Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: 2nd ed.

Today Bart Ehrman announced on the Textual Criticism Discussion Group that The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis – a volume that has become a standard work in textual criticism will come out in a second edition. I have known this for a little while since I have been asked to write a new chapter (which I have gladly accepted). Since the project has now been publicly announced by Ehrman I cite his announcement below. I am sure the invitation to TC'ers on the discussion list for comments and suggestions can be extended to our readership, especially since our co-blogger Michael Holmes is the other editor of this significant volume:

Dear T-C'ers,

Some 15 years ago Michael Holmes and I conceived and then produced the collection of essays, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis. Our idea was to have authoritative essays on each of the major aspects of NT textual criticism, written by an acknowledged expert in the field; each essay was to give a history of research over the past 50 years (back to roughly the end of WWII) and an up-to-date "state of the question," along with all the significant biography. When the volume was completed, we dedicated it to Professor Metzger in celebration of his 80th birthday (we were his final two graduate students).

What was then the state of the question has now become a bit dated. A lot has happened in fifteen years! Arguably more than in any comparable fifteen year period in the history of the 300+-year-old discipline. And so we have decided to put out a new edition. Some of the essays will be updated by their original authors; others will be rewritten by fresh new blood in the field (well, actually, the scholars through whom that blood is coursing); some will be rewritten from scratch by someone new. In addition we are planning on adding several new essays to the collection, which deal with issues/themes that have come to the fore over the past fifteen years of scholarship. We anticipate that the volume will appear in the Brill series New Testament Tools, Studies and Documents, which Eldon Epp and I edit (this is a combination of the old Studies and Documents that Eerdmans used to publish, and that Eldon edited, and the Brill series, New Testament Tools and Studies, that Metzger originated and that he and I had been jointly editing for a number of years, before his death).

I'm writing this note to the list both to inform you that this new edition is in the works and to ask users of the first edition for any suggestions: things that should be changed, omitted, or added (especially: are there significant aspects of the discipline, or related topics, that are not covered but really need to be?).

Any suggestions/comments, please send off list (unless there are things that you think are of wider interest to members of the list), either to me [mail to Bart Ehrman] or to Michael [mail to Michael Holmes]

Many thanks,

-- Bart Ehrman


  1. Will Gordon Fee write an essay for that volume, or will he update his already therein published one on the Patristic Evidence?

  2. There are at least two things of significant interest in this announcement (if I may read it somewhat against the grain):
    a) It is interesting how much the tone of this announcement echoes what David Parker said of Ehrman's revision of Metzger's The Text of the New Testament in his extended review in JTS 57 (2006)551-567. Basically Parker argued that the revision failed to do anything like justice account to the current phases of research in NT textual criticism (esp. since the third edition of 1992). This note seems to reflect Ehrman taking on board Parker's criticism.
    b) The other meta-issue is perhaps a bit too personal to blog on so I shall hesitate a little before adding any more.