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Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence (Text and Canon of the New Testament) Paperback – October 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Text and Canon of the New Testament
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082543338X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825433382
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This collection of stimulating essays, edited by Dan Wallace, renowned scholar of New Testament manuscripts, interacts with Bart Ehrman's own groundbreaking book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. These essays deal mainly with issues of New Testament textual criticism, and each responds to a specific aspect of Ehrman's work. The studies attempt to 'push back' against some of Ehrman's stimulating theories. Their value lies in clarifying arguments, re-examining primary evidence, and advancing debates concerning fundamental issues surrounding the text of the New Testament. With the recent reissue of Ehrman's book, this collection forms a stimulating dialogue partner to be read alongside that work. It is essential reading for anybody interested in the text of the New Testament and in the way that text was brought together." --Paul Foster, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Language, Literature, and Theology, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

"Dan Wallace has clearly become evangelical Christianity's premier active textual critic today. With painstaking detail and persuasive clarity, he and his former Dallas Seminary students demolish the contradictory and unconvincing portions of Bart Ehrman's theories about the orthodox corruption of Scripture. This book is a must read for anyone interested in this issue!" --Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

"Today virtually all scholars agree that there are readings in the transmission history of the Greek New Testament that more likely reflect the theology, not of the New Testament authors, but of scribes who changed the text. As Wallace points out in his introduction, this is not the issue at stake. The problem that this volume of essays seeks to address is when 'orthodox corruption' is made the default explanation whenever there is a grain of suspicion that a passage may have been tampered with for doctrinal reasons, or when it is used as a heuristic device to harvest the entire textual tradition in search for suitable variants to label as 'anti-adoptionistic,' 'anti-separationist,' 'anti-docetic' or 'anti-patripassianist.' As A. E. Housman remarked, 'every problem which presents itself to the textual critic must be regarded as possibly unique.' Such a sound view of textual criticism excludes every mechanical application of any principle to account for textual variation." --Tommy Wasserman, Academic Dean and Lecturer in New Testament, O–rebro School of Theology, O–rebro, Sweden

Today virtually all scholars agree that there are readings in the transmission history of the Greek New Testament that more likely reflect the theology, not of the New Testament authors, but of scribes who changed the text. As Wallace points out in his introduction, this is not the issue at stake. The problem that this volume of essays seeks to address is when 'orthodox corruption' is made the default explanation whenever there is a grain of suspicion that a passage may have been tampered with for doctrinal reasons, or when it is used as a heuristic device to harvest the entire textual tradition in search for suitable variants to label as 'anti-adoptionistic,' 'anti-separationist,' 'anti-docetic' or 'anti-patripassianist.' As A. E. Housman remarked, 'every problem which presents itself to the textual critic must be regarded as possibly unique.' Such a sound view of textual criticism excludes every mechanical application of any principle to account for textual variation. --Tommy Wasserman, Academic Dean and Lecturer in New Testament, Örebro School of Theology, Örebro, Sweden

Dan Wallace has clearly become evangelical Christianity's premier active textual critic today. With painstaking detail and persuasive clarity, he and his former Dallas Seminary students demolish the contradictory and unconvincing portions of Bart Ehrman's theories about the orthodox corruption of Scripture. This book is a must read for anyone interested in this issue! --Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

From the Back Cover

How much did the theological arguments of the church affect the copying of the New Testament text? Focusing on issues of textual criticism, this inaugural volume of the Text and Canon of the New Testament series offers some answers to that question and responds to some of Bart Ehrman's views about the transmission of the New Testament text. Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament will be a valuable resource for those working in textual criticism, patristics, and New Testament apocryphal literature.

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Customer Reviews

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Even though this book was a challenge, I'm hoping in 2012 to read more books on this topic!
MissDaisyAnne
One of the reasons this book is worth reading is because I think the contributors do a good job of exposing the myth of objectivity.
Brian C. Leport
I would recommend this book for anyone interested at all in the subject of textual criticism.
David

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brian C. Leport on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This volume is a series of essays of textual criticism. Daniel B. Wallace edits the book wherein five of his students from Dallas Theological Seminary present their work as his disciple. There is no ignoring that four of the six chapters are explicit rebuttals of various assertions made by Bart D. Ehrman. It is an evangelical apologetic and this is not a bad thing.

