Saturday, September 24, 2022

Hand to Hand Combat: GA 1691 vs. Sinaiticus in Matthew 7:26-8:5

          Earlier this month, we looked at a page in GA 1691 that contained most of Matthew 7:26-8:5.  GA 1691 is one of many manuscripts featured at the CSNTM website.  More than one reader of that post had a question:  is GA 1691 really more accurate than Codex Sinaiticus?  Today we shall investigate this question, as far as Matthew 7:26-8:5 is concerned, via a quick round of hand-to-hand combat – that is, a comparison of the text of both manuscripts.  The standard of comparison shall be the Nestle-Aland NTG (28th edition), although the Solid Rock Greek New Testament (third edition) will also be consulted.  The passage in which both manuscripts will be compared is Matthew 7:26-8:5, the same passage featured in the previous post (slightly expanded to include the entirety of the verses on the page of 1691).  

          As usual, the comparison is scored as follows:  every extra letter earns the manuscript a point, and every missing letter earns the manuscript a point.  Word-order differences that do not change the meaning and which do not result in any loss of text do not receive a score.  Contractions of nomina sacra (sacred names) and other contractions are not counted as variants.  The number of points = the total amount of corruptions, so the lower score wins.

GA 1691 compared to NA28:

26 – 1691 transposes to τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ instead of αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν

27 – no variants

28 – 1691 has συνετέλεσεν instead of ετέλεσεν (+3)

29 – 1691 does not have αυτων at the end of the verse (-5)

1 – 1691 has Καταβαντι δε αυτω instead of Καταβαντος δε αυτου (+2, -4)

2 – 1691 has ελθων instead of προσελθων (-4)

3 – 1691 has ο Ις after αυτου (+7, uncontracting the n.s.)

4 – 1691 has εκαθερισθη instead of εκαθαρισθη (+1, -1)

4 – 1691 has προσενεγκε instead of προσενεγκον (+1, -2)

5 – 1691 has Εισελθοντι instead of Εισελθοντος (+1, -2)

5 – 1691 has αυτω instead of αυτου (+1, -2)

5 – 1691 has Καπερναουμ instead of Καφαρναουμ (+2, -2)

Thus, using NA28 as the standard of comparison, GA 1691 has 17 non-original letters and is missing 20 original letters, for a total of 37 letters’ worth of corruption.

          Now let’s see how the scribe who copied the Gospels in Codex Sinaiticus did in Matthew 7:26-8:5, compared to NA28.

À compared to NA28:

(from Codex Sinaiticus)

26 – no variants

27 – À has ελθαν instead of ελθον (+1, -1)

27 – À does not have καὶ ἔπνευσαν οἱ ἄνεμοι (-19)

27 – À has εκινη instead of εκεινη (-1)

28 – À has ἐξεπλήττοντο instead of ἐξεπλήσσοντο (+2, -2)

28 – À transposes to επι τη διδαχη αυτου οι οχλοι instead of οι οχλοι επι τη διδαχη αυτου

1 – À has Καταβαντι δε αυτω instead of Καταβαντος δε αυτου (+2, -4) (A corrector has erased the ω but it is noted in the trnscription)

2 – no variants

3 – À has εκτινες instead of εκτεινες (-1)

3 – À has αυτου after χειρα (+5)

3 – À does not have ευθεως (-6)

4 – À has ειπεν instead of λέγει (+5, -5)

4 – À has αλλα instead of αλλ՚ (+1)

4 – À has διξον instead of δειξον (-1)

4 – À has προσενεγκε instead of προσενεγκον (+1, -2)

5 – À has εκατοναρχης instead of εκατοναρχος (+1, -1)

            Thus, the text of Codex Sinaiticus, uncorrected, has 18 non-original letters and is missing 42 original letters, for a total of 60 letters’ worth of corruption in Matthew 7:26-8:5.  Even if we remove from the equation all the minor (and not-so-minor) orthographic variants in 7:27, 8:3, 8:4, and 8:5, that still leaves 44 letters’ worth of corruption. 

            Want to see how both manuscripts compare to the Solid Rock Greek New Testament?  Well, GA 1691 reads exactly like the Solid Rock Greek New Testament (third edition) throughout Matthew 7:26-8:5 except for two little orthographic variants in Matthew 8:4 (where 1691 has εκαθερισθη instead of εκαθαρισθη, and Μωϋσης instead of Μωσης).  There is no need, considering the variants in À noted above, to ask which manuscript agrees more with the Solid Rock GNT.   

            GA 1691 is the clear winner of this round of hand-to-hand combat.  

            Side-note:  an Alexandrian reading in NA28 in 8:1 (προσελθων instead of the Byzantine ελθων) is questionable.  ελθων is supported not only by the Byzantine text but also by C K L S U V W X  Γ Π 33.  Scholz and Griesbach and Knapp (1797)  read ελθων.  The προς in the immediately preceding λεπρος may have been accidentally repeated. 

1 comment:

Doggo said...

Hello Mr. Snapp, could you talk about Rev 2:18?

and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. (KJV)

and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. (NIV)

What is the original in your opinion? Thanks.