The Use of Textual Criticism for the Interpretation of Patristic Texts: Seventeen Case Studies

This book examines the textual emendations to patristic writings to showcase the theological preoccupations of early Christian teachings. The debate around the formation of a unified church produced several key texts in the history of Christianity, and they are discussed in these scholarly essays. These seventeen chapters examine a shift in textual interpretations, notice a change in literary genre, and also identify ancient editing techniques. Two essays actually show an intentional change in a text to make it palatable to a different audience.


“The articles are well written and valuable in themselves as serious scholarly contributions to a variety of patristic texts. They are also largely persuasive demonstrations of the importance of textual studies to theological issues of those texts and their interpretation.”
-Dr. Ronnie J. Rombs,
University of Dallas

“Professor Steinhauser’s introduction provides an enlightening overview of the history of textual criticism from the Early Middle Ages until the present day. He presents the development of the science and art of establishing texts in a clear and incisive manner. The major figures in the development of principles for textual criticism are presented. Prof. Steinhauser is well qualified to write such a history since he has been involved professionally with the Vienna school of interpretation under the able leadership of the late Adolf Primmer along with his team of highly regarded scholars.”
-Prof. Frederick Van Fleteren,
LaSalle University

“The great variety of texts considered in this collection will result in its reader recognizing one or many of the problem texts, and thus finding the techniques and the results illustrated on a document already familiar. This series of studies will also contribute to a more sophisticated use of critical editions and, particularly, a more regular and careful reading of their introduction”
J. Patout Burns, Jr.,
Edward A. Malloy Professor of Catholic Studies, Emeritus,
Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations i
Foreword by J. Patout Burns, Jr. iv
Introduction: Transmission and Meaning Kenneth B. Steinhauser 1

Part I Determining Authorship
1 Transmission Implications Regarding the Authorship of Cyril of Jerusalem’s Mystagogic Catecheses Donna R. Hawk-Reinhard 37
2 The Transformation of Fulgentius of Ruspe in the Carolingian Age Francis X. Gumerlock 77

Part II Date of Composition 3 Bishop Severus and the Jewish Conversion on Minorca Marilyn C. Kincaid 97

Part III Identification of Sources
4 Three Source Arguments for the Two-Way Material in Didache and Barnabas Noël Pretila 119
5 The Question of Arian Interpolations in Methodius’ Symposium Hudson Russell Davis 143

Part IV Process of Composition 6 Possible Apollinarian Interpolations in the Short Recension of Athanasius’ Contra Gentes and De Incarnatione Sarah L. P. White 183
7 The Passion of Cyprian in the So-Called “Donatist Dossier” of Würzburg M. p. th. f. 33 Alden Bass 209
8 Transformation of the World: Victorinus of Pettau and the Ending of His Commentarius in Apocalypsim Gerardo Rodríguez-Galarza 233
9 Authorial Commentary in Hilary of Poitiers’ De Synodis Eric Wickman 247
10 De Sacramentis into De Mysteriis: Ambrose of Milan as Author and Editor Scott Shoger 269

Part V Reception
11 In Search of “Le Texte Véritible”: The Rescension of Kephalaia Gnostica of Evagrius Kyle A. Schenkewitz 323
12 The Syriac Transmission of Basil of Caesarea’s On The Holy Spirit Benjamin D. Wayman 351
13 A History of the Interpretation of St. Cyprian’s De unitate Daniel Handschy 387
14 How Difficulties in Transmitting the Texts of Basil’s Adversus Eunomium 3.1 and Maximus’ Letter to Marinus Led to the Rise and Fall of Ferrara-Florence Jacob N. Van Sickle 431

Part VI Textual Variants
15 Conflating Deus and Dominus: The Ambiguous Transmission of the Acts of the Council of Aquileia Aaron Overby 453
16 Vellet or Vellent? A Textual Variant in Augustine’s Enchiridion Scott Dermer 479

Part VII Textual Conjecture
17 Correcting Leon: An Analysis of the Conjecture of ??????????????????? for ???????????????????? in Didache 14:1 Timothy R. LeCroy 513

Other Religion-Patristics & Early Christianity Books