Item description for The Quest for the Original Text of the New Testament by Philip W. Comfort...
An examination of the accuracy of New Testament manuscripts that challenges the modern view that early copyists were careless and took editorial liberties. Comfort assures Christians that finding the very manuscripts signed by Paul's hand would not change modern understandings of what he said.
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Philip W. Comfort, Ph.D., has studied English literature, Greek, and New Testament at the Ohio State University and the University of South Africa. He has taught these classes at a number of colleges, including Wheaton College, Trinity Episcopal Seminary, Columbia International University, and Coastal Carolina University. He is currently senior editor of Bible reference at Tyndale and served as New Testament editor for the New Living Translation.
He has contributed a number of books to the Tyndale collection, both as author and editor. Among these are The New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, The Origin of the Bible, The Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Essential Guide to Bible Versions, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (with D. Barrett), and Who's Who in Christian Historyall of which are currently available at Tyndale.
Philip lives in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, with his wife, Georgia. His three children (Jeremy, John, and Peter) live nearby, as do his grandchildren. He enjoys the ocean, soccer, and writing poetry.
Philip W. Comfort has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Quest for the Original Text of the New Testament?
Not to be trusted Jul 2, 2007
The most incisive review of this book was written by William L. Petersen in the Autumn 1994 issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature (Vol. 113, No. 3.). Quoting the last paragraph of the review: "In short, Comfort's acquaintance with both the literature of textual criticism and its issues is utterly inadequate. Time and again he speaks of "believing" (pp. 9,20, 37). One can see why. This book, with its Abfall Theorie of textual origins (a view as discredited in textual matters as it is in issues of church history), serves as an example of a particular genre of pseudo-scholarship, which finds its way into certain schools and churches and then into students. This is unfortunate, for the unlearning of this volume's half-truths and outright untruths will be a painful experience for the student and an unwarranted waste of time for the professor. The publisher and external reviewers are to be rebuked for allowing such nonsense into print."
Petersen was Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins in the Religious Studies Program at Penn State University. He was a widely respected scholar and authority in this area.
A Good Overview of the Textual Issue Nov 2, 2006
It is a sad commentary that people who worship their King James Bible often lose all contact with spiritual reality. Along comes Dr. Comfort, a high church Anglican and conservative, to expound the Westcott and Hort theory.
The W-H theory has its flaws, which all true scholars acknowledge. Hort never applied the genealogical method to the manuscripts, mostly because it is impossible to know how many generations of manuscripts are between manuscript A and B. Cogent criticism and modifications have been endorsed by Colwell, Aland, Fee, and Epp, in addition to Kirsopp Lake.
Yet none of these holds to Textus Receptus priority and for good reason. The Textus Receptus itself was never seen on the planet until a Roman Catholic (remember the reviewer who spoke of 'papists' - he seems to not know that Erasmus was a Catholic, which certainly calls his conclusions into question) named Desiderius Erasmus strung it together from somewhere between five and eleven manuscripts. ALL of those manuscripts were LATE - the eleventh century or later - and in most cases he had only one manuscript per section of the New Testament.
Comfort points all this out and so much more in great detail. If you wish to know to the history of the Christian bible, you cannot go wrong by including this book. I would also recommend Comfort's "Essential Guide To Bible Versions" and the "Studies and Documents" series by the Lake foundation.
ABSURD Oct 8, 2006
How a modern "Textual Scholar" can write a book promoting a theory that was MADE UP by Westcot and Hort, without a shred of evidence, but instead, to help their theories, that were groundless, is beyond understanding. The Critical Text position is factually wrong, and unhistorical. The idea that the churches of Jesus Christ LOST THE TRUE NT TEXT FOR OVER 1500 YEARS, until two apostate Protestant scholars, united with concealed Papists and Unitarians gave it back to us is demented. Only a "scholar" could be so easily deceived, but not a Bible-believing, Spirit led Christian interested in facts and the Providence of God. The Textus Receptus IS the RECEIVED Text, and THE TEXT of the church since the Apostolic days. Facts and Faith in God's Providential dealings lead us there. The realms of scholarship are riddled with apostasy and unbelief, hence Comfort's absurd book and thesis.
favors the theory of a 4th century recension Jun 9, 2000
This is a scolarly presentation of the viewpoint that a recension took place in the fourth century produced by Lucian of Antioch which incorporated hundreds (if not thousands) of textual changes in the New Testament. It is the author's opinion that the Majority Text, or Textus Receptus, is made up basically of 5th through 14th century copies of this recension, and therefore the text does not represent the original wording of the Greek New Testament. The author argues that the concept that the church loses the original Word of God and then recovers it falls in line with the biblical concept of recovery.
This thesis is, of course, contrary to that of the proponents of the Majority Text, who believe that God has always preserved a true rendering of his Word throughout the entire church age. Majority Text proponents feel that there is either not enough evidence to support the idea of a fourth century recension, or they feel that thousands of manuscripts should not be summarily dismissed as evidence simply on the grounds that some (or many) believe there was a fourth century recension.
The author argues for the superiority of the Alexandrian text over the Lucian text and feels that those older (Alexandrian) manuscripts be given more weight than the erroneous, though more numerous, majority Text manuscripts.
The author's viewpoint is well argued and although a knowledge of Greek would be definitely advantageous to a study of this book, its main points can be easily understood even with no language background. Recommended reading.