The Early Text of the New Testament 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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evidence for all the sections of the New Testament. It also examines the evidence from the earliest translations of New Testament writings and the citations or allusions to New Testament texts in other early Christian writers.
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"[A]n invaluable resource for documenting the state of research about the text of the NT before the major fourth-century codices... The volume should be mandatory reading for anyone doing postgraduate study on the Greek NT." --Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
A great addition to the Christian apologist s library and will be monumental to anyone who is seeking to understand textual criticism." --Deeper Waters
"With the ever-growing corpus of scholarship on the text of the New Testament, every so often it is necessary to step back and take an account of what's out there. The Early Text of the New Testament does just that. Editors Charles Hill and Michael Kruger have assembled a fine team of scholars to
produce an excellent snapshot of the 'state of the New Testament union.'...a very concise summary of the constantly growing body of New Testament scholarship and points the interested reader toward current conclusions in an enlightening, albeit quite scholarly, manner." --Association for Mormon
"This volume is undoubtedly going to be a key reference work on the text of the NT in early Christianity for some time." --Diglotting
"The Early Text of the New Testament is an important and unique contribution to these current debates. The individual NT books are examined separately to prevent homogenizing and blurring textual issues in unfortunate and misleading kinds of ways. The second century sources are also examined
individually to see the evidence they are able to present collectively. While some of the material in the essays has been discussed elsewhere by these and other scholars, still much of the analysis has been approached in a new and fresh manner. Crucial data regarding textual reliability in the
second century is especially to be noted in both essays by the two editors (Hill and Kruger). The twenty-one essays in The Early Text are not the final word about the NT text in the first three centuries, but nonetheless it is an important word that must be considered. Those wishing to engage in
this debate must examine closely the detailed data provided in this volume." --FIDES et HUMILITAS
"The Early Text of the New Testament is a must-read for students and scholars of the NT and particularly for those with interest in the early manuscripts and early citation of the NT texts." --Jennifer Guo, graduate fellow of Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity
The Early Text of the New Testament is an important and unique
contribution to these current debates.-- Jeff Cate, The Journal of the Center for Ancient Christian Studies
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Charles E. Hill (Ph.D. Cambridge University) is Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. His other books include Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Future Hope in Early Christianity and The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church, both published by Oxford University
Press, and From the Lost Teaching of Polycarp: Identifying Irenaeus' Apostolic Presbyter and the Author of ad Diognetum published by J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck).
Michael J. Kruger (Ph.D. University of Edinburgh) is Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC and is the author of the Gospel of the Savior: An Analysis of P.Oxy. 840 and its Place in the Gospel Traditions of Early Christianity (Brill, 2005) and co-author of Gospel
Fragments (Oxford, 2009).
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B00ARBXCVG
- Publisher : OUP Oxford; 1st edition (June 14, 2012)
- Publication date : June 14, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 6904 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 747 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,414,818 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The only thing is that all the Greek words are not translated or explained, which made it a little bit hard for me as an "enthusiastic amateur" to follow at all times.
But - all in all well worth the money and the reading.
In Part I, four essays cover the textual and scribal culture of early Christianity. First, Harry Gamble discusses the book trade in the Roman empire, addressing the commercial book trade, the non-commercial book trade, and finally the publication and dissemination of early Christian books. Early Christian texts “were produced and disseminated in much the same way as other literature in the larger socio-cultural environment,” (31) and hence susceptible to the same hazards. Next, Scott Charlesworth examines indicators of “catholicity” in early Gospel manuscripts. He notes that the use of standard-sized codices and standardized nomina sacra in the early manuscripts of the canonical gospels prove the notion of “catholic” consensus and collaboration among early Christians. This catholicity, Charlesworth points out, does not indicate uniformity. The upshot of all this is that “[t]he evidence for later second- and second/third-century “catholicity” presents real problems for the Bauer thesis” (46).
In the third essay Larry Hurtado focuses on the sociology of early Christian reading, arguing that “there is a distinguishable Christian reading-culture, another ‘specific sociocultural context,’ and that early Christian manuscripts are direct artefacts of it” (49). In the final essay of the first part, Michael Kruger addresses early Christian attitudes toward the scribal process. He examines early testimony regarding the scriptural status of NT texts (such as 2 Peter 3:16 and The Epistle of Barnabas 1:14), and early testimony regarding the reproduction of NT texts such as the Deuteronomy 4:2 formula. Kruger concludes that “a high view of these texts (and concerns over their transmission is not mutually exclusive with the existence of significant textual variation” (79).
Part 2 comprises eight chapters devoted to a detailed and up-to-date assessment the early manuscript tradition of the NT, proceeding by book or groups of books. These essays are quite technical and detailed and are not as accessible as Part 1 and Part 3 to the nonspecialist. This section concludes with an essay on the witness of the early versions by Peter Williams in which he issues some words of warning in regards to Bruce Metzer’s The Early Versions of the New Testament and that particular tradition of using the early versions. Specifically, Williams argues that “while the early versions are indeed important for historical, cultural, and linguistice reasons, in one respect their contribution has been overestimated: they have been held to play an important role in deciding between Greek variants concerning which actually they give no clear testimony” (239).
The final sections contain eight essays that deal with early citation and use of the NT writings. In the first essay of this section, Charles Hill examines methods and standards of citation in the second century. He first looks at the Greek tradition and provides examples such as Homer and Herodotus to demonstrate that accuracy in reproducing another author’s words was not part of the tradition of classical Greek. To show that this same tendency characterized the citation of sacred literature, Hill brings forth examples from sources such as Philo and Josephus. Hence, “even a stated and sincerely held regard for the sacredness of a text did not necessarily affect an author’s practice of what we would call loose or adaptive citation” (277). Hill concludes his essay with some important implications for not only attempts to extract an underlying text, but also for the study of reception history of biblical writings as well. The rest of the chapters examine the citation and use of the NT in a variety of early writings: the Apostolic Fathers (Paul Foster), Marcion (Dieter Roth), Justin Martyr’s 1 Apol. 15:1-8 (Joseph Verheyden), Tatian’s Diatessaron (Tjitze Baarda), early apocryphal Gospels (Stanley Porter), Irenaeus’s Adversus haeresus (D. Jeffrey Bingham and Billy R. Todd, Jr.), and Clement of Alexandria (Carl Cosaert).
The Early Text of the New Testament is a must-read for students and scholars of the NT and particularly for those with interest in the early manuscripts and early citation of the NT texts. While some of the essays (mainly the ones in Part 2) are quite technical, the essays in Part 1 have broader appeal and could benefit the thinking lay Christian and pastor who is curious about the scribal culture during NT times, canon formation, and apologetic issues surrounding Scripture (and the NT in particular). This book presents the latest research on the early manuscript tradition of the entire NT and also addresses key issues in the discipline of textual criticism. As such, I think it’s essential reading for those taking a New Testament textual criticism course at the seminary level. One final note: this book was originally published as a hardcover retailing at $175 (standard for academic monographs). Last year OUP published a much more affordable paperback that retails at $50, which is a steal for this type of book. Buy this book if you’re a serious academic student of the NT, and especially if you’re interested in the manuscript tradition.
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review*
A word of caution however. This work is extremely scholarly and without having a great knowledge of the field, the layman will get lost in many areas. Part II will be exceptionally difficult as it deals with the early text of each of the Gospels, then Acts, then the Pauline Epistles, then the general epistles, and finally Revelation. The information here will be highly helpful, but those without familiarity will be easily lost.
Part 1 is a great benefit as the reader will learn much about the way books and the text were seen in the times of the NT. Most of us don't think about questions of who will buy books and how the early texts would have been seen by the first Christians, but these scholarly articles will give an excellent look into that world.
Part II as I've said goes into the details of the condition of the early manuscripts and how well they're established. It's noteworthy to consider that you would not have such a book like this for a work such as Tacitus. Probably the only other work from the ancient world that you could talk much about the copies of the manuscripts that we have to such an extent would be the works of Homer. This should tell us enough in itself about the manuscripts that we have of the New Testament.
It's important to note in all of this that nowhere in the book do you notice an attitude of hopelessness. There is no great fear I find that maybe we don't really have an accurate representation of what the NT authors originally wrote. This is in contrast to Ehrman in his popular works. (Although it's worth noting that in his scholarly works, Ehrman takes a rather different attitude to the reliability of the NT text.)
The final part involves the way the NT was cited in the early church and how those around the NT used the texts. The article on citation I found extremely helpful as we can often make the mistake of assuming that the ancients would want to cite a text the way we supposedly do.
Except many of us don't even cite the text the way we supposedly do. How often when writing an email or making a post on Facebook or somewhere like that do we simply give a paraphrase of what a passage says? How many times do you hear a sermon where a pastor makes an allusion to a passage of Scripture without quoting it directly but giving what he thinks is the intended meaning.
Much of our modern criticism of the NT as it turns out is based on simply saying "The ancient world did not do things like us, therefore they did not care for accuracy." The ancients just lived in a different world and in a world where the Scripture would be heard more than read, making an allusion or not using an exact quotation would work just fine.
Then, we move in to how the early text was used by the church fathers and even by Marcion. Part of this section will still be difficult for the layman, but there are benefits to be had and no doubt, the serious scholar of textual criticism will benefit.
I conclude that this is a fine edition to a library. Anyone who is a scholar of textual criticism absolutely must have this book in their library. While it will be difficult for the layman, they too can still get good out of this and hopefully it will drive them to read other works in the field.
Deeper Waters Christian Ministries