2700 "missing" words in the Gospels?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Bluefalcon, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    Okay, I'm now proud to present my own computerized word counts of two different Greek texts of the Gospels.

    First, the Consensus (or Byzantine/Majority) text; number of Greek words in the Gospels: 66,134.

    Second, the famed Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph); number of Greek words in the Gospels: 63,409.

    The word difference in Greek between the Consensus text and Codex Sinaiticus is 2,725, or, that is to say, Codex Sinaiticus is 4.1 percent shorter in terms of Greek words than the Consensus text.

    Whoever posted that 100% or 95% thread was at least accurate with those figures!

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  2. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  3. Craigbythesea

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    I wonder what God did to those most despicable sinners who added those 2,725 words of men to the word of God and called the King James Version the Holy Bible. :eek: ;) :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bluefalcon

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    HAHAHAHA! You're exactly right! It's certainly a misnomer to say the words are "missing" (thus the use of quotes around that word), because by saying such one is assuming that the words were not added. At some point the debate must move to arguments for individual passages to determine the tendencies, good or bad, of the MSS in question.

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  5. Craigbythesea

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    Always!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Anti-Alexandrian

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    Missing is correct.


    Scripture itself prove that omission is the norm..
     
  7. Ed Edwards

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    Unfortunately for your "proof", the Alexandrian texts are
    older than the added-to-Benzatine texts.

    BTW, if you ever did some English class
    exercises, you would find it is way easier
    to ADD words that make sense than to
    take away words that make sense.

    If you don't beieve it, try taking away
    words from my statements in this post.
    Remember, the result cannot be foolish, but
    must make sense.

    "Missing is correct."

    Missing words are correct.
    Yes, missing words from scripture is correct.
    Yes, missing words from scripture is
    correct; adding words to scripture is wrong.

    Way easier to add than to subtract words.
    Another example is to replace
    "he" with "Jesus", "Jesus" with
    "Jesus Christ". Really is just clarifying
    what is said not like real, but bad, "adding" ;)
     
  8. Bluefalcon

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    Funny you claim Anti-Alex boy there of not having facts to back up his talk. The problem is that you have no facts either, but just spout out fallacy after fallacy using fallacious examples to support your fallacies. On the other hand, people who have actually done real research on the earliest MSS of the NT completely disagree with you, like Peter M. Head, New Testament Research Fellow, University of Cambridge. See his article "The Habits of New Testament Copyists: Singular Readings in the Early Fragmentary Papyri of John" (Biblica 85 [2004] 399-408).

    Among other things, his conclusions include: "The study confirms earlier research showing that the most common singular readings concern spelling and that word order variations, word substitutions and harmonisations to context are also not uncommon. Omission of words is more common than addition" (emphasis mine).

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  9. Bluefalcon

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    More stats:

    The Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament and the United Bible Society's The Greek New Testament has 64,355 words in the Gospels, which makes it only 2.7 percent shorter in terms of words than the Consensus GNT. That it is only 2.7 percent shorter instead of Sinaiticus' 4.1 percent shows that even the renowned editors of this new Textus Receptus are admitting that one of the earliest and best MSS (Sinaiticus) omitted 946 original words in the Gospels, or 1.5 percent of the Gospels.

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  10. gb93433

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    I have never read or heard such things. What you wrote is only a partial truth.

    We know for a fact that words made their way from the margin as an explanation into the text later.
     
  11. Bluefalcon

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    I'm working fastidiously on getting the information on Codex Vaticanus. Hopefully within theh next week [​IMG] .

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  12. gb93433

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  13. Bluefalcon

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    I know what Metzger says, and he is trying to show a rationale for the larger Consensus text.

    What neither he nor you can show with any examples is how the Consensus text is divided on any given passage more than 2 or 3 ways at the most. What we would expect, if the tendency of scribes was to add text, are dozens of various and non-conforming additions within the consensus at any given place. This is not present. It is as if one and only one person added all the text (someone like the posited Lucian of Antioch), and the thousands of scribes throughout the hundreds of years following copied it almost flawlessly without adding, on the whole, anything else to embellish. If so, one cannot under any circumstances say that adding text was the norm, but rather that it happened once and then most scribes for the most part copied it faithfully. Anyway, such is only pure and clear evidence that in general, scribes didn't add, but rather copied what was in front of them. BTW, read P.M. Head's article before dismissing what he says. He's right on line with E.C. Colwell who said the same thing decades ago and with whom all the notable textual critics agree.

