As I indicated on my previous post, for years friends of mine were eager for me to find out whether the story about Metzger and the squirrel really happened. They wanted me just to ask Metzger. But there were problems with that. Among other things, if it had happened, he almost certainly wouldn’t remember, since it would have simply been something that happened with no significance to him – only to the one who thought it was very odd that Metzger would happen to know what the Greek word for squirrel was and that he would volunteer it at that rather inauspicious moment.

Moreover, there were aspects of the story that did not “ring true.” Metzger was not heartless toward other living beings and he was not one to boast about his knowledge about Greek — or about anything else. Years later something happened to me that made me realize that the narrative itself could not be true…

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Bruce Metzger is the author of several books including The Early Versions of the New Testament and The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, And Restoration.