Gerbel, 1521. N. Gerbel, Novum Testamentum Graece. Hagenau: T. Anshelm, 1521.

An edition based upon Erasmus' second edition. It is regarded by some as the text employed by Martin Luther in his German translation (1522).

Green, 1856. Thomas Sheldon Green, A Course of Developed Criticism on Passages of the New Testament materially affected by Various Readings. London: Samuel Bagster & Sons, 1856.

Green briefly illustrates the practice of textual criticism for 205 passages of the New Testament in which the readings of the older manuscripts are significantly different from the ones to be found in the traditional text.

Green, 1979. Jay P. Green, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English Bible. Lafayette, Indiana: Assoc. Publishers & Authors, 1979.

This book is now available in reprint from Hendrickson Publishers. Green's Greek text is identical to Scrivener 1881. At the end of the New Testament volume, Green gives a Greek collation of readings compiled by William Pierpont, called "Majority Text Notes," which gives the readings of the majority of manuscripts (see Pierpont and Robinson 1991) where they differ from those of Scrivener's text.

Greenlee, 1964. Harold J. Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964.

Gregory, 1900. Caspar Rene Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testaments. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1900.

Contains a wealth of information on the individual manuscripts, including a comprehensive catalog (compare Scrivener and Miller 1894).

Gregory, 1908. Caspar Rene Gregory, Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1908.

Gregory's last and longest list of manuscripts (compare Scrivener and Miller 1894).

Grenfell and Hunt, 1898. Bernard Pyle Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. 15 volumes. London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898-1922.

In these volumes were published, among many other things, the texts that appear on shreds of 21 papyrus manuscripts of books of the New Testament, which were discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in ancient rubbish heaps at the site of Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. Most of them are believed to be from the beginning of the third century; at the time of their publication they were the earliest known manuscripts of the New Testament. In the chronological order of their publication, their designations and contents are as follows.

1898Papyrus 1Mat 1:1-9, 12, 14-20.
1899Papyrus 5John 1:23-31, 33-40; 20:11-17, 19-20, 22-25.
1899Papyrus 10Rom 1:1-7.
1903Papyrus 91 John 4:11-12, 15-17.
1904Papyrus 13Heb 2:14-5:5; 10:8-22; 10:29-11:13; 11:28-12:7.
1910Papyrus 151 Cor 7:18-8:4.
1910Papyrus 16Phil 3:10-17; 4:2-8.
1911Papyrus 17Heb 9:12-19.
1911Papyrus 18Rev 1:4-7.
1912Papyrus 19Mat 10:32-11:5.
1912Papyrus 20James 2:19-3:9.
1914Papyrus 21Mat 12:24-26, 32-33.
1914Papyrus 22John 15:25-16:2, 21-32.
1914Papyrus 23James 1:10-12, 15-18.
1914Papyrus 24Rev 5:5-8; 6:5-8.
1915Papyrus 26Rom 1:1-16.
1915Papyrus 27Rom 8:12-22, 24-27; 8:33-9:3, 5-9.
1919Papyrus 28John 6:8-12, 17-22.
1919Papyrus 29Acts 26:7-8, 20.
1919Papyrus 301 Th 4:12-13, 16-17; 5:3, 8-10, 12-18, 25-28; 2 Th 1:1-2.
1922Papyrus 39John 8:14-22.
1922Papyrus 5
John 16:14-30.

Besides these fragments, which were of course immediately turned to use in textual criticism (see Comfort 1992, chapter five), Grenfell and Hunt published a large number of other documents, legal, literary, and personal, which proved to be very helpful in the philology (that is, the study of the vocabulary and semantics) of the New Testament writings. See in particular Adolph Deissmann's influential study, Licht vom Osten (Tubingen, 1908; 2nd ed. 1909; 4th ed. 1923), translated into English as Light from the Ancient East: the New Testament Illustrated by Recently Discovered Texts of the Graeco-Roman World, by Adolf Deissmann, translated by Lionel R.M. Strachan (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910; 2nd ed. 1927).

Griesbach, 1774. Johann Jacob Griesbach, Libri Historici Novi Testamenti, Graece, Pars I. sistens Synopsin Evangeliorum Matthaei, Marci, et Lucae. Textum ad fidem Codd. Versionum et Patrum emendavit et lectionis varietatem adjecit Jo. Jac. Griesbach. Halle in Saxony: Curt, 1774. Followed by Libri Historici Novi Testamenti, Graece, Pars II. sistens Evangelium Johannis et Acta Apostolorum. Halle in Saxony: Curt, 1775, and Epistolae N.T. et Apoc. Halle in Saxony: Curt, 1775. Reprinted (with the Gospels in the usual order instead of in synoptic arrangement) as Novum Testamentum Græce, Textum ad fidem Codicum Versionem et Patrum recensuit et Lectionis Variatatem adjecit D. Jo. Jac. Griesbach. Halle in Saxony: Curt, 1777.

Griesbach was a student of Semler at Halle, and in these volumes he produced a text on the basis of Semler's theory of recensions (see Semler 1764, 1767), which he sets forth elaborately in the Preface of the first volume. Griesbach's major source of information for the manuscripts was the apparatus of Wettstein 1751; in addition, he made use of the Old Latin texts published by Blanchini and Sabatier, and he collected all of the citations of Origen himself. Unlike Wettstein, however, he revises the text itself, rather than making his preferences known in the margin. The margin has a double apparatus. Immediately below the text he presents those readings which he considers to be likely alternatives, or which typified the recensions, and also the readings of Estienne 1550 whenever his text differs from it. Beneath that he gives a fuller apparatus of readings comparable to Bengel's in size.

Griesbach applied his theory of recensions to the revision of the text in the following manner. First of all the readings characteristic of the three recensions (Alexandrian, Western, Byzantine) were identified. The original text was then reconstructed by a process of extrapolation from the readings typical of the three recensions. In its simplest form, this process would involve choosing whatever reading is supported by any two of the three recensions. Where all three presented a different reading, Griesbach first of all eliminated the reading of the Byzantine recension, which he considered to be somewhat inferior to the other two, and then decided for either the Alexandrian or the Western reading on the basis of the commonly accepted rules of textual criticism which had already been formulated by Bengel (see Bengel 1742) and Wettstein (see Wettstein 1730). In practice, Griesbach tended to let the reading of the Received Text stand in his text if the case for another reading was not strong, and he also moderated the application of his recension theory considerably by means of the "internal criteria" of the text-critical rules. The resulting text differed from the Received Text in about a thousand places.

In a second edition Griesbach presented a more sophisticated theory of the manuscript groups which did not posit recensions as such, and formulated elaborate rules of textual criticism (see Griesbach 1796).

Griesbach, 1796. Johann Jakob Griesbach, Novum Testamentum Græce, Textum ad fidem Codicum Versionem et Patrum recensuit et Lectionis Variatatem adjecit D. Jo. Jac. Griesbach. 2nd edition. London and Halle, 1796 and 1806. 2 vols., large octavo.

Griesbach's second edition of 1796-1806 became the basis of the frequently reprinted manual edition of 1805 (see Griesbach 1805), the one usually referred to in citations of Griesbach. As is often the case with scholars, Griesbach's leading ideas are presented most clearly in his first edition, while in later editions and in other works these views are qualified and expressed more guardedly. And so in his first Preface Griesbach speaks of the hypothetical recensions of Semler almost as if they were known to have been made, and also assigns to the various readings in his margin marks to indicate the recension to which they belonged. But these marks are not found in his second edition, and in the second Preface he refrains from employing historical speculations in his argument. For a discussion of this change in Griesbach's theory of recensions, see chapter seven of Tregelles 1856, in which Tregelles shows that Griesbach was finally unable to keep up a distinction between "Alexandrian" and "Western" witnesses. (See also Tregelles 1854, p. 91).

Griesbach's Fifteen Rules

A notable addition to the Preface of Griesbach's second edition (Halle, 1796) is the following list of critical rules, by which the intrinsic probabilities may be weighed for various readings of the manuscripts. Rules for the prior evaluation of documentary evidence, such as the ones formulated by Lachmann (see Lachmann 1842), are implicit in Griesbach's theory of the manuscript tradition, and so they are not taken up here. What follows is a translation of Griesbach's Latin as it was reprinted in Alford 1849 (Moody reprint, page 81).

