Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Recent Writings on Textual Criticism

Various things have come across my screen in the last few weeks on textual criticism and I haven’t had time to read them all. So I’m collecting them here both to remind myself later and for anyone who might otherwise miss them.
  • “The Ways that Parted in the Library: The Gospels according to Matthew and according to the Hebrews in Late Ancient Heresiology” by Jeremiah Coogan
    Coogan argues that Matthew and the Gospel according to the Hebrews are just two versions of Matthew but with differentiated titles. This one I did read and it’s good. Go read it. I did wonder about the comparison between Matthew and GHebrews and Acts in the Alexandrian text and the “Western” text (is there some point at which we can drop the scare quotes?). The fact that the “Western” text never got a distinct title whereas the GHebrews did may be the evidence we need that the latter two were conceived of differently by more than just the heresiologists. (The comparison with Marcion’s Gospel is also helpful.) Either way, it got me thinking afresh about when one text is changed so much that it becomes a different work. And congrats to Jeremiah on the Eusebius Prize!
  • “A Note on GA 2311” by David Lincicum
    GA 2311 has moved to Notre Dame from private ownership. That’s as far as I could read.
  • “The Construction and Contents of the Beatty-Michigan Pauline Epistles Codex (𝔓⁴⁶)” by Brent Nongbri
    Brent has done further work on the contents of single-quire codices and has concluded that P46 could have contained the Pastorals. I haven’t been able to read the article, but his blog summary says, “The upshot of this is the possibility that there were more missing pages at the end of P46 than we have generally thought, which opens up the possibility that the quire did originally contain all of the fourteen letters of Paul that we find in later Greek manuscripts of Paul’s letters.” I especially like that he says, “I did not at all expect to reach this conclusion, but I suppose that is why we do the research!” Indeed.
  • Kelsie Rodenbiker and Garrick Allen have edited a special issue of Religions on paratextual issues. It includes seven essays on “Titles, Paratexts, and Manuscript Communication: Jewish and Christian Literature in Material Context.” The range from Coptic titles to iconography. Especially interesting—from what I was able to read so far—is Mina Monier on the endings of Mark and paratextual features. The articles are all open access.
  • Speaking of Markan endings, the Text & Canon Institute posted two new articles this month on the Longer Ending. The first, by James Snapp, gives a condensed version of his argument in favor of authenticity and the second, by our own Peter Head, gives a rejoinder. These are intended for a fairly wide audience, so keep that in mind.
  • The CSNTM conference last month was a great time. Thanks to the whole CSNTM crew for their work putting it together. James Snapp has been posting summaries of some of the papers at his blog here, here, here, and here.
That’s all I’ve got. If you know something I missed, drop it in the comments.

Hixson reading Burgon as a youth. Credit


  1. How old was Hixson when Burgon was a youth? 🤔

  2. You’ve missed one ground-breaking study by a certain Peter Malik:

    I hear he’s a great chap and an excellent neighbour!

    1. Thanks for that link; I didn't know it was available without a paywall. Of course you do get what you pay for--one footnote reads:
      On the surface, the version does render this word, making no reference to temptation. It isnoteworthy, however, that the Sahidic shifts the word order, such that □□□□□□□□□ (‘they were sawn’) precedes □□□□□□□ □□□□□ (‘they were stoned’) – possibly a leap (□□ … □□ □□ … □□) caught by the translator in the process of writing.

    2. The author is reported to have said that, despite raising the issue twice (once to the copy-editor and another time to the typesetter), they ended up missing it up anyway!

  3. This is pretty groundbreaking: