Sunday, January 22, 2006

Textual criticism and text critics

I am just preparing an introductory lecture on Textual Criticism for my New Testament class and I fell to wondering why it is that everyone tends to talk about textual criticism and text critics. Why is it that when we start talking about the individuals who practise textual criticism, we call them text critics? Why not textual critics or text criticism? Or is it just my perception that those are the conventions?


Stephen C. Carlson said...

My perception was similar, but the number of Google pages returned tell a different story.

Textual criticism: 353,000; text criticism: 30,500.

Textual critic: 17,800; text critic: 626.

Textual critical: 858; text critical: 60,300.

It appears that the big reversal is over the phrase with "critical."

Michael Pahl said...

Stephen, I wonder if it is the double "-al" ending which makes it a bit of a tongue twister, making "text critical" the more common in that instance...? For myself, I think I use both versions indiscriminately, although I may prefer the "textual" variants. :-)

Stephen C. Carlson said...

Michael, yes, I'm sure that the double "-al" ending is the culprit.

Sean said...

Dr Goodacre, can you recommend a good intro to textual criticism? Maybe a lecture, or small book that will give an amateur some clues into this vast terrain? Thanks!