I've seen the UBS4 and can make a couple of comments about
it. The text remains identical to the UBS3. The type face
is different, and to my eyes, a tad distracting. The apparatus
have been thoroughly revamped. A number of the less significant
(in the committee's judgment) variants have been gotten rid of
altogether (those dealing with minutia); others of greater
significance are now included. Moreover, the committee went
over its ranking system, and changed a large number of "D"'s
to "C"'s, "C"'s to "B"'s, and "B"'s to "A"'s -- not actually
because of additional evidence, for the most part, but rather
because with the passing of time it has apparently grown
more confident about the correctness of its decisions. Rarely
(in fact, to my knowledge, never), is a ranking *lowered*
rather than *raised." Most users will be astounded at the
number of A's and B's on this report card.
Single brackets continue to be used. For some odd reason,
these are given C instead of D ratings (i.e., there are D
ratings without brackets, but C ratings with them). There are
some different sigla included in the apparatus, but most importantly,
the evidence (chiefly, I think the Patristic) has been checked
and thoroughly reworked, so that presumably we have here a more
accurate representation -- although it is still not exhaustive
by any stretch.
Rather than a punctuation apparatus, there is now an apparatus
that deals with "Discourse Segmentation." This deals with
major text divisions (paragraph and subparagraph, section headings,
etc.) as found in a variety of modern translations and Greek
editions. The logic of this change isn't made explicit
to my knowledge (based on a quick perusal), but appears to be
related to the movement in linguistics into discourse analysis.
The familiar five editors of the previous editions are named
(as editors of previous editions); for the fourth edition, M.
Black and Allen Wikgren have been replaced by Barbara Aland and
Johannes Karavidopoulos. K. Aland, Metzger, and Martini remain.
The Introduction, of course, has been rewritten to explain
the new apparatus.
-- Bart D. Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill