Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers

By Andrew F. Gregory; Christopher M. Tuckett | Go to book overview

Preface

The essays and studies included in these two volumes are intended to update, to develop, and to widen the scope of the issues considered by members of ‘A Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology’ in their landmark and still valuable reference book, The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers. That volume was published by the Clarendon Press in 1905, and it is to acknowledge the importance of that famous book that these companion volumes are published in its centenary year. The 1905 volume was very much a product of Oxford, albeit by a number of scholars who may have been on the fringes of university life (as John Muddiman explains, in Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, p. 107); Kirsopp Lake is listed among the contributors as Professor of New Testament Exegesis in the University of Leiden, but he was curate of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford until his appointment to that chair in 1904.

Oxford connections remain important in these centenary volumes. Both editors are members of the Oxford Theology Faculty, and these papers represent the first-fruits of an ongoing research project on the New Testament and the second century that is supported by the Theology Faculty. Yet there is also a strong international dimension to the research presented in these volumes, for the contributors are drawn from Belgium, Germany, Canada, the USA, and South Africa, as well as from Oxford and elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Many of the papers were presented and discussed at a conference held at Lincoln College, Oxford, in April 2004; others were written solely for publication. But this collection is by no means just another Conference Proceedings; all the contributions printed here have been through the process of peer review that is customary in academic publishing.

The chapters that appear in The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers offer a comprehensive and rigorous discussion of the extent to which the writings later included in the New Testament were known, and cited (or alluded to), by the Apostolic Fathers, and they do so in the light of contemporary research on the textual traditions of both corpora. The chapters in Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers are also sensitive to these issues, but offer a representative sample of a range of issues that arise in the comparative study of these texts. They cannot be comprehensive, because they address wider questions than those addressed in the companion volume, but they advance contemporary discussion and understanding of each of the Apostolic Fathers and much of the New Testament in

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