Saturday, 6 September 2008

Not Your Father's Textual Criticism

Eldon J. Epp, in his inaugural address as president of the Society of Biblical Literature (Nov, 2003), highlighted the new era of textual criticism which now opens up all kinds of problematic areas, but especially the controversial issues of canonicity and the state of the biblical text during the first two or three hundred years in which we have extremely few extant manuscripts. He writes,

"Our discipline, to be sure, has its technical aspects, but it remains primarily an art, and therefore it is for neither the perfunctory, nor the inflexible, nor the unimaginative, nor the tender-minded; and above all it is not the safe harbor that for so long and by so many it has been perceived to be. And "this"--as the saying goes--"is not your father's" textual criticism, but an entrance into a brave new world, with provocative challenges and captivating promises!"

No comments: