Cover image for The Edited Bible: The Curious History of the Editor in Biblical Criticism By John Van Seters

The Edited Bible

The Curious History of the Editor in Biblical Criticism

John Van Seters

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$54.50 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-112-2


The Edited Bible

The Curious History of the Editor in Biblical Criticism

John Van Seters

There is a generally accepted notion in biblical scholarship that the Bible as we know it today is the product of editing from its earliest stages of composition through to its final, definitive and “canonical” textual form. So persistent has been this idea since the rise of critical study in the seventeenth century and so pervasive has it become in all aspects of biblical study that there is virtually no reflection on the validity of this idea” (from the Introduction). Van Seters proceeds to survey the history of the idea of editing, from its origins in the pre-Hellenistic Greek world, through Classical and Medieval times, into the modern era. He discusses and evaluates the implications of the common acceptance of “editing” and “editors/redactors” and concludes that this strand of scholarship has led to serious misdirection of research in modern times.

 

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There is a generally accepted notion in biblical scholarship that the Bible as we know it today is the product of editing from its earliest stages of composition through to its final, definitive and “canonical” textual form. So persistent has been this idea since the rise of critical study in the seventeenth century and so pervasive has it become in all aspects of biblical study that there is virtually no reflection on the validity of this idea” (from the Introduction). Van Seters proceeds to survey the history of the idea of editing, from its origins in the pre-Hellenistic Greek world, through Classical and Medieval times, into the modern era. He discusses and evaluates the implications of the common acceptance of “editing” and “editors/redactors” and concludes that this strand of scholarship has led to serious misdirection of research in modern times.

Abbreviations

Preface

1. Introduction

The Problem of Definition in Old Testament Handbooks

Etymologies and Meanings

Understanding Ancient Book Production, Dissemination, and Distribution

The Revival of Scholarship in the Renaissance and Editing the Classics

Editing the Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity

Additions and Editions

The Task before Us

2. The Early History of Editing

The Rise of Homeric Scholarship in the Pre-Hellenistic Period

Alexandrian Scholars and the Editing of Homer

Homeric Scholarship in Pergamum and Rome

Editing and Its In.uence on the Vulgate and the Book Trade

Editing Classical Texts in the Roman Period

Conclusion

3.Jewish and Christian Scholarship and Standardization of Biblical Texts

The Sopherim as “Editors” of the Hebrew Bible

Scribal Signs and Corrections

Editing and Translating the Sacred Texts among the Church Fathers

Conclusion

4. Classical and Biblical Text Editions: Editing in the Age of the Printing Press

The Revival of Classical Learning and the Publication of Editiones Principes

The Textus Receptus of the New Testament and the Hebrew Bible

Editing Classical Texts and the Education of the Gentleman

Richard Bentley and the Critical Editing of Texts

Editors and the Collection of Manuscripts

5. Editing Homer: The Rise of Historical Criticism in Classical Studies

F. A. Wolf and the Homeric Problem

The Editor in Homer after Wolf

The Demise of the Redactor in Homeric Studies

6. The History of the “Editor” in Biblical Criticism from Simon to Wellhausen

Richard Simon: Editing Historical Documents

Editor as Compiler of Fragments and Documents: From Eichhorn to Vater

W. M. L. de Wette: Pioneer of Historical Criticism

Heinrich Ewald: Conservative Reaction

Hermann Hupfeld: Editor as Conflator of Documents

Wellhausen and Kuenen: The Redactor in the Documentary Hypothesis

Summary and Conclusion

7. The History of Redaction in the Twentieth Century: Crisis in Higher Criticism

The Wellhausen Legacy in the Twentieth Century: Driver, Eissfeldt, and Pfeiffer

Form Criticism and the Editor: Hermann Gunkel

Form Criticism of the Hexateuch: Authors and Editors in G. von Rad

Editors and Historians in the History of Traditions: Martin Noth

The Revisionist Successors of von Rad and Noth and the Triumph of the Editor

The Composition of the Pentateuch: Neither Authors nor Editors—Erhard Blum

Wellhausen and the Rise of Redaction Criticism in New Testament Studies

Summary and Conclusion

8. Editing the Bible and Textual Criticism

Editors in the History of Textual Criticism

Editors, Urtext, Recensions, and the Problem of Textual Diversity: Emanuel Tov

Editors in the Book of Jeremiah

Editing the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Editions of the Septuagint and Other Early Greek Recensions

Conclusion

9. Editors and the Creation of the Canon

The Problem of Definition: “Canon” and “Canonical”

The History of the Canon as a Restricted Corpus of Sacred Books

Canonical Criticism, Canonical Process, and the Editing of the Bible

The Role of the Editor in Innerbiblical Exegesis

Conclusion

10. Summary and Conclusion

Appendix: Original Text of Translated Excerpts

Indexes

Index of Authors

Index of Scripture

Index of Other Ancient Sources

Index of Topics

For recent comments by Van Seters on the topics contained in his book, see his response to an article by Rolf Rendtorff at the SBL Forum.

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