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Name:  Theodora Panella

Thesis Title: Pauline Catena Manuscripts 

PhD: New Testament Textual Criticism

Department: Theology and Religion (University of Birmingham)


Thesis Description:

The overall goal of my thesis is to collect biblical textual data from the Pauline catena manuscripts and analyse them using internal and external approaches. This will reconstruct a possible line of tradition that goes back several centuries and assist in establishing the authenticity of the Pauline catenae that are attributed to each author in the manuscript tradition and understanding an author’s citation technique. I am trying to identify the patristic evidence, examine compilers’ possible trends or preferences and uses of the patristic material as well as the criteria applied when choosing the quoted patristic passages. Afterwards I will analyze the possible patterns of biblical quotation and their value (the different types of quotation, e.g. verbatim, paraphrases, allusions or echoes, will be here assessed). At the same time I am trying to detect and identify the anonymous patristic quotations in these catenae. I anticipate that this will provide information about the target group of these compilations as well as their ideological and exegetical context. Eventually, it is probable that we will understand the relation or dependence of Theophylact of Ohrid, Euthymius Zygabenus and Nicetas of Heraclea (who were the latest among the four aforementioned compilers) to their predecessor, namely to Oecumenius. Also, my final aim is to produce a critical edition of the Pauline catena in Galatians using modern digital scholarship.


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Dr Hugh Houghton

Prof David Parker

Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE)


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):

  •  'Resurrection appearances in Pauline catena manuscripts 1Cor 15.5-8'. Article has been accepted for publication in H.A.G. Houghton (ed.), Commentaries, Catenae and Biblical Tradition (Texts and Studies 3.13) Piscataway NJ: Gorgias Press, 2016, pp. 117-139. (open access)


Conference Papers

  • 'Is it as simple as "copy-paste"? The case of the Pauline catena manuscripts', presented at 6th British Patristics Conference (Birmingham, UK, 5-7 September 2016)
  • 'Pauline Catena Manuscripts: The Treatment of the Sources', presented at the 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies (Belgrade, Serbia, 21-27 August 2016)
  • 'Were catenae trying to loosen the entanglement?', presented at The Nida School for Translation Studies 2016 (Misano Adriatico, Italy, 30 May - 10 June 2016)
  • 'Resurrection appearances in 1Cor 15.5-8 and their interpretation in the catenae of Oecumenius, Theophylact and Zygabenus', presented at the 17th International Conference on Patristic Studies (Oxford, UK, 10-14 August 2015)
  • 'Pauline Catena Mauscripts and their Eponymous Compilers', presented at the 2015 European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) Annual Meeting (Cordoba, Spain, 12-15 July 2015)
  • 'Discovering that a known manuscript in in fact a catena manuscript", presented at the Gate for Eastern Mediterranean (GEM) Forum (Birmingham, UK, 17 June 2015)
  • 'Resurrection appearances in Pauline catena manuscripts 1Cor 15.5-8'presented in the 9th Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, (Birmingham, UK, 2-5 March 2015)
  • ‘What is a catena manuscript?’, delivered at the Interdisciplinary Workshop in Greek Palaeography (University of Birmingham, UK, 24 January 2015)
  •  'A Unique Commentary Manuscript: GA457 and the Pauline catena tradition’, delivered at the 2014 Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Annual Meeting (San Diego, USA, 22-25 November 2014)
  • ‘A Unique Commentary Manuscript: GA457 and the Pauline catena tradition’, delivered at the 5th British Patristics Conference (London, 3-5 September 2014). 
  • ‘Biblical Catenae and the case of the Pauline catena manuscripts’ delivered at the 4th UoB Postgraduate Biblical Studies Conference (UoB, 2 July 2014)
  • “Paul unchained”: the case of the Pauline catena manuscripts (poster), Research Poster Conference 2014, University of Birmingham (Birmingham, UK, 10 June 2014)
  • “Paul unchained”: the case of the Pauline catena manuscripts, delivered at the EABS Graduate Symposium (Thessaloniki, Greece 11-14 April 2014) I had been asked by the committee of the symposium to submit and present the same paper at the joined conference of EABS and International SBL Meeting (Vienna, Austria, 6-10 July 2014)
  • 'Paul and Thecla: The gender role play and reversal in a 2nd Cent. AD text' delivered at the FAS 2013 International Student Congress "Gender" (Maltepe University, Istanbul 25-26 April 2013)
  • 'The Greek Language behind Prison Bars', (co-author Peri Bletsou) presented at the International Conference "Education and Social Integration of Vulnerable Groups", co-organised be by the University of Macedonia, the University of California (San Diego) and ΚΕΘΕΑ (:Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals), (Thessaloniki, Greece, 24-26.6.2011)


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:


year: 2016

  • Co-organising and co-chairing with Dr. Alba Fedeli the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Qur’an Research Group in EABS (1st year: EABS' 2016 Annual Meeting in Leuven, Belgium, July 17th-20th, with two sessions: a) a general b) a thematic session “Do margins matter?” focused on the structure and content of comments, notes, diagrams at the margins of the manuscripts, with the possibility of finding common elements and interactions between the traditions. )

year: 2015


year: 2014

  • Trying to figure out why my application was successful last year (AHRC-M3C event, Birmingham City University, 29 November 2014)
  • Chaired a session at the 5th British Patristics (London, 3-5 September 2014)

 Other professional activities (e.g. your membership of professional associations, editorial boards of journals etc.)

Other Research Interests:

  • Textual Criticism
  • Byzantine Philology
  • Greek Palaeography 
  • Classics
  • Greek as foreign language


Social Media Presence: