For far too long the popular approach to the demanding discipline of New Testament text criticism (as opposed to the academic approach) has been dominated by obscurantism on the right; and dilettantism on the left. This conference has one goal: to place in their proper context two industrious authorities in this field, from the 19th and 20th centuries respectively, whose lives were dedicated to resisting both tendencies; whose work was more informed by interacting with the evidence, than in popularizing the hard work of others. As a backdrop to this project I shall, as a historian of the discipline, provide a suitable intellectual-historical survey of the praxis and cultural influences of New Testament text criticism. This will be decisive in understanding the careers of these two academic specialists highlighted on this occasion. The opening lecture will span the early-modern period through to our contemporary situation. Following this, two workshops, one each dedicated to our two subjects, will be provided. The final purpose will be to allow participants to understand both the technical data, as well as the religious implications of the post-Reformation quest for the historical text.