Textual Criticism Links


Why Chosen: This is an online journal specializing in the field of textual criticism. It presently has eight volumes online each containing a handful of scholarly articles and a good collection of book reviews. It also has a 'links' page containing significantly more articles of a slightly less formal nature. This journal is a 'full strength' academic websites whose articles have undergone peer review which may give them more weight in the eyes of some.

What Learnt: There were two particular articles that I found useful as they were close to the subject of my proposed term paper. Multivariate Statistical Analysis for Manuscript Classification is really an overview paper discussing some of the statistical techniques that can be applied to documents (or really collections of documents) to see how they might naturally group themselves together. It also handles the issue of correctly encoding variant points in a manner suitable for statistical analysis. The brief overview of the efficacy of differing clustering techniques was particularly interesting. Electronic Resources Relevant to the Textual Criticism of Hebrew Scripture is also a useful, if slightly dated, listing of online resources useful as described. There is a third article on the application of certain clustering algorithms which was somewhat interesting but lacked the detail to really be useful.

Would I recommend? This is not a bad site and I would have no fears for someone visiting it. The articles are peer reviewed and the site is academically credible which for some people is important. If they happen to have an article that interests you, as they did for me, then it is a useful resource. In general however the presentation is sufficiently archaic and the subject matter sufficiently narrow that I would not recommend this site for general consumption.


Why Chosen: This is an excellent site with, in their own words, over 40,000 pages of free online resource material. The link I have given points to the two dozen articles they have on inspiration but they have similarly extensive sections on canonicity and textual criticism.

What learnt: This site really has to be viewed as a library rather than a book or article. I have not read even 1% of what they have available. However I would like to particularly note one very interesting article upon the issue of Inspiration, Preservation and Inerrancy. The article is essentially an attack of the TR position. However the attack is staged in a level and reasonable way and this is the best article I have seen that at least raises the question of the extent to which divine preservation has been exercised in the documents we have available today.

Would I recommend: I would certainly recommend this site. Usually when reviewing a book people will assert that it should be on a shelf in everyone's library. I would argue that this site is a library that ought to be on everyone's Favorite's list. It is simply too big, too easy to access and too well maintained to be ignored. My only real caveat is that the site is semi-commercial and on the more popular screens the visual noise can get irritating. Within the more research oriented areas the site calms down and allows you at the information you want.


Why Chosen: This website has extensive resources covering the history of the canon and early Bible versions. It is an add free, quick loading, nicely presented site with at least two hundred articles pitched at the Bible student or focused lay reader. Additionally there are, almost hidden, some very extensive and useful bibliographies, link lists and even scans of older biblical encyclopedias. There is also a full 'critical apparatus' of the various English readings of the New Testament which would justify this sites inclusion alone.

What Learnt: This question is a little difficult to respond to in that this is a huge reference site I have used extensively. Instead I will list some of the hidden gems on this site. It has an annotated bibliography of New Testament Criticism which details just about everything you would want to read and why you would want to read it. It has Kenyon's 'Story of the Bible' which is essentially a populist version of this course. The section on English Translations is extensive and excellent.

Would I recommend it? I have no hesitation in recommending this site. The articles on the history of the canon are particularly excellent and the extent of annotations on the link lists and bibliographies is superb. The sites author clearly does have a set of beliefs but the articles and tenor of the site are remarkably neutral with a somewhat conservative bent.


Why Chosen: This site is centered on the production of an alternate Greek New Testament. I know the author and trust his thrust and motivation in the work he is doing. The site offers an introduction to New Testament Textual criticism of a level suitable for an interested lay reader. There is also a discussion forum and the aim is for this 'New' version to be produced with full online discussion over the next five years. Presently Galatians has been tackled and Romans is next up.

What Learnt: This is the site that first inspired my interest in lower criticism. The site contains an online book that essentially aims to bridge the gap between science and art in the production of a Greek Text. In particular it attempts to use statistics to challenge some of the 'canons' of modern textual criticism. Perhaps the key to this challenge is the use of singletons (variants where only one manuscript differs from the rest) to establish error patterns within the rest of the manuscript.

Would I Recommend? For me this is an unequivocal yes. The site is sound and will remain that way. The approach follows that middle of the road between lay readership and full academia that I believe is often where the most interesting work is done. The forum is currently sparsely populated but as this is a five year project I hope that momentum will grow as time progresses.


This site is a one man enterprise that 'attempts to cover all aspects of New Testament Textual Criticism in an orderly and fair fashion.'

Why Chosen: I consider the site to be excellent and have made it my first port of call when checking something out. I estimate it contains about a hundred major articles which offer a thorough explanation of the stated topic in a clear manner that is easy to assimilate. Diagrams exist but are not intrusive and there is not advertising or noise to get in the way.

What Learnt:

The site is extensive and I certainly did not read all of it. I particularly studied the section on mathematics that gives an overview of existing work in the use of statistics to classify manuscripts and also potentially weight readings. The section on Cladistics is also an interesting primer to the subject. The analysis of the Claremont Profile Method for classifying text families is also very good.

Would I recommend it?:

My one caveat would be that for an encyclopedia the tone is overly evaluative. In one particular section treating contributions to the statistical method of textual classification the author openly states that his approach is 'scathing'. That said the author has a strong sense of intellectual honesty and will occasional truncate or circumnavigate subjects because he "doesn't understand them yet.' Further the evaluations offered are usually strong and justified even if I personally do not always reach the same conclusion. Thus I would recommend this site to anyone with the intellectual strength to be able to use the information provided without necessarily feeling compelled to alter his beliefs to those of the author.


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