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Welcome: Textual Criticism
Textual criticism is a key element to biblical studies. It is through this methodology that scholars can attempt to find the earliest and best manuscripts to use in biblical exegesis. It also allows scholars to understand what versions of a text were used in specific geographical locations as well.
This LibGuide is designed to offer students access to important online databases and projects and important eBooks that will serve and introductory material as well as advanced studies in textual criticism.
Note that these are not all of the DTL's resources on this topic. For further resources please use the search bar above.
eBooks: New Testament Textual Criticism
The Early Versions of the New Testament: Their Origin, Transmission, and Limitations by
"This book deals with the origin and transmission of all the translations of the New Testament made before about AD 1000, setting them in the historical context of the expansion of Christianity. For each a list is given of the earliest surviving manuscripts and of noteworthy printed editions, and an account follows of the history of the scholarly investigation and textual analysis of that version. An important feature of the book is the series of discussions of the characteristics of the languages concerned and their bearing on attempts to recover from the versions the readings of the underlying Greek manuscripts." - OUP
Encountering the Manuscripts by
"“[Encountering the Manuscripts] focuses on the most significant New Testament manuscripts from the perspective of paleography and textual criticism. Paleography pertains to the dating of the manuscripts, as well as to the calligraphic features of the manuscripts themselves. Each manuscript has a story to tell; each manuscript gives us a window into the transmission of the New Testament text in the earliest centuries. Textual criticism pertains to the critical evaluation of the trustworthiness of the text of each manuscript with respect to recovering the original wording of the Greek New Testament. This volume merges the two areas of study by looking at both paleography and textual criticism as we encounter the New Testament manuscripts.” B&H Publishers
The Erotic Life of Manuscripts: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Biological Sciences by
"The growing acceptance of Darwinian evolution in the twentieth century shifted the focus of textual critics to the development of texts over time. Modern genetics has influenced more traditionally minded textual critics in their analysis of text as genetic code for the production of evolutionary “trees.” While these metaphors have been powerful tools for textual critics, they also produce problematic understandings of textual “purity” and agency, with the use of scientific discourse artificially separating the work of textual criticism from literary interpretation. The conclusion of this study aims to propose new metaphors for the field." - OUP
Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism by
"Fills the need for a truly mid-level, quality textbook on New Testament textual criticism Presenting all the essential, foundational elements necessary to grasp textual criticism of the New Testament, Stanley Porter and Andrew Pitts accurately define the subject of textual criticism, discuss the canon and manuscripts of the New Testament, outline methodological principles, and more, concluding with a chapter on New Testament translations and how to evaluate them." - Eerdmans
God's Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts by
"Through painstaking archival research and detailed studies of our most important collections of early Christian manuscripts, Nongbri vividly shows how the earliest Christian books are more than just carriers of texts or samples of handwriting. They are three-dimensional archaeological artifacts with fascinating stories to tell, if we’re willing to listen." - Yale University Press
Greek New Testament Manuscripts from Albania by
"In Greek New Testament Manuscripts from Albania Didier Lafleur and Luc Brogly present a physical description of twenty-one artefacts and analyse textual features and variant readings of each of them. Based on a fresh autopsy of the documents, the survey combines textual criticism and codicology." - Brill
An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism by
"This book comprises a general survey of the study of New Testament manuscripts, and outlines for students of the New Testament the basic tools and skills involved in studying those manuscripts. The present edition is a thoroughly revised and updated version of Leon Vaganay's Initiation á la critique du Nouveau Testament, published in 1933, and each section of that original work has been brought up to date in light of the latest research in the field. In its aim to provide a solid foundation to study of New Testament textual criticism, this comprehensive survey will be of great value to those who are looking for basic information about the subject; while the documentary information it contains about the extant manuscripts, and its original theoretical sections, will ensure that the book has much of value to offer the more advanced student of the New Testament." - CUP
An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and Their Texts by
