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writing things down…

Lecture #2 – Textual Criticism

Textual Criticism, to me, is a necessary evil of an exegesis course. But, it is an evil I rather enjoy! The details, relationships and theories surrounding the many thousand manuscripts spanning about 1300 years are fascinating.

I have found the third addition of Metzger’s book, the revised edition of the Alands, and the excellent website out of Earlham University, Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts, to be most helpful in constructing a lecture outline. The difficulty is determining what is essential for the students to know. A lecture on textual criticism runs the risk of being far too long and far too unimportant for the overall goals of the course. I will likely have much more that I want to say than I will actually have time to say. This particular class will be one of the few when I will employ a powerpoint presentation. I think it is helpful (and fun!) to see pictures of papyri, codices, etc.

My outline for lecture/presentation:

  • Textual Criticism: Definition
  • General characteristics of manuscript evidence
    • Materials – Papyrus, Parchment, Vellum
    • Forms – fragments, scrolls, codices
    • Language used in discipline – Papyri, Uncials, Miniscules
  • The work of the scribe
    • Developments
    • Types of Errors
  • Text Types: General Introduction
  • Witnesses
    • Important Papyri
    • Important Uncials
    • Important Miniscules
    • Lectionaries
    • Versions
    • Church Fathers
  • Text Types and their family members
  • Judging Variants
    • External Evidence
    • Internal Evidence: Habits of the Scribes
    • Internal Evidence: Styles of the Authors
  • Examples: Selected Passages
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