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Forthcoming Essay Collection on Textual Criticism and Manuscripts

September 25, 2017

I note that my forthcoming collection of selected essays in the LNTS series is now available for pre-order and at a reduced price:   Texts and Artefacts:  Selected Essays on Textual Criticism and Early Christian Manuscripts (London:  Bloomsbury T&T Clark), the publisher’s online catalog entry here.

These essays were all published previously in various journals and multi-author volumes, with the exception of the third one in the volume, reviewing the significance of NT papyri, which appears here for the first time.  I’ve updated some of the earlier ones, and have tried also to cross-reference them all to one another.  Although each has its own particular focus and point, there is some unavoidable overlap and duplication of some data.

The first first four essays are more readily recognized as text-critical studies:

1. The New Testament in the Second Century: Text, Collections and Canon
2. The Early New Testament Papyri: A Survey of Their Significance
3. New Testament Scholarship and the Dating of NT Papyri
4. God or Jesus? Textual Ambiguity and Textual Variants in Acts of the Apostles

The remaining eight essays focus on early Christian manuscripts and/or particular physical/visual features in them:

5. The ‘Meta-Data’ of Earliest Christian Manuscripts
6. Manuscripts and the Sociology of Early Christian Reading
7. The Origin of the Nomina Sacra: A Proposal
8. The Staurogram in Early Christian Manuscripts: The Earliest Visual Reference to the Crucified Jesus
9. A Fresh Analysis of P.Oxyrhynchus 1228 (P22) as Artefact
10. The Greek Fragments of the Gospel of Thomas as Artefacts: Papyrological Observations on Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654 and Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 655
11. Who Read Early Christian Apocrypha?
12. P45 as Early Christian Artefact: What it Reflects about Early Christianity

I’m grateful to Chris Keith for the invitation to assemble these essays, and to the editorial and publishing team at Bloomsbury T&T Clark for all the work involved in preparing this volume.

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  1. stevewalton2014 permalink

    Good news: looking forward to seeing this collection!

  2. Do you discuss the Chi-Rho monogram and its history compared to the Staurogram per chance? It seems both were used by Greeks before Christians adopted them. Though the Chrismon is found as early as the 4th century as adopted by Christians, is the Staurogram earlier or more prevalent?
    So the Tau definitively was the accepted representation of Christ’s cross as opposed to the Chi figure in your view?

    • Alex, I have what I think now is the definitive discussion of the staurogram in my book, The Earliest Christian Artifacts.

      • Did any of the early Christians use the Ankh? it is tantalizingly similar to the Staurogram. Both Hezekiah and Herod the Great used it on coins. Herod did not want to offend his subjects so the Ankh must have been somewhat accepted by religious Jews of his day. It was the symbol of eternal life so the idea is somewhat intriguing relating to Jesus’ preaching on the promise of eternal life. It was controversial in His day since the priestly class (Sadducees) focused on earthly life.
        Also, in your studies of the instrument of death (cross), did any early Christians see it as “the Tree of Life?”

      • Christian use of the ankh seems to have come along later than the use of the tau-rho “staurogram”. Moreover, the earliest Christian use of the tau-rho is in texts, as part of a “nomina sacra” treatment of the Greek words for “cross” and “crucify”, whereas the ankh (and later on the tau-rho and chi-rho) first appears in Christian usage as a “free-standing” emblem, with a more general religious significance. This is all in my chapter on the staurogram in my book: The Earliest Christian Artifacts.

  3. Patty permalink

    Random question–Is textual criticism a field that’s in demand? What field is the most in demand for Biblical scholars?

    I’ve ran across a few scholars who I assumed would be holding university positions, but they’re unemployed. I was wondering if it’s due to lack of opportunities or by choice.

    • There are many more PhDs out there in many/most Humanities fields than there are available positions to be filled.

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