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  14. Bluefalcon

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    I'd like to see more than one or two clear examples of this evolutionary chain. This is like evolution. We've got thousands of additions, and maybe 1 or 2 examples of marginal notes making their way into the text, and those not even clear and certain? Come on! Give me a break!

    First of all, marginal notes are actually quite rare. I've even collated MSS without a single marginal note within. Secondly, most marginal notes indicate text that was obviously left out by the scribe (just take a look at Sinaiticus). Thirdly, one can hardly be certain which came first, the marginal note or the text in the hundreds of MSS that contain what was supposedly only a marginal note originally. What if the marginal note came from the original reading? Mt. 27:49, in my opinion, is a good example of many late MSS containing a text that is earlier than the earliest MSS. This is just case in point.

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  15. gb93433

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    From: A Textual Commentary On The Greek New Testament, 2nd. ed. By Bruce M. Metzger, 1994. Pages 3*-16*


    HISTORY OF THE TRANSMISSION OF THE
    NEW TESTAMENT TEXT

    In the earliest days of the Christian church, after an apostolic letter was sent to a congregation or an individual, or after a gospel was written to meet the needs of a particular reading public, copies would be made in order to extend its influence and to enable others to profit from it as well. It was inevitable that such handwritten copies would contain a greater or lesser number of differences in wording from the original. Most of the divergencies arose from quite accidental causes, such as mistaking a letter or a word for another that looked like it. If two neighboring lines of a manuscript began or ended with the same group of letters or if two similar words stood near each other in the same line, it was easy for the eye of; the copyist to jump from the first group of letters to the second, and so for a portion of the text to be omitted (called homoeoarcton or homoeoteleuton, depending upon whether the similarity of letters occurred at the beginning or the ending of the words). Conversely the scribe might go back from the second to the first group and unwittingly copy one or more words twice (called dittography). Letters that were pronounced alike were sometimes confused (called itacism). Such accidental errors are almost unavoidable whenever lengthy passages are copied by hand, and would be especially likely to occur if the scribe had defective eyesight, or was interrupted while copying, or, because of fatigue, was less attentive to his task than he should have been.
    Other divergencies in wording arose from deliberate attempts to smooth out grammatical or stylistic harshness, or to eliminate real or imagined obscurities of meaning in the text. Sometimes a copyist would substitute or would add what seemed to him to be a more appropriate word or form, perhaps derived from a parallel passage (called harmonization or assimilation). Thus, during the years irnmediately following the composition of the several documents that eventually were collected to form the New Testament, hundreds if not thousands of variant readings arose.
    Still other kinds of divergencies originated when the New Testament documents were translated from Greek into other languages. During the second and third centuries, after Christianity had been introduced into Syria, into North Africa and Italy, into central and southern Egypt, both congregations and individual believers would naturally desire copies of the Scriptures in their own languages. And so versions in Syriac, in Latin, and in the several dialects of Coptic used in Egypt were produced. They were followed in the fourth and succeeding centuries by other versions in Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Nubian in the Fast, and in Gothic, Old Church Slavonic, and (much later) Anglo-Saxon in the West.
    The accuracy of such translations was directly related to two factors: (a) the degree of familiarity possessed by the translator of both Greek and the language into which the translation was made, and (b) the amount of care he devoted to the task of making the translation. It is not surprising that very considerable divergencies in early versions developed, first, when different persons made different translations from what may have been slightly different forms of Greek text; and, second, when these renderings in one or another language were transmitted in handwritten copies by scribes who, familiar with a slightly different form of text (either a divergent Greek text or a divergent versional rendering), adjusted the new copies so as to accord with what they considered the preferable wording.
    During the early centuries of the expansion of the Christian church, what are called "local texts" of the New Testament gradually developed. Newly established congregations in and near a large city, such as Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Carthage, or Rome, were provided with copies of the Scriptures in the form that was current in that area. As additional copies were made, the number of special readings and renderings would be both conserved and, to some extent, increased, so that eventually a type of text grew up that was more or less peculiar to that locality. Today it is possible to identify the type of text preserved in New Testament manuscripts by comparing their characteristic readings with the quotations of thosepassages in the writings of Church Fathers who lived in or near the chief ecclesiastical centers.
    At the same time the distinctiveness of a local text tended to become diluted and mixed with other types of text. A manuscript of the Gospel of Mark copied in Alexandria, for example, and taken later to Rome would doubtless influence to some extent copyists transcribing the form of the text of Mark heretofore cumnt at Rome. On the whole, however, during the earliest centuries the tendencies to develop and preserve a particular type of text prevailed over the tendencies leading to a mixture of texts. Thus there grew up several distinctive kinds of New Testament text, the most important of which are the following.
