Thomas M. Strouse, PhD.
Maranatha Baptist Bible college
Maranatha Graduate School of Theology
Watertown, Wisconsin 53O94


    I.  Definition  What is Textual Criticism?
        A.  The effort to determine the original text of any written work
            when only the copies of the original work are extant
        B.  Applied to the Scriptures, it is the effort to determine exactly
            the text of the Autographs
   II.  Why is it important? The Greek text of the New Testament is the
        basis for interpretation and theological systemization. Without this
        foundation of knowing what and where the Biblical text is, it is
        impossible to build further study in the Scriptures
   III. How is textual criticism achieved?
        A.  By examining the various extant Mss. and determining by various
            methods the value of the Mss.
        B.  By having a basic understanding of the materials of textual
            criticism, of the men of textual criticism, and of the
   methodology of textual criticism.


    I.  Writing Materials of the Text

        A.  Ancient Materials - bark and leaves of trees, clay tablets,
            metals, bones, potsherds, wooden tablets, papyrus, parchment,
        B.  Papyrus
            1.  The source of Papyrus
                a.  It is found in swamps of Nile Delta.
                b.  Thin strips from center pith of Papyrus stalk cut and
                    laid side by side with another series of strips laid
                    perpendicular to lower strips.
                c.  Usually the sheets from 6" x 9" to 12" x 15.
                d.  Sheets pasted together and made into rolls of 20
                e.  Roll-biblos;  several rolls-tome.
                f.  Used until about the 3rd century.
       C.  Parchment (Vellum)
            1  The source of Parchment
               a.  Tanned animal skins received writing and were very
               b.  Later, they were soaked in limewater and the hair was
               c.  Vellum is usually calfskin; Parchment is from other
               d.  City of Pergamum produced Parchment of fine quality.
            2. Effects of Parchment
               a.  It overcame Papyrus by the end of the 3rd century.
               b.  Most extant 4-14th century Mss are Parchment.
               c.  Constantine had 50 official Bibles of this high quality
                   material made (perhaps Aleph and B)
        D. Paper - It was used very early by Chinese and easily surpassed
        E. Palimpsest - It is rescraped Parchment to be written on top of
           again. The earliest example is Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus; it was
           written in 5th century and rescraped in 12th century.

   II.  Writing Instruments

        A.  Stilus - Made from bones, metal, or similar materials with a
            sharp end for writing and a blunt end for erasing words when
            used on wax tablets.
        B.  Reed Pen - Made from reed stalk with brush end attached to be
            used on Papyrus
        C.  Quill Pen - Made from quill feather with slit on end to be used
            primarily on Parchment.
        D.  Ink Pen - A quill pen used with both black and colored ink was
            the source of many Mss. The various colors of ink were used for
            decorative purposes

   III. Forms in which writing received

        A. Roll (scroll) form
           1. The material was either Papyrus or Parchment.
           2. It was wound around a stick, thus producing a volume.
           3. The roll form was used horizontally left to right (Greek or
              Latin), and right to left for Hebrew,
           4. The longest books in the New Testament (Luke and Acts) were
              probably 30-35feet.
           5. Several disadvantages obviously were that the scroll form was
              not handy for quick references and comparisons were awkward.
              Thus, a proverb developed, "a great book, a great evil."
           6. Christianity was the greatest force to alter the use of the
              scroll form to book form.
        B. Codex (book) form
           1. An early expression of the codex form was the wax tablet
              fastened to other tablets by hinges.
           2. The Christian use of this form used Papyrus.
           3. The codex form was made as quires or folded sheets (usually
              four sheets).

   IV.  Writing Styles

        A. Majuscule of Uncials - Capital letters of "bookhand" writing.
           Uncial comes from uncia meaning 12th part; letters which took
           up 12th part of a line.
           1. These letters were not connected to each other.
           2. They were scriptio continua or no space between words
           3. It was a very clumsy way of writing and likewise very slow.
           4. It was used for New Testament Mss. until after 10th century.
        B. Minuscule - means "rather small"
           1. A form of cursive writing for non-literary materials (running
           2. Used for personal writing (NT autographs were probably
           3. Minuscules had several advantages:  small, less parchment
              usage, economical, and the rapidity of production.
           4. Minuscules outnumber majuscules 10 to 1.
           5. They began in the 9th century for New Testament Mss.
        C. Nomina Sacra (Sacred Names)
           1. Abbreviations of proper names.
           2. A form of contraction, which was limited to 15 sacred words:
              God               Spirit          Man
              Lord              Cross           Heaven
              Son               Mother          David
              Jesus             Father          Israel
              Christ            Savior          Jerusalem

