Looking for Book about the CT

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Aspiring Homesteader

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello,

Are there any books out there that deal with Critical Text methodology from a philosophical standpoint?

I see advocates of the TR appeal to presuppositions, philosophy of textual work, etc. in order to bolster their position, and I am curious if there exists anything in the CT side.

So not something technical about how textual work is done, but perhaps an apologetic of the CT.

Thank you.
 

Redneck_still_Reforming

Puritan Board Freshman
Anything by Bruce Metzger (I would even recomend the Oxford RSV which he edited), James White's book on the King James ( I disagree with his arguments and some of his reasoning but it is a standard entry point), Mark Ward's "Authorized" and his YouTube channel.

I lean TR but I'm only just beginning to really think about this topic.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Harold Greenlee, David Alan Black, Daniel Wallace, and B.B. Warfield are all better than Metzger. Harry Sturz has the single best book on textual criticism, but not from a strictly CT perspective.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
I'm not sure if this is what you're after, but coming from the proverbial 'horse's mouth', An Introduction To The New Testament In The Original Greek, by Westcott & Hort, 1882, reprinted by Hendrickson Publishers 1988. This @ 188 pages really covers a lot of ground and would be worth a look In my humble opinion. It might be more than you're looking for, but what you are looking for might be included.

BTW, anticipating the potential for slings and arrows routinely hurled at Westcott & Hort I can say that personally reading commentaries by Westcott, on The Gospel of John, and 1John, it is obvious to me that Westcott was a man of deep piety. Recently delving into a commentary on Revelation, by William Milligan, contemporary with W&H, he being a scholar of Greek, mentions that he prefers the W&H translation to the Revised Version of 1881. I've also read a quote from Martyn Lloyd Jones (commentary on John's epistles) that Westcott & Hort 'can be trusted.'

Fenton John Anthony Hort, The Greek New Testament : Introduction 1886 ;

" With regard to the great bulk of the words of the New Testament, as of most other ancient writings, there is no variation or other ground of doubt, and therefore no room for textual criticism ; and here therefore an editor is merely a transcriber. The same may be said with substantial truth respecting those various readings which have never been received, and in all probability never will be received, into any printed text. The proportion of words virtually accepted on all hands as raised above doubt is very great, not less, on a rough computation, than seven eighths of the whole. The remaining eighth therefore, formed in great part by changes of order and other comparative trivialities, constitutes the whole area of criticism.

If the principles followed in the present edition are sound, this area may be very greatly reduced. Recognising to the full the duty of abstinence from peremptory decision in cases where the evidence leaves the judgment in suspense between two or more readings, we find that, setting aside differences of orthography, the words in our opinion still subject to doubt only make up about one sixtieth of the whole New Testament In this second estimate the proportion of comparatively trivial variations is beyond measure larger than in the former; so that the amount of what can in any sense be called substantial variation is but a small fraction of the whole residuary variation, and can hardly form more than a thousandth part of the entire text.

Since there is reason to suspect that an exaggerated impression prevails as to the extent of possible textual corruption in the New Testament, which might seem to be confirmed by language used here and there in the following pages, we desire to make it clearly understood beforehand how much of the New Testament stands in no need of a textual critic's labours."

."
 

Aspiring Homesteader

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not sure if this is what you're after, but coming from the proverbial 'horse's mouth', An Introduction To The New Testament In The Original Greek, by Westcott & Hort, 1882, reprinted by Hendrickson Publishers 1988. This @ 188 pages really covers a lot of ground and would be worth a look In my humble opinion. It might be more than you're looking for, but what you are looking for might be included.

BTW, anticipating the potential for slings and arrows routinely hurled at Westcott & Hort I can say that personally reading commentaries by Westcott, on The Gospel of John, and 1John, it is obvious to me that Westcott was a man of deep piety. Recently delving into a commentary on Revelation, by William Milligan, contemporary with W&H, he being a scholar of Greek, mentions that he prefers the W&H translation to the Revised Version of 1881. I've also read a quote from Martyn Lloyd Jones (commentary on John's epistles) that Westcott & Hort 'can be trusted.'

Fenton John Anthony Hort, The Greek New Testament : Introduction 1886 ;
Thank you. W&H do seem to be an obvious choice all things considered, yet I never think about it.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Thank you. W&H do seem to be an obvious choice all things considered, yet I never think about it.
You're welcome, another book that occurred to me, after reading your original post, is Leyland Ryken's The ESV, And The English Bible Legacy focuses primarily on the ESV translation, and what (in his opinion) makes it a superior English translation. It has been a while since I read it, but I'm sure it goes into reasons why the CT is a reliable source of Scripture. One way or the other, I didn't care for the ESV before I read Ryken's book, nor afterwards. Time passed and now it is probably my favorite translation. That from using it for a year solid in the M'Cheyne 1 Year Bible Reading Plan.
 

Redneck_still_Reforming

Puritan Board Freshman
You're welcome, another book that occurred to me, after reading your original post, is Leyland Ryken's The ESV, And The English Bible Legacy focuses primarily on the ESV translation, and what (in his opinion) makes it a superior English translation. It has been a while since I read it, but I'm sure it goes into reasons why the CT is a reliable source of Scripture. One way or the other, I didn't care for the ESV before I read Ryken's book, nor afterwards. Time passed and now it is probably my favorite translation. That from using it for a year solid in the M'Cheyne 1 Year Bible Reading Plan.
I haven't read the book by Ryken (and will not unless I find it cheap and I am studying the ESV) but I have heard some reviews from scholars. The claim that it is in the Tyndale/Authorized legacy is false and to claim such is either due to an unfortunate, revisionist reading of history or plainly manipulative. Based on ESV marketing techniques that targeted the Ecclesiastical Text translations and my pessimistic view of broad evangelicalism (I am definitely biased), I would say it is both unfortunate and manipulative. The ESV is a noteworthy eclectic text translation, that I would say. A classic Reformed translation? Not by the standards of the classic Reformation at least. It works from a presupposition of restoration, not preservation and therefore can't be considered an authentic branch from the ecclestastical text position of the Scholastics.
 

Redneck_still_Reforming

Puritan Board Freshman
Harold Greenlee, David Alan Black, Daniel Wallace, and B.B. Warfield are all better than Metzger. Harry Sturz has the single best book on textual criticism, but not from a strictly CT perspective.
Warfield began to normalize the Critical Text position in the Reformed community so maybe he should be a starting point. What say anyone?
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
I haven't read the book by Ryken (and will not unless I find it cheap and I am studying the ESV) but I have heard some reviews from scholars. The claim that it is in the Tyndale/Authorized legacy is false and to claim such is either due to an unfortunate, revisionist reading of history or plainly manipulative. Based on ESV marketing techniques that targeted the Ecclesiastical Text translations and my pessimistic view of broad evangelicalism (I am definitely biased), I would say it is both unfortunate and manipulative. The ESV is a noteworthy eclectic text translation, that I would say. A classic Reformed translation? Not by the standards of the classic Reformation at least. It works from a presupposition of restoration, not preservation and therefore can't be considered an authentic branch from the ecclestastical text position of the Scholastics.
I disagree with your assessment based on reading the ESV from cover to cover doing the M'Cheyne 1 year plan, and I'd say the same for the NRSV. Both are revisions of the KJV if you back to the beginning. KJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV.

If you read it enough you can't help but see the relationship between the texts ... if you're familiar enough with the KJV that is. At least that is my perspective. I've been doing M'Cheyne for 8 consecutive years, with a different English translation each of those years. That and reading Carson, Fee, White, Beale, among others on translation has broadened my perspective a bit.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Sturz's book is in between the TR position and the CT position. He likes the Byzantine tradition much more than the CT position does, but believes in geographical dispersion of a reading having more weight than the CT usually gives it. In my opinion, Sturz's position is the best position.
 

Redneck_still_Reforming

Puritan Board Freshman
R
I disagree with your assessment based on reading the ESV from cover to cover doing the M'Cheyne 1 year plan, and I'd say the same for the NRSV. Both are revisions of the KJV if you back to the beginning. KJV, RV, ASV, RSV, NRSV, ESV.

If you read it enough you can't help but see the relationship between the texts ... if you're familiar enough with the KJV that is. At least that is my perspective. I've been doing M'Cheyne for 8 consecutive years, with a different English translation each of those years. That and reading Carson, Fee, White, Beale, among others on translation has broadened my perspective a bit.
They can claim to be revisions of the KJV but they have different textual bases. Where they agree, great, but that doesnt mean they are in the same vein.

I am quite familiar with both as the ESV was my comversion Bible and the KJV is my prefered translation. I can see some similarities but the textual basis and translation philosophy are too far apart to be considered in the same camp.

I am glad you have been blessed by the ESV, it is a good modern translation.
 

smalltown_puritan

Puritan Board Freshman
Warfield began to normalize the Critical Text position in the Reformed community so maybe he should be a starting point. What say anyone?
For a very brief introductory article on Warfield and the Preservation of Scripture, this article by Dr. Jeff Stivason (Prof at RPTS and RPCNA pastor) was just put up on the Gentle Reformation blog and may be helpful: https://gentlereformation.com/2022/07/20/benjamin-b-warfield-and-the-preservation-of-scripture/.
 

danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello,

Are there any books out there that deal with Critical Text methodology from a philosophical standpoint?

I see advocates of the TR appeal to presuppositions, philosophy of textual work, etc. in order to bolster their position, and I am curious if there exists anything in the CT side.

So not something technical about how textual work is done, but perhaps an apologetic of the CT.

Thank you.
Here is book that is due to come out any day which I and some other men on here have essays about text criticism.

 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
R

They can claim to be revisions of the KJV but they have different textual bases. Where they agree, great, but that doesnt mean they are in the same vein.

I am quite familiar with both as the ESV was my comversion Bible and the KJV is my prefered translation. I can see some similarities but the textual basis and translation philosophy are too far apart to be considered in the same camp.

I am glad you have been blessed by the ESV, it is a good modern translation.
Thank you. I'm 73 years old, and have spent many an hour in the KJV, Geneva Bible, NKJV. I happen to love the language, and literary quality. Arguably though, the CT is a superior text to the RT. Of course I say 'arguably' since it is far from settled among advocates on either side. Fortunately whichever side one takes, they've got the Word of God.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
Totally off topic.
@greenbaggins
I'm sure I said this before but I just got to say one more time. You're smiling face is always very encouraging to me. Your smile makes me smile. I just couldn't resist saying it one more time.
 

Aspiring Homesteader

Puritan Board Freshman
Sturz's book is in between the TR position and the CT position. He likes the Byzantine tradition much more than the CT position does, but believes in geographical dispersion of a reading having more weight than the CT usually gives it. In my opinion, Sturz's position is the best position.
Hmm. Very interesting. Thank you.
 

NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
Greg Bahnsen's chapter in Inerrancy edited by Norman Giesler does a good job dealing with the theological issues in relation to the CT.
 

Aspiring Homesteader

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for all of the suggestions.

I’ve created two new threads to work through some other facets of the topic, if you wouldn’t mind stopping by.
 
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