On Thu, 30 Dec 1999 00:06:05 EST H2pariter@...
>I seem to recall about eight years ago reading a [journal] article
>affirming the priority [?] of the Majority text. It was a mathematical
>under the assumption that one only has an original reading and that the
>non-Majority readings should be the majority in the mathematical
>reasoning. Since they do not, the Majority reading should reflect the
>Are you aware of the article? or criticisms of its method?
So far as I know there were only two studies which tried to move in this
(1) Birks in the 19th century entitled "A Right Estimation of Manuscript
Evidence" or something similar, which tried to establish quantitative
weighting factors which ended up supporting the majority text.
(2) Zane Hodges' "Defense of the Majority Text", originally a pamphlet
privately issued, later Appendix C in Pickering's "Identity of the NT
Text" volume, in which a mathematical analysis (which only a statistician
could love) was made by Hodges' brother, which claimed that "normal"
transmission even assuming error in the first copying generation would
still result in a minimal "majority" after several copying generations.
Both these approaches are flawed in various ways, and a case for the
majority text even as its proponents define it cannot be based on such
statistical claims and misapplications. Even though there are other areas
in which the issue of "number" can become a legitimate factor;
statistical probability as applied in these articles simply does not
happen to be persuasive or convincing.
Maurice A. Robinson
Professor of NT and Greek
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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