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# of versions

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  • Minton, Ron
    What is the total number of ancient NT versions extant (approximate)? Prof. Ron Minton Capital Bible Seminary 6511 Princess Garden Pkwy Lanham, MD 20706 W
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 19, 2004
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      What is the total number of ancient NT versions extant (approximate)?

      Prof. Ron Minton
      Capital Bible Seminary
      6511 Princess Garden Pkwy
      Lanham, MD 20706
      W 240-387-1274
      C 240-432-8925
      H 301-918-1792
    • Dan & Rachel King
      ancient ? You might have to give us a cut-off date. Are the Arabic and Old English versions ancient in the 9th century? Or are they mediaeval? Dan King ...
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 19, 2004
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        'ancient'? You might have to give us a cut-off date. Are the Arabic and Old English versions ancient in the 9th century? Or are they mediaeval?
         
        Dan King
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 2:09 PM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] # of versions


        What is the total number of ancient NT versions extant (approximate)?

        Prof. Ron Minton
        Capital Bible Seminary
        6511 Princess Garden Pkwy
        Lanham, MD  20706
        W 240-387-1274
        C 240-432-8925
        H 301-918-1792




      • Minton, Ron
        Perhaps the pre-printing era Ron Minton _____ From: Dan & Rachel King [mailto:dan_rach@ntlworld.com] Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 9:51 AM To:
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 19, 2004
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          Perhaps the pre-printing era

           

          Ron Minton


          From: Dan & Rachel King [mailto:dan_rach@...]
          Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 9:51 AM
          To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] # of versions

           

          'ancient'? You might have to give us a cut-off date. Are the Arabic and Old English versions ancient in the 9th century? Or are they mediaeval?

           

          Dan King

          ----- Original Message -----

          Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 2:09 PM

          Subject: [textualcriticism] # of versions

           


          What is the total number of ancient NT versions extant (approximate)?

          Prof. Ron Minton
          Capital Bible Seminary
          6511 Princess Garden Pkwy
          Lanham, MD   20706
          W 240-387-1274
          C 240-432-8925
          H 301-918-1792






        • sarban
          ... From: Minton, Ron To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 6:30 PM Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] # of versions Perhaps the
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 20, 2004
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            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 6:30 PM
            Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] # of versions

            Perhaps the pre-printing era

             

            Ron Minton


            In 'the early versions of the New Testament' Metzger lists versions

            before 1000 CE.

             

            The list includes (ignoring dialects).

             

            Syriac

            Coptic

            Armenian

            Georgian

            Ethiopic

            Arabic

            Nubian

            Persian

            Sogdian

            Caucasian Albanian ? (Entirely lost if ever existed) 

            Latin

            Gothic

            Slavonic

            Anglo-Saxon

            Old High German

            Old Saxon (Low German)

             

            Total 16

             

            Andrew Criddle

          • Minton, Ron
            Approximately how many copies are extant of each version? Sorry for the question, but I am traveling and do not have many resources with me. Prof. Ron Minton
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 21, 2004
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              Approximately how many copies are extant of each version?  Sorry for the question, but I am traveling and do not have many resources with me.

               

              Prof. Ron Minton


              From: sarban [mailto:sarban@...]
              Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 6:15 AM
              To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] # of versions

               

               

              ----- Original Message -----

              Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 6:30 PM

              Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] # of versions

               

              Perhaps the pre-printing era

               

              Ron Minton


              In 'the early versions of the New Testament' Metzger lists versions

              before 1000 CE.

               

              The list includes (ignoring dialects).

               

              Syriac

              Coptic

              Armenian

              Georgian

              Ethiopic

              Arabic

              Nubian

              Persian

              Sogdian

              Caucasian Albanian ? (Entirely lost if ever existed) 

              Latin

              Gothic

              Slavonic

              Anglo-Saxon

              Old High German

              Old Saxon (Low German)

               

              Total 16

               

              Andrew Criddle



            • sarban
              ... From: Minton, Ron To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 2:57 AM Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] # of versions Approximately
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 22, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Monday, November 22, 2004 2:57 AM
                Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] # of versions

                Approximately how many copies are extant of each version?  Sorry for the question, but I am traveling and do not have many resources with me.

