The Text of the New Testament is a brief introduction for the lay person into the process whereby the New Testament came to be. It describes the basics of ancient writing tools, manuscripts, the work of scribes, and how to think about differences in what the various manuscripts say. This is a revised and expanded edition with a completely new chapter on how contemporary English translations fit in with our understanding of the New Testament text. Geared to the lay person who is uninformed or confused about textual criticism, Greenlee begins this volume by explaining the production of ancient manuscripts. He then traces the history of the development of the New Testament text. Readers are next introduced to the basic principles of textual criticism, the concept of variant readings, and how to determine which variant has the greatest likelihood of being the original reading. To illustrate the basic principles, several sample New Testament texts are examined. The book concludes by putting textual criticism in perspective as involving only a minute portion of the entire New Testament text, the bulk of which is indisputably attested by the manuscripts.
J. Harold Greenlee
Prior to his retirement, J. Harold Greenlee was professor of New Testament Greek, a missionary with OMS International, and an International Translation Consultant with Wycliffe Bible Translators. He is also the author of Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism and A Concise Exegetical Grammar of New Testament Greek.
'Frequently, this most important aspect of the New Testament is ignored. However, to rightly interpret the New Testament every student should be familiar with the insights presented by Greenlee. In the latter part of the book Dr Mark House has updated chapters 6, 8 and written chapter 9. Greenlee has taken a very complex issue and presented it in clear straightforward terms. His balanced judgment is evident throughout. This text is excellent for an introduction to the subject, it is scholarly based, soundly balanced and challenging. Worthwhile, it is as an introductory window into a very important subject.'
- Theological Book Review
'This is one of the clearest expositions of the science of textual criticism one is likely to find. A thorough revision of an earlier work entitled Scribes, Scrolls and Scripture (Eerdmans, 1985), this small volume traces the history of writing, book-making, the various types of materials (papyrus, parchment, paper) and their implications for biblical manuscripts, the work of the scribes and copyists, the art of textual criticism, and the work of translation. Written for a lay audience, it combines sound scholarship with an explanatory style that makes it ideal as a resource for introductory courses on the New Testament or as informative reading for anyone interested in this important aspect of the biblical literature.'
- The Bible Today