Friday, December 11, 2020

More videos: Anderson on Family 1, Hixson on the Tyndale Textual Commentary


Two more videos from my ThM class on textual criticism are now live. In the first, Dr. Amy Anderson gives an overview and update of her work on the textual history of Family 1 in the Gospels. She also gives a helpful overview of the state of the discipline at the start. In the second, Dr. Elijah Hixson introduces the textual commentary being written to accompany the Greek New Testament Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge.

Amy Anderson

Elijah Hixson

Thanks to both my guests for joining my class. You can find all the videos in this series at the Text & Canon Institute YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe if you’re into that sort of thing.


  1. Has Anderson done any studies to the end of showing how Caesarean (or, how similar to f1) the Armenian and Old Georgian versions are in the Gospels, or included the Armenian and Old Georgian versions in comparisons?

  2. Thanks for sharing these! I recently had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Hixson talk about his work on the commentary for the THGNT at SBL, but I was excited for when Dr. Anderson's talk for your class would get uploaded!

  3. Did DrJonkind took my research into account on John 14.14 that i sent him by email 1 year and a half ago ? Because i have made a research on more than 1 thousand manuscripts about this variant reading and i hadn't received an answer from him. Thanks, Karim al-Hanifi from Belgium

  4. Jongkind* erratum

  5. Matthew M. Rose12/12/2020 6:44 pm


    I'm curious as to what bearing the tradition of reciting the "Hail Mary" has on second and third century scribes, translators and/or editors?

    And is the note presented on Luke 1:28* solely your own, or the result of a collaborative effort with Dr. Jongkind?

    (*Specifically, obviously the work as a whole is a collaboration.)

    1. Sorry for the delayed reply. I probably overstated the case in the video, because as the discussion says, the ultimate source of the harmonization is v. 42, as we said in the discussion. But the printed discussion does point to the liturgy as likely having a stabilizing effect (once it's in, it stays in). I am not sure what claims we can make about the liturgy in the 2nd/3rd centuries, but for later copyists, if they encountered a text without the addition, harmonization to liturgical use is an easy explanation for why copyists would add those words. I do think liturgy was a factor there (or to rephrase, in later centuries, it's hard to imagine how these words could have been omitted and easy to see how they could be added, even at multiple independent events, given liturgical use).

      On your second question, I can't help but wonder why you're asking, especially given my explanation of the process, which I think does answer that question.

    2. Elijah, my reply is below. For some reason I couldn't get it to post in-thread.

  6. Two excellent presentations! Thanks for posting these Peter.

  7. Matthew M. Rose12/16/2020 6:21 pm

    Thanks for the reply.

    I didn't want to press you (too much) for clarification and nuance if this specific idea/hypothesis was originally that of Dr. Jongkind. (It obviously isn't logical to assume that both of you gentlemen came to every conclusion you've collaborated and/or agreed upon independently.)

    So when do you estimate that this "stabilizing effect" took place?

    You also state:"it's hard to imagine how these words could have been omitted"–how so?

    The NT Greek manuscript tradition is full of omissions: half-line, line and two-line skips are all common;–in some cases very common (with HT/HA features not necessarily playing a part). I'd be grateful if you could expand on this.

    1. MMR, Thanks. I honestly don't remember which of us came up with the idea, or if it was something that organically grew out of things we were both reading. At the end of the day, we both agreed on the final discussion as printed. I just used my own story about watching Mother Angelica as a more lighthearted illustration for Gurry's class. I took most of that out (as well as my fonts!) for the SBL version of the same presentation. When is difficult, because we can't go back and time. Once it entered the liturgy, anybody familiar with that liturgical use would have that as an influence, much like the language of the KJV is often an influence on people who grew up using it long after they have stopped (and non-KJV language is an influence on people who have switched to the KJV). How that affects any one person is difficult to say, but there is evidence from studies of families of manuscripts that later manuscripts that are less Byzantine can become more Byzantine in their textual affiliation.

      Early on, omissions can occur for a variety of reasons, but omissions seem to be shorter (often 1–2 words) rather than longer in general. Line lengths differ from manuscript to manuscript, so it seems unlikely that this whole phrase was deleted more than once or twice because a line was skipped, homoioteleuton/homoioarcton are not factors, and even without a liturgical influence, harmonization is almost always a factor in transmission.

    2. Thanks Elijah, what specific piece(s) of evidence leads you to think that an accidental omission needed to happen on more than one occasion here?

      And is there any reason why you think that early scribes and/or believers would of thought it a good idea to insert (i.e. harmonize) a portion of Elizabeth's prophecy into Gabriel's announcement? I don't see the connection. Albeit, the two passages would be naturally linked if the phrase in question was originally contained within both (my view). This would also account for the much later– and clearly obvious harmonization.

      As for the WHEN, the 6th century seems to be the consensus. A good example of this is Severus of Antioch's IXth Hymn.

      We're probably not going to agree, but I do appreciate your time and input. Thanks again!