Explain Textual Criticism to Your Friends

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 04/10/2012

Justin Taylor’s brief interview with Daniel Wallace is a helpful summary of what textual criticism reveals to us about the reliability of the New Testament text. Wallace answers:

  • What is “textual criticism?”
  • How many NT manuscripts do we know of?
  • What’s the earliest manuscript we have?
  • How does the number of NT manuscripts compare to other extant historical documents?
  • What are the different kinds of variants, and how do they affect the meaning of the texts?
  • Isn’t the process of copying a copy of a copy somewhat akin to the old “telephone game”?

Justin’s post is a good resource. Sooner or later, a friend will ask you about the Bible being corrupted to the point where we no longer know what it originally said. The post is short enough to not overwhelm, but comprehensive enough to give a decent overview (including recommendations for learning more). Bookmark it, and be ready to pass it on.