Textual Criticism of the Bible provides a starting point for the study of both Old and New Testament textual criticism. In this book, you will be introduced to the world of biblical manuscripts and learn how scholars analyze and evaluate all of that textual data to bring us copies of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that can be used for translating the Bible into modern languages. Textual Criticism of the Bible surveys the field, explains technical terminology, and demonstrates in numerous examples how various textual questions are evaluated. Complicated concepts are clearly explained and illustrated to prepare readers for further study with either more advanced texts on textual criticism or scholarly commentaries with detailed discussions of textual issues. You may not become a textual critic after reading this book, but you will be well prepared to make use of a wide variety of text-critical resources.
An excellent, helpful, and practical introduction to the topic for beginners.
—Peter J. Gentry, Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
With this handbook Anderson and Widder provide a clear and helpful introduction to Old and New Testament textual criticism. In a time of increasing specialization and fragmentation, a handbook that takes what the two fields have in common—in particular scribal habits—as the starting point, is very welcome. Clear explanations, definitions of key-words, lucid tables and illustrating examples make this introduction particularly suitable for the beginning student.
—Tommy Wasserman, Professor of Biblical Studies, Ansgar Teologiske Høgskole
What a valuable, versatile, and much-needed resource to orient beginners in the discipline of textual criticism. Those who teach Greek courses or deal with textual variants of scripture in any setting will find this work absolutely engaging and worthwhile.
—Viktor Roudkovski, Professor of New Testament and Greek, School of Theology and Vocation, LeTourneau University
The Lexham Methods Series is designed for exegetes who need to learn, refresh, and master the tools of biblical scholarship. The books present scholarly information in an easy-to-understand format and focus on cutting-edge methods for biblical interpretation while avoiding jargon. The four volumes give you a complete overview of every major type of biblical interpretation, featuring history and key figures, methods and terms, and a how-to section, giving you a strong foundation for further research.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
“The word ‘criticism,’ which today often connotes negativity, derives from an older usage, meaning ‘to analyze or investigate.’ Textual criticism involves analyzing the manuscript evidence in order to determine the oldest form of the text. Such analysis also reveals historical evidence about the transmission of the text, scribal habits, theological biases, and more.” (Page 6)
“This proliferation of hand-copied texts resulted in thousands of manuscripts, no two exactly alike. Textual criticism is the discipline that guides scholars in establishing what the authors of the Bible wrote.” (Pages 11–12)
“Prefer the reading found in a variety of manuscripts” (Page 43)
“Prefer the reading found in the oldest manuscripts” (Page 42)
“Because the earliest Greek manuscripts were written in scriptio continua (all capital letters with no spaces between words), and Hebrew does not distinguish between upper- and lowercase letters10 and was originally written without vowels, a number of difficulties can arise in determining the actual wording and sentence structure intended by the original author. In addition, for the most part, neither language incorporated punctuation, paragraphing, section headings, or end-of-the-line hyphenation. Some manuscripts were written down by scribes as the text was read aloud to them, increasing the possibility for misunderstanding.” (Page 16)
Amy Anderson (PhD, University of Birmingham) is Professor of New Testament and Ancient Greek at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is the founder of The Center for Ancient Texts and Languages, an organization devoted to promoting the study of ancient languages, teaching students to read and analyze ancient manuscripts, and advancing research in textual criticism.
Wendy Widder PhD, University of the Free State) is the author of Daniel in the Story of God commentary series (Zondervan) and “To Teach” in Ancient Israel: A Cognitive Linguistic Study of a Biblical Hebrew Lexical Set (deGruyter). She lives in the Twin Cities, where she teaches Old Testament courses as an adjunct professor and does freelance writing and editing.
Douglas Mangum is an academic editor for Lexham Press. He holds a PhD in Hebrew from the University of Free State and holds a Master of Arts in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is an associate editor of the Lexham Bible Dictionary, editor of the Lexham Methods Series, and a regular Bible Study Magazine contributor.