    The Alexandrian text, which Westcott and Hort called the Neutral text (a question- begging title), is usually considered to be the best text and the most faithful in preserving the original. Characteristics of the Alexandrian text are brevity and austerity. That is, it is generally shorter than the text of other forms, and it does not exhibit the degree of grammatical and stylistic polishing that is characteristic of the Byzantine type of text. Until recently the two chief witnesses to the Alexandrian text were codex Vaticanus (B) and codex Sinaiticus (a), parchment manuscripts dating from about the middle of the fourth century. With the acquisition, however, of the Bodmer Papyri, particularly P66 and P75, both copied about the end of the second or the beginning of the third century, evidence is now available that the Alexandrian type of text goes back to an archetype that must be dated early in the second century. The Sahidic and Bohairic versions frequently contain typically Alexandrian readings.
    The so-called Western text, which was widely current in Italy and Gaul as well as in North Africa and elsewhere (including Egypt), can also be traced back to the second century. It was used by Marcion, Tatian, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Cyprian. Its presence in Egypt is shown by the testimony of P38 (about A.D. 300) and P48 (about the end of the third century). The most important Greek manuscripts that present a Western type of text are codex Bezae (D) of the fifth century (containing the Gospels and Acts), codex Claromontanus (D) of the sixth century (containing the Pauline epistles), and, for Mark 1.1 to 5.30, codex Washingtonianus (W) of the fifth century. Likewise the Old Latin versions are noteworthy witnesses to a Western type of text; these fall into three main groups, the African, Italian, and Hispanic forms of Old Latin texts.
    The chief characteristic of Western readings is fondness for paraphrase. Words, clauses, and even whole sentences are freely changed, omitted, or inserted. Sometimes the motive appears to have been harmonization, while at other times it was the enrichment of the narrative by the inclusion of traditional or apocryphal material. Some readings involve quite trivial alterations for which no special reason can be assigned. One of the puzzling features of the Western text (which generally is longer than the other forms of text) is that at the end of Luke and in a few other places in the New Testament certain Western witnesses oniit words and passages that are present in other forms of text, including the Alexandrian. Although at the close of the last century certain scholars were disposed to regard these shorter readings as original (Westcott and Hort called them "Western non-interpolations"), since the acquisition of the Bodmer Papyri many scholars today are inclined to regard them as aberrant readings (see the Note on Western Non-Interpola- tions, pp. 164-166).
    In the book of Acts the problems raised by the Western text become most acute, for the Western text of Acts is nearly ten percent longer than the form that is commonly regarded to be the original text of that book. For this reason the present volume devotes proportionately more space to variant readings in Acts than to those in any other New Testament book, and a special Introduction to the textual phenomena in Acts is provided (see pp. 222-236).
    An Eastern form of text, which was formerly called the Caesarean text,6 is preserved, to a greater or lesser extent, in several Greek manuscripts (including Q, 565, 7000) and in the Armenian and Georgian versions. The text of these witnesses is characterized by a mixture of Western and Alexandrian readings. Although recent research has tended to question the existence of a specifically Caesarean text-type,7 the individual manuscripts formerly considered to be members of the group remain important witnesses in their own right.
    Another Eastern type of text, current in and near Antioch, is preserved today chiefly in Old Syriac witnesses, namely the Sinaitic and the Curetonian manuscripts of the Gospels and in the quotations of Scripture contained in the works of Aphraates and Ephraem.
    The Byzantine text, otherwise called the Syrian text (so Westcott and Hort), the Koine text (so von Soden), the Ecclesiastical text (so Lake), and the Antiochian text (so Ropes), is, on the whole, the latest of the several distinctive types of text of the New Testament. It is characterized chiefly by lucidity and completeness. The framers of this text sought to smooth away any harshness of language, to combine two or more divergent readings into one expanded reading (called conflation), and to harmonize divergent parallel passages. This conflated text, produced perhaps at Antioch in Syria, was taken to Constantinople, whence it was distributed widely throughout the Byzantine Empire. It is best represented today by codex Alexandrinus (in the Gospels; not in Acts, the Epistles, or Revelation), the later uncial manuscripts, and the great mass of minuscule manuscripts. Thus, except for an occasional manuscript that happened to preserve an earlier form of text, during the period from about the sixth or seventh century down to the invention of printing with moveable type (A.D. 1450-56), the Byzantine form of text was generally regarded as the authoritative form of text and was the one most widely circulated and accepted.
    After Gutenberg's press made the production of books more rapid and therefore cheaper than was possible through copying by hand, it was the debased Byzantine text that became the standard form of the New Testament in printed edition's. This unfortunate situation was not altogether unexpected, for the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament that were most readily available to early editors and printers were those that contained the corrupt Byzantine text.
