Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism Paperback – March 25, 1995
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"For professional students of the Bible who want a thorough explanation of and guide through the science of textual criticism, this is the book. Written by two scholars who themselves are synonymous with the best of modern textual criticism, this excellent work covers the whole range of issues."
Religious Studies Review
"An authoritative introduction to New Testament textual criticism by two of Germany's preeminent textual scholars. Rhodes's translation...is commendably accurate and readable. The book will prove invaluable to beginning students for its overview of editions of the Greek New Testament from Erasmus to NA26, for its sketch of the first four centuries of textual transmission, and especially for its exhaustive explanation of the textual apparatuses found in today's popular editions. . . More advanced scholars will appreciate the book's informed survey of early versions and its detailed descriptions of all the important extant Greek manuscripts."
Southwestern Journal of Theology
"This is perhaps the most comprehensive and, at the same time, the most classroom-ready textbook on textual criticism. After a survey of the history of the printed New Testament and of the transmission of the Greek Testament from the earliest times, it examines and classifies the various manuscripts and the early versions. . . The text is richly complemented with plates, tables, and charts that will assist and stimulate the student and that will make this book a vade mecum for all engaged in this discipline."
Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I got the book originally through my local library's Interlibrary Loan program. It became quite clear, within days, that this book -- by Kurt and Barbara Aland -- is so packed with information that you will not get everything you could from it just by checking it out of the library for two or three weeks. It's a serious book for serious people -- even if not students or intending to be one. You will refer back to it again and again.
The subtitle describes the book's focus as an introduction "to the critical editions and to the theory and practice of modern textual criticism." The Alands (Kurt passed on in 1994) have a long history with this subject, and she was, until 2004, the director of the Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Munster, Germany.
It has been great having it to read "when and wherever I like," and it will be a great addition to my library of books regarding history, ANE, and biblical commentaries and related works. I dare say that the Alands' work goes pretty deep into the subjects, provides photos and charts -- and I think it behooves everyone who has an interest in this area to read more than one writer, consider their sources, their qualifications, the context of their remarks, how they conflict or agree with others of like specialty. Just as a means of comparison, I (just today) requested Metzger's book of the same name (nearly) from my Interlibrary Loan program. It costs more than the Aland book, so I will not likely buy it but compare his remarks on certain things to theirs.
I got the idea to look for this book after reading another book last December (2015). That was The Search for Jesus by Robert L. Hutchinson. That was also interesting but, as introductory books of that sort go, it covered some ground that I have seen covered before (though with updated info and some interesting additions). I just decided to make great use of that book's bibliography and have been introduced, that way, to an amazing range of new books -- from Levine to Crossan to more of Ehrman to more Evans to Hurtado and Shafer and way beyond. It has been an education. At this point, a book like the Aland's excellent text is quite fitting for me to have and to read.
I do recommend it.
Before they get into the practical challenges of textual criticism, the authors take us through the history of printed editions of the Greek New Testament from 1514 until the NA26 in the late 20th century, explaining how editors through the ages arrived at their versions of the Greek text. "The Text of the New Testament" does not attempt to explain or challenge competing theories of textual criticism. It takes the methodology behind the NA and USB texts for granted, as it is introducing those texts. The Alands are adherents of some version of "reasoned eclecticism" which Kurt Aland has described as a "local-genealogical method". The authors stress the importance in understanding the history of the Church in evaluating manuscripts, and they favor the Alexandrian texts while being fairly dismissive of the Byzantine.
There is some background on how the Greek texts were transmitted before the authors delve into the types of manuscripts that are witnesses to the New Testament, their distribution by century and category, their level of agreement, and their somewhat cumbersome system of labeling, which you must know in order to decipher the notations in the critical editions. Another chapter addresses New Testament witnesses in other languages. Then the authors explain the critical apparatuses of the NA26, USB3, and SQE13 (Gospel synopsis) Greek texts, comparing their features, notations and generally explaining how to use them. Finally, the authors present their rules of textual criticism, common causes of variants and how to evaluate them, and some examples of what textual critics do.
Some recommendations for further reading may be out of date, as more books have been published over the past 25 years. The translation from the German by Erroll F. Rhodes is a bit stiff at times, but the meaning is always clear. "The Text of the New Testament" is fairly dense. With over 5,000 manuscript sources for the New Testament in Greek alone and a need to identify them, there is a lot of information to convey. This book is intended for readers who will be actively or passively involved in textual criticism, either doing it themselves or needing to understand the information that the critical editions offer, including those working in New Testament exegesis. So it's a bit much for the casual reader, though you could skip the lengthy charts of manuscripts and the chapters that explain the critical apparatuses if you're just looking for general information on New Testament textual criticism.