Friday, June 10, 2011

SBL Greek New Testament

P. J. Williams has posted an extensive review of the new The Greek New Testament:  SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) Edition (SBLGNT), edited by Michael Holmes, at the Evangelical Text Criticism blog.  The production of this new resource will undoubtedly have a huge impact on future text criticism and translation work.  For years the dominant modern critical texts have been those published by the United Bible Society (UBS) and the German Bible Society (Nestle-Aland).  This resource may well eclipse them both in popularity.  For one thing, the SBL Greek NT is the first primarily electronic Bible,  available for free to download online (though you can also purchase a print edition) and offering various formats and apps (note especially the Lexham English Bible interlinier).  For now it closely resembles the NA 27th ed, though Williams notes there have been some major editorial changes:

What may be said is that Holmes has been a thorough and bold editor, generally eschewing brackets as a poor substitute for decisiveness. One may wonder why the Pericope Adulterae and Romans 16:25-27 are relegated to footnotes, whereas the ‘Intermediate Ending’ of Mark is placed in a section in the main body of the work in a section entitled ‘Other Endings of Mark’. Perhaps at least Romans 16:25-27 ought to have merited a section entitled ‘Other Endings of Romans’, since it is far more widely attested than the ‘Intermediate Ending’ of Mark.

So, the new SBL Greek NT has removed John 7:53-8:11 and Romans 16:25-27 from the text of Scripture.  It has also added the so-called "Intermediate ending" of Mark.  It appears that it will only be a matter of time before modern Bible translators that have abandoned the traditional text of Scripture and are wholly dependent on secular modern text criticism produce vernacular Bibles that reflect these kinds of editorial decisions in their base text.

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