A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger''s Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators

German Bible Society Titles

(See larger photo)

Retail: $49.95
Size: 6.25 x 9.375 inches
Binding: Cloth
Pages: 592
Pub Date: 2006
ISBN: 9781598562026
ISBN-13: 9781598562026
Item Number: 562026
Categories: Biblical Studies and Interpretation; Language and Reference

Product Description

This edition is based on the widely known Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament of Bruce M. Metzger. It was especially designed for translators who have not received formal training in textual criticism. It enables them—and other people interested in the initial text of the Greek New Testament—to discover more easily the reasons that certain variant readings in the NT are more likely to be original than others. Therefore the notes of Metzger have been simplified and expanded. Included are discussions of significant differences in divisions and punctuation where those involve differences in meaning. Technical matters are explained in non-technical language. An easy-to-read introduction provides a brief overview of textual criticism, including explanations of key terms, a history of the text, and methods that are used by scholars to arrive at their conclusions.


What is the difference between the Omanson and Metzger?

We have included the following from each text to help you compare and contrast the two approaches. (Click on “Sample Chapter” at the bottom of this Web site page)

Omanson, A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament
ISBN 978-1-59856-202-6
Preface (pgs. 7-9)
1 Cor. 4:17 (pgs. 332-333)
1 Cor. 7:34 (pgs. 339-340)

Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (UBS4)
ISBN 978-1-59856-164-7
Prefaces (pgs. v-ix)
1 Cor. 4:17 (pg. 484)
1 Cor. 7:34 (pg. 490)


“This volume is designed to be used in conjunction with B. M. Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd edn, 1994) and read alongside the United Bible Societies’ The Greek New Testament (4th rev. edn, 2004). Although the text of the United Bible Societies’ edition is identical to the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, the textual apparatus differs. Thus while the discussion in this volume aligns more easily with the way textual notes are presented in the UBS text, there is still much of value here for readers of the Nestle-Aland text and there are no real difficulties in making the appropriate links. The volume does not cover all of Metzger''s notes, but limits itself mainly to those variants and notes recorded in the critical apparatus of the UBS text. The volume is designed to assist bible translators in their work, and recognizes that such people may not have English as their first language so seeks to remove some of the technical terms in Metzger''s notes, and to expand and explain the discussion that leads to individual text-critical decision concerning readings.

The introduction has a helpful discussion of the practice of textual criticism. This could be useful as a starting point for students of textual criticism. A couple of cautions need to be recorded. First, in describing the category of the Greek uncial manuscripts the impression is conveyed that these are the only manuscripts of the New Testament written in upper case letters. It should perhaps be emphasized that most of the papyri are likewise written in a continuous script of capital letters, but that manuscripts that fall into the uncial category are written in capitals but also on parchment. Second, the discussion of local text-types is already out-dated. There has been a significant questioning of such a theory especially by those working on the Editio Critica Maior at the Institut for neutestamentliche Textforschung in Munster. This discussion can be conveniently accessed in [Paul Foster’s] article ‘Recent Developments and Future Directions in New Testament Textual Criticism’ JSNT 29 (2006) 229-35.

In the actual textual guide the classification for variant readings of the UBS text is followed ranging from A to D with the D category being the cases where it is most difficult to reconstruct the original text. One D reading is illustrative of the approach taken. In 2 Peter 3: 10 the discussion summarizes the problems that surround what appears to be the oldest attested reading, a number of the suggestions to correct the text are recorded as are the translations of various English bibles, however, the discussion does not explicitly state that such conjectural emendation is necessary. Thus, the book can be seen as presenting data to enable translational decisions without advocating any particularly firm decision in difficult cases. This volume will serve its purpose admirably well and now sits next to ‘Metzger’ on my shelf. In some ways its purpose is different. It does not list manuscript support, but elucidates existing discussion. It will be of greatest benefit to translators, but of less significance for textual critics.”
Expository Times

Explore This Book

Sample Chapter

The above links require the Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the reader, click on the 'Get Acrobat Reader' button to obtain it.