Monday, March 25, 2024

Which Text Type Do You Prefer?

Which text type do you prefer? 

(Incidentally, I think the term "text type" can and should be used. As Peter Gurry says, it's all about definitions. I do NOT use it to refer to recensional activity on the part of any of the text types. I DO use it to refer to groupings of early witnesses.)

Good news -- you don't have to prefer one over the other! God has preserved all the text types for us to use. I know some in my audience have a strong preference when it comes to text types, so I have to reiterate that you don't have to agree with me. If you're happy with your position, keep at it! However, I feel like I'm doing you a disservice if I pretend I don't have an opinion. I'm especially thinking of those who think I might automatically prefer the Byzantine family over the other families of witnesses. I have several convictions about textual criticism which include:

1. No text type is edited in the Westcott-Hort sense.

2. No text type is perfect or to be preferred automatically.

3. No text type is evil, vile, or satanic.

4. Internal evidence is rarely probative.

5. All things being equal, readings that enjoy the most widespread geographical ubiquity are more likely to be original than not. 

This morning in my Bible time I was in 1 Thess. 2. 

Here are two variants I noticed there. 

In one of them, I side with the Byzantine reading. In another, I side against the Byzantine reading. I do the latter somewhat rarely because the Byzantine text type least often stands alone among the major text types. In my essays in Grace Theological Journal, Novum Testamentum, New Testament Studies, and Filologia Neotestamentaria, I've defended readings that are supported by the Byzantine text but rejected by most critical scholars. Yet I don't hold to Byzantine priority.

Care to delve more into this topic? Recently I've been enjoying Dwayne Green's YouTube channel. Even though he espouses the Byzantine priority approach, he's interviewed scholars that don't hold to that view, including such outstanding textual critics as Peter Gurry, Dirk Jongkind, and Elijah Hixson. I encourage you to check out Dwayne's channel. 

Well, the day is sunny and I need to get back outdoors. The farm calleth! But before I go, I'm giving away these two books. 

When you write, tell me which book you'd like. I'll have a drawing tomorrow evening. Please include your mailing address. You can write me at 

Love you guys!