Review of Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism
The broad types of Textual Criticism are generally as follows:
Conservative Christian Textual Criticism which has been influenced by Liberal Christian Textual Criticism and is written in order to influence
Fundamentalist Christian Textual Criticism.
Specifically, let's first jump to a relatively important part of the book:
It's surprising that the LE (16:9-20) was not one of the examples ("three variants") given since even Conservative Christian Textual Criticism (CCTC) generally considers it one of the most important Textual Criticism issues due to quality and quantity. The book's attempted defense:CHAPTER TEN MYTHS ABOUT VARIANTS WHY MOST VARIANTS ARE INSIGNIFICANT AND WHY SOME CAN’T BE IGNORED
SOME DIFFICULT AND IMPORTANT VARIANTS
let us sample the most difficult and important variants in the New Testament. This should provide us with a more realistic sense of whether textual variants pose a serious threat to the Christian faith in general or inspiration in particular.
These three variants are certainly not the only ones in the Gospels, but they are illustrative. It is important to stress that most books of the New Testament have only a handful of variants that combine this level of importance and difficulty. Others we could mention in the Gospels occur at Matthew 12:47; 19:9; 21:29-31; 24:36; 26:28; Mark 1:2; 16:9-20;
To summarize then the book's defense of textual variation for the ending of GMark is:That reason is that Christians do not base their theology on a single verse here or there, let alone a single word or two within them. Instead, theology at its best is built on a web of biblical evidence—that is to say, on the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). As theologian John Frame notes in discussing the impact of textual variants on theology, “Scripture is highly redundant, in a good way,” such that “the doctrines of the Christian faith are never derived from a single text.”59 In this way, when one passage on the Trinity is suspect, many others rush in to take its place. The thick web of theology is not destroyed for lack of one strand that turns out not to be silk.
Likewise, we may be content to say that the story of the woman caught in adultery (Jn 7:53–8:11) is not the only place where we see Jesus’ mercy on full display or that the key elements in Mark 16:9-20 are recorded elsewhere, but would any go so far as to say that these texts have no effect on our teaching, preaching, or Christian living? The very fact that they continue to draw so much interest tells against such a conclusion. Clearly, then, they have some effect, even if it is small when put in perspective of the whole of Christian faith and practice.
- 1) The basic information in the LE is also in other parts of the Christian Bible.
2) This textual criticism issue has no significant effect on Christian assertions.
The Textual Criticism issue of the ending of GMark is not a significant problem for Christianity but it should be for the following reasons:
- 1. Degree of Importance. One of the most important assertions of Christianity is that there was historical witness to a resurrected Jesus which GMark lacks without the LE.
2. Quality of where it is missing. As far as the defense of the missing information being elsewhere, even CCTC confesses that GMark is the original Gospel that the next two were based on, so where it is missing is a relatively bigger problem.
3. Nature of the editing. Here the LE reverses the assertion of GMark from no historical witness to multiple historical witness.
4. Quantity of the editing. Here we have an entire story that was either there or not there.
Skeptical Textual Criticism