    The first published edition of the printed Greek Testament, issued at Basel in 1516, was prepared by Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch humanist scholar. Since Erasmus could find no manuscript that contained the entire Greek Testament, he utilized several for the various divisions of the New Testament. For the greater part of his text he relied on two rather inferior manuscripts now in the university library at Basel, one of the Gospels and one of the Acts and Epistles, both dating from about the twelfth century. Erasmus compared them with two or three others, and entered occasional corrections in the margins or between the lines of the copy given to the printer. For the book of Revelation he had but one manuscript, dating from the twelfth century, which he had borrowed from his friend Reuchlin. As it happened, this copy lacked the final leaf, which had contained the last six verses of the book. For these verses Erasmus depended upon Jerome's Latin Vulgate, translating this version into Greek. As would be expected from such a procedure, here and there in Erasmus's reconstruction of these verses there are several readings that have never been found in any Greek manuscript -- but which are still per- petuated today in printings of the so-called Textus Receptus of the Greek New Testament (see the conunent on Rev. 22.19). In other parts of the New Testament Erasmus also occasionally introduced into his Greek text material derived from the current form of the Latin Vulgate (see the comment on Acts 9.5-6).
    So much in demand was Erasmus's Greek Testament that the first edition was soon exhausted and a second was called for. It was this second edition of 1519, in which some (but not nearly all) of the many typographical blunders of the first edition had been corrected, that Martin Luther and William Tyndale used as the basis of their translations of the New Testament into German (1522) and into English (1525).
    In the years following many other editors and printers issued a variety of editions of the Greek Testament, all of which reproduced more or less the same type of text, namely that preserved in the later Byzantine manuscripts. Even when it happened that an editor had access to older manuscripts -- as when Theodore Beza, the friend and successor of Calvin at Geneva, acquired the fifth-century manuscript that goes under his name today, as well as the sixth-century codex Claromontanus -- he made relatively little use of them, for they deviated too far from the form of text that had become standard in the later copies.
    Noteworthy early editions of the Greek New Testament include two issued by Robert Etienne (commonly known under the Latin form of his name, Stephanus), the famous Parisian printer who later moved to Geneva and threw in his lot with the Protestants of that city. In 1550 Stephanus published at Paris his third edition, the editio Regia, a magnificent folio edition. It is the first printed Greek Testament to contain a critical apparatus; on the inner margins of its pages Stephanus entered variant readings from fourteen Greek manuscripts, as well as readings from another printed edition, the Complutensian Polyglot. Stephanus's fourth edition (Geneva, 1551), which contains two Latin versions (the Vulgate and that of Erasmus), is noteworthy because in it for the first time the text of the New Testament was divided into numbered verses.
    Theodore Beza published no fewer than nine editions of the Greek Testament between 1565 and 1604, and a tenth edition appeared posthumously in 1611. The importance of Beza's work lies in the extent to which his editions tended to popularize and stereotype what came to be called the Textus Receptus. The translators of the Authorized or King James Bible of 1611 made large use of Beza's editions of 1588-89 and 1598.
    The term Textus Receptus, as applied to the text of the New Testa- ment, originated in an expression used by Bonaventura and Abraham Elzevir (Elzevier), who were printers in Leiden. The, preface to their second edition of the Greek Testament (1633) contains the sentence: Textum ergo babes, nunc ab omnibus receptum, in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damus ("Therefore you [dear reader] have the text now received by all, in which we give nothing changed or corrupted"). In one sense this proud claim of the Elzevirs on behalf of their edition seemed to be justified, for their edition was, in most respects, not different from the approximately 160 other editions of the printed Greek Testament that had been issued since Erasmus's first published edition of 1516. In a more precise sense, however, the Byzantine form of the Greek text, reproduced in all early printed editions, was disfigured, as was mentioned above, by the accumulation over the centuries of myriads of scribal alterations, many of minor significance but some of considerable consequence.
    It was the corrupt Byzantine form of text that provided the basis for almost all translations of the New Testament into modem languages down to the nineteenth century. During the eighteenth century scholars assembled a great amount of information from many Greek manuscripts, as well as from versional and patxistic witnesses. But, except for three or four editors who timidly corrected some of the more blatant errors of the Textus Receptus, this debased form of the New Testament text was reprinted in edition after edition. It was only in the first part of the nineteenth century (I 83 1) that a German classical scholar, Karl Lachmann, ventured to apply to the New Testament the criteria that he had used in editing texts of the classics. Subsequently other critical editions appeared, including those prepared by Constantin von Tischendorf, whose eighth edition (1869-72) remains a monumental thesaurus of variant readings, and the influential edition prepared by two Cambridge scholars, B. F. Westeott and F. J. A. Hort (1881). It is the latter edition that was taken as the basis for the present United Bible Societies' edition. During the twentieth century, with the discovery of several New Testament manuscripts much older than any that had hitherto been available, it has become possible to produce editions of the New Testament that approximate ever more closely to what is regarded as the wording of the original documents.


