Friday, July 31, 2020

Video Lecture: Hort and the Revised Version

Lecture 11:  Hort and the Revised Version
Lecture #11 in the series Introduction to NT Textual Criticism is now available to watch at YouTube: .

In this 23-minute video, I describe events that led up to the 1881 Revised Version, and the theories proposed by F. J. A. Hort when, with B. F. Westcott, he produced the 1881 revision of the Greek New Testament which essentially replaced the primarily Byzantine Text of the Textus Receptus with the Alexandrian Text, represented by Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Video Lecture: The Textus Receptus

Lecture 10:  The Textus Receptus
Lecture #10 in the series Introduction to NT Textual Criticism is now available to watch at YouTube: .

In this 21-minute video, I describe the development of the Textus Receptus, the text that dominated the 1500s, and from which the New Testament was translated in the King James Version.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Video Lecture: Text-types

A new lecture, 32 minutes long, about the basic concept of text-types, is online at YouTube!
This is lecture #9 in the series Introduction to NT Textual Criticism.
Lecture 9 includes, among other things,
details about Griesbach's Canons.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Video Lecture: Lectionaries

Now at YouTube:
Lecture 08 - Lectionaries (In the series Introduction to NT Textual Criticism)
In this lecture I briefly describe the basic arrangement of most Greek lectionaries.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The CBGM: Critically Biased?

Our guest today is Dr. Stephen Carlson of Australian Catholic University.  He is perhaps best-known to some readers due to his 2012 dissertation (at Duke University) that featured a very detailed compilation of the book of Galatians.   Dr. Carlson, thank you for joining us.

SCC: Thank you, Jim, for your interest.

JSJ:  You wrote a recent article that appeared in the Journal of Biblical Literature with a provocative title:  “A Bias at the Heart of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method.”  Before we get to the article’s substance, could you briefly explain the claims that advocates of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method have made about it?  What is the CBGM supposed to provide that we did not have before, and how?

SCC: The basic claim of the advocates of the CGBM is that they have a “more rigorous” way to evaluate external evidence in the textual criticism of the New Testament. External evidence, your readers may recall, is the weight we put on a particular variant reading due to the manuscripts that record it. Prior to the CBGM, the usual way to deal with external evidence is to sort them into text types like Alexandrian, Western, and Byzantine, and then evaluate the external evidence based on how well the text types support a particular variant reading. And the CBGM folks are right that his approach is not sufficiently rigorous. Indeed, a big problem with this traditional approach is contamination, where a manuscript may obtain its readings from multiple sources. This makes it difficult to define the various text types (the rise and fall of the “Caesarean” text type in Mark is a good case in point) and hard to assign some manuscript to a particular type when it has the characteristic readings of more than one text type. In essence, the CBGM proposes to be more rigorous than this by eschewing text types altogether and looking at relations between “potential ancestors” of various manuscripts. In my article, I argue that the way that potential ancestors are identified and even defined is fundamentally flawed and we should look for other ways for evaluating the external evidence.

JSJ:  The CBGM has a reputation for being complex and inaccessible.  But in your recent article, you state that you have been able to implement its algorithms, and that as a result, you noticed a problem.  Would it be accurate to say that you detected a built-in bias in the “genealogical coherence” aspect of the C.B.G.M. as it currently exists?  

SCC: Yes, I detected a bias in how they identify genealogical coherence. In the CBGM genealogical coherence comes from manuscripts having a common, extant “potential ancestor” in their textual flows, and potential ancestors are identified on how much they differ from the initial text. But distance from the initial text is not a valid genealogical criterion and it can be misled by genealogically irrelevant data. As a result, the CBGM is biased against bad copies of earlier texts and in favor of good copies of later texts. Bias is a problem of course because it distorts our ability to evaluate the external evidence and it gives more weight to certain manuscripts (or less weight to others) than we would if we knew the actual history of the text. The worst that can happen is that the CBGM would give apparently strong support to a late, non-initial reading, especially where the internal evidence is not decisive enough to countermand the misleading impression of the CBGM.

JSJ:  Generally, it’s understandable to assume parsimony, but random things sometimes happen that affect the text, such as having the same scribal accident occasionally occur independently in different transmission-streams.  How are these things handled?  How many “accidental agreements” have to occur before one says, “These agreements are not accidental”?  Or to put it another way:  could you explain the concept of coherence and non-coherence?

SCC: Accidental coincidence is a major problem. In fact, I think it is the most underappreciated problem among New Testament textual critics (who tend to be more worried about contamination). The CBGM does have an approach to accidental coincidence, which its proponents tend to call “multiple emergence.” Basically, you look at all the manuscripts attesting a particular reading and sort them to groups, so that each group is coherent (that is, having a textual flow that goes through a common, potential ancestor). When the manuscripts are not coherent, they’ll be in their own group. If you have multiple groups of such manuscripts, then you have multiple emergence of the variant. Of course, if the CBGM is not able to identify correctly that a group of manuscripts attesting the same reading is actually coherent because of some bias, then the CBGM will wrongly subdivide them into several groups and suggest that some readings are coincidental when they are in fact not.

JSJ:  Here’s a diagram [resembling Figure 4 in your article] reconstructing a simple transmission-stream.  In your article the flow is from left to right; here, it is from top to bottom, waterfall-style.  Can you tell us what this diagram is saying, and what is wrong with this picture?

