Does the famous story of the adulteress belong in the New Testament? Did Jesus offer a cup after the bread in Luke’s account of the Last Supper? Does Luke’s Gospel refer to the ascension or not? How does Marks’ Gospel begin, and how does it end? These and other questions arise because the Greek manuscripts on which we depend for our New Testament are not in agreement here, nor in many other important passages. Why are there discrepancies in the manuscripts? Can we decide how or why these variations arose? Can we recover the truly original words of Matthew, Paul, Luke, and the other biblical authors? This introductory guide to the manuscripts is intended for general readers as well as students of the New Testament. It presumes no previous knowledge of either the subject or Greek.
“Throughout this book we assume that it is possible and practicable to recreate the original words of the NT authors” (Page 6)
“One is that each NT book was issued in a definitive edition as the final published text” (Page 7)
“Each author published only one version of his work” (Page 8)
“The art of copying is essentially highly conservative” (Page 33)
“I) lectionaries and II) continuous-text manuscripts” (Page 12)
This valuable primer takes the general reader on a tour of the many important and interesting variant readings noted in modern English versions of the New Testament… An impartial introduction to the problems and to ways of resolving them.
—The Rev. Dr. D. C. Parker, University of Birmingham
[This book] will enlighten the general reader as to problems that confront editors and translators of the Greek text of the New Testament.
—Bruce M. Metzger, Princeton Theological Seminary
Keith Elliott is Reader in New Testament Textual Criticism at the University of Leeds.
Ian Moir lectured in New Testament at the University of Edinburgh.