This book represents an important new departure in New Testament textual criticism. David Parker offers, for the first time, a different way of reading the Gospels that treats seriously the fact that they first existed as manuscripts. Through an analysis of different forms of a number of key passages, he demonstrates that the Gospels cannot be properly understood as texts without taking into consideration their physical existence as manuscripts, printed books and electronic text. In conclusion, he argues that the search for an original text of the Gospels is a misunderstanding of the way in which the early church passed down its traditions.