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The Text of the New Testament

Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration

Fourth Edition

Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman

Publication Date - 28 April 2005

ISBN: 9780195161229

384 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

This thoroughly revised edition of Bruce M. Metzger's classic work has been invigorated by the addition of Bart D. Ehrman--author of numerous best-selling books on the New Testament--as a coauthor


This thoroughly revised edition of Bruce M. Metzger's classic work is the most up-to-date manual available for the textual criticism of the New Testament. The Text of the New Testament, Fourth Edition, has been invigorated by the addition of Bart D. Ehrman--author of numerous best-selling books on the New Testament--as a coauthor. This revision brings the discussion of such important matters as the early Greek manuscripts and methods of textual criticism up to date, integrating recent research findings and approaches into the body of the text (as opposed to previous revisions, which compiled new material and notes into appendices). The authors also examine new areas of interest, including the use of computers in the collection and evaluation of manuscript evidence and the effects that social and ideological influences had upon the work of scribes. The standard text for courses in biblical studies and the history of Christianity since its first publication in 1964, The Text of the New Testament is poised to become a definitive resource for a whole new generation of students.

Previous Publication Date(s)

March 1992
December 1968


Praise for the previous edition: "Professor Bruce M. Metzger. . . remains the dean of New Testament textual criticism. For more than thirty years his encyclopedic knowledge and prolific pen have kept New Testament scholars current in manuscript studies. . . . Other manuals in textual criticism are now available, but none is more serviceable than Metzger's."--Southwestern Journal of Theology

"The fourth edition may be declared an unqualified success. The authors have evidently gone over every line of text with great care, [and] those paragraphs that have been rewritten seem to be genuine improvements. The appearance of this revised edition is a delight, and it assures that The Text of the New Testament will continue to serve students and scholars for a long time to come."--Westminster Theological Journal

"Well-researched and expressed, with that rare elegance of style that graces the English language. It is a model for scholarly endeavor, as well as the definitive text in English on the subject."--Louis I. Hodges, Columbia Bible College and Seminary

"The best in its field. Indispensable!"--Jarl Fossum, University of Michigan

Table of Contents

    Preface to the First Edition
    Chapter 1. The Making of Ancient Books
    I. The Materials of Ancient Books
    1. Papyrus
    2. Parchment
    3. Ink Making
    II. The Forms of Ancient Books
    III. Ancient Scribes and Their Handiwork
    Added Note on Colophons
    IV. "Helps for Readers" in New Testament Manuscripts
    1. Chapter Divisions
    2. Titles of Chapters
    3. Eusebian Canons
    4. Hypotheses, Bioi, Euthalian Apparatus
    5. Superscriptions and Subscriptions
    6. Punctuation
    7. Glosses, Scholia, Commentaries, Catenae, Onomastica
    8. Artistic Adornment
    9. Cola and Commata
    10. Neumes
    11. Lectionary Equipment
    V. Statistics of Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament
    Chapter 2. Important Witnesses to the Text of the New Testament
    I. Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament
    1. Important Greek Papyri of the New Testament
    2. Important Greek Majuscule Manuscripts of the New Testament
    3. Important Greek Minuscule Manuscripts of the New Testament
    4. Other Noteworthy Manuscripts
    II. Ancient Versions of the New Testament
    1. The Syriac Versions
    2. The Latin Versions
    3. The Coptic Versions
    4. The Gothic Version
    5. The Armenian Version
    6. The Georgian Version
    7. The Ethiopic Version
    8. The Old Slavonic Version
    9. Other Ancient Versions
    III. Patristic Quotations from the New Testament
    Chapter 3. The Precritical Period: The Origin and Dominance of the Textus Receptus
    I. From Ximenes and Erasmus to the Elzevirs
    II. The Collection of Variant Readings
    Chapter 4. The Modern Critical Period: From Griesbach to the Present
    I. The Beginnings of Scientific Textual Criticism of the New Testament
    II. The Overthrow of the Textus Receptus
    Chapter 5. The Origins of Textual Criticism as a Scholarly Discipline
    Chapter 6. Modern Methods of Textual Criticism
    I. The Classical Method of Textual Criticism
    II. Reactions Against Classical Textual Criticism
    1. Joseph Bédier
    2. Albert C. Clark
    III. Local Texts and Ancient Editions: Burnett Hillman Streeter
    IV. Alternative Methods of Textual Criticism
    1. The Majority Text
    2. Thoroughgoing Eclecticism
    V. Conjectural Emendation
    VI. Methods of Determining Family Relationships Among Manuscripts
    1. The Claremont Profile Method
    2. The Alands' Use of Teststellen
    3. The Comprehensive Profile Method
    VII. The Use of Computers in New Testament Textual Criticism
    1. The Collection, Recording, and Storage of Data
    2. The Presentation of the Data
    3. Statistical Analyses
    4. Hypertext Possibilities
    VIII. Significant Ongoing Projects
    1. The Institut fur neutestamentliche Textforschung
    2. The International Greek New Testament Project
    Chapter 7. The Causes of Error in the Transmission of the Text of the New Testament
    I. Unintentional Changes
    1. Errors Arising from Faulty Eyesight
    2. Errors Arising from Faulty Hearing
    3. Errors of the Mind
    4. Errors of Judgment
    II. Intentional Changes
    1. Changes Involving Spelling and Grammar
    2. Harmonistic Corruptions
    3. Addition of Natural Complements and Similar Adjuncts
    4. Clearing up Historical and Geographical Difficulties
    5. Conflation of Readings
    6. Alterations Made Because of Doctrinal Considerations
    7. Addition of Miscellaneous Details
    Chapter 8. History of the Transmission of the Text of the New Testament
    I. Complications in Establishing the Original Text
    II. Dissemination of Early Christian Literature
    III. The Rise and Development of the New Testament Text Types
    1. The Western Text
    2. The Alexandrian Text
    3. The Byzantine Text
    IV. The Use of Textual Data for the Social History of Early Christianity
    1. Doctrinal Disputes of Early Christianity
    2. Jewish-Christian Relations
    3. The Oppression of Women in Early Christianity
    4. Christian Apologia
    5. Christian Asceticism
    6. The Use of Magic and Fortune-Telling in Early Christianity
    Chapter 9. The Practice of New Testament Textual Criticism
    I. Basic Criteria for the Evaluation of Variant Readings
    II. The Process of Evaluating Variant Readings
    1. External Evidence
    2. Internal Evidence
    III. The Textual Analysis of Selected Passages
    General Index
    Index of New Testament Passages