Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hand-to-Hand Combat: Sinaiticus vs. Textus Receptus in Rev. 22


            It is often claimed that the text in older manuscripts is more accurate than the text in younger manuscripts.  At first glance, this makes sense:  fewer years implies fewer opportunities for copyists to corrupt the text.  But upon more careful consideration, it does not make sense, except as a general consideration:  what matters is not whether scribes had those opportunities for corruption, but whether they used them. 
            Confirmation that the text of an early manuscript can be more corrupt than the text in a later manuscript has already been provided here in the Hand-to-Hand Combat series of posts.  In each of those twelve posts, the text of an older manuscript was compared to the text of a younger manuscript, using the NA27 compilation as the standard of comparision. 

In Matthew 24:23-30, minuscule 2474’s text is more accurate than the text in Codex Sinaiticus.  Sinaiticus has 59 letters’ worth of corruption; 25 letters’ worth when itacisms and trivial variants are removed from consideration.  2474 has 14 letters’ worth of corruption; 5 letters’ worth when itacisms and trivial variants are removed from consideration.           

In Luke 2:1-12, Vaticanus’ text is more accurate than the text in minuscule 1295, but the text in 1295 is more accurate than the text in Sinaiticus.  When itacisms and trivial variants are set aside, B has 18 letters’ worth of corruption, 1295 has 28 letters’ worth of corruption, and À has 44 letters’ worth of corruption.  

In Colossians 3:1-11, the text of minuscule 6 is more accurate than the texts in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.    The text of minuscule 2401 is more accurate than the text in B.  When itacisms and trivial variants are set aside, B has 25 letters’ worth of corruption; 2401 has 24; Sinaiticus has 31, and minuscule 6 has 15.

In First Corinthians 15:1-11, the text of minuscule 384 is more accurate than the text of Papyrus 46.  When itacisms and trivial variants are set aside, 384 has 9 letters’ worth of difference from the NA text, the text in P46 has 14 or 15 letters’ worth of corruption.   

In Luke 8:19-25, the text of Codex Alexandrinus is more accurate than the text of Papyrus 75.  When itacisms and trivial variants are set aside, P75’s text has 29 letters’ worth of corruption; Codex A’s text has 18 letters’ worth of corruption.

In Luke 8:19-25, the text of minuscule 1324 is far more accurate than the text of Codex Bezae.  When itacisms and trivial variants are set aside, Codex Bezae has 83 letters’ worth of corruption, while the text of 1324 has 39.   

In Jude, the text of minuscule 6 is more accurate than the text of Papyrus 72.  Minuscule 6 has 157 letters’ worth of corruption, but the text of Papyrus 72 has 399 letters’ worth of corruption.

In Acts 18:27-19:6, the text of minuscule 2401 is more accurate than the text of Papyrus 38.  2401 has 29 letters’ worth of corruption; Papyrus 38 has 152 letters’ worth of corruption.

In Mark 4:1-9, the text of minuscule 545 is more accurate than the text of Codex W.    The text in minuscule 545 has 88 letters’ worth of corruption, but Codex W’s text has 258 letters’ worth of corruption.

In John 15:1-9, the text of minuscule 2222 is more accurate than the text of Codex A.    Both of these manuscripts are very accurate in this passage, but when minor variants are taken into consideration 2222 has 11 letters’ worth of corruption, and Codex A has 30 letters’ worth of corruption.

In John 6:65-7:16, the text of minuscule 4 is more accurate than the text of Codex Sinaiticus.  Minuscule 4’s text has 106 letters’ worth of corruption, but the text in Sinaiticus has 122 letters’ worth of corruption.   

In First Peter 5, the text of minuscule 496 is more accurate than the text of Codex Vaticanus.  Minuscule 496 has 75 letters’ worth of corruption, but the text in Vaticanus has 110 letters’ worth of corruption.   

            Today, let’s add one more comparison to those twelve, by comparing the text of Revelation 22:10-21 in the oldest manuscript of this passage – Codex Sinaiticus – to the text of Revelation 22:10-21 in the Textus Receptus.   This particular part of the Textus Receptus is somewhat notorious, because when Erasmus produced the Textus Receptus, he had only one Greek manuscript of Revelation on hand, and it was missing the final six verses of the book.  With nothing to go on except his memory, a revised Vulgate text, and the notes of Lorenzo Valla, Erasmus resorted to retro-translating the text from Latin into Greek, so as to finish the compilation. 
            It ought to be a foregone conclusion, then, that Sinaiticus has a better text of Revelation 22:10-21 than the Textus Receptus has.  But just to make sure, here’s a comparison of both texts to the contents of Revelation 22:10-21 as printed in the Tyndale House edition of the Greek New Testament:

Codex Sinaiticus’ text of Revelation 22:10-21 differs from the text in THEGNT at the following points:

