Books on Textual Criticism

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Kyredneck attacked me on another thread for what he perceived as me being insulting towards Rippon. What did I do? I merely attacked Rippon's source (not him personally) which was Wikipedia.

    I feel it is only fair now that I list some books on textual criticism for anyone who wants to educate themselves about the subject.

    First of all, I recommend New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide, by David Alan Black. Dr. Black has done an excellent job in laying out the basics, so this would be a good start for anyone interested. It is only 71 pages, and written in a popular style.

    Unfortunately the copyright is 1994, and many advances have been made since then in the field. I have heard through the grapevine that the publishers do not want a revision done, but maybe if we all wish real hard--or pray....
     
    #1 John of Japan, Jul 17, 2015
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  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    For a more up-to-date book edited by Dr. Black, see the 2002 book, Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism. Dr. Black only wrote the intro to this book, but it has perceptive essays by Eldon Jay Epp, Michael W. Holmes, J. K. Elliott, Maurice A. Robinson and Moises Silva. The book presupposes some knowledge of textual criticism, so get Dr. Black's introductory book first.

    The scholars are various shades of the eclectic position, with Holmes writing on "Reasoned Eclecticism" and Elliot on "Thoroughgoing Eclecticism." Dr. Robinson, of course, represents the Byzantine-priority position.

    Especially of interest to me is the section in Epp's essay about how the "shorter-reading argument" on pp. 27-30, where he even cites Elliott on the longer reading being often correct. Epp begins the section by saying, "But it is the shorter-reading argument that has received the most vigorous reassessment in te past three decades or so."
     
  3. John of Japan

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  4. Greektim

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    I've always thought that Holmes's chapter on Textual Criticism in Interpreting the New Testament (edited by Dr. Black btw) was a good intro.

    I was introduced to TC with Greenlee's book Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism. Again, it is dated.

    Metzger's stuff is good, but it will be skewed towards the UBS NA method. The Alands have a book that is similar.

    I am looking for a simple explanation of Robinson's view, maybe in his festschrift? But his article on Byz Priority is excellent and can be found online. His articles against Critical texts are very good.

    A book I found profoundly helpful was Harry Sturz's book on the Byzantine text. It is hard to come by, however.
     
  5. John of Japan

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    I have that and it is informative, but Moore gives only a couple of paragraphs to the Hodges/Farstad majority method and none to the Byz.-pri. method of Dr. Robinson, though the first ed. of the Byzantine Textform Greek NT was out.
    Very true about Metzger's stuff, which I will mention later. I don't have the Alands' book--can you do a post on it for us?
    Hopefully someone will write a book introducing Byz.-pri., but until then the festschrift is the most complete guide, and his various essays and articles are a must. The bibliography in the festschrift lists 20 of them.
    A real must for the student.
     
  6. Deacon

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    The Text of the New Testament, An Introduction to the Critical Edition and the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism.
    By Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, translated by Erroll Rhodes. 2nd ed. 1989

    I personally wouldn't encourage beginners to read Sturtz: it's not an introductory text but was written pointedly to argue for a more prominent role for the Byzantine text-type in textual studies.

    Kurt and Barbara Aland's "The Text of the New Testament" however was written as an introduction to the field of textual criticism.
    It's understood almost without saying that the author was a principal editor for the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 23rd edition and others following so is not an advocate for the Byzantine text.

    The book, while slightly dated still has much to offer. True, there have been many new discoveries as well as more through research in the years since it was written, yet it is still a must-read text for one interested in the subject.

    Even though quite technical it is enjoyably readable as it begins. Throughout the book there are numerous manuscript plates that add much to the understanding of what the authors say. The book also has a fold-out page showing various editions of the modern Greek Critical text and also includes a poster with the contents of many important papyri and unicals.

    As the introductory text continues the technicalities of the discipline begin to make reading a bit more burdensome, yet it is here where many of the riches of the book are.

    In Chapter 7, after long discussions about the theories of transmission, the various manuscripts and as well as different versions, and a long chapter on how to use the Critical text, the Aland's provide "Twelve Basic Rules For Textual Criticism" (p. 280).

    It is the application of these rules which have become the fodder for much of the debate on this board.

    Rule #10 "the more difficult reading is the more probable reading"

    Rule #11 " the shorter reading is the more probable reading"

    From this point on the book provides examples of the practice of these rules.

    The book is a textbook and not an easy read. It will take quite a bit of discipline to get through for those new to the subject.

    Rob
     
  7. Greektim

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    AGain, I just said Sturz was extremely helpful. But the thrust of his argument is not Byzantine priority but simply that the Byzantine text-type should be taken seriously, as seriously as the others.
     
