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3904Re: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

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  • Eddie Mishoe
    Aug 4 3:12 PM
      Ted: (and others)

      I think you missed the context of Dr. Wallace's comment. He simply noted that IF you use Wasserman's number of variants in Jude (something Wallace has not personal done), and IF you applied this to the rest of the NT, you would indeed arrive at the 400,000 variants. Which Dr. Wallace states corresponds to his math. BUT...

      BUT, the 400,000 variants is NOT the total number of variants in the mss! The 400,000 variant is from the mss, PLUS the versions (of which there are twice as many versions as Greek mss), and church fathers.

      Thus, if the variants are consistent among mss (Greek and versional), we should find MORE variants among the versions than the Greek mss since there are more than twice as many versional mss. So, using a little math, we should expect the TOTAL NUMBER of variants in the Greek mss to be LESS THAN 200,000.

      This is what is getting me so frustrated. I feel like I am constantly trying to hit a moving target. I can't tell you how many times the number of variants is used differently in the books and articles I read.

      Or, speaking of frustation, read this quote - with Dr. Wallace's comment on singular readings - in mind: This is a quote from E. J. Epp, THE ECLECTIC METHOD IN NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM:  SOLUTION OR SYMPTOM? p. 244

      Hence, readings that obviously are (1) nonsense readings, (2) clear and demonstrable scribal errors, (3) mere orthographic variations, and (4) “singular readings” will be assumed to have been excluded from the process, for they are not "textual variants" in the proper, restricted sense of that term* and, therefore, do not constitute appropriate raw material of the most likely original NT text.

      (*These not uncontroversial matters have been treated by the present writer in
      a paper presented to the Society of Biblical Literature's Textual Criticism
      Seminar, Washington, D.C., 1974, entitled "Toward the Clarification of the
      Term 'Textual Variant,'" published in Studies in New Testament Languageand
      Texr: Essavs in Honour of George D. Kilparrick (ed. J. K. Elliott; NovTSup 44;
      Leiden: Brill, 1976) 153-73.)

      I am sure there are differences among scholars on various terms, so I'm not sure what to make of the comment by Epp in light of Wallace's clarification. (Dr. Wallace, is this another misunderstanding on my part or do you and Epp fundamentally disagree. If the latter, are you contending that Epp would not be considered a Textual Critical scholar?)

      Eddie Mishoe

      --- On Mon, 8/4/08, Ted Clore <tedclore@...> wrote:
      From: Ted Clore <tedclore@...>
      Subject: Re: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, August 4, 2008, 9:52 AM

      Why did you use Jude for your base for determining the ratio of variants?  Was it due to the work of Wasserman alone?
      What basis would you assume that the variants would be the same throughout the NT?  Would the Gospel of John compared to James, for instance, have a ratio of difference that could be different than an Epistle of Paul? 
      Ted Clore
      Dan Wallace said:

      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.


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