Sunday, July 12, 2020

Bibliography of New Testament Textual Commentaries

New Testament Textual Commentaries
I’ve been casually compiling a list of New Testament textual commentaries for several months. There is a lot more than just Metzger. I thought it might be helpful to post them here. This wasn’t an exhaustive attempt at getting every single last one of them, so I’m almost certain I’m missing some. I’ll try to keep an eye on the comments in case any readers think of any I missed. I make no judgments on the value of any of these; some are no doubt better than others. There will eventually be a textual commentary to accompany the Tyndale House Greek New Testament, but because it is still in the preparation stages and is not yet published, I leave it off the list.

I am excluding articles, chapters and monographs written on individual variants, and in general commentaries that happen to deal with variants (though Aune's Revelation WBC is an exception). That being said, I do include a few things here that are not primarily textual commentaries but contain interesting or valuable text-critical discussions.

I have arranged the following first in canonical order, then alphabetical by author, then finally by date (earliest first).

Update (8 July 2020): I added a few entries based on feedback from readers. I admit that I'm inconsistent in the way that I have cited sections of books—sometimes as a book section (e.g. Scrivener) and sometimes just mentioning the book itself (e.g. Westcott and Hort). Either way, there should be enough information here to track these works down. Thanks to readers who suggested additions: Jan Krans-Plaisier, Thomas Kraus, Teunis Van Lopik, M.M.R., and Mark Ward.

Whole New Testament

Bengel, Johann Albrecht. Η Καινη Διαθηκη. Novum Testamentum Graecum Ita Adornatum Ut Textus Probatarum Editionum Medullam Margo Variantium Lectionum in Suas Classes Distributarum Locorumque Parallelorum Delectum Apparatus Subiunctus Criseos Sacrae Millianae Praesertim Compendium, Limam, Supplementum Ac Fructum Exhibeat Inserviente Jo. Alberto Bengelio. Tübingen: Cotta, 1734.
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. Apparatus Criticus Ad Novum Testamentum Criseos Sacrae Compendium, Limam, Supplementum Ac Fructum Exhibens. Editio Secunda Curis B. Auctoris Posterioribus Aucta et Emendata, Copiosoque Indice Instructa. Edited by Philipp David Burk. Tübingen: Cotta, 1763.
Comfort, Philip W. New Testament Text and Translation Commentary: Commentary on the Variant Readings of the Ancient New Testament Manuscripts and How They Relate to the Major English Translations. Carol Stream, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers Inc., 2008.
Comfort, Philip W. A Commentary on the Manuscripts and Text of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2015.
Comfort, Philip W. A Commentary on Textual Additions to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2017.
Doedes, Jacobus Izaak. Verhandeling over de tekstkritiek des Nieuwen Verbonds. Haarlem: Bohn, 1844.
Donaldson, Amy M. “Explicit References to New Testament Variant Readings Among Greek and Latin Church Fathers.” PhD thesis, University of Notre Dame, 2009. Available here: Note: If you haven’t been reading Amy Donaldson’s work, what have you been doing with your life? It’s not really a textual commentary, but it contains a kind of anthology of patristic text-critical discussions.
Loken, Israel P., and Rick Brannan. Lexham Textual Notes on the Bible. Lexham Press, 2014. Note from publisher’s website: “For comparison, these notes are more than one might find as a footnote in a modern Bible translation, but less than what one would find in a textual commentary such as those by Metzger, Comfort, or Alford.”
Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. London: United Bible Societies, 1971.
Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. 1st ed., corrected. Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1975. Note: I haven’t checked what the corrections are or what differences there are between these two editions.
Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. 2nd ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Biblegesellschaft, 1994.
Nestle, Eberhard. “Textkritische Bemerkungen Zu Einzelnen Stellen Des NT.s.” In Einführung in das Griechische Neue Testament, 2nd ed., 208–265. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1899.
Published in English as:
Nestle, Eberhard. “Critical Notes on Various Passages of the New Testament.” In Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek New Testament, edited by Allan Menzies, translated by William Edie, 247–335. London: Williams and Norgate, 1901.
New English Translation - Novum Testamentum Graece New Testament. Stuttgart/Dallas: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft/NET Bible Press, 2004. Note: There are some text-critical notes that accompany the NET Bible. I cite the NET+NA27 edition here simply because it was the edition I found at Tyndale House when I made this update to the list.
Omanson, Roger L. A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament. Stuttgart: Deutsche Biblegesellschaft, 2006. Note: I am not sure if this book does much more than simplify/expand/explain Metzger’s Textual Commentary. I admit I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with it, but when I have consulted it, it’s usually just been Metzger re-worded and explained.
Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose. “Application of the Foregoing Materials and Principles to the Criticism of Select Passages of the New Testament.” In A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament for the Use of Biblical Students, edited by Edward Miller, 4th ed., 2:321–412. London: George Bell & Sons, 1894.
Westcott, B. F., and F. J. A. Hort. “Appendix I. Notes on Select Readings,” in Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1882. Note: I’m not sure if this section could be said to be Westcott and Hort or just Hort. On p. 18 of the book, we find the following statement: “For the principles, arguments, and conclusions set forth in the Introduction and Appendix both editors are alike responsible. It was however for various reasons expedient that their exposition and illustration should proceed throughout from a single hand ; and the writing of this volume and the other accompaniments of the text has devolved on Dr Hort.” Update: Resolved (see comments below by Peter Gurry).


