Re: Passing of another renowned NT scholar

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Fri Jun 05 1998 - 14:06:33 EDT

Clay Bartholomew writes in response to me:

> Allen's name was on the title-page of every Greek New Testament for
> decades; being one of the original four editors of the United Bible
> Societies' GNT. His name finally disappeared when the 4th edition
> (worst of the series!) . . .


Your comment about the UBSGNT 4th " (worst of the series!)" caught my
attention. Are you referring primarily to the abominable type face, the one
molecule thick paper (also used in later printings of UBSGNT 3rd) or are you
also making reference to the reworking of the textual apparatus?


The truth is that I meant all of the above.
        (1) The paper is dreadful (yes, it was introduced in the printings
            of the "Corrected" 3rd edition).
        (2) The typeface is so bad that I can't read it without help.
            The beautiful typeface used before (with lead type) was
            abandoned, even though I understand (I think it was Rod Decker
            who researched this) they had available a computer-generated
            font very like unto the previous one.
        (3) The apparatus has upgraded by far the majority of variants--
            D readings become C, C become B, B become A (new definitions
            allow this "grade-inflation").
        (4) While the 4th uses the text of 3-corrected, the text steadily
            shifted more and more in the direction of a Byzantine-type
            from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd. This was a mistake in
            my not-very-humble opinion. Wikgren answered my letters about
            the changes with the message, "I was outvoted!"
                Rather than say more here, see what I said in _A Textus
                Receptus Redivivus?"_, about 20 years ago, published by
                the Center for Hermeneutical Studies in Berkeley.

I confess that unless and until the UBS published an edition with easy-to-
read type, I'm going to use the Mestle-Aland 27 instead. The apparatus is
better anyway, and the type is now a little better than in the older
editions, and quite a bit more readable than the UBS 4th.

Edward Hobbs

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