SCC: This diagram is a simple stemma of a hypothetical history textual transmission. The story here begins at the top with A, the initial text. Two copies, B and X, are made of it, and B has one error, while X has two. (This is represented in the diagram with a length between A and X being twice the length of the branch between A and B.) Likewise, two copies, C and Y, are made of X, with C being more error prone than Y. Similarly, two copies of made of Y, E and D, with D more error prone than E. If we lose A, X, and Y, can we reconstruct the true history of the text based on B, C, D, and E?
            It turns out that if we assume no contamination or coincidences, we can reconstruct the history on the traditional “common-error” principle, but under the same assumptions we cannot under the CBGM. The reason that the CBGM cannot reconstruct the true history of the text under these very ideal condition is that it has a bias that makes accidental coincidences between B and E look coherent when they are not. And it suggests that the variants that B and E carry are better than the ones carried by C and D. For 1 John, these relations actually hold if you translate B to the fourth-century 03 (B/Vaticanus), C to the fourth-century 01 (ℵ/Sinaiticus), D to the fifth-century 02 (A/Alexandrinus), and E to the tenth-century 1739 (but a very good copy of a much earlier text). So this simple stemma does not point to a merely theoretical problem but an actual one in the transmission of 1 John.

JSJ:  How realistic is it, in your opinion, to use real-life manuscripts’ texts as proxies for potential ancestors of other manuscripts’ text?   Especially considering that we have a relatively small representation of surviving manuscripts, and also considering that no versional evidence and no patristic evidence is used in the  CBGM?

SCC: It’s only realistic within the Byzantine text and only if we look at a lot of them. Otherwise, it’s not realistic at all. Outside of the Byzantine text, the manuscripts are too few and too divergent from each other to be good proxies for potential ancestors. Due to the bias at the heart of the CBGM, the extent of these divergences are enough to make many of them appear to be potential descendants of more carefully copied text, when they are in fact cousins to varying degrees. Indeed the big problem with the potential ancestor notion in the CBGM is that it assumes that all relations between manuscripts can be characterized in terms of ancestors and descendants, instead of siblings and cousins, which is vastly more common on the historical record we actually possess. As for versional and patristic evidence, the CBGM does not even look at them, and even if they did, they may be so incomplete that it could yield nonsensical results (imagine if an Old Latin manuscript is a potential ancestor of a Greek one?).

JSJ:  Toward the end of your article, you pointed out that the CBGM gives an unjustifiable level of weight to a combination of witnesses – a combination that includes 1739 – in First John 1:7, where δε is not included in the text of Nestle-Aland 28 even though its support is both ancient and vast.  Again:  what’s wrong with this picture?

This is the bias in action. The CBGM really likes 1739 due to its relatively short distance to the initial text. This means that every reading it has—including its singular readings—is potentially the initial reading even when every earlier text disagrees with it. This means that the critic has to establish the text based solely on internal evidence, which is notoriously difficult in cases involving “particles and articles” that don’t really affect the propositional meaning or translation of the text. In the past, textual critics didn’t think this external evidence was good enough to warrant serious consideration; with the CBGM now they apparently do. I can only hope that our ability to evaluate the internal evidence for more substantive variant readings is good enough to overcome the CBGM’s bias.

JSJ:  Let’s look at another textual variant that was adopted in Nestle-Aland 28:  the Byzantine reading Πρεσβυτέρους τους at the beginning of First Peter 5:1.  Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, P72 and 2412 read Πρεσβυτέρους οὖν, Sinaiticus, Y, 623, and 1611 read Πρεσβυτέρους οὐν τους, and 1505 simply supports Πρεσβυτέρους.  I can see how internal arguments could lead to the adoption of τους, but how does the CBGM get there?  And how can one tell when the CBGM has had a decisive role in decision-making in NA28, and when it was not a factor?

SCC: This variation unit is one of those where the editors of the Editio Critica Maior (ECM) changed their mind. In the first edition of the ECM for 1 Peter in 2000, they went with Πρεσβυτέρους οὖν with 03 (B, Vaticanus); but in the second edition of the ECM in 2013, they went with Πρεσβυτέρους τοὺς with 1739 instead. Now, 03 and 1739 are the two closest manuscripts to the initial text for the CBGM, so their readings are always going to look good for the CBGM, particularly when the Byzantine text agrees with them. Moreover, all the variants are coherent, so there is little guidance on that front. Apparently, what happened is that that the editors changed their mind on the internal evidence between the two editions. Why they did so is unclear, and I cannot find any documentation or commentary on this variant. The only clue I have are the local genealogies published on Muenster’s institute’s website ( ), and they differ between the two editions. In any case, the external evidence is effectively neutralized here under the CBGM and plays no important role.

JSJ:  Do you think that the recent decision to adopt μέρει in First Peter 4:16 was made primarily due to a rethinking of internal considerations, and the CBGM was simply along for the ride?  Mink’s argument (see p. 72 of Wasserman & Gurry’s New Approach) sure sounds like it was driven by internal evidence.

