‘In These Very Words’:

Charles E. Hill

in The Early Text of the New Testament

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199566365
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740985 | DOI:
‘In These Very Words’:

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Citations of NT texts by early authors constitute an important source for our ideas about the stability of the early textual transmission of NT books. Recent scholars have placed great emphasis on the discrepancies which often exist between these citations and the wording of our extant NT manuscripts, arguing that such variations show that the earliest period of copying of NT manuscripts was characterized by a high degree of carelessness and even ‘textual chaos’. Much of this analysis, however, is based upon uninformed assumptions about the aims and practices of literary borrowing of the period. This chapter examines the culture of literary borrowing in pagan and Jewish writings for comparison with early Christian use of the NT. It suggests a more nuanced and realistic approach to assessing the underlying NT texts appropriated by early writers who quoted or alluded to NT books.

Keywords: citation; quotation; literary borrowing; New Testament textual history; textual stability

Chapter.  9928 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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