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Re: Variants in comparison to other Variants

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  • Jon
    I should point out that the vast majority of text variants might not amount to making a theological difference, yet there are examples of redaction that have
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 22, 2008

      I should point out that "the vast majority" of text variants might not amount to making a theological difference, yet there are examples of redaction that have mattered a great deal; e.g., the OT case of the Curse of Ham, where such changes had some significant and unfortunate consequences.  See Rodney Sadler, Jr.'s Can a Cushite Change His Skin?: An Examination of Race, Ethnicity, And Othering in the Hebrew Bible, pp. 26ff.

      I guess it amounts to what one considers significant.

      All the best,

      Rev. J.J. Meythaler

      Charlotte, NC 



      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Bart Ehrman <behrman@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 10:01:07 AM
      Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] Re: Variants in comparison to other Variants

           I should point out that Bart Ehrman stresses that the vast majority of textual variants are insignificant, immaterial, and unimportant for anything other than showing that scribes in antiquity could spell no better than most people can today.  What's worrisome is not the number of variants so much as the fact that we don't have any extensive early mss and that the text is so uncertain in places (some of which we will never know *are* uncertain) that many scholars have started insisting that we cannot even *speak* about the original text, let alone hope ever to get to it.
       
          I would agree, though, that it would be interesting to know how many variants exist, just as it's interesting to know how many verses are in the New Testament, or how many words are in the Gospel of John, or how many scholars actually care about such things.  It's a number -- probably of no real significance outside of itself.
       
      -- Bart Ehrman
       
      Bart D. Ehrman
      James A. Gray Professor
      Department of Religious Studies
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
       


      From: textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:textualcrit icism@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of gregsah
      Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 9:27 AM
      To: textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Variants in comparison to other Variants

      Pete,

      My request for information indicates that at least one person does want to know. Since
      current estimates are based on John Mill's 30,000 variants from 1707, after 301 years an
      update is certainly due. If they could do it then, with computers it could be done now.
      And there is a sensible reason: as a response to Bart Ehrman and others who worry people
      with large guesses and without explaining that the large numbers are really not a problem,
      but rather an indication of the large numbers of manuscripts. Information is not the
      enemy.

      Greg

      --- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, "Peter M. Head" <pmh15@...> wrote:

      >Nobody knows this 'number of known variants'. Nobody sensible has
      > ever before wanted to know this. Whatever the number is, it won't
      > matter to anyone, since it won't actually mean anything.

      >
      > Peter>

      > At 12:03 19/06/2008, Greg wrote:
      > >Yes, New Testament manuscripts. While many manuscripts have not
      > >been collated, does
      > >anyone know if there is any record of textual variants for each
      > >collated manuscript? Also,
      > >when variants are counted, which manuscript(s) is/are used as the
      > >standard by which
      > >variants are considered to be variants? What I'm trying to do is to
      > >get a handle on the
      > >number of known variants. Bart Ehrman suggests 300,000 to 400,000
      > >textual variants (if
      > >memory serves correctly). Many books suggest 150,000 to 200,000
      > >(which are older
      > >numbers based on a much smaller number of collated
      > >manuscripts) . But many of the more
      > >recently discovered or more recently collated manuscripts are just
      > >fragments, and so may
      > >not contribute nearly as many variants as some longer manuscripts
      > >(like Sinaiticus and
      > >Vaticanus).
      >
      > >Greg
      > >
      > >--- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, "Eric Sowell"
      > ><eric.sowell@ > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I'm assuming you mean each manuscript. To know that we would have had to
      > > > collate all of the manuscripts, and we have not. Unless I missed something,
      > > > we are not even close.
      > > >
      > > > On Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 10:28 AM, gregsah <gs@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Where might one find information on the number of textual variants
      > > > > contributed by each extant New Testament? Is there any such resource?
      > > > >
      > > > > Greg
      > > > >
      > > > > __.
      > > > >
      > > > > .
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --
      > > > Eric Sowell, ThM, MCTS
      > > > eric.sowell@
      > > > http://www.archaicc hristianity. com
      > > > http://www.thecodin ghumanist. com
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >----------- --------- --------- -------
      > >
      > >Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > Peter M. Head, PhD
      > Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
      > Tyndale House
      > 36 Selwyn Gardens
      > Cambridge CB3 9BA
      > 01223 566601
      >


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