What is Textual Criticism?
It is the subject which strives to retrace the original text of the books written before the invention of print. Here we will focus our attention on the New Testament.
Why does the Bible need Textual Criticism too?
- Because the autographs of the Bible have not survived.
- Because the Bible has been preserved by manuscripts down to the invention of print.
- Because the copying process will inevitably let some mistakes enter the text. Also, in the case of the Bible, it is necessary to recognize and isolate manuscripts which show deliberate attempts to corrupt the biblical text.
Why study this subject?
Christians today need to be aware of the fact that the evidence concerning the text of the New Testament confirms that it has been preserved in the 90 per cent or more of the manuscripts of the Greek Text New Testament, which have virtually the same text. In times past, trying to discredit its witness, this “type” of text has been called “Traditional”, “Byzantine”. Lately it has been labled as the Majority Text. The following are some studies and books to help you being introduced or further study New Testament Textual Criticism.
- The Identity of the New Testament – book – author: Wilbur N. Pickering
- Wilbur N. Pickering – a page on my website dedicated to his work. His official page is www.prunch.org
- The Majority Text of the New Testament – book – author: Giuseppe Guarino.
- The Center for the Study and the Preservation of the Majority Text – visit this website to keep up on the news concerning the Majority Text.
- Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels – book – author: John William Burgon. This book is available at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/burgon/corruption.html along with other classics.
- Greek New Testament – book – Frederick H. A. Scrivener – The 1887 digital edition of the Textus Receptus edited by this great scholar.
- Textus Receptus – Stephanus Edition AD 1550 – book – Greek. This book was edited by Richard T. Dodds for Christian Hospitality @ The Pilgrim Company. www.thepilgrimcompany.co.uk