TC-List: A Scholarly Discussion List of Biblical Textual Criticism

General Information

This list is loosely associated with the electronic journal TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism, and it is intended for a discussion of any matters relating to biblical textual criticism, broadly defined. It is hoped that subscribers to the tc-list will reflect on and respond to material from articles in TC, will deal with issues that arise in the context of text-critical study in the community of biblical scholars at large, and will use the list to suggest new ideas and methodologies. Notes on any aspect of the textual criticism of the Jewish and Christian scriptures (including extracanonical and related literature) are welcome, and threads that transcend the traditional boundary between textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and New Testament textual criticism are especially encouraged. We would also like to see threads that discuss the relationship between textual criticism and other disciplines.

This list is an unmoderated list, and anyone who is a subscriber to the list may contribute. Conventional netiquette should be followed by all contributors to the list. The following points in particular should be kept in mind.

  1. Discussion of topics other than textual criticism (or other topics likely to be of interest to members of the list) should be avoided.
  2. Scholarly discussion can at times be somewhat heated, but civility should always prevail. Ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated and are grounds for removal from the list.
  3. Contributors to the list should always sign their messages with their names (not just e-mail addresses). Additional information, such as institutional affiliation, might also be of interest to others on the list.
  4. When responding to a message on the list, quote only that portion of the message that you are responding to, or enough of the message to remind readers of the context of the discussion. In many cases it is not necessary to quote the entire message. All posts should be as short as possible. Members should consider taking threads with only two participants off-list.
  5. The tc-list is a community of people interested in the study of the biblical texts. It includes Jews, Christians, Muslims, agnostics, and others. Arguments based on a list member's theological beliefs (e.g., the text must read this way, because it's the only reading that's theologically accurate), and especially messages that disparage the beliefs of others on the list, are not appropriate. In particular, arguments based on inerrancy or providential transmission fall into this category. However, arguments for one reading or another based on the presumed theological position of authors or transmitters of the text itself (e.g., this reading is most consistent with Paul's theology of flesh and spirit) are fair game.
  6. The tc-list community includes both experts and non-experts. Non-experts are welcome to ask questions and express opinions. However, those with a limited understanding of the subject should not presume to lecture those who have been studying the subject for years or decades. People should always engage in some self-reflection and be aware of their level of expertise (or lack thereof) before posting.
  7. The tc-list is a forum for discussion, not evangelism. Those whose messages are always on the same theme and receive limited response from others on the list may be asked to refrain from posting. The listowner may ask participants in threads that involve only two people to take their discussion off-list.
  8. The following viewpoints are officially declared to be non-scholarly on this list and may not be discussed:
  9. The listowner has final say in all matters regarding the tc-list.


Archives of tc-list are automatically maintained. The list was originally a majordomo list, and archives of discussions from November 1995 through September 1999 are stored in standard Unix mail format. These messages may be downloaded, one month at a time, from The list is now a Lyris list, and all messages are available at Lyris allows messages to be searched by date or text (including author, subject, anything in the message itself).

List archives on Yahoo or elsewhere are incomplete.

Subscribing, Unsubscribing, and Sending Messages to the List

To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to, click on "textual criticism," then the TC icon. Click on "Join tc-list" to subscribe. Once you've subscribed, you may enter the list and set up your preferences (e.g., receive digests rather than every message). To unsubscribe, enter the list, then click "Leave (unsubscribe)." People may also read messages without joining the list by clicking on "Visit tc-list without joining."

To send a message to the list for all to read, send your message to

If you do not want to receive messages for a while (e.g., you're going on vacation or will be away from your computer for an extended time), you may select the "no mail: receive no mail from this mailing list" option under your personal settings. To begin receiving mail again, simply change your option to "mail: receive messages as they are contributed." You can read the messages that you've missed from the Web site.

The list-owner of tc-list is Jimmy Adair, Director, Religion and Technology Center (