When I read this it struck me as an exaggeration. True, the most widely-used edition (Nestle-Aland) has shifted its stated aim to the initial text, but have any other editions or editors shifted with it? I wondered.
So I asked several editors who have edited or are editing a Greek New Testament (all reasoned eclectics for what it’s worth) and the answer back was basically no. They’ve aimed their editions at the earliest attainable text, a text which they thought was substantially identical to the original (no scare quotes).
But I’m curious what readers of the blog think. Hence the poll: What is your preferred term for the goal of textual criticism? Vote below and then define (and defend) your preferred term in the comments. We’ll see if there’s any substantial shift afoot among the blog readers. (Note: the question is not whether you think such a goal is always attainable.)