Back to my narrative of how I got interested in biblical studies, and specifically textual criticism.   I was just thinking last night about how people (on the blog or elsewhere) sometimes report to me that they have heard my conservative evangelical critics say that I’m not a biblical interpreter (exegete) or a historian, but I’m a textual critic (someone who studies the manuscripts of the New Testament).  And I started thinking about all my training in the Bible and the history of early Christianity.

I did three years at Moody studying mainly Bible and theology; I did a two year completion degree at Wheaton majoring in English; I then did a three-year Master’s of Divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary; and finally a four-year PhD in New Testament also at Princeton Seminary.  Over the course of all those years I must have taken, what?   70 or 75 courses?  How many of those courses were on textual criticism?

I had one class at Moody that was maybe ¼ devoted to the topic.   And one class in my MDiv program that was ½ devoted to it.  And that was all.

My formal training was not in textual criticism.  I learned that on my own.  To be sure, I had rather good guidance.  I went to Princeton …

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