Thursday, January 18, 2024

The First Computer-Generated Greek New Testament

Alan Bunning from the Center for New Testament Restoration has an article in TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 28 (2023): 111–126 on "The First Computer-Generated Greek New Testament." (available to read online HERE)

Abstract: A plausible Greek New Testament text can be automatically generated by a computer program using statistical analysis and algorithms that weigh the earliest manuscript data in a manner simulating a reasoned-eclecticism approach. This method offers several substantial advantages by providing a consistently weighed text that is openly transparent, without any theological bias, and scientifically reproducible, and the results are very similar to our best modern critical tests. This initial accomplishment could have a number of future implications for the field of textual criticism regarding advances in the use of statistics and algorithms for further refinements in the production of critical texts.

The project was started by hand in 2012, but by 2020, the first computer-generated Greek New Testament was created, the Bunning Heuristic Prototype Greek New Testament. (BHP) That text was deprecated, and with further developments, in 2022 it became the Statistical Restoration Greek New Testament (SR). All the earliest manuscript evidence is fed directly to a computer program as raw data, and the most probable text is generated based on statistical analysis and algorithms." SR is now available as an open-licensed (CC) text available for download HERE.