Is the Byzantine Text Form Inferior?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    In another thread on another subject, Ventin from Singapore asked "Is the Byzantine Text form inferior?"

    Thought it would make a dandy discussion all on its own. [​IMG]
     
  2. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    No. The Byzantine textform is not inferior. The evidence in favor of the Byzantine textform being the original textform is overwhelming. Those who have acutally collated the MSS have found the Byzantine textform to be:

    1. In the numerical majority by a huge coefficient.

    2. The oldest readings. (Hort claimed a complete absence of "distinctively Byzantine" readings from the MSS, versions, and Fathers prior to the mid 4th century (date of Aleph and B). Hort considered this argument to "prove" that readings found exclusively in later Byzantine MSS had no known early support and therefore absolutely could not have existed prior to AD 350. Hort emphatically maintained that, were this principle overthrown, his entire hypothesis (superiority of the Alexandrian textform as represented by Aleph and B) would have been demolished! But 150 distinctively Byzantine reading have been found in papyrus MSS predating 350 AD!)

    3. The most internally consistant. There are fewer variants within the Byzantine textform than within the Alexandrian textform. As I noted in a previous post Aleph and B contradict each other over 3000 times in the gospels alone!

    4. Historically accepted by the gospel preaching churches in every age of post Apostolic history. The Alexandrian textform is virtually unknown from 650-1650 AD.

    5. Evidenced by cross textual affinities. There are more Byzantine readings in Alexandrian MSS than vice versa.

    [ December 13, 2001: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  3. Chick Daniels

    Chick Daniels
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2000
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes. The Byzantine textform is inferior. The evidence in favor of the Byzantine textform being the inferior textform is overwhelming.
    This fact is also the overwhelming consensus of Evangelical scholarship today. This is not to say they are of no value, in fact, they can be quite significant, depending on the variant.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    1. In the numerical majority by a huge coefficient.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> So what? This majority was not established until the ninth century, and since when does might make right? I could copy 1000 copies of something, and if the original was erroneous, then I have 1000 erroneous copies, not a correct reading.

    2. The Byzantines are NOT The oldest readings. There is NO EVIDENCE THE BYZ TEXT TYPE EXISTS BEFORE THE 4TH CENTURY
    Sure, there have been a few individual BYZ readings that are older than the fourth century, but that does not mean the Text Type as a whole is present. This is well articulated by Dan Wallace in his critique of Hodges/Farstad/Robinson/Pierpont/Sturtz. Wallace says:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    "Traditional-text advocates frequently make hyperbolic claims about Byzantine readings found in papyri, basing such statements on Sturz's work (cf. Hodges, Defense 14; Pickering Identity 76-77; Wisselink, Assimilation 32-34; Pierpont and Robinson, Original Greek xxiv-xxvii). Hodges argues, for example, that "if the present rate of discovery continues, we may reasonably anticipate the eventual attestation of nearly every Majority reading in the manuscripts written long before Aleph and B were even copied" (Defense 14). Actually, at the "present rate" this would take almost three millennia-assuming that all Byzantine readings could be found in the papyri. Furthermore the evidence that sturz presents is subject to three criticisms: (1) Many of his readings have substantial support from other text-types and are thus not distinctively Byzantine; (2) the existence of a Byzantine reading in the early papyri does not prove the existence of the Byzantine text-type in early papyri; (3) whether the agreements are genetically significant or accidental is overlooked (even Wisselink admits that a number of them are merely accidental (Assimilation 33]). In my examination of Sturz's list I found only eight Byzantine-papyrus alignments that seemed to be genetically significant. Of these, six were not distinctively Byzantine (Luke 10:21; 14:3, 34; 15:21; John 10:38; 19:11). Sturz's best case was in Phil 1:14 (the omission of tou theou)--a reading adopted in NA26/UBSGNT3,4. When these factors are taken into account, the papyrus-Byzantine agreements become an insufficient base for the conclusions that either Sturz or the MT advocates build from it."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>--JETS 37/2 (June 1994) 206-207
    Note Thomas, that when you said "150 distictive Byzantine reading", Wallace has just indicated that he checked on it personally, and found that not all 150 were distinctively Byzantine, and almost all were not genetically significant.

