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Hendrickson Publishers A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of B. Metzger's Textual Commentary

This edition is based on the widely known Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by the late Dr. Bruce M. Metzger. It was especially designed for translators who have not received formal training in textual criticism. It enables them, and other people interested in the initial text of the Greek New Testament, to discover more easily the reasons that certain variant readings in the NT are more likely to be original than others. Therefore the notes of Metzger have been simplified and expanded. Included are discussions of significant differences in divisions and punctuation where those involve differences in meaning. Technical matters are explained in non-technical language. An easy-to-read introduction provides a brief overview of textual criticism, including explanations of key terms, a history of the text, and methods that are used by scholars to arrive at their conclusions.
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Customer Reviews for A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of B. Metzger's Textual Commentary
Review 1 for A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of B. Metzger's Textual Commentary
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Layman version of Metzger's Textual Commentary

Date:October 15, 2012
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Craig CrossWise
Location:San Antonio, TX
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Omanson adapts Metzger's Textual Commentary of the Greek NT dispensing with some of the technical jargon while adding some more verbiage for clarification, with the goal of making it easier to read for those of whom English is not their primary language and for the average layperson. The Greek words remain in Greek font yet they are also translated to the English (not transliterated). Omanson's work still requires a bit of knowledge about textual criticism; however, a primer is included in the "Introduction" which retains some of the same info as Metzger's edition but, again, with added information and more simplified verbiage.
Omanson uses most but not all the comments on variants of the Metzger. Yet, Omanson adds what he calls "Segmentation" on some verses illustrating additional exegetical considerations (such as the difficulty in ascertaining the point at which a quoted portion ends, as well as the possibility of phrasing some discourse as questions rather than statements and vice versa), providing an added bonus.
It may be helpful to provide a direct comparison between the two using John 7:8 as one example. First is Metzger followed by Omanson:
7:8 ουκ {C}
The reading ούπω was introduced at an early date (it is attested by p66,75) in order to alleviate the inconsistency between ver. 8 and ver. 10.
7:8 ουκ (not) {C}
The reading ούπω (not yet) was introduced at an early date in order to remove the inconsistency between v. 8, in which Jesus said that he was not going to the festival in Judea, and v. 10, where it is stated that he did go. Following the variant, NIV and Seg read, “I am not yet going up to this Feast.”
The bracketed "C" above corresponds to a grading system (A, B, C, or D) by the UBS4 committee designating the relative certainty of the variant chosen with A being "certain", B "nearly certain", while C "indicates that the committee had difficulty in deciding which variant to place in the text", with D illustrating "great difficulty" [from Metzger p 14* and UBS4 p 3*]. Unfortunately, Omanson does not include this rating system in his volume. Omanson's edition can work as a stand-alone, i.e. one does not necessarily need the UBS4 for comparison as the layperson could use Omanson in conjunction with an English (or other language) Bible translation; however, the inclusion of the rating system would have been most helpful.
Two more comparisons: 1) while Metzger's book is `pocket-size' (5 X 7.5 X .75 in. - the same h X w as the UBS4), Omanson's is larger - about the size of an average textbook (6.25 X 9.375 X 1.375 in.); 2) Omanson's is in larger font and on thicker, whiter paper making it easier to read - especially for those of us with aging eyes.
A minor criticism: the Greek font renders the Kappa (k) in such a way that it resembles the English letter x which causes me pause at times. My mind's eye initially sees this as an English transliteration of Xi. This is especially confusing with "kai" which I initially see as "xai". But, I note this font is similar to the BDAG.
Bottom line: this is a great reference for expounding on some of the reasons why one variant was chosen over an another (or why the committee was unsure) in the UBS4. One can use this in lieu of the Metzger. Metzger is useful for those who are more versed in textual criticism and for those, like me, who have to strain to see the info in the UBS apparatus as this is sometimes replicated in Metzger's edition in larger font. However, for those who speak English as a second language, the Omanson will likely be the better choice. For the average layperson, Omanson's work is more useful than Metzger's in the way it translates all the Greek words into English and with the more simplified verbiage.
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Review 2 for A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of B. Metzger's Textual Commentary
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Exceptional

Date:November 26, 2010
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Location:Laguna Hills, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Those who delve into the Greek NT are not always aware of the textual complexities that govern the decision making of the translation committees. This book opens a wide and colorful window into that process. From what I have read, the material is fairly presented, clearly articulated, and the content is comprehensive. This is a classic work that in my opinion is more valuable to the curious mind than other books of its type.
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