Compiled in honor of Bruce M. Metzger, the most highly respected American textual critic in the history of the discipline, this volume comprises twenty-two full-length essays on every major issue relating to New Testament textual criticism, each written by an internationally recognized scholar in the field. The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research focuses on important advances made in textual criticism during the past fifty years due to manuscript discoveries and refinements of methodology. Each essay is designed to present an overview of the current state of knowledge with respect to a wide range of important topics: Greek manuscripts, the early versions, patristic citations, studies of scribal habits, approaches to manuscript classification, the use of computers for textual criticism, recent apparatuses and critical editions, methods for evaluating variant readings, and the use of textual data for early Christian social history.
“When confronted by textual variants in the Greek NT, the thoroughgoing critic asks the following questions: Which reading best accounts for the rise of the other variants? Which reading is the likeliest to have suffered change at the hands of early copyists? Which reading is in keeping with the style and thought of the author and makes best sense in the context?” (Page 322)
“On a positive note the thoroughgoing method of textual criticism assumes that the original reading has been preserved somewhere among the extant MSS and that conjectural emendations are unnecessary.” (Page 322)
“Again, it is observed that scribes tended to omit text by skipping from one occurrence of some letters to another occurrence of the same (or similar) letters.” (Page 240)
“ led him to conclude that Erasmus was divinely guided when he introduced Latin Vulgate readings into his Greek text!” (Page 301)
“times), and all of the papyri are written in large, unconnected letters (uncials).” (Page 6)
Repeatedly one hears that rigor mortis has set in for textual criticism of the New Testament. But the present publication suggests that in place of lamentation one ought to celebrate the pains a number of scholars have taken to ensure revival of the patient. Much of the credit for resurgence of interest in the discipline goes to Dr. Bruce Manning Metzger, to whom this volume is dedicated.
—Frederick W. Danker, Professor, Luther School of Theology at Chicago, and editor of A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature Third Edition (BDAG)
This volume, produced in honor of Bruce M. Metzger, is a worthy tribute to a scholar of acknowledged distinction. We have manuals of textual criticism in plenty, but there is need for the occasional survey of the status quaestionis to complement them by reviewing the current situation when omission of some of the details necessary to a manual may leave room for consideration of the results that have been achieved and the tasks that remain to be done. This book fulfills that function very well.
—R. McL. Wilson, St. Mary’s College, St. Andrews, Scotland
This collection of essays, written by a group of outstanding scholars, presents a remarkable survey of contemporary research on the Greek text of the New Testament. It treats not only the papyri, manuscripts, and early versions but also the patristic witnesses to the text, and it discusses well all the modern methods and tools used in the textual study of the New Testament. One could not look for a better survey of these topics.
—Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., The Catholic University of America
An essential reference work for all those interested in the textual criticism of the New Testament, whether they be beginners in the field or experienced research workers.
—M.É. Boismard, École Biblique et Archéologique Française, Jerusalem
Bart D. Ehrman is Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is chairman of the Society of Biblical Literature’s New Testament Textual Criticism Section, editor of the New Testament in the Greek Fathers series, a co-editor of the New Testament Tools and Studies series, network editor of Religious Studies Review, and a member of the North American Committee of the International Greek New Testament Project.
Michael W. Holmes is Professor of Biblical Studies and Early Christianity, Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota. The author of numerous papers on questions of textual criticism, he is also the North American editor for the International Greek New Testament Project and a member of its North American Executive Committee. In addition to co-editing The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research, he has also authored The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, available from Logos for individual download and as part of The Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English (3 Editions, with Morphology)