A new version of the Greek New Testament

The Greek New Testament (GNT) comes in several different forms, since all are actually carefully chosen compilations of various manuscripts. There are basically two main strands that Greek readers go to: the GNT produced by the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung—and dubbed the Nestle-Arland edition after these two pioneering editors (hence it’s shorthand reference, NA26 or NA27, etc.)—and that which has been edited by the United Bible Society (abbreviated UBS3 or UBS4, etc.).

Each edition—NA or UBS—is favored by its Greek readers for the way these Greek New Testaments (GNT) pay attention to the textual variants. For instance, NA-users tend to be more academic and interested in textual criticism while UBS-users tend to be more concerned with translation, which is fitting since the UBS text primarily provides only those variants that contribute to one’s exegetical analysis.

These reason I’m saying all of this isn’t to bore you, I swear. It’s simply to preface the following link to a very noted text-critical NT scholar (Daniel Wallace) who has provided a very informative introduction to a brand new edition of the Greek New Testament: the NA28.

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Please check out the post HERE. (See another helpful review here).

To hopefully spur you on to read Wallace’s own post, I won’t say anything more than this: one startling change in the NA28 from previous editions, that has significant exegetical implications, is mentioned by Wallace in the following quote.

[T]his ‘new’ approach nevertheless has produced some surprising results. Perhaps the most controversial reading in the text of NA28 is found in 2 Peter 3.10: οὐχ εὑρεθήσεται. This is not found in any Greek witnesses. NA27 printed as the text reading εὑρεθήσεται.

The difference between the NA27 and NA28 in 2 Pet 3.10 is significant, and made apparent in the following English translations:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. (NET Bible based on the NA27)

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will NOT be laid bare. (My alteration of the NET Bible based on the NA28)

Wow. Quite a change, right? In this instance the NA28 doesn’t make much sense to me, especially given the NET Bible’s note on why they did what they did with this apparently difficult verse. For those interested, I’ll close this post with their note:

One of the most difficult textual problems in the NT is found in v. 10. The reading εὑρεθήσεται (heurethēsetai), which enjoys by far the best support (ℵ B K P 0156vid 323 1241 1739txt pc) is nevertheless so difficult a reading that many scholars regard it as nonsensical. (NA27 lists five conjectures by scholars, from Hort to Mayor, in this text.) As R. Bauckham has pointed out, solutions to the problem are of three sorts: (1) conjectural emendation (which normally speaks more of the ingenuity of the scholar who makes the proposal than of the truth of the conjecture, e.g., changing one letter in the previous word, ἔργα [erga] becomes ἄργα [arga] with the meaning, “the earth and the things in it will be found useless”); (2) adoption of one of several variant readings (all of which, however, are easier than this one and simply cannot explain how this reading arose, e.g., the reading of P72 which adds λυόμενα [luomena] to the verb — a reading suggested no doubt by the threefold occurrence of this verb in the surrounding verses: “the earth and its works will be found dissolved”; or the simplest variant, the reading of the Sahidic MSS, οὐχ [ouch] preceding ἑυρεθήσεται — “will not be found”); or (3) interpretive gymnastics which regards the text as settled but has to do some manipulation to its normal meaning. Bauckham puts forth an excellent case that the third option is to be preferred and that the meaning of the term is virtually the equivalent of “will be disclosed,” “will be manifested.” (That this meaning is not readily apparent may in fact have been the reason for so many variants and conjectures.) Thus, the force of the clause is that “the earth and the works [done by men] in it will be stripped bare [before God].” In addition, the unusualness of the expression is certainly in keeping with the author’s style throughout this little book. Hence, what looks to be suspect because of its abnormalities, upon closer inspection is actually in keeping with the author’s stylistic idiosyncrasies. The meaning of the text then is that all but the earth and men’s works will be destroyed. Everything will be removed so that humanity will stand naked before God. Textually, then, on both external and internal grounds, εὑρεθήσεται commends itself as the preferred reading.

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