Criticism, Biblical (2)

Criticism, Biblical We add a few items to the account given in volume 2: The textual examination of the New Test. in particular has received a powerful stimulus by the labors of the Anglo-American Committee on Bible Revision, who had necessarily to reconsider the Greek text. Although they have not directly put forth any new edition, yet the results of their criticism have been embodied in The Greek Testament, with the Readings adopted by the Revisers of the Authorized Version (Oxford, 1881, 12mo), which may be regarded as the most mature and impartial fruit of the combined scholarship of the times, and probably nearer the autograph than any other text extant. Almost simultaneous with this appeared the Greek Testament prepared by Drs. Westcott and Hort (Oxford. 1881, 12mo), which, with its additional volume of critical remarks, has been republished (Harpers, N.Y. 1882 sq.) under the able editorship of Dr. Schaff, who has also added a

Companion, consisting of illustrative matter, largely bearing upon the revision.

Meanwhile Tregelles and Tischendorf each lived just long enough to complete their valuable critical editions, and the Prolegonena to that of the latter is in process of issue at Leipsic (volume 3, part 1, 1884). These nearly exhaust the elements of critical comparison. A fierce attack has been made by some scholars, especially opposed to Bible revision, on the conclusions arrived at in the foregoing productions. It has been claimed that they unnecessarily depart from the textus receptus, and unduly lean upon the few great uncial MSS., to the exclusion of all other copies and to the neglect of the early versions. This objection leaves room for doubt whether the Greek text to be finally accepted has yet been constructed. But these are valuable contributions toward this final result, and we may hope that ere long another Griesbach will arise, capable of surveying the whole field with broad and accurate scholarship and impartial judgment. Meanwhile we may rejoice at the immense advance already made towards this desirable end.

See Reuss, Bibliotheca Novi Testamenti Graeci (Brunswick, 1872), containing the most complete list of printed editions up to that time; Hammond, Outlines of Textual Criticism (Oxford, 1872, 1876); Mitchell, Critical Hand-book (Andover and Lond. 1880); Field, Notes on Select Passages of the Greek Testament (Oxford, 1881, giving gentle criticisms of the revisers); Burgon, New Testament Revision (in the [Lond.] Quar. Rev. October 1881, January and April 1882; reprinted together, Lond. and N.Y. 1883), a sweeping condemnation of the Revision Committee; and the exhaustive monograph of Hall, Critical Bibliography of the Gr. Test. published in America (Phila. 1883).

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