Friday, December 12, 2008

The Reliability of the New Testament Manuscripts, and a Timesaver for Textual Critics

From Parchment & Pen:
Several have asked about getting a hold of Dr. Daniel B. Wallace’s plenary address, delivered at the Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meeting; others have wanted to get his lecture at apologetics conferences and in churches on whether our Bible today essentially reflects the wording of the original text. Both of these lectures are now available as video DVDs. They would make great Christmas presents—and the price is nominal. The ordering information is available below.
“Is What We Have Now What They Wrote Then?”
A lecture at an apologetics conference in Providence, Rhode Island, 2008, about whether our printed New Testaments today accurately represent the original text.

“Challenges in New Testament Textual Criticism for the 21st Century”
A plenary lecture at the annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, 2008, on current issues in NT textual criticism.
The price of each video DVD is $10 plus $3 S&H. The price of both video DVDs together is $15 plus $3 S&H. Texas residents also will pay 8.25% sales tax. Allow two to four weeks for delivery.
To order, go here.

If you practice textual criticism yourself, check out the Textual Criticism Chart Timesaver, which you can purchase for $12.50. Here's a description:
TCCT converts text-data in the Nestle-Aland apparatus into a usable text-critical chart. This current release (version 1.1) works exclusively with “gothic M” (M) manuscripts. (Later releases will expand on the manuscripts to be charted.) Deciphering and categorizing M manuscripts has always been a time-consuming task for anyone working with the Nestle apparatus. To do it properly, one has to look at the front of the Nestle text and note which manuscripts belong to M for the particular genre being studied (gospels, Paul, Acts, catholic letters, Revelation). These witnesses will only be cited explicitly when they disagree with M. (Many don’t realize that not all the manuscripts under the M umbrella are Byzantine manuscripts. Placing all these manuscripts under M is simply a convenient way to list the manuscripts without swelling the apparatus. Clarity and cost is sacrificed to concision.) The individual then has to look at the particular textual problem in question and observe which of the M manuscripts are reading against M—that is, with another variant. One might think that it would be safe to assume that the manuscripts that don’t disagree with M must agree with it in this place, but that is not the case. For example, although 1506 is listed as a member of M for Paul’s letters, one would be mistaken to assume that it reads in Eph 2.21. Just because it doesn’t disagree with M there does not mean that it agrees with it. A glance at the back of Nestle-Aland 27 reveals that 1506 doesn’t read in Ephesians at all, even though it does read in other Pauline letters! All too frequently, lack of attention to the details or lack of understanding of how the Nestle apparatus operates has led to blunders when recording manuscript affinities data. And that has often resulted in skewed interpretation that affects one’s views of the whole textual problem. This program is designed to eliminate the guesswork and correct the inaccuracies, enabling you to have a chart of accurate data from which you can begin to make your text-critical decisions.