    V.  Writing Helps

        A. Colophons - Notes at end of book ("the end of the book, thanks be
           to God").
        B. Chapter Divisions - Codex Vaticanus oldest Mss. to use chapter
        C. Chapter Titles - titloi
        D. Chapter Table of Contents - Summary outline of chapters.
        E. Harmony of the Gospels by Eusebus - 10 canons listing all
           possible combinations of 4 Gospels and their peculiarities.
        F. Prologue (Hypotheses) - Brief introduction to book with
           authorship and content.
        G. Bios  longer statement of each of the Evangelists.
        H. Titles of books - Superscriptions and subscriptions briefly
           written at beginning or end of book and which grew in length
           over period of time,
        I. Catenae - "Chains" of comments from older commentators.
        J. Commentaries - Systematized interpretive remarks.
        K. Scholia - Remarks by teacher to interpret text.
        L. Glosses - Short explanations of certain words or phrases which
           are difficult.
        M. Onomastica - Helps for etymological use.
        N. Cola - Marking indicating proper inflection or pause (a clause)
           - colan.
        O. Commata - Indicating a phrase (comma).
        P. Neumes - Musical notation to facilitate in chanting scriptures.
        Q. Lectionary helps - Words such as arch (beginning) and telos
           (end) on Mss. to indicate to reader in public worship where to
           start and stop as he reads portion of Scripture.