SCC:  This variant gets a bit outside the scope of my paper but it shows a different way that the bias at the heart of the CBGM can pop up, but it takes some explaining. There are two readings in 1 Pet 4:16. The older reading of the NA27 is “in this name” (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τούτῳ) and is supported by an all-star cast of P72, 01 (ℵ/Sinaiticus), 02 (A/Alexandrinus), 03 (B/Vaticanus), 044 (Ψ), 33, 81, 1611, 1739, Old Latins, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Gothic, Ethiopian, and Cyril. The testimony of the earliest and most widespread witnesses is unanimously in favor of “in this name.” And it makes good sense in light of our knowledge of the earliest persecutions against Christians. The newer reading in the NA28 is “in this respect” (ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ) is entirely Byzantine (049, P, 104, 180, etc.).
            It is important to note that the Byzantine text is not monolithically in favor of the second reading: there are also quite a few Byzantine manuscripts that have the “in this name” reading. In my research, this is the result of contamination, because I have ways of connecting the Byzantine manuscripts with this reading to older, non-Byzantine texts, but the bias of the CBGM can’t find this contamination because its potential ancestor formula is flawed. In fact, it gets the source relationships backwards, and is unable to recognize the actual sources of the contamination. As a result, the user of the CBGM is misled into thinking that going from “in this respect” to “in this name” is a common, independent change, when in fact the opposite was actually more common, to correct an older manuscript with “in this name” to “in this respect” in conformance with the more common, contemporary Byzantine reading. As a result, I strongly suspect that the CBGM results in this case have colored the editors’ reassessment of the internal evidence, causing them to favor a different sense of the transcriptional probabilities than their predecessors. For a good internal analysis on the merits of the previous NA27 reading (“in this name”) see Jarrett Knight’s article in JBL last year.

JSJ:  I’ve gotten the impression that the more rival readings there are in a particular variant-unit, the less useful the CBGM becomes – downright chaotic – and the more unstable the Nestle-Aland compilation is likely to become at those points.  Have you gotten this impression, and if so, why does this seem to be the case?

SCC: There is a big issue over the size and scope of variation units that is largely ignored in our discussions to date, so there isn’t much to go on. I suspect that, as in the case of 1 Pet 5:1, when all the variants are coherent (which seems to be easier to happen when there are more of them), then the CBGM does not have much to offer the textual critic for decision. But I’ll need to look at a lot more of them to be more confident.

JSJ:  When I look at things like the diagram of the textual flow for Second Peter 3:10 (on page 76 of Wasserman & Gurry’s A New Approach to Textual Criticism, about the CBGM), it looks like the CBGM began by building a line of descent for each set of rival variants in a specific variation-unit, and somewhere along the line its focus shifted, from being about relationships of readings, to something more concrete, involving relationships of manuscripts (or, manuscripts’ texts).  (See the diagrams on pages 89-91, and then, on p. 105, “The global stemma for the Harklean Group in the Catholic Letters.)  I still don’t quite grasp how that was done – how the global stemma was made without simply ignoring some of the data.  Could you explain that in a little more detail? 

SCC:  The key thing to know about the global stemma is that, aside from a few toy examples, it was never published or used to edit the text in the ECM. I spent a lot of time trying to understand it and how it relates to the textual flows, only to learn that it is still under development and irrelevant to the text of the NA28. I recommend ignoring it until it is actually implemented because it is still under development and who knows how it can change. All I can say is that the portion of the global stemma published in Wasserman & Gurry defies easy historical interpretation.

JSJ:  Are there any other reasons to approach the CBGM with caution?

SCC: Let me enumerate some of them.
(1) In addition to its bias, we mentioned that the CBGM does not take into account versional and patristic evidence, an important set of evidence for the early periods of the text.
(2) The behavior of the “connectivity parameter,” which we have not discussed, seems to be affected by the sampling bias, so the number would have to be different in the well-sampled Byzantine text than outside of it, but the CBGM has no provision for this.
(3) Another issue is that the method may be too beholden to what the editors think is the initial text. For the ECM/NA28, the editors started with a subset of the NA27 for all intents and purposes, but what if they started with the Byzantine or Codex Bezae? At this point, it’s an open question.
(4) Further, I suspect that the CBGM is not even finding contamination correctly (see above for 1 Pet 4:16), but that is something under active research and a matter for a different time.
(5) Finally, the major problem I have with the ECM and the NA28 is that the editors have not adequately explained their reasoning in all the places where they changed the text. This is particularly important because the CBGM’s problems mean that the external evidence will appear less decisive than it used to and put a lot more pressure on getting the internal arguments right. Yet, when the internal arguments are not documented, it forces people to assume it was the CBGM that caused the change when it could have been something else. Fortunately, the decisions leading to the Acts is better documented that the Catholics, but even then I still want something even more thorough.

JSJ:  Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

SCC: You’re welcome. I hope my explanations are helpful to your readers.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Video Lecture: How To Use the Nestle-Aland Apparatus

            Now on YouTube:  the seventh lecture in the series Introduction to NT Textual Criticism!  In this 23-minute lecture, I discuss the textual apparatus in the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece and the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, and explain many of the symbols and features found therein.

(At around the 5:43 mark, the slide that refers to letters should refer instead to numbers.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Video Lecture: Some Important Manuscripts

Now at YouTube:

Lecture 06 - Some Important Manuscripts - in the series Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism. (24 minutes, but viewers are expected to explore the links and thus take longer)

Subtitles provide a basic outline and links to supplemental materials.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Video Lecture: Patristic Evidence

Lecture 05 - Patristic Evidence
         Now on YouTube:  the fifth lecture in the series Introduction to NT Textual Criticism is up at YouTube!  In this 30-minute lecture, I discuss the value of patristic evidence and explain some of the precautions that should be taken in its use.  I also briefly review 50 important patristic writers.
         Subtitles provide a basic outline of the lecture.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

