My capstone project to complete by bachelor’s degree involved writing a lengthy paper discussing the so-called Long Ending of the Gospel of Mark (i.e., Mark 16:9-20) and the reason it is disputed among textual critics. At that point in my life, I had amassed a decent library of books on textual criticism as well as a few commentaries that broached the subject. But what if you’re just starting out? What resources should you invest in? What should you read?
Last month, Brent Niedergall, a pastor and biblical languages enthusiast, published a piece over at his website answering the question, “What Should I Read on New Testament Textual Criticism?” He lists a number of resources, some more advanced than others, but all of which are valuable to those interested in the text of the New Testament. Bookmark Niedergall’s post and start picking up the volumes he mentions, beginning with The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th edition) written by the late Bruce Metzger and the ever-controversial Bart Ehrman.
If you’d like a crash course on the textual criticism of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, look no further than the 3.5-hour introduction to the subject by Digital Hammurabi’s own Joshua Bowen (linked below). It’s broken up into smaller segments, so you don’t have to sit there and watch all 3.5 hours to get it all down.