Preface to the electronic edition (2005)

This book by F.G. Kenyon, first published in 1936, is dated in some respects, but I reproduce it here without alteration except for some minor adjustments to Chapter 2, where the Old Testament is under discussion. Kenyon's review of the text-critical situation with regards to the OT is largely obsolete now. The reader should consult the supplementary chapter by F.F. Bruce and other treatments which post-date the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also, in chapters 8, 9, and 10, Kenyon's remarks concerning the so-called "Caesarean text" are in need of correction. I have inserted in the appropriate places an editorial note pointing to the opinions of more recent scholars here. Otherwise the text is unchanged from the supplemented edition published in 1964. With the exceptions noted here, Kenyon's work continues to be a useful overview of the history of New Testament textual criticism, and the supplementary chapter by F.F. Bruce substantially represents the opinions of scholars today. There have been many studies and refinements since 1964, and a few more manuscripts have been published, but these past forty years have seen no major changes in scholarly opinion regarding the history of the text of the New Testament.

Michael D. Marlowe
January, 2005