    II. CRITERIA USED IN CHOOSING AMONG CONFLICTING
    READINGS IN NEW TESTAMENT WITNESSES

    In the preceding section the reader will have seen how, during about fourteen centuries when the New Testament was transmitted in handwritten copies, numerous changes and accretions came into the text. Of the approximately five thousand Greek manuscripts of all or part of the New Testament that are known today, no two agree exactly in all particulars. Confronted by a mass of conflicting readings, editors must decide which variants deserve to be included in the text and which should be relegated to the apparatus. Although at first it may seem to be a hopeless task amid so many thousands of variant readings to sort out those that should be regarded as original, textual scholars have developed certain generally acknowledged criteria of evaluation. These considerations depend, it will be seen, upon probabilities, and sometimes the textual critic must weigh one set of probabilities against another. Furthermore, the reader should be advised at the outset that, although the following criteria have been drawn up in a more or less tidy outline form, their application can never be undertaken in a merely mechanical or stereotyped manner. The range and complexity of textual data are so great that no neatly arranged or mechanically contrived set of rules can be applied with mathematical precision. Each and every variant reading needs to be considered in itself, and not judged merely according to a rule of thumb. With these cautionary comments in mind, the reader will appreciate that the following outline of criteria is meant only as a convenient description of the more important considerations that the Committee took into account when choosing among variant readings.
    The chief categories or kinds of criteria and considerations that assist one in evaluating the relative worth of variant readings are those which involve (I) External Evidence, having to do with the manuscripts themselves, and (II) Internal Evidence, having to do with two kinds of considerations, (A) those concerned with Transcriptional Probabilities (i. e. relating to the habits of scribes) and (B) those concerned with Intrinsic Probabilities (i. e. relating to the style of the author).8

    OUTLINE OF CRITERIA

    I. EXTERNAL EVIDENCE, involving considerations bearing upon:
    A. The date and character of the witnesses. In general, earlier manuscripts are more likely to be free from those errors that arise from repeated copying. Of even greater importance, how-ever, than the age of the document itself are the date and character of the type of text that it embodies, as well as the degree of care taken by the copyist while producing the manuscript.
    B. The geographical distribution of the witnesses that support a variant. The concurrence of witnesses, for example, from Antioch, Alexandria, and Gaul in support of a given variant is, other things being equal, more significant than the testimony of witnesses repre- senting but one locality or one ecclesiastical see. On the other hand, however, one must be certain that geographi-cally remote witnesses are really independent of one another. Agreements, for example, between Old Latin and Old Syriac witnesses may sometimes be due to common influence from Tatian's Diatessaron.
    C. The genealogical relationship of texts and families of wit- nesses. Mere numbers of witnesses supporting a given variant reading do not necessarily prove the superiority of that reading. For example, if in a given sentence reading x is supported by twenty manuscripts and reading y by only one manuscript, the relative numerical support favoring x counts for nothing if all twenty manuscripts should be discovered to be copies made from a single manuscript, no longer extant, whose scribe first introduced that particular variant reading. The comparison, in that case, ought to be made between the one manuscript containing reading y and the single ancestor of the twenty manuscripts containing reading x.
    D. Witnesses are to be weighed rather than counted. That is, the principle enunciated in the previous paragraph needs to be elaborated: those witnesses that are found to be generally trustworthy in clear-cut cases deserve to be accorded predominant weight in cases when the textual problems are ambiguous and their resolution is uncertain. At the same time, however, since the relative weight of the several kinds of evidence differs in different kinds of variants, there should be no merely mechanical evaluation of the evidence.

    II. INTERNAL EVIDENCE, involving two kinds of probabilities:
    A. Transcriptional Probabilities depend upon considerations of the habits of scribes and upon palaeographical features in the manuscripts.
    1. In general, the more difficult reading is to be preferred, particularly when the sense appears on the surface to be erroneous but on more mature consideration proves itself to be correct. (Here "more difficult” means "more difficult to the scribe," who would be tempted to make an emendation. The characteristic of most scribal emendations is their superficiality, often combining "the appearance of irnprovement with the absence of its reality."9 Obviously the category "more difficult reading" is relative, and sometimes a point is reached when a reading must be judged to be so difficult that it can have arisen only by accident in transcription.)
    2. In general the shorter reading is to be preferred, except where
    (a) Parablepsis arising from homoeoareton or homoeoteleuton may have occurred (i. e., where the eye of the copyist may have inadvertently passed from one word to another having a similar sequence of letters); or where
    (b) The scribe may have omitted material that was deemed to be (i) superfluous, (ii) harsh, or (iii) contrary to pious belief, liturgical usage, or ascetical practice.
    3. Since scribes would frequently bring divergent passages into harmony with one another, in parallel passages (whether quotations from the Old Testament or different accounts in the Gospels of the same event or narrative) that reading which involves verbal dissidence is usually to be preferred to one which is verbally concordant.
    4. Scribes would sometimes
    (a) Replace an unfamiliar word with a more familiar synonym;
    (b) Alter a less refined grammatical form or less elegant lexical expression, in accord with contemporary Atticizing preferences; or
    (c) Add pronouns, conjunctions, and expletives to make a smoother text.
    B. Intrinsic Probabilities depend upon considerations of what the author was more likely to have written. The textual critic takes into account

    In general:

    (a) The style and vocabulary of the author throughout the book:
    (b) The immediate context; and
    (c) Harmony with the usage of the author elsewhere; and,
    2. In the Gospels:
    (a) The Aramaic background of the teaching of Jesus;
    (b) The priority of the Gospel according to Mark; and
    (c) The influence of the Christian conununity upon the formulation and transmission of the passage in question.
    It is obvious that not all of these criteria are applicable in every case. The textual critic must know when it is appropriate to give greater consideration to one kind of evidence and less to another. Since textual criticsim is an art as well as a science, it is inevitable that in some cases different scholars will come to different evaluations of the significance of the evidence. This divergence is almost inevitable when, as sometimes happens, the evidence is so divided that, for example, the more difficult reading is found only in the later witnesses, or the longer reading is found only in the earlier witnesses.
    In order to indicate the relative degree of certainty in the mind of the Committee for the reading adopted as the text,10 an identifying letter is included within braces at the beginning of each set of textual variants. The letter {A} signifies that the text is certain, while {B} indicates that the text is almost certain. The letter {C}, however, indicates that the Committee had difficulty in deciding which variant to place in the text. The letter {D}, which occurs only rarely, indicates that the Committee had great difficulty in arriving at a decision. In fact, among the {D} decisions sometimes none of the variant readings commended itself as original, and therefore the only recourse was to print the least unsatisfactory reading.


    III. LISTS OF WITNESSES ACCORDING TO TYPE OF TEXT

    The following are some of the more important witnesses to the text of the New Testament arranged in lists according to the predominant type of text exhibited by each witness. It will be observed that in some cases different sections of the New Testament within the same witness belong to different text-types.

