New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World comprises twelve essays dealing with manuscripts of the New Testament and/or what we can learn from them today. Starting from different angles the contributors — distinguished scholars of international reputation — focus on the fascinating and thrilling stories manuscripts tell, for instance about the times they were produced in or the people who handled them.
The multitude of manuscripts used for establishing the critical text of the New Testament is often only perceived as abbreviations in form of single letters or numerals, and today’s biblical scholars may hardly ever take notice of the specific features of an original manuscript, above all those not mentioned in a critical edition. Therefore, three sets of contributions deals with the conditions under which manuscripts from the early days of Christianity were produced and transmitted, specific individual manuscripts, and then special features observed in and with the help of various manuscripts. In a final essay the usual method of how to organize and categorize New Testament manuscripts is challenged and an alternative method proposed.
The essays are linked with each other so that readers may get a feeling of how astounding an occupation with the original manuscripts of the New Testament and the days of the early Christians can be.
Thomas J. Kraus, Ph.D. (Universität Regensburg, Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät) is a private scholar teaching at a German grammar school and participating in several research projects. He has published, in addition to several studies in research journals,
Sprache, Stil und historischer Ort des zweiten Petrusbriefes (Tübingen, 2001) and
Das Petrusevangelium und die Petrusapokalypse. Die griechischen Fragmente mit deutscher und englischer Übersetzung (with Tobias Nicklas, Berlin-New York, 2004).
Tobias Nicklas, Ph.D., Habilitation, Regensburg University, is Chair of New Testament Exegesis at the Faculty of Theology, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He has co-edited
The Book of Acts as Church History. Text, Textual Traditions and Ancient Interpretations (with M. Tilly: Berlin-New York, 2003) and
Die Worte der Prophetie dieses Buches”: Offenbarung 22,6-21 als Schlussstein der christlichen Bibel Alten und Neuen Testaments gelesen (with T. Hieke: Berlin-New York, 2004).
"This is a fascinating collection of essays showing how much light can be shed from a consideration of concrete manuscripts and taking seriously the evidence they provide for illuminating the social and religious world in which early Christians lived out their faith and produced their written texts." – Christopher Tuckett, in:
Review of Biblical Literature (2007) "This is a useful and important collection that deserves to be widely consulted by those engaged directly with reconstructing the text, but would serve as a helpful reminder to other NT scholars that they rely on the conclusions of text criticism for their own work." – Michael W. Holmes in:
Religious Studies Review 37/3