History of the Pauline Corpus in Texts, Transmissions and Trajectories

A Textual Analysis of Manuscripts from the Second to the Fifth Century


In History of the Pauline Corpus in Texts, Transmissions, and Trajectories , Chris S. Stevens examines the Greek manuscripts of the Pauline texts from P46 to Claromontanus. Previous research is often hindered by the lack of a systematic analysis and an indelicate linguistic methodology. This book offers an entirely new analysis of the early life of the Pauline corpus. Departing from traditional approaches, this text-critical work is the first to use Systemic Functional Linguistics, which enables both the comparison and ranking of textual differences across multiple manuscripts. Furthermore, the analysis is synchronically oriented, so it is non-evaluative. The results indicate a highly uniform textual transmission during the early centuries. The systematic analysis challenges previous research regarding text types, Christological scribal alterations, and textual trajectories.

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Chris S. Stevens, Ph.D. (2019) McMaster Divinity College, is a pastor and independent researcher. He has published on Greek linguistics, ancient manuscripts, and Paul.
List of Figures, Tables and Charts


1 New Testament Textual Criticism: History and Highlights
 1 History of Textual Criticism
 2 Textual Criticism during the Early Church
 3 Textual Criticism after the Printing Press
 4 Conclusion
Excursus: Original Text Form and the Goal of Textual Criticism

2 Contemporary Textual Criticism Methods for New Testament Studies
 1 Majority Text
 2 Single Text Theory
 3 Byzantine Text Form
 4 Eclecticism: Reasoned and Thoroughgoing
 5 Stemmatics
 6 Coherence-Based Genealogical Method
 7 Conclusion of History and Methods

3 Method for Direct Evaluation of Textual Uniformity
 1 Comparative Methods
 2 Definition of a Unit of Variation
 3 New Method of Textual Comparison
 4 Procedure for the Comparison of Manuscripts: Counting and Numerical Majority

4 Summarized Results of the Textual Examination
 1 Romans Summary
 2 1 Corinthians Summary
 3 2 Corinthians Summary
 4 Galatians Summary
 5 Ephesians Summary
 6 Philippians Summary
 7 Colossians Summary
 8 1 Thessalonians Summary
 9 2 Thessalonians Summary
 10 1 Timothy Summary
 11 2 Timothy Summary
 12 Titus Summary
 13 Philemon Summary
 14 Conclusion

5 Textual Features Explored and Weighed
 1 Surprising Scribal Skill
 2 Spelling
 3 Scribal Choices and Inconsistencies
 4 Brevior Lectio vs. Verbose Additions
 5 General Patterns
 6 Summary of Highlighted Features
 7 Sensible Results out of Nonsense
 8 Weighted Conclusion
 9 Conclusion

6 Application to Contemporary Research
 1 Text Types and Textual Assessment
 2 Textual Uniformity
 3 Textual Agreement Rates of Other Ancient Texts
 4 Textual Agreement Rates in Other Projects
 5 P46 and Textual Agreement
 6 Summary
 7 The Aland’s Figures of Textual Agreement
 8 Conclusion

7 Narrative Textual Criticism: Textual Variation Used for Sociohistorical Narratives
 1 Background and Development of Narrative Textual Criticism
 2 Benefits and Weaknesses of NTC
 3 NTC Approach Popularized by Bart Ehrman
 4 Ehrman versus the Evidence
 5 Summary
 6 Conclusion

8 Source and History of the Pauline Corpus
 1 Before AD 200
 2 Historical Consistency Rather Than Diversity Followed by Recension
 3 When Does the Pauline Corpus Originate? Theories of Publication
 4 Conclusion


Appendix 1: Textual Analysis of the Pauline Corpus
 1 Pauline Corpus: Thirteen Letters
 2 Romans: Commentary and Results
 3 1 Corinthians: Textual Commentary and Results
 4 2 Corinthians: Textual Commentary and Results
 5 Galatians: Commentary and Results
 6 Ephesians: Commentary and Results
 7 Philippians: Commentary and Results
 8 Colossians: Commentary and Results
 9 1 Thessalonians: Commentary and Results
 10 2 Thessalonians: Commentary and Results
 11 1 Timothy: Commentary and Results
 12 2 Timothy: Commentary and Results
 13 Titus: Commentary and Results
 14 Philemon: Commentary and Results
 15 Statistical Conclusions of the Textual Comparison
Appendix 2: Examination of Textual Differences for Christological Tendencies
 1 Orthodox Base Position
 2 Method of Christological Evaluation
 3 Textual Differences Possibly Impacting Christology
 4 Citations and Comments by Ehrman
 5 Conclusion of Christology Data
 6 Key Findings
 7 Conclusion
Modern Author Index
Subject Index
All interested in the early history of the Pauline corpus regarding its early circulation and transmissional stability versus fluidity.