Textual Criticism.

From: Revcraigh@aol.com
Date: Wed Oct 22 1997 - 14:13:56 EDT

On a post recently (I'm sorry, but I'm not sure now which one), matters of
Textual Criticism were being discussed. Now I took a course in Seminary on
this, and remember, in broad outline, much of what was taught. Are there any
Experts in the field who can run through the basics for us less-than-experts
in the field? I'm sure I could buy any of a number of books on the topic and
study but both my time and my cash resources are very limited.

For example, it would seem to make sense that the older a manuscript is, the
closer it is to the original (having presumably undergone fewer copyings and
therefore subject to fewer changes, either intentional or unintentional on
the part of scribes). But does this mean that a 3rd Century manuscript is
necessarily more accurate than a 9th Century manuscript or later at a given
reading? What other considerations, besides dates, must be taken into account
in deciding on variants between these?

Also, I remember about manuscripts being grouped into families based upon
similarities in variants; but I don't remember which families were considered
better (if such a word could be used in this connection) than others. What
about this?

I recall being taught about variant readings being easier or more difficult
to explain than others, but not necessarily upon what basis a given reading
might be easier to explain than another.

I can understand if this is too much to ask for anyone to go into here. If I
must buy and read a book, I'll just have to start saving. Also, I haven't
been participating in this list for all that long. If these matters have been
thoroughly discussed already, perhaps someone could point me in the right
direction in finding these in the Archives, etc.

Thanks and God bless.

Rev. Craig R. Harmon

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