In the previous post, I concluded that although it has been claimed that the new edition of the Nestle-Aland compilation of the Greek text of the New Testament reflects the editors’ acknowledgement of “much greater value of the Byzantine manuscripts” than before, such a thing is practically indiscernible in the compilation in James, First Peter, and Second Peter – the first three books of the General Epistles, which is the only part of the New Testament in which NA28 introduces text-critically derived alterations to the text. Previous, NA27 and the Byzantine Text disagreed in those three books 187 times; now NA28 and the Byzantine Text disagree 181 times. That’s not much of a shift.
But what about the Epistles of John, and the Epistle of Jude? Does the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland compilation have more agreements with the Byzantine Text in those four books? Let’s find out, investigating all of the textual changes from NA26 (1979) to NA28 (2013) in First John, Second John, Third John, and Jude. Red text signifies that NA28 rejects a Byzantine reading that was in NA26 and NA27. A dot accompanies each adoption of a Byzantine reading.
1:7: δε is not included after εαν near the beginning of the verse, agreeing with 1739 but disagreeing with the Byzantine Text.
3:7: Παιδια instead of Τεκνία at the beginning of the verse, agreeing with A and 1739 but disagreeing with the Byzantine Text.
● 5:10: αυτω instead of εαυτω, agreeing with B, A, and the Byzantine Text. Here NA28 reverts to the reading that was in NA25.
● 5:18: εαυτον instead of αυτον, agreeing with À, 1739, and the Byzantine Text.
● v. 5: γράφων σοι καινην instead of καινην γράφων σοι, agreeing with B and the Byzantine Text, but disagreeing with a wide array of witnesses including À A 1505 and 1739. Here NA28 reverts to the reading that was in NA25.
● v. 12: ᾐ πεπληρωμένη after υμων, instead of πεπληρωμένη ᾐ, agreeing with the Byzantine Text.
● v. 4: τη is not included before ἀληθεία, agreeing with À, 1739, and the Byzantine Text.
v. 5: ἅπαξ has been moved; ἅπαξ πάντα appears between υμας and οτι (NA27 read πάντα οτι after υμας. The new reading disagrees with the Byzantine Text, in which υμας is followed by ἅπαξ τουτο οτι.
v. 5: Ιησους instead of [ο] κύριος, disagreeing with the Byzantine Text, but agreeing with the Vulgate. Although it is sometimes claimed that textual variants have no impact on Christian doctrines, James White recently acknowledged, “That’s interesting: Jesus delivered the people from
That’s got some pretty important theological ramifications to it. There’s no question about that.” (Of course he meant to refer to Egypt, not Israel.) Israel
v. 18: οτι is not included before επ’ εσχάτου, agreeing with À and B but disagreeing with Papyrus 72, 1739, and the Byzantine Text. The Byzantine Text here reads οτι εν εσχάτου.
● v. 18: του is not included after εσχάτου, agreeing with the Byzantine Text.
Added up, that comes to five new disagreements, and six new agreements.
In the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland compilation, there were 92 disagreements with the Byzantine Text in these four books. But now, in the 28th edition, the editors’ newfound appreciation for the Byzantine Text has caused that number to plummet to 91. Combined with the results from James, First Peter, and Second Peter, this means that the number of times the Nestle-Aland compilation disagrees with the Byzantine Text in the General Epistles has dropped from 279 to 272.
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