Whatever shortcomings have been observed in the Greek New Testament editions of the past, they cannot be a factor that inhibits something better occurring in the future. Basileios Antoniades himself pointed out at the end of the Preface to the Patriarchal Edition of 1904 that, just as happens in all human endeavours, this edition has certain imperfections, especially as a first attempt. He adds, “But the word of God is not bound by human imperfections …‘for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe’”.
Which are the positive elements allowing us to be optimistic that a critical edition of the Greek ecclesiastical text of the New Testament may become reality in the near future?
1. The thought about the necessity of a well-studied edition of the liturgical text matured among the international academic community long ago. This desire has been expressed by both foreign and Greek textual critics. At this point, it should be taken into consideration that a critical edition of the text of the Gospel of John was prepared and edited by the “Centre for Editing of Religious Texts” (now called “The Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing”) at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, with participation by the United Bible Societies, the Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Münster, Germany, and by some Orthodox scholars including the writer of this article. The edition has been created for academic purposes and as a gesture of appreciation toward the textual tradition and toward today’s praxis in the Orthodox Church. This edition, The Gospel according to John in the Byzantine Tradition (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2007), is also available in electronic form.