What are the Approaches to New Testament Textual Criticism?

I've mentioned in my last few articles that textual critics use different sets of rules when trying to select the best readings. Often the rules are compatible with each other, but sometimes the rules by different scholars conflict. This is one of the reasons there are so many versions of the English Bible available.

There are several approaches critics use to evaluate the evidence. On one extreme, critics look only at the internal evidence and...

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What is Paleography?

My article last week was How are New Testament Manuscripts Dated?. Today's article is a follow-up describing one particular method of dating ancient manuscripts: paleography.

The word paleography comes from the Greek words παλαιός (transliterated: palaiós; English: old), and γράφειν (transliterated: graphein; English: to write), meaning "old writing". Paleography is the study of how old manuscripts were...

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How are New Testament Manuscripts Dated?

Scholars have found tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts that contain parts of the Bible. Each manuscript had two aspects to it: 1) the physical media it's on; 2) the text that has been written on it.  The media and the text have to exist at the same time, but they don't have to be created at the same time. It is possible for a 2,000 year old text (i.e. the New Testament) to be written on modern media (i.e. paper). It is not possible for modern text...

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