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Byzantine vs Alexandrian readings, side by side

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  • Eddie Mishoe
    I d like to get a good sense for Byz vs Alex readings. Can someone kindly direct me toward an internet source (article perhaps) in which many Byz readings are
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 31, 2008
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      I'd like to get a good sense for Byz vs Alex readings. Can someone kindly direct me toward an internet source (article perhaps) in which many Byz readings are compared to Alex readings. Thank you in advance...

      Eddie Mishoe
      Pastor
    • yennifmit
      Eddie, You can look at my online book about analysis of New Testament textual variation here: http://purl.org/tfinney/NTText/book/ The book is nowhere near
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 1, 2008
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        Eddie,

        You can look at my online book about analysis of New Testament textual
        variation here:

        http://purl.org/tfinney/NTText/book/

        The book is nowhere near finished. (Hopefully, chapter five will be
        done by the end of this year.) Nevertheless, if you read and digest
        what is already there, you will discover how to isolate readings
        associated with a particular region of the textual space that
        surviving witnesses occupy. (See particularly the section on biplots
        in chapter four.)

        I don't see things in terms of "Alexandrian" or "Byzantine" any more.
        Instead, I see a distribution of witnesses in a textual space. (You
        can see three-dimensional maps of this space by clicking the links in
        the table at the beginning of chapter five.) Based on the data I have
        analysed in this study (only the 44 variation units given in the UBS
        apparatus of Hebrews), I don't see any compelling evidence for the
        existence of what we commonly call "groups". In fact, based on what I
        have seen so far, there does not seem to be a clear group structure.
        However, this could change if the methods set out in the book are used
        to analyse a more comprehensive data set.

        On another topic, I remember you asking how to count the total number
        of variations between witnesses. Looking at chapter two of the online
        book might give you some hints. I did a PhD dissertation on the
        papyrus and uncial MSS of the Epistle to the Hebrews. During the
        course of that study, I worked out a way to compare all same-language
        witness with all others. In order to do so, you construct a superset
        of all (regularised*) texts such that the full text of each witness
        can be selected by choosing a sequence of words from the superset.
        This allows you to construct a binary data matrix which includes all
        same-language witnesses of a text (and other languages if you
        translate them into whatever language) as rows and the superset words
        as columns.

        If you remove all columns (i.e. words) of the resultant data matrix
        where all witnesses are the same then count the remaining number of
        columns then you have one calculation of the number you seek. Note,
        however, that the number only relates to surviving witnesses, which
        are a small proportion of the total that ever existed. For the most
        important phases of textual history (in general, the earliest) we have
        a very small proportion of survivors, perhaps one in a thousand.

        * By "regularised" I mean orthographically levelled. That is, spelling
        and diacritical variations removed. If orthographic variations are
        retained then you end up with a whole lot more columns in the data
        matrix. In my PhD, I analysed two such data matrices--one regularised
        and the other not. The very interesting result, which I interpret as
        evidence supporting the existence of local texts, is that analysis of
        both data matrices produces similar maps. That is, if a witness lies
        in one part of textual space in the regularised view then it will lie
        in the same part in the unregularised view. There are exceptions: one
        is the UBS text. Its regularised text lies near witnesses such as 03
        whereas its unregularised text lies near Byzantine texts. This is
        exactly as would be expected because the UBS text is like the text of
        03 but its spelling is Byzantine.

        Best,

        Tim Finney


        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I'd like to get a good sense for Byz vs Alex readings. Can someone
        kindly direct me toward an internet source (article perhaps) in which
        many Byz readings are compared to Alex readings. Thank you in advance...
        >
        > Eddie Mishoe
        > Pastor
        >
      • James Miller
        ... May I ask from whence you derive the one-in-a-thousand figure? I personally would not dispute the notion that extant NT mss represent but a tiny fraction
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 2, 2008
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          --- On Mon, 9/1/08, yennifmit <tfinney@...> wrote:

          > seek. Note,
          > however, that the number only relates to surviving
          > witnesses, which
          > are a small proportion of the total that ever existed. For
          > the most
          > important phases of textual history (in general, the
          > earliest) we have
          > a very small proportion of survivors, perhaps one in a
          > thousand.

          May I ask from whence you derive the one-in-a-thousand figure? I personally would not dispute the notion that extant NT mss represent but a tiny fraction of all NT mss ever produced over the last 2000 years. I simply have trouble conjecturing any reliable means of quantifying the ratio.

          Thanks,
          James
        • yennifmit
          Dear James, I get the figure like this. Consider, say, the population of Greek manuscripts of the Pauline corpus (as single copies) at the year 300 AD.
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 2, 2008
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            Dear James,

            I get the figure like this. Consider, say, the population of Greek
            manuscripts of the Pauline corpus (as single copies) at the year 300 AD.

            Population of the Empire: 50 million
            Percentage of Christians: 10%
            Copies of the Greek Pauline corpus per Christian: 1/1000

            Hence, copies of the Greek Pauline corpus at 300
            ~ 50 million * 1/10 * 1/1000 = 5000.

