May 11, 2008

Text Critic Sound Bites

The Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum was host to to text critics addressing questions around whether or not the text of the New Testament was reliable. The brief coverage articles are a great example of sound-bite-quotey, so I thought I might take some of the quotes even further out of context:

If [the number of variants] were the only piece of data we had it would discourage anyone from attempting to recover the wording of the original, but there is more to the story. The reason we have a lot of variants is that we have a lot of manuscripts. To speak about the number of variants without also speaking about the number of manuscripts is simply an appeal to sensationalism. -- Daniel Wallace
And if the violence in Iraq is down, it is because the enemy is being defeated because the troop surge is working; and if the violence in Iraq is up, it is because the enemy in their last throes because the troop surge is working.
There are more differences in our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament. Well, that's a lot. -- Bart Ehrman
Well, it is alot.
In short, the elemental tenacity in the New Testament textual tradition not only permits but demands that we proceed on the premise that, in every instance of textual variation, it is possible to determine the form of the original text. -- Michael Holmes
But if we acknowledge we will never reach certainty, is proceeding as if it were so a flawed approach?
Scripture will not, in and of itself, lead us to destruction. -- Dale Martin
True. You must add capitalism into the mix.
Would the author of Matthew’s Gospel, if he came along and looked over their shoulder, have... said ‘Look’s good enough to me’? -- David Parker
He may also say, "Do you mind?"
It’s an exciting field. There’s a lot happening. Maybe it’s time for you to think about jumping on in, because the water’s pretty great these days in New Testament textual criticism. -- William Warren

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