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Some preliminary observations re text of Apocalypse

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  • David Robert Palmer
    Some preliminary observations regarding the Greek text of the Apocalypse of John: Herman C. Hoskier esteemed 241 of all the minuscules, since he says it is
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2007


      Some preliminary observations regarding the Greek text of the Apocalypse of John:


      Herman C. Hoskier esteemed 241 of all the minuscules, since he says it is close to the text of Hippolytus, reflects centuries of official church canonization, and contains the entire New Testament.  It is an 11th century manuscript, so for many reasons it indeed deserves promininence over many other minuscules for Revelation.


      Hoskier has well pointed out that the uncials of the Revelation text are all over the place, with many ommissions and additions.  The wildest of them in Revelation is Codex Sinaiticus.  The only uncial that is not “all over the place,” is the uncial 046.


      I agree with Hoskier on one major point.  Hoskier declared that the uncial 046 is a highly edited and smoothed-over text.  Therefore, when 046 departs from MOST other uncials, its reading is dubious.  When 046 differs from ALL other uncials, its reading is probably false.  This consideration gives greater value to any minuscules that do not always follow 046, and diminishes the value of those that do.  Minuscules that depart are 94 792 1006 1611 1841 1854 1862 2053 2074 2329 2344 2351, and most of these are also quite early for Apocalypse minuscules.  Consequently, these have greater value than other minuscules.


      Minuscules that slavishly follow 046 are 82, 627, 920.  When these three minuscules are not in unity, you will find a difference usually between the Hodges/Farstad majority text vv. the Robinson/Pierpont majority text.  In many of these instances, the Robinson text has recently moved away from these and from Hodges/Farstad.


      If you want to identify the overall “Majority Text” of Revelation, where the TR, HF, and RP editions agree, find where the minuscules 82, 241, 469, 627, 920, 1828, 1841, 1888, 1862, 2138 line up conjoined.  Where they do not line up, there is doubtful Majority.


      Where the conjunction of 82, 627, 920 opposes another edition, there you have clearly different text streams.  Where minuscules 82, 627, 920 line up against most of the uncials, their reading is highly doubtful.  Where these three line up with 046 against all other uncials, you have a false reading, a wrong reading in the Majority Text.  There are also places where these three line up against all uncials and all early verions, even against 046; there you have most definitely, in my opinion, a wrong reading in the Majority Text.


      On the other side of the coin, I grant that where the UBS text favors the uncial A against all other witnesses, their reading is debatable, the most famous one being Revelation 5:9.  Hoskier points out that Hort broke some of his own rules with this one, like going with the easiest reading.


      But there are several places in Revelation where Codex A shows that it is an older text, with older readings, prior to editing and standardization.  So at this point, I still understand why the UBS/NA editors value Codex A extremely highly for Revelation.


      I am currently editing my footnote apparatus in Revelation to now include a consistently cited witness list of the following:
      P18, P24, P43, P47, P85, P98, P115, 01, A, C, P, 046, 051, 052, 0163, 0169, 0207, 0308, 82, 94, 241, 469, 627, 792, 920, 1006, 1611, 1828, 1841, 1854 1862, 1888, 2050, 2053, 2062, 2065, 2074, 2138, 2329, 2351.  Among these are manuscripts considered important enough to be cited in the UBS3 apparatus, and some (overlapping with the previous category) that Hoskier declared important.  If there is a lacuna in any of the above, it will be noted, except where that manuscript is only a fragment anyway.  Fragmentary mss. not therefore listed for lacunae, would be: P18, P24, P43, P47, P85, P98, P115, 052, 0163, 0169, 0207, 0308.

      Since I last posted about my translation of Revelation, I have corrected an appalling number of errors, most in the category of a manuscript being cited for two different readings at the same time.  These are all now corrected I believe.


      Link to download Revelation:



      David Robert Palmer

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