‘Catholicity’ in early Gospel MSS: A case for early canonization of the Gospels

Early Text

The Early Text of the New Testament, edited by Charles Hill and Michael Kruger, as I have said previously, is going to be a textual source of extreme value. In “‘Catholicity’ in Early Gospel Manuscripts”, Scott Charlesworth’s tentative textual conclusions matched with early patristic writings provide, with high probability, early (i.e. up to third/forth century) textual and historical evidence of circulating orthodox Gospel codices for public and private use.

This chapter by Charlesworth has provided a shift and confirmation in some of my thinking about early canonization of the Gospels. “Scribal conventions,” Charlesworth concludes, “in second- and second/third-century gospel papyri are indicative of ‘catholic’ collaboration and consensus, presumably among the ‘orthodox’ [Gospels].”[1]

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