Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation

Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation

Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation

Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation


A distinguished group of scholars here introduces and illustrates the array of strategies and methods used in New Testament study today. Standard approaches -- text criticism, historical methods, etc. -- appear side by side with newer approaches -- narrative criticism, Latino-Latina hermeneutics, theological interpretation of the New Testament, and more. First published in 1995, Hearing the New Testament is now revised and updated, including rewritten chapters, new chapters, and new suggestions for further reading.

  • Efrain Agosto
  • Loveday C. A. Alexander
  • James L. Bailey
  • Stephen C. Barton
  • Richard Bauckham
  • C. Clifton Black
  • Holly J. Carey
  • Bart D. Ehrman
  • Stephen E. Fowl
  • Joel B. Green
  • Richard B. Hays
  • Mark Allan Powell
  • Emerson B. Powery
  • F. Scott Spencer
  • Max Turner
  • Kevin J. Vanhoozer
  • Robert W. Wall


Bart D. Ehrman

Unlike other methods discussed in this book, textual criticism is not an “option” for interpreters of the nt. Whereas other approaches presuppose the wording of the text under consideration, textual criticism determines that wording. To put the matter somewhat differently, we cannot begin to explore what a text means until we know what it says. Rather than interpreting the text, textual criticism decides which words belong in the text. For this reason, textual criticism is a foundational discipline — indeed, the foundational discipline — for nt studies.

1. Why Textual Criticism Is Needed

We need the discipline of textual criticism because we do not have the original manuscripts of any of the books of the nt. What we have are copies that were made much later than the originals, in most instances many centuries later. These later copies were not themselves made from the autographs; they were instead made from copies of copies of copies of the autographs. the problem with these later copies, the ones that have survived to our day, is that they all differ p> — and there

1. the term “autograph” comes from the Greek auto-graphos: “written with one’s own hand.” It is used to refer to the original manuscript produced by an author.

2. the term “manuscript” is Latin, meaning “hand-written” (manus = hand; scriptum = something written). It typically refers to any handwritten text.

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