Friday, November 15, 2019

New Issue of TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism

The new volume 24 (2019) of TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism  has just been published. It is one of our most packed volumes ever with seven great articles, a review article and several reviews.

In case you have a scholarly article on textual criticism in the making, consider submitting it to TC.

Happy reading!

 Volume 24 (2019)


Jennifer Wyant, Giving Martha Back Her House: Analyzing the Textual Variant in Luke 10:38b
Abstract: In Luke 10:38, a certain woman named Martha welcomes Jesus and offers him hospitality while her sister Mary listens at his feet. Although the story is familiar, the text itself contains a number of complex text-critical issues. This paper will focus on Luke 10:38b, which contains a difficult, though often overlooked, text-critical challenge. The issue centers on whether or not Martha welcomed Jesus “into her house” (εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς). Many early manuscripts from different textual traditions (i.e., א, A, D) include the phrase. A few early manuscripts, however, omit the phrase (𝔓45, 𝔓75, B) leading the editors of NA28, Bruce Metzger, and others to conclude in favor of the shorter reading, arguing that εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς was a later addition to the text, since the verb appears to need an additional phrase. In this paper, I argue that εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς is more likely reflective of an earlier tradition for three reasons: (1) the unlikely addition of a prepositional phrase following the verb, (2) the scribal habits of 𝔓45 and 𝔓75, and (3) theological and culture concerns surrounding Martha as homeowner. This analysis will show ὑπεδέξατο αὐτόν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς is more likely to represent an earlier tradition.
An-Ting Yi, A Fresh Look at Codex Regius (L019) and Its Transcription in the IGNTP Edition of John
Abstract: By comparing the newly available, high-resolution images of Codex Regius (L019) with the IGNTP edition of John, this article shows that there is room for improvement in the transcription of the edition. The improvements include corrections and additions to the transcribed text, the scribal corrections, and the segmentation in the manuscript. In particular, further clarification is needed with regard to the use of capitalization in the current transcription. The comparison also suggests that the reasons for such shortcomings can partially be attributed to the limitation of the inferior material that the IGNTP collators had to work with.
Mikeal C. Parsons and Gregory M. Barnhill, Textual Criticism and Lukan Studies: The (Dis)Connection Between the Two
Abstract: This article proposes that scholarship on Luke’s Gospel and the pursuits of textual criticism are mutually beneficial to one another, and thus each would benefit from greater attention to the other. We demonstrate this proposal through three areas of inquiry: (1) the disconnection of recent developments and discussions in textual criticism on the text of Luke from many interpreters and exegetes of Luke; (2) the way in which select commentators of Luke have handled text-critical issues and their relationship to the standard critical edition of their era of scholarship; and (3) the promise of attention to individual early manuscripts and witnesses to the early text of Luke for addressing exegetical and theological issues. With few exceptions, commentaries on Luke since the late nineteenth century have been influenced primarily by the critical text available, but not as often by the most recently scholarly developments in textual criticism. This article suggests that greater attention to “narrative textual criticism” on the part of Lukan exegetes, specifically considering early manuscripts and witnesses to the text of Luke as early “reception history” and interpretations of Luke, could enrich the task of the history of interpretation of the Third Gospel.
Pasi Hyytiäinen, Evolving Gamaliel Tradition in Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, Acts 5:38–39: A Novel Application of Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM)
Abstract: This article challenges the common scholarly conviction that Acts in Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D05) represents a single cohesive textual tradition, arguing instead that D05 should be understood as an evolving text, consisting of multiple textual layers without any trace of unified editorial activity. The Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM), together with detailed internal considerations, is used to show that it is possible to differentiate intermediary variants in Acts 5:38–39 between the shorter readings in B03 (Codex Vaticanus) and the longer ones in D05. Such intermediary textual stages are also found among the so-called Western readings, revealing how Gamaliel tradition gradually grew over time as new pieces were added to the text from various sources. These findings challenge the notion of the Western text as a definable textual entity.
Charles E. Hill, A Neglected Text-Critical Siglum in Codex Vaticanus and Its Import for the Matthean Text1
Abstract: This paper concerns a little-known text-critical siglum used by the scribes of Codex Vaticanus 1209. It is a short, s-shaped sign placed within the text and repeated in the margin, beneath which the scribe (in the vast majority of the cases in which it is used) wrote an alternative reading. Where it is used as such, as in the Gospel of Matthew, it almost certainly implies the use of a second exemplar. This paper introduces the siglum and its use in Vaticanus (and possibly elsewhere), catalogues its New Testament occurrences, and explores what these readings might tell us about the assumed second exemplar of Matthew. Finally, it offers recommendations for future critical editions of the text of Matthew.
Zachary J. Cole, The Chester Beatty Old Testament Papyri and the Communal Reading of Christian Scripture
Abstract: It is widely understood that many, if not most, early Christian manuscripts were produced for use in communal reading. Recent studies show that this view is supported by scribal number-writing techniques, which appear to be constrained by the need for clarity in pronunciation. Specifically, early New Testament scribes used alphabetic numerals in their body texts but only when these would be unambiguous to a would-be reader. This study examines the number-writing techniques found in the Chester Beatty Old Testament papyri and finds that they abide by the same principles of number writing as their New Testament counterparts (with one notable exception), a fact which sheds further light on the use of scriptural texts in early Christianity.
Katja Kujanpää, Job or Isaiah? What Does Paul Quote in Rom 11:35?
Abstract: Romans 11:35 is almost unanimously treated as a quotation from Job 41:3. Although it differs significantly from preserved Greek and Hebrew readings of that verse, few have questioned this attribution. In this article, I will argue that Rom 11:35 has nothing to do with Job but is a verbatim quotation from Isaiah. Scholars have mostly ignored the fact that Rom 11:35 agrees word for word with a Greek textual variant, a remarkably well attested plus in Isa 40:14. In the previous verse in Romans, Paul quotes Isa 40:13. I will demonstrate that it is improbable that the New Testament has influenced the textual transmission of the Greek Isaiah. Instead, the plus was probably in the version of Isaiah known to Paul. Moreover, I will suggest that the plus represents the original translation, offer a completely new reconstruction of its textual history, and thereby call into question the text-critical decision that Joseph Ziegler made in his edition of Isaiah. The final part of the article offers some observations concerning the scholarly discussion on Rom 11:35 and its attribution to Job and seeks to answer the question of why the plus has not been considered in detail before.

