A Site Inspired By

The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism

Conceived by Rich Elliott
of Simon Greenleaf University
reelliott@verizon.net

The Encyclopedia attempts to cover all aspects of New Testament TextualCriticism in an orderly and fair fashion.

This page is not affiliated with the print Encyclopedia, and thereis no particular reason to think the articles here will appear in theEncyclopedia should it ever be published. I justthought the idea was so good that I decided to create my own version ofsome of the articles pending the appearance of the real thing. It shouldalso be noted that I (Robert Waltz) am not a recognized textual critic,and that the information on this page has not been peer reviewed. WhileI have done all I could to ensure its accuracy, this page probably shouldnot be used as a bibliographic reference.

This page was last comprehensively updated May 20, 2012. This was at once awide-ranging and a limited update. There were relatively few new articles, and those are of lesser importance. But I have made many minor additions, have done a lot of proofreading -- and have made a serious attempt to make the Greek more readable (replacing font calls, which might produce the wrong letter, with HTML entities and unicode). This task is not complete, but because I made changes to so many articles, I have not attempted to list every modified article as updated.

Articles updated since then have been flagged where possible (I forgot tomark some of the smaller updates); the lastmid-level updates were on:

In the lists which follow, links in PLAIN TEXT point to major articles.Links shown in italic lead to short definitions.

There are many technical issues associated with this site, mostlyrelating to fonts and images. I have been attempting to clean these up bymoving to unicode, but many of the pages were written before unicode wascommon, so there are surely many "fossil" items.For details on how best to use this site,see the page devoted to Technical issues.


A very brief (and inadequate) introduction to textual criticism canbe found here.

If you wish to see the sort of text I personally would produce if I wereto edit a New Testament, a sample edition of Galatiansis here. This is rather different from most other editions, but I have tried(though I'm sure I've failed) to let all sides "have their say" in thearticles on this site.


Articles available so far:

Go directly to: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X-Y-Z |

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Links to other Textual Criticism sites


Thanks to the folks who have made corrections, suggestions, and additions, includingJean Valentin for photographs; Ulrich Schmid for information on Wachtel;Wieland Willker for proofreading corrections; Ulrich Schmid for information onmanuscripts, Michael Holmes and Jimmy Adair for source materials;Ulrich Schmid, Jean Valentin, Christopher Eyton, and Vincent Broman for information onthe Fathers; and anyone else whose names I have forgotten. Also to www.brainout.netfor hosting these materials.

Send mail to page creator RobertB. Waltz (but please, only e-mail me with suggestions or additional information;I can't answer all your questions, and chances are any answers I know are in hereanyway),

NOTE: If you have any intention of telling me that I am damnedfor engaging in textual criticism, or not using the King JamesBible, please don't bother. I've already been told repeatedly --as well as being told that science, thought, information, and everythingthis side of writing is a clear sin.

I have a long, nasty reply I'll send if you do tell me that, but letme make one brief appeal: Whatever the authority of the New Testamenttext, that authority surely lies in the original text, not thelate manuscript copies, let alone a translation made from them. One maydisagree over what constitutes the original text. But surely we shoulduse every tool at our disposal to try to learn what it said.

This site is devoted to relatively scientific criticism -- that basedon analysis of data rather than faith. I've had many people tell me in someform or other that textual criticism should be based on faith -- theirfaith. I would counter-argue that people's faith differs, and if everydenomination, or every reader, has a different text, it produces realproblems. (To put it mildly.) Scientific criticism is at least relativelyrepeatable....

In this regard, as in so much else, Fenton John Anthony Hort gives usmuch wisdom regarding textual criticism: "[In] the highestliterature, and notably in the Bible, all readers are peculiarly liable to thefallacy of supposing that they understand the author's reading and purposebecause they undertand some part or aspect of it, which they take forthe whole, and hence, in judgingvariants of text, they are led unawares to disparage any word or phrase whichowes its selection by the author to those elements of thought present in hismind which they have failed to percieve or to feel." (Introduction [and]Appendix, §27).

I did add one long and controversial article several editions ago: About genetics and evolution. I know some will disagree not only with the topic but with its inclusion -- though I did my best to produce an article that's useful even if you don't agree with evolution, and to explain why I did so. But at some point I had to make a decision -- and it appears to me that the insights evolution offers outweigh the risk of controversy it causes. On an issue so controversial, I know others will disagree. Violently. (The whole issue drives me nuts.) Again, I can only request that you not write to me. Unless you have actual science to share (this does not include anything involving Irreducible Complexity or opinions derived from scripture -- to try to keep things relatively objective, I try to keep science and the Bible readings entirely separate), let's spare both our blood pressure, OK? If you don't believe in science, then just skip the article. Please?