an introduction to the textual criticism of the new testament

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II. THE METHODS OF CRITICISM IT has been already pointed out that there are but two kinds of evidence to which we can appeal in prosecuting the work of criticising a text,—external and internal evidence. All methods of criticism are, therefore, but various ways of using these kinds of evidence; and when we undertake to investigate the methods of criticism, we simply inquire how we are to proceed in order to reach firm conclusions as to the text by means of internal and external evidence. We have been busied thus far in merely gathering the external testimony, and the reader is doubtless in a position to appreciate how little the mere collection of the testimony has advanced us in deciding on the text. It is our business now to consider how we may attain a grounded decision as to the true text. 1. Internal Evidence Of Readings. The most rudimentary method of dealing with the variations that emerge in the collection of the external testimony would be to use the external evidence only to advertise to us the fact of variation and to furnish us with the readings between which choice Ib to be madej and then to aettle the claimsof the rival readings on internal grounds. Most crudely performed, this would be to select, out of the readings actually transmitted, that one which seemed to us to make the best sense in the connection, or to account most easily for the origin of the others. It requires no argument to point out the illegitimacy of thus setting aside the external evidence unheard; or the danger of thus staking everything upon our insight into the exact intention of the author or the springs of action that moved men through a millennium and a half of copying, if this insight be exercised extemporaneously, as it were, and without a very severe previous study of t... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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