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Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Palaeography 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The original 1981 (uncorrected) printing (tan-colored binding) appears to be the best - the print quality of the plates is much better.
The early printings of the 1991-corrected reprint (tan-colored binding with dark-blue dust jacket) appear to be okay. The plates aren't as high resolution printing as the original 1981 edition, but they're much better than the latest (dark-blue binding, no dust jacket) 1991-corrected reprint.
The book itself I give 5 stars. The current reprint I give 1 star, after having the opportunity to compare it side-by-side with the two earlier printings.
Metzger begins with a presentation of the Greek alphabet and its various styles. He gives a necessary explanation of Greek sounds, as a few later manuscript writers erroneously wrote some words based on their modern pronunciation instead of their ancient spelling. The idiosyncracies of the manuscript tradition, with its abundance of abbreviations, artistic colouring, glosses, and punctuation are spelled out in depth. I found Metzger's book most useful as I finally learned how publishers of the New Testament came to agreement on the division into chapters and verses. Of course, nearly all of this information is useful not only for people interested in the New Testament, but also for those who wonder how monks preserved other Greek-language works like, say, the plays of Aristophanes or the dialogues of Plato.
The core of Metzger's work is only 48 of the book's 140 pages. The remainder is a series of useful appendecies concerning dating of manuscripts, how to collate a manuscript, and various statistics. However, most entertaining is a series of 45 plates of manuscript pages with detailed analysis. The utter variety of version gives the reader an appreciation of scholars like Nestle and Aland who strived to create the best standard text.Read more ›