  1. The shorter reading, if not wholly lacking the support of old and weighty witnesses, is to be preferred over the more verbose. For scribes were much more prone to add than to omit. They hardly ever leave out anything on purpose, but they added much. It is true indeed that some things fell out by accident; but likewise not a few things, allowed in by the scribes through errors of the eye, ear, memory, imagination, and judgment, have been added to the text. The shorter reading, even if by the support of the witnesses it may be second best, is especially preferable-- (a) if at the same time it is harder, more obscure, ambiguous, involves an ellipsis, reflects Hebrew idiom, or is ungrammatical; (b) if the same thing is read expressed with different phrases in different manuscripts; (c) if the order of words is inconsistent and unstable; (d) at the beginning of a section; (e) if the fuller reading gives the impression of incorporating a definition or interpretation, or verbally conforms to parallel passages, or seems to have come in from lectionaries.
       But on the contrary we should set the fuller reading before the shorter (unless the latter is seen in many notable witnesses) -- (a) if a "similarity of ending" might have provided an opportunity for an omission; (b) if that which was omitted could to the scribe have seemed obscure, harsh, superfluous, unusual, paradoxical, offensive to pious ears, erroneous, or opposed to parallel passages; (c) if that which is absent could be absent without harm to the sense or structure of the words, as for example prepositions which may be called incidental, especially brief ones, and so forth, the lack of which would not easily be noticed by a scribe in reading again what he had written; (d) if the shorter reading is by nature less characteristic of the style or outlook of the author; (e) if it wholly lacks sense; (f) if it is probable that it has crept in from parallel passages or from the lectionaries.
  2. The more difficult and more obscure reading is preferable to that in which everything is so plain and free of problems that every scribe is easily able to understand it. Because of their obscurity and difficulty chiefly unlearned scribes were vexed by those readings-- (a) the sense of which cannot be easily perceived without a thorough acquaintance with Greek idiom, Hebraisms, history, archeology, and so forth; (b) in which the thought is obstructed by various kinds of difficulties entering in, e.g., by reason of the diction, or the connection of the dependent members of a discourse being loose, or the sinews of an argument, being far extended from the beginning to the conclusion of its thesis, seeming to be cut.
  3. The harsher reading is preferable to that which instead flows pleasantly and smoothly in style. A harsher reading is one that involves an ellipsis, reflects Hebrew idiom, is ungrammatical, repugnant to customary Greek usage, or offensive to the ears.
  4. The more unusual reading is preferable to that which constitutes nothing unusual. Therefore rare words, or those at least in meaning, rare usages, phrases and verbal constructions less in use than the trite ones, should be preferred over the more common. Surely the scribes seized eagerly on the more customary instead of the more exquisite, and for the latter they were accustomed to substitute definitions and explanations (especially if such were already provided in the margin or in parallel passages).
  5. Expressions less emphatic, unless the context and goal of the author demand emphasis, approach closer to the genuine text than discrepant readings in which there is, or appears to be, a greater vigor. For polished scribes, like commentators, love and seek out emphases.
  6. The reading that, in comparison with others, produces a sense fitted to the support of piety (especially monastic) is suspect.
  7. Preferable to others is the reading for which the meaning is apparently quite false, but which in fact, after thorough examination, is discovered to be true.
  8. Among many readings in one place, that reading is rightly considered suspect that manifestly gives the dogmas of the orthodox better than the others. When even today many unreasonable books, I would not say all, are scratched out by monks and other men devoted to the Catholic party, it is not credible that any convenient readings of the manuscripts from which everyone copied would be neglected which seemed either to confirm splendidly some Catholic dogma or forcefully to destroy a heresy. For we know that nearly all readings, even those manifestly false, were defended on the condition that they were agreeable to the orthodox, and then from the beginning of the third century these were tenaciously protected and diligently propagated, while other readings in the same place, which gave no protection to ecclesiastical dogmas, were rashly attributed to treacherous heretics.
  9. With scribes there may be a tendency to repeat words and sentences in different places having identical terminations, either repeating what they had lately written or anticipating what was soon to be written, the eyes running ahead of the pen. Readings arising from such easily explained tricks of symmetry are of no value.
  10. Others to be led into error by similar enticements are those scribes who, before they begin to write a sentence had already read the whole, or who while writing look with a flitting eye into the original set before them, and often wrongly take a syllable or word from the preceding or following writing, thus producing new readings. If it happens that two neighbouring words begin with the same syllable or letter, an occurrence by no means rare, then it may be that the first is simply omitted or the second is accidentally passed over, of which the former is especially likely. One can scarcely avoid mental errors such as these, any little book of few words to be copied giving trouble, unless one applies the whole mind to the business; but few scribes seem to have done it. Readings therefore which have flowed from this source of errors, even though ancient and so afterwards spread among very many manuscripts, are rightly rejected, especially if manuscripts otherwise related are found to be pure of these contagious blemishes.
  11. Among many in the same place, that reading is preferable which falls midway between the others, that is, the one which in a manner of speaking holds together the threads so that, if this one is admitted as the primitive one, it easily appears on what account, or rather, by what descent of errors, all the other readings have sprung forth from it.
  12. Readings may be rejected which appear to incorporate a definition or an interpretation, alterations of which kind the discriminating critical sense will detect with no trouble
  13. Readings brought into the text from commentaries of the Fathers or ancient marginal annotations are to be rejected, when the great majority of critics explain them thus. ("He proceeds at some length to caution against the promiscuous assumption of such corruptions in the earlier codices and versions from such sources." - Alford)
  14. We reject readings appearing first in lectionaries, which were added most often to the beginning of the portions to be read in the church service, or sometimes at the end or even in the middle for the sake of contextual clarity, and which were to be added in a public reading of the series, [the portions of which were] so divided or transposed that, separated from that which precedes or follows, there seemed hardly enough for them to be rightly understood. ("Similar cautions are here added against assuming this too promiscuously." - Alford)
  15. Readings brought into the Greek manuscripts from the Latin versions are condemned. ("Cautions are here also inserted against the practice of the earlier critics, who if they found in the Graeco-Latin MSS. or even in those of high antiquity and value, a solitary reading agreeing with the Latin, hastily condemned that codex as Latinizing." - Alford)