    Thomas said <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The most internally consistant. There are fewer variants within the Byzantine textform than within the Alexandrian textform. As I noted in a previous post Aleph and B contradict each other over 3000 times in the gospels alone!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And as I replied before, the numbers are skewed because a portion of John's gospel in Aleph is "Western" in text form, not Alexandrian, and they are much more consistent together in Acts and the Epistles.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The Alexandrian textform is virtually unknown from 650-1650 AD.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> B (Vaticanus) was known to exist prior to 1650 (Erasmus himself sent a messenger to secure readings from it, but the red tape in Rome kept the messenger from getting information returned to Erasmus in a timely fashion.

    Furthermore, Wallace mentions the evidence from early versions: "The evidence amassed to date is that there are no versions of the Byzantine text-type until the Gothic at the end of the fourth century. This needs to be balanced by the fact that the Coptic, Ethiopic, Latin and Syriac versions all antedate the fourth century and come from various regions around the Mediterranean. Neither their texts nor their locales are strictly Egyptian. And even if one of these early versions had been based on the Byzantine text, this would only prove that this text existed before the fourth century. It is quite another thing to assume that it was in the majority before the fourth century." (JETS, June 1994 p. 208)

    On page 209, Wallace concludes: "The combined testimony of the external evidence--the only evidence that the MT defenders consider--is that the Byzantine test apparently did not exist in the first three centuries. The Greek mss, versions and Church fathers provide a threefold cord not easily broken. To be sure, isolated Byzantine readings have been located--but not the Byzantine text. There is simply no shred of evidence that the Byzantine text-type existed prior to the fourth century." (page 209)

    So again, I along with the vast majority of evangelical scholarship hold the Byzantine text to be inferior as a text form. There is now no evidence it existed in the first three centuries.

    Chick

    Incidently, for those who don't know, Dan Wallace is professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, and has written (1996) the most exhaustive, authoritative, up-to-date, and I will add conservative Greek Syntax textbook available today.

    [ December 14, 2001: Message edited by: Chick Daniels ]
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thanks for the range-finding salvos, gentlemen. We have really two opposite positions.

    I did college/grad work with Nestles (chocolate AND greek text) and was not pleased with the seemingly flippant disregard for the Byzantine variants.

    So I've personally been using a St. Stephens 1555 Greek text for years (from the Eastern Orthodox or Byzantine family) and have not been entirely satisfied with it, either.

    Others?
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dr. Bob Griffin:
    I did college/grad work with Nestles (chocolate AND greek text) and was not pleased with the seemingly flippant disregard for the Byzantine variants.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Curious as to why you say "flippant disregard." The manuscripts are certainly weighted less than older manuscripts but it does not seem that they are flippant about their regard for them. There are some places where the NA/UBS text (essentially the same text) agree with the Byz against the Alexandrian. Admittedly they are few but they are there. I never got the impression that they were flippant with it.
     
  6. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    In response to Chick's "conventional thinking" on this subject I offer the following:

    When discussing the work of Erasmus, Hort maintained that he (Erasmus) did not practice "Modern Scientific Textual Criticism" but merely "passed along" the text which had been generally received by the churches for over 1000 years.

    The main "pillars" of Horts theory of "Modern Scientific Textual Criticism" are as follows:

    1. The argument from genealogy. This hypotheses claims that all manuscripts of a texttype - no matter how numerous - have descended from a single archetype of that texttype. One therefore need consider only the archetype form, which becomes but a single witness in competition with the remaining archetypical "single witnesses" of other texttypes. (This argument was intended to eliminate, in Hort's view, the "problem" of the Byzantine textform's overwhelming numerical superiority.)

    [NOTE: The genealogical argument was never actually applied to the NT text by Hort, or anyone else! Colwell notes that Hort utilized this principle solely to "depose the Textus Receptus" and not to establish a line of descent. His "stemmatic diagram" was itself a pure fabrication.]

    2. Widespread conflation was claimed to have prevailed among Byzantine-era manuscripts, but was claimed not to occur in early Alexandrian or Western Documents. (This argument supposedly showed the Byzantine textform to be "late," having been created by combining readings of the "early" Western and Alexandrian texttypes. Hort provided only 8 examples to "demonstrate" this point, and then proclaimed this state of affairs "never" to be reversed.)

