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Re: [textualcriticism] Re: How many Variants per category

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  • Greg Sahlstrom
    I recently read a 1966 article that estimated New Testament textual variants as perhaps 300,000. More recently estimates of 300,000 to 400,000 appeared in
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 4, 2008
      I recently read a 1966 article that estimated New Testament textual
      variants as perhaps 300,000. More recently estimates of 300,000 to
      400,000 appeared in Bart Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus". Yet, books
      I've read have largely based their estimates of variants on
      multiplying estimates that were based on John Mill's listing of
      variants in 1707. Of the 300,000 - 400,000 variants in manuscripts
      (or whatever the current total might be), I read that these represent
      perhaps 10,000 places in the New Testament. Does anyone have sources
      of newer information that include some sort of verification of the
      numbers (more than educated guesses)?

      Greg Sahlstrom
    • Michael Marlowe
      ... Eddie, thanks for this. I think it shows how useless this kind of number-crunching can be--especially in a linguistic field of study like TC--and how
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 5, 2008
        Eddie Mishoe wrote:

        > Let's use John 1.1a as an example:
        >
        > EN ARCH HN hO LOGOS (base text)
        > 1. ARCH HN hO LOGOS (EN omitted)
        > 2. EN ARCH hO LOGOS (HN omitted)
        > 3. hO LOGOS HN EN ARCH (word order)
        > 4. hO LOGOS EN ARCH HN (word order)
        > 5. LOGOS HN EN ARCH (hO omitted)
        > 6. HN EN ARCH LOGOS (2 variants, hO omitted, word
        > order)
        > 7. ARCH HN hO LOGOS (EN omitted)
        > 8. HN hO LOGOS ARCH (2 variants, EN omitted, word
        > order)
        > 9. EN ARCH hO LOGOS (HN omitted)
        > 10. EN ARC HN hO LOGOS (omitted letter in ARCH)
        > 11. EN ACH HN LOGOS (omitted letter in ARCH and
        > omitted hO)
        > etc.
        >
        > As you can see, I can exceed the 400,000 variants
        > without the need to ever use another word other than
        > those in the GNT. By the above permutations, I could
        > exceed millions of variants...


        Eddie, thanks for this. I think it shows how useless this kind of
        number-crunching can be--especially in a linguistic field of study like
        TC--and how misleading statistics can be when they are presented without
        exact and complete information about how they were generated.

        Michael Marlowe
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