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The Text of the New Testament

de Bruce M. Metzger

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1,45289,492 (4.31)3
This thoroughly revised edition of Bruce M. Metzger's classic work is the most up-to-date manual available for the textual criticism of the New Testament. The Text of the New Testament, Fourth Edition, has been invigorated by the addition of Bart D. Ehrman--author of numerous best-sellingbooks on the New Testament--as a coauthor. This revision brings the discussion of such important matters as the early Greek manuscripts and methods of textual criticism up to date, integrating recent research findings and approaches into the body of the text (as opposed to previous revisions, whichcompiled new material and notes into appendices). The authors also examine new areas of interest, including the use of computers in the collection and evaluation of manuscript evidence and the effects that social and ideological influences had upon the work of scribes. The standard text for coursesin biblical studies and the history of Christianity since its first publication in 1964, The Text of the New Testament is poised to become a definitive resource for a whole new generation of students.… (mais)
  1. 20
    Holy Bible - Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) de Wartburg Project (lhungsbe)
    lhungsbe: My go-to version of the Bible. No additions or deletions. Easy to read.
  2. 10
    Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism de J. Harold Greenlee (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: There are many ways to approach textual criticism, and sometimes the disagreements can be sharp. But not between J. Harold Greenlee and Bruce M. Metzger; their approaches are very similar. Metzger's book teaches many of the same lessons as Greenlee's, but at somewhat greater length and in more detail. Of course, this means they share weaknesses as well as strengths. But readers wanting a longer or shorter overview of the same rather "Hortian" viewpoint can choose Greenlee for brevity or Metzger for depth.… (mais)
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Bruce Metzger is one of the giants in the field of textual criticism. This book provides an excellent overview of the field that is readable by the laymen, as well as the clergy & academic. It is an overview however, not the only book one should read on the topic. ( )
  aevaughn | Apr 21, 2014 |
Textual criticism manuals are to be weighed and not counted.

That's a variation on an old rule of textual criticism, "Manuscripts are to be weighed and not counted." The idea is that not all manuscripts are equally valuable in reconstructing the original text of the New Testament (some are badly copied, some have seen many generations of corruption, and so forth). Just because a type of text is popular doesn't mean it's good.

And that applies to textual criticism manuals, too. Based on LibraryThing ownership statistics, it looks as if there are more copies of this book out there than all other textual criticism manuals combined.

It's easy to see why. Bruce M. Metzger was an immensely respected scholar, and a member of the committee that prepared the well-known United Bible Societies text. His introduction is easy to read and understand. And it's relatively modern.

But there are a number of weaknesses. Metzger's assessments of the type and value of manuscripts have not kept up to date -- most manuscripts are classified as they would have been around 1940. The lesser "versions" (early translations into languages other than Greek) are rather poorly covered -- ironic from a man who edited a book on the versions of the New Testament. The Church Fathers and lectionaries are given only the most cursory inspection. The canons of criticism -- the rules by which one reconstructs a text -- are not given much attention. And Metzger's whole theory of the text goes back in large extent to the views of Westcott and Hort -- the basis for all modern criticism, but significantly modified in the more than a century since their time.

I just don't think you can learn all you need to be a good textual critic from this book.

To be sure, I can't point you to a better alternative. There really doesn't seem to be one. You just have to read many, many books, and study a critical apparatus in depth -- and, if possible, take some statistics classes, and even a class in stemmatics and non-Biblical textual criticism. Stir that all up, and you might finally get a feeling for all it takes to be a textual critic. So maybe this book is a good place to start. It's not a good place to finish. ( )
  waltzmn | Dec 7, 2013 |
One of the most important and foundational books for any serious study of New Testament Literature and its transmission and veracity. This is the standard text for textual criticism. Metzger, to this day, has no equal in quality or perspective. ( )
  PastorBob | Apr 19, 2013 |
This is the standard introduction to the textual criticism in the New Testament. The amount of information in this book is overwhelming. This books gives a cursory overview of the history of the production of books, text criticism, and production of Greek New Testaments. The catalogue of witnesses will also be an asset to have when one is using their GNT. The sample cases of text criticism in the final chapter are interesting as well. If one is looking for a step-by-step guide on how to 'do' text criticism, it is not here. This is simply because it is not so much a science as it is an art. The cases provide an intuitive introduction to the tricky terrain of finding the original text. There was one slight problem I noticed while reading the final chapter. Some of the textual variants for a particular text were nowhere to be located in my UBS4 or NA27. This may probably be because the editors of those respective texts choose not to include those particular variants simply because they are obviously not original. But this can lead someone to question whether the NA27 or UBS4 are sufficient enough for the task that Metzger puts before us. Nonetheless, Metzger book offers not only a good introduction, but also a reference that I shall be turning back to again and again. ( )
  ronjawdi | Jul 9, 2011 |
The 4th Edition is an excellent introduction to the science of New Testament Textual Criticism. It introduces readers to the writing and transmission of ancient texts, the various mss we have in existence, a history of textual criticism, methods of textual criticism, causes of errors in the mss, the history of text transmission, and practice of textual criticism.

The only contention I have is Bart Ehrman's work on the book. Ehrman is hardly an objective scholar. While I do not have the third edition to compare with, I serously doubt the work is better than it would be if Ehrman did not work on it. ( )
  puritanreformed | Feb 18, 2011 |
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This thoroughly revised edition of Bruce M. Metzger's classic work is the most up-to-date manual available for the textual criticism of the New Testament. The Text of the New Testament, Fourth Edition, has been invigorated by the addition of Bart D. Ehrman--author of numerous best-sellingbooks on the New Testament--as a coauthor. This revision brings the discussion of such important matters as the early Greek manuscripts and methods of textual criticism up to date, integrating recent research findings and approaches into the body of the text (as opposed to previous revisions, whichcompiled new material and notes into appendices). The authors also examine new areas of interest, including the use of computers in the collection and evaluation of manuscript evidence and the effects that social and ideological influences had upon the work of scribes. The standard text for coursesin biblical studies and the history of Christianity since its first publication in 1964, The Text of the New Testament is poised to become a definitive resource for a whole new generation of students.

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