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A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament

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Overview

This work is a companion volume to the fourth edition of the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (UBS4), published by the German Bible Society on behalf of the United Bible Societies early in 1993. It also makes a great companion to the German Bible Society Bundle, which contains the critical apparatus of the NA27 Novum Testamentum Graece, and to Comfort & Barrett's Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts.

Benjamin Chapman, author of Greek New Testament Insert, says this of Metzger's Textual Commentary:

"One does not have to be a textual critic to benefit from the results of textual criticism. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, edited by Bruce M. Metzger, provides concise comments and explanations for the choices among variants made by the editorial committee that produced the United Bible Societies' The Greek New Testament. The Textual Commentary is in plain English and requires no technical skills of its readers. Every interpreter should at least open this book to his text and read the few paragraphs there concerning whatever variants may be involved."

  • Gives an explanation as to why the UBS4 apparatus is beneficial for assisting in studying the Greek New Testament
  • Valuable supplement to any reference library designed to assist exegetes and textual critics of the Greek New Testament.

Preface to the First Edition

The present volume is designed to serve as a companion to the third edition of the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (UBS3), edited by Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren.

One of the chief purposes of the commentary is to set forth the reasons that led the Committee, or a majority of the members of the Committee, to adopt certain variant readings for inclusion in the text and to relegate certain other readings to the apparatus. On the basis of a record of the voting of the Committee, as well as, for most sessions, more or less full notes of the discussions that preceded the voting, the present writer has sought to frame and express concisely (a) the main problem or problems involved in each set of variants and (b) the Committee's evaluation and resolution of those problems. In writing the commentary it was necessary not only to review what the Committee had done, but also to consult once again the several commentaries, concordances, synopses, lexicons, grammars, and similar reference works that had been utilized by members of the Committee during their discussions. More than once the record of the discussion proved to be incomplete because, amid the lively exchange of opinions, the Committee had come to a decision without the formal enunciation of those reasons that appeared at the time to be obvious or self-evident. In such cases it was necessary for the present writer to supplement, or even to reconstruct, the tenor of the Committee's discussions.

The general Introduction to the commentary includes an outline of the chief kinds of considerations that the Committee took into account in choosing among variant readings. By becoming acquainted with these criteria (pp. 10*-14*) the reader will be able to understand more readily the presuppositions that underlie the Committee's evaluations of the divergent readings.

In addition to the 1440 sets of variant readings supplied in the apparatus of the Bible Societies' edition, the selection of which was made chiefly on the basis of their exegetical importance to the translator and student, the Committee suggested that certain other readings also deserved discussion in the supplementary volume. The author has therefore included comments on about 600 additional sets of variant readings, scattered throughout the New Testament; the majority of them, it will be noted, occur in the book of Acts, which, because of its peculiar textual problems, seemed to demand special attention (see the Introduction to the book of Acts).

In the comments on the variant readings for which the text-volume supplies an apparatus, it was considered sufficient to cite merely the more important manuscript witnesses; the reader of the commentary will be able to supplement the partial citation of evidence by consulting the fuller apparatus in the text-volume. On the other hand, occasionally the discussion in the commentary supplements the apparatus in the text-volume by the citation of additional witnesses, a few of which were not known at the time of the Committee's work, and others of which had been deemed unimportant for citation in the apparatus. Since the present volume is designed to assist translators and students who may not have available an extensive library, the comments on the 600 additional sets of variant readings are accompanied by a more or less full citation of evidence, drawn from such standard apparatus critici as those of Tischendorf, von Soden, Nestle, Merk, Bover, Souter, Hoskier (for Revelation), and Wordsworth and White, as well as from editions of individual manuscripts.

The writing of the commentary was begun during 1964, when the author, on sabbatical leave from his usual academic duties, was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. During the following years, as the first draft of each major section was completed, it was circulated among the other members of the Committee to make certain that the comments reflected adequately the Committee's deliberations. Frequently it had happened that the members of the Committee differed in their evaluation of the textual evidence, and thus many readings were adopted on the basis of a majority vote. In special cases, when a member holding a minority opinion had strong feelings that the majority had seriously gone astray, opportunity was given for him to express his own point of view. Such occasional comments, identified by the writer's initials and enclosed within square brackets, are appended to the main discussion of the textual problem in question.

Preface to the Second Edition

The present edition of this Textual Commentary has been adapted to the fourth revised edition of The Greek New Testament (UBS4), published by the German Bible Society on behalf of the United Bible Societies early in 1993. This means that each of the 284 additional sets of variant readings that were included by Committee decision in the apparatus of the fourth edition has now a corresponding entry in the Commentary. On the other hand, the comments on almost all of the 273 sets of variant readings that the Committee removed from the apparatus, because the variants were of less significance for translators and other readers, are no longer retained in the Commentary.

Other adjustments have also been made. For example, the implications of recent discussions concerning the so-called Caesarean text are reflected at various places in the Commentary. Further bibliographical items have been added here and there, particularly in connection with the expanded discussion of problems relating to the two main types of text in the book of Acts.

