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Volume 20 (2015)


Rebekka Schirner, Augustine’s Explicit References to Variant Readings of the New Testament Text: A Case Study

Abstract: This article analyzes a sample of passages where Augustine explicitly refers to different Latin versions of the New Testament text, and intends to expand Amy Donaldson’s list of patristic references to New Testament variants. It also takes into consideration the evidence available to us today (manuscripts and quotations of Latin church fathers). In doing so, it offers insights into Augustine’s way of dealing with variants and also provides a comparison between the material available to Augustine and the data extant today.

Charles Quarles, ΜΕΤΑ ΤΗΝ ΕΓΕΡΣΙΝ ΑΥΤΟΥ: A Scribal Interpolation in Matthew 27:53?

Abstract: Since the seminal work of Adalbert Merx, Willoughby C. Allen, and Erich Klostermann, a growing number of scholars have asserted that the prepositional phrase μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ in Matt 27:53 is an early scribal interpolation and an example of the orthodox corruption of Scripture. However, this claim is based on a misunderstanding of the internal evidence and exaggerated claims regarding the external evidence. This article provides a careful and detailed analysis of the internal and external evidence and concludes that the prepositional phrase was contained in the earliest text of Matthew that can be reconstructed from the currently available data.

Peter Malik, The Earliest Corrections in Codex Sinaiticus: Further Evidence from the Apocalypse

Abstract: Previous research into the scribal corrections of Codex Sinaiticus—also labelled as “S1”—has yielded fruitful results, especially regarding distribution of the scribal correcting activity and the textual affinities of corrections. The present article extends our knowledge of this aspect of Sinaiticus by examining scribal corrections in the book of Revelation, especially with regard to their nature, authorship, and textual affinities. It is argued that the palaeographical and textual evidence suggests that, unlike other previously studied portions of Sinaiticus, the text of Revelation was most likely never subjected to a secondary review in the scriptorium.

John Granger Cook, Julian’s Contra Galilaeos and Cyril’s Contra Iulianum: Two Witnesses to the Short Ending of Mark

Abstract: A Syriac MS (British Museum Add. 17214, fol. 65a–65b) preserves an excerpt from Julian’s Contra Galilaeos and Cyril’s response (the Contra Iulianum), which indicates that both authors either did not know the longer ending of Mark (16:9–20) or regarded it as spurious. The evidence has apparently been overlooked in studies of the longer ending of Mark. If the argument is sound, then Julian should be added to the apparatus criticus of Mark as a witness to the short ending (16:8). Cyril should be reevaluated as a patristic father who probably knew MSS that omitted the longer ending, but, unlike Jerome and Eusebius, did not assert that fact about the MSS in the surviving text.

Special Feature: The Coherence Based Genealogical Method

The following introduction and four articles are based on papers delivered in the panel session “The Genealogical Method” of the New Testament Textual Criticism section of at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, San Diego, 22 November 2014.

TC Editors, Editorial Introduction

Abstract: An introduction to the articles in the special feature including a short summary of Dirk Jongkind's contribution to the original panel discussion, which is not included here.

Klaus Wachtel, The Coherence Method and History

Abstract: The categorical distinction between manuscripts as artifacts and the texts they carry is a cornerstone in the theoretical framework of the Coherence­Based Genealogical Method (CBGM). As a consequence a textflow diagram shows a structure that integrates states of text and must not be confused with an outline of actual historical procedures or a stemma of manuscripts. The structure reflects the degrees of agreement between texts (pre­genealogical coherence) and philological assessment of the relationship between the variants found in them (genealogical coherence). Abstracting from the relationship between actual manuscripts has been criticized as unhistorical. However, the ability of the CBGM to cope with contamination hinges on this abstraction.

