No one knows early transmission of texts like Larry- so you should read this.
Assumptions and claims about the transmission of the texts of early Christian writings continue to require correction. Old assumptions and claims die slowly, advocates sometimes seeming so wedded to them that they exhibit some resistance to the data.
There is, for example, the persistent claim/assumption that there was some kind of “recension” of NT writings sometime in the (late?) second century CE (advocates include Helmut Koester and William Petersen). I addressed this notion in an earlier posting here. This sort of claim seems more and more to look like a kind of “rear guard” action against the accumulating manuscript evidence. Moreover, it’s difficult to posit the ecclesiastical structure(s) that could have carried off such a recension at that early point, supposedly succeeding in erasing all evidence of the “pre-recensional” situation. Historical work does involve imagination, but it really should be controlled by the evidence!
Likewise, there is the accompanying…
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