SBL’s New Edition of the Greek New Testament

The SBL has announced that they will be putting forth a new version of the Greek New Testament, which has been edited by Michael Holmes.

The version is not intended to replace the well-established Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, nor is it really equipped to do so; according to the announcement found on the Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog, “this text may be considered a ‘reading edition,’ with the apparatus serving to alert the reader to the most important places where there are differences between editions of the Greek NT and to indicate how the other editions have handled matters.”

The primary resources in establishing the text are:

  1. Westcott-Hort (1881)
  2. S.P. Tregelles (1857-1879)
  3. Goodrich-Lukaszewski (2003)
  4. Robinson-Pierpont (2005)

As I see it, there are several upsides to the new SBL edition. First, it is free for download in .pdf format (or will be soon, according to the website). This means that those who have a Kindle or some other sort of tablet reading device will be able to take their text with them electronically. The SBL will offer a print version of the text (which I’m looking forward to seeing in November), but those who have no need for another Greek New Testament will likely be satisfied in just having the .pdf files. Second, it will draw attention to the more major text-critical issues in the NT. As it stands, the critical apparatus of the Nestle-Aland can be somewhat exhausting. Third, did I mention that it is free?!

Considering that this edition is in no way intended to replace the critical editions already in use, my first complaint, that the apparatus is not detailed enough, is invalid. I really only have one beef with the new SBL Greek New Testament, and that is that it uses the SBL Greek Font, which I despise.

See more on this text here, here, and here.

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2 thoughts on “SBL’s New Edition of the Greek New Testament

  1. Do you think would be a benefit to systematic theologians, too? I could see myself checking this document – especially because it is free – to see if there might be scholarly debates I need to wade into even for my own work. I could also see this completely leading me astray into problems I do not comprehend.

  2. I absolutely think that this will be helpful to systematic theologians. Often, I think the critical apparatus in the standard Greek New Testaments scares off those who have not been trained to decipher it. Heck, I’ve been using the Nestle-Aland for years now, and I still have to check the introduction to see what some of the abbreviations mean!

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