As was true in the earlier edition of the Commentary, textual discussions are usually supplied with the citation of only the more important manuscript witnesses. In some cases this information differs slightly from the citation given in the apparatus for those passages in the fourth edition of the Greek text. For example, certain later Greek uncial manuscripts as well as evidence from the Gothic version, which are no longer cited in the fourth edition of the text volume, continue to be cited here. On the other hand, additional minuscule manuscripts as well as evidence from the Old Church Slavonic version, which are now included in the apparatus of the fourth edition, are not repeated here. For a statement of the different principles followed in selecting witnesses to be cited in the third and the fourth editions, see the Introduction to each edition.

  • Title: A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition
  • Author: Bruce M. Metzger
  • Publisher: United Bible Societies
  • Print Publication Date: 1994
  • Logos Release Date: 2004
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. N.T. › Criticism, textual; Bible. N.T. › Commentaries
  • Resource ID: LLS:29.3.12
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-11-02T16:24:11Z
Bruce M. Metzger

Bruce M. Metzger (1914–2007) was a New Testament scholar and professor. He earned several degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and later taught at Princeton for 46 years, retiring as professor of New Testament language and literature emeritus. In 1939, Metzger was ordained in the Presbyterian Church.

An expert in ancient biblical manuscripts, he participated in three major Bible translation projects, including the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament. He was on the board of the NRSV translation committee, the American Bible Society, and the United Bible Societies. Metzger wrote several books, including Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek, The Making of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions.

Reviews

36 ratings

4.74.74.74.74.7

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  1. Thomas

    Thomas

    over 1 year ago

    55555
  2. Jay

    Jay

    almost 2 years ago

    is there one for UBS5?
    Reply

  3. Nicolas Wong

    Nicolas Wong

    about 2 years ago

    55555
  4. Cullen Chrestman

    Cullen Chrestman

    over 2 years ago

    44444
  5. Joshua Branch

    Joshua Branch

    over 2 years ago

    33333
  6. JS

    JS

    over 2 years ago

    55555
  7. David Istre

    David Istre

    almost 3 years ago

    55555
    This is the best resource I've found for looking at the manuscript evidence behind our Bibles. Some of the material is above my head, but I'm learning and it is worth the pursuit.
    Reply

  8. Janell Warkentin

    Janell Warkentin

    almost 3 years ago

    55555
  9. BoCharmer

    BoCharmer

    over 3 years ago

    55555
  10. Kingsley Demakpor

    Kingsley Demakpor

    over 3 years ago

    55555
  11. Veli-Pekka Haarala

    Veli-Pekka Haarala

    almost 4 years ago

    55555
  12. Joseph Gonzalez

    Joseph Gonzalez

    about 4 years ago

    55555
  13. Karimu Smith-Barron

    Karimu Smith-Barron

    about 4 years ago

    55555
  14. DavePL HI Haoli KI

    DavePL HI Haoli KI

    over 4 years ago

    55555
  15. Donna Reed

    Donna Reed

    over 4 years ago

    55555
  16. James Fred Haning, III

    James Fred Haning, III

    almost 5 years ago

    55555
    The apparatus alone makes the purchase worthwhile.
    Reply

  17. Scott E. Johnson

    Scott E. Johnson

    about 5 years ago

    55555
  18. Michael Brown

    Michael Brown

    over 5 years ago

    55555
  19. Robert Clyde Copeland

    Robert Clyde Copeland

    over 5 years ago

    55555
  20. carlos martinez

    carlos martinez

    over 5 years ago

    44444
    Possibly one of the best authorities on Textual criticism, making a splendid delivery of his knoledge
    Reply

  21. Michael Joseph DeMarois

    Michael Joseph DeMarois

    over 5 years ago

    44444
  22. Daniel M. Mandery

    Daniel M. Mandery

    over 5 years ago

    55555
  23. Charles Puskas

    Charles Puskas

    about 6 years ago

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  24. James

    James

    about 6 years ago

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  25. Steve Liu

    Steve Liu

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  26. Federico Apecena

    Federico Apecena

    over 6 years ago

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  27. Stephen Saucier

    Stephen Saucier

    over 6 years ago

    44444
  28. Mike Whang

    Mike Whang

    over 6 years ago

    55555
  29. Ricardo de Paula Meneghelli
  30. Rev. Delwyn and Sis. Lenita Campbell
    I have always found this to be a most useful tool, especially when dealing with discussions regarding the development of the NT text. That's right, this book is an excellent apologetics tool!
    Reply

  31. Josh

    Josh

    about 7 years ago

    55555
  32. js

    js

    over 7 years ago

    44444
  33. Todd Fruehauf

    Todd Fruehauf

    over 7 years ago

    55555
  34. Joshua V Schneider

    Joshua V Schneider

    over 7 years ago

    55555
  35. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams

    over 7 years ago

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  36. Andrew Ruddell

    Andrew Ruddell

    over 7 years ago

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  37. John Vignol

    John Vignol

    almost 8 years ago

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$25.99

Digital list price: $31.99
Save $6.00 (18%)