                 

                Prof. Ron Minton


                <SNIP>


                In 'the early versions of the New Testament' Metzger lists versions

                before 1000 CE.

                 

                The list includes (ignoring dialects).

                 

                Syriac around 500 manuscripts

                Coptic over 100 manuscripts ?

                Armenian over 1,500 manuscripts

                Georgian  over 10 Old Georgian manuscripts (most Georgian

                manuscripts represent much later revised version)

                Ethiopic over 300 manuscripts but very late form of text

                Arabic over 20 early manuscripts many more of late Alexandrian 

                Vulgate NT Arabic text   

                Nubian Fragments

                Persian only late version survives middle Persian NT not extant

                Sogdian Fragments

                Caucasian Albanian ? (Entirely lost if ever existed) 

                Latin around 10,000 manuscripts

                Gothic 5 manuscripts most fragmentary

                Slavonic over 20 manuscripts

                Anglo-Saxon 10 manuscripts most fragmentary

                Old High German Fragments and Diatessaronic text

                Old Saxon (Low German) Diatessaronic text

                 

                I've made the best estimates I could but some may not be 

                reliable the Coptic figure in particular is very uncertain 

                 

                most manuscripts represent less than all of NT

                 

                Andrew Criddle




              • AndysDad
                Well, I ve read through the whole forum and this was the last reply, so the mystery is at last revealed below, right here on the TC Forum. AD ... Ron Minton
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 16, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  Well, I've read through the whole forum and this was the last reply,
                  so the mystery is at last revealed below, right here on the TC Forum.
                  AD

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Ron Minton asked:

                  <Approximately how many copies are extant of each version? >

                  Andrew Criddle replies:
                  << In 'the early versions of the New Testament' Metzger lists
                  versions before 1000 CE. The list includes (ignoring dialects):
                  Caucasian Albanian ? (Entirely lost if ever existed) >>

                  No longer lost! Thanks to the 'bottomless basement' at Sinai.

                  From Azer.com:
                  Much of the territory of modern Azerbaijan was once known as Caucasus
                  Albania - not to be confused with the modern country of Albania found
                  in the Balkans. Caucasus Albania remained a cohesive, mostly
                  Christian, political entity in the area from the third to eighth
                  centuries A.D. But even though the ancient Albanians were highly
                  advanced and had their own writing system, very few remnants are left
                  from their civilization. A few Albanian inscriptions were found in
                  Azerbaijan in 1948-49 during an archeological excavation, but until
                  recently, no one could figure out how to decipher them.

                  According to Professor Zaza Alexidze:

                  "Some scholars believed that the Caucasus Albanians in this area never
                  had their own written language and alphabet. All known Albanian texts
                  had been preserved only in the Armenian language.

                  But in 1996, I discovered an ancient manuscript that proved
                  conclusively that Caucasus Albania once had its own highly developed
                  written language. During an expedition to St. Catherine's monastery on
                  Mt. Sinai in Egypt, I found a unique palimpsest, a type of parchment
                  manuscript that has two layers of text. The top layer of text was
                  Georgian, but beneath it was another layer - this one, written in
                  Albanian script.

                  Back in the Early Middle Ages, parchment was very expensive and in
                  great demand, so it was typical for manuscripts to be reused. In this
                  particular manuscript, the lower Albanian text was washed away so that
                  the 10th-century Georgian text could be written on top of it. That
                  makes the lower-layered Albanian text very difficult and time
                  consuming to read, but with the help of modern technology and special
                  illumination, we can determine what it says.

                  My work of deciphering the lower layer of the Georgian-Albanian
                  palimpsest continued until the beginning of 2001.

                  Ancient Lectionary
                  The palimpsest, as it turns out, is from a Christian Albanian
                  lectionary, a church service book that contained a collection of
                  liturgical lessons that were read throughout the church year and
                  mainly consisted of readings from the Old and New Testaments. To
                  compile a lectionary, one must first have a translation of the Bible
                  available in that language.