Georg Gäbel, Annette Hüffmeier, Gerd Mink, Holger Strutwolf, Klaus Wachtel, The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts: Methodological Background

Abstract: The reconstruction of the initial text by means of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method is carried out on the basis of assessments of the genealogy of variants at each variant passage. The resulting relationships between variants of the same passage are graphically represented by so-called local stemmata. The construction of these is done in phases proceeding from secure cases which hardly need any discussion to those whose analysis requires genealogical data.

Klaus Wachtel, Constructing Local Stemmata for the ECM of Acts: Examples

Abstract: A series of examples relating to the guidelines set out in The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts: Methodological Background. These examples are also referenced in Annette Hüffmeier's The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts.

Annette Hüffmeier, The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts

Abstract: This contribution illustrates use of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) to develop and weigh external evidence in a new way. The CBGM tries to control the subjective element of applying external criteria (e.g. “best quality witnesses”) by taking into account how all included witnesses relate to one another in terms of coherence. Each variant is assessed impartially regardless of its appearance in a certain group of manuscripts or its apparent importance. As a rule, this approach assumes a scribe did his best to produce a fair copy of an exemplar. He did not distinguish between more or less interesting variants, and often we can only speculate about the reason why a variant arose. Illustrative examples from editorial work with Acts reveal important insights that are generated when the results of coherence analyses are balanced with everything else known about the textual transmission of the New Testament, especially on the basis of the internal criteria of Transcriptional Probability.

Tommy Wasserman, Historical and Philological Correlations and the CBGM as Applied to Mark 1:1

Abstract: This article demonstrates how the traditionally accepted philological principles of textual criticism and the editors’ view of the textual history of the NT exert considerable control in the application of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM). The article focuses on the textual variation in Mark 1:1 (involving the words υἱοῦ θεοῦ, “Son of God”) as a test case in order to probe the initial stages of the method, that is, the evaluation of so-called pre-genealogical coherence, followed by preliminary genealogical assessments (based on the particular editors’ view of the textual history), and the construction of local stemmata. The method allows variants to be both counted and weighed in terms of their genealogical significance, depending on the overall textual relationship between the witnesses that attest them, as well as their philological nature. In regard to Mark 1:1, it is easy to explain by palaeographical consideration how the nomen sacrum (ΥΥ ΘΥ) could have been omitted, but some scholars have expressed doubt that this would happen in a book's opening lines. The present evaluation of pre-genealogical coherence shows that the shorter reading without υἱοῦ θεοῦ (“Son of God”) has imperfect coherence—the variant is attested by a number of unrelated witnesses, and the variant has clearly emerged several times in the history of transmission, probably by accident (and several witnesses have been corrected). This evaluation and a preliminary genealogical assessment supports the longer reading in Mark 1:1.

Stephen Carlson, Comments on the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method

Abstract: Despite the term “genealogical” in the name Coherence-Based Genealogical Method, researchers should not expect the CBGM to provide a proposed history of the text through its manuscripts. This puts a premium on the use of internal evidence to establish the initial text.


Lincoln H. Blumell, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (Malcolm Choat, reviewer)
P. Doble and J. Kloha (eds.), Texts and Traditions: Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott (Tobias Nicklas, reviewer)
Robert Hanhart (ed.), Septuaginta (Marcus Sigismund, reviewer)
James M. Leonard, Codex Schøyen: A Middle Egyptian Coptic Witness to the Early Greek Text of Matthew’s Gospel: A Study in Translation Theory, Indigenous Coptic, and New Testament Textual Criticism (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)
AnneMarie Luijendijk, Forbidden Oracles? The Gospel of the Lots of Mary (Brice C. Jones, reviewer)
Eric F. Mason and Troy W. Martin (eds.) Reading 1-2 Peter and Jude: A Resource for Students (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)
Joseph E. Sanzo, Scriptural Incipits on Amulets from Late Antique Egypt (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)
W. Andrew Smith, A Study of the Gospels in Codex Alexandrinus: Codicology, Palaeography, and Scribal Habits (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)
Markus Vinzent, Marcion and the Dating of the Synoptic Gospels (Paul A. Himes, reviewer)