During this week, I will be live blogging Dan Wallace’s Credo Course on Textual Criticism. This is the first of what will over the years be dozens of extensive courses intent on educating people in Christian faith in a deep way that is not normally available to Christians outside of seminaries. These courses will be available in DVD, video download, CD, and audio download. You can preorder this course (30-40 sessions—we don’t know yet as I am live-blogging!).

Please hit update throughout the day on this blog past as I will do this for one blog per day with multiple sessions per blog.

Session 10: There Emergence of Local Text-Forms

Three Text-Types

1. Alexandrian

Most text critics believe that this is the earliest text-type (2nd century) and most faithful to the autograph (when they are all in agreement).

2. Western

Very early as well (2nd century). But too erratic to be considered original. But too early to dismiss.

3. Byzantine

Later (4th century) but very liturgical. For example, when it says “he” it will change it to “Jesus.” It adds and clarifies when the text is obscure for pastoral reasons, but loses its credibility to be representing the autograph.

4. Caesarean: Not even sure if it exists, but is a precursor to Byz.

Best way to illustrate “text-forms” is to use NIV, NAS, KJV. All of these came from different places. People associated with these versions will be more apt to quote according to these versions. This is the same thing with what we find in the Bible manuscripts. Different Greek scribes would be more closely associated with different text types and would be commissioned to copying these texts.

The number of manuscripts in each text type does not necessarily mean it gets more votes. For example, the NIV is the best selling Bible in the world, but it’s number of copies does not give it more credibility.

Dominance of the Byzantine

1. Diocletian Persecution (303-311)

2. Constantine and Constantinople: Christianized, much financing, and more copies.

3. Latin as the lingua franca of the West:

4. John Chrysostom popularized the text: Most popular Church Father endorsed it.

5. African Christianity and the rise of Islam: Christianity in Egypt became overrun and the Alexandrian text became rare.

6. The invasion of Constantinople (1453) and the Roots of the Reformation: Once the turks took Constantinople Christians fled to Europe.

Session 11: Types of Changes in the Manuscripts

Errors of Sight

Confusion of letters

Confusion comes more through capital letters (majuscule). Majority of variant readings come in the majuscules, post eight century.

Homoioteleuon (simular endings)

Dittography: repeating the same lines on accident

Metathesis: switching the order of letters, words, or phrases

Metathesis (transposition)

More often than not, scribes who did not know Greek well were more trustworthy than the ones that did.


“Inerrancy does say that the text is true, but it does not say that it is not messy.”


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    1 Response to "Live Blog: Dan Wallace, Credo Course on Textual Criticism – Day Two"

    • Dear Michael,
      Will these valuable lectures be made available in written form some time in the future?
      People with hearing difficulty will appreciate it so much!

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