Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an


This research group focuses on the textual study and criticism of sacred texts from the ancient Eastern Mediterranean world that later had a global influence; the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’anic text. All three have similarities and differences. They have influenced other writings and at the same time have themselves undergone external influence bearing on questions of interrelationship, orality, textuality and language. Not only the abovementioned characteristics, but also their preservation and the copying as well as the proliferation of manuscripts are of particular interest to textual scholars.

The purpose of this research unit is to study the textual criticism of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Qur'an. The study of the Old Testament textual history includes the Hebrew Bible, the texts from Qumran, the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text – as well as the Aramaic Targumim, the Syriac translations, the Vulgate, Commentaries and others. Additionally, the study of the text of the New Testament includes also its versions, the Patristic citations, commentaries and related texts. Finally, the study of the textual history of the Qu’ran includes its text, the qira’at tradition (the alternative readings that correspond to different text types), the cultural milieu and context of Qur’anic transmission, and its commentary tradition.


Relevant topics for discussion would include:

  • The study of OT, NT or Qur’anic manscripts

  • The text itself and the circumstances of its transmission

  • Types or groupings of texts

  • Patterns in variant forms of text

  • Reconstructions of forms of text

  • Textual Criticism and history

  • Textual Criticism and exegesis

  • Textual Criticism and theology


Textual Criticism, New Testament, Old Testament, Qur’anic Manuscript Studies, Canon, Canonicity, Canonization, (Non-)Canonical



Alba Fedeli
Universität Hamburg

Theodora Panella
KU Leuven

Member Area

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

Two sessions are scheduled for the meeting in Syracuse:

  • an open session for topics on Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an. 
  • a thematic session on “Canonization of the Scriptures”.


 Catalogues and lists of books. Canon formation. Emerging canons and their sources of influence. Canons' use and adaptability. Criteria for establishing a canon and reasons to exclude a writing from a canon. Closed and stable or open collections? The persons, the time, the place and their importance on the formation of the canon. The influence of heresy on the formation of the canon and the role of the authorities. The thematic session will focus on the above-mentioned topics and related issues.


The “Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an” research group cordially invites the submission of proposals for papers for the forthcoming EABS meeting in Syracuse. Generally, the duration of papers to be read should not exceed 20 minutes. Abstracts (no more than 300 words) must be enrolled through the EABS meeting website. We welcome paper proposals that focus on the above-mentioned topics and related aspects. This research unit seeks to inspire debate among textual critics from all three fields.