Multiple Gospels
Weiss, Bernhard. Textkritik der vier Evangelien. TUGAL NF 4.2. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1899.
Wheeler, Frank. “Textual Criticism and the Synoptic Problem: A Textual Commentary on the Minor Agreements of Matthew and Luke Against Mark.” PhD diss., Baylor University, 1985.
Willker, Wieland. “An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels (12th Edition),” 2015.
Blass, Friedrich. Textkritische Bemerkungen zu Matthäus (BFCT 4.4; Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1900). Note from Jan Krans-Plasier:To be consulted together with Friedrich Blass, Euangelium secundum Matthaeum cum variae lectionis delectu (Leipzig: Teubner, 1901). There is more by Blass, e.g. his editions of Luke, John, Acts, and Hebrews.”
Borland, Jonathan C., Mike Arcieri, and Maurice A. Robinson. “A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament,” 2010–2017. Note: Takes a Byzantine priority position but only covers Matt. 1:5–8:4 (as of 5 July 2020).
Miller, Edward. A Textual Commentary upon the Holy Gospels, Part 1-14. London: George Bell & Sons, 1899. Note: This work defends a ‘traditional text,’ but I admit I haven’t read it enough to know if it simply defends the textus receptus at every point by any means necessary, if it usually defends the textus receptus but occasionally breaks from it in favour of majority text readings, etc.
Blass, Friedrich. Textkritische Bemerkungen zu Markus (BFCT 3.3; Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1899).
Elliott, J. K. “An Eclectic Textual Commentary on the Greek Text of Mark’s Gospel.” In New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis. Essays in Honour of Bruce M. Metzger, edited by Eldon J. Epp and Gordon D. Fee, 47–60. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.
Reprinted as:
Elliott, J. K. “An Eclectic Textual Commentary on the Greek Text of Mark’s Gospel.” In Essays and Studies in New Testament Textual Criticism, 159–170. Estudios de Filologia Neotestamentaria 3. Cordoba: Ediciones el Almendro, 1992.
Elliott, J. K. “An Eclectic Textual Commentary on the Greek Text of Mark’s Gospel.” In The Language and Style of the Gospel of Mark: An Edition of C. H. Turner’s “Notes on Marcan Usage” Together with Other Comparable Studies, 189–201. NovTSup 71. Leiden: Brill, 1993.
Greeven, Heinrich, and Eberhard Güting. Textkritik Des Markusevangeliums. Münster: LIT-Verlag, 2005.
Haelewyck, Jean-Claude. “The Healing of a Leper (Mark 1,40-45):  A Textual Commentary.” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 89.1 (2013): 15–36.
Turner, C. H. “A Textual Commentary on Mark I.” JTS (o.s.) 28.2 (1927): 145–58.
Wasserman, Tommy. “A Short Textual Commentary on the Lucan Travel Narrative (Luke 9:51–19:46).” In Getting Into the Text: New Testament Essays in Honor of David Alan Black, edited by Daniel L. Akin and Thomas W. Hudgins, 90–115. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2017.

Acts + Catholic Epistles

Wachtel, Klaus. “Text-Critical Commentary.” In Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior: III Die Apostelgeschichte / Acts of the Apostles. Teil 3: Studien / Part 3: Studies, edited by Holger Strutwolf, Georg Gäbel, Annette Hüffmeier, Gerd Mink, and Klaus Wachtel, 1–38. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2017.
Rius-Camps, Josep, and Jenny Read-Heimerdinger. The Message of Acts in Codex Bezae: A Comparison with the Alexandrian Tradition. 4 vols. JSNTSup/LNTS. London: Bloomsbury T. & T. Clark, 2004–2009. Note: I mention this 4-volume set simply because of its idiosyncratic emphasis on a particular strand of the manuscript tradition.
Weiss, Bernhard. Die Apostelgeschichte: Textkritische Untersuchungen und Textherstellung. TUGAL, 9.3/4. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1893.
Catholic Epistles
Wachtel, Klaus. Der byzantinische Text der katholischen Briefe: eine Untersuchung zur Entstehung der Koine des Neuen Testaments. ANTF 24. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1995. Note: The textual commentary section of this work concerns the Teststellen used in the Text und Textwert volumes.
Weiss, Bernhard. Die katholischen Briefe: Textkritische Untersuchungen und Textherstellung. TUGAL, 8.3. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1892.
Albin, Carl Axel. Judasbrevet: traditionen, texten, tolkningen. Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 1962. Note: Thanks to Thomas Kraus for directing me to this one.
Landon, Charles. A Text-Critical Study of the Epistle to Jude. JSNTSup 135. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996.
Wasserman, Tommy. The Epistle of Jude: Its Text and Transmission. ConBNT 43. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2006.

