Skip to main content

Book: A Commentary on the Manuscripts and Text of the New Testament

Yep, it’s a long title. And a short book. Actually, not that short. It comes in at 416 pages but the paper is quite thin, creating a very trim size hardcover.

The book itself, A Commentary on the Manuscripts and Text of the New Testament (hereafter something like “The Commentary”) presents not only the differing manuscript readings throughout the New Testament (in canonical order) but also discusses which readings seem most likely. There are also notes on where some manuscripts have used devices such as nomen sacrum (a marker for sacred names) and potential explanations for various manuscript development.

In short, Comfort attempts to explain many of the variants that are often footnoted in newer translations and also to highlight important facts lost in the realities of translations. It is a highly academic work. The first two chapters will orient the reader to the issues involved in textual criticism, but one definitely needs to be read-up in Greek to truly benefit from what’s going on here.

Now, there are some good reviews (like Dr. Varner’s here)that walk through the ups and downs of the academic work. I am, unfortunately, not as versed in all the academics as I would like to be. If you are doing deeper academic work, check for reviews and recommendations in the academic world.

I am not an academic, but just an ordinary pastor. That means I grapple with different texts every week and rarely have time to fully research all the textual issues related to any of them. Further, I’m leaning on Greek I learned a while back, and am trying to keep up with in these days. My view of Comfort’s Commentary is related to its usefulness for an every week preacher and teacher of the Bible.

First, it’s not a necessary book. As much as I like it, it’s not critical to your weekly preaching. The information is helpful on background but not absolutely necessary. In fact, if you don’t know how to work this into your teaching ministry, you can do more harm with it than good.

Second, though, is that this is a helpful book. If you’re putting together an in-depth study, this illuminates some of the background. Further, Comfort has provided a deeper look at something we often lean on a book-specific commentary for. Here, we have a look at the text as a whole and how the variants developed. It’s handy. Especially in those times when I have a little bit of extra study opportunities.

Form factor is great. Fits right alongside my Greek New Testament, my Apostolic Fathers, and the smaller hardcovers. Put it on your “should get at some point” list.

I was provided a copy by Kregel Academic in exchange for the review.


Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: are stockpiled here:!