    [NOTE: Even though a hypothetical stemma might "demonstrate" that a "majority of extant documents" may only have descended from the text of a single archetype, Hort was not able to establish that the Byzantine majority of manuscripts were genealogically dependent. Nor could he disallow that the essential archetype of the Byzantine textform might not in fact be the autograph text itself rather than a later branch of the stemma. The virtual independence of the Byzantine era manuscripts {see Kirsopp Lake, R. P. Blake, Silva New, "the Caesarean Text of the Gospel of Mark," Harvard Theological Review 21, 1928, page 349} alone suffices to refute Hort's genealogical claim regarding the Byzantine textform. It has subsequently been shown that conflation was not exclusive to the Byzantine textform but that scribes of Alexandrian and Western MSS conflate as much or more than what has been imputed to the Byzantine scribes even though Hort claimed the supposedly "earlier" texttypes never followed this practice.]

    3. Hort claimed a total absence of "distinctively Byzantine" readings from manuscripts, versions, and Church Fathers before the mid-fourth century AD. (Hort considered this argument to "prove" that readings found exclusively in later Byzantine manuscripts had no known early support and therefore absolutely could not have existed prior to 350 AD. Hort was extremely adamant on this point.)

    [NOTE:Over 150 "distinctively Byzantine readings have been found in papyrus MSS predating 350 AD. Hort emphatically maintained that, were this principle overthrown {non existence of such readings} his entire hypothesis would be demolished. ]

    4. The origin of the Byzantine textform was alleged to be the result of an authorized revision in the fourth century. Hort used this argument to demonstrate how the Byzantine textform could have been a "later" development, yet suddenly overwhelm the entire Greek-speaking church from AD 350 onward.

    [NOTE: There has never been a shred of evidence that an "authorized revision" of the Greek NT ever occurred, and the Greek church itself has never claimed such. Hort maintained that, apart from such formally authorized revision, there would be no way possible to explain the rise and dominance of the Byzantine textform]

    5. The assumed internal "inferiority" of the Byzantine readings as opposed to the "better" readings found in the early manuscripts was strongly pressed by Hort. This argument, though obviously subjective, nevertheless further reduced whatever value remained of the Byzantine textform in the eyes of many critics.

    In truth, all of Hort's main points were subjectively based and were deliberately contrived to overthrow the Byzantine priority hypotheses.

    The problem lies in that most "modern scholars" while rejecting Hort's main principles, continue to favor his conclusions (based on those rejected principles!) regarding the "original" Alexandrian based text and the supposed inferiority of the "later" Byzantine textform. This academic anomaly derives from holding a conclusion based upon no solid theory of textual transmission history.

    [See the excellent work of Robinson/Pierpont for the above material]
     
  7. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Thomas Cassidy:

    When discussing the work of Erasmus, Hort maintained that he (Erasmus) did not practice "Modern Scientific Textual Criticism" but merely "passed along" the text which had been generally received by the churches for over 1000 years.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And this is a bad thing?? :eek: :confused:
     
  8. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are several threads on this forum for the discussion of the English Translation issue, but this is not one of them. Dr. Bob started this thread to discuss the Byzantine text, and, I presume, its relationship to the Alexandrian text. That subject, and only that subject, is to be addressed on this thread. Those who have addressed off-topic issues, please go back and either delete them or transfer them to an appropiate thread. I will give you several hours to do so, then I will delete off-topic posts.

    Thomas Cassidy
    Baptist Board Administrator
    Bibler Versions/Translations Moderator
     
  9. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. James White this morning (The KJV Controversy, The Potter's Freedom) at a conference in Raleigh. He gave a nice presentation on textual issues. He stated that the Alexandrian MSS were the majority MS from the 2nd to the 8th centuries. In the 7th Century, when Islam arose and Christendom was limited in geography largely to areas of Latin and Byzantine dominance. 8 Centuries of Alexandrian priority in age and quantity speaks highly of their superiority, eh?
     
