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A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament Imitation Leather – April 11, 1997

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruce Manning Metzger (1914-2007) was the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. He was the author of hundreds of articles on Bible translation, textual criticism, the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, and the New Testament. He published numerous books, including "The New Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content; The Text of the New Testament; Manuscripts of the Greek Bible; A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament; Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek; and The Canon of the New Testament." He was the general editor of the New Testament Tools and Studies series, "The Reader's Digest Bible, " and "The Oxford Companion to the Bible" and was on the editorial boards of the International Greek New Testament Project, the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, and the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Imitation Leather: 775 pages
  • Publisher: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; 2 edition (April 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3438060108
  • ISBN-13: 978-3438060105
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As one of the world's best-known scholars on the text of the New Testament, Bruce M. Metzger has taught for many years at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 99 people found the following review helpful By William E. Turner Jr. on August 3, 2003
Format: Imitation Leather
This volume provides an insightful commentary on the Greek text of the United Bible Societies' 4th edition Greek New Testament. In producing a copy of the Greek New Testament many variant readings have to be analyzed and decided upon. Metzger has provided in this commentary an answer as to why one reading was chosen over another. In doing so he seeks to highlight the problem(s) involved with each set of alternative readings and also provides an explanation of the Bible Committee's evaluation and resolution of those problems.
A helpful introduction is provided wherein the history and basic rules of textual criticism are canvassed in order to show how the committee made their decisions. Metzger provides a brief introduction to the art and science of textual criticism. He provides an "outline of criteria" which was used by the committee. External evidence evaluates such things as the date of the textual witnesses, the geographical distribution of the manuscripts, the relationship of text families, and the understanding that witnesses should be weighed not counted. Under the internal evidence he highlights that the more difficult and shorter reading is to be preferred and that there needs to be a consideration of the context of each author and what they probably would have written.
The commentary itself follows a verse-by-verse canonical approach and provides a comment on the many textual variants found in the UBS4. About 30% (225 pages) of the commentary is on the book of Acts given the difficulty of the two differing text types in early circulation (Western and Alexandrian). Helpful discussion is also provided on such controversial passages as the ending of Mark's Gospel and 1 John 5:7.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jacob & Kiki Hantla TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 3, 2004
Format: Imitation Leather
This textual commentary is designed to be used in conjunction with the United Bible Societies' (UBS) Greek New Testament 4th ed. and its greatest utility will be found within that scope of use. Nevertheless, there are uses for others, even non-greek readers; however, the utility will obviously be less as this book was not written with you in mind. The pupose of this commentary is best given through a quote from the book's introduction:

"Most commentaries on the Bible seek to explain the meaning of words, phrases, and ideas of the scriptural text in their nearer and wider context; a textual commentary, however, is concerned with the prior question, What is the original text of the passage? That such a question must be asked - and answered! - before one explains the meaning of the text arises from two circumstances: (a) none of the original documents of the Bible is extant today, and (b) the existing copies differ from one another."

The commentary is basically a verse-by-verse list of the all of the verse's identified by UBS as having variant readings in the Greek texts from which the 4th ed was compiled. Without such a tool we are left to look at the readings which were chosen, perhaps the variants which were provided, and guess why UBS made the decision that was made. Looking at variant readings in both English and Greek texts one has very little indication of what sort of weight which variant carries.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bielby VINE VOICE on October 9, 2005
Format: Imitation Leather
As a pastor who is not a scholar...but who has had enough Greek to use Greek NT Software tools in sermon exegesis, I found this book extremely valuable. I completely disagree with the reviewers who say you must be a scholar to use this tool. I don't even have a masters degree.

In Gordon Fee's excellent NT Exegesis book he recommends consulting this book as part of the normal exegesis process for sermon or paper development. When attempting to translate the text, one needs to ascertain the text. If you've ever had the experience I have had of looking at the critical apparatus in the GNT and wondering how to decipher it, then this book will help you. It gives some background on each decision for the options.

For example, a verse may have variations in the manuscripts. The committee who determined which manuscripts to follow made their decisions on the basis of some general rules for Textual Criticism. The actual basis for each decision in general is explained...usually in a sentence or two...for every single decision that appears in the apparatus for the GNT. So if you want to know the gist of what's going on with the ratings for each rating in the apparatus, you need this book. From that perspective it is a veritable gold mine. If you take time to verify the text before doing exegesis for either a sermon or a paper, then you cannot afford to ignore this volume.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Philip J. Bohlken on December 12, 1998
Format: Imitation Leather
If you find learning all of the details associated with manuscripts and text transmission difficult and too time-consuming to master, this work will give you a quick overview of arguments pro and con on the major variant readings of the New Testament. It is a very helpful quick resource. You may not use it everyday, but it will be a great helper when you need it.
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