What should you read if you want to learn about New Testament textual criticism? Others have put together some great lists that will point you in the right direction. Here’s one here from my friend Mark Ward. Tommy Wasserman also shares his “Top Ten” here at The Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog. My suggestions below trace my own path of reading from its start in seminary to the present. There are a few comments scattered here and there, but mostly this is just a bibliography. You might find something that interests you. And just because something is missing doesn’t mean it’s not good or important. It’s just one I haven’t read or forgot to include.
You wouldn’t need to read all of these, but I would recommend reading a few to get a broad introduction to the subject.
This is the first book I read on the subject. Excellent.
This is the first book I would recommend anyone interested in NT textual criticism begin.
Short and easy!
A short intro to the various approaches to the subject.
Dated but good.
This is a good introduction that covers both the Old and New Testaments.
These aren’t introductory works to textual criticism, but they’re important books to help you continue your learning journey.
See my review here.
Advanced Reads and Specialized Subjects
These works are more specialized and should be classified as a good third step as you approach textual criticism.
This is the only Brill book I own, and I didn’t even pay for it. (I received it for working on the Museum of the Bible Greek Paul Project.) This one is a goldmine I keep returning to.
Feel free to start consulting these once you read an introductory work or two on textual criticism. These are helpful guides to navigating most of the major textual variants you will encounter.
This one doesn’t get a lot of press but when it comes to simple notes on textual variation in the Bible (the whole Bible: OT and NT), this is a solid resource.
What About the Old Testament?
I don’t feel qualified to offer a ton of guidance here, but I can recommend Old Testament Textual Criticism and I really enjoyed The Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Biblia Hebraica.
There you have it: a bibliography of books I’ve read and found instructive on the subject of New Testament textual criticism. There are also plenty of good articles out there and I would recommend everyone subscribe to the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog.
Featured image by Brent Niedergall.