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Review of Swanson's NT Greek Manuscripts, 2 Corinthians

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Deacon, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Aug 23, 2002
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    New Testament Greek Manuscripts: Variant Readings
    Arranged in Horizontal Lines against Codex Vaticanus:
    2 Corinthians

    by Rueben Swanson,

    Tyndale House, 2005. Pp. 394.
    ISBN 0865850739.

    REVIEW by Michael F. Bird
    Highland Theological College
    Dingwall, Scotland,
    in Review of Biblical Literature,
    2007 [LINK]

    Excerpts from the review:

    "All modern critical editions are an attempt to improve on the Textus Receptus by comparing additional manuscript evidence and substituting the readings that editors think more likely to be original."

    Swanson’s objections to the eclectic texts (such as Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, Westcott-Hort The New Testament in Original Greek, and the United Bible Societies’ The Greek New Testament):

    They frequently mix together different words and phrases from several different manuscripts without properly identifying their sources.
    He holds that the basis for these modern editions remains a poorly crafted eclectic text, that the corrections to it in subsequent publications are based on a). an inadequate representation of the evidence, and b). that the support mustered for certain readings is often misleading or erroneous.

    What is more, it is Swanson’s opinion that the eclectic method is suspect because readers can never know whether parallel passages in the Gospels are truly parallel or whether the parallels are artificially constructed by the editors.

    "Toward the end of his introduction Swanson lays out his motivating principle and goal.
    After working in the field of textual criticism for many years, he has come to the conclusion that it is “impossible” to try to reconstruct the “original writing of the author” and the “actual words written by the writer.
    That is because the first complete and continuous texts of the New Testament are removed from the original autographs by a space of two or three centuries."

    I'm not promoting the book, I don't have any of Swanson's previous books and I don't plan on purchasing this one.
    But there's a lot of interesting ideas presented in this review.

    #1 Deacon, Jan 30, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2007