Essay New Testament

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Might it be possible to work towards a reconstruction of the text of the original writings of the NT while also recognizing that textual variants may occasionally reveal further insight into the various theological controversies which took place in early Christianity?

Second, Holmes suggests that the task of reconstructing the text of the original autographs of the NT writings is fraught with difficulties.

In some cases these essays have been revised by the original authors, while in other cases new contributors provided a fresh study.

The result is a valuable up-to-date and significantly expanded volume that provides a helpful assessment of the current state of NT textual criticism.

While the original edition is still less than 20 years old, there have been several notable developments in the field of NT textual criticism in recent years, impressing upon the editors of the second edition the need for an updated volume.

Over the last few decades, our knowledge of ancient literary practices and the processes in which writings were produced and distributed in the ancient world has increased while a number of ancient papyri have been discovered, providing scholars with additional evidence with which to discern the state of the NT text in early Christianity.

While the hardback edition retails for a rather prohibitive 4, the publisher has recently released a paperback version that retails for a more affordable .

The release of the paperback version will undoubtedly increase the readership and influence of the volume. 5–12), the relevance of the writings of patristic authors for the task of textual criticism (chs.

637), Holmes suggests that scholars should recognize the value of textual variants for what they reveal about the world of the early church.

The existence of textual variants, Holmes notes, provide “possible sources of insight into the history and cultural context of the individuals and communities that transmitted (and, occasionally, created) them” (p. But why dismiss the task of reconstructing the original text?

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