The Encyclopedia attempts to cover all aspects of New Testament Textual Criticism in an orderly and fair fashion.
This page is not affiliated with the print Encyclopedia, and there is no particular reason to think the articles here will appear in the Encyclopedia should it ever be published. I just thought the idea was so good that I decided to create my own version of some of the articles pending the appearance of the real thing. It should also be noted that I (Robert Waltz) am not a recognized textual critic, and that the information on this page has not been peer reviewed. While I have done all I could to ensure its accuracy, this page probably should not be used as a bibliographic reference.
This page was last updated August 4, 2005.
In the lists which follow, links in PLAIN TEXT point to major articles. Links shown in italic lead to short definitions.
There are many technical issues associated with this site, mostly relating to fonts and images. For details on how best to use this site, see the page devoted to Technical issues.
A very brief (and inadequate) introduction to textual criticism can be found here.
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Links to other Textual Criticism sites
And you thought nobody cared about textual criticism.
(OK, so maybe you're right....)
Thanks to the folks who have made corrections, suggestions, and additions, including Jean Valentin for photographs; Ulrich Schmid for information on Wachtel; Wieland Willker for proofreading corrections; Ulrich Schmid for information on manuscripts, Michael Holmes and Jimmy Adair for source materials; Ulrich Schmid, Jean Valentin, Christopher Eyton, and Vincent Broman for information on the Fathers; and anyone else whose names I have forgotten.
Send mail to page creator Robert B. Waltz (but please, only e-mail me with suggestions or additional information; I can't answer all your questions, and chances are any answers I know are in here anyway.) If you would like to be added to a list informing you of updates to this page, drop me a line to that effect. (Sorry, no LISTSERV yet.)
NOTE: If you have any intention of telling me that I am damned for engaging in textual criticism, or not using the King James Bible, please go tell someone who cares instead of me. I've had enough of those. If you send me such a message, you will receive the following form letter in reply:
I just received your commentary about textual criticism or some other religious subject, in which you either informed me that I am due for some dreadful fate after death, or in which you attempted to convert me to some particular, often bigoted, form of something you call Christianity. After having been bombarded with enough of these messages over the past five years, I wrote this form letter to help you understand why I don't respond to these missives any more.
First, I do not believe in a God who condemns intellectual honesty and prescribes damnation for anyone that YOU dislike.
Second, since the Bible is the (or at least a) basis of Christian faith, it must be reconstructed with as much accuracy as is humanly possible, and this means starting with no presuppositions as to what the Bible is supposed to say. Such decisions must be made on evidence, not personal opinions.
Third, the Textus Receptus is an un-edited text made based on the basis of a handful of late and corrupt manuscripts; it should never have been the acknowledged Bible of any church, and all translations based on it, such as the King James Bible, should cease to be used for worship purposes. This is not to accuse the creators of either the Textus Receptus or the King James Bible of any sort of wickedness; they did the best with what they had. But to ignore the evidence found since is equivalent to saying the earth is flat. We know more now, and should use that knowledge. This matter is discussed in detail in the Encyclopedia -- but there is no point in reading it unless you have the intellectual honesty to accept evidence where it conflicts with your beliefs.
If you are tempted to put me on some sort of mailing list, please don't; it will save you the effort of sending me mail, and me the effort of writing a spam filter for you.
The work of textual criticism is not done; like science, there is more to be learned. But the only way to learn it is to be willing to learn.