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

Sofia 2024 Call for Papers

Check back at the end of September for the 2024 call for papers