Western text, Alexandrian text and the original text of the New Testament - is there a solution to the problem? This article discusses the debate concerning the problems of the so-called Western text in New Testament textual criticism. Traditional views, such as those of Westcott & Hort, Ropes, Metzger, Blass, Clark, and Boismard & Lamouille, all work with the notion of early local text-types. Because of this none of these ap proaches seems able to solve the problem. In contrast, a fresh approach to the history of the text in general and this problem in particular is developing in Munster. This approach describes the earliest history of the text in terms of ‘qualitative’ text-types and might therefore have the potential to solve the riddle of the Western text.