Latin text of the above

  1. Brevior lectio, nisi testium vetustorum et gravium auctoritate penitus destituatur, praeferenda est verbosiori. Librarii enim multo proniores ad addendum fuerunt, quam ad omittendum. Consulto vix unquam praetermiserunt quicquam, addiderunt quam plurima: casu vero nonnulla quidem exciderunt, sed haud pauca etiam oculorum, aurium, memoriae, phantasiae ac judicii errore a scribis admisso, adjecta sunt textui. In primis vero brevior lectio, etiamsi testium auctoritate inferior sit altera, praeferenda est-- (a) si simul durior, obscurior, ambigua, elliptica, hebraizans aut soloeca est, (b) si eadem res variis phrasibus in diversis codicibus expressa legitur; (c) si vocabulorum ordo inconstans est et instabilis; (d) in pericoparum initiis; (e) si plenior lectio glossam seu interpretamentum sapit, vel parallelis locis ad verbum consonat, vel e lectionariis immigrasse videtur.
       Contra vero pleniorem lectionem breviori (nisi hanc multi et insignes tueantur testes) anteponimus-- (a) si omissioni occasionem praebere potuerit homoeoteleuton; (b) si id quod omissum est, librariis videri potuit obscurum, durum, superfluum, insolens, paradoxum, pias aures offendens, erroneum, aut locis parallelis repugnans; (c) si ea quae absunt, salvo sensu salvaque verborum structura abesse poterant, e quo genere sunt propositiones, quod vocant, incidentes, praesertim breviores, et alia, quorum defectum librarius relegens quae scripserat haud facile animadvertebat; (d) si brevior lectio ingenio, stylo aut scopo auctoris minus conveniens est. (e) si sensu prorsus caret; (f) si e locis parallelis aut e lectionariis eam irrepsisse probabile est.
  2. Difficilior et obscurior lectio anteponenda est ei, in qua omnia tam plana sunt et extricata, ut librarius quisque facile intelligere ea potuerit. Obscuritate vero et difficultate sua eae potissimum indoctos librarios vexarunt lectiones-- (a) quarum sensus absque penitiore graecismi, hebraismi, historiae, archaeologiae, &c. cognitione perspici non facile poterant, (b) quibus admissis vel sententia, varii generis difficultatibus obstructa, verbis inesse, vel aptus membrorum orationis nexus dissolvi, vel argumentorum ab auctore ad confirmandam suam thesin prolatorum nervus incidi videbatur.
  3. Durior lectio praeferatur ei, qua posita, oratio suaviter leniterque fluit. Durior autem est lectio elliptica, hebraizans, soloeca, a loquendi usu graecis consueto adhorrens aut verborum sono aures offendens.
  4. Insolentior lectio potior est ea, qua nil insoliti continetur. Vocabula ergo rariora, aut hac saltem significatione, quae eo de quo quaeritur loco admittenda esset, rarius usurpata, phrasesque ac verborum constructiones usu minus tritae, praeferantur vulgatioribus. Pro exquisitioribus enim librarii usitatiora cupide arripere, et in illorum locum glossemata et interpretamenta (praesertim si margo aut loca parallela talia suppeditarent) substituere soliti sunt.
  5. Locutiones minus emphaticae, nisi contextus et auctoris scopus emphasin postulent, propius ad genuinam scripturam accedunt, quam discrepantes ab ipsis lectiones quibus major vis inest aut inesse videtur. Erudituli enim librarii, ut commentatores, emphases amabant ac captabant.
  6. Lectio, prae aliis sensum pietati (praesertim monasticae) alendae aptum fundens, suspecta est.
  7. Praeferatur aliis lectio cui sensus subest apparenter quidem falsus, qui vero re penitus examinata verus esse deprehenditur.
