Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Chris Tuckett Reviews New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World

Over at RBL, Christopher Tuckett presents a useful review of New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World by Thomas Kraus and Tobias Nicklas ( editors).

Description: New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World comprises twelve essays dealing with manuscripts of the New Testament and/or what we can learn from them today. Starting from different angles the contributors — distinguished scholars of international reputation — focus on the fascinating and thrilling stories manuscripts tell, for instance about the times they were produced in or the people who handled them. The multitude of manuscripts used for establishing the critical text of the New Testament is often only perceived as abbreviations in form of single letters or numerals, and today’s biblical scholars may hardly ever take notice of the specific features of an original manuscript, above all those not mentioned in a critical edition. Therefore, three sets of contributions deals with the conditions under which manuscripts from the early days of Christianity were produced and transmitted, specific individual manuscripts, and then special features observed in and with the help of various manuscripts. In a final essay the usual method of how to organize and categorize New Testament manuscripts is challenged and an alternative method proposed. The essays are linked with each other so that readers may get a feeling of how astounding an occupation with the original manuscripts of the New Testament and the days of the early Christians can be.
The list of contributors reads (partly) like a list from the sidebar of ETC! In the end Tuckett says: "This is a fascinating collection of essays showing how much light can be shed from a consideration of concrete manuscripts and taking seriously the evidence they provide for illuminating the social and religious world in which early Christians lived out their faith and produced their written texts."


  1. Unfortunately, Brill has decided that rather than sell this book, they will hold it ransom for $181.00, or $0.50/page.

  2. I agree. It is astonishing how often Brill has these "way-out there" prices for their books. It is really annoying.

  3. Yikes! That is a steep price... guess I will wait for 2 years when it hits double digits instead of triple.

  4. Yes, but think of the quality!

  5. Well, yes Peter. That's why it is annoying. High quality articles that are way beyond my budget. I wish Brill should reconsider their pricing scheme so that more of us could afford to buy their books.