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 writings not only in manuscripts, but also inscribed or printed,

  • The text itself and the circumstances of its transmission

  • Types or groupings of texts

  • Reconstructions of forms of text

  • Textual Criticism and history

  • Textual Criticism and exegesis

  • Textual Criticism and theology


Textual Criticism, New Testament, Old Testament, Qur’an, Qur’anic Manuscript Studies, Radiocarbon Dating, Dating of MSS



Alba Fedeli
Universität Hamburg

Theodora Panella
University of Münster

Member Area

Wuppertal 2021 Call for Papers

Two sessions are scheduled for the meeting in Wuppertal:

  • an open session for topics on Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an. 

  • a thematic session on “ Dating of Manuscripts”.

The thematic session will focus on methods of dating manuscripts of religious texts and related issues. The objective of this session is to initiate and encourage dialogue regarding current issues and the debates that these issues have generated and still generate about the dating of the oldest (but not only the oldest) New Testament and Old Testament manuscripts as well as the early Qur’anic manuscripts. We invite papers on methods of studying the text and the artifact with the support of either the paleographical and codicological methods or based on the knowledge we have from the History, the History of Art and the most modern methods of chemical analyses. The session aims at fostering studies that explore for example cases in which different methods produce different results; cases of interdisciplinary research; interpretation of the implications in identifying the older/oldest manuscripts in comparison with more recent witnesses from a philological point of view thus trying to answer the question whether the older is the better witness for textual criticism and the reconstruction of the initial text.

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 Wuppertal. Generally the duration of papers to be read should not exceed 20 minutes. Abstracts (no more than 300 words) have to 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.