Answering a Question I Get All the Time: The Places to Start in Studying New Testament Textual Criticism

“…if you want a popular level introduction to the topic written by me, I’ve got that. But I’d like to be more detailed—and (kind of!) evenhanded. I’d like to make some reading recommendations on both sides.” - Mark Ward


This is a good list by Ward. I would personally add to it with these titles:

- As I advocate a Majority Text view I think Harry Sturz’s The Byzantine Text-type and NT Textual Criticism; Frederick Scrivener’s excellent Plain Introduction to NT Textual Criticism; and Dean Burgon’s Revision Revised are important to know. I just don’t see modern textual critics engaging their arguments. Scrivener and Burgon are obviously old, but their work is pertinent, and in particular their more theological approach is, I think, better than the far more positivist eclectic method. I disagree with Ward about the combative nature of Burgon, not because it isn’t there, but because I do not believe one should try to adopt a scientific indifference to the text of the NT (as if it were possible).

- The work edited by D. A. Black called Rethinking NT Textual Criticism includes fine essays from the different approaches.

- The recent volume by Tommy Wasserman & Peter Gurry entitled A New Approach to Textual Criticism.

- I feel blessed to own a rare copy of Bruce Metzger’s Chapters in the History of NT Textual Criticism, a great book.

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.