    VI. Testifying Materials to the Text

        A. Introduction
           1.  According to Aland there are 5255 Mss.
           2.  A breakdown reveals:
               a. 81 Papyri
               b. 267 Uncials
               c. 2764 Cursives (Minuscules)
               d. 2143 Lectionaries
           3.  Enumeration follows these designations
               a. Papyrus - "P"
               b. Uncial Mss. followed by Roman letters (also Greek and
               c. Minuscule Mss. - Arabic numbers
               d. Lectionaries - Arabic and Evl. or Apost.
        B.  Papyri Mss.
            1.  P45 - Part of Chester Beatty Library, 30 leaves of codex.
                Originally about 220 leaves, 4 Gospels and Acts, dated first
                half of 3rd century approx. Caesarean family.
            2.  P46 - Chester Beatty Library, 86 leaves of codex, 10 Pauline
                epistles, A. D. 200, Alexandrian Text.
            3.  P47 - Chester Beatty Library, 10 leaves of codex, Book of
                Revelation, Middle 3rd century, Alexandrian text,
            4.  P52 - Oldest Ms., contains John 18:31-33, 37-38, written
                about 135, Uncial, 3.5" x 2.3", 7 lines on recto and verso.
            5.  P66 - Bodmer Library, A. D. 200, 6" x 5.5", John 1:1-6:11
                and 6:35b-l4:l5, mixed text.
            6.  P72 - Earliest of Mss. containing 2 Peter and Jude, 3rd
                century, Alexandrian text.
        C.  Uncials
            1.  Codex sinaiticus, aleph, 01-written in 4th century, contains
                part of OT and all of NT plus Epistle of Barnabas and
                Shepherd of Hermas, 4 columns/page and 48 lines/column,
                discovered by Tischendorf in 1844 in Monastery of St.
                Catherine on Mt. Sinai, he suggested that it was one of 50
                copies prepared by Constantine in 331 and sent by Justinian
                to convent of Mt Sinai, mixed text (Alexandrian and
                western), sold to Russians and then to British Museum in
                London in 1933.
            2.  Codex Vaticanus, B, 03 - written in 4th century, contains
                most of OT, and NT except part of Hebrews, Pastoral Epistles
                and Revelation, located in Vatican Library since 1481, 3
                narrow columns, mixed text, but most Alexandrian.
            3.  Codex Alexandrinus, A, 02, written in 5th century, contains
                NT except for most of Matthew and part of John and
                2 Corinthians and OT, Byzantine text in Gospels and
                Alexandrian elsewhere, originated in Alexandria and hence
                its name (probably).
            4.  Codex Eptiraemi Rescriptus, C, or, a palimpsest 5th century
                writing, parts of all NT, except 2 Thessalonians and 2 John,
                mixed text, pro-Byzantine.
            5.  Codex Bezae, D, 05, Greek and Latin texts, 1 column/page, 4
                Gospels, Acts and Latin 3 John 11-15, Western text, 5th
                century writing.
            6.  Codex Washingtonianus, W, (032), 4 Gospels in this order -
                Matthew, John, Luke, Mark, 5th century, 1 column/page.
            7.  Codex Koridethianus, Theta, contains Gospels, 9th century,
                Byzantine text in all but Mark, found near Monastery at
        D.  Minuscule Mss. (Cursive and late)
            1.  Family 1 - minuscules 1, 118, 131, 209, 1582, dating from
                10th-13th century, Byzantine text, Ms.1 was used by Erasmus.
            2.  Family 13 - Minuscules 13, 69, 124, 346, 12-14 century,
                known also as Ferrar Group (230, 543, 788, 826, 828, .983,
                1689, ,1709), Byzantine text.
            3.  Minuscule 33 - contains Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, 9th
                century, "Queen of the Cursives" (Nestle).
            4.  Ms. 61- entire NT, 15-16th century,contains Johannine Comma.
            5.  Ms. 81 - written 1044, contains Alexandrian text of Acts.
            6.  Ms. 565 - 9th Century, deluxe edition and one of the most
                beautiful of all extant Mss., gold letters on purple vellum,
                Byzantine text.
            7.  Ms. 700 -an 11-12th century writing, diverges from TR close
                to 3000 times and has many peculiar readings.
            8.  Ms. 1424  entire NT, 9-10th century, commentary for every
                book except Revelation, Byzantine text, renamed Family 1424
                by Streeter.
        E.  Lectionaries - Compiled readings from Scripture for public
            worship services,
            1.  For every day usage and also Saturday and Sunday usage.
            2.  Uncials and Minuscules
            3.  Designated with "L" or "Lect." prefixed to Arabic number.
            4.  Lectionaries from Gospels are Evagelistarion; those from
                Acts are Apostolicon.
        F.  Versions - Translations into different languages.
            1.  Syriac Versions - Originated at Antioch (Acts 11:19).
                 a. Peshitta Syriac - contains NT except for 2 Peter,
                    2&3 John, Jude, Revelation, originated in 2nd century,
                    contains Byzantine text, probably translated from
                    original NT Mss.
                 b. Old Syriac Version - older than Peshitta (2nd century),
                    either Byzantine or Alexandrian text.
                 c. Tatian's Diatessaron - A harmony of the 4 Gospels as one
                    whole and continuous story, written about A.D 170.
                 d. Harkleian Syriac - The Peshitta revised by Polycarp and
                    revised again by Thomas of Harkel (616), contains
                    Byzantine text.
            2.  Coptic (Egyptian) Versions - Egyptian and Alexandrian origin.
                 a. Sahidic Version - written about 200, text similar to
                    Aleph and B.
                 b. Bohairic Version -. literary dialect of Egypt,
                    Alexandrian text.
                 c. Middle Egyptian Versions - Fayumic and Bashmuric.
            3.  Latin Versions - Originated in late 2nd century, probably in
                Pro-Roman Carthage.
                 a. Old Latin Versions - no complete Old Latin Bible is
                    1) Western text, from 4th century
                    2) Acts, Epistles, and several fragments of Revelation
                       a) Codex Palatinus, e, 6th century, portions of 4
                          Gospels, purple parchment with silver writing.
                       b) Fluery Palimpsest, h, 6th century, part of Acts,
                          and Catholic Epistles, and Revelation.
                       c) Codex Bobbiensis, k, 5th century, part of Matthew
                          and Mark.
                       d) Codex Vercellensis, a, tradition says that
                          Eusebius wrote it before A.D. 370.
                       e) Codex Gigas - largest extant Ms. - 20" x 36"
                          written in 13th century, contains entire Bible in
                          Latin and other works, also called Devil's Bible
                          because it has a picture of the Devil on it and
                          tradition states that the monk that produced it
                          did so in one night with the help of the Devil.
                 b. latin Vulgate  Pope Damasus, about 382, chose Jerome to
                    revise latin Bible. He revised Gospels using several
                    principles: he compared Latin with Greek Mss. and made
                    "conservative changes." The Greek Mss. were probably
                    Alexandrian text-types. Over 8000 Vulgate Mss. are
                    1) Codex Amiatinus - Contains whole Bible, written as
                       gift to Pope Gregory (716). Probably best Ms, of
                       a) Codex Sangallensis - Oldest extant Ms. of Vulgate
                          Gospels - 5th century.
             4.  Armenian Version - 5th century translation under order of
                 Patriarch Sahak. Translated from either Syriac or Greek. A
                 revision of Armenian Version came by the 8th century, often
                 called "the Queen of the Versions" - over 1200 Mss. extant,
                 pro-Caesarean text-type.
             5.  Gothic Versions - Ulfilas created Gothic alphabet and
                 translated then the Bible from Greek to Gothic in 4th
                 century missionary work, Byzantine text.
             6.  Georgian Version - Translation of Bible into language of
                 Caucasian Georgia.
                 a. Adysh Ms.- oldest extant (897)
                 b. Opiza Ms. A.D. 913
             7.  Ethiopic Version - 4th to 6th century Mss., Byzantine text,
             8.  Arabic - translated fran Syriac, 7th century.
             9.  Persian - translated from Syriac, 14th century.
            10.  Slavonic - translated by missionaries to the Slava in 9th
                 century (Cyril and Methodius), most are lectionaries.
            11.  Frankish - 8th century, west central Europe, part of
        G.   Fathers' Quotations
             1.  Western Fathers         The Western Fathers used the longer
                 a. Irenaens             text which probably originated in
                 b. Tertullian           Rome and spread throughout the
                 c. Cyprian              Roman Empire.
                 d. Justian Martyr
             2.  Alexandrian Fathers         Alexandria was known for its
                 a. Origen                   gnosticism and allegory, a
                 b. Clement of Alexandria    shorter text.
             3.  Syriac Fathers
                 a. Chrysostom
                 b. Ephraem Byrus
   VII. Variants in the Text
        A.  Unintentional Variants
            1. Variants due to mistakes in sight.
                 a. improper divisions of words,
                 b. Homojotelenton (similar endings).
                 c. mistaking one letter for another.
                 d. Haplography -"single writing" once when should be twice.
                 e. Dittography - "double writing" - twice when should be
                 f. Metathesis "change of place."
             2.  Variants due to mistakes in writing - writing down from
                 exemplar incorrect word.
             3.  Variants due to mistakes in hearing.
             4.  Variants due to mistakes in memory - influenced by parallel
             5.  Harmonization - parallel passages.
             6.  Doctrinal Variants - Changes for theology? Hort thought all
                 the scribes were angels. However, Clowell stated that
                 Majority of all variants were for theological purposes.
                 Moreover, Metzger stated that the early Church Fathers
                 accused heretics of corrupting Scriptures to support their
                 special heresy. Were all the scribes demons?


