flips' God Blog

Want to check out the reliability of Biblical manuscripts yourself?

Have you ever wondered what stuff like “Other mss omit bracketed text” or “NU-Text omits this verse” mean? Or maybe you know what it means, but you want to dig deeper, do some New Testament text criticism on your own. Unless you know Greek and such, it might be difficult to find what you’re seeking on your own, and even if you know some Greek, it might be quite some work. This is where textual study commentaries might help you out.

I just bought Philip W. Comfort’s New Testament Text and Translation Commentary module for the Accordance Bible Software. The module is now a part of the Textual Study Sale, ending May 9th 2010. It’s of course also available as a regular book.

If you’re not an expert in Greek, and you want to dig into the differences between different translations, f.ex. figure out why NKJV and KJV has some text that ESV, HCSB, NIV, NASB and others omit. You might notice footnotes saying stuff like “Other mss omit bracketed text” (f.ex. in Matt. 6:13). You might even know that this difference is due to the manuscripts different translations is based upon, but if you want to dig into the manuscripts and differences (text criticism), you probably need some commentary explaining stuff in plain English.

The NET Bible and Bible Notes is good. Look especially for the “tc” notes (text critical), and you will find much valuable information. But after watching the podcast “NT Text Criticism Part 1” (#29.1), I realized this Comfort’s Commentary would be very helpful. It’s very detailed, refer to other commentaries and gives a good overview. You easily see what the different translations have chosen and you get a nice summary of the differences.

I don’t think I will have trouble defending my decision to use $36 (the sale price) on this. I would still recommend buying it at full price. Happy

To read more about the Textual Studies modules, check out the official Accordance blog entry.