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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Text of the New Testament: From Manuscript to Modern Edition
Greenlee, J. Harold

Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2008 pp. xii + 130. $12.95


Description: The Text of the New Testament is a brief introduction for the lay person into the process whereby the New Testament came to be. It describes the basics of ancient writing tools, manuscripts, the work of scribes, and how to think about differences in what the various manuscripts say. This is a revised and expanded edition with a completely new chapter on how contemporary English translations fit in with our understanding of the New Testament text. Geared to the lay person who is uninformed or confused about textual criticism, Greenlee begins this volume by explaining the production of ancient manuscripts. He then traces the history of the development of the New Testament text. Readers are next introduced to the basic principles of textual criticism, the concept of variant readings, and how to determine which variant has the greatest likelihood of being the original reading. To illustrate the basic principles, several sample New Testament texts are examined. The book concludes by putting textual criticism in perspective as involving only a minute portion of the entire New Testament text, the bulk of which is indisputably attested by the manuscripts.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Textual Criticism

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Review by J. K. Elliott
Published 1/24/2009
Citation: J. K. Elliott, review of J. Harold Greenlee, The Text of the New Testament: From Manuscript to Modern Edition, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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