“This book is a major English-language introduction to the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament. An essential handbook for scholars and students, it provides a thorough grounding in the study and editing of the New Testament text combined with an emphasis on the dramatic current developments in the field. Covering ancient sources in Greek, Syriac, Latin and Coptic, it: describes the manuscripts and other ancient textual evidence, and the tools needed to study them; deals with textual criticism and textual editing, describing modern approaches and techniques, with guidance on the use of editions; and introduces the witnesses and textual study of each of the main sections of the New Testament, discussing typical variants and their significance.” - CUP
The Living Text of the Gospels by
"This book represents an important new departure in New Testament textual criticism. David Parker offers, for the first time, a different way of reading the Gospels that treats seriously the fact that they first existed as manuscripts. Through an analysis of different forms of a number of key passages, he demonstrates that the Gospels cannot be properly understood as texts without taking into consideration their physical existence as manuscripts, printed books and electronic text. In conclusion, he argues that the search for an original text of the Gospels is a misunderstanding of the way in which the early church passed down its traditions." - CUP
A New Approach to Text Criticism by
"An essential introduction for scholars and students of New Testament Greek With the publication of the widely used 28th edition of Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece and the 5th edition of the United Bible Society Greek New Testament, a computer-assisted method known as the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) was used for the first time to determine the most valuable witnesses and establish the initial text. This book offers the first full-length, student-friendly introduction to this important new method. After setting out the method's history, separate chapters clarify its key concepts, including genealogical coherence, textual flow diagrams, and the global stemma." - SBL Press
Perspectives on New Testament Textual Criticism by
"This collection of frequently cited articles and chapters published from 1962 to 2004 provides perspective on the history and development of New Testament textual criticism, with descriptions and critique of the major text-critical theories and methods. Specific manuscripts and text-types, such as the Codex Bezae and the D-text are discussed, as well as issues such as anti-Judaic tendencies, the ascension narratives, and the relationship of text and canon. Many of the essays from the last fifteen years emphasize the earliest period and papyrus manuscripts, particularly those found at Oxyrhynchus, and assess their socio-cultural and intellectual contexts, while articles from the last five years advocate or engage the more controversial aspects of current New Testament textual criticism, especially the issue of 'original text'." - Brill
The Story of the New Testament Text: Movers, Materials, Motives, Methods, and Models by
"This volume tells the story of the New Testament text from the earliest copies to the latest scholarly editions in Greek. Using a cross-sectional approach, the author introduces those who have developed the discipline of New Testament textual criticism (the movers); the ancient sources for recovering the text (the materials); the aims that drove them (the motives); the criteria and techniques (methods); and the books and other examples of best practices (the models) of New Testament textual criticism. Written primarily for seminary students, the book will also interest clergy and graduate students in biblical studies, theology, church history, and religion." - SBL Press
A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible by
"In plain language and with ample illustration, Paul D. Wegner gives you an overview of the history and methods, aims and results of textual criticism. In the process you will gain an appreciation for the vast work that has been accomplished in preserving the text of Scripture and find a renewed confidence in its reliability." - InterVarsity Press
Studies in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament by
"For the first time in one volume this book presents contributions to the textual criticism of the New Testament made over the past twenty years by Bart Ehrman, one of the premier textual scholars in North America. Including fifteen previously published articles and six lectures (delivered at Duke University and Yale University), this collection will be of vital importance to all students and scholars of the New Testament and early Christianity." - Brill
Studies on the Text of the New Testament and Early Christianity: Essays in Honour of Michael W. Holmes by
"The collection of essays focuses on the twin areas of research undertaken by Prof. Michael W. Holmes. These are the sub-disciplines of textual criticism and the study of the Apostolic Fathers. The first part of the volume on textual criticism focuses on issues of method, the praxis of editing and collating texts, and discussions pertaining to individual variants. The second part of the volume assembles essays on the Apostolic Fathers. There is a particular focus on the person and writings of Polycarp, since this is the area of research where Prof. Holmes has worked most intensively." - Brill
The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research by
"The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research provides up-to-date discussions of every major aspect of New Testament textual criticism. Written by internationally acknowledged experts, the twenty-four essays evaluate all significant advances in the field since the 1950s." - Brill
Texts and Artefacts: Selected Essays on Textual Criticism and Early Christian Manuscripts by
"The essays included in this volume present Larry W. Hurtado’s steadfast analysis of the earliest Christian manuscripts. In these chapters Hurtado considers not only standard text-critical issues which seek to uncover an earliest possible version of a text, but also the manuscripts available to us themselves. Hurtado examines often overlooked 2nd and 3rd century artefacts, which are among the earliest manuscripts available, drawing fascinating conclusions about the features of early Christianity." - T&T Clark
Textual Scholarship and the Making of the New Testament by
"As a result of the advent of the computer, the concept and realization of critical editions are being rethought. This book, originally the Lyell Lectures in Bibliography at Oxford University, explores textual criticism and editing in the digital age. It argues that textual scholarship has been an important influence in the development of the concept of the ‘New Testament’." - OUP
eBooks: Hebrew Bible Textual Criticism
Multiple Originals: New Approaches to Hebrew Bible Textual Criticism by
"Textual criticism is in a period of change, as it seeks to account for an ever-growing body of textual data as well as the development of new methodologies. Since the older methodologies cannot simply be modified to meet our present needs, Multiple Originals seeks to build bridges between methods of traditional textual criticism and those of orality and formulaic analysis. Examining practices of textual criticism across a wide range of texts and disciplines, this book challenges the assumption that there can be only one correct reading and argues for the presence of multivalences of both meaning and text. It demonstrates that in some cases multivalences were intended by the composer, while in other cases, during the periods from which our earliest extant manuscripts derive, they fell within the limits of variability acceptable to those who valued and transmitted those texts." - SBL Press
Old Testament Textual Criticism by
"A Readable, Updated Introduction to Textual Criticism This accessibly written, practical introduction to Old Testament textual criticism helps students understand the discipline and begin thinking through complex issues for themselves. The authors combine proven expertise in the classroom with cutting-edge work in Hebrew textual studies. This successful classic (nearly 25,000 copies sold) has been thoroughly expanded and updated to account for the many changes in the field over the past twenty years. It includes examples, illustrations, an updated bibliography, and a textual commentary on the book of Ruth." - Baker Academic
Steps to a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible by
"Our understanding of the textual history of the Hebrew Bible has been transformed in the wake of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hendel explores and refines this new knowledge and formulates a rationale for a new edition of the Hebrew Bible. The chapters situate The Hebrew Bible; A Critical Edition project in a broad historical context, from the beginnings of textual criticism in late antiquity and the Renaissance to the controversies in contemporary theory and practice. This book combines close analysis with broad synthesis, yielding new perspectives on the text of the Hebrew Bible." - SBL Press
The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research by
"This handbook provides a practical guide for the student and scholar alike who wishes to use the Septuagint (LXX) in the text-critical analysis of the Hebrew Bible. It does not serve as another theoretical introduction to the LXX, but it provides all the practical background information needed for the integration of the LXX in biblical studies. The LXX, together with the Masoretic Text and several Qumran scrolls, remains the most significant source of information for the study of ancient Scripture, but it is written in Greek, and many technical details need to be taken into consideration when using this tool. Therefore, a practical handbook such as this is needed for the integration of the Greek translation in the study of the Hebrew Bible." - Eisenbruans
Text and Canon of the Hebrew Bible: Collected Studies by
"The essays by Shemaryahu Talmon (1920-December 15, 2010) presented in this fourth volume of his collected studies in English were written against the background of the momentous manuscript finds at various sites in the Judean Desert, including approximately 200 biblical or Bible-related manuscripts and manuscript fragments discovered at Qumran. These discoveries date from the crucial period of the turn of the era and afford scholars unprecedented information on the early transmission history of the biblical text." - Eisenbrauns
The Text of the Hebrew Bible and Its Editions: Studies in Celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the Complutensian Polyglot by
"In The Text of the Hebrew Bible and its Editions some of the top world scholars and editors of the Hebrew Bible and its versions present essays on the aims, method, and problems of editing the biblical text(s), taking as a reference the Complutensian Polyglot, first modern edition of the Hebrew text and its versions and whose Fifth Centennial was celebrated in 2014. The main parts of the volume discuss models of editions from the Renaissance and its forerunners to the Digital Age, the challenges offered by the different textual traditions, particular editorial problems of the individual books of the Bible, and the role played by quotations. It thus sets a landmark in the future of biblical editions." - Brill
Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint Collected Essays, Volume by
"Thirty-three revised and updated essays on the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran and the Septuagint, originally published between 2008 and 2014 are presented in this volume, the third volume of the author’s collected writings. All three areas have developed much in modern research, and the auhor, the past editor-in-chief of the international Dead Sea Scrolls publication project, is a major speaker in all of them. The scrolls are of central importance in the modern textual research and this aspect is well represented in this volume. Among the studies included in this volume are central studies on coincidence, consistency, the Torah, the nature of the MT and SP, the diffusion of manuscripts, and the LXX of Genesis." - Brill
Databases & Online Resources
Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (Institute for New Testament Textual Research)
This is the official website of the Institute for New Testament Textual Research that was founded by Dr. Kurt Aland (of Nestle-Aland fame). The goal of the institute was to create the "so-called Editio Critica Maior based on the entire tradition of the New Testament in Greek manuscripts, old translations and New Testament quotations in ancient Christian literature."
This database is the most important resource for in-depth study of New Testament textual criticism. The database, maintained by Westfälische Wilhelms-Universtät Münster, is the leading research tool for students and scholars of New Testament textual criticism. The site is available in both English and German.
Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
"The Center... exists for the following purposes: to make digital photographs of extant Greek New Testament manuscripts so that such images can be preserved, duplicated without deterioration, and accessed by scholars doing textual research; to utilize developing technologies (OCR, MSI, etc.) to read these manuscripts and create exhaustive collations; to analyze individual scribal habits in order to better predict scribal tendencies in any given textual problem; to publish on various facets of New Testament textual criticism; to develop electronic tools for the examination and analysis of New Testament manuscripts; to cooperate with other institutes in the great and noble task of determining the wording of the autographa of the New Testament."
What makes this site amazing for scholars interested in textual criticism is the high quality scans made available of 100s of manuscripts. To access them click on "LIBRARY" and then "MANUSCRIPTS".
Digital Vatican Library (DigiVatLib)
DigiVatLib is a digital library service. It provides free access to the Vatican Library’s digitized collections: manuscripts, incunabula, archival materials and inventories as well as graphic materials, coins and medals, printed materials (special projects).
TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism
Publishes full-length scholarly articles, shorter notes, project reports, and reviews of works in the field of biblical textual criticism. This is an important journal for understanding the latest trends in textual studies of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
The Codex Sinaiticus Project
Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest "complete" version of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament and thus very important for text critical study.
"The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an international collaboration to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form and make it accessible to a global audience for the first time. Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars, conservators and curators, the Project gives everyone the opportunity to connect directly with this famous manuscript."
This website allows users to digitally search through thousands of manuscripts found in the participating research libraries throughout the world.
The website it difficult to navigate but it is well worth the effort for anyone interested in examining high quality digital images of ancient papyri.
Online Bibles [Ancient Languages]
The German Bible Society offers free online access to the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in ancient languages including: BHS, NA28, UBS5, LXX, and Vulgate. It also offers free access to English and German versions of the Bible including: KJV, ESV, NET, and the Luther Bible 1984.
Online Bibles [English]
The Oxford Biblical Reference Site provides online access to many of the study bibles published by Oxford U. Press including: New Oxford Annotated Bible, Oxford Study Bible, Jewish Study Bible, Catholic Study Bible, Access Bible, and the KJV.
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