Paul (Including Hebrews)

More than one letter
Erasmus, Desiderius. Annotations on Galatians and Ephesians. Edited and translated by Reimer A. Faber. Collected Works of Erasmus 58. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017. Note: I include Erasmus’ Annotations for historical value even though they are really more like a category I have rejected—commentaries that address variants. Additionally, I only include here the volumes currently available in English translation; the rest are, of course, available in Latin.
Weiss, Bernhard. Textkritik der paulinischen Briefe. TUGAL 14.3. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1896.
Erasmus, Desiderius. Annotations on Romans. Translated by John B. Payne, Albert Rabil Jr., Robert D. Sider, and Warren S. Smith Jr. Collected Works of Erasmus 56. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994.
1 Corinthians
Kloha, Jeffrey. “A Textual Commentary on Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.” PhD thesis, University of Leeds, 2006. (Four volumes!)
Carlson, Stephen C. The Text of Galatians and Its History. WUNT 2.385. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015.
Wasserman, Tommy. “A Short Textual Commentary on Galatians.” In Studies on the Text of the New Testament and Early Christianity: Essays in Honor of Michael W. Holmes On the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, edited by Daniel M. Gurtner, Juan Hernández Jr., and Paul Foster, 345–371. NTTSD 50. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
Price, James D. “A Computer-Aided Textual Commentary on the Book of Philippians.” Grace Theological Journal 8.2 (1987): 253–290.
Rodgers, Peter R. “A Textual Commentary on Philippians 2.5–11.” In Text and Community: Essays in Memory of Bruce M. Metzger, Volume 1, edited by J. Harold Ellens, 187–195. New Testament Monographs 19. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2007.
2 Thessalonians
Edwards, Grant G. “The Text and Transmission of 2 Thessalonians.” PhD thesis, University of Birmingham, 2019. Note: The thesis is defended but not available yet, but I’ve seen the Table of Contents, and one of the chapters is a textual commentary. I imagine it will probably be part of a published version eventually, but I mention it here as the PhD thesis because it hasn’t been published yet.
Zimmer, Friedrich. Der Text der Thessalonicherbriefe: samt textkritischem Apparat und Kommentar. Quedlinburg: Chr. Friedr. Viewegs, 1893. Note: This work is different from Zimmer’s earlier work listed below, and this one is hard to describe. There’s an introduction on text-critical method, discussions of manuscripts, etc, and a critical text with an apparatus that blends things together—the manuscript witnesses like a normal apparatus and also bits of commentary mixed in.
Zimmer, Friedrich. “Zur Textkritik des zweiten Thessalonicherbriefes.” Zeitschrift für Wissenschafliche Theologie 31 (1888): 322–342. Note: No shame in admitting that I only know about Zimmer because of Grant.
The Pastorals
Elliott, J. K. The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. Studies and Documents 26. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1968.
A slight revision of:
Elliott, J. K. “An Examination of the Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.” DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1967. UPDATE: Two of the three volumes of this thesis available here.
Solomon, S. Matthew. “The Textual History of Philemon.” PhD. diss., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014. Note: The majority of this work consists of an extensive edition of Philemon with all variants in all known manuscripts (up to 2014; P139 had not been published yet), but it contains a textual commentary section at the end.
Bruce, F. F. “Textual Problems in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” In Scribes and Scripture: New Testament Essays in Honor of J. Harold Greenlee, edited by David Alan Black, 27–39. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992. Note: It was by reading Bruce that I learned that John Calvin (and Erasmus before him) advocated a conjectural emendation at Hebrews 11:37. Calvin rejected the textus receptus there, writing, “The words they were temptedseem superfluous, and I have no doubt that the likeness of the two words επρίσθησαν and έπειράσθησαν was the reason why the second gradually crept into the text being added erroneously by some ignorant scribe, as Erasmus conjectures“ (p. 184 of Johnston’s 1963 translation). On this conjecture, see its entry in the Amsterdam Database of New Testament Conjectural Emendation:


Aune, David E. Revelation. 3 Volumes. Word Biblical Commentary 52a–52c. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998.
Elliott, J. K. “A Short Textual Commentary on the Book of Revelation and the ‘New’ Nestle.” NovT 56.1 (2014): 68–100.
Schmid, Josef. Studies in the History of the Greek Text of the Apocalypse: The Ancient Stems. Translated and edited by Juan Hernández, Jr., Garrick V. Allen, and Darius Müller. Text-Critical Studies 11. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2018.
Originally published as:
Schmid, Josef. Die alten Stämme, vol. 2 of Studien zur Geschichte des griechischen Apokalypse-Textes. MThS 2. Munich: Zink, 1955.
Weiss, Bernhard. Die Johannes-Apokalypse: Textkritische Untersuchungen und Textherstellung. TUGAL, 7.1. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1891.

Finally (things that I add here for fun)

I’d like to point readers to Drew Longacre’s list of Old Testament text-critical resources, which includes a section on the “Text-Critical Commentaries, Monographs, and Lists of Variants” that are available online.

Also, this one caught me by surprise, because it is completely outside of the circles I travel in. Royal Skousen has written what looks to me like a textual commentary on textual variants in the Book of Mormon, and it’s available online, here.

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