Skip to content

A Textual Commentary on the NT

April 19, 2016

Those interested in text-critical questions about the Greek NT will find very helpful as a first resource to consult:  A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition, Bruce M. Metzger (on behalf of and in cooperation with the Editorial Committee of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament).  Stuttgart:  United Bible Societies, 1994.

NT scholars will know the work, but I mention it for the benefit of the many “lay/general” readers of this blog-site, as well as those who may be scholars in other fields, who are keen to know more about text-critical matters.

This work gives data and analysis on the places of textual variation noted in the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament, but these include pretty much all the really major ones.  At each point the commentary lays out the evidence and then gives the rationale for the decision made by the committee that produced the UBS Greek New Testament as to which variant to prefer.

So, for  example, to refer to a couple of points of textual variation mentioned in an earlier posting, the data on the “Pericope of the Adulteress” are discussed in pp. 187-89, and the thorny issue of the endings of Mark in pp. 102-7.

From → Uncategorized

  1. I have taken to using this site quite often (more often than Metzger’s commentary), I hope other lay researchers like myself might also find it useful.

    I disagree with James Snapp, Jr. The Metzger commentary does not come over as particularly biased and informs the reader about UBS committee feelings and convictions (or lack thereof). My main issue with it is just that it is quite small and does not give you as full a picture as other resources might provide, such as the above website I referenced.

    • Hmm. Well, the information on the site you mention is pretty minimal, seems to me!

  2. Timothy Joseph permalink

    Dr H.,
    Comfort’s “New Testament Text and Translation Commentary” in my opinion is both more current and contains most of Metzgers’ comments within the commentary itself.
    Have you seen this work, if so what is your conclusion.


  3. PaulW permalink

    I don’t know about a new edition of Metzger, but before he passed away Roger Omanson completed an adaptation of Metzger’s commentary called ‘A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger’s Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators’. It simplifies and expands the discussion in Metzger.

  4. Larry, some of the statements that Metzger made about Mark 16:9-20 are incorrect.
    Some of the statements that Metzger made about John 7:53-8:11 are incorrect too.

    A lot of Metzger’s Textual Commentary amounts to little more than one-sided propaganda for whatever the Alexandrian reading happens to be, under the pretense of an eclectic approach.

    Which should I assume: that you are recommending this outdated and one-sided resource because you don’t know any better, or because you deliberately want other people to spread misinformation?

    • Gee, James, I guess I’m just stupid. At least it would be kinder of you to assert that than to impugn my character.

    • Timothy Joseph permalink

      As you well know, your views on both of these texts have been critiqued over and over without you changing your opinion. You continue to espouse views on marginal and other marks on manuscripts that other scholars have shown to be erroneous. Your attack on Dr. Metzger is both misguided and unnecessary.


      • Timothy Joseph,
        They have not been shown to be erroneous. They have been ignored. You can consult the page-views of the manuscripts yourself and see that this is the case.

        Metzger’s commentary is terrible one-sided and selective. A far more informative resource is Wieland Willker’s online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels.

  5. Chris P permalink

    I got all excited about a new edition. Do you know if there is one possibly in the works?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: