This past week I was at The Gospel Coalition national conference and was walking through the book area. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a display featuring the new Reformation Study Bible, edited by R.C. Sproul, and published by Reformation Trust/Ligonier.
Then, in the back of my mind, I thought, “Didn’t I write something for this study Bible?” (Yes, I have sadly arrived at the point where I don’t remember what I have written!). I flipped through the index and it turns out that I did write something.
The kind folks at the display assured me that my copy would be arriving in the mail soon. It arrived today and it looks fantastic.
It’s an honor to be a contributor because this new study Bible is packed with wonderful articles and essays from some of the top Reformed thinkers today. Included in this list is a number of professors from Reformed Theological Seminary (past and present): Guy Waters, Roger Nicole, John Currid, Sean Lucas, Mark Futato, Bruce Waltke, Richard Pratt, Willem VanGemeren, Knox Chamblin, Charles Hill, Dennis Ireland, Reggie Kidd, Simon Kistemaker, and Derek Thomas.
My own article was “New Testament Textual Criticism” (p.2369-2371). The issue of textual transmission is a key challenge to our belief in the truthfulness of Scripture. After all, our belief that the words of the New Testament are true proves to be rather irrelevant if we don’t actually have the words of the New Testament.
In response to this sort of objection, I lay out four major premises in my article that provide a solid basis for affirming that the New Testament text has been reliably passed down to us:
1. The original text is preserved (somewhere) in the overall textual tradition.
2. The vast majority of scribal changes are minor and insignificant.
3. Of the small portion of variants that are significant, our methodology can determine, with a reasonable degree of certainty, which reading is the original text.
4. The remaining number of unresolved variants are very few and not material to the story/teaching of the New Testament.
For a more extensive discussion of NT textual criticism, see the final chapter in my book The Heresy of Orthodoxy (co-authored with Andreas Köstenberger; Crossway, 2010).
For more on the new Reformation Study Bible, see here.