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3902Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again: corrigendum

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  • Daniel B. Wallace
    Aug 4, 2008
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      Ron, this is based on counting the leaves of MSS mentioned in the Kurzgefasste Liste and doubling them. It's an approximation, but it's probably on the low side because of the many uncatalogued manuscripts that CSNTM has photographed in the last half dozen years.

      Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
      Executive Director
      Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
      www.csntm.org

      ----- Start Original Message -----
      Sent: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 17:35:51 +0300
      From: "ron minton" <ronminton@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again: corrigendum

      >
      > Dan, can you clarify this. I must have missed something.
      Ron Minton

      "There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in
      existence today."


      ----- Start Original Message -----
      Sent: Mon, 04 Aug 2008 08:21:52 +0200 (CEST)
      From: "Daniel B. Wallace" <csntm@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm
      frustrated

      >
      > Dear Eddie, I think your email will go a long way to clarify for the
      rest
      of us what you are thinking. Thank you for taking the trouble to write it
      up. I would like to mention but two or three things here. First, it is
      not true that all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts are in
      electronic form. Muenster has done a phenomenal job of making some of the
      most important manuscripts accessible. But these are but a drop in the
      bucket of all known manuscripts. You said that you could put in
      electronic form a manuscript that is not there currently. Let me name a
      few for you:

      64 85 136 154 168 305 306 315 316 317 318 320 332 333 334 370 392 437 455
      539 560 589 590 596 600 606 607 610 615 631 633 640 649 671 674 675 687
      701 702 704 720 721 722 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 736 737 738 739
      741 742 744 749 753 770 772 810 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 821 822 833
      834 836 838 840 841 842 848 849 850 853 855 857 858 862 870 878 881 882
      883 898 916 918 949 970 984 988 993 1021 1027 1028 1029 1043 1044 1066
      1067 1069 1070 1102 1103 1104 1105 1106 1109 1112 1115 1116 1139 1150
      1151 1177 1178 1182 1183 1184 1246 1252 1253 1254 1255 1256 1259 1262
      1263 1265 1268 1271 1274 1283 1284 1287 1302 1303 1304 1308 1366 1368
      1369 1370 1371 1373 1374 1378 1380 1381 1382 1383 1387 1388 1389 1409
      1411 1412 1419 1421 1430 1437 1502 1506 1516 1527 1529 1533 1534 1536
      1537 1547 1570 1607 1612 1613 1618 1627 1631 1640 1644 1657 1658 1673
      1674 1677 1681 1701 1703 1706 1708 1710 1711 1720 1721 1722 1723 1724
      1726 1727 1729 1735 1736 1737 1741 1742 1743 1744 1750 1754 1757 1762
      1763 1764 1767 1768 1769 1770 1772 1796 1798 1801 1803 1804 1805 1806
      1807 1809 1810 1811 1812 1818 1819 1820 1824 1825 1833 1839 1844 1846
      1853 1857 1861 1863.

      That ought to do for starters. It's only a small fraction of the
      manuscripts, too. Then there are the manuscripts that do not yet have
      Gregory-Aland numbers. The Center for the Study of New Testament
      Manuscripts has photographed about 50 or 60 of these in the last six
      years, so they now are in electronic form. (Some samples from Albania can
      now be found at www.csntm.org.) BUT that electronic form is not like a
      printed text; the manuscripts still need to be read, collated, and
      compared with other manuscripts. Further, there are most certainly scores
      of yet-to-be-cataologued manuscripts, and perhaps hundreds.

      There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in
      existence today. I believe that less than 10% have been put into a
      searchable database, though the number is continuing to rise. It would
      take one person approximately 400 years to collate all the extant MSS. To
      be sure, Muenster, Birmingham, IGNTP, CNTTS, CSNTM, etc. have got
      scholars working on the collations, but there simply is no way for us yet
      to know exactly how many variants there are because we have taken the
      second step of collating all the MSS. We have taken the first of
      photographing them, but even that point has an asterisk: most MSS have
      been microfilmed but not digitally photographed. Unless you have access
      to one of the microfilms, you can't even start to do the collation work.

      Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math of my
      blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy Wasserman's
      exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio of variants per
      verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted that there would be
      almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

      Third, you also said to James that you thought a variant didn't count
      unless it was found in two MSS. Not so. One manuscript that has a reading
      different from all others would constitute a variant.

      I hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

      Daniel B. Wallace
      Executive Director
      Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
      www.csntm.org




      ----- End Original Message -----
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