10 - ℵ reads τουτους after λογους (+7)
11 – no variation
12 - ℵ reads αποδοθηναι instead of αποδουναι (+2, -1)
13 – no variation
14 – ℵ reads ως δε η εξουσια before επι το ζυλον (+12)
15 – ℵ transposes so as to read, in the final phrase, ποιων και φιλων ψευδος.
16 – no variation
17 – ℵ reads π before the sacred-name contraction for πνευμα (+1)
17 - ℵ does not read η before νυμφη (-1)
18 – ℵ reads η at the beginning of the verse (+1)
18 – ℵ does not include επιθησει επ’ αυτον (-15)
19 – ℵ reads αν instead of εαν (-1)
19 – ℵ reads τουτων after λόγων (+6)
19 – ℵ reads προφητιας instead of προφητειας (-1)
19 – ℵ reads αφελι instead of αφελει after ταυτης (-1)
20 – ℵ reads λεγι instead of λεγει at the beginning of the verse (-1)
20 – ℵ reads ειναι after ταυτα (+5)
20 – ℵ does not have αμήν after ταχυ (-4)
21 – no variation

            This yields a total of 33 non-original letters present, and 25 original letters absent, for a total of 58 letters’ worth of corruption.
            When itacisms and similar inconsequential corruptions are set aside, the amount of non-trivial corruption in Sinaiticus in Rev. 22:10-21 consists of 32 non-original letters present, and 21 original letters absent, for a total of 53 letters’ worth of corruption.

Now let’s see how the Textus Receptus does (using Scrivener’s edition):

10 – TR reads οτι after τουτου (+3)
10 – TR does not have γαρ after καιρος (-3)
11 – TR reads ρυπων instead of ρυπαρος (+2, -4)
11 – TR reads δικαιωθητω instead of δικαιοσύνην ποιησάτω (+5, -14)
12 – TR reads και at the beginning of the verse (+3)
12 – TR does not have εστιν after εργον (-5)
12 – TR has εσται after αυτου (+5)
13 – TR has ειμι after εγω (+4)
13 – TR has the letter α rather than the word αλφα
13 – TR does not have η before αρχη (-1)
13 – TR transposes the final two phrases
14 – TR reads ποιουντες τας εντολας αυτου instead of πλυνοντες τας στολας αυτων (+9, -8)
15 – TR has δε after εξω (+2)
15 – TR has ο before φιλων (+1)
16 – TR has του after γενος (+3)
16 – TR has Δαβιδ instead of Δαυιδ (+1, -1)
16 – TR has και after λαμπρος (+3)
16 – TR has ορθρινος instead of πρωϊνος (+4, -3)
17 – TR has ελθε instead of ερχου after λεγουσιν (+3, -4)
17 – TR has ελθε instead of ερχου after ειπατω (+3, -4)
17 – TR has ελθε instead of ερχέσθω (+3, -6)
17 – TR has και before ο θελων (+3)
17 – TR has λαμβανετω instead of λαβέτω (+3)
17 = TR has το before υδωρ (+2)
18 – TR has συμμαρτυρουμαι γαρ instead of μαρτυρω εγω (+11, -4)
18 – TR does not have τω after παντι (-2)
18 – TR has επιτιθη instead of επιθη (+2)
18 – TR has προς ταυτα instead of επ’ αυτα (+5, -2)
18 – TR transposes so as to read ο θεος επ αυτον
18 – TR does not have τω before βιβλιω (-2)
19 – TR does not include τις (-3)
19 – TR reads αφαιρη instead of αφέλη (+3, -2)
19 – TR does not include του (-3) before βιβλίου (-3)
19 – TR reads βιβλου instead of βιβλίου (-1)
19 – TR reads αφαιρησει instead of αφελει (+5, -2)
19 – TR reads βιβλου instead of του ξυλου (+4, -6)
19 – TR reads και after αγιας (+3)
19 – TR does not have τω before βιβλιω (-2)
20 – TR reads ναι after αμην (+3)
21 – TR reads ημων after κυριου (+4)
21 – TR reads χριστου after ιησου (+7)
21 – TR reads παντων υμων instead of των αγίων (+10, -8)

            This yields a total of 110 non-original letters present, and 83 original letters absent, for a total of 193 letters’ worth of corruption in the Textus Receptus in Revelation 22:10-21.  Finally, Codex Sinaiticus wins a round of hand-to-hand combat, by the overwhelming score of 58 to 193!
            But Sinaiticus was not really going up against another manuscript in verses 16-21; its opponent was Erasmus’ Greek reconstruction.  What happens when we look at Rev. 22:10-21 in an intact medieval minuscule?  Perhaps we might do exactly that in a future round of hand-to-hand combat.




Readers are invited to double-check the data in the post.
The stewards of the Codex Sinaiticus website are also invited to fix their website.





3 comments:

John Podgorney said...

Great work James!

Daniel Buck said...

It' pretty obvious, jut from counting the number of corruptions per verse, that Erasmus' exemplar gave out around v. 16.

Ivan said...

Sinaticus is a fake. See "Is The "World's Oldest Bible" a Fake?" https://www.chick.com/products/item?stk=1442&ue=d