Textual Criticism


Here's what you will find on this page:

Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism
General Resources
Images of NT Manuscripts
Audio and Video
Books & Other Manuscripts Available Online
Resources Related to the Versions
Tyndale House Greek New Testament (THGNT) Reviews


Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism

If you are new to New Testament textual criticism (NTTC, or TC), in this section you will find a few resources to help you get oriented. While the Greek Portal is usually organized in alphabetical order, under this heading you will find the resources organized from generally more basic to more advanced.
1. Wallace's Interview on Textual Criticism
The Gospel coalition has posted this interview with Daniel Wallace which consists of an overview of TC.
2. "Textual Criticism of the New Testament," by David Alan Black
This article was written for the book Foundations for Biblical Interpretation (B&H, 1994). It is a brief overview that covers in a few pages the central points of what is in the book New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide
3. New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide, by David Alan Black
This book was written as a concise companion to Brotzman's Old Testament Textual Criticism. It introduces the fundamentals of New Testament textual criticism and helps you learn how to make decisions based on the internal and external evidence.

Here you can watch a review on my book:

4. Voelz Textual Criticism Lecture
James Voelz speaks about textual criticism in lecture 29 of his Biblical Hermeneutics Collection, available through iTunes U. The textual criticism section starts at 13 minutes and continues to the end of the lecture. Find out how he says the original text is recreated.  
5. Key Issues in New Testament Criticism (Audio Series)
In this series, Dr. Black provides insight for how to interpret and respond to important issues raised by New Testament Textual Criticism.
6. Wallace's The Basics of New Testament Textual Criticism Collection
This is a collection of 15 lessonettes in video made available through iTunes U.  
7. Silva's Development of NT Textual Criticism Lectures
This is the audio of Moisés Silva's textual criticism lectures at the Westminster Theological Seminary. You can listen to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Questions and Answers.
8. Wallace's Scribal Methods and Materials Collection
Daniel Wallace discusses the methods and materials of the early scribes up to the establishment of the printing press and beyond. This is made available through iTunes U.
9. Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism
This book, edited by David Alan Black, features essays by leading scholars as they survey the discipline and present three current approaches to determining the text of the New Testament.
10. Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism
Having a hard time with the terminology? Bob Waltz’s Encyclopedia contains a number of solid entries on all things dealing with New Testament textual criticism.


