Thursday, March 29, 2012

Behind the Bible: A Primer on Textual Criticism by Jeff Johnson

Last week I told the blog's readers about Jeff's recent book The Church: Why bother? Many of you may already have come to know Jeff as the author of the outstanding work The Fatal Flaw of the Theology Behind Infant Baptism and as a contributor this blog. Well, this week I want to tell you all about yet another new book by Jeff entitled Behind the Bible: A Primer on Textual Criticism. The focus of the book is on textual criticism of the New Testament, and Jeff gives a thorough yet concise and readable presentation of the need for textual criticism, paleography, textual faithfulness, the method of textual criticism, and the history of the Greek New Testament text. Having read the book myself, I can tell you that Jeff does his usual terrific job of writing about important topics in an understandable way. In fact, I have given copies of the book (along with the other two books written by Jeff) to men in my congregation who have been pleasantly surprised out how accessible Jeff makes even sometimes difficult issues. It has led to some great discussions with them as I seek to help them grow in their faith. Jeff has a pastor's heart, and it shows on every page of his books. It also helps others of us who serve as pastors to teach important doctrine to our people.

Here is the desctription of the book from the publisher's website, where you may purchase a copy (or multiple copies if, like me, you want to give them out):
Did the multitude of Biblical scribes who copied the Scriptures by hand throughout the centuries do so with absolute perfection? If not, how can we know that what we now possess is (word for word) what was originally penned by the Biblical authors themselves? 'Behind the Bible' spotlights the divine preservation of Scripture to show that it is not by chance God's Word 'will never pass away.'
"Jeff Johnson has provided a helpful and clear discussion of the key issues behind the 'whys' and 'wherefores' of how we got our New Testament text. In light of the frontal assaults upon the integrity of the text of the New Testament pervasive in our day, it is important for believers to have a knowledge of these matters, and Johnson's work is a useful addition to the introductions available on the subject." - James R. White, author or PULPIT CRIMES
"One of the most difficult areas of Biblical study is the matter of textual criticism. Obviously, this is not something which can be done with perfection, but Jeffrey Johnson has in this book, 'Behind the Bible', shown not only how it is done, but also that it can, when done properly, arrive with a great certainty of the original Biblical text.This book, because of its clarity and helpfulness in the area of textual criticism, is a must read for all pastors and students of the Bible in our day!" - Dr. Richard P. Belcher, Author of Diagramming the Greek New Testament
With such endorsments by James white and Richard Belcher, I hope you will be encouraged to give it a read yourself. Again, you can purchase you copy here. I pray that you will be as encouraged helped by Jeff's writings as I have been!

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