A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible
The Bible has been on a long historical journey since its original composition. Its texts have been copied and recopied. And despite the most careful and painstaking efforts of scribes and publishers down through the centuries, errors of one sort or another have crept in and have been reproduced. Sorting out the errors and determining the original wording is the task of textual criticism.
In fact, the task of textual criticism is so daunting and detailed that it is divided between Old Testament textual critics and New Testament textual critics. That is why nearly every book on the subject focuses on the textual criticism of either the Old or New Testament. But if you are one of those interested in a general understanding of textual criticism, this book introduces you to textual criticism of the whole Bible--the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament.
In plain language and with ample illustration, Paul D. Wegner gives you an overview of the history and methods, aims and results of textual criticism. In the process you will gain an appreciation for the vast work that has been accomplished in preserving the text of Scripture and find a renewed confidence in its reliability.
"No introductory textbook to textual criticism of the Bible measures up to A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible. It uniquely combines Old Testament and New Testament textual criticism into one handy, delightfully illustrated volume. Paul Wegner writes for students, successfully guiding them through the text's long and complex journey by his clear style, objectivity and arresting photographs. General readers of the Bible will appreciate this introduction to the textual notes in their Bibles."
"Here, at last, is a well-written, succinctly stated, wisely selected history and wonderfully illustrated textual criticism guide that covers both testaments in one volume. Where others have often made this science sound arcane and obtuse, Paul Wegner has skillfully described textual criticism in plain but ample and interesting ways. I highly recommend it to all serious Bible students, but especially to seminary faculty who must juggle book budgets and who up to now have had to order a separate text in this area for each testament."
Wegner has provided teachers and students with a clearly written and wonderfully illustrated introduction to the practice of textual criticism of the entire Bible.
This inexpensive book can be read with profit by student and specialist alike. Its particular strengths are that it treats both OT and NT and that the text is accompanied by more than one hundred illustrations of various kinds that help to bring the history of the discipline alive for the reader. I read through the book with the same excitement that I have when reading a good detective novel!
An exceptional resource presenting the topic will well-grounded research, unambiguous style, an exceptional glossary and a thorough index. [Wegner] covers the vastly different fields of OT and NT textual criticism and does an admirable job presenting difficult issues in an understandable fashion. . . . Overall, the work is a welcome addition and will prove to be a valuable asset for unfolding the mysteries of textual criticism.
"If you are looking for an introduction to the complex world of textual criticism from a trusted and reliable source then A Student?s Guide to Textual Criticism is a book you should not overlook. Wegner has skillfully gathered a wealth of imperative information and presented it with judicious care and attention for the student of Scripture. If you are a pastor, teacher, student, or interested laymen, I couldn?t recommend this resource enough. It will encourage and enhance your understand and confidence in the Bible."
List of Figures, Tables and Maps
Part I: Introductory Material
1. Introduction to Textual Criticism
2. Transmissional Errors Occurring in the Bible
3. Transmission of the Biblical Texts
Part II: Old Testament Textual Criticism
4. A Brief History of Old Testament Textual Criticism
5. Determining the Most Plausible Original Reading
6. Getting to Know the Sources of Old Testament Textual Criticism
Part III: New Testament Textual Criticism
7. A Brief History of New Testament Textual Criticism
8. Determining the Most Plausible Reading
9. Getting to Know the Sources of New Testament Textual Criticism
Part IV: Additional Ancient Versions for Old and New Testament Textual Criticism
10. Examining the Ancient Versions