Review Articles

Andrew Smith, Examining A Critical Examination of the CBGM: A Review Article
Abstract: A review article on A Critical Examination of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method in New Testament Textual Criticism by Peter J. Gurry.


Amy Anderson and Wendy Widder, Textual Criticism and the Bible (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)
Lonnie D. Bell, The Early Textual Transmission of John: Stability and Fluidity in Its Second and Third Century Greek Manuscripts (An-Ting Yi, reviewer)
Ryan B. Bonfiglio, Reading Images, Seeing Texts: Towards a Visual Hermeneutics for Biblical Studies (Michael Sommer, reviewer)
Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)
Cambry G. Pardee, Scribal Harmonization in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew Burks, reviewer)
Jac D. Perrin Jr., Family 13 in St. John’s Gospel: A Computer Assisted Phylogenetic Analysis (An-Ting Yi, reviewer)
Hieronymus, Biblia Sacra Vulgata. Lateinisch-deutsch. Vol. 3: Psalmi – Proverbia – Ecclesiastes – Canticum canticorum – Sapientia – Iesus Sirach (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)
Hieronymus, Biblia Sacra Vulgata. Lateinisch-deutsch. Vol. 5: Evangelia— Actus Apostolorum—Epistulae Pauli—Epistulae Catholicae—Apocalypsis— Appendix (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)


  1. Some suggestions: consider information on the journal (and volume number) etc. on the top of the opening page of the pdf.
    Consider giving consecutive pagination so that entries in bibliographies will look similar to other journals.

  2. In "Job or Isaiah" Katja highlights the plus in LXX Mss of Isaiah 40:14, which is also the Greek text in Romans 11:35. Another question is how the LXX(S* A') plus Hebrew Vorlage could have dropped out of Isaiah 40:14. If we suppose that Greek e tis = Hebrew 'w my (cf. Job 38:5), rather than wmy or wm, we have an interesting situation in an early square script, e.g. DSS Isaiah, viz. a skip from -nu 'w to lw hn.