In the Goodspeed Manuscript Collection at the
there is a twelfth-century manuscript
called “2 Timothy and Titus Praxapostolos Fragment,” known as manuscript #943
in the collection, and identified as 2425 in the Gregory-Aland identification-system. Manuscript 2425 contains text from
Second Timothy (3:6-4:22) and Titus (1:1-3).
It also contains a Hypothesis (Summary) of Titus. University of Chicago
|This detail from 2425 shows text from Second Timothy 3:15-4:3a,|
including a variant in 4:1 that is not in the Nestle-Aland apparatus.
A couple of longer readings that are found in the text of Second Timothy in Codex Alexandrinus, produced in the 400’s (“and carnal pleasures” in 3:6, and “as a good soldier in Christ Jesus” in 4:5), are not in the text of 2425, and two shorter readings in Codex Alexandrinus (the non-inclusion of “the love” in 3:10 and the non-inclusion of “me” in 4:17) that were not adopted in NA27 are not supported by 2425 (that is, 2425 and the Byzantine Text agree with NA27 against Codex A at all four points).
Two other things may be learned from 2425:
● Considering the textual stability implied by a comparison of 2425 and the Byzantine Text, the often-repeated claim that “no two New Testament manuscripts agree exactly” is almost certainly wrong. At least one book of the New Testament – perhaps Second Timothy or Titus or Jude – was very probably reproduced in a form that is shared exactly by more than one manuscript.
|The STEP-Bible: better than NA27.|
● In the course of collating the text of 2425, I noticed a significant variant-unit in Second Timothy 4:1 that is not in the Nestle-Aland apparatus. The words “the Lord” – του Κυριου in Greek – are not in the Alexandrian Text, but the word Κυριου is supported by 2425 (in which Κυριου, being a sacred name, is contracted as Κυ and overlined). The reading του Κυριου is included in the Byzantine Text (and is supported by the Peshitta). To put this another way: a variant in Second Timothy 4:1 that has an impact on translation, and which is found in the majority of Greek manuscripts, is not in the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece at all. It’s not in the text of NA-27 and it’s not in the apparatus. You won’t find it in the
New Testament anywhere either. It’s
not mentioned in the NET either. The Byzantine reading is, however, listed in the footnotes of the SBL-GNT, and it is also included
in the apparatus of the STEP-Bible prepared at Tyndale House, although the specific
variant attested by 2425, in which Κυριου is in the text but is not preceded by
του, is not mentioned. I conclude that
the claim that “it is certain that the original wording is found either in the text or in the apparatus” may be an overly optimistic assessment when applied to the
Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece.
Thank you for these textual insights, James.
You mention the longer readings of Alexandrinus at 3:6 (A 1245 1505 syr(h); Thret) and 4:5 (A). Their loss in other manuscripts can be explained from copyist oversight. For 3:6 ("and pleasures") we have evidence of a homoioteleuton: ais-ais, and for 4:5 ("as a good soldier in Christ Jesus") it looks like a sight confusion: hson-hsou.
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