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The Epistle of Jude
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The Epistle of Jude

Its text and transmission

by Tommy Wasserman

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This study treats the textual tradition of the Epistle of Jude. The nucleus of the study is an exhaustive critical apparatus presenting the evidence of 560 Greek MSS, including dozens of lectionaries. The major part of these textual witnesses have not received the attention they deserve. Now, for the first time, all these MSS have been collated in a complete book of the NT. The complete collation has brought many new readings to light, some of which were only known through ancient versions, and previously known and important readings have gained additional support. An accompanying textual commentary explains the rationale behind the various text-critical decisions in over 100 passages. An innovation is the employment of a new rating system of a more descriptive nature than counterparts. In a treatment of the literary and text-critical relationship between 2 Peter and Jude, it is argued that the Epistle of Jude has literary priority. Further, the textual traditions of the two writings show that scribal harmonization between the parallel accounts occurs relatively infrequently. Two significant witnesses, P72 and Codex Vaticanus (B 03), lack such harmonization altogether. The history of the text is also the history of readers and their world, as disclosed through the palaeographic and textual evidence. Every manuscript has a unique story to tell, about the ancient copyists, owners and users. In particular, the two earliest papyrus witnesses to Jude, P72 and P78 (ca. 300 C.E.), are studied in detail. For the first time, plates of these early papyri and the recently registered uncial 0316 are published with complete transcriptions. In addition, plates of two significant minuscules are published with short descriptions. The Greek New Testament manuscripts are crucial for the history of Christianity throughout the centuries and deserve our close attention.

Product Details

Publisher: Almqvist and Wiksell
Publication date: 2006
Bibliographic info: xv + 368 pages + XVI plates
Language(s): English


Cover: Paper



"Very few doctoral studies can claim to be magisterial, however, Wasserman’s study rightly deserves such a title. He presents an exhaustive study of the manuscript tradition of the Epistle of Jude. What this means in practice is assembling and collating the readings from 560 Greek manuscripts of this letter. The evidence is drawn from familiar papyrus and uncial texts, but the ground-breaking aspect is the integration of evidence from hundreds of minuscule manuscripts and lectionaries."—Paul Foster, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh in Expository Times, (2007) 118

"This is obviously essential reading for those engaged in textual criticism of the NT, and particularly of Jude. It is also very important for anyone with a more general interest in Jude and, to a lesser extent, 2 Peter. Finally, it provides a helpful update on the current state of textual criticism for all scholars of the NT who may (like the author of this review) attend to the subject less than they should."—Terrance Callan, The Athenaeum of Ohio, in Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 69, 2007

"Wasserman has made available to the text critic a massive amount of manuscript evidence for the book of Jude. The manuscript evidence is exhaustive and the textual commentary thoughtful. Commentators and text critics must deal with Wasserman’s evidence and textual conclusions in any future work on this little epistle. One may apply the same criteria and arrive at different conclusions, but no scholar can afford to dismiss Wasserman’s thoughtful and measured text decisions. "—Stephen D. Patton, North Greenville University in Review of Biblical Literature, April 2008

"It cannot be said of many doctoral theses that they have made a major and permanent contribution to human knowledge, but it can be said of this one. what has been achieved in the course of this published version of a doctoral dissertation at Lund University is quite incredible. Te author has examined and collated the text of Jude in 560 diferent manuscripts, that is, in virtually all the continuous-text manuscripts of the epistle. Tus a work has been done that has considerably advanced our knowledge of the text of the New testament and will not need to be repeated. such full collations previously had existed only for the Apocalypse."—: P.J. Williams, Tyndale House in Themelios, 33: 1

"This is a thorough and competent examination of the Greek text of this little epistle. Wasserman is a name we expect to hear more of in the years to come. He has cut his teeth on the 560 mss. containing Jude, all of which he has examined and collated. . . . Wasserman's commentary should serve generations of exegetes of this epistle. It is a splendid achievement."—J. K. Elliott in Novum Testamentum 50 (2008): 306-307

"Wasserman's thesis is unsurpassed in accuracy and completeness. . . . W. gives the reader the information necessary for checking the reliability of his text-critical presentation of Jude. In fact, he gives accurate and compete information about most text-critical problems. . . . I can only congratulate the young doctor on a good piece of scholarship."—René Kieffer, Uppsala University, in Journal of Theological Studies, 68, 2007

"This is a fine and welcome addition to the literature on Jude and the textual criticism of the New Testament. Spot checks suggested the collation is extremely accurate . . . ; the textual commentary is very readable, with an understandable weighting given to some particularly difficult decisions."&mdash:Peter Head in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 30.5 (2008)

"Wasserman's presentation of evidence as completely as possible is really laudable, and the caution and reason of the author' s argument and the aim to encourage the readers to decide independently point in a direction in which textual criticism may get out of its 'esoteric' corner, and textual history can also become an important aid for exegesis."—Jorg Frey in TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 15 (2010)

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