How do you teach textual criticism to your students? In the program that I teach in, students get a single lecture on "text and canon" in first semester, a whole lecture on the text and transmission of the New Testament in a second semester Greek class, and thereafter they cover text critical issues spasmodically in subsequent exegesis classes.
In my first year class when I cover "Text and Canon" the lecture takes the following form:
a. Clearing the deck. (i) Bible did not fall from the sky bound in leather, written in ye-old-Englishe, with words of Jesus in red, with Scofield footnotes, and with an introduction by J.I. Packer or Alister McGrath; and (ii) the Bible was not transmitted along the lines of a game of Chinese Whispers where "send reinforcements we're going to advance" becomes "send three and six pence, we are going to a dance".
b. Introduce the different witnesses. I talk about papyri, codices, lectionaries, patristic quotations, etc.
c. Examples of textual differences. I use Acts 4.1 and the variants related to "Priests" or "Chief Priests" or "High Priests" to illustrate the problem.
d. Reasons for differences in the text.
e. Principles of textual criticism.
How do you teach textual criticism to your first year students?