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Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & Textual Criticism Hardcover – November 15, 2005
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. to give an annotated list of all significant Greek manuscripts
. to assign dates for the earliest manuscripts
. to examine the nomina sacra (standardized abbreviations) used in the early manuscripts
. to present the history of textual variation in the early centuries of the church
. to explore various methods of recovering the original wording of the Greek.
All of this is within the main goal of helping students interact with the New testament test by knowing the original wording.
This book gives a rare insight into the work of the scholars putting the Bible together from very fragmentary documents. All in all, it is amazing that so much material exists from almost two thousand years ago.
A key to understanding what this book offers is to read the subtitle: "An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & Textual Criticism". So it has two distinct focuses:
- introduction to paleography
- introduction to textual criticism.
In the opinion of the present reviewer, it is more successful in its second focus than in its first.
The first chapter (54 pages) gives a general description of the production of manuscripts in New Testament times.
The next two chapters (144 pages) give an overview of (apparently) all the New Testament manuscripts from approximately the first 300 years, also explaining dating decisions. Chapter two consists of a brief introduction to some of the principal manuscripts, followed by a summary of key information for each manuscript. I read this through in full, and would recommend that readers do the same. However, it will subsequently prove to be a very good quick reference for the purpose of finding the key facts about any manuscript.
It is only in chapter three that we actually see reproductions of single pages from some manuscripts, and the whole of some tiny fragments. This is a disappointment for several reasons:
- I would have expected to have seen more pages and manuscripts reproduced than are actually in the book.
- The quality of reproduction is generally not good. The chief cause of this is the paper that is used, which is fine for normal text but not up to the job of reproducing photographs with sufficient clarity.Read more ›
Encountering the Manuscripts is the effort of several years of detailed examination of every early New Testament manuscript prior to AD 300 (viii). For Comfort, the result of this work has led to the publication of The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (with David Barrett), New Testament Text and Translation Commentary, and Encountering the Manuscripts. The first volume represents a joint effort to reconstruct the earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. The second volume represents Comfort’s longstanding desire to aid the overall conversation around the relationship between textual criticism and English translations of the Bible. This third volume focuses more narrowly on the most significant New Testament manuscripts from the vantage point of paleography and textual criticism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Didn't finish reading this book, because I disliked it so much. It wasn't about proving New Testament or anything interesting. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Harry Young
As always with these books, more info than I could assimilate. Plenty of the info about the things I was interested. Every Christian should read this book or one like it.Published 12 months ago by Phillip Morrill
If you want to learn about the process of interpreting manuscripts, this is the book. This takes a high academic field and shows the 'Joe-Christian' in the pew what it's all about.Published 12 months ago by tonyvance
I've read this text three times, and I still refer back to it. It is an invaluable resource for the serious bible student. The section on nomina sacra is worth the price alone.Published 17 months ago by M Burgos