    Alexandrian Witnesses

    (1) Primary Alexandrian:
    P45 (in Acts) P46 P66 P 75 a B Sahidic (in part), Clement of Alexandria, Origen (in part), and most of the papyrus fragments with Pauline text.
    (2) Secondary Alexandrian:
    Gospels: (C)11 L T W (in Luke 1. 1, to 8.12 and John) (X) Z D (in Mark) X Y (in Mark; partially in Luke and John) 33 579 892 1241 Bohairic.
    Acts: P50 A (C) Y 33 (11.26-28.31) 81 104 326.
    Pauline -Epistles- A (C) H I Y 33 81 104 326 1739.
    Catholic Epistles: P20 P23 A (C) Y 33 81 104 326 1739.
    Revelation: A (C) 1006 1641 l 854 2053 2344; less good, P47 a.

    Westem Witnesses

    Gospels: P69 a (in John 1. 1-8.38) D W (in Mark 1. 1-5.30) 0171, the Old Latin, (syrs, and syrc in part), early Latin Fathers.
    Acts: P29 P38 P48 D E 383 614 1739 syrhmg syrpalms copG67 early Latin Fathers, Ephraem.
    Epistles: the Greek-Latin bilinguals D F G, Greek Fathers to the end of the third century, Old Latin mss. and early Latin Fathers.
    It will be observed that for the book of Revelation no specifically Western witnesses have been identified.

    Byzantine Witnesses12

    Gospels: A E F G H K P S V W (in Matt. and Luke 8.13-24.53) TI T (partially in Luke and John) 12 and most minuscules.
    Acts: H L P 049 and most minuscules.
    Epistles: L 049 and most minuscules. Revelation: 046 051 052 and most minuscules.

    In assessing the preceding lists of witnesses two comments are appropriate. (a) The tables include only those witnesses that are more or less generally acknowledged to be the chief representatives of the several textual types. Additional witnesses have at times been assigned to one or another category.
    (b) While the reader is encouraged to refer from time to time from the commentary to the above lists of witnesses, it must never be supposed that parity of external support for two separate sets of variant readings requires identical judgments concerning the original text. Although the external evidence for two sets of variant readings may be exactly the same, considerations of transcriptional and/or intrinsic probabilities of readings may lead to quite diverse judgments con- cerning the original text. This is, of course, only another way of saying that textual criticism is an art as well as a science, and demands that each set of variants be evaluated in the light of the fullest consideration of both external evidence and internal probabilities.


    Endnotes

    6. For a summary of the chief research on the so--called Caesarean text, see Metzger, "'The Caesarean Text of the Gospels," Journal of Biblical Literature, LXIV (1945), pp. 457-489, reprinted with additions in Metzger's Chapters in the History of New Testament Textual Criticism (Leiden and Grand Rapids, 1963), pp. 42-72.

    7. Cf. E. J. Epp in Joumal of Biblical Literature, xc (1974), 393-396, and K. Aland and B. Aland, The Text of the New Testament, 2nd ed. (1989), p. 66 and p. 172.

    8. The table of criteria has been adapted from the present writer's volume, The Text of the New Testament, its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (Oxford, 1964; third edition, 1992), which may be consulted for a fuller account of the science and art of textual criticism

    9. Westcott and Nort, op. cit., vol. II, 27.

    10. It will be noted that this system is similar in principle but different in application from that followed by Johann Albrecht Bengel in his edition of the Greek New Testament (Tubingen, 1734).

    11. In this list parentheses indicate that the text of the manuscript thus designated is mixed in character.

    12. As was mentioned earlier, these have been variously designated by other writer. as Antiochian, Syrian, Ecclesiastical, or Koine witnesses.
     
  16. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    Yes, I've read all this. What we need are many conclusive examples and evidence to make what doesn't add up, well, add up.

    Nice post, by the way, to divert attention from the problems I brought up by posting enough to get the thread to another page.

    Now try taking on some of the problems I mentioned in the posts.

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  17. icthus

    icthus
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    Does anyone know if this book quoted above, "A Textual Commentary On The Greek New Testament, 2nd. ed. By Bruce M. Metzger, 1994. Pages 3*-16" is avalible any where online?
     
  18. David Michael Harris

    David Michael Harris
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    I have it, it accompanies its brother the Greek NT edited by Aland, Black, Martini, Metzger and Wilgren. I have the third edition 1975?(corrected )

    I can scan some pages if you wish.

    David
     
  19. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    It's still under copyright, so I doubt it. The posted material was a scanning hack.

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  20. icthus

    icthus
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    Thanks guys. I have just tracked it down online on this great website, www.biblecentre.net under the NT section
     

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