An Uncial of Luke 5-6 at Mount Sinai

          At the Sinai Palimpsests Project website, part of one of the manuscripts included among the New Finds collection – Greek N.F. M 98 – has lower writing that consists of a folio from a Greek uncial, preserving text in four columns (two columns per page, probably 26 lines per column) from Luke 5:33-34, 5:36-37, 5:39-6:1, and 6:3-4.  Dr. Giuglielmo Cavallo – author of the first chapter in the superb little 2008 book, The Shape of the Book – identified and analyzed this text a while ago, and assigned it a production-date around 1000.  It has received an official Nestle-Aland identification number:  0288.  Let’s take a closer look at its text, which is on the first page (front and back) of the manuscript.
          In its four columns of text, compared to the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform, this witness has two variants:  in Luke 5:33, we encounter ποικνα instead of πυκνα, and after ομοιως we meet δε και instead of just και.  Other than these two readings, the text is perfectly Byzantine, agreeing with the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform.  This witness disagrees with the Nestle-Aland compilation at almost every opportunity:

In the lower writing of Greek N.F. M 98: 
● 5:34 – Ις (before ειπεν) is not included
● 5:36 – απο (after επίβλημα is not included
● 5:36 – σχίσας (after καινου) is not included [Not noted in NA27 apparatus]
● 5:36 – σκιζει (instead of σκισει in À B C L)  [Not noted in NA27 apparatus]  
● 5:36 – συμφωνει (instead of συμφωνήσει) [Not noted in NA27 apparatus]
● 5:36 – το επίβλημα before απο is is not included
● 5:39 – και is at the beginning of the verse [bracketed in NA27]
● 5:39 – ευθεως appears after παλαιον
● 5:39 – χρηστότερος instead of χρηστός
● 6:1 – δευτεροπρώτω is present
● 6:1 – των is present before σπορίμων
● 6:3 – οποτε instead of οτε
● 6:3 – οντες appears at the end of the verse [bracketed in NA27]
● 6:4 – ως is at the beginning of the verse [bracketed in NA27]
● 6:4 – ελαβεν και instead of λαβων

Reconstruction of the lower writing in Greek N.F. M 98.
           Here is a reproduction of the text of Luke in Greek N.F. M 98, with the upper writing removed.  Twice, the copyist appears to have used a kai-compendium or dwarf letters, but the writing at both points was obscured by the upper writing.  (This is signified in the reproduction by the light red squares.)          
Before presenting a transcription of the text, here are some thoughts about some textual contests that could be considered if one were defending the Byzantine readings found in Greek N.F. M 98.

● 5:34 – Ις in the Alexandrian Text could be introduced for the sake of clarity, or as a remembrance of 5:31.
● 5:36 – απο and σχίσας could be added for the sake of clarity.
● 5:36 – συμφωνει could be altered to συμφωνήσει as part of an expansion which also involved the addition of το επίβλημα before απο.
● 5:38 – In Greek N.F. M 98, space-considerations seem to favor the inclusion of και αμφότεροι συντηρουνται at the end of the verse.
● 5:39 – A copyist might excise και as an attempt at stylistic improvement.  (The entire verse is absent in Codex D and several Old Latin witnesses.)
● 5:39 – χρηστότερος can account for χρηστός with a simple parableptic error.
● 6:1 – δευτεροπρώτω is certainly the more difficult reading.
● 6:3 – οποτε can account for οτε with a simple parableptic error.
● 6:4 – The support for nothing before εισηλθων at the beginning of the verse is sparse.
● 6:4 – Part of the Alexandrian line seems harmonized to Mark 2:26.

Readers are invited to double-check the data in this post.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Video Lecture: How Manuscripts Were Made

Lecture 03 in the series Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism is now online:
The Structure of New Testament Manuscripts And How They Were Made

In this brief lecture, I describe what a leaf is, what a quire is, Gregory's Rule, cancel-sheets, multi-quire codices, ruling, catchwords, correctors, trimming, binding, palimpsests, and more.

With subtitles!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Video Lecture: Kinds of Greek NT Manuscripts

Lecture 02 -
Kinds of Greek NT Manuscripts
            The second video lecture in the series Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism is online.  This lecture, a little more than 20 minutes long, reviews different kinds of continuous-text Greek manuscripts of books of the New Testament – papyri, uncials (majuscules), and minuscules – and some of their distinctive features. 
            Sub-titles provide a running outline of the lecture.

On YouTube at

Friday, May 1, 2020

Codex 064: Transcriptions of the New Pages

            What is the text on the four newly identified pages of 064 at St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai?  That’s the question that this post was written to answer!  Without further introduction, here is the front-and-back transcription of the Greek lower writing on fol. 72 and fol. 71 of Syriac 7.  Red letters indicate a deviation from the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform.

On 72v., in the first column, in the 10th line, part of the text is obscured by the upper writing.  It looks like the copyist accidentally skipped a syllable and perhaps a correction was made in different ink which did not survive.

The last digit in the Section-number beside Mt. 27:37 is probably Δ but it is difficult to say for sure because it is obscured by the upper writing.

Page-views of Syriac 7 are online at the Sinai Palimpsests Project at, a publication of St. Catherine’s Monastery of the Sinai in collaboration with EMEL and UCLA.  The pages with the text represented here can be viewed as the last two pages of the manuscript, upside down (relative to the Syriac text).

Readers are welcome to double-check the data in this post.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Codex 064 - More Pages at Mount Sinai!

