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

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

by Roger L. Omanson

4.75 Rank Score: 4.95 from 2 reviews, 0 featured collections, and 0 user libraries
Pages 533
Publisher Hendrickson Publishers
Published 2006
ISBN-13 9781598562026
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.

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This book is targeted at Bible translators, most of whom (rightly assumed, in my opinion) will lack formal training in textual criticism but who will need to grapple with issues pertaining to the reconstruction of the biblical text. This book is an adaptation of Bruce Metzger’s classic A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (4th edition, 1994). However, where Metzger was thorough in his selection of textual variants, since he was interested in the reconstruction of the New Testament texts, Omanson limits his comments exclusively to variants that affect translation. Since this book is an adaptation of Metzger, it makes sense to focus most of this review on comparing the two works, especially in a way that allows one to decide whether Omanson’s volume is in fact more user-friendly than Metzger’s. Consider this an exercise in Redaktiongeschichte. Translators commonly rely on the UBS volumes, now in its fourth edition, to provide a reliable text for translation, and while the textual apparatus in the UBS volumes is not as exhaustive as that found in the Nestle-Aland volumes (and it comes with graded decisions, unlike the Nestle-Aland volumes), nonetheless the textual apparatus can be utterly mystifying to those without training in textual criticism. Metzger’s Commentary was thus a great benefit, but even it presupposed some advanced knowledge of textual criticism. [Full Review]