  10. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chris, I know James White, and like him. He is an able apologist, especially in the areas of Roman Catholicism. However, history does not bear out his assertions. [​IMG]
     
  11. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    25
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chick Daniels:
    ...The Byzantine textform is inferior... This fact is also the overwhelming consensus of Evangelical scholarship today...So what? This majority was not established until the ninth century, and since when does might make right?...So again, I along with the vast majority of evangelical scholarship hold the Byzantine text to be inferior as a text form...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Chick answers Chick - sorry about that ;)

    [ December 15, 2001: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  12. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Thomas Cassidy:
    Chris, I know James White, and like him. He is an able apologist, especially in the areas of Roman Catholicism. However, history does not bear out his assertions. [​IMG]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thomas:

    He used a chart prepared by Dan Wallace (you can see it here: http://www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/91b2.htm scroll about 1/4 way down).

    Is it not accurate, and if so, why?
     
  13. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chris, it is not accurate because it tries to say what existed 1400 years ago and before on the basis of what exists now. By his way of thinking, the bible didn't exist at all prior to the 3rd century.

    There is no argument that the Alexandrian textform accounts for most of the extant MSS dating from the late 3rd to the 6th century but we cannot presuppose that situation existed during that time period. We know for a fact that persecution was intense during this time period.

    Emperor Caracalla (211-217) continued the persecutions started by Septimus Severus (193-211).

    Maximus (235-244) severly persecuted Christians.

    Decius Trajan (249-251) issued an edict in 250 which was disigned to bring about the systematic elimination of Christianity. Christians were forced to renounce their faith, their property was confiscated, and all bibles were burned.

    Gallus (251-260) continued this systematic program of eliminating Christians and their bibles.

    And finally, Diocletian (284-305) issued another edict in 302 decreeing the burning of all bibles.

    It must be remembered that Christianity, at that time, existed on three continents, Europe, Asia (what we call the Middle East), and Africa. Europe and the Middle East were readily accessable by Roman legions, but Africa was a world away. Getting to, and enforcing Roman edicts in, Africa was very difficult. It is no wonder that the edicts of 250 and 302 were more successful in Europe and the Middle East than they were in Africa, and it is not just a coincidence that the bibles used in Europe and the Middle East tended to be the Byzantine textform and those used in Africa were a local, uncompared and uncorrected, regional textform which, because of Africa's lack of accessability, survived the edicts of 250 and 302.

    But, after Christianity was no longer severly persecuted, starting with Constantine in 325 AD, the Byzantine textform completely supplanted the Alexandrian textform within 200 years (by the 6th century). The only historic explanation for this is that the Byzantine textform was known by the Christians of that day to be the original textform and the Alexandrian textform was known, after cross comparison and correction, to be a regional inaccurate variant. [​IMG]
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    But Thomas, does not that argument work equally well against your position? In other words, it is true that White's argument makes an assumption; but yours seems to do the same thing.

    You say that the Bibles used in Europe and the Middle East tended to be the Byzantine text form. But it seems you cannot say that definitively about the the period in question because there are no manuscripts to bear that out.

    While White must make an assertion about manuscripts that do not exist, your supposition seems equally either tenuous or valid (depending on your perspective).
     
  15. Phillip

    Phillip
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    The argument about the number of manuscripts found works against the Byzantine text-type. The reason: Simple, there were what are now called "copy houses" that printed thousands of these documents. I once made this statement and Thomas argued with me on a single point of issue that the printing press was not developed at this time. Well, my friends, the fact is, when I said "printed" I meant copied by a large number of individuals who would do nothing all day long except sit at desks making duplicate copies, each coming from another duplicate copy. In fact, "copy mills" was a better term used by several friends with PHd level education in Bible Scholarship.

    Just because a city happens to be liberal does not mean that the diaspora jews who wrote these Alexandrian documents were indeed extremely careful in their copy work. It has practically been proven that additions have been made to the Byzantine texts by well meaning Christians up through the third and fourth centuries. The Alexandrian documents ARE (in general) older documents therefore being closer in relationship with the originals than the Byzantine text-type manuscripts. Just like Genetics, if brother and sisters were to marry then the "errors" in their DNA would become dominant. If this type of inbreeding with the same lineage continues then that would cause even MORE "errors".

    No matter what is said, there is NOT enough doctrinal difference between the modern MV's and the KJV to loose sleep over. AND, no matter what anybody says, NOWHERE in the BIBLE does it say the KJV is the preserved word of God just because it has been around a few hundred years. In fact, for a non-Christian to use a King James version can be almost frustrating to the point of loosing interest. I have seen this happen and don't say that well, they should learn it. Most of us grew up reading this archaic language and can understand it---New Christians have a problem---my point with this as related to the thread is that I honestly feel that God preserves his word in the good MV's too. There are weak MV's as we know, but there are translational factors in the KJV that sometimes even overshadow the Byzantine accuracy (if indeed it does exist).