A sample of the Greek text of 064 
(under the Syriac text, which has been
digitally removed from this image.)
            Four pages from Codex 064, dating to the 400s or 500s, are among the manuscripts housed at Saint Catherine’s Monastery.  They are on pages 71 and 72 of the manuscript known as Syriac 7 (accessible, with registration, at the Sinai Palimpsests Project website), and they contain Matthew 26:70-27:7 (on fol. 72) and Matthew 27:30-43 (on fol. 71). 
             Although the Greek text on this palimpsest is partly obscured by the Syriac writing that was written on top of it, most of it can be read without much difficulty once the pages are rotated and magnified onscreen.  The text is formatted in two narrow columns on each page, with 25 lines of text per page.  In this respect it corresponds to the description that J. Rendel Harris gave to several pages which he identified as Fragment #10 in the 1890 book Biblical Fragments from Mount Sinai. 
            The pages that were described and transcribed by Harris as Fragment 10 constitute the uncial 074, which turned out to be part of the same manuscript identified as Codex 064, which consists of two parchment leaves with text from Matthew 27:7-30.  Making things a little more complicated, 064 and 074 are from the same manuscript as the pages which constitute Codex 090, which consists of several pages with text from Matthew 26:59-70, 27:44-46, and Mark 1:32-2:12.  To restate:  064 (at Kiev, Ukraine), 074 (at St. Catherine’s Monastery), and 090 (at the National Library of Russia, in Saint Petersburg) are all from the same codex.
            Now the surviving part of that codex is known to be a little more substantial.  The other day, after I replicated the lower writing on a page from Syriac 7, I asked Elijah Hixson for his impression of the Greek text.  He mentioned that it reminded him of the manuscript at St. Catherine's Monastery that J. Rendel Harris had discovered back in 1890 - 064.  And with a little more investigation, I confirmed that that is exactly what these pages are from.
            The text on one page of Codex 090 ends at Matthew 26:70.  So what we have in the page in Syriac 7 – 72r – that contains Matthew 26:70-27:7 is the page that came immediately after that page of 090.
            The text on another page of Codex 090 begins at Matthew 27:44.  So what we have in the page in Syriac 7/Greek 064 that contains Matthew 27:30-43 – 71r – is the page that came immediately before that page from the portion known as Codex 090. 
            The text in the newly discovered pages of Codex 064 is interesting – more Byzantine than anything else, but with significant variation.  Here are some examples of its readings:
            26:70 – At the end of the verse, 064 reads -σταμαι τι λεγεις – a reading which looks  like an agreement with D, Δ, and f1, but with a transposition.
            26:72 – After ορκου, 064 reads λεγων, a reading shared by Codex D.
            26:73 – After Μετα μικρον δε, 064 reads παλιν, an agreement with f1.
            26:73 – After και γαρ, 064 reads Γαλιλαιος ει και, an agreement with C*.
            26:73 – After λαλια, 064 has προ between σου and δηλόν.
            27:33 – 064 has the word-order κρανιου τοπος λεγομενος, agreeing with À B L 1 1582.
            27:34 – 064 has οξος, agreeing with Byz A W.
            27:34 – 064 has ηθέλησεν, agreeing with À* B D f1.
            27:35 – 064 does not have ινα πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια του προφήτου διεμέρισαντο τα ιμάτια μου εαυτοις και επι τον ιματισμον μου εβαλον κληρον.  Κληρον is followed immediately by και (beginning v. 26) on the same line.
            27:41 – After Ομοιως, 064 reads και, but δε is not present.
            27:41 – Between εμπαίζοντες and μετα, one line of text is filled by  προς αλληλους (a harmonization with Mark 15:31).
            27:41 – 064 includes και Φαρισαίων (agreeing with Byz K Π) and this reading fills exactly one line of text, following another line that also ends in –ων.    
            27:42 – At the end of the verse, 064 reads  πιστευσωμεν αυτω.
            27:43 – At the very beginning of the verse, 064 reads Ει before πέποιθεν, agreeing with D f1. 
            27:43 – 064 does not have νυν after ρυσάσθω, agreeing with A Y Π 157 565.
            Hopefully a full transcription of the pages of Codex 064 in Syriac 7 will be available soon.

Readers are invited to double-check the data in this post.


Friday, April 24, 2020

Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism - Lecture 1

At YouTube - NTTC Lecture 1
Some time ago, I pictured a series of lectures on New Testament textual criticism.  The first lecture in that series is now online:  Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism - Lecture 1.

Other titles in the planned series:
2.  What is a New Testament Witness?
3.  How to Make a Codex
4.  Major Patristic Writers and Early Versions
5.  25 Important Witnesses
6.  25 Weird Witnesses
7.  What Is a Lectionary?
8.  The Diatessaron
9.  The Stuff in the Margin
10.  Text-types:  Why Numbers Do Not Matter Much
11.  The Textus Receptus
12.  Textual Criticism Before Westcott & Hort (Part 1)
13.  Textual Criticism Before Westcott & Hort (Part 2)        
14.  Hort’s Theory of the Lucianic Recension
15.  The Revised Version:  Breaking the Rules
16.  Grenfell & Hunt Accidentally Eviscerate Hort’s Theory
17.  “What About Killing a Man?”
18.  Will English Bible Wars Solve Everything?    
19.  Misinformation Is Everywhere
20.  The Ending of Mark
21.  The Story of the Adulteress
22.  The Angel in the Garden
23.  (Students Pick Variant-Units to Examine)
24.  Close Contests (and Conjectural Emendation)
25.  Revisiting the Byzantine Text

This might take a while!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Are You My Mother? Minuscules 1210 and 22

            It is very rare to find a manuscript and the manuscript from which its text was copied.  That makes minuscule 1210 (housed at St. Catherine’s monastery, where it is cataloged as Greek MS 173) special.  It is one of a smattering of extant Greek manuscripts that have been shown to be copies of another extant Greek manuscript.  Here’s the smattering: 

[■ indicates that a copy is younger than the first printed Greek New Testament.] 

