Corrections to Qur’an and New Testament Manuscripts: Snapshots of Textual History

Dr. Keith Small

Corrections to ancient manuscripts present important information concerning scribal practices. In New Testament manuscript studies, the examination of corrections has provided valuable insights into the textual history of several significant manuscripts.[1] The work of Gacek has proved valuable concerning the development of precise practices of manuscript correction in the greater Arabic manuscript tradition, but the same has not been done for Arabic Qur’an manuscripts.[2]

This presentation will provide a survey of the general kinds of corrections one may find in the New Testament and Qur’an manuscript traditions. Special attention will be given to corrections which change the meaning of the text and affect the continuing form of the text in its transmission history. Some preliminary conclusions will be made from these observations concerning the respective textual histories of these traditions.

[1] D. Jongkind, D. Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus. Piscataway, Gorgias Press, 2007; D.C. Parker, Codex Bezae: An Early Christian Manuscript and its Text. Cambridge: CUP, 1992.

[2] A. Gacek, A. Taxonomy of scribal errors and corrections in Arabic manuscripts. Theoretical Approaches to the Transmission and Edition of Oriental Manuscripts. J. Pfeiffer and M. Kropp. Beirut: Ergon Verlag Würzburg: 2007, 217-235.