            If the growth of the population of MSS is exponential then as many are
            dead (i.e. worn out and discarded) as are living, so the total number
            up to 300 is about twice this figure, or ten thousand. (Growth is
            probably logistic rather than exponential, in which case the
            multiplier is more than two.)

            The number of surviving fragments of the Pauline corpus dated 300 or
            earlier is about 10 (see Nestle-Aland, appendix 1). So we have a
            survival rate of about one in a thousand.

            Rubbery figures? Most certainly, and especially so for the number of
            copies of the Greek Pauline corpus per Christian. Nevertheless,
            somewhere in the ball park, I think.

            Best,

            Tim Finney

            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, James Miller <jamtata@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- On Mon, 9/1/08, yennifmit <tfinney@...> wrote:
            >
            > > seek. Note,
            > > however, that the number only relates to surviving
            > > witnesses, which
            > > are a small proportion of the total that ever existed. For
            > > the most
            > > important phases of textual history (in general, the
            > > earliest) we have
            > > a very small proportion of survivors, perhaps one in a
            > > thousand.
            >
            > May I ask from whence you derive the one-in-a-thousand figure? I
            personally would not dispute the notion that extant NT mss represent
            but a tiny fraction of all NT mss ever produced over the last 2000
            years. I simply have trouble conjecturing any reliable means of
            quantifying the ratio.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > James
            >
          • James Snapp, Jr.
            Dear Eddie: If you had a MS of the Gospels and wanted to know which text-type it aligned with, one way would be to carefully collate the entire MS and then see
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 3, 2008
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              Dear Eddie:

              If you had a MS of the Gospels and wanted to know which text-type it
              aligned with, one way would be to carefully collate the entire MS and
              then see how often it agreed with A, B, D, and 1582. A higher rate
              of agreement with A (using indicates that the text of the MS is
              Byzantine; a higher rate of agreement with D indicates that it is
              Western, a higher rate of agreement with B indicates that it is
              Alexandrian, and a higher rate of agreement with 1582 indicates that
              it is Caesarean. This approach is not foolproof because block-mixing
              could throw off the overall agreement-rate. But it's a start.

              Another option: spot-check the MS. This involved what you
              mentioned: comparing particular passages, where there are distinct
              Byzantine, Western, and Alexandrian readings, and see what the MS
              says at those points. You would also want to compare some passages
              where the Alexandrian and Western agree against Byz; if the MS
              consistently disagrees with the Byz at those points, then the MS is
              not Byz.

              Some passages useful for spot-checking are listed and commented upon
              in Eberhard Nestle's 1904 Introduction to New Testament Textual
              Criticism, which can be downloaded as a PDF at www.archive.org . If
              you had only a few minutes to look at a MS and could look up only a
              few passages as the basis on which to categorize its text, perhaps
              Mt. 8:28, Mk. 1:1, Mk. 5:1, Lk. 8:26, and Jn. 7:39 would be the first
              places to look, and then see how the MS treats Mt. 16:2-3, Mt. 16:16-
              17, Mt. 27:16-17, Mk. 16:9-20, Lk. 22:43-44, Lk. 23:34, and Jn. 7:53-
              8:11. (If you were not pressed for time, but didn't want to go
              through the trouble of making a full collation, a pretty good idea of
              the textual character of the MS could probably be made by spot-
              checking the passages which are commented on by Dr. Bruce Terry at
              http://bible.ovc.edu/tc/index.htm .)

              EM: "If I wanted to see if this ms is likely of a Byz text-type, is
              there a good test passage(s) to go to to see if it aligns with the
              Byz type?"

              Yes, if you had to pick just one: Mark 1:1-2. For a more secure
              identification, though, you'd want to compare all the passages in the
              text-commentary portion of Nestle's Introduction and Terry's list.

              Yours in Christ,

              James Snapp, Jr.
            • Daniel Buck
              ... Alexandrian?
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 4, 2008
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                "Eddie Mishoe" asked:
                >What makes a Byz reading Byzantine? What makes an Alex reading
                Alexandrian?<

                "James Snapp, Jr." replied:
                >>(If you were not pressed for time, but didn't want to go
                through the trouble of making a full collation, a pretty good idea of
                the textual character of the MS could probably be made by spot-
                checking the passages which are commented on by Dr. Bruce Terry at
                http://bible.ovc.edu/tc/index.htm .)>>

                "Daniel Buck" rejoined:

                Just randomly looking at the first variant in John, I found ("S" is
                Sinaiticus):

                * * *
                John 1:15: (NA27: ëέãùí, Ïὗôïò ἦí ὃí åἶðïí,Ὁ ὀðίóù ìïõ ἐñ÷όìåíïò)
                TEXT: "saying, 'This was [he] of whom I said, The One who comes after
                me'"
                EVIDENCE: p66 p75 Sb A B3 C3 D* {Db} K L {W(supp) X} Delta Theta Pi
                Psi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect lat {earlier vg}
                later vg syr cop
                TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
                RANK: A
                * * *

                So, based on the evidence, this is a Byzantine reading since it has
                undivided Byz support. Also, it's clear that both Sinaiticus and
                Vaticanus have been corrected to the Byzantine reading here. So, what
                would be the Alexandrian reading?

