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The Erotic Life of Manuscripts: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Biological Sciences
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Oxford Univ Pr
Publication date January 4, 2016
Pages 203
Binding Hardcover
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780190279806
ISBN-10 019027980X
Dimensions 1 by 5 by 8 in.
Original list price $74.00
Other format details university press
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description: Since the New Testament's inception as written text, its manuscripts have been subject to all the dangers of history: scribal error, emendation, injury, and total destruction. The traditional goal of modern textual criticism has been to reconstruct an "original text" from surviving manuscripts, adjudicating among all the variant texts resulting from the slips, additions, and embellishments of scribal hand-copying.

Because of the way manuscripts circulate and give rise to new copies, it can be said that they have an "erotic" life: they mate and breed, bear offspring, and generate families and descendants. New Testament textual critics of the eighteenth century who began to use this language to group texts into families and genealogies were not pioneering new approaches, but rather borrowing the metaphors and methods of natural scientists. Texts began to be classified into "families, tribes, and nations," and later were racialized as "African" or "Asian," with distinguishable "textual physiognomies" and "textual complexions." The Erotic Life of Manuscripts explores this curious relationship between the field of New Testament textual criticism and the biological sciences, beginning with the eighteenth century and extending into the present.

While these biological metaphors have been powerful tools for textual critics, they also produce problematic understandings of textual "purity" and agency, with the use of scientific discourse artificially separating the work of textual criticism from literary interpretation. Yii-Jan Lin shows how the use of biological classification, genealogy, evolutionary theory, and phylogenetics has shaped-and limited-the goals of New Testament textual criticism, the greatest of which is the establishment of an authoritative, original text. She concludes by proposing new metaphors for the field.


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Hardcover
Book cover for 9780190279806
 
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from Oxford Univ Pr (January 4, 2016)
9780190279806 | details & prices | 203 pages | 5.00 × 8.00 × 1.00 in. | 0.95 lbs | List price $74.00
About: Since the New Testament's inception as written text, its manuscripts have been subject to all the dangers of history: scribal error, emendation, injury, and total destruction.

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