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Neues Testament


Allen, Garrick V. [Ed.]


The Future of New Testament Textual Scholarship. From H. C. Hoskier to the Editio Critica Maior and Beyond.


Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2019. XI, 523 S. = Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 417. Lw. EUR 149,00. ISBN 978-3-16-156662-2.


Dieter T. Roth

The introduction to this volume of collected essays, edited by Garrick V. Allen, indicates that it is both an outgrowth of the HoskBib project funded by the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations scheme and the product of a conference that was held at Dublin City University’s All Hallows Campus in August of 2017. Though such multi-author volumes often struggle with thematic continuity between the sections and chapters, this loose collection seems to have more trouble than most in actually accomplishing the presented rationale for this particular collection of essays and their relationship to the purported topic of the book. Allen’s introduc-tion makes a valiant effort in arguing that Hermann Charles Elias Hoskier »is an ideal figure to use as a baseline platform for this discussion« (IX), that »textual scholarship« is a very broad phenomenon focusing »on the most primary of sources in all their textual and material variety« (X), and that exploring »possible avenues of future research […] are always informed by study of the past« (X). Nevertheless, despite many valuable, individual contributions, some of the discussions may have been better served as individual articles rather than as a chapter that seems to have been somewhat forced into this volume.
The book is comprised of 22 chapters divided into three sections. The first section is entitled »Intellectual History of Textual Scholarship« (3–127) and contains six chapters. The first five (authored by Garrick V. Allen, Juan Hernández Jr., Martin Karrer, Jan Krans, and Jennifer Wright Knust) relate directly to Hoskier’s biography, context, and work and one repeatedly reads both of this individual’s brilliance and his eccentricities (including numerous, repeated references to his consulting mediums and spirits for textual deci-sions, cf. 10.48 [n. 68].69 ff.79). Though some may wonder how many discussions of Hoskier, interesting as they are for those concerned with the history of New Testament studies and textual criticism, are actually necessary in order to set the stage for contemplating the future of New Testament textual scholarship, Knust’s contribution here on »textual nostalgia« is an especially insightful consideration of how all of us »have broader commitments at stake when editing texts, examining manuscripts, mining dusty shelves, thumbing well-worn books, or, in the digital age, scrolling through images of them« (83). The final chapter in this section shifts gears with Peter J. Gurry’s quite enthralling overview of the making of Westcott and Hort’s Greek New Testament.
The second section, »The Status Quaestionis and Future of Textual Scholarship« (131–391) is the volume’s longest and contains 12 chapters. Stanley E. Porter begins this section with an important reflection on the various domains of textual criticism including the goal and purpose of textual criticism as well as the para- and metatextual data as part of the broader complex of meaning. Gregory Peter Fewster discusses cross-reference systems that are found in late antique biblical codices, a contribution followed by Christina M. Kreinecker’s wonderful overview of the place of papyrology in New Testament textual scholarship. In this chapter, she provides several striking examples of the application of the field of papyrol-ogy to New Testament Studies. Though Hoskier does not factor nearly as largely in the second section of the volume, Kreinecker’s chapter may also serve an example of an instance in which Hoskier is pushed back into a discussion for which he is not needed. It seems that the article refers to starting »at Herman C. Hosker’s times« (181), comments that »both Hoskier and Deißmann stood on the edge of what was considered standard scholarship and methodol-ogy« (195), and concludes that »Hoskier and Deißmann are both examples of this reality [that the future of any academic discipline lies with the individual scholars who are willing and able to look beyond the well-known and well-established realms] in their own ways« (199) not because Hoskier is in any way actually relevant for the discussion, but simply because his name appears in the sub-title of the volume. In the following chapter, Jacob W. Peterson contemplates how patterns of correction, using P46 as a test case, may function as a paratext and then Dirk Jongkind reanimates the ques-tion surrounding the redaction of Codex B03. H. A. G. Houghton considers Vetus Latina 28, The Garland of Howth, as a neglected Old Latin witness in Matthew and Curt Niccum revisits Hoskier and »His (Per)Version of the Ethiopic« (265). Niccum’s discussion serves as an important reminder of the care and caution necessary when working with translations, and the chapter serves as a warning for how not to mine the Ge‘ez version for early Greek readings. The section continues with Thomas J. Kraus’s consideration of Ostraca and Talismans and the way in which they have been treated in New Testament textual criticism in general and in the Kurzgefasste Liste in particular. An-Ting Yi then contributes a chapter on the critical apparatus of Stephanus’s 1550 Greek New Testament. Two of the more notable contributions ensue, the first being a very helpful discussion by Tommy Wasserman of the development of how textual relationships have been evaluated from Bengel to the Coherence Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) and beyond. Students of New Testament textual criticism can here find a succinct and clear presentation of a vital aspect of New Testament textual criticism. The second particularly notable chapter here is J. K. Elliott’s excellent discussion of the manuscripts and variants of Revelation, not surprisingly, couched within a renewed plaidoyer for thoroughgoing eclectic textual criticism. The last chapter in this section is by Jill Unkel, who provides insight into the collecting of the Chester Beatty biblical manuscripts.
The third and final section bears the title »Editing the New Testament in a Digital Age« (395–459) and has four chapters. D. C. Parker’s chapter on the future of the critical edition not only contains reflections upon the perspectives of text-critical forbearers but also upon his own journey in thinking about the text of the New Testament. His emphasis on the importance of accepting ignorance and cultivating doubt is an important reminder for the discipline. Catherine Smith walks through the programming background for digital tools for editing the New Testament (a discus-sion certainly easier to understand if one has a background in computer science) and is followed by a helpful overview of the CBGM by Klaus Wachtel. The volume concludes with Annette Hüffmeier’s chapter on apparatus construction, which focuses especially upon the policies and procedures of the Editio Critica Maior (ECM).
Despite some perceived shortcomings as a collection of essays, this volume has many excellent contributions containing much food for thought concerning »textual scholarship.« Interested scholars and students would be well-served in considering much of what is presented in this book and can benefit from targeted read-ing of those essays of greatest interest and relevance for their own work, whether that be Hoskier, the history of New Testament textual criticism, various methodologies and approaches to textual study, or the CBGM and ECM.