Friday, October 31, 2008

New work by Philip Comfort now available

A couple of days ago I received a copy of Philip Comfort’s publication, 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, published by Tyndale House Publishers. The volume is primarily an in-depth textual commentary on the major variants in the NT, with references to how various English translations have handled the text included at times. From what I’ve reviewed so far, the volume should be a great help for students since it offers far more info than Metzger’s volume and covers more variants, with the analysis often including various viewpoints from commentaries as well as text critics. It’s a substantial volume—899 pages, and seems to be up-to-date on the manuscript evidence as well as textual arguments. For most of the treated variants, the readings are given in both Greek and English, the major witnesses are listed for each, and then a discussion of the data and most likely reading follows. When English translations differ on what they are printing, they are mentioned as well. Overall, the volume looks to be a solid addition to the growing number of resources in the field for both exegetes and TC students.


  1. Thanks Bill, that sounds great. I'm sure it will be useful and hopefully interesting and stimulating (I don't always agree with Philip, but I always find his arguments interesting). Something to put on the shopping list for SBL.

  2. As one of those "interested layman" types, I'm very pleased to have this volume and am impressed with its detail and its student-friendliness. It is a fine first stop reference on questions of both textual criticism and translation.

    I think Comfort achieved his goal (as stated in the Preface) of providing a volume for English readers showing how textual criticism affects translation and exegesis.

    Well done, Philip. Worth the wait since reading about it in the notes of "Encountering the Manuscripts" in 2005.

    Chuck Grantham

  3. Hmm. Any chance we could see his data on Mk. 16:9-20 without having to purchase the book?