David Alan Black (DTheol, University of Basel) is professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books, including It's Still Greek to Me.
Reviews - What do customers think about New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide?
If you don't know anything, you can certainly start here. Jan 12, 2003
What is textual criticism? Why is it necessary? How should it be done? At eighty pages (of large type), Black's introduction to New Testament textual criticism can be read in a single sitting and provides answers to these questions.
Black introduces the reader (any reader) to the various manuscripts underlying the New Testament and presents the different perspectives on textual criticism. As stated in the preface, "this volume attempts to make the findings of scholarship accessible to a wide readership. Nothing in this book is taken for granted. Every term, every problem, is explained clearly, concisely, and 'from scratch'." I certainly found this to be true. The first two chapters discuss the need for textual criticism and the different approaches to the task. The final chapter provides a few examples to help the reader understand some of the issues faced by textual critics as they try to determine the original Greek text behind the New Testament. The bibliography gives you a number of additional reading suggestions to move beyond "A Concise Guide".
If you are simply a lay person as I am, reading this book will allow you to have a better understanding of why some Bibles occassionally offer footnotes containing alternate translations. Black's book will also give you a better understanding of the history behind the New Testament scriptures and how they have been preserved from the apostles' time to our own. If there is a drawback to the book, it would probably be that you may find the price to be a bit high for such a short book.
If you don't want to go any further than an introductory understanding of textual criticism, then this is probably a great book for you. (The author also suggests that it could be useful as a "refresher" for those already familiar with textual criticism.) If you are looking to get involved in a more thorough understanding of the debated approaches to textual criticism, there are likely other books out there that would better satisfy that desire - though they are probably not concise introductions.
a valuable tool for Greek students Nov 21, 2000
New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide, written by David Alan Black, is indeed what the title details. Written compactly and with little frivolous information, David Black gives not only the experienced, but also the novice greek student a solid foundation upon which to base a practice of textual criticism. A unique feature in this remarkably short work, the material given is contained as much in appendixed form and bibliographical information as in traditional text. A wonderful guide for further scholarship, the author entices the reader to further explore the original text of the New Testament.