                  This Albanian lectionary is very simplified, with only readings for 12
                  religious feasts along with some psalms and praises (alleluias).
                  Unlike other ancient lectionaries, there is no evidence of a calendar
                  system, no mention of any saints or ecclesiastical Fathers and nothing
                  about liturgical processions to the holy places in Jerusalem and stops
                  at relevant churches.

                  Traditionally within the church, lectionaries have evolved from being
                  very simple to more and more complex. This means that in all
                  probability, the Albanian text represents one of the first
                  lectionaries ever written. It may even date back to the second half of
                  the 4th century. In turn, that would mean that the written Albanian
                  language had been created even earlier.

                  It's also interesting to note that some of the lessons given in the
                  Albanian lectionary are not found in ancient Armenian and Georgian
                  lectionaries. This may indicate that the Albanian lectionary was not
                  translated from those other languages but was composed independently
                  based on a Greek lectionary, which no longer exists.

                  Lost for Centuries
                  So why did the Albanian script disappear in the first place? In the
                  8th to 10th centuries, Arab invaders and Armenian clerics burned
                  documents that were written in the Albanian language. The Albanian
                  Church until around 720 AD was Diophysite, meaning that it perceived
                  Christ as having a dual nature - both human and divine. The Armenian
                  Church, however, was Monophysite and believed that Christ's nature was
                  altogether divine. It wanted to stamp out any literature that was
                  considered to be Diophysite.

                  From about 720 onwards, the Albanian church was strongly affected by
                  the influence of the Monophysite Armenian Church. Albania gradually
                  adopted the Armenian language and script, and thus, step by step, lost
                  its national identity and written language. Up until recently, the
                  only Albanian historical and ecclesiastical texts we had access to
                  were translations that had been preserved in the Armenian language.

                  By examining the language found in the palimpsest, I discovered that
                  the direct descendants of the Albanian people, the Udis, still speak a
                  language that is very similar to the ancient Albanian language. Up
                  until recently, the Udis wrote their language in the Cyrillic
                  alphabet; now that Azerbaijan has opted for a Latin-based script,
                  they, too, have switched to the Latin alphabet. But neither alphabet
                  can handle the 50 or more phonemes found in the Udi language without
                  creation of additional symbols. [As of this writing, the work on the
                  Udi grammar has not yet been finished. Some scholars identify 52
                  letters, some 54, others 48]. Perhaps this new discovery will mean
                  that the Udis can reclaim their long-forgotten alphabet once again."
                  [The website has a photo which I'm sure our moderator will want to add
                  to his online collection]
                • Viktor Golinets
                  Professor Wolfgand Schulze from the University of Munich works on the edition of some Fragments of NT in Caucasian Albanian. He has shown me two photos of
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 17, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                     
                    Professor Wolfgand Schulze from the University of Munich works on the edition of some Fragments of NT in Caucasian Albanian. He has shown me two photos of palimpsest manuscripts.
                     
                    Viktor Golinets, M.A.


                    AndysDad <elwabuck@...> wrote:



                    Well, I've read through the whole forum and this was the last reply,
                    so the mystery is at last revealed below, right here on the TC Forum.
                    AD

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Ron Minton asked:



                    Andrew Criddle replies:
                    << In 'the early versions of the New Testament' Metzger lists
                    versions before 1000 CE. The list includes (ignoring dialects):
                    Caucasian Albanian ? (Entirely lost if ever existed) >>

                    No longer lost! Thanks to the 'bottomless basement' at Sinai.

                    From Azer.com:
                    Much of the territory of modern Azerbaijan was once known as Caucasus
                    Albania - not to be confused with the modern country of Albania found
                    in the Balkans. Caucasus Albania remained a cohesive, mostly
                    Christian, political entity in the area from the third to eighth
                    centuries A.D. But even though the ancient Albanians were highly
                    advanced and had their own writing system, very few remnants are left
                    from their civilization. A few Albanian inscriptions were found in
                    Azerbaijan in 1948-49 during an archeological excavation, but until
                    recently, no one could figure out how to decipher them.

                    According to Professor Zaza Alexidze:

                    "Some scholars believed that the Caucasus Albanians in this area never
                    had their own written language and alphabet. All known Albanian texts
                    had been preserved only in the Armenian language.

                    But in 1996, I discovered an ancient manuscript that proved
                    conclusively that Caucasus Albania once had its own highly developed
                    written language. During an expedition to St. Catherine's monastery on
                    Mt. Sinai in Egypt, I found a unique palimpsest, a type of parchment
                    manuscript that has two layers of text. The top layer of text was
                    Georgian, but beneath it was another layer - this one, written in
                    Albanian script.

                    Back in the Early Middle Ages, parchment was very expensive and in
                    great demand, so it was typical for manuscripts to be reused. In this
                    particular manuscript, the lower Albanian text was washed away so that
                    the 10th-century Georgian text could be written on top of it. That
                    makes the lower-layered Albanian text very difficult and time
                    consuming to read, but with the help of modern technology and special
                    illumination, we can determine what it says.

                    My work of deciphering the lower layer of the Georgian-Albanian
                    palimpsest continued until the beginning of 2001.

                    Ancient Lectionary
                    The palimpsest, as it turns out, is from a Christian Albanian
                    lectionary, a church service book that contained a collection of
                    liturgical lessons that were read throughout the church year and
                    mainly consisted of readings from the Old and New Testaments. To
                    compile a lectionary, one must first have a translation of the Bible
                    available in that language.

                    This Albanian lectionary is very simplified, with only readings for 12
                    religious feasts along with some psalms and praises (alleluias).
                    Unlike other ancient lectionaries, there is no evidence of a calendar
                    system, no mention of any saints or ecclesiastical Fathers and nothing
                    about liturgical processions to the holy places in Jerusalem and stops
                    at relevant churches.

                    Traditionally within the church, lectionaries have evolved from being
                    very simple to more and more complex. This means that in all
                    probability, the Albanian text represents one of the first
                    lectionaries ever written. It may even date back to the second half of
                    the 4th century. In turn, that would mean that the written Albanian
                    language had been created even earlier.

                    It's also interesting to note that some of the lessons given in the
                    Albanian lectionary are not found in ancient Armenian and Georgian
                    lectionaries. This may indicate that the Albanian lectionary was not
                    translated from those other languages but was composed independently
                    based on a Greek lectionary, which no longer exists.

                    Lost for Centuries
                    So why did the Albanian script disappear in the first place? In the
                    8th to 10th centuries, Arab invaders and Armenian clerics burned
                    documents that were written in the Albanian language. The Albanian
                    Church until around 720 AD was Diophysite, meaning that it perceived
                    Christ as having a dual nature - both human and divine. The Armenian
                    Church, however, was Monophysite and believed that Christ's nature was
                    altogether divine. It wanted to stamp out any literature that was
                    considered to be Diophysite.

                    From about 720 onwards, the Albanian church was strongly affected by
                    the influence of the Monophysite Armenian Church. Albania gradually
                    adopted the Armenian language and script, and thus, step by step, lost
                    its national identity and written language. Up until recently, the
                    only Albanian historical and ecclesiastical texts we had access to
                    were translations that had been preserved in the Armenian language.

                    By examining the language found in the palimpsest, I discovered that
                    the direct descendants of the Albanian people, the Udis, still speak a
                    language that is very similar to the ancient Albanian language. Up
                    until recently, the Udis wrote their language in the Cyrillic
                    alphabet; now that Azerbaijan has opted for a Latin-based script,
                    they, too, have switched to the Latin alphabet. But neither alphabet
                    can handle the 50 or more phonemes found in the Udi language without
                    creation of additional symbols. [As of this writing, the work on the
                    Udi grammar has not yet been finished. Some scholars identify 52
                    letters, some 54, others 48]. Perhaps this new discovery will mean
                    that the Udis can reclaim their long-forgotten alphabet once again."
                    [The website has a photo which I'm sure our moderator will want to add
                    to his online collection]









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