General Resources

This website has the apparatus to the SBL Greek New Testament.
Bruce Terry's Student's Guide
This is a textual commentary on the New Testament especially written for those without a working knowledge of Greek. Terry also has a helpful "introduction" to NT textual criticism on this page. 
Catalogue of NT Papyri and Codices
K. C. Hanson has a helpful list of NT manuscripts with (1) date, (2) content, (3) family, and (4) housing location.
Center for New Testament Restoration
This website provides the readings of many early manuscripts in parallel columns for the whole NT. "The mission of the CNTR is to provide free, accessible, accurate electronic Greek texts and materials to encourage others to directly interact with the words of the New Testament. . . . With the completion its first major milestone, the CNTR has now released digital transcriptions of almost every known extant Greek manuscript containing portions of the New Testament up to year 400 AD."
Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
Find excellent descriptions about New Testament manuscripts as well as view high-res images of them via this website. Click on the tabs at the top of the page in order to explore the site and find resources.
Dan Wallace's Blog
Dan Wallace from the Centar for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) blogs here and often discusses his current ventures in NT Textual Criticism.
Digital Nestle-Aland Prototype
The Digital Nestle-Aland is the forthcoming electronic version of the standard scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament. It offers two major features not available in the printed book: Transcripts of important Greek manuscripts of the New Testament New complete apparatus based on these transcripts The Digital Nestle-Aland is a project of the Institute for New Testament Textual Research at the University of Münster, Westphalia, Germany.
Evangelical Textual Criticism
This is a forum for people with knowledge of the Bible in its original languages to discuss its manuscripts and textual history from the perspective of historic evangelical theology. See especially their helpful post "Top Ten Essential Works in New Testament Textual Criticism" which contains a helpful bibliography of some important works in the field. (There are actually numerous works listed, but the top ten are marked by an asterisk.)
Greek Manuscript Research Center
This is the website of Andrews University’s Greek Manuscript Research Center in Michigan. They are continually acquiring microfilms of Greek New Testament manuscripts for research purposes. 
"GreekNewTestament.Net (Internet Edition With Extensive & Exhaustive Critical Apparatus) intends to collate and transcribe all extant manuscripts of the New Testament. Unlike printed critical editions of the Greek New Testament, Internet Greek New Testament Project aims to present the readings of the manuscripts of the New Testament and quotations from the Early Church Fathers in parallel."
Gurry's "How Your Greek NT Is Changing: A Simple Introduction to the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM)"
Peter Gurry's JETS article gives an introduction to an important new method for doing textual criticism. An even simpler version can be found int his Evangelical Textual Criticism post, "The CBGM in One (!) Sentence."
Hughes' The Lukan Special Material and the Tradition History of the Pericope Adulterae
Here is a complete .pdf of Kyle Hughes' article on the Pericope Adulterae from Novum Testamentum 55. Hughes concludes that the pericope was not originally a part of the third Gospel.
Institut français d'archéologie orientale Unicode Font with Diacritical Marks
On this website (which is in French) you can download a unicode font that includes the diacritical marks used for textual criticism.
Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung
This is the webpage for the Institute for New Testament Textual Research (INTF). Their central task is to research the textual history of the New Testament and to reconstruct its Greek initial text on the basis of the entire manuscript tradition, the early translations, and patristic citations. 
Institut für Papyrologie, Uni Heidelberg
This is the website for the Institute for Papyrology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. The site is completely in German. They have a helpful list of list of links to other sites having to do with papyrology here.
Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts Web
Timothy Seid's website provides an overview of textual criticism including images. The main focus of the web page is the process used to study the ancient manuscripts upon which the New Testament is based. While the language discussed is Greek, almost everything is explained with transliterations into English and, where applicable, translations from standard English Bibles. 
KJV Parallel Bible
This website allows those who don't know Greek to see the differences between the Textus Receptus and the modern critical text by putting them side-by-side in English and highlighting the differences. You can also take a quiz to see if you can tell the difference between the TR text and the critical text.
La Parola GNT Manuscript List
This site has a helpful list of NT manuscripts. You can also read the text of the Greek New Testament with the most important textual variants.
Manuscript Comparator
This tool allows two or more New Testament manuscript editions to be easily compared to one another in side-by-side and unified views. Though it is slightly misnamed (since it doesn't actually compare individual manuscripts), it is a helpful tool for comparing the major editions (for example, comparing Westcott and Hort's Text to the Textus Receptus).
Mark Goodacre's Links To Books & Other Manuscripts
NT Gateway has a lengthy list of books, articles, and dissertations dealing with textual criticism that are available for viewing and/or download via the web. 
New Testament Textual Commentaries
In this post, Elijah Hixson compiled a list of several New Testament textual commentaries.
Palmer's Table of NT Greek Manuscripts
David Palmer's web page lists the names, branches, and dates of all the ancient witnesses to the New Testament text up to the seventh century. 
Peter van Minnen's Dating the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts
This article provides a history and discussion of methods used for dating New Testament manuscripts.

Reading the Pauline Epistles: P46 

        Examination of a 3rd century codex, written in Greek and found in Egypt, containing the Letters of            St. Paul. Through this website, you will be given the opportunity to explore various aspects of this            nearly two-thousand-year-old papyrus, the oldest known copy of the writings of St. Paul.

