In 1885, the Revised Version of the Bible was published and in 1901 its American counterpart was published. This caused quite a stir as many saw this an attack on the King James Version, the true words of God. At the foundation of this debate was the Greek New Testament by B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort.
These two British professors sought to compile the best Greek New Testament from the best available manuscripts and to modernize the English Bible for the English-speaking peoples. This had not been done for almost 300 years as the King James Version was the predominate version in use. Thus, they set out to produce a Greek New Testament for use in the translation of a new Bible.
Hendrickson Publishers has produced a copy of this Greek New Testament for those studying Greek and who want to see the Greek Text that is the basis for almost every major English, Bible translation in the world today. Reading this Greek New Testament is not only reading a scholarly work it is also reading history.
One can read the Greek text and then notice the variants in the footnotes. Seeing the decisions by Westcott and Hort as to what enters the main text and what is brought down to the footnotes is an excellent resource for those studying textual criticism. It is also interesting to see what Westcott and Hort determined prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Another feature of this book is the condensed lexicon by Mark A. House. This allows the reader to see the uses of a greek word and see how it has been translated. It also lists the location of the use so the reader can see the word contextually allowing for a better grasp of the Greek usage.
One surprise for me was the article by Westcott and Hort titled The Principals of Textual Criticism. This article lays the groundwork for those interested in how scholars determine what words enter the main text of work and the variants that are placed in the footnotes. It is also a nice primer for those who may desire to enter the field of textual criticism and potentially become Bible translator or defenders of the Bible against attacks.
One thing to note about this book is that it is not an updated work of Westcott and Hort’s New Testament adding the information with recent manuscript discoveries. Those having the UBS5 or NA28 will notice the differences and should be cautious using this text assuming it has the most current resources available.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.