   I.   The Period of the Majority Text

        A.  The Ancient Period of the Majority Text.
             1. The Majority text found in the Peshitta Syriac Version - 2nd
             2. The Majority text found in the Gothic Version - 4th century.
             3. The Majority text found in the P45 in 3rd century
             4. The Majority text found in the Codex W - 5th century.
             5. The Majority text found in the Codex A - 5th Century.
             6. The Majority text found in the 90% of extant texts - 9th &
                1Oth century.
        B.  The TR (Textus Receptus) Period of Majority Text.
             1. With Gutenburg's moveable-type print press, the first
                version of the Bible was the Latin Vulgate of Jerome.
             2. The first printed Greek text was Polyglot Bible known as the
                Complutensian Polyglot, printed in 1514, but not published
                until 1522.
             3. The first Greek text to be published was the Greek NT by the
                humanist Desiderius Erasmus in 1516.
                 a. Erasmus used the following Mss.:
                    1) 2nd century Ms. of Gospels, Acts, and Epistles.
                    2) 5th century Ms. of Gospels.
                    3) 12-14th century Ms. of Acts and Epistles.
                    4) 15th century Ms. of Acts and Epistles.
                    5) 12th century Ms. of Revelation.
                 b. Erasmus had translated Greek into Latin Version in
                    1505-6 and presumably had other Mss. than these 5.
                 c. Erasmus had a thorough knowledge of variants and Textual
                    Criticism matters. He published his notes on these
                    matters after his texts
                    1) Matthew 6:13 Conclusion of Lord's Prayer
                    2) Matthew 19:17-22 Rich young ruler
                    3) Mark 16:9-20 Last 12 verses of Mark
                    4) Luke 2:14 Angel's song
                    5) Luke 22.43-44 Bloody sweat of Christ
                    6) John 7:53-8:11 Woman taken in adultery
                    7) 1 Timothy 3:16 Mystery of Godliness-Incarnation
                 d. Erasmus was careful not to insert his humanistic thought
                    into margins of the text. He did follow the Vulgate
                    rather than Greek at some points.
                    1) In Rev. 22:16-21, the only major difference is "Book
                       of Life" rather than "Tree of life," and this might
                       have been based on Ms. 141 (Hoskier).
                    2) Critics of Erasmus suggest that he should have used
                       Vulgate reading of Revelation 22.14 instead of
                       Majority Greek text reading ("Do His commandments"-TR
                       Vs "wash their robes"-Vulgate!)
                 e. Erasmus edited 3 Greek NT texts:
                    1) 1516 - Dedicated to Pope Leo x with his methodology.
                    2) 1519 - Revision of Greek and Latin.
                    3) 1522 - Includes 1 John 5:7.
                    4) 1527 - 3 columns (Greek, Vulgate, Erasmus' Latin).
                    5) 1535 - omitted Vulgate.
             4. Robert Estienne (Stephanus) edited 4 Greek NT texts:
                 a. 1546 Pocket size - Complutensian and Erasmian texts.
                 b. 1549 Pocket size - Complutensian and Erasmian texts.
                 c. 1530 Variant readings and Codex D with 13 other Codices.
                 d. 1551 Complutensian and Erasmian texts - Texts divided
                    into verses for first time.  Allegedly, Stephanus made
                    these divisions while on horseback, the inappropriate
                    divisions occurring when the horse jogged.
             5. Theodore de Beze (Beza) - 1519-1605. He edited 10 editions
                of Greek NT between 1565-1611, the last one appearing
                posthumously. Four editions had critical notes printed under
                the text (1565, 1582, 1588-9, & 1598).  In his 3rd edition
                he indicated his textual materials (D & D2) but follows
                Stephanus 4th edition. He was aware of textual problem
                passages, such as Luke 2:14, John 7:53-8:11 and I Timothy
                3:16. His name helped popularize the future received text.
             6. Bonaventure & Abraham Elzevir - Published 7 editions between
                1624-1678. They followed Beza but also included Erasmus,
                Computensian, and Latin Vulgate. Their 2nd Edition (1633)
                helped standardize the received text ("textum...nunc ab
                omnibus receptus"-text...now received by all).