  8. kyredneck

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    You've got to be kidding me. As Rippon has already stated on another thread, "This is beyond petty". As I've told you a couple times in the past on other threads, 'you make mountains out of molehills'. Instead of painting this post as an attack, consider the truth of it.
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    You big bully you:laugh:
     
  10. Buckeye Baptist

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    Because it is now out of print, this book is a bit pricey, but it contains Dr. Robinson's complete essay entitled "A case for Byzantine priority." http://www.amazon.com/dp/0759800774/?tag=baptis04-20
     
  11. kyredneck

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  12. Yeshua1

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    That was the textbook used in my class on the subject, and it was very detailed as to the how and why of the field....

    That being said, still ended up using the Gramcord version of the tagged greek text, and not the one used in the one advocated by the Fribergs!

    Even though one disagrees wiht their views on CT, still a useful text...
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Thanks much. This is a help.

    Rule #10 is often observed by eclectics by ignoring it. If the more difficult reading is the Byzantine, then they'll often reject it for the similar Alexandrian.

    Rule #11 is being re-examined even by eclectics because of the research of Ernest Colwell (whose book I'll mention later), Maurice Robinson and others.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I'm pretty sure it's not actually out of print. Hopefully Amazon will get more in stock.

    I was going to mention the Greek NTs that will help the learner later, but thanks for bringing this one up. I'll comment on it in another post.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    There are several Greek NTs with an apparatus for studying NT textual criticism. An "apparatus" simply is a set of notes with variant readings, often telling what manuscripts have what readings.

    The New Testament in the Original Greek (2nd ed., 2005), edited by Maurice Robinson and William Pierpont, is the go to Greek NT for anyone interested in Byzantine-priority. It has an apparatus with marginal readings for differences within the Byzantine text type, and another in the footnotes ("lower apparatus") for variants from the Byz. in the critical editions of the Greek NT. It has a valuable 22 page Preface explaining the approach, with the essay on Byz.-pri. already mentioned in this thread at the end of the book.

    The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text (2nd ed., 1985) was edited by Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad. It has a 25 page intro explaining the Hodges/Farstad method (the Byz.-pri. method is significantly different), and a useful apparatus.

    There are two critical editions which have the same Greek text but a different approach to the apparatus. The fourth edition of the United Bible Societies text (UBS4) has an explanatory introduction with lists of manuscripts (mss), and an extensive apparatus, but is more designed for missionary translators. The Nestle-Aland 28th ed. (NA28) has a good apparatus, but I don't remember how it differs from the UBS. (I have the NA-25, but it's at home.) Someone want to comment on that?

    The Scrivener version of the TR printed by the Trinitarian Bible Society is inexpensive and easy on the eyes, but has no apparatus. There are various older Greek NTs with an apparatus, but those are hard to find. I have the two-volume 1886 edition of the Westcott-Hort Greek NT, and volume 2 of that is all about their theory. There was a one volume W-H printed for many years that had an apparatus, and someone interested may be able to find a used version of that. (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000HX7K6C/?tag=baptis04-20) There are some modern reprints, but I don't know if they are useful.
     
  16. Buckeye Baptist

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    Well I certainly hope that you are correct and that it is indeed still in print. However, judging by the fact that new editions are selling for $300, it is likely out of print.
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    Would say that the Ubs Greek text works best for missionaries and pastors who just want to get into what the text actually says, while the other CT best for those wanting to really delve into just how and why we got the Greek text rendered that way!
     
  18. John of Japan

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    I've seen those crooks on Amazon sell books for such outrageous prices even while the book was in print.

    Here is the same volume without the apparatus still in print: http://www.amazon.com/dp/3941750240/?tag=baptis04-20
     
  19. John of Japan

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    I've been meaning to mention other introductory books.

    J. Harold Greenlee's Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism has been mentioned. This is out of date, though a revision was done in 1993.

    Greenlee also had another introductory book, more of a popular guide: Scribes, Scrolls and Scripture, from 1985. Once again, this is outdated by gives good basic info about mss and how they were produced, etc., with a chapter on the eclectic method.

    Perhaps the first basic text from the Byzantine/Majority perspective was A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, by Edward Miller (1886). This is available on Amazon in the original fairly cheaply, and in some reprints, though I don't vouch for the quality of the reprints. For the PDF collector, it is in PDF form here: http://www.ourbaptistheritage.org/u...ticism_of_the_New_Testament_Edward_Miller.pdf
     
  20. Deacon

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    Here's another book worth mentioning particularly because it is rather easy to read. I've included a rather lengthy [edited] excerpt in response to John's request.

    A Student’s Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods & Results [Amazon LINK] [Logos LINK]

    by Paul D. Wegner, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

    "The method used in this book is reasoned eclecticism, wherein the New Testament text critic examines all available evidence, both external and internal, to determine the most plausible original reading of the text." [p. 240]

    Strengths:
    >Economical, concise and very readable
    >Covers both Old and New Testament textual criticism
    Weaknesses:
    >Although it mentions Byzantine Priority and its most prominent proponents, it does not delve into its theory.
    >Covers both Old and New Testament textual criticism

    EXCERPT

    Rob
     
    #20 Deacon, Jul 21, 2015
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