056 is a copy of 0142.  (Or the other way around.)
0319 is a copy of 06.
0320 is also a copy of 06.
0151 is a copy of 018.
205 is a copy of 2886. (It used to be thought that 2886 was a copy of 205; for this reason, the manuscript that is now known as 2886 used to be called 205abs – “abs” as in Abschrift, i.e., copy.)
322 is a copy of 323.
423 is a copy of 333. ■
821 is a copy of 0141. ■
872 is a copy of 2193.
1065 is a copy of 1068. ■
1089 is a copy of 1218.
1210 is (mostly) a copy of 22.
1884 is a copy of 08. ■
2110 is a copy of 0150.
2579 is a copy of 138. ■
2883 is a copy of 9. ■
2884 is a copy of 30.
2885 is a copy of 96. ■
2887 is a copy of 1160.  ■ (2887 was made in 1888!)
2888 is a copy of 1909. ■
2890 is a copy of 1983.
2889 is a copy of 1929.
2891 is a copy of 2036. ■
            Only eight extant manuscripts produced before the 1500s – 056, 205, 872, 1089, 1210, 2884, 2890, and 2889 – are thought to have an extant master-copy (although in a few cases there is some question as to which manuscript is the copy, and which is the master-copy). 
            Out of eight non-orphan manuscripts produced before the 1500s, five include the four Gospels (205, 872, 1089, 1210, and 2883).  This implies that except for the members of family-1 and family-13 (which are something like groups of siblings with a non-extant shared ancestor), the rest of the extant Gospels-manuscripts – something around 2,000 – fit the description that Kirsopp Lake gave them:  “the manuscripts which we have are almost all orphan children without brothers or sisters.”  (Lake also claimed that the Gospels-text in 205 was copied from 209, but nowadays they are regarded as merely close relatives; Alan Taylor Farnes suspected that they are siblings.)    
            Several recent investigations overlap the subject of the relationship between GA 22 and GA 1210: 
            ● Amy S. Anderson’s The Textual Tradition of the Gospels:  Family 1 in Matthew. (2004 New Testament Tools & Studies, Vol. XXXII.)
            ● Alison Welsby’s A Textual Study of Family in the Gospel of John (2011).

            The information presented by Anderson (focused on the Gospel of Matthew) and Welsby (focused on the Gospel of John) shows that 22 (housed at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France as Greek MS 72) and 1210 share a very close relationship, and that they are both part of a sub-group of family 1 that consists of 22, 1192, 1210, 1278, and 2372.  Welsby’s data indicates that 1210 is a copy of 22 in John, and my comparison of their text in Mark indicates that this is also the case in Mark 2:17-16:20. 

            The text of Mark in 1210 – Sinai MS 173, included in the Library of Congress’ microfilm collection – resembles the text of Mark in 22 very closely.  According to Sanders, in his prefatory remarks in the article A New Collation of MS 22 of the Gospels in the 1914 Journal of Biblical Literature, 22 “has only 168 probable fam. 1 readings” in Mark, which Sanders correctly understood to mean that “The text of our MS has been very decidedly accommodated to the Antioch type and this agreement is evenly distributed throughout the gospel.”  To say this a different way:  GA 22’s text is mainly Byzantine, but it must have had a family-1 member in its genealogy somewhere along the way, to account for unusual readings like the following – many of which are shared by family-1.
Some (Not All!) Unusual Readings in GA 22 in Mark
(The variants in bold print are supported by 22 but not by 1210.)

