[textualcriticism] Number of MSS for James
- How many MSS of James and the Catholic Letters are available at the
Institute for New Testament Textual Research and how many were used in the
ECM and Text und Textwert? I don't currently have Text und Textwert
available to me, but I notice some discrepancies in the ECM Introduction and
in a few articles by Mink and Wachtel.
In the 1997 ECM installment for James, the editors refer on the 2nd page of
the Introduction to 522 complete MSS and larger fragments of the Catholic
In Gerd Mink's 2004 article, "Problems of a highly contaminated tradition"
in Stemmatology II, he refers on p.18 to 552 MSS for the Catholic Letters
that were examined in the "Text und Textwert" project.
Is the difference between the references to 522 and 552 MSS in these two
sources due to an error, or perhaps to the exclusion of smaller fragments in
introductory discussion of the ECM. I think I am assuming correctly that
both the "Text und Textwert" project and the ECM project begin with the same
comprehensive number of MSS available at the Institute for New Testament
To complicate (or perhaps resolve) this discrepancy, Klaus Wachtel refers to
553 (not 552) complete or fragmentary manuscripts that they had to deal with
for the first installment of the Muenster ECM in his 2004 article "Kinds of
variants in the manuscript tradition of the Greek New Testament" in
Stemmatology II. He seems to be talking about MSS of James specifically
since he refers to the first installment, but perhaps not, since they were
dealing in some ways with all of the Catholic Letters from the beginning of
the project. Mink explicitly refers to 535 MSS available for James in his
Perhaps the discrepancy between 552 and 553 has to do with the correction
that was made in the 2nd printing of ECM installment 1 from 182 MSS included
for James to 181 after excluding the 372 MSS that attest the Majority text
in at least 90% of the test pasages. Accordingly, Wachtel's 553 would
correspond to the numbers before the correction (371 + 182 = 553), and
Mink's would correspond to the numbers after the correction (371 + 181 =
Yet this indicates another discrepancy: the ECM Intro mentions 372 MSS that
attest the Majority text in at least 90% of the test passages, and Mink
refers to 371. Both Mink and the ECM Intro indicate that most of these were
excluded from consideration in the project, but not all. The math seems to
suggest that all of these 371 or 372 were excluded except for maybe one or
But certainly not all of these 371 or 372 would have been excluded because
the Introduction of installment 1 says that these 372 were represented by a
relatively small selection. I would think that would include at least the 7
"nearly pure Byzantine manuscripts which rarely depart from the group"
(Supplement p. 9) if not more or all of the 97 MSS that are closest to the
Byzantine text of James (Supplement p. 8).
So what are the numbers? I'm especially perplexed with the 522 number for
Catholic Letters and the 535 number for James.
Grace & peace,