  8. Inter plures unius loci lectiones ea pro suspecta merito habetur, quae orthodoxorum dogmatibus manifeste prae caeteris faciet. Cum enim codices hodie superstites plerique, ne dicam omnes, exarati sint a monachis aliisque hominibus catholicorum partibus addictis, credibile non est, hos lectionem in codice, quem quisque exscriberet, obviam neglexisse ullam, qua catholicorum dogma aliquod luculenter confirmari aut haeresis fortiter jugulari posse videretur. Scimus enim, lectiones quascunque, etiam manifesto falsas, dummodo orthodoxorum placitis patrocinarentur, inde a tertii saeculi initiis mordicus defensas seduloque propagatas, caeteras autem ejusdem loci lectiones, quae dogmati ecclesiastico nil praesidii afferrent haereticorum perfidae attributas temere fuisse.
  9. Cum scribae proclives sint ad iterandas alieno loco vocabulorum et sententiarum terminationes easdem, quas modo scripsissent aut mox scribendas esse, praecurrentibus calamum oculis, praeviderent, lectiones ex ejusmodi rhythmi fallacia facillime explicandae, nullius sunt pretti.
  10. Hisce ad peccandum illecebris similes sunt aliae. Librarii, qui sententiam, antequam scribere eam inciperent, totam jam perlegissent, vel dum scriberent fugitivo oculo exemplum sibi propositum inspicerent, saepe ex antecedentibus vel consequentibus literam, syllabam aut vocabulum perperam arripuerunt, novasque sic lectiones procuderunt. Si v.c. duo vocabula vicina ab eadem syllaba vel litera inciperent, accidit haud raro, ut vel prius plane omitteretur, vel posteriori temere tribueretur, quod priori esset peculiare. Ejusmodi hallucinationes vix vitabit, qui libello paullo verbosiori exscribendo operam dat, nisi toto animo in hoc negotium incumbat: id quod pauci librarii fecisse videntur. Lectiones ergo, quae ex hoc errorum fonte promanarunt, quantumvis vetustae ac consequenter in complures libros transfusae sint, recte rejiciuntur, praesertim si codices caeteroqui cognati ab hujus labis contagio puri deprehendantur.
  11. E pluribus ejusdem loci lectionibus ea praestat, quae velut media inter caeteras interjacet; hoc est ea, quae reliquarum omnium quasi stamina ita continet, ut, hac tanquam primitiva admissa, facile appareat, quanam ratione, seu potius quonam erroris genere, ex ipsa caeterae omnes propullularint.
  12. Repudiantur lectiones glossam seu interpretamentum redolentes, cujus generis interpolationes nullo negotio emunctioris naris criticus subolfaciet.
  13. Rejiciendas esse lectiones, e Patrum commentariis aut scholiis vetustis in textum invectas, magno consensu critici docent....
  14. Respuimus lectiones ortas primum in lectionariis, quae saepissime in anagnosmatum initiis ac interdum in clausulis etiam atque in medio contextu claritatis causa addunt, quod ex orationis serie supplendum esset, resecantque vel immutant, quod, sejunctum ab antecedentibus aut consequentibus, vix satis recte intelligi posse videretur....
  15. Damnandae sunt lectiones e latina versione in graecos libros invectae....

Griesbach, 1798. Johann Jakob Griesbach, Commentarius criticus in textum Graecum Novi Testamenti. Part I (Matthew) Jena, 1798; Part II (Mark) Jena, 1811.

In these two volumes Griesbach provides a thorough textual commentary on Matthew and Mark, discussing the more important various readings given in the apparatus of his text (see Griesbach 1796). The series was discontinued after the publication of the second volume (1811) because Griesbach died in 1812.

Griesbach, 1805. Johann Jakob Griesbach, Novum Testamentum Græce. Ex Recensione Jo. Jac. Griesbachii, cum selecta Lectionis Varietate. Lipsiæ, 1805. 2 vols., small octavo.

This was Griesbach's manual edition for students, abridged from the second edition (see Griesbach 1796) and with a few changes to the text. It gives the readings finally preferred by Griesbach. The readings of this edition, including the marginal readings with their ratings, are collated against Estienne 1550 in the appendix of Tregelles 1854. The text is collated without the marginal readings in Newberry 1877. English translations are Palfrey 1830 and Wilson 1882.