Different Approaches to
The New Testament Text
J. Harold Greenlee
J.W. Burgon
"...there may be some advantage in considering internal
evidence first, since it is more subjective, so that one's
thinking will not from the first be unduly influenced by
evidence of the mss."
"There can be no Science of Textual Criticism, I repeat --
and therefore no security for the Inspired Word -- so long as
the subjective judgment, which may easily degenerate into
individual caprice, is allowed ever to determine which
readings shall be rejected, which retained."
Procedure for Deciding Internal Evidence
(i) The shorter reading is often preferable...
1. Antiquity, or Primitiveness;
(ii) The harder reading is often preferable...
2. Consent of Witnesses, or Number;
(iii) The reading from which the other readings in a variant
could most easily have been derived is preferable...
3. Variety of Witnesses, or Catholicity;
(iv) The reading which is characteristic of the author is
generally preferable...
4. Respectability of Witnesses, or Weight;
Procedure for Deciding External Evidence
5. Continuity, or Unbroken Tradition;
(i) Divide the manuscripts into text-types.
6. Evidence of the Entire Passage, or Context;
(ii) The characteristics of the individual witnesses to a text-type
must likewise be considered.
7. Internal Considerations, or Reasonableness.
(iii) Which reading has the best mss. support by text-types
and/or parts of text-types.
(iv) Weigh the evidence against the internal evidence.
The "Witnesses" referred to are the manuscripts, lectionaries,
versions and quotations from early writers.
Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism; J. Harold Greenlee, Professor of New Testament Greek, Graduate School of Theology, Oral Roberts
University; William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids MI; 1964; pp. 114-119.

The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated and Established; J.W. Burgon, Fellow of Oriel College, Vicar of St. Mary's (the University Church),
Gresham Professor of Divinity, and Dean of Chicester at Oxford; arranged, completed and edited by Edward Miller; George Bell and Sons: Cambridge, 1896.