Second Timothy: When and Where? Text and Traditions in the Subscriptions

As paratexts found alongside the text in New Testament manuscripts, the subscriptions to New Testament letters do not attract nearly as much interest as the text itself and are excluded from the dominant text-critical editions, as they do not belong to the “initial text.” However, they are significant for reception history and played an important role in constructing an ancient Christian “landscape of memory.” In subscriptions to Second Timothy, for example, we are told that the letter was sent to Timothy, installed as the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, sent from Rome when Paul had appeared before Nere a second time. The inclusion of such traditions in the manuscripts, and later on editions like the Textus Receptus, ensured their transmission as part of the very scripture they sought to authenticate. Based on full collations of the subscriptions to Second Timothy in 463 Greek manuscripts, this paper presents research on the textual tradition and development of these subscriptions in relation to other subscriptions, paratexts, the internal evidence in 1–2 Timothy, Acts and the wider church history.