One of the reasons this book is worth reading is because I think the contributors do a good job of exposing the myth of objectivity. In other words, Ehrman's agnosticism doesn't make him an objective text critic while the subjectivity of other's religious commitments blind them. No, Ehrman himself is guided be particular principles that are often as bias as any evangelical. Where evangelicals may approach the task of text criticism with the presupposition that Scripture is reliable Ehrman approaches them with the presupposition that they are corrupted, often by the proto-orthodox in order to catholicize the Christian religion.

In Chapter 1: Lost in Transmission Wallace explains where he agrees and disagrees with Ehrman. (p. 20-21) He warns that text critics should avoid "absolute certainty" and "total despair" when trying to recover the original wording of the earlier versions of our texts. (p. 22) Wallace expresses confusion over whether Ehrman is certain that we can know certain things about the original autographs (e.g. He is very confident in his assertions that this or that corruption by the proto-orthodox reveals what the original text said.) or if he thinks the whole project is aimless as he seems to state elsewhere when he asserts that all the variants make it impossible to recover the autographs.

Wallace revisits the number of variants (pp. 26-40), the nature of those variants (pp.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By MissDaisyAnne on December 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
"This inaugural volume of the Text and Cannon of the New Testament series includes essays by six authors. All of the chapters focus on the issues in textual criticism-in particular, how badly the scribes, who copied their exemplars by hand, corrupted the text. All but one of the chapters deals specifically with NT textual criticism; one addresses textual issues related to an early apocryphal text, the Gospel of Thomas." From the Preface, page 9.

The titles of the chapters and authors are as follows:
Chapter 1--Lost in Transmission: How Badly Did the Scribes Corrupt the New Testament Text? by Daniel B. Wallace
Chapter 2--The Least Orthodox Reading Is To Be Preferred: A New Canon for New Testament Textual Criticism? by Philip M. Miller
Chapter 3--The Legacy Of A Letter: Sabellianism or Scribal Blunder in John 1.1c? by Matthew P. Morgan
Chapter 4--Patristic Theology And Recension In Matthew 24:36: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Text-Critical Methodology by Adam G. Messer
Chapter 5--Tracking Thomas: A Text-Critical Look at the Transmission of the Gospel of Thomas by Tim Ricchuiti
Chapter 6--Jesus As Theos: Textual Examination by Brian J. Wright

Each of the above contributing authors were apart of Dr. Daniel B. Wallace's ThM program at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Each of the chapters were analyzed under "peer review."
"All five chapters address, directly or indirectly, issues raised in Bart Ehrman's
The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, a monumental work that has raised numerous questions about intentional corruption of the NT by proto-orthodox scribes in the early centuries."
Two Essays are on Matthew 24:36 and John 1:1. Another essay is on "whether the least orthodox reading is to be preferred.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joan N. on December 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the inaugural volume of the Text and Canon of the New Testament series. All of the essays by the six authors focus in issues of textual criticism.
The first chapter frames the discussion the rest of the book addresses. The text of the New Testament we have is a result of copies of copies. Can we tell, through rigorous analysis of surviving manuscripts and scribal methods, what the original text essentially looked like? Did the early church get it right in evaluating and designating just the twenty-seven books of our NT as Scripture?
"One the one side," writes Wallace, "are the King James Only advocates; they are absolutely certain that the KJV, in every place, exactly represents the original text." (22)
On the other hand are those who say there is no hope of knowing the original texts since we no longer have the originals and there could have been tremendous tampering with the texts. The argument may be carried on to the theology derived from these texts. "According to this line of thinking, the message of whole books has been corrupted in the hands of the scribes; and the church, in later centuries, adopted the doctrine of the winner - those who corrupted the text and conformed it to their own notion of orthodoxy." (25)
There are lots of manuscripts (more than 5,600), some 2.6 million pages of texts. There are more than a million quotes of the NT by the early church fathers. At least twelve of the manuscripts date from the second century. "Of the hundreds of thousands of textual variants in NT MSS, the great majority are spelling differences that have no bearing on the meaning of the text." (40) Less than one percent of the textual variants are meaningful.
Wallace takes Bart Ehrman to task.
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