Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review of Norton, Contours in the Text

BOOK REVIEW: Jonathan D. H. Norton. Contours in the Text: Textual Variation in the Writings of Paul, Josephus and the Yahad. Library of New Testament Studies 430; London: T&T Clark, 2011. xiii + 210 pages (PB). ISBN 9780567521996. Reviewed by Garrick V. Allen for Reviews of Biblical and Early Christian Studies. Excerpt:
Overall, Norton interacts with the numerous textual, exegetical, historical, and social issues related to his primary question in a capable manner. The discussion is sophisticated and he is careful to distinguish between concerns that are often conflated in similar studies. Also, his textual acumen and attention to detail are impressive and necessary for a study of this complexity. Norton is also careful to define terms in a way that allows the reader to follow his complex textual reasoning. He is successful in articulating his primary argument and leading his reader through the voluminous textual data that he has accumulated. The coherence of this volume in the face of its complexity is admirable. The most valuable contribution of this volume, however, is Norton’s ability to interact with the textual data while, simultaneously, taking account of the scholarly discussion of Paul’s reuse of scriptural traditions that often minimizes this essential facet.