   II.  The Period of the Minority of Critical text.

        A. Early work with variant readings.
             1. Brian Walton (1625-1661), text of Stephanus' 1550 Edition
                with variants from Codex Alexandrinus.
             2. John Fell (1625-1686), text of Elzevir (1633) and variants
                of 100 Mss.
             3. John Mill (1645-1707), followed Stephanus' 1550 text but
                included in his prolegomena variants from Fathers, editions
                and Mss., contained over 30,000 variants.
             4. Edward Wells (1667-1727), edited first complete NT which did
                not follow TR.
             5. Richard Bentley (1662-1742), desired to restore 4th century
                text by sidestepping the "errors" of the Vulgate and TR.
             6. Johann Bengel (1687-1752), as a student at Tubingen he
                studied transmission of text and affirmed variants did not
                alter any doctrine. He also used several other principles:
                witnesses are to be weighed not counted, grouped either as
                Asiatic or African Mss., and the difficult reading preferred
                to the easy reading. Moreover, he rated variations in margin
                of Greek texts. Also, he standardized punctuation and
                paragraph divisions in his Greek NT.
             7. Jakob Wettstein (1693-1754), printed Eizevir's text with a
                critical apparatus, held that all early Greek Mss.
                contaminated by Latin Versions, and therefore later Greek
                Mss. more reliable.
             8. Johann Semler (1725-1791), "Father of German Rationalism,"
                classified Mss. into 3 groups: Alexandrian, Western, and
             9. William Bowyer (1699-1777), was first to print TR with
                brackets around suspected verses.
        B.  The Minority Text of the Critics.
             1. Johann Griesbach (1745-1812), published 3 editions between
                1774-1806, proposed several families of witnesses:
                Alexandrian, Western, and Byzantine. He listed 15 canons for
                Textual Criticism and produced a text on these principles,
                departing from the TR.
             2. Johann Scholz (1794-1852), produced a list of Mss. which
                were available to scholars.
             3. Karl Lachmann (1793-1851), basically a classicist rather
                than a theologian, he desired to produce text of 4th century
                based on principles he set forth in an article previously
                written. He thought it impossible to produce the original
                text, and rebuked his critics for following a late, impure
                text. His critics in turn called him "Bentley's Ape." His
                text usually based on 2-4 Mss. and it is considered the
                first critical text.
             4. Samuel Tregelles (1813-1875), published critical text based
                on his own independent study with a convenient apparatus.
             5. L. F. Constantin Tischendorf (1815-1874), critical scholar
                par excellence, produced 8 editions of Greek NT between
                1841-1872, discovered and propagated its importance for
                remainder of his life.
             6. Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), and Fenton J. A. Hort
                (1828-1892), Anglican scholars at Cambridge University who
                worked together on critical text (25 years), publishing text
                and principles in 1881-82, built on German scholars such as
                Lachmann, Griesbach, and Tischendorf to produce text behind
                English Revision of NT in 1881.
        C.  The Majority-Minority Text Clash.
             1. F.H.A. Scrivener (1813-1891), scholar of Trinity College who
                supported TR and Codex Bezae.  He published texts of 20 Mss.
                and listed all known Mss.
             2. John Burgon (1813-1888), an Anglican and Dean of Chichester,
                he repudiated Westcott and Hort and their text and
                principles with scholarly accord. He supported the
                Traditional text since he believed that God preserved it
                through the Church Fathers. The TR, not being preserved by a
                Church Father, but by Erasmus, was not enthusiastically
                supported by Burgon, even though it was a printed
                manifestation of the Traditional Text. The theory of
                transmission, according to Burgon, was not naturalistic but
             3. God raised up other men to propagate the TR, Majority,
                Byzantine, Traditional Text and the resultant
                translation--AV: Miller, Wilkerson, Ray, Hills, Fuller,
                Hodges, Waite, Pickering, and Van Bruggen.


