Metzger’s Textual Commentary – Which edition to buy

I just had an interesting book purchasing experience. I wanted to buy the famous Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by Bruce Metzger. But when it came time to make my purchase, I could not figure out which edition to buy. There seem to be three different editions, but now I think there are actually only two.

1. First Edition of the Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by Bruce Metzger, published in 1971.
2. Section Edition of the Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, published in 1994. ISBN: 3438060108.

The 2nd edition is, of course, the best one to use. However, some people on the internet complain that it omits some information from the first edition. On Amazon and other online retailers, you’ll also find a 2006 edition by Hendrickson Publishers called “second revised edition” or the “ancient greek edition.” It also has a different ISBN:1598561642. I searched and searched and could find no academic reviews of this 2006 edition. I also looked at the electronic versions of this resource for the big Bible software programs (BibleWorks, Logos, Accordance) and they all use the 1994 edition. So, as far as I can tell, the 1994 edition is the last, final, definitive edition. The difference in ISBN’s comes from the fact that the 343*** edition is leather bound and the 157*** edition is hardback. So, I bought the 1994 edition since I like leather more than cardboard.

UPDATE: Well, Amazon said it was 1994, but it was actually 2005. It is the Metzger/Ehrman Fourth edition. I also found a very important book review of this 4th edition. I printed it out and am keeping it in the book as a reminder of the changes Ehrman made to Metzger’s work–some good, some bad. The review can be found here: Daniel Wallace, Review of The Text of the New Testament, JETS 49 (2006) 821-24.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *