The contribution of discourse analysis to textual criticism : a study of the Bezan text of acts.

Heimerdinger, J G. (1994) The contribution of discourse analysis to textual criticism : a study of the Bezan text of acts. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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This study of the Greek text of Acts in Codex Bezae seeks to demonstrate how the practice of textual criticism can be helped by the application of discourse analysis to internal linguistic criticism. In so doing, it aims to throw light on the origin and purpose of the Bezan text. The text of Codex Bezae is compared with that of Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. After an initial section explaining the method used and outlining the principles of discourse analysis, a selection of the types of variant readings is examined exhaustivelyi connectives, word order, prepositions, divine names and the spelling of Jerusalem. Grammatical and pragmatic features (particularly the context and the writer/recipient relationship) are considered. In the final section, consecutive variants in extended portions of text (1: 15-26; 12: 1-12,18-25; 113: 1-18) are the object of exegetical study. The findings of the analyses challenge the traditional view of the Bezan text as a late and wayward text, the work of a slipshod and fanciful scribe. It emerges, on the contrary, as a careful and deliberate work, displaying a high degree of inner coherence and remarkably close to the linguistic patterns which can be discerned in the text which is common to all three manuscripts. The results further suggest that the text peculiar to Codex Bezae was the work of an early Christian editor familiar with the Jewish background of the Church. Its purpose seems to have been to amplify and enhance the first text of Acts for the benefit of Jewish recipients in order to demonstrate the continuity between Judaism and Christianity and especially the divine endorsement of the openness of the new movement to the Gentiles. The Bezan revision of the original is, thus, a valuable witness to the life of the early Church and a demonstration of the acceptable fluidity of the pre-canonical text.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy Religion Linguistics
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Philosophy and Religion
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 14 May 2015 04:43
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2017 16:42
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4289
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