    If you will take a vote of educated scholars who have actually studied in good schools, I think you will find the majority agree in this. This does NOT mean the Byzantine documents are not good. They are, but it is important for scholars to study all documents for comparison, age, origination, etc. We simply do not have the original manuscripts (or at least we don't think so) so therefore this argument could go on forever without settlement, much like many others that occur.
    For KJVO individuals a note: Just because a verse or word is left out of an MV does not necessarily mean that it was in the original manuscript. It may very well have been added by a well meaning Christian trying to increase the message of the scripture, rather than damage it, but it simply was NOT in the original. Also, MV's that use different words are not wrong because you can count how many "Lord's" for example there are in a book and it is different, it is VERY likely that another English word meaning the very same thing has been used in its place.
    Remember, JEWS also wrote most of the Alexandrian manuscripts -- the same Jews that left the Judah and Israel to escape Roman rule. ;)
     
  16. Forever settled in heaven

    Forever settled in heaven
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2000
    Messages:
    1,770
    Likes Received:
    0
    if Ventin's post isn't off-topic, how are its responses irrelevant? perhaps Bob, Chris or Cassidy wld care to explain?

    [ December 17, 2001: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  17. Chris Temple

    Chris Temple
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    But Thomas, does not that argument work equally well against your position? In other words, it is true that White's argument makes an assumption; but yours seems to do the same thing.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Pastor Larry:

    If what you say is true (and I believe it is ) that both "sides" are making (informed)assumptions, then what is the tie-breaker? Is it not the evidence in hand? That would seem to favor the majority text, for that is the overwhelming ..well.. majority. ;)
     
  18. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good point Chris. For me, one of the clinching factors is that witnesses (in this case, mss) are not counted, but weighed. For many, the crux of the Byzantine superiority argument lies in the numerical majority it holds. But 10 reliable witnesses are better than 100 questionable witnesses any day. And I'd have to agree with Pastor Larry in that I have never gotten the impression that Nestle Aland treated the Byzantine variants "flippantly."
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:
    If what you say is true (and I believe it is ) that both "sides" are making (informed)assumptions, then what is the tie-breaker? Is it not the evidence in hand? That would seem to favor the majority text, for that is the overwhelming ..well.. majority. ;)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, that would be my point ... that both sides are making informed assumptions but they are just that. There are arguments on both sides and we should be careful of questioning each other's scholarship/commitment to Scripture, etc. if we are talking at the manuscript level. Obviusly we are not talking English translations here which is a different issue as most of us agree.

    As for the assumptions, which are the best? I am inclined away from the Majority text view because it seems to me the "weighted" approach better accounts for the data. As Tom said, 10 reliable witnesses are better than 100 unreliable ones which I think we all agree with. To me, 100 copies of an error does nto make it any less an error, an issue which Thomas downplayed to some extent it seemed to me. Furthermore, the age of a manuscript and its closeness to the original bears great weight. The non-existence of Byzantine manuscripts for a significant period of time is a great factor. Additionally, the fact that the "Majority Text" view 1500 years ago would have rendered the exact opposite conclusion as it does now.

    I still think that the Majority Text view rejects out of hand almost 5% of the evidence. The Eclectic view is the only view that takes into account (in whatever form) 100% of the evidence.
     
  20. DocCas

    DocCas
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomVols:
    For me, one of the clinching factors is that witnesses (in this case, mss) are not counted, but weighed. For many, the crux of the Byzantine superiority argument lies in the numerical majority it holds. But 10 reliable witnesses are better than 100 questionable witnesses any day.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Good point, Tom, but doesn't your answer beg the question. Is the Byzantine textform inferior/superior to the Alexandrian textform? You state <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But 10 reliable witnesses are better than 100 questionable witnesses any day.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Okay. Now, what makes the 10 Alexandrian witnesses better and the 100 Byzantine witnesses questionable?

    I think I have already dealt with the "weigh the witnesses" argument in my earlier posts. I too think that is a good thing to do, but, unfortunately, it was never done. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Loading...