                * * *
                WH: ëέãùí-- ïὗôïò ἦí ὁ åἰðώí-- Ὁ ὀðίóù ìïõ ἐñ÷όìåíïò)
                NOTES: "saying (this was the one who said), 'The One who comes after
                me'"
                EVIDENCE: Sa B* C*
                TRANSLATIONS: ASVn
                * * *

                The first corrector of Sinaiticus and the original scribe of
                Vaticanus shared the same reading here. WH read this as "the Neutral
                Text," so I take it that this would be the Alexandrian reading.

                * * *
                (Ïὗôïò ἦí ὁ ὀðίóù ìïõ ἐñ÷όìåíïò ὀò)
                OTHER: "'This was the One who comes after me, who'"
                EVIDENCE: S*
                * * *
                The scribe of Sinaiticus originally left out a word on either side of
                OUTOS HN and repeated the final OS as a dittography (there are
                apparent deletion marks above the extra letters).

                * * *
                COMMENTS: The evidence listed in braces reads "I said to plyou." The
                words "to plyou" are a natural addition, the kind copyists often
                made. Apparently some copyists changed "This was [he] of whom I said"
                because there is no record of John's having previously said this.
                * * *

                Now I'm really confused--maybe because I can't find "to you(pl)"
                anywhere in the passage. But Terry gives the Byz reading as original,
                and the original and first-corrector readings of 01 and 03 as scribal
                emmendations. So, according to him, the Byz reading was the oldest,
                predating the first hands of 01 and 03.

                To summarize, an analysis of the extant mss for this passage:
                - the early, later, and latest Byz mss have "good" character.
                - the Caesarian mss have "good" character.
                - the earliest Western mss had "good" character, but suffered at the
                hands of correctors.
                - the earliest Alexandrian mss (papyri) have "good" character.
                - the later Alexandrian mss (uncials) had "bad" character, but all
                were individually corrected to the original "good" standard.

                One final note: there is an erased correction (apparently by 01a)
                above the line in Sinaiticus. It appears to be a four-letter word,
                followed by a two-letter word with the 2nd letter unfinished.

                Can anyone decipher it?
              • James Snapp, Jr.
                Daniel Buck, In that part of my response, I didn t mean that a person could discern that a MS was Byz by spot-checking any one of the passages in Terry s list;
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 4, 2008
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                  Daniel Buck,

                  In that part of my response, I didn't mean that a person could
                  discern that a MS was Byz by spot-checking any one of the passages in
                  Terry's list; I meant that a spot-check of all those passages would
                  indicate whether the MS was Byz or not.

                  In John 1:15, B and Aleph disagree, but P66 (with O PISW corrected to
                  O OPISW) and P75 both agree with the Byz reading, LEGWN OUTOS HN ON
                  EIPON. So I'd have to say that there is no one Alexandrian reading
                  here; the Alex text has an early stratum and a not-as-early stratum
                  and a later stratum, with p75 representing the early strata and B* C*
                  representing the not-as-early stratum and Delta and L representing
                  the later stratum.

                  DB: "So, based on the evidence, this is a Byzantine reading since it
                  has undivided Byz support."

                  That's right. It is Byzantine *and* early Alexandrian.

                  DB: "So, what would be the Alexandrian reading?"

                  The earliest stratum of the Alex text is the same as the Byz here.
                  But in the stratum attested by Aleph-a(vid) and B* and C*, the
                  Alexandrian reading is LEGWN OUTOS HN O EIPWN O OPISW MOU ERCOMENOS.
                  If you had a MS that had such a reading, that would be grounds for
                  suspecting that further investigation would show that it shares many
                  other readings with Aleph and B.

                  DB: . . . "I can't find "to you (pl)" anywhere in the passage."

                  hUMIN is in the variant attested by D. "A natural addition which
                  copyists were prone to make," according to Metzger.

                  Yours in Christ,

                  James Snapp, Jr.
                  Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
                  Tipton, Indiana (USA)
                  www.curtisvillechristian.org/BasicTC.html
                • Wieland Willker
                  ... I think it is: O EIPON corrected into ON EIPON (the N above is still visible and not deleted) Then the O EIPON has been deleted and the words have been
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 5, 2008
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                    Daniel Buck wrote:
                    > One final note: there is an erased correction
                    > (apparently by 01a) above the line in Sinaiticus. It
                    > appears to be a four-letter word, followed by a two-
                    > letter word with the 2nd letter unfinished.
                    >
                    > Can anyone decipher it?


                    I think it is:

                    O EIPON
                    corrected into
                    ON EIPON
                    (the N above is still visible and not deleted)

                    Then the O EIPON has been deleted and the words have been added
                    in large letters at the end of the preceding line and the
                    beginning of the next.

                    Or do you mean something else?


                    Best wishes
                    Wieland
                    <><
                    ------------------------------------------------
                    Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                    mailto:wie@...
                    http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
                    Textcritical commentary:
                    http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
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