Preface To The First Edition
- To meet the growing need for an edition of the Greek New Testament specially adapted to the requirements of Bible translators throughout the world, the American Bible Society, the National Bible Society of Scotland, and the Württemberg Bible Society appointed in 1955 an international and inter-denominational committee of textual scholars to prepare such an edition. The three societies were later joined by the Netherlands Bible Society and the British and Foreign Bible Society. In keeping with its distinctive purpose, the edition has the following special features:
- A critical apparatus restricted for the most part to variant readings significant for translators or necessary for the establishing of the text;
- An indication of the relative degree of certainty for each variant adopted as the text;
- A full citation of representative evidence for each variant selected; and
- A second apparatus giving meaningful differences of punctuation.
- Much new evidence from Greek manuscripts and early versions has been cited. A supplementary volume, providing a summary of the Committee’s reasons for adopting one or another variant reading, will also be published. The Committee carried out its work in four principal stages:
- On the basis of Westcott and Hort’s edition of the Greek New Testament, a comparison was made of the text and apparatus of several other editions, including those of Nestle, Bover, Merk, and Vogels, and to some extent those of Tischendorf and von Soden, in order to determine which of the variant readings warranted further study;
- Data on several thousand sets of variants were gathered, not only from printed editions, commentaries and technical studies, but also from hitherto unused papyri, uncials, minuscules, and lectionaries;
- About six hundred variations in punctuation which appeared to merit consideration were selected and compared in editions of the Greek text and in the principal English, German, and French translations; and finally,
- The Greek text was established, the degree of certainty for the reading adopted in the text was estimated, and decisions were made whether or not to include a set of variants in the apparatus.
- This edition has certain calculated limitations:
- The sets of variants have generally been restricted to readings meaningful for translators; consequently there is an appreciable reduction in the number of variants in the apparatus (but there is fuller attestation for the variants selected).
- Citations of evidence from the major lettered uncials (see p. xiii) and the Church Fathers have been derived from critical editions of the Greek New Testament, primarily those of Tischendorf and von Soden, but the uncials have been checked where the printed evidence was contradictory or incomplete.
- As a rule, no attempt has been made to represent the wide range of orthographic variation in the manuscripts; the orthography of Bauer’s Lexicon (5th edition; see bibliography1) has been followed.
- The cross-reference system has been limited to the citation of direct quotations (see p. xliii), definite allusions, and literary and other parallels.
- The Editorial Committee which was responsible for preparing this edition consisted of Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren, with the participation of Arthur Voobus during the first part of the work. The project was initiated, organized, and administered by …Snip.
- Of the members of the Committee, Kurt Aland was responsible for the Greek papyri, numbered uncials, and minuscules; Allen Wikgren for the lectionary readings. Matthew Black supervised collations of Syriac data, and Bruce M. Metzger is preparing the supplementary volume.
- Since this edition is intended primarily for translators, it is not to be regarded as in competition with other modern editions, e.g. the continuing Nestle-Aland editions2, which provide a more restricted selection of data from witnesses on a much wider range of variant readings. It is the intention of the Committee from time to time to revise its work in order to take into account new discoveries and fresh evidence.
→ Kurt Aland, Munster/Westphalia
→ Matthew Black, St. Andrews
→ Bruce M. Metzger, Princeton
→ Allen Wikgren, Chicago August 26, 1965
Preface To The Third Edition
- The Second Edition of the Greek New Testament, published in September, 1968, contained only a few (although in certain respects quite significant) textual changes. The principal differences between the First and Second Editions consisted in changes in the evaluation of evidence for the variant readings, i.e., revisions in the A, B, C, and D ratings. The Third Edition, however, contains a more thorough revision of the Greek text. In a series of meetings the Committee (including Carlo M. Martini, who has been a member of the Committee for both the Second and Third Editions) undertook a thorough review of the text of the First Edition by carefully considering not only a number of suggestions made by specialists in the field of New Testament studies, but also numerous recommendations resulting from the experience of the members of the Committee as they worked with the text of the First Edition. The greater part of these suggestions for further modification came from Kurt Aland, who had been making a detailed analysis of changes proposed for the 26th edition of the Nestle-Aland text. A number of these where textual alterations which had not been previously discussed by the Committee in their work on the First Edition. As a result of the Committee’s discussions, more than five hundred changes have been introduced into this Third Edition.
- The Committee, sponsored by the United Bible Societies, has thus been able to establish a single text for the Third Edition Greek New Testament and for the 26th edition of the Nestle-Aland text. That this step marks a significant advance will be obvious to all who work with the Greek text of the New Testament. At the same time the goals of both publications remain unchanged. The 26th edition of the Nestle-Aland text will develop even further in the direction of handy-sized scientific edition through an extension and improvement of the critical apparatus, and this Greek New Testament will continue to cite more extensive evidence for a more select number of variants.
- Though the arrangement and format of the two publications will be different, the texts will be the same, and both will be published under the editorship of the Committee.
- All the textual changes agreed upon by the Committee are incorporated into this Third Edition. These changes, of course, involve corresponding alterations in the critical apparatus. The editorial work has been undertaken by the Institut fur neutestamentliche Textforschung in Munster/Westphalia, under the direction of K. Junack, Secretary to the Committee. Editorial changes decided upon by the Committee include the transposition of the pericope John 7.53-8.11 from the end of the Gospel to its traditional location, with the double brackets retained.
- Several minor errors both in the text and in the apparatus have been corrected, and some alterations have been made in the evaluation of evidence. "Metzger (Bruce) - A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament" (1971), edited by Bruce M. Metzger on behalf of the Committee, is based on this Third Edition.
- Certain additions which are important for translation committees have been incorporated into the punctuation apparatus, but the citations of evidence from the Translator’s New Testament (based on earlier preliminary publications) have been eliminated. The evidence for Old Testament quotations has been thoroughly reviewed, both in the text and in the references. The Index of Quotations has been completely rewritten, now calling attention only to those passages which are clearly quotations from the Old Testament, and eliminating references to words and phrases which are only allusions or literary echoes.
- A second part, listing the Old Testament quotations in their New Testament order, has been added to the Index of Quotations. The responsibility for the revision of the punctuation apparatus and the citations of quotations has rested with the Translations Department of the American Bible Society, which has worked closely with the Institut fur neutestamentliche Textforschung in Munster.
- Plans are already under way for a Fourth Edition of the Greek New Testament, which will contain a correspondingly thorough revision of the textual apparatus, with special emphasis upon evidence from the ancient versions, the Diatessaron, and the Church Fathers. In addition, the evidence from Greek manuscripts will be carefully controlled by direct comparison with manuscript readings. This will apply particularly to the evidence which could not be so treated in previous editions (see pp. xx and xxix of the Introduction). In the listing of manuscript evidence, the Introduction to the Third Edition contains only the completely necessary modifications (for example, the expansion of the lists of Greek manuscripts cited for particular isolated readings), but the Fourth Edition will have a completely new treatment of textual data.
→ January, 1975
In-Page Footnotes ("Metzger (Bruce) - The Greek New Testament")
Footnote 1: Footnote 2:
- United Bible Societies, Third Edition, 1975. Vinyl Cover.
- Present from Julie.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2022
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)