Resources for New Testament Textual Criticism
Dr. Roy E. Ciampa, who teaches NT at Gordon-Conwell, has compiled numerous helpful links and resources on his website.
TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism
This journal is “an electronic journal dedicated to the study of Jewish and Christian biblical texts.” Scholars, take note: They encourage articles that “discuss the relationship between textual criticism and other disciplines.”
Texts and Traditions 
From the publisher's website: "The methodology of New Testament textual criticism, the critical evaluation of readings, and the history and texts of early Christianity are the focus of the influential work of J. K. Elliott. Texts and Traditions offers eighteen essays on these topics in his honor."
Textual Research on the Bible: An Introduction to the Scholarly Editions of the German Bible Society
The German Bible Society published this little handbook that serves as a guide for students new to Old and New Testament textual research. It is a handy little introduction and is free in .pdf format!
The Brice C. Jones Blog
From the bio page of his blog: "Brice C. Jones is an ancient historian specializing in papyrology and Early Christianity. He received his Ph.D. in Early Christianity from Concordia University (Montreal) and his M.A. in New Testament from Yale University. . . . This site has been created for three main reasons: 1) to disseminate information about papyrology and early Christianity through blogging, 2) to host my scholarly publications through a convenient platform, 3) and to collect and present a wealth of online papyrological resources."
The H. Milton Haggard Center for New Testament Textual Studies
This is the Center’s website, part of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The Center houses a large collection of New Testament Greek manuscripts in digital, microfilm, and facsimile formats. This is the overall site.
The Center has developed a critical apparatus that can be purchased for the three major Bible software programs (Logos, Bibleworks, and Accordance). You can get more information on it here.

For the Center's Greek manuscript App, click here
The International Greek New Testament Project (or, IGNTP)
This project exists to produce a comprehensive critical apparatus of the Greek New Testament. They are working on the Novum Testamentum Graecum - Editio Critica Maior edition of John. 
The King James Bible Research Council
The King James Bible Research Council (KJBRC) is an organization dedicated to promoting the King James Bible and other traditional texts around the world in a solid and sensible way. The blog is available here.  
The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: A Bibliography
An extensive bibliography on the question of the ending of the Gospel of Mark.
The Text of the Gospels, "Some YouTube Resources on New Testament Textual Criticism"
This post by James Snapp, Jr. at his blog The Text of the Gospels, has a number of links to some good YouTube Resources.
The Unbound Bible
This website has the Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament with NA27/UBS4 variants.
"Why Pastors Should Use a Different Greek Text," by Mark Ward
Mark Ward at the logos blog argues that pastors should consider using the SBLGNT since it shows them when the major critical editions diverge from the majority text. Other GNTs are helpful, he says, but the SBL will help pastors quickly assess what the main options are and what their congregations are seeing in their translations.
Willker, Wieland. An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels
Willker’s Online Textual Commentary (+2500 pages) is worth checking out in addition to his other valuable resources.

