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Metzger’s Textual Criticism Criteria

1. External Evidence

* Date of the witness/type of text
* Geographical distribution of the witnesses that agree in supporting a variant
* Genealogical relationship of texts and families of witnesses – Witnesses should be weighed, not counted

2. Internal Evidence

a. Transcriptional Probabilities depend upon considerations of palaeographical details and the habits of scribes

* In general the more difficult reading is to be preferred
* In general the shorter reading is to be preferred
* That reading is to be preferred which stands in verbal dissidence with the other

b. Intrinsic Probabilities depend upon considerations of what the author was more likely to have written, taking into account:

* The style and vocabular of the author
* The immediate context
* Harmony with the usage of the author elsewhere
* The Aramaic background of the teaching of Jesus
* The priority of the Gospel according to Mark
* The influence of the Christian community upon the formulation and transmission of the passage in quesiton

Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, pg. 209-210


About theologian

I'm a child of the King, my Father who is in Heaven, by the precious blood of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. I am married with children and currently reside in Pennsylvania. I am a Pastor with the Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches (ACRC) working as an Urban Missionary in Chester, PA. Throughout my time in ministry God has also blessed me with opportunities for formal education by which I earned my terminal degree (Doctor of Theology) from New Geneva Theological Seminary in 2013.


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