The Greek New Testament
Metzger (Bruce)
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Preface To The First Edition


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:
Book Comment
  • United Bible Societies, Third Edition, 1975. Vinyl Cover.
  • Present from Julie.



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