The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), in keeping with its mission to foster biblical scholarship, is pleased to sponsor, in association with Lexham Press, a new, critically edited edition of the Greek New Testament. The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (SBLGNT), which is freely available in electronic form, will be useful to students, teachers, translators, and scholars in a wide variety of settings and contexts.
This new critical text has additional benefits as well. The text of the SBLGNT is based on a thorough examination of the major critical editions, apparatuses, and manuscript discoveries and the apparatus provides an accessible and easy to use look at textual variants. The sight of numerous manuscripts listed in any critical apparatus can be overwhelming (regardless of whether it's that of Alford, Tischendorf, Tregelles, or the even the NA27 and UBS4). Often even seasoned scholars struggle to know how to weigh the evidence before them. This reality becomes clear when we find that even major technical commentaries scarcely do more than list the manuscript evidence with little or no discussion of their significance. But because the SBLGNT's apparatus cites other critical editions rather than specific manuscripts, users have instant access to how the some of the greatest text-critical minds of the past two centuries have weighed the evidence and their resulting conclusions. The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition becomes even more valuable with the ability to examine its text right beside any of the dozens of Greek editions that you might own in Logos Bible Software.
Textual apparatuses can be excellent tools. They do an incredible job of densely packing a large amount of information into a small portion of the printed page. They contain information that is incredibly valuable to the specialist. But the compact nature, abbreviations and symbols take time and effort to master. Using a minimum number of symbols and abbreviations, the apparatus for the SBLGNT gathers some of the most well-known textual critics of the past and present (Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, Robinson and Pierpont, those responsible for the Greek text behind the NIV, and those responsible for the NA27/UBS4 text) and records where they agree and where they take different readings from the New Testament verses. Learn more at the SBLGNT's own website: sblgnt.com.
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 editing The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition, he is also the co-editor for 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 (3rd Edition, with Morphology).