   I.   The Methodology of the Minority Text.

        A. Its Characteristics
             1. It is naturalistic in approach, excluding the working of the
                Holy Spirit in preserving Word of God.
                 a. Lachmann approached Greek NT as he did classical Greek
                 b. Hort declared that NT texts should be handled as other
                    "ancient texts!"
                 c. J. H. Greenlee rules out Divine Preservation when he
                    states that the Majority text in printed form was the
                    "result of mere chance" (Introduction to NT Textual
                    criticism, pp. 72, 74).
                 d. B. M. Metzger does not mention Divine Preservation as he
                    discusses the transmission of the text (The -Text of the
                    NT, pp. l86-206).
             2. It has a low view of inspiration - Jack Finigan, a
                representative of the Alexandrian text camp, states:
                "Presumably if we could ever recover the original manuscript
                of a NT book it would be very close to what its author
                intended. Even here, however, the text might not be
                completely correct. If the author wrote it himself, he could
                have made mistakes; if he dictated it to a scribe,
                the latter could have made mistakes (Encountering NT
                Manuscripts, p, 514).
        B.  Its Results (Unfruitful)
             1. Metzger states:  "It is understandable that in some cases
                different scholars will come to different evaluations of the
                significance of the evidence"  (Text of the NT, p.210).
             2. Johann Greisbach stated:  "The NT abounds in more glosses,
                additions, and interpolations purposely introduced than any
                other book (Opuscula Academica, p. 317).
             3. Kirsopp Lake stated: "...we do not know the original form of
                the Gospels, and it is quite likely that we never shall"
                (Family 13, p. vii).
             4. Kenneth Clark states:  "...the gospel text was little more
                stable than the oral tradition, and that we may be pursuing
                the retreating mirage of the 'original text'" (The
                Theological Relevance of Textual Variants in Current
                Criticism of the Greek NT, p. 15)  And also be doubted
                that there is evidence of one original text to be recovered"
                (p. 16).
             5. F. C. Conybeare stated:  "...Prior to the collection of the
                Gospels in a canon, about the year 180, and while they were
                still circulating singly in isolated churches, their text
                was less fixed and more liable to changes, doctrinal and
                transcriptional, than they ever were afterwards; and that
                the ultimate text, if there ever was one that deserves to be
                so called, is forever irrecoverable (History of NT
                Criticism, p. 129). Interesting to note, Conybeare affirms
                this supposition as he attempts to repudiate Burgon's
                position on the Traditional Text!
             6. R. M. Grant stated "The recovery of what the NT writers
                wrote...is well nigh impossible"  (A Historical Introduction
                to the NT, p. 5l).
             7. The conclusion of the matter becomes obvious, if one's
                approach to ascertaining the true NT text is a posteriori,
                that is, let the facts lead to the true, text then the true
                text is irrecoverable because of the variants in the facts.
                However, an a priori approach assumes God has preserved
                His text; how do the facts point to this preserved text?
        C. Its Techniques
             1. The Classical Approach
                 a. Recension - Through a selective process, attempting to
                    utilize the most trustworthy evidence for a basic text
                    is the recension process.
                 b. Emendation - Removing "errors"  from the Mss.
                 C. Conjectural Emendation - Using an "educated guess" to
                    eliminate errors
                 d. By using these processes, a reconstructed text is
                    established with help of the following principles:
                    1) Shorter reading is often preferable.
                    2) Harder reading is often preferable.
                    3) Reading from which other readings in variant could
                       most easily have developed should be preferable.
                    4) Reading in harmony with author's characteristics is
             2. The Westcott and Hort Approach
                 a. Genealogy - The family tree approach used by the
                    classicists by analyzing the ancestors of certain
                    families of Mss. through their respective descendants,
                    and thereby recovering earlier ancestors, summarized as
                    4 basic text-types:  Syrian, Western, Alexandrian,
                    1) Syrian - According to Hort, a smooth text free from
                       difficulty was attained after 4th century.
                    2) Western - An early text which was extensively
                       different from true text and usually longer.
                    3) Alexandrian - Text used in North Africa and
                       approached as literary classic and with
                       few real changes.
                    4) Neutral - Pure text represented in B and usually
                       with little other support.
                 b. Mixture - Various text-types found in any one Ms
                    Conflation is the composite of mixture found in a Ms.,
                    and hence, Hort thought conflate readings pointed to
                    later dates of Mss. Hort produced 8 "examples" in the
                    Syrian Text, thus "proving" its late date.
                 c. Intrinsic Probability - Internal evidence based on what
                    author probably would say, relative to his style,
                    purpose, and context. Transcriptional probability - what
                    the scribe probably did through intentional or
                    unintentional changes.
                 d. Lucianic Recension - Hort held the Syrian Text was the
                    result of recension by editors, probably headed up by
                    Lucian. However, this assumption is based on no
                    historical evidence.
             3.  Other Approaches
                 a. The rejection of the genealogical method and replacing
                    it with the best Ms., on basis of grammar, orthography,
                    and eclectic Mss.  (E. C. Colwell).
                 b. Rejection of the Axiom brevior lectio potior (briefer
                    reading is better - A.C. Clark)
                 c. The statistical methods applied to TC by using
                    statistics, comparing 2 texts against a third to
                    determine right reading (Dom Henri Quentin).
                 d. The local texts approach - text types based on ancient
                    locality: Alexandria, Caesarea, Antioch Italy, Gaul, and
                    Carthage (B. H. Streeter).
                 e. Eclecticism - The choosing of a text that suits the
                    context and explains origin of others to the end that
                    one text and then another is chosen with a resultant
                    eclectic text.
        D.  Its Transmission of the Text - The Minority Text of the ancient
            world was the "purest" text because more errors would creep in
            with more Mss. because:
             1. Untrained scribes for pragmatic purposes produced earliest
                Ms. until middle of 4th century.
             2. These scribes were not copying Scripture since the canon was
                not yet crystalized.
             3. The earliest copies were probably carried away from their
                original destination.
             Thus, the Byzantine Text became an official text of the
             Catholic Church as a result of editing of scholars. Hence, it
             is late and inferior to earlier, purer texts so they allege.