(1) 1:2 – καθως [1210:  ως]
(2) 1:2 – Ησαιαι τωι προφητηι [1210:  τοις προφηταις]
(3) 1:10 – ως [1210: ωσει]
(4) 1:34 – Χν ειναι after αυτον  [1210:  non-inclusion]
(5) 1:35 – ο Ις after απηλθεν [1210:  non-inclusion]
(6) 2:17 – does not have εις μετάνοιαν
(7) 2:22 – does not have νέον after the first οινον
(8) 2:25 – instead of επείνασεν αυτος και οι μετ αυτου, 22 reads επείνασε και αυτος και οι μετ αυτου.  (The copyist apparent mistook the letter ν as a kai-compendium, ϗ.  This mistake would be easier to make using an uncial exemplar than with a minuscule exemplar.)
(9) 3:5 – does not have υγιης ώς ή αλλη (but there is a note in the margin)
(10) 3:24-25 – skips from σταθηναι in verse 24 to η οικια κεινη at the end of verse 25.
(10) 3:29 – does not have εις τον αιωνα after αφεσιν.
(11) 4:12 – does not have τα άμαρτήματα
(12) 4:34 – does not have ιδίοις and does not have αυτου (like 700)
(13) 5:1 – Γεργεσηνων
(14) 5:27 – does not have εν τω οχλω (like f1) but does not have του κρασπέδου (unlike f1)
(15) 5:40 – κατακείμενον after παιδίον
(16) 6:22 – does not have αυτης after θυγατρος
(17) 6:27 – αποστειλας instead of απολύσας, and does not have ο βασιλευς
(18) 6:36 – καταλύσωσι instead of αγοράσωσιν εαυτοις and does not have αρτους [1210:  αγοράσωσιν εαυτοις and has αρτους]
(19) 6:47 – πάλαι after ην (agreeing with P45)
(20) 7:8 – does not have βαπτισμους ζεστων και ποτηρίων και αλλα παρόμοια τοιαυτα πολλα ποιετε anywhere in the verse
(21) 8:4 – δυναται instead of δυνήσεται
(22) 8:15 – at the end of the verse, after και:  της ζύμης των Ηρωδιανων
(23) 8:38 – αν instead of εαν
(24) 8:38 – at the end of the verse:  does not have των αγιων [1210:  includes των αγιων]
(25) 9:13 – ηδη after Ηλιας
(26) 9:22 – δυνηι instead of δύασαι
(27) 9:23 – δυνηι instead of δύασαι without πιστευσαι
(28) 9:44 – does not have this verse
(29) 9:45 – does not have εις το πυρ το ασβεστον at the end of the verse
(30) 9:46 – does not have this verse
(31) 9:49 – does not have και πασα θυσία αλι αλισθήσεται
(32) 10:1 – does not have και or δια του after Ιουδαίας
(33) 10:32 – does not have και εθαμβουντο (h.t.)
(34) 10:40 – παρα του πρς μου at the end of the verse
(35) 11:1 – Βησφαγε
(36) 11:10 – instead of Ωσαννα, the text reads ειρήνη ουρανω και δόξα.  Then ⁒ appears in the text and also in the margin, where it is accompanied by Ωσαννα. [1210:  similar:  ειρήνη εν ουρανω και δόξα Ωσαννα]
(37) 11:21 – εξηραται [1210 appears to read εξηρανθη (agreeing with D L N Θ f1)]
(38) 11:32 – does not have οντως after Ιωάννην
(39) 12:14 – ηρξαντο ερωταν εν δόλωι instead of λεγουσιν αυτω [1210: ηρξαντο ερωταν αυτον εν δόλωι, agreeing partly with f1)]
(40) 12:35 – υιος εστι του Δαδ
(41) 13:1 – ποδαποι instead of ποταποι [1210:  ποιλιθοι]
(42) 13:1 – ποδαπαι instead of ποταπαι
(43) 14:3 – does not have κατα before της κεφαλης
(44) 14:5 – πολλα at the end of the verse
(45) 14:8 – προς instead of εις after σωμα
(46) 14:14 – μου after κατάλυμα
(47) 14:35 – επι προσωπον after επεσεν
(48) 14:42 – αγομεν instead of αγωμεν
(49) 14:43 – απεσταλμενοι after ξύλων
(50) 14:53 – αυτου instead of αυτω (before παντες)
(51) 15:4 – κατηγορουσιν instead of καταμαρτυρουσιν
(52) 15:16 – εις την αυλην instead of της αυλην
(53) 15:20 – χλαμυδα instead of πορφύραν
(54) 15:39 – αυτωι instead of εξ εναντίας αυτου
(55) 16:7 – ηγέρθη απο των νεκρων και ιδου before προάγει
(56) 16:8/16:9 Note – ⁜ εν τισι των αντιγραφων εως ωδε πληρουται ο ευαγγελιστης : εν πολλοις δε και ταυτα φερεται
(57) 16:9 – σαββατων instead of σαββατου
(58) 16:14 – εκ νεκρων after εγηγερμενον
(59) 16:18 – και εν ταις χερσιν
(60) 16:19 –  Ις after Κς

            It looks like the copyist of 1210 initially used a different exemplar of Mark – one with a strongly Byzantine text – but then began to resume using 22 as his exemplar instead, beginning around Mark 2:14-17.  To explore this idea further, let’s look at the readings in 1210 in Mark 1:1-2:17 that differ from the readings in the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform, asking, “Could this reading come from 22?”

Here are 1210’s deviations from the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform in Mark 1:1-2:17.  Out of 35 variant-units (most of which are very trivial), 1210 and 22 agree with each other 17 times, and disagree 18 times.  

(1) 1:5 – εξεπορεύετο instead of εξεπορεύοντο [22:  εξεπορεύοντο]
(2) 1:5 – Ιροσολυμιται [22:  Ιεροσολυμιται]
(3) 1:9 – ὁ before Ις [22:  no ὁ]
(4) 1:9 – Ναζαρετ [=22]
(5) 1:10 – ειδε [22:  ειδεν]
(6) 1:14 – does not have ὁ Ις [22: Ις]
(7) 1:16 – ειδε [22:  ειδεν]
(8) 1:20 – after πρα:  αυτον instead of αυτων [22:  αυτων]
(9) 1:21 – εδιδασκε [22:  εδιδασκεν]
(10) 1:23 – ανέκραξε [=22] 
(11) 1:27 – εστι [=22] 
(12) 1:27 – πνευμασι [=22] 
(13) 1:34 – εθεράπευσε [=22] 
(14) 1:34 – εξέβαλε [22:  εξέβαλεν]
(15) 1:34 – ηφιε [= 22] 
(16) 1:35 – εξελθε [22:  εξελθεν]
(17) 1:37 – ζητουσι [= 22] 
(18) 1:38 – αγομεν (agrees with À) [22:  αγωμεν]
(19) 1:38 – κομοπολεις [22:  κωμοπολεις]
(20) 1:40 – after γονυπετων:  αυτωι instead of αυτον [22:  αυτον] 
(21) 1:44 – αλλα instead of αλλ’ [=22] 
(22) 1:44 – προσέταξε [=22] 
(23) 2:1 – εισηλθε [=22] 
(24) 2:1 – εστι [=22] 
(25) 2:3 – ερχον [the –ται is missing] [22: ερχονται]
(26) 2:4 – χαλωσι [=22] 
(27) 2:4 – κραβατον [22:  κραβαττον]
(28) 2:9 – κραβαττον [=22] 
(29) 2:10 – ειδειτε [22:  ειδητε]
(30) 2:11 – κραβαττον [= 22] 
(31) 2:12 – κραβαττον [= 22] 
(32) 2:12 – εναντιων [22:  εναντιον]
(33) 2:13 – εξελθε [22:  εξελθεν]
(34) 2:14 – Λευιν [=22]    
(35) 2:17 – does not have εις μετανοιαν but it is present as a secondary correction [=22, i.e., 22 does not have εις μετανοιαν but it is present as a secondary correction]
In GA 1210, an f1 reading appears
in Mk 16:7, and the short form of f1's
note is between Mk 16:8  and 16:9.
A lection-label for Mark 16:9-20
appears at the top of the page
(Heoth. #3) with the incipit-phrase.
            When we consider the 18 disagreements in this list, and set aside differences that can be attributed to scribal preferences regarding spelling and movable-nu, ten significant differences remain which weigh in against the idea that one of these manuscripts is a direct copy of the other one in Mark 1:1-2:17:

