Thursday, April 4, 2024

News: Stephen C. Carlson Discovers an Irrelevant (?) Unregistered Manuscript in Paris

Stephen C. Carlson, Associate Professor at

Australian Catholic University (ACU), recently visited Paris (the one in France, not Texas) and discovered at the National Library of France an unregistered folio containing text from the Gospel of Mark!  Specifically, it has text from Mark 10.  The text is difficult to read and it is even more difficult on the opposite side.  There is enough to deduce that it is Byzantine.

And that means, to quote Kurt Aland, whose influence upon the Nestle/Aland compilation was immense, that it must be ignored, along with the vast majority of Greek manuscripts.  Aland's statement can be found on page 142 of The Text of the New Testament which he co-authored with Barbara Aland:  "All of these minuscules exhibit a purely or predominantly Byzantine text.  And this is not a peculiarity of the minuscules, but a characteristic they share with a considerable number of uncials.  They are all irrelevant for textual criticism, at least for establishing the original form of the text and its development in the early centuries."

Not everyone subscribes to the Alands' estimate of the value of Byzantine manuscripts - I certainly do not.  To our colleague Dr. Carlson I say, congratulations!  May such serendipitous events continue to occur. 

1 comment:

Demian said...

Hopefully verse 32 will read “οι δε ακολουθουντες”. I find this reading so attractive and elegant, but with limited support from Alexandrian and Caesarean manuscripts.