Disputed New Testament Passages: Textual Criticism Put Into Practice

There are many textual variants found among the manuscripts of the Greek New Testament. Some are easily solvable while others are a bit more problematic. In this collection, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) discusses the instances where the distinction of the original from the variants is still debated amongst text-critics.


1. What Christian Beliefs Are Based on Textually Dubious Passages?

Textual variants have had an influence upon Christian doctrine. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) discusses the impact of the variants that are both viable and meaningful to our understanding of a passage. Some texts are discussed – such as John 7:53–8:11 – where the importance may not be so much doctrinal as emotional.


2. Did the Son of God Deny His Own Omniscience?: A Look at Matthew 24:36

Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) applies the methodology of textual criticism to a controversial passage, Matthew 24:36. Though the passage is often used to support the claim that parts of the New Testament were edited by proto-orthodox scribes, the evidence seems to indicate that it was the evangelist himself who created the variant.


3. Daniel Wallace’s Favorite Passage That Is Not in the Bible

The story of the woman caught in adultery found traditionally in John 7:53-8:11 is one the most beloved and well-known stories from the Christian tradition. Many would go so far as to claim that these verses are their favorite in all of the Bible. However, in light of their popular embrace, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) shows how the evidence is almost overwhelming that these verses were not originally included in John’s gospel. Strangely enough, the verses still remain in almost all of the modern English translations. Dr. Wallace gives reasons why they remain, and conversely, why they ought to be relegated to a footnote instead.


4. Does the Lack of an Erasmian Promise Vindicate I John 5:7?

n 1 John 5:7, there is a debated Trinitarian formula which proponents of KJV-only defend as original. But if Erasmus did not promise to include the formula, known to textual critics as the Comma Johanneum, does that mean the Trinitarian formula is closer to the original text? Bill Brown for the Center of the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) suggests that the evidence from the manuscripts argues for an original text that does not include the Comma.


5. What if We Found the Original New Testament … and Didn’t Know It?

An audio presentation from Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM). Here Dr. Wallace discusses the qualities and criteria that must exist in manuscripts if we were to identify them as original manuscripts of the New Testament.


6. What Did John the Baptist Say about Jesus?: The Text of John 1:34

In this video, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) applies the methodology of New Testament textual criticism (NTTC) to John 1:34. The passage concerns the confession of John the Baptist regarding whether he said that Jesus is “the son of God” or “chosen one of God.”


7. The Number of the Beast: 666 or 616?

Papyrus 115 (P115) has shown itself to be of great interest to the study of the Book of Revelation. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) details its significance as well as a few others to our understanding of the dreaded number of the beast. Was the number of the beast actually 666?