In my reflections on my relationship with Bruce Metzger, my mentor through both my Masters and PhD degrees, I come now to a question I sometimes get asked.  Metzger himself was a devout and pious Christian, an ordained Presbyterian minister, and unusually committed to his faith.  When I first met him I was an evangelical; I changed over the years; I eventually left the faith.  How did Metzger respond?

After all that I’ve written in these posts, I’m afraid the direct answer will be a bit of a disappointment.  The answer is: I don’t know.

Metzger and I never talked about either my faith or his.  He was my teacher and I was his student, and we talked almost exclusively about scholarship:  New Testament studies, the history of earliest Christianity, the textual tradition of the New Testament.  We did not have a pastoral relationship but an academic one.  I don’t know if Metzger ever had a pastoral relationship with any of his students, but I somewhat doubt it.  He was their teacher, not their pastor or counselor.

I know this seems weird to outsiders, since, well, isn’t faith the point?  Well, it’s

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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.