Two decades later, Bart D. Ehrman’s book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament continues to create debate and dialogue. Ehrman’s later works have even brought textual criticism, a field once reserved to academia, to the lay level. In response to Ehrman’s work, Daniel B. Wallace has edited Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence--released today for the Accordance Bible Software Library.
Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament contains essays by six authors, all dealing with textual criticism and specifically the claim that scribes significantly corrupted the text of the New Testament. Wallace includes an essay of his own, an expansion of a presentation he made in a debate with Bart Ehrman and others in 2008 at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The other five essays were originally presented the same year at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in the same year.
This volume is also the first installment in what is to be an ongoing series, Text and Canon of the New Testament. This series will present volumes that address questions of whether or not the original text of the New Testament can be recovered based on manuscript evidence as well as questions concerning the 27 New Testament documents in relation to other writings of the early church. Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament contains the following essays that either address Ehrman’s claims or discuss related text-critical issues:
"Lost in Transmission: How Badly Did the Scribes Corrupt the New Testament Text?" by Daniel B. Wallace. Points of agreement are found with Ehrman on some issues, but in this examination of some of the major passages covered in The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Wallace demonstrates why he believes so-called “orthodox corruptions” are not “as pervasive or as significant” as Ehrman presents.
"The Least Orthodox Reading Is to Be Preferred: A New Canon for New Testament Textual Criticism?" by Philip M. Miller. One conclusion that could be made from Ehrman’s claims about the New Testament is that “the least orthodox reading” is probably to be preferred when looking at variants, resulting in foundational new criteria for textual criticism. Miller offers evidence as to why this conclusion should be challenged.
"The Legacy of a Letter: Sabellianism or Scribal Blunder in John 1.1c?" by Matthew P. Morgan. Looking specifically at two later variants of καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος in John 1:1, Morgan examines the implications of a Sabellian understanding of God if the two manuscripts were correct.
"Patristic Theology and Recension in Matthew 24.36: An Evaluation of Ehrman’s Text-Critical Methodology" by Adam G. Messer. Some ancient manuscripts do not contain the phrase translated “nor the son” in Matt 24:36. Messer examines the evidence in patristic writings to see if this omission in some manuscripts was influenced by orthodox Church Fathers.
"Tracking Thomas: A Text-Critical Look at the Transmission of the Gospel of Thomas"by Tim Ricchuiti. In this only chapter dealing with a text not in the New Testament, Ricchuiti attempts to determine the earliest version of The Gospel of Thomas using the Coptic text and three Greek mss fragments.
"Jesus as θεός: A Textual Examination" by Brian J. Wright. Did any of the New Testament writers specifically claim that Jesus was God? Wright examines 17 passages in the NT to determine the answer.
In addition to the six main essays, Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament: Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence also includes indexes to Scripture, Ancient Sources, and Persons and Subjects. Page numbers are included for citation purposes.
Most readers will find a knowledge of Koine Greek necessary for following the arguments in this book. For anyone interested in New Testament textual criticism, and especially recent debates on the subject, these essays are a must-read addition to your Accordance Library. Add it to your mobile device for easy reading on the go or quick consultation!
Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament
“A marvelous tool” is the description Dan Wallace, Senior Professor of New Testament Studies and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, applies to describe his use of Accordance Bible Software going all the way back to 1992. He says, “I know about the other software—I have Logos; I have Bibleworks—but frankly, I have to say, there is absolutely nothing in the world that compares to Accordance if you want to do serious language studies of the Bible and even serious studies of the Bible with commentaries and other tools. It’s phenomenal. It’s the easiest [Bible] software program.” Dr. Wallace also explains why he requires his students to use Accordance for their Apostolic Fathers assignments.
For more information about Dan Wallace, check out his personal website.
Don't miss other recent endorsements of Accordance Bible Software!
In this video, Dan Wallace discusses his history with Accordance (he has been using Accordance since the first beta!). He also names what he considers to be the "must have" Accordance titles needed for textual criticism.
Dr. Wallace is professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM).