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Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

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  • Eddie Mishoe
    I give up. It is impossible. No two scholars calculate or define variants the same way. It gets even worse when you ask, A variant against what? I ve now
    Message 1 of 23 , Jul 31, 2008
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      I give up. It is impossible.

      No two scholars calculate or define "variants" the same way. It gets even worse when you ask, "A variant against what?"

      I've now read: Epp, Fee, Wallace, Aland, Elliott, Metzger, Ehrman, Comfort, the "living text" scholar (can't remember his name), Robinson, and many other articles by "unknowns." Anyway, I am so disappointed that nobody can clarify this, explain it, agree upon it, give us the actual numbers, compared to what, etc.

      I can see us all not agreeing on what is a 'meaningful' variant, or other tertiary issues. But the simple fact that we can not produce a list of variants in such a way as to confirm or deny the wild numbers thrown around (75,000, 100,000, some as high as "a half a million," etc.) is wrong.

      Since the famous Luke project has been completed. I'm assuming there are some pretty accurate numbers there as to how many variants are in a particular chapter. I'd be happy with taking that information and extrapolating it out to give us an accurate number (making necessary adjustments) of the whole GNT. Somebody ought to be able to get within a couple of thousand. And here's the good news. It doesn't even have to be CORRECT. It just needs to be the BEST VARIANT COUNT we can surmise based on the available data.

      This is my final plea for help. If you want me to read a book or an article, I've probably done it. But I'm willing to read it again.

      I was sent a blog by a friend (a blog written by Dr. Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary on a web site called Reclaiming the Mind.). I'll be honest, I got excited as I watched him straighten out Dr. Geisler's take on this subject. But, then he got into the math or calculations. I got very frustrated when I reworked the math 20 times and his formula didn't work. I noted one lady even responded to him, "The math seems off, but thank you..."

      I gave this blog to some of my mathematically inclined parishioners (one taught math at Va. Tech). All three concluded that there appeared to be problems with the formula as stated. Unfortunately, they asked me a few questions that might have helped them with some assumptions but I was not up to the challenge (I didn't know the answer).

      Then again, maybe I'm just going crazy.

      Any help would be appreciated. I promise never again to bother the members of this list with a question on variants again. Remember, I'm only looking for a mathematically demonstratable formula that produces the currently known total variant count in extant Greek NT mss. Why am I satisfied with the Greek NT mss ONLY, because I can assure you trying to include Church Fathers and Ancient Versions is still light years away.

      By the way, just about every known Greek ms is available in a word processing software. We don't have to "eye ball" this. We just need a person who can align these texts and highlight Variants (however they are determined. I'm at the point in my life where if someone will do that, I'll count them. It will take me years, but I'll do it, God willing.

      Eddie Mishoe
      Pastor
    • A. Dirkzwager
      Dear Eddie, I don t understand the importance of the list or the number you are looking for. Textual criticism is an art, not a modern science that works with
      Message 2 of 23 , Aug 1 2:00 PM
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        Dear Eddie,

        I don't understand the importance of the list or the number you are looking for.
        Textual criticism is an art, not a modern science that works with numbers, "objective" criteria etc.
        The amount of differences in the manuscripts is enormous but that is due to the enormous amount of textual witnesses for the NT. And there are still lots of work to do to discover all the "variants" in the known witnesses.

        You ask "A variant against what?"  Against *all* the other readings, not against a standard text, for that does not exist. Every reading is a variant reading, if there is another reading of the same text.

        If I am giving a silly answer, I have not understood your question. Please clarify what you want to ask then.

        Arie

        A. Dirkzwager
        Hoeselt, Belgium


        Eddie Mishoe schreef:

        I give up. It is impossible.

        No two scholars calculate or define "variants" the same way. It gets even worse when you ask, "A variant against what?"

        I've now read: Epp, Fee, Wallace, Aland, Elliott, Metzger, Ehrman, Comfort, the "living text" scholar (can't remember his name), Robinson, and many other articles by "unknowns." Anyway, I am so disappointed that nobody can clarify this, explain it, agree upon it, give us the actual numbers, compared to what, etc.

        I can see us all not agreeing on what is a 'meaningful' variant, or other tertiary issues. But the simple fact that we can not produce a list of variants in such a way as to confirm or deny the wild numbers thrown around (75,000, 100,000, some as high as "a half a million," etc.) is wrong.

        Since the famous Luke project has been completed. I'm assuming there are some pretty accurate numbers there as to how many variants are in a particular chapter. I'd be happy with taking that information and extrapolating it out to give us an accurate number (making necessary adjustments) of the whole GNT. Somebody ought to be able to get within a couple of thousand. And here's the good news. It doesn't even have to be CORRECT. It just needs to be the BEST VARIANT COUNT we can surmise based on the available data.

        This is my final plea for help. If you want me to read a book or an article, I've probably done it. But I'm willing to read it again.

        I was sent a blog by a friend (a blog written by Dr. Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary on a web site called Reclaiming the Mind.). I'll be honest, I got excited as I watched him straighten out Dr. Geisler's take on this subject. But, then he got into the math or calculations. I got very frustrated when I reworked the math 20 times and his formula didn't work. I noted one lady even responded to him, "The math seems off, but thank you..."

        I gave this blog to some of my mathematically inclined parishioners (one taught math at Va. Tech). All three concluded that there appeared to be problems with the formula as stated. Unfortunately, they asked me a few questions that might have helped them with some assumptions but I was not up to the challenge (I didn't know the answer).

        Then again, maybe I'm just going crazy.

        Any help would be appreciated. I promise never again to bother the members of this list with a question on variants again. Remember, I'm only looking for a mathematically demonstratable formula that produces the currently known total variant count in extant Greek NT mss. Why am I satisfied with the Greek NT mss ONLY, because I can assure you trying to include Church Fathers and Ancient Versions is still light years away.

        By the way, just about every known Greek ms is available in a word processing software. We don't have to "eye ball" this. We just need a person who can align these texts and highlight Variants (however they are determined. I'm at the point in my life where if someone will do that, I'll count them. It will take me years, but I'll do it, God willing.

        Eddie Mishoe
        Pastor


      • Eddie Mishoe
        A. There is no basis upon which to assert that the number of variants is enormous. This is exactly why I m getting frustrated.  If I were to assert that the
        Message 3 of 23 , Aug 1 9:13 PM
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          A.

          There is no basis upon which to assert that the number of variants is "enormous." This is exactly why I'm getting frustrated. 

          If I were to assert that the number of variants was "extremely low," it could not be refuted?

          What I'm trying to urge TC writers and communicators to do is to be more responsible, more scholarly. The popular books currently being presented to the (m)asses are not concerned with presenting an accurate picture of the number of variants. They present only one dimension (as your reply inadvertently did) of the EOV (effect of variants). And unfortunately, those who ought to be in the know are using the same numbers in the same way (enormous) as the secular writers are portraying them.

          Calculating variants is strictly a mathematical proposition. There is nothing relating to "art" when it comes to identifying a variant at this phase of TC. But when variants are presented, they are invariably presented as if they were enormous. Or, as you have attempted to communicate, and rightly so, the ever-growing number of variants results from the embarrassment of riches of the mss evidence.

          But MSS with these variants move THE TEXT in different directions. While the total number of variants moves upward (this is true by definition), the greater our ability to identify the original text in problem passages likewise improves (moves upward toward 100%).

          No liberal or secular scholar, out of a sense of academic honesty and necessity, points out that WITH the growing number of variants comes the greater degree of certainty in passages that were once suspect of containing a non-original reading.

          I'd take a billion more variants tomorrow since with that I would more than likely eliminate one more word/phrase/passage from the list of passages that are likely not original. If these variants continue to come our way, we will hypothetically be able to one day reconstruct the original with surety. This is why variant numbers are important. One category moves higher and higher, while another category moves closer and closer to the original.

          Hope this helps, and I appreciate your interaction.

          My grandfather, who is almost bald, still has an 'enormous" number of hairs (billions perhaps). Do you see the point here?

          Eddie Mishoe
          Pastor


        • David Robert Palmer
          Hello Eddie, I don t know that much, but I do know the answers to a few of your questions. It is not impossible absolutely,
          Message 4 of 23 , Aug 1 9:50 PM
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            Hello Eddie,
             
            I don't know that much, but I do know the answers to a few of your questions.
             
            << I give up. It is impossible. 
            >>
             
            It is not impossible absolutely, but IS probably impossible for one person to do, and far too much work to be worth it.
             
            << No two scholars calculate or define "variants" the same way. It gets even worse when you ask, "A variant against what?" >>
             
            A variant is ANYWHERE that any TWO manuscripts differ from EACH OTHER.  I am quite sure that this definition is agreed upon.  Or should be.
             
            And, it must be said, that who cares about a variant that arose, say between two manuscripts written in the 9th century, but does not show up anytime before that?  That variant has absolutely no importance to me.
             
            << I can see us all not agreeing on what is a 'meaningful' variant >>
             
            A variant that is NOT a "meaningful variant" is one in the original language, of which both variants have the same meaning.  They may be spelled differently, or be two words that mean the same thing.  But a meaningful variant, to me, is one where there is a difference in meaning, even if that meaning cannot be translated into the target language.  For example, variants between some aspect of Greek grammar that has meaning in Greek, but which difference is not usually translated into dissimilar languages.
             
            << a list of variants in such a way as to confirm or deny the wild numbers thrown around (75,000, 100,000, some as high as "a half a million," etc.) is wrong.  >>
             
            I just don't care.  Because I give unequal weight to manuscripts.  Some manuscripts are far more important than others, and I care more about the variants among the important manuscripts.
             
            << Then again, maybe I'm just going crazy.
            >>
             
            If you don't "weigh" the manuscripts, you will indeed go crazy with the number of variants.
             
            <<  By the way, just about every known Greek ms is available in a word processing software. >>
             
            Not available to me.
             
            David Robert Palmer
             
            << I give up. It is impossible. 
            >>
             
            It is not impossible absolutely, but IS probably impossible for one person to do, and too much work to be worth it.
             
            << No two scholars calculate or define "variants" the same way. It gets even worse when you ask, "A variant against what?" >>
             
            A variant is ANYWHERE that any TWO manuscripts differ from EACH OTHER.
             
            And, it must be said, that who cares about a variant that arose, say between two manuscripts written in the 9th century, but does not show up anytime before that?  That variant has absolutely no importance to me.
             
            << I can see us all not agreeing on what is a 'meaningful' variant >>
             
            A variant that is NOT a "meaningful variant" is one in the original language, of which both variants have the same meaning.  They may be spelled differently, or be two words that mean the same thing.  But a meaningful variant is one where there is a difference in meaning, even if that meaning cannot be translated into the target language.  For example, variants between some aspect of Greek grammar that has meaning in Greek, but which difference is not usually translated into dissimilar languages.
             
            << a list of variants in such a way as to confirm or deny the wild numbers thrown around (75,000, 100,000, some as high as "a half a million," etc.) is wrong.  >>
             
            I just don't care.  Because I give unequal weight to manuscripts.  Some manuscripts are far more important than others, and I care more about the variants among the important manuscripts.
             
            << Then again, maybe I'm just going crazy.
            >>
             
            If you don't "weigh" the manuscripts, you will indeed go crazy with the number of variants.
             
            <<  By the way, just about every known Greek ms is available in a word processing software. >>
             
            Not available to me.
             
            David Robert Palmer_,_._,___
          • James Snapp, Jr.
            Dear Eddie M.: (The living text scholar is David Parker.) EM: No two scholars calculate or define variants the same way. A variant is a difference of
            Message 5 of 23 , Aug 2 10:17 AM
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              Dear Eddie M.:

              (The "living text" scholar is David Parker.)

              EM: "No two scholars calculate or define "variants" the same way."

              A variant is a difference of content. A variant exists where one
              witness has a reading which another witness does not have. While the
              definition of a "significant" variant may be limited to instances in
              which a whole word is different, any difference -- different word-
              order, different spelling -- is a variant.

              EM: "It gets even worse when you ask, "A variant against what?""

              It would have to: if one uses Textus Receptus as a collating-base,
              any given witness will agree and disagree against the TR in different
              places, and to a different extent, than if one were to use as a
              collating-base the Majority Text or the NA-27 text or the text of
              Vaticanus.

              EM: "The simple fact that we can not produce a list of variants in
              such a way as to confirm or deny the wild numbers thrown around
              (75,000, 100,000, some as high as "a half a million," etc.) is wrong."

              Here's the estimate I mentioned earlier, based on post #1700 on the
              TC-Alternate list.

              Dr. Tommy Wasserman has collected 1,271 variants in the Greek
              witnesses to the book of Jude -- a book which contains 461 words, as
              Wasserman reconstructs it. If we work with the unproven premise that
              variants were created at the same rate in other books that they were
              created at in Jude, then if we apply the ratio of 461-to-1,271 to the
              total number of words in the NT (put at 137,490 by Morgenthaler),
              then the total number of variants = 379,067. Thus the number of
              variants in a given book may be expected to be 2.75 times the number
              of words in the book.

              So 380,000 (and a formula of 2.75 x the # of words in a book) seems
              about right. One thing that I'm not sure about, though, is whether
              or not it's sensible to count the *authentic* readings as variants.
              When most folks talk about variants, they mean variations from the
              original text, even though technically a contested genuine reading is
              also a variant. If we subtract from 380,000 the *authentic* 137,490
              words, with their authentic spelling, in their authentic word-order,
              then the number of inauthentic readings seems to drop to 242,510.

              That unproven premise that I mentioned is probably incorrect. We
              should probably expect the rate of variants in the Gospels to be much
              higher than in Jude, since the Gospels have many more witnesses. So
              let's figure in, oh, another 75,000 variants. Depending on whether
              or not the authentic variants are counted, the total number of
              variants in the Greek witnesses to the NT text might be about 455,000
              or (subtracting the authentic readings) 317,510.

              Imho, that's about the best estimate you will ever need to have.

              Regarding that blog-entry by Dr. Wallace: I think I know the one you
              have in mind (though I couldn't locate it in the P&P archives). The
              statement by Dr. Geisler was incorrect, and Dr. Wallace was right to
              correct it. I wish that he had also pointed out that many variants
              are repetitions of the same orthographic difference (i.e., 100
              occurrences of "euqus" in one witness and 100 matching occurrences
              of "euqews" in another witness = 100 variants, not just one), and
              that if one were to count such differences collectively rather than
              individually then the number of distinct, non-repeated variants would
              not be nearly as intimidating as it may initially seem. I don't know
              what specific mathematical difficulty you detected.

              EM: "I promise never again to bother the members of this list with a
              question on variants again."

              For my part, feel free to take back that promise anytime. Take away
              discussions about variants from a list dedicated to NT TC and there's
              not much left!

              EM: "Just about every known Greek ms is available in a word
              processing software. We don't have to "eye ball" this."

              Even if you were to take the time to sift through the collations and
              count up all the variants, you would still have just an estimate,
              because (a) new MSS continue to be discovered, and (b) there is no
              guarantee that the collations are correct in every respect, and (b)
              many witnesses, such as lectionaries, remain to be collated, and (c)
              some MSS are so illegible at some places that it is impossible to
              confidently say which variant they support at those spots.

              EM: "We just need a person who can align these texts and highlight
              Variants."

              Wasserman took the time to do that with the text of Jude, and while
              it is nice to have the contents of all Greek witnesses systematically
              listed, the exhaustiveness of his list does not make the already-
              known-to-be-significant variants more significant; nor does it make
              the already-known-to-be-insignificant differences appreciably more
              significant. As far as the recovery of the original text is
              concerned, the exhaustive list does not do anything that a list of
              variants in the 50 most important Greek MSS would not do.

              An exhaustive list of variants could be helpful when attempting to
              track the descent of MSS; the possibility exists that some
              orthographic variants -- insignificant, by all initial appearances --
              might show up at a particular point in a text-stream, and be passed
              along to a specific group of witnesses which can be shown to be
              a "family" by virtue of these common orthographic elements. But istm
              that this is an approach which may be carried out book-by-book; it
              need not wait for an exhaustive list of variants for the entire NT
              text.

              Yours in Christ,

              James Snapp, Jr.
              www.curtisvillechristian.org/BasicTC.html
            • Daniel B. Wallace
              Eddie, I just saw this thread and noticed that you mentioned my blog post on the number of variants. you said that the math didn t work, but you gave no
              Message 6 of 23 , Aug 2 2:46 PM
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                Eddie, I just saw this thread and noticed that you mentioned my blog post on the number of variants. you said that the math didn't work, but you gave no specifics. May I ask you to clarify this? Also, you stated, "By the way, just about every known Greek ms is available in a word
                processing software." I don't know where you get this information, but it's demonstrably not true. Part of the reason we don't know the exact number of variants is because the vast majority of GNT MSS do not have published collations. And almost every time a new MS is discovered, a few more variants are added to the pool.

                A little patience and charity on your part, without the diatribe, would be most helpful at this stage.

                Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
                Executive Director
                Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
                www.csntm.org

                ----- Start Original Message -----
                Sent: Fri, 01 Aug 2008 23:00:25 +0200
                From: "A. Dirkzwager" <dirkzwager@...>
                To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

                >
                > Dear Eddie,

                I don't understand the importance of the list or the number you are
                looking for.
                Textual criticism is an art, not a modern science that works with
                numbers, "objective" criteria etc.
                The amount of differences in the manuscripts is enormous but that is due
                to the enormous amount of textual witnesses for the NT. And there are
                still lots of work to do to discover all the "variants" in the known
                witnesses.

                You ask "A variant against what?" Against *all* the other readings, not
                against a standard text, for that does not exist. Every reading is a
                variant reading, if there is another reading of the same text.

                If I am giving a silly answer, I have not understood your question.
                Please clarify what you want to ask then.

                Arie

                A. Dirkzwager
                Hoeselt, Belgium


                Eddie Mishoe schreef:

                I give up. It is impossible.

                No two scholars calculate or define "variants" the same way. It gets
                even worse when you ask, "A variant against what?"

                I've now read: Epp, Fee, Wallace, Aland, Elliott, Metzger, Ehrman,
                Comfort, the "living text" scholar (can't remember his name),
                Robinson, and many other articles by "unknowns." Anyway, I am so
                disappointed that nobody can clarify this, explain it, agree upon it,
                give us the actual numbers, compared to what, etc.

                I can see us all not agreeing on what is a 'meaningful' variant, or
                other tertiary issues. But the simple fact that we can not produce a
                list of variants in such a way as to confirm or deny the wild numbers
                thrown around (75,000, 100,000, some as high as "a half a million,"
                etc.) is wrong.

                Since the famous Luke project has been completed. I'm assuming there
                are some pretty accurate numbers there as to how many variants are in
                a particular chapter. I'd be happy with taking that information and
                extrapolating it out to give us an accurate number (making necessary
                adjustments) of the whole GNT. Somebody ought to be able to get
                within a couple of thousand. And here's the good news. It doesn't
                even have to be CORRECT. It just needs to be the BEST VARIANT COUNT
                we can surmise based on the available data.

                This is my final plea for help. If you want me to read a book or an
                article, I've probably done it. But I'm willing to read it again.

                I was sent a blog by a friend (a blog written by Dr. Daniel Wallace
                of Dallas Theological Seminary on a web site called Reclaiming the
                Mind.). I'll be honest, I got excited as I watched him straighten out
                Dr. Geisler's take on this subject. But, then he got into the math or
                calculations. I got very frustrated when I reworked the math 20 times
                and his formula didn't work. I noted one lady even responded to him,
                "The math seems off, but thank you..."

                I gave this blog to some of my mathematically inclined parishioners
                (one taught math at Va. Tech). All three concluded that there
                appeared to be problems with the formula as stated. Unfortunately,
                they asked me a few questions that might have helped them with some
                assumptions but I was not up to the challenge (I didn't know the
                answer).

                Then again, maybe I'm just going crazy.

                Any help would be appreciated. I promise never again to bother the
                members of this list with a question on variants again. Remember, I'm
                only looking for a mathematically demonstratable formula that
                produces the currently known total variant count in extant Greek NT
                mss. Why am I satisfied with the Greek NT mss ONLY, because I can
                assure you trying to include Church Fathers and Ancient Versions is
                still light years away.

                By the way, just about every known Greek ms is available in a word
                processing software. We don't have to "eye ball" this. We just need a
                person who can align these texts and highlight Variants (however they
                are determined. I'm at the point in my life where if someone will do
                that, I'll count them. It will take me years, but I'll do it, God
                willing.

                Eddie Mishoe
                Pastor





                ----- End Original Message -----
              • Eddie Mishoe
                David Palmer: Here’s my understanding. I think an illustration will help more so than my attempts to describe a variant. For God so loved the world For
                Message 7 of 23 , Aug 3 8:12 PM
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                  David Palmer:

                  Here’s my understanding.

                  I think an illustration will help more so than my attempts to describe a variant.

                  For God so loved the world
                  For Christ so loved the world
                  For God so lived the world
                  For God so loved the world
                  For Christ so loved the world
                  For God so loved the world
                  For God so loved the world
                  For God so lived the world
                  For Christ so lived the world
                  For God so loved the world

                  In the example above, there are only 2 variants. They are God/Christ and loved/lived. (Would this actually be 4?)

                  So, in the second slot, there are only two variants (God and Christ).
                  In the fourth slot, there are only two variants (loved and lived).

                  If 100 new mss are discovered tomorrow, and half read God and half read Christ in the second slot, there is no more variants added to the total number of variants. In other words, no NEW variant exists with these newly discovered mss.

                  If, however, two of these 100 mss reads Jesus in the second slot, then the total number of variants goes up one (there are now 3 total variants). The next time Jesus is found in the second slot, the variant count is not affected. In other words, Jesus in the second slot is already a known variant. It makes no difference how many mss have Jesus in that second slot (the number of variants is not increased for every such ms).

                  Dr. Snapp:

                  You wrote: “A variant is a difference of content. A variant exists where one witness has a reading which another witness does not have.”

                  Now that is simple!!! But, is it more accurate to say:

                  “A variant is a difference of content. A variant exists where one witness has a reading different from all other known witnesses.”

                  I think this somehow doesn’t take into consideration “singular readings.” I didn’t think a variant was counted unless AT LEAST TWO mss contain that variant. Right? Wrong?


                  Regarding word processors and mss:

                  Go to Muenster’s web page (http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/), every single papyri is in a word processor and available for you to read. Essentially, they have already collated, or are collating, all the papyri. It may be already done, I just can’t tell. They color code the variants; it is rather easy to see. Pick any two papyri, and presto, the collation and variants are right there. (Of course, just go pick up Comfort’s book on the Papyri; his publisher has all the papyri in a word process also.)

                  You might have to get two or three books (like Comforts for the papyri), but the uncials and other mss are available too. We need to put these into one database. Electronically, this couldn’t take but a day or two. Anyway, that’s enough about the mss and word processing. The mss are already in electronic form; we just need a little collusion with all the companies housing the mss. (Can you name a ms that has not been put into electronic form? If so, give me a day or two, and I'll do it.)

                  Dr. Wallace.

                  Wow. Dr. Wallace. Okay, let me ask you a question. Reclaiming the Mind is where your post was originally found. I cannot find it there, BUT there is a note on the main page that they were recently hacked and lost a lot of data. Do you know if it was lost? If so, do you have it in your archives? (Reclaiming the Mind doesn't have an archive???)

                  You wrote on variants. It was an excellent article, but I was unable to make your math work. Even in the comments, a woman noted that your math did not make much sense to her, but she felt like she had a better understanding of variants. When I read her comment, I thought there might be something to the problem I was having working your numbers. I sent your blog to a former professor at VA Tech. After working the numbers twice, he emailed me back saying that he was not able to "force the numbers to correlate with his previous assertions."

                  Not be to discourage, I sent another copy to some others, all with math backgrounds. NOT ONE could get the numbers to work. So, I am not able to give you any more info than that. I simply could not make sense of the formula you presented on that blog. Bear in mind, I’m pretty close to an idiot when it comes to this subject of variants. I thought I could do math fairly well, but your post proved me wrong there! I suspect that my VA Tech professor was unable to solve it because he has no information about variants other than what you presented there. So, please don’t be offended about our inability to solve the math. If you could have Reclaiming the Mind repost (is that a word?) your blog, and if you could make sure your numbers work, I’ll get back on it. This I will say, you have to admit there is a lot of confusion about variants. I think you even state that we need to have expert textual critics define the terms since they are the ones who work with them. Fine and dandy, but can’t at least one textual critic simplify this apparent mega mystery. This lack of clarification, at least in my opinion, gave an open door to Ehrman and others to exploit, and a lot of people are now confused.

                  You probably read Dr. Ehrman’s email on my earlier post about variants. In it, he says: “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...”

                  I can’t help but believe he was being sarcastic, but the bottom line is he certainly does not present variants as if it were of passing interest, as interesting as the number of verses in the NT.

                  Anyway, thanks for these responses. I wish Dr. Willker didn’t have to review all posts (by me) before posting them. I could have had this answer by now :o )

                  Blessing to all

                  Eddie Mishoe
                  Pastor


                • Daniel B. Wallace
                  Dear Eddie, I think your email will go a long way to clarify for the rest of us what you are thinking. Thank you for taking the trouble to write it up. I would
                  Message 8 of 23 , Aug 3 11:21 PM
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                    Dear Eddie, I think your email will go a long way to clarify for the rest of us what you are thinking. Thank you for taking the trouble to write it up. I would like to mention but two or three things here. First, it is not true that all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts are in electronic form. Muenster has done a phenomenal job of making some of the most important manuscripts accessible. But these are but a drop in the bucket of all known manuscripts. You said that you could put in electronic form a manuscript that is not there currently. Let me name a few for you:

                    64 85 136 154 168 305 306 315 316 317 318 320 332 333 334 370 392 437 455 539 560 589 590 596 600 606 607 610 615 631 633 640 649 671 674 675 687 701 702 704 720 721 722 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 736 737 738 739 741 742 744 749 753 770 772 810 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 821 822 833 834 836 838 840 841 842 848 849 850 853 855 857 858 862 870 878 881 882 883 898 916 918 949 970 984 988 993 1021 1027 1028 1029 1043 1044 1066 1067 1069 1070 1102 1103 1104 1105 1106 1109 1112 1115 1116 1139 1150 1151 1177 1178 1182 1183 1184 1246 1252 1253 1254 1255 1256 1259 1262 1263 1265 1268 1271 1274 1283 1284 1287 1302 1303 1304 1308 1366 1368 1369 1370 1371 1373 1374 1378 1380 1381 1382 1383 1387 1388 1389 1409 1411 1412 1419 1421 1430 1437 1502 1506 1516 1527 1529 1533 1534 1536 1537 1547 1570 1607 1612 1613 1618 1627 1631 1640 1644 1657 1658 1673 1674 1677 1681 1701 1703 1706 1708 1710 1711 1720 1721 1722 1723 1724 1726 1727 1729 1735 1736 1737 1741 1742 1743 1744 1750 1754 1757 1762 1763 1764 1767 1768 1769 1770 1772 1796 1798 1801 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1809 1810 1811 1812 1818 1819 1820 1824 1825 1833 1839 1844 1846 1853 1857 1861 1863.

                    That ought to do for starters. It's only a small fraction of the manuscripts, too. Then there are the manuscripts that do not yet have Gregory-Aland numbers. The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts has photographed about 50 or 60 of these in the last six years, so they now are in electronic form. (Some samples from Albania can now be found at www.csntm.org.) BUT that electronic form is not like a printed text; the manuscripts still need to be read, collated, and compared with other manuscripts. Further, there are most certainly scores of yet-to-be-cataologued manuscripts, and perhaps hundreds.

                    There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in existence today. I believe that less than 10% have been put into a searchable database, though the number is continuing to rise. It would take one person approximately 400 years to collate all the extant MSS. To be sure, Muenster, Birmingham, IGNTP, CNTTS, CSNTM, etc. have got scholars working on the collations, but there simply is no way for us yet to know exactly how many variants there are because we have taken the second step of collating all the MSS. We have taken the first of photographing them, but even that point has an asterisk: most MSS have been microfilmed but not digitally photographed. Unless you have access to one of the microfilms, you can't even start to do the collation work.

                    Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math of my blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy Wasserman's exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio of variants per verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted that there would be almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

                    Third, you also said to James that you thought a variant didn't count unless it was found in two MSS. Not so. One manuscript that has a reading different from all others would constitute a variant.

                    I hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

                    Daniel B. Wallace
                    Executive Director
                    Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
                    www.csntm.org

                    ----- Start Original Message -----
                    Sent: Sun, 3 Aug 2008 20:12:03 -0700 (PDT)
                    From: Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe@...>
                    To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

                    >
                    > David Palmer:

                    Here’s my understanding.

                    I think an illustration will help more so than my attempts to describe a
                    variant.

                    For God so loved the world
                    For Christ so loved the world
                    For God so lived the world
                    For God so loved the world
                    For Christ so loved the world
                    For God so loved the world
                    For God so loved the world
                    For God so lived the world
                    For Christ so lived the world
                    For God so loved the world

                    In the example above, there are only 2 variants. They are God/Christ and
                    loved/lived. (Would this actually be 4?)

                    So, in the second slot, there are only two variants (God and Christ).
                    In the fourth slot, there are only two variants (loved and lived).

                    If 100 new mss are discovered tomorrow, and half read God and half read
                    Christ in the second slot, there is no more variants added to the total
                    number of variants. In other words, no NEW variant exists with these
                    newly discovered mss.

                    If, however, two of these 100 mss reads Jesus in the second slot, then
                    the total number of variants goes up one (there are now 3 total
                    variants). The next time Jesus is found in the second slot, the variant
                    count is not affected. In other words, Jesus in the second slot is
                    already a known variant. It makes no difference how many mss have Jesus
                    in that second slot (the number of variants is not increased for every
                    such ms).

                    Dr. Snapp:

                    You wrote: “A variant is a difference of content. A variant exists
                    where one witness has a reading which another witness does not have.”

                    Now that is simple!!! But, is it more accurate to say:

                    “A variant is a difference of content. A variant exists where one
                    witness has a reading different from all other known witnesses.”

                    I think this somehow doesn’t take into consideration “singular
                    readings.” I didn’t think a variant was counted unless AT LEAST TWO
                    mss contain that variant. Right? Wrong?


                    Regarding word processors and mss:

                    Go to Muenster’s web page (http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/),
                    every single papyri is in a word processor and available for you to read.
                    Essentially, they have already collated, or are collating, all the
                    papyri. It may be already done, I just can’t tell. They color code the
                    variants; it is rather easy to see. Pick any two papyri, and presto, the
                    collation and variants are right there. (Of course, just go pick up
                    Comfort’s book on the Papyri; his publisher has all the papyri in a
                    word process also.)

                    You might have to get two or three books (like Comforts for the papyri),
                    but the uncials and other mss are available too. We need to put these
                    into one database. Electronically, this couldn’t take but a day or two.
                    Anyway, that’s enough about the mss and word processing. The mss are
                    already in electronic form; we just need a little collusion with all the
                    companies housing the mss. (Can you name a ms that has not been put into
                    electronic form? If so, give me a day or two, and I'll do it.)

                    Dr. Wallace.

                    Wow. Dr. Wallace. Okay, let me ask you a question. Reclaiming the Mind is
                    where your post was originally found. I cannot find it there, BUT there
                    is a note on the main page that they were recently hacked and lost a lot
                    of data. Do you know if it was lost? If so, do you have it in your
                    archives? (Reclaiming the Mind doesn't have an archive???)

                    You wrote on variants. It was an excellent article, but I was unable to
                    make your math work. Even in the comments, a woman noted that your math
                    did not make much sense to her, but she felt like she had a better
                    understanding of variants. When I read her comment, I thought there might
                    be something to the problem I was having working your numbers. I sent
                    your blog to a former professor at VA Tech. After working the numbers
                    twice, he emailed me back saying that he was not able to "force the
                    numbers to correlate with his previous assertions."

                    Not be to discourage, I sent another copy to some others, all with math
                    backgrounds. NOT ONE could get the numbers to work. So, I am not able to
                    give you any more info than that. I simply could not make sense of the
                    formula you presented on that blog. Bear in mind, I’m pretty close to
                    an idiot when it comes to this subject of variants. I thought I could do
                    math fairly well, but your post proved me wrong there! I suspect that my
                    VA Tech professor was unable to solve it because he has no information
                    about variants other than what you presented there. So, please don’t be
                    offended about our inability to solve the math. If you could have
                    Reclaiming the Mind repost (is that a word?) your blog, and if you could
                    make sure your numbers work, I’ll get back on it. This I will say, you
                    have to admit there is a lot of confusion about variants. I think you
                    even state that we need to have expert textual critics define the terms
                    since they are the ones who work with them. Fine and dandy, but can’t
                    at least one textual critic simplify this apparent mega mystery. This
                    lack of clarification, at least in my opinion, gave an open door to
                    Ehrman and others to exploit, and a lot of people are now confused.

                    You probably read Dr. Ehrman’s email on my earlier post about variants.
                    In it, he says: “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...”

                    I can’t help but believe he was being sarcastic, but the bottom line is
                    he certainly does not present variants as if it were of passing interest,
                    as interesting as the number of verses in the NT.

                    Anyway, thanks for these responses. I wish Dr. Willker didn’t have to
                    review all posts (by me) before posting them. I could have had this
                    answer by now :o )

                    Blessing to all

                    Eddie Mishoe
                    Pastor





                    ----- End Original Message -----
                  • Daniel B. Wallace
                    Oops! I am as bad as the printer Barker who left out the not in the seventh commandment in the KJV! My sentence, we have taken the second step of collating
                    Message 9 of 23 , Aug 4 2:04 AM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Oops! I am as bad as the printer Barker who left out the 'not' in the seventh commandment in the KJV! My sentence, "we have taken the second step of collating all the MSS" should say "we have not taken the second step of collating all the MSS."

                      Dan Wallace

                      ----- Start Original Message -----
                      Sent: Mon, 04 Aug 2008 08:21:52 +0200 (CEST)
                      From: "Daniel B. Wallace" <csntm@...>
                      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

                      >
                      > Dear Eddie, I think your email will go a long way to clarify for the rest
                      of us what you are thinking. Thank you for taking the trouble to write it
                      up. I would like to mention but two or three things here. First, it is
                      not true that all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts are in
                      electronic form. Muenster has done a phenomenal job of making some of the
                      most important manuscripts accessible. But these are but a drop in the
                      bucket of all known manuscripts. You said that you could put in
                      electronic form a manuscript that is not there currently. Let me name a
                      few for you:

                      64 85 136 154 168 305 306 315 316 317 318 320 332 333 334 370 392 437 455
                      539 560 589 590 596 600 606 607 610 615 631 633 640 649 671 674 675 687
                      701 702 704 720 721 722 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 736 737 738 739
                      741 742 744 749 753 770 772 810 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 821 822 833
                      834 836 838 840 841 842 848 849 850 853 855 857 858 862 870 878 881 882
                      883 898 916 918 949 970 984 988 993 1021 1027 1028 1029 1043 1044 1066
                      1067 1069 1070 1102 1103 1104 1105 1106 1109 1112 1115 1116 1139 1150
                      1151 1177 1178 1182 1183 1184 1246 1252 1253 1254 1255 1256 1259 1262
                      1263 1265 1268 1271 1274 1283 1284 1287 1302 1303 1304 1308 1366 1368
                      1369 1370 1371 1373 1374 1378 1380 1381 1382 1383 1387 1388 1389 1409
                      1411 1412 1419 1421 1430 1437 1502 1506 1516 1527 1529 1533 1534 1536
                      1537 1547 1570 1607 1612 1613 1618 1627 1631 1640 1644 1657 1658 1673
                      1674 1677 1681 1701 1703 1706 1708 1710 1711 1720 1721 1722 1723 1724
                      1726 1727 1729 1735 1736 1737 1741 1742 1743 1744 1750 1754 1757 1762
                      1763 1764 1767 1768 1769 1770 1772 1796 1798 1801 1803 1804 1805 1806
                      1807 1809 1810 1811 1812 1818 1819 1820 1824 1825 1833 1839 1844 1846
                      1853 1857 1861 1863.

                      That ought to do for starters. It's only a small fraction of the
                      manuscripts, too. Then there are the manuscripts that do not yet have
                      Gregory-Aland numbers. The Center for the Study of New Testament
                      Manuscripts has photographed about 50 or 60 of these in the last six
                      years, so they now are in electronic form. (Some samples from Albania can
                      now be found at www.csntm.org.) BUT that electronic form is not like a
                      printed text; the manuscripts still need to be read, collated, and
                      compared with other manuscripts. Further, there are most certainly scores
                      of yet-to-be-cataologued manuscripts, and perhaps hundreds.

                      There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in
                      existence today. I believe that less than 10% have been put into a
                      searchable database, though the number is continuing to rise. It would
                      take one person approximately 400 years to collate all the extant MSS. To
                      be sure, Muenster, Birmingham, IGNTP, CNTTS, CSNTM, etc. have got
                      scholars working on the collations, but there simply is no way for us yet
                      to know exactly how many variants there are because we have taken the
                      second step of collating all the MSS. We have taken the first of
                      photographing them, but even that point has an asterisk: most MSS have
                      been microfilmed but not digitally photographed. Unless you have access
                      to one of the microfilms, you can't even start to do the collation work.

                      Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math of my
                      blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy Wasserman's
                      exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio of variants per
                      verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted that there would be
                      almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

                      Third, you also said to James that you thought a variant didn't count
                      unless it was found in two MSS. Not so. One manuscript that has a reading
                      different from all others would constitute a variant.

                      I hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

                      Daniel B. Wallace
                      Executive Director
                      Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
                      www.csntm.org

                      ----- Start Original Message -----
                      Sent: Sun, 3 Aug 2008 20:12:03 -0700 (PDT)
                      From: Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe@...>
                      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm
                      frustrated

                      >
                      > David Palmer:

                      Here’s my understanding.

                      I think an illustration will help more so than my attempts to describe a
                      variant.

                      For God so loved the world
                      For Christ so loved the world
                      For God so lived the world
                      For God so loved the world
                      For Christ so loved the world
                      For God so loved the world
                      For God so loved the world
                      For God so lived the world
                      For Christ so lived the world
                      For God so loved the world

                      In the example above, there are only 2 variants. They are God/Christ and
                      loved/lived. (Would this actually be 4?)

                      So, in the second slot, there are only two variants (God and Christ).
                      In the fourth slot, there are only two variants (loved and lived).

                      If 100 new mss are discovered tomorrow, and half read God and half read
                      Christ in the second slot, there is no more variants added to the total
                      number of variants. In other words, no NEW variant exists with these
                      newly discovered mss.

                      If, however, two of these 100 mss reads Jesus in the second slot, then
                      the total number of variants goes up one (there are now 3 total
                      variants). The next time Jesus is found in the second slot, the variant
                      count is not affected. In other words, Jesus in the second slot is
                      already a known variant. It makes no difference how many mss have Jesus
                      in that second slot (the number of variants is not increased for every
                      such ms).

                      Dr. Snapp:

                      You wrote: “A variant is a difference of content. A variant exists
                      where one witness has a reading which another witness does not have.”

                      Now that is simple!!! But, is it more accurate to say:

                      “A variant is a difference of content. A variant exists where one
                      witness has a reading different from all other known witnesses.”

                      I think this somehow doesn’t take into consideration “singular
                      readings.” I didn’t think a variant was counted unless AT LEAST TWO
                      mss contain that variant. Right? Wrong?

                      Regarding word processors and mss:

                      Go to Muenster’s web page (http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/),
                      every single papyri is in a word processor and available for you to read.
                      Essentially, they have already collated, or are collating, all the
                      papyri. It may be already done, I just can’t tell. They color code the
                      variants; it is rather easy to see. Pick any two papyri, and presto, the
                      collation and variants are right there. (Of course, just go pick up
                      Comfort’s book on the Papyri; his publisher has all the papyri in a
                      word process also.)

                      You might have to get two or three books (like Comforts for the papyri),
                      but the uncials and other mss are available too. We need to put these
                      into one database. Electronically, this couldn’t take but a day or two.
                      Anyway, that’s enough about the mss and word processing. The mss are
                      already in electronic form; we just need a little collusion with all the
                      companies housing the mss. (Can you name a ms that has not been put into
                      electronic form? If so, give me a day or two, and I'll do it.)

                      Dr. Wallace.

                      Wow. Dr. Wallace. Okay, let me ask you a question. Reclaiming the Mind is
                      where your post was originally found. I cannot find it there, BUT there
                      is a note on the main page that they were recently hacked and lost a lot
                      of data. Do you know if it was lost? If so, do you have it in your
                      archives? (Reclaiming the Mind doesn't have an archive???)

                      You wrote on variants. It was an excellent article, but I was unable to
                      make your math work. Even in the comments, a woman noted that your math
                      did not make much sense to her, but she felt like she had a better
                      understanding of variants. When I read her comment, I thought there might
                      be something to the problem I was having working your numbers. I sent
                      your blog to a former professor at VA Tech. After working the numbers
                      twice, he emailed me back saying that he was not able to "force the
                      numbers to correlate with his previous assertions."

                      Not be to discourage, I sent another copy to some others, all with math
                      backgrounds. NOT ONE could get the numbers to work. So, I am not able to
                      give you any more info than that. I simply could not make sense of the
                      formula you presented on that blog. Bear in mind, I’m pretty close to
                      an idiot when it comes to this subject of variants. I thought I could do
                      math fairly well, but your post proved me wrong there! I suspect that my
                      VA Tech professor was unable to solve it because he has no information
                      about variants other than what you presented there. So, please don’t be
                      offended about our inability to solve the math. If you could have
                      Reclaiming the Mind repost (is that a word?) your blog, and if you could
                      make sure your numbers work, I’ll get back on it. This I will say, you
                      have to admit there is a lot of confusion about variants. I think you
                      even state that we need to have expert textual critics define the terms
                      since they are the ones who work with them. Fine and dandy, but can’t
                      at least one textual critic simplify this apparent mega mystery. This
                      lack of clarification, at least in my opinion, gave an open door to
                      Ehrman and others to exploit, and a lot of people are now confused.

                      You probably read Dr. Ehrman’s email on my earlier post about variants.
                      In it, he says: “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...”

                      I can’t help but believe he was being sarcastic, but the bottom line is
                      he certainly does not present variants as if it were of passing interest,
                      as interesting as the number of verses in the NT.

                      Anyway, thanks for these responses. I wish Dr. Willker didn’t have to
                      review all posts (by me) before posting them. I could have had this
                      answer by now :o )

                      Blessing to all

                      Eddie Mishoe
                      Pastor

                      ----- End Original Message -----




                      ----- End Original Message -----
                    • Ted Clore
                      Why did you use Jude for your base for determining the ratio of variants? Was it due to the work of Wasserman alone? What basis would you assume that the
                      Message 10 of 23 , Aug 4 6:52 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Why did you use Jude for your base for determining the ratio of variants?  Was it due to the work of Wasserman alone?
                         
                        What basis would you assume that the variants would be the same throughout the NT?  Would the Gospel of John compared to James, for instance, have a ratio of difference that could be different than an Epistle of Paul? 
                         
                        Ted Clore
                         
                         
                        Dan Wallace said:
                         

                        Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math of my blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy Wasserman's exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio of variants per verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted that there would be almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

                        .

                      • ron minton
                        Dan, can you clarify this. I must have missed something. Ron Minton There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in existence today. ...
                        Message 11 of 23 , Aug 4 7:35 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Dan, can you clarify this.  I must have missed something.
                          Ron Minton

                          "There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in
                          existence today."


                          ----- Start Original Message -----
                          Sent: Mon, 04 Aug 2008 08:21:52 +0200 (CEST)
                          From: "Daniel B. Wallace" <csntm@...>
                          To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

                          >
                          > Dear Eddie, I think your email will go a long way to clarify for the rest
                          of us what you are thinking. Thank you for taking the trouble to write it
                          up. I would like to mention but two or three things here. First, it is
                          not true that all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts are in
                          electronic form. Muenster has done a phenomenal job of making some of the
                          most important manuscripts accessible. But these are but a drop in the
                          bucket of all known manuscripts. You said that you could put in
                          electronic form a manuscript that is not there currently. Let me name a
                          few for you:

                          64 85 136 154 168 305 306 315 316 317 318 320 332 333 334 370 392 437 455
                          539 560 589 590 596 600 606 607 610 615 631 633 640 649 671 674 675 687
                          701 702 704 720 721 722 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 736 737 738 739
                          741 742 744 749 753 770 772 810 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 821 822 833
                          834 836 838 840 841 842 848 849 850 853 855 857 858 862 870 878 881 882
                          883 898 916 918 949 970 984 988 993 1021 1027 1028 1029 1043 1044 1066
                          1067 1069 1070 1102 1103 1104 1105 1106 1109 1112 1115 1116 1139 1150
                          1151 1177 1178 1182 1183 1184 1246 1252 1253 1254 1255 1256 1259 1262
                          1263 1265 1268 1271 1274 1283 1284 1287 1302 1303 1304 1308 1366 1368
                          1369 1370 1371 1373 1374 1378 1380 1381 1382 1383 1387 1388 1389 1409
                          1411 1412 1419 1421 1430 1437 1502 1506 1516 1527 1529 1533 1534 1536
                          1537 1547 1570 1607 1612 1613 1618 1627 1631 1640 1644 1657 1658 1673
                          1674 1677 1681 1701 1703 1706 1708 1710 1711 1720 1721 1722 1723 1724
                          1726 1727 1729 1735 1736 1737 1741 1742 1743 1744 1750 1754 1757 1762
                          1763 1764 1767 1768 1769 1770 1772 1796 1798 1801 1803 1804 1805 1806
                          1807 1809 1810 1811 1812 1818 1819 1820 1824 1825 1833 1839 1844 1846
                          1853 1857 1861 1863.

                          That ought to do for starters. It's only a small fraction of the
                          manuscripts, too. Then there are the manuscripts that do not yet have
                          Gregory-Aland numbers. The Center for the Study of New Testament
                          Manuscripts has photographed about 50 or 60 of these in the last six
                          years, so they now are in electronic form. (Some samples from Albania can
                          now be found at www.csntm.org.) BUT that electronic form is not like a
                          printed text; the manuscripts still need to be read, collated, and
                          compared with other manuscripts. Further, there are most certainly scores
                          of yet-to-be-cataologued manuscripts, and perhaps hundreds.

                          There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in
                          existence today. I believe that less than 10% have been put into a
                          searchable database, though the number is continuing to rise. It would
                          take one person approximately 400 years to collate all the extant MSS. To
                          be sure, Muenster, Birmingham, IGNTP, CNTTS, CSNTM, etc. have got
                          scholars working on the collations, but there simply is no way for us yet
                          to know exactly how many variants there are because we have taken the
                          second step of collating all the MSS. We have taken the first of
                          photographing them, but even that point has an asterisk: most MSS have
                          been microfilmed but not digitally photographed. Unless you have access
                          to one of the microfilms, you can't even start to do the collation work.

                          Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math of my
                          blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy Wasserman's
                          exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio of variants per
                          verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted that there would be
                          almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

                          Third, you also said to James that you thought a variant didn't count
                          unless it was found in two MSS. Not so. One manuscript that has a reading
                          different from all others would constitute a variant.

                          I hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

                          Daniel B. Wallace
                          Executive Director
                          Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
                          www.csntm.org
                        • Eddie Mishoe
                          Dr. Wallace: (and others) I think you are responding to something I probably (mis)stated or (mis)implied but did so in my ignorance. I warned you of me being
                          Message 12 of 23 , Aug 4 11:33 AM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Dr. Wallace: (and others)

                            I think you are responding to something I probably (mis)stated or (mis)implied but did so in my ignorance. I warned you of me being an idiot. I'm not joking. But I'm not interested in all the billions of words being put into electronic form; I'm only interested in the GNT with all variants being in printed form!!

                            I simply have to ask the following three questions.

                            1. You state that the NET Bible is based on 5,700 mss (Reinventing Jesus chart). Can we assume that the NET committee has indeed reviewed these mss in some way or another? Clearly anyone reading your statement would conclude that the NET committee is aware of the variants in these 5,700 mss. To ask it another way, “Are there variants in these 5,700 manuscripts that the committee is NOT aware of?

                            2. Now, there are 400,000 total variants, but that includes versions and church fathers. So, your committee is aware of all the variants in the mss at least. Let’s limit ourselves to these then.

                            How have these variants been recorded and reviewed by the NET committee? I’m assuming each variant has to be either included in the text of the NET or not. There has to be a LIST somewhere. Questions that come to mind are: Where is this list, who put it together, is it in printed form, etc. Please don’t tell me that those on this committee are unaware of many variants in these mss!!

                            3. You have personally counted 6,577 differences between the MT and CT (so bible.org article). I'm assuming that these differences/variants represent what would amount to the "significant" variants that the MT and CT committees have come up with. These 6,577 variants take into consideration more than just the 5,700 mss; they would include some church fathers and versions. I would say that you have personally SEEN all significant variants between these two printed texts. Is that right?

                            I tried to ask a question on this list earlier but Dr. Willker rejected it. What I was looking for is a GNT that combines the MT and CT into a GNT with all variants IN THE TEXT. So, in this GNT, the text would be in black print, which represents every WORD that is the same in both the MT/CT texts. Whenever the MT differed from the CT, those words would be red (but still right in the text, not in any apparatus). Whenever the CT differed from the MT, those words would be blue, right in the text.  I would then have a GNT with ALL variants deemed significant by all committees of either the MT or CT camps. I would then have a GNT with all the original words in the text. (I probably didn’t word my question too well and hence Dr. Willker rejected it. You get use to that when you have my sin nature, something I’ve learned to both live with and despise.)

                            I consider myself one of your admirers and promise to let you get back to doing the great work you do. I know you really don't have time to answer questions from every nut case on the Internet. Thanks for whatever time you do have.

                            Eddie Mishoe
                            Pastor


                          • A. Dirkzwager
                            Dear Dan, Problems !! It appears we have a variant in your message. Arie A. Dirkzwager Hoeselt, Belgium Daniel B. Wallace schreef: Oops! I am as bad as the
                            Message 13 of 23 , Aug 4 11:56 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Dear Dan,

                              Problems !!
                              It appears we have a variant in  your message.

                              Arie

                              A. Dirkzwager
                              Hoeselt, Belgium




                              Daniel B. Wallace schreef:

                              Oops! I am as bad as the printer Barker who left out the 'not' in the seventh commandment in the KJV! My sentence, "we have taken the second step of collating all the MSS" should say "we have not taken the second step of collating all the MSS."

                              Dan Wallace

                              -

                              .


                            • Daniel B. Wallace
                              Ron, this is based on counting the leaves of MSS mentioned in the Kurzgefasste Liste and doubling them. It s an approximation, but it s probably on the low
                              Message 14 of 23 , Aug 4 1:53 PM
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                                Ron, this is based on counting the leaves of MSS mentioned in the Kurzgefasste Liste and doubling them. It's an approximation, but it's probably on the low side because of the many uncatalogued manuscripts that CSNTM has photographed in the last half dozen years.

                                Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
                                Executive Director
                                Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
                                www.csntm.org

                                ----- Start Original Message -----
                                Sent: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 17:35:51 +0300
                                From: "ron minton" <ronminton@...>
                                To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again: corrigendum

                                >
                                > Dan, can you clarify this. I must have missed something.
                                Ron Minton

                                "There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in
                                existence today."


                                ----- Start Original Message -----
                                Sent: Mon, 04 Aug 2008 08:21:52 +0200 (CEST)
                                From: "Daniel B. Wallace" <csntm@...>
                                To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm
                                frustrated

                                >
                                > Dear Eddie, I think your email will go a long way to clarify for the
                                rest
                                of us what you are thinking. Thank you for taking the trouble to write it
                                up. I would like to mention but two or three things here. First, it is
                                not true that all of the Greek New Testament manuscripts are in
                                electronic form. Muenster has done a phenomenal job of making some of the
                                most important manuscripts accessible. But these are but a drop in the
                                bucket of all known manuscripts. You said that you could put in
                                electronic form a manuscript that is not there currently. Let me name a
                                few for you:

                                64 85 136 154 168 305 306 315 316 317 318 320 332 333 334 370 392 437 455
                                539 560 589 590 596 600 606 607 610 615 631 633 640 649 671 674 675 687
                                701 702 704 720 721 722 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 736 737 738 739
                                741 742 744 749 753 770 772 810 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 821 822 833
                                834 836 838 840 841 842 848 849 850 853 855 857 858 862 870 878 881 882
                                883 898 916 918 949 970 984 988 993 1021 1027 1028 1029 1043 1044 1066
                                1067 1069 1070 1102 1103 1104 1105 1106 1109 1112 1115 1116 1139 1150
                                1151 1177 1178 1182 1183 1184 1246 1252 1253 1254 1255 1256 1259 1262
                                1263 1265 1268 1271 1274 1283 1284 1287 1302 1303 1304 1308 1366 1368
                                1369 1370 1371 1373 1374 1378 1380 1381 1382 1383 1387 1388 1389 1409
                                1411 1412 1419 1421 1430 1437 1502 1506 1516 1527 1529 1533 1534 1536
                                1537 1547 1570 1607 1612 1613 1618 1627 1631 1640 1644 1657 1658 1673
                                1674 1677 1681 1701 1703 1706 1708 1710 1711 1720 1721 1722 1723 1724
                                1726 1727 1729 1735 1736 1737 1741 1742 1743 1744 1750 1754 1757 1762
                                1763 1764 1767 1768 1769 1770 1772 1796 1798 1801 1803 1804 1805 1806
                                1807 1809 1810 1811 1812 1818 1819 1820 1824 1825 1833 1839 1844 1846
                                1853 1857 1861 1863.

                                That ought to do for starters. It's only a small fraction of the
                                manuscripts, too. Then there are the manuscripts that do not yet have
                                Gregory-Aland numbers. The Center for the Study of New Testament
                                Manuscripts has photographed about 50 or 60 of these in the last six
                                years, so they now are in electronic form. (Some samples from Albania can
                                now be found at www.csntm.org.) BUT that electronic form is not like a
                                printed text; the manuscripts still need to be read, collated, and
                                compared with other manuscripts. Further, there are most certainly scores
                                of yet-to-be-cataologued manuscripts, and perhaps hundreds.

                                There are approximately 2.6 million pages of known Greek NT MSS in
                                existence today. I believe that less than 10% have been put into a
                                searchable database, though the number is continuing to rise. It would
                                take one person approximately 400 years to collate all the extant MSS. To
                                be sure, Muenster, Birmingham, IGNTP, CNTTS, CSNTM, etc. have got
                                scholars working on the collations, but there simply is no way for us yet
                                to know exactly how many variants there are because we have taken the
                                second step of collating all the MSS. We have taken the first of
                                photographing them, but even that point has an asterisk: most MSS have
                                been microfilmed but not digitally photographed. Unless you have access
                                to one of the microfilms, you can't even start to do the collation work.

                                Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math of my
                                blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy Wasserman's
                                exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio of variants per
                                verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted that there would be
                                almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

                                Third, you also said to James that you thought a variant didn't count
                                unless it was found in two MSS. Not so. One manuscript that has a reading
                                different from all others would constitute a variant.

                                I hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

                                Daniel B. Wallace
                                Executive Director
                                Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
                                www.csntm.org




                                ----- End Original Message -----
                              • Daniel B. Wallace
                                Yes, and it s found in the majority of emails that were sent out, I believe. In fact, if I m not mistaken, it was found in all of them. ... Sent: Mon, 04 Aug
                                Message 15 of 23 , Aug 4 1:54 PM
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                                  Yes, and it's found in the majority of emails that were sent out, I believe. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, it was found in all of them.

                                  ----- Start Original Message -----
                                  Sent: Mon, 04 Aug 2008 20:56:43 +0200
                                  From: "A. Dirkzwager" <dirkzwager@...>
                                  To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again: corrigendum

                                  >
                                  > Dear Dan,

                                  Problems !!
                                  It appears we have a variant in your message.

                                  Arie

                                  A. Dirkzwager
                                  Hoeselt, Belgium




                                  Daniel B. Wallace schreef:

                                  Oops! I am as bad as the printer Barker who left out the 'not' in the
                                  seventh commandment in the KJV! My sentence, "we have taken the
                                  second step of collating all the MSS" should say "we have not taken
                                  the second step of collating all the MSS."

                                  Dan Wallace

                                  -

                                  .[IMAGE]





                                  ----- End Original Message -----
                                • Eddie Mishoe
                                  Ted: (and others) I think you missed the context of Dr. Wallace s comment. He simply noted that IF you use Wasserman s number of variants in Jude (something
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Aug 4 3:12 PM
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                                    Ted: (and others)

                                    I think you missed the context of Dr. Wallace's comment. He simply noted that IF you use Wasserman's number of variants in Jude (something Wallace has not personal done), and IF you applied this to the rest of the NT, you would indeed arrive at the 400,000 variants. Which Dr. Wallace states corresponds to his math. BUT...

                                    BUT, the 400,000 variants is NOT the total number of variants in the mss! The 400,000 variant is from the mss, PLUS the versions (of which there are twice as many versions as Greek mss), and church fathers.

                                    Thus, if the variants are consistent among mss (Greek and versional), we should find MORE variants among the versions than the Greek mss since there are more than twice as many versional mss. So, using a little math, we should expect the TOTAL NUMBER of variants in the Greek mss to be LESS THAN 200,000.

                                    This is what is getting me so frustrated. I feel like I am constantly trying to hit a moving target. I can't tell you how many times the number of variants is used differently in the books and articles I read.

                                    Or, speaking of frustation, read this quote - with Dr. Wallace's comment on singular readings - in mind: This is a quote from E. J. Epp, THE ECLECTIC METHOD IN NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM:  SOLUTION OR SYMPTOM? p. 244

                                    Hence, readings that obviously are (1) nonsense readings, (2) clear and demonstrable scribal errors, (3) mere orthographic variations, and (4) “singular readings” will be assumed to have been excluded from the process, for they are not "textual variants" in the proper, restricted sense of that term* and, therefore, do not constitute appropriate raw material of the most likely original NT text.

                                    (*These not uncontroversial matters have been treated by the present writer in
                                    a paper presented to the Society of Biblical Literature's Textual Criticism
                                    Seminar, Washington, D.C., 1974, entitled "Toward the Clarification of the
                                    Term 'Textual Variant,'" published in Studies in New Testament Languageand
                                    Texr: Essavs in Honour of George D. Kilparrick (ed. J. K. Elliott; NovTSup 44;
                                    Leiden: Brill, 1976) 153-73.)

                                    I am sure there are differences among scholars on various terms, so I'm not sure what to make of the comment by Epp in light of Wallace's clarification. (Dr. Wallace, is this another misunderstanding on my part or do you and Epp fundamentally disagree. If the latter, are you contending that Epp would not be considered a Textual Critical scholar?)

                                    Eddie Mishoe
                                    Pastor

                                    --- On Mon, 8/4/08, Ted Clore <tedclore@...> wrote:
                                    From: Ted Clore <tedclore@...>
                                    Subject: Re: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated
                                    To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                                    Date: Monday, August 4, 2008, 9:52 AM

                                    Why did you use Jude for your base for determining the ratio of variants?  Was it due to the work of Wasserman alone?
                                     
                                    What basis would you assume that the variants would be the same throughout the NT?  Would the Gospel of John compared to James, for instance, have a ratio of difference that could be different than an Epistle of Paul? 
                                     
                                    Ted Clore
                                     
                                     
                                    Dan Wallace said:
                                     

                                    Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math of my blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy Wasserman's exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio of variants per verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted that there would be almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

                                    .


                                  • Daniel B. Wallace
                                    Eddie, I understand much better why you have concluded what you have concluded about our current knowledge of the variants. You re still mistaken: we simply
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Aug 5 5:51 AM
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                                      Eddie, I understand much better why you have concluded what you have concluded about our current knowledge of the variants. You're still mistaken: we simply don't know the exact number because not all the manuscripts have been fully collated. In fact, the vast majority have not been. The chart in Reinventing Jesus summarizes what is known to exist, but is not meant to imply that all 5700 MSS have been examined. The text leading up to this carefully explains several points which would suggest that modern translations are based on good, critical texts, but not based on an examination of all extant MSS. In reality, most MSS have been examined in selected passages but have not been examined over the entirety of their text. For example, suppose that all surviving MSS have been spot-checked in 1000 places where known and important variation occurs. It can be said that any text produced with this knowledge in mind is based, in some degree, on these manuscripts. But it cannot be said that such a text is based exhaustively on these manuscripts.

                                      It can also be said that modern translations have a pool of data that is nearly 1000 times larger than that which was used by the KJV translators, but this does not imply that every variant had been examined. Perhaps if you looked at the images of codex 2882 and the pdf description of the MS (at www.csntm.org) you would get a better sense of how the discovery of a single MS can add more data to the pool of variants.

                                      I hope this helps to explain things a bit better.

                                      Sincerely,

                                      Dan Wallace

                                      ----- Start Original Message -----
                                      Sent: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 11:33:44 -0700 (PDT)
                                      From: Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe@...>
                                      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

                                      >
                                      > Dr. Wallace: (and others)

                                      I think you are responding to something I probably (mis)stated or
                                      (mis)implied but did so in my ignorance. I warned you of me being an
                                      idiot. I'm not joking. But I'm not interested in all the billions of
                                      words being put into electronic form; I'm only interested in the GNT with
                                      all variants being in printed form!!

                                      I simply have to ask the following three questions.

                                      1. You state that the NET Bible is based on 5,700 mss (Reinventing Jesus
                                      chart). Can we assume that the NET committee has indeed reviewed these
                                      mss in some way or another? Clearly anyone reading your statement would
                                      conclude that the NET committee is aware of the variants in these 5,700
                                      mss. To ask it another way, Are there variants in these 5,700
                                      manuscripts that the committee is NOT aware of?

                                      2. Now, there are 400,000 total variants, but that includes versions and
                                      church fathers. So, your committee is aware of all the variants in the
                                      mss at least. Lets limit ourselves to these then.

                                      How have these variants been recorded and reviewed by the NET committee?
                                      Im assuming each variant has to be either included in the text of the
                                      NET or not. There has to be a LIST somewhere. Questions that come to mind
                                      are: Where is this list, who put it together, is it in printed form, etc.
                                      Please dont tell me that those on this committee are unaware of many
                                      variants in these mss!!

                                      3. You have personally counted 6,577 differences between the MT and CT
                                      (so bible.org article). I'm assuming that these differences/variants
                                      represent what would amount to the "significant" variants that the MT and
                                      CT committees have come up with. These 6,577 variants take into
                                      consideration more than just the 5,700 mss; they would include some
                                      church fathers and versions. I would say that you have personally SEEN
                                      all significant variants between these two printed texts. Is that right?

                                      I tried to ask a question on this list earlier but Dr. Willker rejected
                                      it. What I was looking for is a GNT that combines the MT and CT into a
                                      GNT with all variants IN THE TEXT. So, in this GNT, the text would be in
                                      black print, which represents every WORD that is the same in both the
                                      MT/CT texts. Whenever the MT differed from the CT, those words would be
                                      red (but still right in the text, not in any apparatus). Whenever the CT
                                      differed from the MT, those words would be blue, right in the text. I
                                      would then have a GNT with ALL variants deemed significant by all
                                      committees of either the MT or CT camps. I would then have a GNT with all
                                      the original words in the text. (I probably didnt word my question too
                                      well and hence Dr. Willker rejected it. You get use to that when you have
                                      my sin nature, something Ive learned to both live with and despise.)

                                      I consider myself one of your admirers and promise to let you get back to
                                      doing the great work you do. I know you really don't have time to answer
                                      questions from every nut case on the Internet. Thanks for whatever time
                                      you do have.

                                      Eddie Mishoe
                                      Pastor





                                      ----- End Original Message -----
                                    • Daniel B. Wallace
                                      Eddie, I would fundamentally disagree with Epp s definition, as would many other textual critics. But I would hardly say that this means Epp is not a textual
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Aug 5 6:12 AM
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                                        Eddie, I would fundamentally disagree with Epp's definition, as would many other textual critics. But I would hardly say that this means Epp is not a textual critic! He's one of the best ever!

                                        I think a large part of the problem for you, Eddie, is that you are asking us to narrow down what our sense is of how many variants there are. Frankly, I think that Bart Ehrman put it best: we just don't know. It's a guess based on the latest partial data. I've forgotten the reference (probably Scrivener), but about 130 years ago the best estimate was there may be as many as 75,000 variants among the witnesses. Then, as more MSS were discovered, the number kept rising. Early in the 20th century, the best guess was about 100,000, if I recall correctly (I'm in Muenster right now at a text-critical colloquium and, ironically enough, I don't have access to the books that give the details!). Then it crept up to 150,000. Then 200,000. When the IGNT Luke volumes were done in the 1980s, the number leapt to 300,000 and even 400,000. Again, all this was based on partial data. The project on Luke did not give data from all the MSS and did not list all the variants of the MSS that were consulted.

                                        Let me address the issue of the versions. Just because there are twice as many versional witnesses as there are Greek MSS (and this is actually true virtually of the Latin MSS alone) does not mean that the versions give us twice as many variants. There are multiple ways of translating from one language into another. If you see the statement "Jesus loves Paul" in an English translation of the Greek, it could be a translation of at least 16 different expressions in Greek, though each time the English would be a literal translation. Alternatively, consider the English sentence "Jesus is loving Paul," or "Jesus does love Paul." These two could easily translate the exact same Greek wording that is also translated "Jesus loves Paul." In other words, we really can't tell in many cases what Greek text a translation is translating. So we have to be cautious about claiming that a version represents a different reading than is found in the Greek. To be sure, there are such places, but they do not come close to representing twice as many variants as are found in the Greek MSS. I don't know what the percentage is, but my ballpark guess is that all the versions put together don't add more than 20% more variants to the pool.

                                        I trust this helps.

                                        Dan Wallace


                                        ----- Start Original Message -----
                                        Sent: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 15:12:23 -0700 (PDT)
                                        From: Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe@...>
                                        To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

                                        >
                                        > Ted: (and others)

                                        I think you missed the context of Dr. Wallace's comment. He simply noted
                                        that IF you use Wasserman's number of variants in Jude (something Wallace
                                        has not personal done), and IF you applied this to the rest of the NT,
                                        you would indeed arrive at the 400,000 variants. Which Dr. Wallace states
                                        corresponds to his math. BUT...

                                        BUT, the 400,000 variants is NOT the total number of variants in the mss!
                                        The 400,000 variant is from the mss, PLUS the versions (of which there
                                        are twice as many versions as Greek mss), and church fathers.

                                        Thus, if the variants are consistent among mss (Greek and versional), we
                                        should find MORE variants among the versions than the Greek mss since
                                        there are more than twice as many versional mss. So, using a little math,
                                        we should expect the TOTAL NUMBER of variants in the Greek mss to be LESS
                                        THAN 200,000.

                                        This is what is getting me so frustrated. I feel like I am constantly
                                        trying to hit a moving target. I can't tell you how many times the number
                                        of variants is used differently in the books and articles I read.

                                        Or, speaking of frustation, read this quote - with Dr. Wallace's comment
                                        on singular readings - in mind: This is a quote from E. J. Epp, THE
                                        ECLECTIC METHOD IN NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM: SOLUTION OR SYMPTOM?
                                        p. 244

                                        Hence, readings that obviously are (1) nonsense readings, (2) clear and
                                        demonstrable scribal errors, (3) mere orthographic variations, and (4)
                                        singular readings will be assumed to have been excluded from the
                                        process, for they are not "textual variants" in the proper, restricted
                                        sense of that term* and, therefore, do not constitute appropriate raw
                                        material of the most likely original NT text.

                                        (*These not uncontroversial matters have been treated by the present
                                        writer in
                                        a paper presented to the Society of Biblical Literature's Textual
                                        Criticism
                                        Seminar, Washington, D.C., 1974, entitled "Toward the Clarification of
                                        the
                                        Term 'Textual Variant,'" published in Studies in New Testament
                                        Languageand
                                        Texr: Essavs in Honour of George D. Kilparrick (ed. J. K. Elliott;
                                        NovTSup 44;
                                        Leiden: Brill, 1976) 153-73.)

                                        I am sure there are differences among scholars on various terms, so I'm
                                        not sure what to make of the comment by Epp in light of Wallace's
                                        clarification. (Dr. Wallace, is this another misunderstanding on my part
                                        or do you and Epp fundamentally disagree. If the latter, are you
                                        contending that Epp would not be considered a Textual Critical scholar?)

                                        Eddie Mishoe
                                        Pastor

                                        --- On Mon, 8/4/08, Ted Clore <tedclore@...> wrote:

                                        From: Ted Clore <tedclore@...>
                                        Subject: Re: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm
                                        frustrated
                                        To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Monday, August 4, 2008, 9:52 AM

                                        Why did you use Jude for your base for determining the ratio of
                                        variants? Was it due to the work of Wasserman alone? What basis
                                        would you assume that the variants would be the same throughout the
                                        NT? Would the Gospel of John compared to James, for instance, have a
                                        ratio of difference that could be different than an Epistle of Paul?
                                        Ted Clore

                                        Dan Wallace said:

                                        Second, one major point that James Snapp made shows that the math
                                        of my blog post is correct: Based on an extrapolation from Tommy
                                        Wasserman's exhaustive work on Jude, assuming that the same ratio
                                        of variants per verse existed for the rest of the NT, Snapp noted
                                        that there would be almost 400,000 variants for the whole NT.

                                        .[IMAGE]





                                        ----- End Original Message -----
                                      • Daniel Buck
                                        ... translation is translating. So we have to be cautious about claiming that a version represents a different reading than is found in the Greek. I
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Aug 5 7:24 PM
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Daniel B. Wallace"
                                          <csntm@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >> In other words, we really can't tell in many cases what Greek text a
                                          translation is translating. So we have to be cautious about claiming
                                          that a version represents a different reading than is found in the
                                          Greek. >>

                                          I couldn't agree more. I've previously pointed out how the same Hebrew
                                          text (in Proverbs 5:16) has resulted in opposite translations into
                                          English (don't scatter vs. do scatter). The reading of a version is so
                                          inadequate at providing confirmation of the reading of its vorlage,
                                          that I think versions are highly overrated as to their usefulness in
                                          textual criticism.

                                          Daniel Bukc
                                        • A. Dirkzwager
                                          Dear Daniel, Traduttore traditore, says the Italian: a translator is a traitor. True ... and not true. Translations are useful AND translations can be liars.
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Aug 6 3:39 PM
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Dear Daniel,

                                            Traduttore traditore, says the Italian: a translator is a traitor.
                                            True ... and not true.

                                            Translations are useful AND translations can be liars.
                                            But variants in  translations ARE variants.
                                            If they are true (= not lying variants), is another matter. That 's a matter of thinking about them.

                                            Arie

                                            A. Dirkzwager
                                            Hoeselt, Belgium



                                            Daniel Buck schreef:

                                            --- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, "Daniel B. Wallace"
                                            <csntm@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >> In other words, we really can't tell in many cases what Greek text a
                                            translation is translating. So we have to be cautious about claiming
                                            that a version represents a different reading than is found in the
                                            Greek. >>

                                            I couldn't agree more. I've previously pointed out how the same Hebrew
                                            text (in Proverbs 5:16) has resulted in opposite translations into
                                            English (don't scatter vs. do scatter). The reading of a version is so
                                            inadequate at providing confirmation of the reading of its vorlage,
                                            that I think versions are highly overrated as to their usefulness in
                                            textual criticism.

                                            Daniel Bukc


                                          • James Snapp, Jr.
                                            Eddie M., Epp s definition of a textual variant is simply not valid. What he seems to have been really defining (whether he meant to or not) is a *viable* or
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Aug 9 6:12 PM
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                                              Eddie M.,

                                              Epp's definition of a textual variant is simply not valid. What he
                                              seems to have been really defining (whether he meant to or not) is a
                                              *viable* or *arguable* textual variant, or a variant worth paying
                                              attention to. But any reading in one Greek MS that disagrees with
                                              another reading at the same place in another Greek MS = a textual
                                              variant. Epp's idea that nonsense readings, clear and demonstrable
                                              scribal errors, orthographic variations, and singular readings makes
                                              some sense -- it's like saying that barnacles on a ship should not be
                                              taken into consideration when one is asking what a ship originally
                                              looked like. Unfortunately it's also like saying that we should
                                              pretend that the barnacles do not exist!

                                              You stated (in Post 3904) -- "BUT, the 400,000 variants is NOT the
                                              total number of variants in the mss! The 400,000 variant is from the
                                              mss, PLUS the versions (of which there are twice as many versions as
                                              Greek mss), and church fathers." No. The data from Wasserman was
                                              all about Greek witnesses. So rewind everything about expecting the
                                              total number of variants in the Greek MSS to be less than 200,000,
                                              etc. Again: the extrapolation I provided took *only* the Greek MSS
                                              into consideration -- not versions, and not church fathers.

                                              About the NET's claim to be based on 5,700 MSS -- that was a
                                              generalization. It is technically premature to say that an English
                                              translation is based on uncollated manuscripts. On the other hand,
                                              until a MS classified as Byzantine is shown to be special (by being
                                              shown to be mixed, block-mixed, incorrectly classified, or in
                                              exceptional agreement with a particular patristic witness), it seems
                                              acceptable to say that an English version is based on an approach to
                                              the evidence which has taken the Byzantine Text into consideration
                                              (whether it has been *adequately* taken into consideration is another
                                              question), and that the Byzantine Text is supported by many
                                              uncollated MSS, as far as we know.

                                              EM: . . . "What I was looking for is a GNT that combines the MT and
                                              CT into a GNT with all variants IN THE TEXT. So, in this GNT, the
                                              text would be in black print, which represents every WORD that is the
                                              same in both the MT/CT texts. Whenever the MT differed from the CT,
                                              those words would be red (but still right in the text, not in any
                                              apparatus). Whenever the CT differed from the MT, those words would
                                              be blue, right in the text."

                                              You can find something like that -- an eclectic text, color-coded to
                                              represent points of agreement and points of different kinds of
                                              disagreement -- for the text of the opening chapters of Mark at the
                                              Greek Uncial Archetype of Mark, at
                                              www.curtisvillechristian.org/KataMarkon.html . The entire G.U.A.M.
                                              (including some typo's unfortunately) can be hunted down at the
                                              textexcavation website. Hundreds of textual variants are listed and
                                              briefly commented upon in the notes, including some nonsense
                                              readings, demonstrable scribal errors, orthographic variants, and
                                              singular readings.

                                              Yours in Christ,

                                              James Snapp, Jr.
                                              Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
                                              Tipton, Indiana (USA)
                                            • Eddie Mishoe
                                              The sources I have in mind are: 1. Greek mss 2. Versions 3. Church Fathers Here is my question: What percent of the above sources have been carefully examined
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Aug 10 7:06 AM
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                                                The sources I have in mind are:

                                                1. Greek mss
                                                2. Versions
                                                3. Church Fathers

                                                Here is my question: What percent of the above sources have been carefully examined or collated in the printing of either an Edition (UBS, NA) or a Bible (NET, NIV, etc.)?

                                                By "carefully examined or collated" I mean the people on the committee or those consulted are ACTUALLY aware of the variants in the sources and have considered their inclusion or exclusion in their text/bible. That is, they have actually LOOKED AT codex Vaticanus, etc. I am assuming that whatever numbers one gives will be guesses. So, I will put percentages in the following chart only to be commented on by others. The reason I am asking is I am just trying to get a feel for what scholars have ACTUALLY examined and what is ACTUALLY available to be examined.

                                                Extant Source (percent carefully examined or collated)

                                                1. Greek mss (20 percent)
                                                2. Versions (30 percent)
                                                3. Church Fathers (50 percent)

                                                I realize the difficulty with this question is not all mss, for example, contain the book of, say, Jude. Now the discussion earlier about Wasserman's study on Jude: I'm sure he has reviewed far more than 20 percent of the existing Greek mss OF JUDE. So that is kind of my question. You will have read between the lines, and those more familar with TC will probably do well to rephrase my question so that it makes some sense.

                                                I am wondering if it would be fair, but perhaps misleading, to say that we have not yet examined even half of the available Greek mss?

                                                Eddie Mishoe
                                                Confused but trying

                                              • Daniel
                                                ... Hence, readings that obviously are (1) nonsense readings, (2) clear and demonstrable scribal errors, (3) mere orthographic variations, and (4) singular
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Apr 13, 2009
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                                                  --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe@...> wrote:
                                                  >Or, speaking of frustation, read this quote - with Dr. Wallace's comment on singular readings - in mind: This is a quote from E. J. Epp, THE ECLECTIC METHOD IN NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM:  SOLUTION OR SYMPTOM? p. 244

                                                  Hence, readings that obviously are (1) nonsense readings, (2) clear and demonstrable scribal errors, (3) mere orthographic variations, and (4) "singular readings" will be assumed to have been excluded from the process, for they are not "textual variants" in the proper, restricted sense of that term* and, therefore, do not constitute appropriate raw material of the most likely original NT text.<

                                                  This is interesting, because in "Junia: The First Female Apostle," Epp writes:

                                                  "There are perhaps a third of a million variant readings among the [5,600] extant manuscripts of this rather small collection of writings we call the New Testament."


                                                  Daniel Buck
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