1:2 – 1210:  ως [22:  καθως]
1:2 – 1210:  τοις προφηταις [22:  Ησαιαι τωι προφητηι] 
1:5 – 1210:  εξεπορεύετο [22:  εξεπορεύοντο]
1:9 – 1210:  ὁ before Ις [22:  no ὁ]
1:10 – 1210:  ωσει [22: ως] 
1:14 – 1210:  does not have ὁ Ις [22: Ις]
1:20 – 1210:  after πρα:  αυτον [22:  αυτων]
1:34 – 1210 does not have Χν ειναι after αυτον [22:  has Χν ειναι after αυτον]   
1:35 – 1210 does not have ο Ις after απηλθεν [22:  has ο Ις after απηλθεν]
1:40 – 1210:  after γονυπετων:  αυτωι instead of αυτον [22:  αυτον] 

It looks rather difficult for 22’s text of Mark 1:1-2:13 to be copied from 1210, and equally difficult for 1210’s text of Mark 1:1-2:13 to be copied from 22.  But let’s extend the comparison of 22 and 1210 to the rest of Mark chapter 2.

22’s Disagreements with RP-Byz in Mark 2:18-28:
19 – εστι [=1210]
In GA 22, the same variant appears
in Mk 16:7, and the same note appears
between Mk. 16:8 and 16:9.

19 – εχουσι [=1210]
22 – does not have νέον after the first οινον [=1210; in 1210 οινον is the last word in a line]
25 – εποίησε [=1210]
25 – εσχε [=1210]
25 – επείνασε και αυτος και οι μετ αυτου [= 1210]
26 – του after Αβιαθαρ [= 1210]
26 – ιερευσι [=1210]
26 – εδωκε [=1210]
28 – κυριος is not contracted [=1210]

Whereas before Mark 2:17, the orthographic agreements were hit-and-miss, after Mark 2:17 they are perfectly aligned.  In addition, the agreements of 22 and 1210 in super-rare readings in verses 22 and 25 indicate that whatever factor elicited 1210’s disagreements with 22 prior to 2:17 has been removed, and in 1210, from this point on, we are looking at a close copy of 22’s text.
            Awareness that 1210’s text of Mark is – after 2:17 – a copy of 22 has a small impact on the analysis of the two largest major textual variants in the New Testament:  Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11. 
In 1582, the long form of f1's note appears
between Mark 16:8 and 16:9.
            Between Mark 16:8 and 16:9, 22 and 1210 both feature a note which says εν τισι των αντιγραφων εως ωδε πληρουται ο ευαγγελιστης : εν πολλοις δε και ταυτα φερεται, that is, “In some copies the Gospel is finished here; in many, there is also this.”  This is a shortened form of the note that appears at this location in MSS 1 and 1582, Εν τισι μεν των αντιγράφων εως ωδε πληρουται ο ευαγγελιστης, εως ου και Ευσεβιος ο Παμφίλου εκανόνισεν· εν πολλοις δε ταυτα φεέρεται·.  The part about the Eusebian Canons was probably intentionally omitted at a time and place where the Eusebian Canons had been adjusted so as to include Mark 16:9-20.  By preserving this note, 1210 echoes 22, and 22 echoes f1.  Their weight should be boiled down accordingly.     
 In 22 and 1210, John 7:53-8:11 does not appear; John 7:52 is followed immediately in both manuscripts by 8:12.  What is intriguing about this is that 22 and 1210 are secondary members of f1; members such as 1 and 1582 represent the core of the group.  In 1 and 1582, the pericope adulterae appears after the end of John 21, prefaced by a note (also attested in GA 565) stating:
            The chapter about the adulteress:  in the Gospel according to John, this does not appear in the majority of copies; nor is it commented upon by the divine fathers whose interpretations have been preserved – specifically, by John Chrysostom and Cyril of Alexandria; nor is it taken up by Theodore of Mopsuestia and the others.  For this reason, it was not kept in the place where it is found in a few copies, at the beginning of the 86th chapter [that is, the 86th Eusebian section], following, ‘Search and see that a prophet does not arise out of Galilee.’”
            The thing to see is that the details about members of f1 (provided by Welsby) constitute a guardrail which rules out the idea that John 7:53-8:11 is a barnacle that attached itself to later members of the group.   What we see is the opposite:  1 and 1582 represent the earliest stratum of the group, and their note conveys the note’s author’s knowledge of the pericope adulterae and of its presence in the text after John 7:52 in some manuscripts.  Its transplantation from a location after John 7:52, to the end of the Gospel, is reported in the note.  By the time 22 and 1210 were made, the prefatory note and the pericope adulterae were dropped from the f1 transmission-stream, although in more central members of the group, the prefatory note and the pericope adulterae had been present after John 21. 

Readers are invited to double-check the data in this post.