   II.  The Methodology of the Majority Text

        A.  The characteristics of the Majority Text.
            1. It is the text of Christendom for 1800 years.
            2. It is the text of 80-95% of all extant texts of NT.
            3. It is theologically fuller than any other texts.
            4. It is a complete text, as against incomplete texts of others.
        B.  The Results of the Majority Text - Since God inspired the very
            words of His revelation, He is concerned that we have these very
            words, and hence He has preserved His inspired words.
        C.  The Techniques of the Majority Text
            1. Burgon listed 7 tests in weighing Mss.
                 a. Antiquity
                 b. Consent of Witnesses
                 c. Catholicity
                 d. Respectability of Witnesses
                 e. Continuity
                 f. Context
                 g. Internal Considerations
             2. Several Arguments Answered
                 a. Wherever and whatever the true NT text is, it is not
                    found in the Majority text." This is a negative approach
                    that really offers no positive alternative, but leads to
                 b. "The oldest Mss. are the best." These Mss. are extant
                    and ancient merely because of the climate of Egypt, and
                    because they were unused and valueless because believers
                    were using the popular and accurate Majority Text. The
                    good Mss. were worn out but the inferior Mss. were
                    untouched and thus preserved.
                 c. "Witnesses must be weighed, not counted". Actually, they
                    should be both weighed and counted  Moreover, when texts
                    are weighed, they are in effect being counted because
                    even a few texts are more than zero.
                 d. "there are no doctrinal changes of any consequence in
                    the different texts."
                    1) Often heretics only had a portion or passage of
                       Scripture, and. as far as they knew their deletion or
                       addition improved their heretical doctrine
                    2) Every word. of God is important, and if God wanted a
                       word or phrase in the Bible "X" number of times then
                       we should not be satisfied with Mss. containing "X"
                       minus one number of occurrences.
                    3) Cf. the 162 theological passages James J. Ray lists
                       that are perverted by various translations.

   III. Different Theories of Bible Transmission

        A.  The Naturalistic Approach to the Transmission of the Text.
             1. Advocates of this theory say that the text was transmitted
                just as any non Biblical text. Hort said no new principle in
                T.C. was needed for the Biblical text.
             2. Many earlier advocates of this theory tended toward German
                rationalism, e.g., Lachmann was a classicist, not a
                theologian, and he had no regard for Divine preservation as
                he attempted to reconstruct the 4th century text. Also,
                Semler, Tischendorf, etc.
             3. Advocates imply that the word of God has been lost for 1800
             4. Advocates believe that God can only use textual critics to
                preserve His text through their naturalistic and often
                rationalistic approaches.
             5. Advocates assume that Biblical text should be left to the 5
                textual critics of the 20th century: Aland, Metzger, Black,
                Wikgren, and Elliott of the U.B.S. Greek NT.
        B.  The Supernatural Preservation of Biblical Doctrine Approach.
             1. All texts and translations are "good" and there are not any
                bad texts, Hence, no need for a battle at this point.
             2. Biblical teaching is found in all the various witnesses.
             3. Therefore, the words aren't important as long as the
                teaching of the Bible is evident. (This undermines
                memorization of any standard text. The familiar texts
                memorized in one standard will have to be re-memorized in
                another version, or else memorization becomes paraphrase).
        C.  The Supernatural Preservation of the True Reading in at least
                one extant Ms.
             1. Theodore Zahn avers that the true text is found in one of
                the extant Mss.
             2. However, the problem is which is the true Ms. with the true
                text and have all of the true Mss. been discovered yet?
        D.  The Supernatural Preservation of the Text to the Inspiration of
            a Translation--KJV.
             1. Peter Ruckmann holds that the 1611 KJV is inspired and is
                more important than the originals.
             2. In essence, "If the KJV was good enough for Paul, it is good
                enough for me" type approach. This leads to real problems in
                inspiration and preservation.
             3. Evidently then, future translations into foreign languages
                for missionaries will rely solely upon the 1611 KJV,
                indicating that the translators thought they had the best
                translation, but that it was not a final product, that is,
                the inspired word.
        E. The Supernatural Preservation of the Majority Text through the
           Church Bishops.
             1. Dean John Burgon held that the Majority Text was preserved
                by church Bishops through the centuries.
             2. According to Hills, Burgon did not accept favorably the TR
                because of Erasmus' association with it, as a non-Church
        F. Supernatural Preservation of the Majority Text through the
           Priesthood of Believers, including the Traditional Text and its
           printed form -- the TR.
             1. The General Principles of Preservation of the Text.
                 a. God's Word is eternal (Isaiah 40:8). Thus God wrote it
                    from eternity for all time and eternity. It is necessary
                    and relevant for all of the ages (Psalm 119:89).
                 b. God's Word is infallibly inspired (2 Timothy 3:16).
                    Christ regarded the OT as the Scriptures which cannot be
                    broken (John 10:35). Moreover, He considered them the
                    final authority (Matthew 4:4-10).  Likewise, He
                    promised that the Holy Spirit would infallibly
                    inspire the NT; the things Christ had to say (His words)
                    would be inspired (John 16:12-13).
                 c. God's Word is Providentially inspired. "Heaven and earth
                    shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Luke
                    21:33). God has guarded His word so that every age has
                    had His Word. It is preserved primarily in the Majority
                    Hebrew and Greek Texts (Massoretic and TR Texts) and
                    secondarily in Latin Mss.
             2. The Specific Details of the Preservation of the Text.
                 a. Just as God used the universal priesthood of believers
                    to formulate God's canon, He used them to preserve His
                    Word. He used believers in whom His Spirit was to guard
                    His Word; not unbelieving liberals or the visible
                    church. God preserved His text through Asia Minor
                    Christians as they collected both the Gospels and
                    Pauline Epistles in that locale.  Most NT Books were
                    either written or sent in Asia Minor!
                 b. From the 4th century on, this Asia Minor Text was the
                    text of the churches (Byzantine Text).
                 c. Priesthood of believers during the Reformation.
                    1) Erasmus was influenced by the priesthood of believers
                       as he passed on the Traditional Text to Christendom.
                    2) Other Reformation leaders sought to produce
                       translations acceptable to believers.
                 d. The King James Version
                    1) It began in 1604 as a result of the Millenary
                       Petition and it was based on Tyndale's translation,
                       the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the Bishop's
                    2) It was composed at 54 scholars and divided into 6
                       companies who checked each other.
                    3) Their desire according to their preface was to make
                       "a good one (translation) better...out of many good
                       ones one principal good one."
                    4) The KJV had many marginal notes indicating it was not
                       the final inspired translation.
                    5) The several revisions of the KJV (1629, 1638) have
                       improved the obsolete words. A unique misprint of the
                       first 1611 KJV was "Judas" for "Jesus" in Matthew
        G.  Basically, there are two approaches resulting in two different
             1. The natural Approach - A reconstruction based on various
                principles used on the evidence. It is built on Westcott and
                Hort's theories and is very subjective. Its final result is
                uncertainty concerning the true text.
             2. The Supernatural Approach - It is based on God's promise
                through the Holy Spirit (through the Priesthood of
                Believers) to not only inspire the Originals but to preserve
                His Word. He preserved His Word and the evidence affirms
                that God did so through the Traditional Text.

