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A General Survey of the History of the Canon…
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A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament

by Brooke Foss Westcott

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  1. 00
    The Text and Canon of the New Testament by Alexander Souter (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: B. F. Westcott's study of the New Testament canon is solid and still relevant, but not the greatest read. Alexander Souter's book has less information, but is newer, with some more recent material -- and is also easier to understand. (At least in the non-Greek parts....) Plus it covers the subject of textual criticism, although in a rather cursory way, and Westcott does not get into that.… (more)
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One nice thing about the New Testament canon: It isn't going to change, so even a relatively old book can be valuable.

That, of course, assumes it was valuable when it was new. In the case of this book, the answer to that is a sort of a split decision. Brooke Fosse Westcott was a brilliant man -- his role in creating the Westcott & Hort New Testament shows that. But he was also a very busy man (an Anglican bishop and scholar), and there are signs that he produced most of his writings relatively quickly.

That didn't affect his scholarship -- the information in this book is good, reliable, and still useful. But it did affect his style. Westcott's writing is, frankly, stilted -- too wordy and too "Bible English"-y. This book isn't as bad as some of his writings, but it still isn't very pleasant.

So you have to decide what you want. Do you want good, if slightly dated, information? Then this book is for you. Do you want a good read? Then it's not for you -- and there are, after all, plenty of other places to get information on a topic of such widespread interest! ( )
  waltzmn | Nov 12, 2013 |
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Εὐλόγως ὁ διδάσκαλος ἡμῶν ἒλεγεν ΓΙΝΕΣΘΕ ΤΡΑΠΕΖΙΤΑΙ ΔΟΚΙΜΟΙ
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To the right revered JAMES PRINCE LEE D.D. Lord Bishop of Manchester, and late Head Master of King Edward's School, Birmingham, This Essay is inscribed with sincere affection and gratitude by his former pupil. July 1855
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Preface -- My object in the present Essay has been to deal with the New Testament as a whole, and that on purely historical grounds.
Notice to the Fifth Edition -- In revising the present edition I have had the advantage of considering many important essays which have been published during the last six years upon the subjects with which I have dealt.
A general survey of the History of the Canon forms a necessary part of an Introduction to the writings of the New Testament.
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