Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Book: Textual Variation: Theological and Social Tendencies?

Gorgias Press has announced a new book edited by Hugh A.G. Houghton and David C. Parker, entitled, Textual Variation: Theological and Social Tendencies? Papers from the Fifth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (Texts and Studies Third Series 6; Gorgias Press LLC, forthcoming 2008; ISBN: 978-1-59333-789-6); 207 pages, illustrations.
Did scribes change the text of the New Testament? This book questions the assumption that they did and the claim that variant readings are due to theological motivation or social difference. Evidence is gathered from some of the earliest surviving biblical manuscripts in order to reconstruct the copying habits of scribes and to explore the contexts in which they worked. Alongside these are studies of selected early Christian authors and writings, which illustrate attitudes to and examples of textual change. The papers were first presented at a colloquium in Birmingham and further developed in the light of subsequent discussion and interaction between the presenters. The international team of contributors represents a wide range of approaches and theories and includes many leaders in the field.

The contents of the book are as follows (thanks to Hugh Houghton):

Scribes and Variants ­ Sociology and Typology: ULRICH SCHMID
Kings or God? Towards an Anthropology of Text: RICHARD GOODE
Singular Readings in Sinaiticus: The Possible, the Impossible, and
the Nature of Copying: DIRK JONGKIND
Scribal Behaviour and Theological Tendencies in Singular Readings in
P.Bodmer II (P66): PETER M. HEAD
Theological Creativity and Scribal Solutions in Jude: TOMMY WASSERMAN
The Ethics of Sexuality and Textual Alterations in the Pauline
Towards a Redefinition of External Criteria: The Role of Coherence in
Assessing the Origin of Variants: KLAUS WACHTEL
A Brief Study of Variations on Proper Names in Lectionaries: W.J.
Opting for a Biblical Text Type: Scribal Interference in John
Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Letter to Titus: MARIA KONSTANTINIDOU
On Revisiting the Christian Latin Sondersprache Hypothesis: P.H. BURTON
Scribal Tendencies and the Mechanics of Book Production: D.C. PARKER


  1. I remember that Dirk Jongkind also presented a paper at the colloquium.

  2. Yes, Dirk has a chapter; Tommy, I believe has a chapter; Pete Head has a chapter.

    Also Ulrich Schmid has the opening chapter; David Parker; Klaus Wachtel; Richard Goode; M. Konstantinidou; Jeff Kloha; W.J. Elliott.

  3. Thanks to an email from Hugh Houghton (who from my point of view did an excellent job on the editing of the volume) I have added the contents of the volume and changed the end of the post.

  4. When's the book out?

  5. 'a couple of months' (according to one of the editors). Gorgias has sometimes taken longer than that with other books (!).

  6. Thanks Peter. In that case I need to read it and include all the relevant and not-so-relevant bits and pieces to my PhD work. It's still that far from complete :)