Book Review: Revisiting The Corruption Of The New Testament, Manuscript, Patristic, and Apocryphal Evidence by Daniel B. Wallace Editor
The titles of the chapters and authors are as follows:
Chapter 1--Lost in Transmission: How Badly Did the Scribes Corrupt the New Testament Text? by Daniel B. Wallace
Chapter 2--The Least Orthodox Reading Is To Be Preferred: A New Canon for New Testament Textual Criticism? by Philip M. Miller
Chapter 3--The Legacy Of A Letter: Sabellianism or Scribal Blunder in John 1.1c? by Matthew P. Morgan
Chapter 4--Patristic Theology And Recension In Matthew 24:36: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Text-Critical Methodology by Adam G. Messer
Chapter 5--Tracking Thomas: A Text-Critical Look at the Transmission of the Gospel of Thomas by Tim Ricchuiti
Chapter 6--Jesus As Theos: Textual Examination by Brian J. Wright
Each of the above contributing authors were apart of Dr. Daniel B. Wallace's ThM program at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Each of the chapters were analyzed under "peer review."
"All five chapters address directly or indirectly, issues raised in Bart Ehrman's
The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, a monumental work that has raised numerous questions about intentional corruption of the NT by proto-orthodox scribes in the early centuries."
Two Essays are on Matthew 24:36 and John 1:1. Another essay is on "whether the least orthodox reading is to be preferred." A fourth essay is on "the textual transmission of the Gospel of Thomas." And lastly a study on Jesus as Theos (θεός).
This was a challenging book for me to read. I faced the challenge head on, not mastering every detail, yet feeling deeply satisfied after finishing this heavy read.
It is easy, and maybe far to typical for a Christian to not want to read a book on Bible textual criticism. If I'd let myself maybe I would have felt the same.
"But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me." 2 Timothy 1:12 ESV
I did not finish this book feeling slighted, anxious, insecure, or "put-off." Instead I have a deeper belief in Scripture as God's treasured Word.
I felt each of the authors complimented each other. The book flows from one chapter to the next. Some of the chapters as explained above were on the same topic, each expressing their view from their own personality and teaching style.They were quick to lay out the reasoning behind their analysis, made their points clearly and understandably, each finished well with a closing remark on their end result after careful study.
I must admit the least attractive chapter to me was chapter 5 in looking "at the Transmission of the Gospel of Thomas." I am familiar with this book, but not curious to learn more. In this chapter there are comparisons between the Coptic of Thomas to the Greek fragments.
My favorite chapter was from Adam G. Messer, Chapter 4: Patristic Theology and Recension in Matthew 24:36. Messer gave a thorough and interesting teaching on the early false teachings of: Docetism, Sabellianism, Marcionism, Gnosticism. He also gave a lengthy list of the early church fathers, for example: Irenaeus of Lyon, Hippolytus of Rome, Origen of Alexandria, and Didymus the Blind. Messer gleaned information from research on what each of these men had to say about Matthew 24:36. Most of these early church fathers made a statement of what their belief was in their writings, I found this to be incredibly interesting.
It was while reading chapter 4 that I felt I'd finally grasped hold of the book.
It has been stated in other reviews that this is a book for the academic reading world. This is a fair statement. On the other hand, I am glad I read this book. This is a topic that has been of interest to me for a long time, as well as the history of the Bible period.
Even though this book was a challenge, I'm hoping in 2012 to read more books on this topic!
Thank you to Kregel for my free review copy in return for an honest review.
Kregel Book Tour December 26-30--2011
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Happy New Year!