Textual Criticism

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

747 reads

Text Criticism and the Pulpit: Should one Preach on the Woman Caught in Adultery?

"While there are many ways to consider this topic, this study will look at the issue through the lens of one highly debated passage, the pericope adulterae (John 7:53–8:11). This passage . . . has been chosen not only because it is one of the longest text-critical passages in the New Testament, but also because its beloved status presents peculiar challenges." - Tim Miller

974 reads

An Evaluation of the Work of Charles Surrett on the New King James Version

"I’ve had several brief correspondences with Surrett, and in each case he has been gracious, clear, and straightforward (Ambassador students who have mentioned him to me always speak of him with respect). He has made key distinctions between his viewpoint and a truly KJV-Only viewpoint. To him, the text is the issue. God promised a “certain” text (Prov 22:20–21 and other verses), and the TR is it." - Mark Ward

1006 reads

Why I Won't Preach Mark 16:9-20

Textual criticism is a highly technical discipline. Ordinary pastors can’t hope to know everything about the subject. But, they can pay attention in Seminary and read enough to be familiar with the basic issues. The congregation has notes in their margins or footnotes, telling them all about Acts 8:37, John 7:53 - 8:11, John 5:7-8 and Mark 16:9-20. A pastor needs to know enough to answer the more obvious questions these footnotes will generate.

In my opinion, these are some very useful tools to help:

7706 reads

The Textual Frankenstein of Modern Critical Text Theory

A passionate Textus Receptus advocate named Jonathan Sheffield recently published a video about textual criticism, framed around James White, a well-known Reformed apologist and PhD candidate in textual criticism. Although Sheffield apparently does not realize that Frankenstein is the name of Mary Shelley’s scientist, not the monster (who is never named), he raises a number of objections to modern textual critical theory.

The video is excellent from a technical standpoint, and Sheffield employs a number of amusing pop-culture references throughout. The more one has followed developments in textual criticism in recent years (look for a reference to the now-infamous Wallace/Ehrman/early Markan fragment debate!), the more “in jokes” one will see in the video, which is very entertaining. James White is a favorite target of Sheffield’s, who prodcued a similar video last year entitled “A James White Christmas Carol on ‘Father Forgive Them’ in Luke 23:34.

Sheffield asks:

Why are Modern NT Textual Scholars like James White, Daniel Wallace and the field as a whole losing the intellectual argument against the scholarship of Dr. Bart Ehrman and others that hold to his primary hypothesis on the text of the New Testament? In order to understand this predicament for Modern New Testament Textual Scholars, we will document the problems with Modern Textual theories as shown in the following cartoon animation.

2806 reads

Are There Critical Text Readings in the NKJV after All? A Nerdy and Detailed Response to a Set of Fair Questions

"My recent post charging KJV defenders with sin because they 1) repeated the claim that the NKJV includes critical text readings and yet 2) never produced any evidence for that claim—that post has been answered by someone holding a minority viewpoint." - Mark Ward

2965 reads

"[T]his is what defenders of the TR believe, too. You disagree only in degree, not kind, with the mainstream view."

"There are about two dozen printed 'TR' editions with varying levels of difference among them. Which one preserves the perfect text? Purchasers of which of these editions had the every jot and tittle promise fulfilled for them? It can be only one—if indeed you believe in perfect preservation." - By Faith We Understand

1825 reads