                            ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

   Bruggen, Jacob Van. "The Ancient Text of the New Testament". Winnipeg:
       Premier, 1976  The author argues for the certainty of the Byzantine
       Text and the uncertainty of contemporary approach based on an
       eclectic text.

   Burgon, John W.  "The last 12 Verses of Mark". Grand Rapids: Associated
       Publishers and Authors Inc., n.d. Irrefutable defense of the
       integrity and authenticity of Mark 16:9-20. Other passages of the
       Traditional Text defended in masterful style by Burgon as he handles
       the evidence.
   Burgon, John W.  "The Revision Revised".  Reprint by Paradise, Pa.:
       Conservative Classics, 1978. A classic work of 3 articles in the
       "Quarterly Review" refuting Westcott and Hort's Revision of 1881. He
       strongly favored and defended the essential importance of the
       Majority, Byzantine, or Traditional Text.

   Greenlee, J. Harold. "Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism".
       Grand Rapids: Mm. D. Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1964.  This Oral Roberts
       University Greek professor presents Textual Criticism in an
       elementary yet scholarly manner. He favors the minority text position
       and many of his argumentations against the TR are "hand-me-down"
       generalities. He has some instructive graphs and reproductions of
       certain Mss. His naturalistic approach to text transmission is
       evidenced by his uses of "chance."

   Hills, Edward F. "Believing Bible Study". Des Moines:  The Christian
       Research Press, 1967. He approaches Textual Criticism from a
       believer's point of view, emphasizing how God used the concept of the
       priesthood of believers to preserve His Word. He takes up where
       Burgon, Miller, and Wilkerson leave off and offers substantial
       evidence for the TR and AV position.

   Metzger, B. M. "The Text of the New Testament". N. Y.:  Oxford University
       Press, l968.~This is a classic work on Textual Criticism. However,
       the author favors the minority text and plays down the work and
       importance of Burgon, stating "Burgon's argument was basically
       theological and speculative" (p. 135). He lists valuable appendices
       on NT papyri and a multitude of important plates of Mss.

   Pickering, Wilbur N. "The Identity of the New Testament Text". Nashville:
       Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1977. The author carefully demonstrates the
       inherent weaknesses of the Westcott and Hort Theory and similar
       contemporary theories built upon it.

   Ruckman, Peter S. "The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence".
       Pensacola: Pensacola Bible Institute, 1970. A pro-KJV and TR work,
       refuting many opposing positions. However, the author has the
       tendency to imply that inspiration as well as preservation has
       been transmitted to the KJV. It is written in popular English but
       somewhat acrimonious in spirit.