Tuesday, December 05, 2023

New ICC Volume on 1 Peter


I don't know if anyone's seen a copy of the new ICC volume on 1 Peter by Travis B. Williams and David G. Horrell. I haven't, but I know its expected to be a major contribution. What caught my attention in a recent review was this comment:

The introduction alone is monograph-length and exhaustive on its covered topics (1:1–297). From the beginning, the scholarly value of this commentary is apparent. Williams and Horrell first survey cutting-edge text criticism to establish their method for determining the text of 1 Peter for their commentary (1:2–20). They adopt the recent Coherent-Based Genealogical Method (CGBM) of text criticism, and they critically engage the Editio Critica Maior (based on the CGBM), which distinguishes this 1 Peter commentary from others. Indeed, one of the many strengths of this commentary is its lengthy discussion of text critical matters in each text unit of 1 Peter. This commentary is the most thorough resource for people conducting text criticism of 1 Peter to consult.

I generally find textual comments in commentaries disappointing and redundant if one has read Metzger's commentary. But this sounds like it could be a genuine and welcome exception. Anyway, if anyone has put eyes on it and has thoughts, I'd be happy to hear what you think of its text criticism. 


  1. Their extensive textual discussions occur right after they give the Greek text in their commentary. So, for example, in the section on 1 Peter 1:22–25, note c right after the Greek text reads as follows:
    "The adjective καθαρᾶς is omitted in A, B, and the Vulgate. This shorter reading is reflected in the texts of Lachmann and Tischendorf, and is offered as an alternative reading in ECM. In support, proponents suggest that καθαρᾶς is perhaps an interpolation that has been influenced by similar language in 1 Tim. 1.5 and 2 Tim. 2.22 [list of 9 different authors]. But καθαρᾶς, which is attested in P72 and א* (though א2 changes this to καρδίας ἀληθινῆς) and is also supported by C-S (see Bethge, 'Text des ersten Petrusbrifes,' 261) may be affirmed with reasonable confidence here [lists 5 authors]. The most likely explanation for its absence in these sources is hooioarcton, with the scribve's eyes likely skipping over καθαρᾶς due to the presence of two consecutive words beginning with κα- [lists three authors]."
    And that's only 1 of 9 textual comments on discourse unit!

  2. This makes my eyes twitch: "With Peter’s death dated to Nero’s persecution of Christians in the 60s CE"
    The evidence for this comes late; 1 Clement is unaware of a Neronian persecution. A better argument would be from, again, 1 Clement - which does mention Peter's death, but attributes it to internal envy, not to Nero.

    1. I wonder what translation of 1 Clement says "internal envy"? I do not know Greek and so rely on others to translate for me.
      Rick Brannan and Michael Holmes translate Peter’s hardships/trials to be due to “unrighteous jealousy”, neither mentions “internal” in their translation.
      In the example of David, envy is from “foreigners” but the persecution was by Saul king of Israel but It would not be amiss, at least in my eyes, if 1 Clement means that internal envy caused external persecution in the case of Peter, as was the case for Moses, the example before David.
      Furthermore, my eyes want to twitch when it is said a writer is “unaware” of something simply because they do not mention it. Perhaps Paul was unaware that Jesus was baptized by John? After all, only in Acts does he mention him, and never in his own extent letters.

    2. According to https://earlychurchtexts.com/public/apostfaths/clem_i.html the Greek is ζῆλον ἄδικον ("unrighteous jealousy") so not anything to do with 'internal'. Could be a manuscript which contains a different word here though.

    3. I do not agree with what Darayvus said. But I think the argument is that a theme of First Clement throughout the epistle is the warning against ζῆλος. And in the use of this word, the focus is consistently on internal strife among believers. It then becomes obvious that the mention of jealousy in chapter 5 serves to illustrate the harmfulness of this vice. And some who notice this then infer that the jealousy mentioned in chapter 5 must also have been some kind of internal squabble among believers.

      For my part, this doesn't really make much sense. I see no problem with appealing to an example of the harm of the same vice when exemplified by unbelievers against believers in an effort to warn believers against having it.