Textual criticism of the New Testament is the identification of textual variants. or different versions of the New Testament, whose goals include identification of transcription errors, analysis of versions, and attempts to reconstruct the original text.
The Hebrew text was like the Greek NT; it had accumulated copyist errors, a few intentional, a good number accidental, between the Malachi days of 440 BCE and Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi (135 to 217 CE). The same thing happened to the Greek New Testament from about 400 CE to 1550 CE, a period of copyist errors.
Even though these various schools of thought can be identified, it is necessary to realize that some textual scholars might partially adopt the approaches of two or more schools, so that a synthesis often results. Likewise, schools tend to fluctuate over time due to the influx of new leaders and materials.
Some of the most important literature of antiquity exists in the form of letters. The correspondence of men prominent in political and literary life often throws a clear light upon the conditions of the age. The letters preserved to us in the New Testament are not less interesting than this letter of Pliny for the historical information they convey.
Papyrus 17 (P17) is an early copy of the New Testament in Greek. It is a papyrus manuscript of the Epistle to the Hebrews, but only contains verses 9:12-19.
In Christianity, the term Textus Receptus (Latin for “received text”) refers to all printed editions of the Greek New Testament from Desiderius (1516) to the 1633 Elzevir edition. It was the most commonly used text type for Protestant denominations. The biblical Textus Receptus constituted the translation-base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, the Spanish Reina-Valera translation, the Czech Bible of Kralice, and most Reformation-era New Testament translations throughout Western and Central Europe.
In Christian scribal practice, nomina sacra (singular: nomen sacrum from Latin sacred name) is the abbreviation of several frequently occurring divine names or titles, especially in Greek manuscripts of Holy Scripture. This will be one of the most detailed, yet easy-to-understand articles on this important subject.
The latest calculations have all known Greek manuscripts at about 5,898, written from as early as 110 C.E. to as late as the end of the fifteenth-century. P52 although a fragment is one of the most important.
The oldest manuscript of the New Testament known today is P52, a small fragment from John’s Gospel, dated to the first half of the second century (110-150 C.E.).
We must face the reality that while the original 39 OT manuscripts and 27 NT manuscripts were inspired by God [Lit. “God-breathed”] (1 Tim. 3:16), as the authors were moved along by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:21), this was not the case with the copyists thereafter. Yes, hundreds of thousands of scribal errors crept into our manuscripts. Yet, there is ...