Reformed Articles

Was there a 2C recension of the NT?

This post was originally published on this site
Charles Hill (“‘In These Very Words’:  Methods and Standards of Literary Borrowing in the Second Century,” pp. 261-81) provides a valuable study showing that pagan and Christian authors followed a different set of conventions in citing texts than used by copyists of texts.  This is a point I’ve tried to make for a number of years, and I’m pleased now to see this well-supported presentation of it.  The major point is that (contra some claims), we can’t play off the loose citations of NT writings in early Christian authors against the evidence of our early manuscripts to make a case that the NT writings were in a chaotic state until some supposed “recension” in the late second century that produced all our extant manuscripts.  In fact, the earliest manuscripts remain our best evidence for the text of NT writings.