the field. Following a general essay that gives an introduction to the field for beginners are several essays dealing with text-critical method, especially pertaining to the classification of the Greek manuscript witnesses. There then follow two articles on the history of the text, several articles on important specific textual problems, and three articles on the importance and use of patristic evidence for establishing the text and writing the history of its transmission. The volume concludes with six lectures designed to show the importance not only of reconstructing an allegedly “original” text but also of recognizing how that text was changed by scribes of the early Christian centuries.This book will be of vital interest to any scholar or advanced student of the New Testament and early Christianity. It will make an ideal companion volume for Bart Ehrman’s ground-breaking study, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effects of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (Oxford, 1993) and the volume he co-edited with Michael Holmes, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the [sic; lege Status Quaestionis] (Eerdmans, 1995).'

'Bart Ehrman, in merely two decades, has emerged as one of a handful of New Testament textual critics worldwide who work at the cutting edge. Most of the fascinating and meticulous articles in this volume formed the basis of or carry forward his influential work on The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (1993), which displayed for us the socio-historical and theological contexts of textual variants, demonstrating effectively their dynamic, creative role in early Christianity. The essays are interestingly informative, remarkably insightful, and–in the best sense–genuinely provocative. Overall, the volume, which includes detailed methodological studies and treatments of individual texts, as well as the Kenneth Clark Lectures at Duke University (1997) and the Shaffer Lectures at Yale (2004), will be a stimulating challenge to biblical and patristic scholars and to early church historians.'
Eldon Jay Epp

From the Brill blurb and Epp's comments it is not at all clear whether there is any substantial new material in this volume. Moreover, according to the Brill website Ehrman and Metzger are still the series editors for the series New Testament Tools and Studies. Ehrman may therefore have used his editor's prerogative to commission some of his own essays for republishing. The Schaffer Lectures would cost $32 (here) but the Kenneth W. Clark lectures are freely available: Lecture 1; Lecture 2. What we need is a contents page so that we can identify the 15 previously published essays.


  1. Perhaps it's my computer (or connection), but I'm unable to connect to the link for the Kenneth W. Clark lectures. Not sure if anyone else is having this problem.

  2. I've just accessed them both again using the blog's links.

  3. They are working fine for me as well.

  4. Pete, I don't see any particular reason to be so churlish about Bart publishing a collection of his essays. It seems a perfectly plausible activity.

    I reckon you could make a fair stab at identifying the 15 from his CV:

  5. Dear Peter,
    Sorry to hear that I am being heard as 'churlish'. I certainly have no objection to author's publishing collections of their essays, nor even to series editors taking advantage of their position to do so. However, value for money is still an issue for consumers.