The Tyndale House Greek New Testament and Nestle-Aland Tradition as Complementary, Not Competitive Critical Editions
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SubjectGreek New Testament
New Testament Textual Criticism
This dissertation is a detailed comparison of the texts and textual apparatuses of the Tyndale House Greek New Testament (THGNT) and Nestle-Aland tradition (especially the NA27 and NA28). Its thesis is that these two editions should be viewed as complementary rather than competitive editions of the GNT; each has their own unique strengths and weaknesses and the reader who understands these strengths and weaknesses can better use both to their full potential. Chapter 1 surveys three positives and four negatives about the THGNT among reviewers, then explains the THGNT’s text-critical methodology, and the dissertation argument. Chapter 2 discusses the critical texts of the THGNT and NA27/28, focusing on: (1) why we need a new GNT, namely, the NA27/28 text is out-dated by 50 years; (2) a statistical summary of textual differences; (3) a discussion of the most “significant” differences; and (4) a discussion of editorial (un)certainty in establishing the NT text. Chapter 3 discusses the relationship between the THGNT, NA27, ECM, and the Byzantine text. It surveys changing attitudes towards the Byzantine text and concludes that both the ECM and THGNT push the NA27 text towards the Byzantine text, albeit in a small way focused on grammatical matters. Chapter 4 is a general comparison of the THGNT and NA28 textual apparatuses, explaining the current state of NT textual apparatuses, and showing the weaknesses of both in light of major text-critical projects such as the ECM. Chapter 5 is perhaps the most important and focuses exclusively on the THGNT textual apparatus and explains six strengths and three weaknesses. The six strengths of the THGNT are: (1) full transparency on manuscript readings; (2) more precision than the NA28 in areas such as spelling, Latin parallels, and numerical abbreviations; (3) the THGNT exposes NA28 errors in presenting manuscript readings; (4) the THGNT exposes NA28 errors with regard to manuscript corrections; (5) the NA28 will sometimes only provide a negative apparatus (citing only witnesses against its text), but the THGNT will always provide both negative and positive evidence; and (6) despite its small apparatus size, the THGNT actually presents new variant units and additional variants not found in NA28. The three weaknesses (beyond its small size) are: (1) the THGNT also contains erroneous or imprecise readings; (2) the THGNT omits valuable information such as symbols for the Byzantine majority text and Families 1 and 13, and omits some significant variant units; and (3) the THGNT sometimes does not use vid. when it should because the cited manuscript is unclear. The Nestle-Aland editions are excellent, but they are not infallible tools. The THGNT provides a critical text based on 21st-century textual research. The THGNT apparatus is often more transparent, more precise, and more accurate than the NA28’s apparatus. And the THGNT apparatus also provides additional variants and entirely new variant units not even found in NA28. Those who neglect the THGNT are overlooking an excellent tool for reading the GNT.