Text-Collections and an Emergent NT Canon

Larry Hurtado's Blog

A recent survey of the contents of Christian manuscripts from the first three centuries focuses on identifying which texts were combined in the same manuscript:  Michael Dormandy, “How the Books Became the Bible:  The Evidence for Canon Formation From Work-Combination in Manuscripts,” TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 23 (2018):  1-39.  (TC is an open-access and online journal:  available here.)

After laying out carefully his method and his gathering of data (using the Leuven Database of Ancient Books), Dormandy then classifies extant manuscripts (including very fragmentary ones) as to the level of certainty that we can attain in determining whether the manuscripts contained more than one text, and, if so, what texts they contained.  His approach is cautious and careful, which makes his conclusions all the more sound.

Dormandy coins the term “collection-evident” to designate collections of texts that combine texts that came to form part of…

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