Images of NT Manuscripts

Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
Find excellent descriptions about New Testament manuscripts as well as view high-res images of them via this website. Click on the tabs at the top of the page in order to explore the site and find resources.
Chester Beatty Library
The Chester Beatty Library's collection includes papyrus manuscripts, rolls, codices and individual documents and ostraca, from Pharaohic, Graeco-Roman and Coptic Egypt ranging in date from 1800 BC to AD 800. 
Codex Sinaiticus (01/א)
This website features Codex Sinaiticus, a handwritten manuscript containing the entire Bible in Greek. It is the oldest complete copy of the New Testament, written over 1600 years ago. Through this web page, views can see high resolution images of the manuscript and search for any particular passage.
Codex Alexandrinus (02/A)
This is volume 4 of Codex Alexandrinus (Gregory-Aland 02), which contains the New Testament. 
Codex Vaticanus (03/B)
Codex Vaticanus (03/B) can be viewed at the link above, which links to images of the actual document at the Vatican library. It includes the Greek OT, as well as most of the NT. You can see an 1868 copy of the document at the CSNTM website. (The copy is often easier to read and can assist in the reading of the original.)
Codex Ephraimi Rescriptus (04/C)
These images of Codex Ephraimi Rescriptus are made available by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
Codex Bezae (05/Dea)
The University of Cambridge has made a digital copy of Codex Bezae available here with introduction and summary. 
Codex Claromontanus (06/Dp)
These images of Codex Claromontanus are made available by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.  
Codex Nitriensis Online Images
The text, made available by the British Library, contains the Gospel of Luke and Euclid's Elementa written in majuscule script. 
Duke's Papyrus Archive
Are you looking for images and descriptions of ancient papyri, including those dealing with the New Testament and early Christianity? Duke has a wonderful resource. To access the section dealing specifically with the NT and early Christianity, click "Religious Aspects." 
Early Manuscripts Electronic Library
"The Early Manuscripts Electronic Library (EMEL) uses digital technologies to make manuscripts and other historical source materials accessible for study and appreciation by scholars and the public." Especially interesting is their Sinai Palimpsests Processed Images, which helps students see how palimpsests can be examined to determine the reading of a text that had been covered over with a second text.
Heidelberg Papyrus Collection
This site contains images of the Heidelberg Papyrus Collection. To access the Demotic Papyi click here. For the Coptic Papyri click here. The sites are in German, but users can copy descriptions into Google Translate in order to read them.
An online edition of the majuscule manuscripts of John, featuring full transcriptions and a critical apparatus, is available at this link or by clicking here
Mark Goodacre's Links to Manuscript Images
Do you want to see the actual manuscript you are reading about? This is a good resource to check for quality images.
New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room
This is an excellent resource for viewing many manuscripts, transcriptions, etc. It is hosted by the Center for New Testament Textual Criticism in Münster. Be advised that their viewer only functions in non-Explorer browsers, such as Firefox, Opera, and Mac Safari. There is also a resource for Logos Bible Software called New Testament Manuscripts Explorer that is available with a subscription to Logos Now. This tool helps you to navigate, sort, and filter these manuscripts. For example, you can "find all manuscripts containing a portion of the Gospels copied in the third century" or "find all the manuscripts that are a part of the Byzantine Text type."
The British Library Greek Collection
The Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, was a pilot project devoted to the full digitisation of 284 Greek manuscripts. The digitised manuscripts, together with summary catalogue descriptions, are now available at the Digitised Manuscripts section of the British Library's website.
The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library
This is a free online digitized virtual library of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hundreds of manuscripts made up of thousands of fragments – discovered from 1947 and until the early 1960’s in the Judean Desert along the western shore of the Dead Sea – are now available to the public online. The high resolution images are extremely detailed and can be accessed through various search options on the site. The number of Greek (LXX) manuscripts is small but the page is definitely worth checking out.
The Schøyen Collection
This collection “comprises most types of manuscripts from the whole world spanning over 5000 years. It is the largest private manuscript collection formed in the 20th century. Never before there has been formed a collection with such variety geographically, linguistically, textually, and of scripts, writing materials, etc., over such a great span of time as 5 millennia.”


Orsini, Pasquale. Studies on Greek and Coptic Majuscule Scripts and Books
Orsini's book, published by DeGruyter, is free for download! You can see the discussion at the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog for details about this work.
Byzantine Paleography
This page is hosted by Fordham University and features digital images of different Greek manuscripts (not NT).

