# Sunday, August 19, 2012

EarlyText-coverWith thanks to Oxford Academic for the review copy. I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile and have not thus far been disappointed. A short disclaimer, though: Charles E. Hill taught me Greek as well as was the prof of my Johannine writings class at Northwestern College. That was 20 years ago, though (yes, I’m old), I don’t think it will color my review of his and Kruger’s (and the other authors’) work.

At this point, I’ve read the introduction, Porter’s article on the early text of the NT in the apocryphal gospels, and part of Gamble’s article on the book trade in the Roman empire. All very well written and presented. I might quibble with a few of Porter’s points, and the way he says it, but his is a solid article and great contribution to the field; I hope to blog about it in the next few days. I also plan to read some more of the articles over the next few weeks, and as I do I will blog about them.

The book’s page on Oxford’s web site lists the following information. Unfortunately, the book is priced for libraries (what, like they can afford these prices?) and at this point will be tough to find for under $150.00. Again, thanks to Oxford for sending the gratis review copy, I do greatly appreciate it.

Table of Contents

Introduction: In Search of the Earliest Text of the New Testament , Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger
I. The Textual and Scribal Culture of Early Christianity
1. The Book Trade in the Roman Empire , Harry Y. Gamble
2. Indicators of Catholicity in Early Gospel Manuscripts , Scott Charlesworth
3. Towards a Sociology of Reading in Early Christianity , Larry Hurtado
4. Early Christian Attitudes towards the Reproduction of Texts , Michael J. Kruger
II. The Manuscript Tradition
5. The Early Text of Matthew , Tommy Wasserman
6. The Early Text of Mark , Peter Head
7. The Early Text of Luke , Juan Hernandez
8. The Early Text of John , Juan Chapa
9. The Early Text of Acts , Christopher Tuckett
10. The Early Text of Paul (and Hebrews) , James R. Royse
11. The Early Text of the Catholic Epistles , J. K. Elliott
12. The Early Text of Revelation , Tobias Nicklas
13. Where Two or Three Are Gathered Together: Evaluating Agreements between Two or More Early Versions , Peter Williams
III. Early Citation/Use of New Testament Writings
14. In These Very Words: Methods and Standards of Literary Borrowing in the Second Century , Charles E. Hill
15. The Text of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers , Paul Foster
16. Marcion and the Early Text of the New Testament , Dieter T. Roth
17. Justin's Text of the Gospels. Another Look at the Citations in 1 Apol. 15.1-8 , Joseph Verheyden
18. Tatian's Diatessaron and the Greek Text of the Gospels , Tjitze Baarda
19. Early Apocryphal Gospels and the New Testament Text , Stanley Porter
20. Irenaeus's Text of the Gospels in Adversus haereses , Jeffrey Bingham and Billy R. Todd, Jr.
21. Clement of Alexandria's Gospel Citations , Carl Cosaert

As you can see, the TOC lists a veritable “Who’s who” in the realm of NT textual criticism and NT studies in general.


The Early Text of the New Testament aims to examine and assess from our earliest extant sources the most primitive state of the New Testament text now known. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text? What is the quality of the text now at our disposal? What can we learn about the nature of textual transmission in the earliest centuries? In addition to exploring the textual and scribal culture of early Christianity, this volume explores the textual 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.


  • Seeks to determine the earliest forms of New Testament texts available, providing a clearer picture of how New Testament texts have changed or remained the same from their earliest forms
  • Takes advantage of the most recent papyrus discoveries, providing fresh, up-to-date assessments of all the important manuscript materials
  • Addresses important and debated historical questions about the transmission of New Testament texts
  • Examines evidence from patristic texts in relation to the manuscripts
  • Written by a team of international experts in the field

Product Details

384 pages, hardcover
ISBN13: 978-0-19-956636-5
ISBN10: 0-19-956636-4

About the Author(s)

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). [Note: Kruger’s online presence is here: michaeljkruger.com]
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). [Note: Some details on Hill are available from his faculty page at RTS.]

Post Author: rico
Sunday, August 19, 2012 8:45:21 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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Sunday, August 19, 2012 10:27:22 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
I'm salivating over the Gamble, Royse, Roth, and Foster articles.
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