Free Online Bible Classes | Textual Criticism

Textual Criticism

The history of the Greek text behind modern translations

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About this Class

Dr. Daniel Wallace is one of the world's leading textual critics. His ministry, the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM.org) is currently the most prolific organization for discovering, photographing, and cataloging ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. In this class, he discusses the issues of textual variants, how ancient manuscripts were made, the types of errors that we can see in the manuscripts, the issue of the Textus Receptus and its role in the King James translation of the Bible, the historic work of Westcott and Hort, and ends with discussions of the most famous textual problems.

Dr. Wallace gives a three hour summary of this class in our Academy program. The first of the lectures is here.

Please visit Dr. Wallace's ministry, Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts and support them financially. 

Thank you to our friends at Credo House for sharing this class with us. You can purchase their workbook or the DVDs for the class from them.

 

Are there people out there who can help us?

We need the following for each of Dr. Wallace's lectures:

  • Two sentence summary of each lecture

If you can, please contact us here.

Special thanks to Chico Diaz for the detailed outline of each lecture. 

Lectures

Lecture 21

This lecture describes the major problems of TR-only people, who subscribe to an unbiblical Doctrine of Preservation, which as defined, effectively emerges as a Marcionite view of the Bible. Wallace claims that while there is no biblical, exegetical, or empirical basis to argue for the doctrine of preservation, God has overwhelmingly preserved Scripture in a way that is not true of any other ancient literature.

Lecture 22

In this lecture, Daniel Wallace describes the discovery of Sinaiaticus, and its importance to the field of textual criticism. He recounts fascinating details about his visits to St. Catherine’s, the oldest Christian monastery, at the base of Mount Sinai, Egypt.

Lecture 23

This lecture summarizes the life of Constantine von Tischendorf [1815-1874], and his very important discovery of Codex Sinaiticus.

Lecture 24

This lecture describes highlights of the history of NT TC since the TR. Describing the formation of the textus receptus, Wallace also characterizes major players in the process of arriving at the modern text.

Lecture 25

This lecture describes Westcott and Hort, and how they dethroned the Textus Receptus by proving that the Textus Receptus was late, inferior, and secondary.

Lecture 26

This lecture is 1 of 3 lectures on reasoned eclecticism. Eclecticism is the process of compiling a text from multiple sources, while reasoned eclecticism consists of rectifying the differences and evaluating variants based on both their attestation and intrinsic merit.

Lecture 27

This lecture is 2 of 3 lectures on reasoned eclecticism.

Lecture 28

This lecture explains the principles of reasoned eclecticism.

Lecture 29

This is part 1 of 3 lectures explaining some famous textual problems, in this case, Mark 1:41.

Lecture 30

This is part 2 of 3 lectures discussing the famous textual problem of John 5:3-4.

Lecture 31

This is part 3 of 3 lectures explaining some famous textual problems.

Lecture 32

This lecture presents some very technical arguments for why Daniel Wallace believes that the phrase “ουδεουιός” (nor the Son) is not an authentic part of Matthew 24:36.

Lecture 33

This lecture explains the overwhelming evidence that the “Pericope Adulterae” (John 7:53-8:11) is almost certainly not part of the inspired text of the Bible. Some of the most compelling evidence includes these facts: 20% of MSS do not have this text, no MSS through 8th century have this text, no patristic fathers comment on this passage through the 12 century, and the text seems out of place chronologically, stylistically, grammatically, and thematically.

Lecture 34

This lecture explains that although the evidence is not as strong as John 7:53-8:11, the text of Mark 16:9-20 is most likely not part of the original inspired text of scripture.

Lecture 35

This lecture evaluates popular translations of the Bible in terms of their textual basis. The bottom line is that while all translations are interpretations, The Spirit of God has ensured that the truth of the scriptures can be found in any one of them, and reading widely among different versions is good to promote understanding about different concerns of TC.

Lecture 36

As time progresses in the field of Textual Criticism, we continue to get razor-thin closer to the original manuscripts. The good news is that with all the known variants, no essential doctrine of the Christian faith is jeopardized by any viable variant, so we can have great confidence in the text of our Bibles to provide us all we need for life and godliness.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the programs intended for?

The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.

Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?

In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.

Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?

At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.