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3 PhD Positions on the Text, Transmission and Translation of 1 Corinthians

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Research Unit of Biblical Studies

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leuven - Belgium
Funding for: International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 14th October 2021
Closes: 25th November 2021
Reference: BAP-2021-741

The KU Leuven, Belgium, invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for a 4-year 100% PhD position examining evidence for the text, transmission and translation of 1 Corinthians in Greek, Latin or another language. The successful candidate will form part of the research team of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) funded Odysseus project “1Cor – Text, Transmission and Translation of 1 Corinthians in the First Millennium”. The project is situated within the Biblical Studies Research Unit of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.

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The 1Cor project’s main goal is to produce full scientific text-critical editions and analyses of 1 Corinthians with an innovative multilingual perspective in order to come to a thorough text-critical understanding of the textual development and transmission of 1 Corinthians in the first millennium. This will include a full digital text-critical edition of the Greek text, providing the earliest attainable Greek text in the first millennium as part of the International Greek New Testament Project's contribution to the Editio Critica Maior (ECM) and a full critical edition of the Old Latin text of 1 Corinthians in its earliest attainable revisions as part of the Vetus Latina (VL) series of the Vetus Latina Institut Beuron (Germany). The project will evaluate biblical continuous and non-continuous manuscripts as well as patristic evidence and translations into multiple languages, including Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Gothic and Arabic, by means of cutting-edge digital tools designed for electronic transcriptions, collations and editions.

Working as part of a team of researchers, the successful candidate will contribute to the project’s objectives by focussing on one of the following aspects:

  1. Liturgical Use of 1 Corinthians
  2. The PhD candidate will establish the evidence of 1 Corinthians in Greek or Latin lectionary tradition and will investigate the question whether the liturgical attestation of 1 Corinthians differs from continuous-text manuscripts. Patterns and tendencies will be defined by paying special attention to the various formats of liturgical manuscripts. The dissertation is expected to make an innovative contribution not only to the specific questions of the textual use of Paul in the early church but also to the fuller understanding of the liturgical tradition in the early period. The dissertation is expected to be published as a monograph after completion.
  3. Citations of 1 Corinthians in Early Christian Writers and the Transformation of Text
  4. The PhD candidate will investigate the text of 1 Corinthians in one or more of the Greek or Latin early Christian writers from the 3rd to the 5th century and evaluate the value of these citations for establishing the earliest attainable text. Tendencies and patterns in alterations will be traced and studied both in context of the author’s writings, including differences in sequential and out-of-sequence citations as well as differences according to the literary genre (e.g. homilies, commentaries and treatises), and in light of the historical development of the church. The dissertation is expected to give new insights into the forms of the text of 1 Corinthians in circulation within the early church and will situate a single author or a set of authors within the wider textual tradition of 1 Corinthians. The dissertation is expected to be published as a monograph after completion. 
  5. Study of the Latin Textual Development of 1 Corinthians from the Old Latin to the Vulgate readings
  6. Despite the well-known fact that the Vulgate revision cannot be attributed to Jerome in the Pauline epistles, little is known about the reviser(s) and the revisional techniques used for the adaptation of the Pauline epistles. The PhD candidate will reflect on the methodology used to attribute Latin readings to the individual traditions and shed new light on the development of the Latin text by establishing tendencies and patterns in the revisional alterations. In establishing the translational techniques in place, the PhD candidate will examine the ways in which the revised Latin text follows the Greek text forms known at the time. Thereby the dissertation will make a significant contribution to translational studies of Greek and Latin and will yield important results for establishing the earliest attainable Greek text in consideration of its earliest translations. The dissertation is expected to be published as a monograph after completion.
  7. Versional Evidence for 1 Corinthians
  8. The PhD candidate will investigate the text, transmission and translation of 1 Corinthians in a certain set of manuscripts, e.g. from a certain language, area, time or genealogical connection.

This dissertation may either investigate the question whether the textual tradition of the Pauline epistle can be considered a “living text” and has a fluent tradition comparable to that established for the gospels by Parker in 1997, or analyse translational techniques and patterns within a certain versional tradition, or develop and use new technical tools to investigate the manuscript traditions.

The successful PhD candidate will establish patterns and tendencies in the textual variants while paying attention to time and places and will distinguish between possible reasons for textual alterations. The dissertation is expected to make an innovative contribution to the question of textual development in the early period which is significant for the project’s overall goal to come to a thorough text-critical understanding of the textual development and transmission of 1 Corinthians in the first millennium. The dissertation is expected to be published as a monograph after completion. 

The successful candidates will:

  • produce a complete and acceptable doctoral thesis proposal
  • comply with all the requirements of KU Leuven for doctoral studies
  • research, complete, and successfully defend a doctoral thesis within 4 years
  • contribute to the wider project and its publications through digital transcriptions, study and textual analysis 
  • present research results at international and national conferences and colloquia
  • contribute to the organisation of events, activities and other tasks related to the project and its research (colloquia, team events, visits from external experts etc.)
  • contribute to the Biblical Studies Research Unit and the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies by participating in its regular programme of academic activities and undertaking administrative activities. 


The successful candidate:

  • has an excellent Bachelors and Masters degree in Theology (New Testament Studies or Patristics), Classics or a related field.
  • has a high level of proficiency in (Hellenistic) Greek and another of the project’s languages (depending on the proposed field of research).
  • is familiar with the principles and application of textual criticism and is computer literate. Prior experience of working with biblical or patristic manuscripts is desirable.
  • has an excellent command of English (project language) and (the willingness to obtain) sufficient competence in other languages to access relevant secondary literature.
  • is capable of working independently, possesses organisational skills and has a cooperative attitude.
  • is willing to conduct the PhD research in Leuven and to travel on project business (incl. conferences).
  • meets the entrance requirements for the Ph.D. at KU Leuven. Further information can be obtained on: and


We are offering a full-time position in an intellectually challenging and inspiring environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied research. It is highly inter- and multidisciplinary focused and strives for international excellence. 

The successful candidate will benefit from guidance and research training from experts in the field, a work space and resources to attend and present at conferences. The successful candidate will be part of an innovative research team in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam. KU Leuven provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, etc. 

The project begins on 1st March 2022 and the position is subject to admission to the Faculty’s doctoral programme. The contract will initially be for 1 year and may be extended for a further 3 years subject to a positive performance review. The project team is led by Prof. Christina M. Kreinecker.


Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachment(s):

  • letter of motivation (max. 1 page);
  • curriculum vitae including details of linguistic skills;
  • contact details for two people who are willing to provide a reference;
  • outline of the intended doctoral research on one of the above mentioned aspects of the 1Cor project (max. 2 pages).

Further enquiries may be addressed to Prof. C.M. Kreinecker, email:

You can apply for this job no later than November 25, 2021. Please click 'Apply'.

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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