Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Another TC Discussion List ...

Today, as I received an invitation to join another discussion group for New Testament textual criticism, I was reminded about an old blogpost I wrote here six years ago (how long have I been blogging here?; the years go by) about the many discussion lists for NT textual criticism, "TC Discussion List Inflation?"

I then listed three TC discussion lists started after the original TC list (founded by Jimmy Adair and Tim Finney) had died out:

Textual criticism, founded April 23, 2004
496 members; 23 messages in Dec 2007
Excerpts from the description: posts must be on-topic. contributors should be familiar with the contents of the web pages given in the Links section; moderated by Wieland Willker

This list is still operating and I subscribe to it. There are 742 members. I note that many renowned scholars post here from time to time. However, mostly I don't read the many endless discussions over various topics.

TC-Alternate-list founded July 31, 2006
51 members; 51 messages in Dec 2007
Excerpt from the description: for people with a wider set of views; less formal atmosphere; "more freedom to discuss many related issues of interest (theology, doctrine, humour, politics); anonymity allowed; credentials not required or desired.

This group is still operating and it has 130 members. I am not one of them.

83 members; 90 messages in Dec 2007
Excerpt from the description: as little moderation as possible; discussion of the King James Version Only (or TR Only) viewpoint not tolerated; Each list member should be identified by given and last name

This group is also operating (low activity) and has 142 members.

And, today I received an invitation to yet another discussion group:
You are invited to join the discussion-group NewTestamentTextualCriticism. The Yahoo groups Textualcriticism and TC-Alternate have been rendered difficult to use, thanks to a recent redesign of Yahoo Groups' format. This Google Groups discussion-forum will promote well-organized discussions, as well as the sharing of news (related to the main subject), files, links, and images. James Snapp, Jr. is the moderator of this group.

About this group:
A forum dedicated mainly to the analysis of textual variants in witnesses to the text of the New Testament, with the goals of reconstructing the original text, increasing the confidence of such reconstruction, and tracing the history of the text's transmission.
 I will not join this group – participation in one discussion group is quite enough for me. Further, I assume that to a large extent there is an overlap so that some folks are members of several such groups.


  1. Tommy,

    As I mentioned, there has been a disastrous redesign of Yahoo Groups which has effectively rendered the main discussion-board non-functional. For group-participants who only contact the group through e-mail, this might not matter. And it is possible that the redesign has not (yet) spread outside the USA. Lucky you.

    But here where I am, if you want to be able to keep track of current discussions, so as to easily see who is responding to whom – if you want to consult archives of old discussions – if you want to be able to upload and download files – if you want to conduct searches of previous posts – if you want to branch off from one discussion into a sub-topic without starting an entirely new thread - if you want to consult posts by their number -- in short, if you want any of the features that make a discussion-group superior to regular e-mail – then you will be very frustrated by the new format of Yahoo Groups.

    And Yahoo Groups is the host of Wieland Willker’s textualcriticism list, and the TC-Alternate list, and the barely-breathing TClist.

    So if the format of Yahoo Groups changes worldwide into a useless mess, prepare for a sudden stop in online group-discussions of New Testament textual criticism. (The Facebook group that James Leonard supervises will still be there – but that’s more like talking than writing; it has no archives, as far as I can tell. And Wieland Willker’s TC-Forum site will still exist, too, although hardly anyone is using it.) As a precaution against, and preparation for, such an unfortunate turn of events, I am preparing a discussion-group at Google Groups.

    If Yahoo Groups undoes their terrible redesign, great. But if they don’t, then the group-sites that they will provide for you will be worse than nothing. The New Testament Textual Criticism group at Google Groups should be better than nothing. Thus the rationale for its creation.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

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  3. Unfortunately, the quality of the discussions on the mailing lists has deteriorated over the years. Not just for TC, but for a variety of academic topics. It seems that the academic mailing list genre has passed its prime and creating a new list has the feel of a rearguard action.