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The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th Edition) Paperback – April 28, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0195161229 ISBN-10: 019516122X Edition: 4th

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Editorial Reviews

Review


Praise for the previous edition: "Professor Bruce M. Metzger. . . remains the dean of New Testament textual criticism. For more than thirty years his encyclopedic knowledge and prolific pen have kept New Testament scholars current in manuscript studies. . . . Other manuals in textual criticism are now available, but none is more serviceable than Metzger's."--Southwestern Journal of Theology


"The fourth edition may be declared an unqualified success. The authors have evidently gone over every line of text with great care, [and] those paragraphs that have been rewritten seem to be genuine improvements. The appearance of this revised edition is a delight, and it assures that The Text of the New Testament will continue to serve students and scholars for a long time to come."--Westminster Theological Journal


"Well-researched and expressed, with that rare elegance of style that graces the English language. It is a model for scholarly endeavor, as well as the definitive text in English on the subject."--Louis I. Hodges, Columbia Bible College and Seminary


"The best in its field. Indispensable!"--Jarl Fossum, University of Michigan


About the Author

Bruce M. Metzger is at Princeton Theological Seminary (Emeritus). Bart D. Ehrman is at University of North Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 4 edition (April 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019516122X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195161229
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,176 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

It takes time to absorb everything this book contains.
Vincent Bost
Of course, it is a good repository of the latest data in the field, but a good, readable textbook it isn't.
Jordi Vilalta Lopez
It's an excellent introduction to the manuscript history of the New Testament.
Ashtar Command

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Bennett VINE VOICE on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dr. Metzger has given the reader an invaluable resource for the study of the text of the New Testament. The book is divided into three major parts. Part one begins with a detailed description of the ancient method of bookmaking. Next, Metzger lists the major Greek manuscripts and codices as well as a basic description of each. He also lists the major non-Greek witnesses (e.g. Syriac, Coptic, Latin, etc.) and discusses the role of quotations from the early church Fathers. Part two is devoted to the history of the printed editions of the Greek New Testament from the time of the Complutensian Polyglot and the Textus Receptus (the text used for the KJV) through Westcott and Hort until the present day. Part three is an instruction manual for textual criticism, including the many theories of criticism and the method of conjectural emendation. In this section, Metzger also discusses the many types of errors and deliberate changes made by the scribes. He then gives an analysis of several textually difficult passages (e.g. Mark 16 and Acts 20:28). The book also includes 16 photo plates that show selected manuscripts. A working knowledge of Greek is helpful because Metzger often cites Greek words in the text and footnotes without an English translation. If one wishes to learn the basics (and more) about textual criticism, then this is the book to buy.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Brcheese on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in learning how the New Testament we read today came to be -- read this book. It is a tremendous overview of the sources that have been relied on that, taken together, make up the New Testament as we now understand it. It is fascinating to read about the divergences between different versions of the scriptures and the reasons for these differences, i.e., inattentive scriveners, etc. For those who may feel uncomfortable with this I should point out that Metzger is not seeking to undermine belief in the scriptures, in fact, he is the editor of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. However, he at no point allows his beliefs to interfere with his objective examination of the evidence. Obviously, he believes that such an examination should not undermine belief. As he states, no fundamental tenet of Christianity is impacted by the sometimes divergent readings in ancient manuscripts. Highly recommended.
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98 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Bost on May 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a vital tool to use in rebutting the Ex Cathedra heresies of the King James Onlyists. Virtually every page contains important information that the KJOs would rather not discuss. (Or discuss out of context, if they acknowledge it at all.) And while this book isn't devoted to KJVOism per se, it is a great resource for the anyone who actually wants to examine the evidence for himself, rather than relying on the words of Ruckman, Riplinger, Cloud, Waite, Grady, etc...
For example, while Westcott-Hort are condemned by the KJVO crowd, Erasmus is practically placed on a throne and his own heresies are ignored. His tampering with the text is overlooked while Westcott-Hort are branded as every sort of apostate and heretic imaginable. One standard is applied to Westcott-Hort, another is applied to Erasmus.
Was the text perserved? Of course it was. Just not in the manner that some would have you believe. There was no additional "moving" of the Spirit over Erasmus, the KJV translators, or Benjamin Blayney to prevent them from making errors. Let Rome have it's Ex Cathedra doctrine.
A word of warning: This book is deep. It goes into a lot of detail regarding various Greek and Latin manuscripts, as well as early versions and Patristic quotations. It takes time to absorb everything this book contains. But don't give up! To truly understand the implications and details of the whole Bible version controversy, one needs a working knowledge of just how the Bible itself was transmitted down through history.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Collin Garbarino VINE VOICE on March 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the classic work on New Testament textual criticism. It is thorough, clear, and actually entertaining. However, it does need rewriting. The text of the book has not been changed since 1968. The author has just added appendices as new evidence comes to light. This makes the book a little cumbersome at times to read. Rewriting the appendices into the body of the text would make this book even more useful.

***************
UPDATE: This review was written about the 1992 edition. The 2005 edition addresses my criticisms.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Preacher Man on November 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Metzger's book is a fabulous read for anyone serious in academic study of NT Textual Criticism (TC). Metzger introduces the reader to every possible arena of knowledge within the world of TC. From his opening sections on writing materials, types, and styles to his latter chapters on how to use TC, Metzger poignantly gives the reader everything he/she needs to know. Metger also does a great job at giving examples of meangingful papryri, manuscripts, and other documents. The only down side to Mezger's book is that it is not an "easy read." Certainly the information is somewhat taxing, however, it is profitable to anyone who wants to learn the basics (and some advanced level information) of NT TC. All-in-all the book deserves five stars...it is simply an indispensible book.
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