Audio and Video

Ehrman's 2007 Misquoting Jesus Lecture
The audio and video for this event, hosted at the Washington National Cathedral, is available free. To watch the video, viewers need to install Microsoft Silverlight. DVD's of the event are available at a charge.
Elliott's Recently Discovered New Testament Papyri Lecture
James Keith Elliott speaks about recently discovered New Testament papryi and their significance for textual criticism. This video is available through iTtunes U by Université de Lausanne, Théologie et sciences des religions (It is number 55, from 1/8/2012).
Erasmus' Greek New Testament
Emory University has made this short video available through iTunes U. It is a 10 minute video of and commentary on Erasmus' Greek New Testament. Click number 3, entitled "Erasmus' Greek New Testament."
Textual Criticism with James Snapp Jr.
Eclecticism, textual variants, confessional bibliology, Byzantine text, text types and more!
The KJBRC's Audio
The King James Bible Research Council (KJBRC) is an organization dedicated to promoting the King James Bible and other traditional texts around the world in a solid and sensible way. Scroll down and look through all of the audio files. Some are applicable, while others are not.
The KJBRC 2012 Conference Videos
Follow this link to view a number of presentations at the 2012 KJBRC  Conference. The audio files are available here.
University of Michigan's Papyrus Conservation Videos
There are three videos linked embedded in the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog worth viewing. They show how these manuscripts are cared for and preserved.  
Voelz's "Does Mark Really End with 16:8?" Lecture
James Voelz talks about the ending of Mark in this Concordia Seminary 2007 Exegetical Reflections lecture.
The Vrije-Universiteit-Amsterdam Theology Interviews Collection
This collection includes four interviews and is available through iTunes U. The fourth interview, of interest here, is between Lietaert Peerbolte, Professor of New Testament Studies and Jan Krans, Professor of New Testament Studies about Codex Sinaiticus.
Wallace's An Insider's Look into the Work of CSNTM Collection
This is a behind the scenes look at the work that the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts and what it is doing to preserve the Bible and make available ancient manuscripts for the study of scholars around the world. This collection contains videos documenting recent expeditions, interviews, and news concerning CSNTM. It is available through iTunes U.
Wallace's Credo Course on Textual Criticism
This set of videos produced by Credo Courses features Dan Wallace covering all of the major issues involved in the topic of NT textual criticism.
Wallace's Disputed New Testament Passages Collection
In this series, made available through iTunes U., Daniel Wallace put his textual criticism methodology into practice on some of the New Testament's most debated passages.
Wallace's Famous Manuscripts and the Stories Behind Them Collection
Daniel Wallace discusses the discovery of P52, Codex Sinaiticus, and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus. This is made available through iTunes U.
Wallace's Recent Discoveries of NT Manuscripts
Daniel Wallace discusses the work of the CSNTM and recent discoveries of NT manuscripts.
Wallace's Textual Criticism Series
These are portions of Daniel Wallace's history on the transmission of the New Testament series, which he gives to local churches. Currently there are only four parts to the series available. The website mentions that more may become available. 

Books & Other Manuscripts Available Online

Anderson, Amy Sue. Codex 1582 and Family 1 of the Gospels: The Gospel of Matthew
This is her Phd dissertation from the University of Birmingham, published in 1999. Registration is required to view it.
Anderson, Douglas Lloyd. "Vocalic Phonology in New Testament Manuscripts."
M.A. thesis, Emory University, 2003.
Chan, Chim Yuk. The Relationship between Textual Criticism and the Synoptic Question: A Study Based on the Passion Narrative.
Phd. dissertation Murdoch Univ, 2005.
Dykstra, Tom. "David Trobisch and David Parker on the Origin of the New Testament, the Historical Jesus, and How Manuscripts Can Reveal What Texts Conceal."

Fee, Gordon. The Significance of Papyrus Bodmer II and Papyrus Bodmer XIV-XV for Methodology in New Testament Textual Criticism.
Phd. diss. Univ. So. Calif., 1966. This deals with P66 and P75.
Field's Hexapla: Fragments of the entire Greek Old Testament, Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Origen's Hexapla was a critical edition of the OT with six parallel columns in which were the following: (1) the Hebrew consonantal text; (2) the Hebrew text transliterated into Greek letters; (3) Aquila's Greek OT; (4) Symmachus' Greek OT; (5) The LXX (traditional Greek OT); (6) Theodotion's Greek OT. The Hexapla exists only in fragmentary form. The edition by Fields (linked to above) is free for use. The Hexapla Institute is currently in the process of editing a revised edition of the Hexapla fragments.
Gabler, Hans Walter. "Textual Criticism."
This article is found in The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, Second edition, edited by Michael Groden and Martin Kreiswirth (pp. 708-714). It is available for free through iTunes U here. Click entry 25 "Textual Criticism."
Van Minnen, Peter. "Dating the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts."

Westcott, B. F., and F. J. A. Hort. The New Testament in the Original Greek: Introduction and Appendix
If you want to understand much of the thinking that undergirds NT textual criticism today, here is the place to start. This book was published as the second volume in the Wescott-Hort edition of the Greek NT, and gives an introduction to their view of textual criticism. This volume was mostly written by Hort.

Resources Related to the Versions

Coptic Resources
This website is run by Christian Askeland, a premier scholar in the area of the Coptic New Testament. There are numerous resources related to the study of the Coptic New Testament that can be found there, including a link to the Coptic Dictionary Online.

This blogpost by Noah Kelley gives gives a brief overview of the Coptic language as well as providing resources.
Coptic Scriptorium
This website has helpful electronic resources for the study of the Coptic NT and other early Coptic literature. One especially helpful feature is that it has numerous Coptic texts analyzed for the reader and grammatically labeled.
Ethiopic Resources (posted by James Hamrick)
One of the other languages that the NT was translated into early on is the Ethiopic language, also known as Ge'ez. This blogpost by James Hamrick over at "The Ancient Bookshelf" has numerous links to resources related to the study of this language.
An online “comprehensive index for ancient language resources.” Contains online resources for languages used in NT TC, such as Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Latin, and Syriac. For each language, there are resources such as grammars, dictionaries, texts, and more.
Syri.ac: An annotated bibliography of Syriac resources online
Contains links to numerous Syriac resources.

Tyndale House Greek New Testament (THGNT) Reviews

The THGNT Website
Includes a link to an online edition.
A Review of the THGNT by Brice Jones
Jones notes some of the unique chacteristics of the THGNT, then concludes, "I do not foresee THGNT replacing the Nestle-Aland edition; and the extent to which it will be used in the field is yet to be determined. But, it is an edition to be considered, especially given some of its unique characteristics, some of which I have highlighted above."
A Review of the THGNT by Peter Gurry
Gurry links to several of the other major reviews of the THGNT. He concludes that "Overall, the edition is refreshing in its visual simplicity and some of the novelties such as paragraphing are a nice change. I will still use my NA, of course, for serious work but I expect to be reading the THGNT devotionally in 2018 and perhaps as my new church NT."
A Review of the THGNT by Dan Wallace
Wallace examines the features of the THGNT and then concludes, ". . . the editors of the THGNT are to be commended for offering a significant alternative to the Nestle-Aland text—and one which is still based on the principles of reasoned eclecticism. . . . Of course, nothing can replace the decades of careful research that Münster has poured into their apparatus, but these two editions ([SBLGNT] and Tyndale) are important offerings; they help students of the New Testament realize that the Textus Receptus status of the Nestle-Aland text may still be a bit premature."
A Review of the THGNT by Larry Hurtado
Hurtado says that "this edition should be welcomed as an additional resource for students of the Greek NT that has some distinguishing features that reflect the layout of early manuscripts."
A Review of the THGNT by James Snapp, Jr.
Snapp is one of the most critical of the reviewers of the THGNT. His conclusion is as follows: "The Tyndale House edition of the Greek New Testament has some features which can only be regarded as advances. Yet it could have been much better if the editors had accepted the sensible advice given long ago (by Scrivener, I think) to the effect that text-compilers ought to seek help wherever it can be found. By insisting on selecting readings exclusively from ancient Greek manuscripts (but strangely overlooking the purple uncials N O Σ Φ), the editors have amplified the voices of manuscripts stored in Egypt (where the low humidity-level allows papyrus to survive longer than elsewhere), while muting the voices of early patristic writers, early versions, and later manuscripts, as if later manuscripts (not only of hundreds of Byzantine copies but also 700, 1582, et al) came full-grown from scriptoriums like soldiers from dragon’s teeth, rather than as echoes of their ancestors. The resultant presentation is simple – but far too simple to be useful for much more than reading."
A Review of the THGNT by Todd Scacewater
Scacewater reviews the features of the THGNT and recommends it for daily reading as well as evaluating variants.