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[textualcriticism] W-H confidential 1871 text - "occasional modifications of reading" to 1881 GNT

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  • schmuel
    Hi Folks, Question about the Westcott and Hort GNT history. I wonder if the private, confidential, secret Westcott-Hort text given to the revision around 1871
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12, 2011
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      Hi Folks,

      Question about the Westcott and Hort GNT history.

      I wonder if the private, confidential, secret Westcott-Hort text given to the revision around 1871 been checked for any differences from their 1881 published GNT ?

      In 2009 Teunis Van Lopik, referencing assistance from Maurice Robinson, discussed where the early Westcott-Hort text was kept in Cambridge, and who received the text.

      W-H NT in the Original Greek: another question for information; Answered
      In Cambridge are copies of the "confidential" pre-1881-text of W-H. There is one copy of the set of 5 instalments in the Divinity Faculty Library and another (without the Catholic Epistels?) in Trinity College. In the Upper Library of St John's College is a copy of the Gospels, July 1871. That copy is presented to the classical scholar John Eyton Bickersteth Mayor. So, among "the few others scholars" who recieved confidentially specimens are Mayor and Reuss. (details of each volume follows)

      Some discussions of these manuscripts indicate that this was simply an advanced edition of the later Westcott-Hort 1881 text, typos corrected.  However, one important sources says differently. The western non-interpolation verses would be one important check.

      Does anybody on the forum know whether the texts are actually unchanged, identical ? 
      Other than typos.

      I have a number of references about this history available.
      One example is Isaac Hollister Hall (1837-1896), who discusses when each volume came forth.

      American Greek Testaments:
      A critical bibliography of the Greek New Testament as published in America  (1883)
      Isaac Hollister Hall
      Before publishing, Westcott and Hort issued successive " confidential" instalments of the Greek text to the members of the Company of Revisers of the English New Testament, and to a few other scholars. The Gospels, with a temporary preface of 28 pages, were thus issued in July, 1871; the Acts in February, 1873; the Catholic Epistles in December, 1873; the Pauline Epistles in February, 1875; and the Apocalypse in December, 1876.   

      Hall mentions that a few misprints were corrected from first impressions, the strongest testimony that no changes were made, yet short of conclusive.

      Similarly from Edgar Simmons Buchanan (1872-1932)

      Bibliotheca sacra, Volume 73
      More Light From the Western Text (1916)
      Edgar Simmons Buchanan
      Dr. Hort. .... put into the hands of all the Revisers at the Westminster Chamber an advanced copy of his forthcoming edition of the New Testament.

      However the Westcott-Hort writing does indicate some changes (emphasis added, also in the earlier posts above)

      The New Testament in the original Greek, the text revised by B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort (1881)
      The work to which this provisional issue was due has afforded opportunity for renewed consideration of many details,  especially on the side of interpretation; and we have been thankful to include any fresh results thus or otherwise obtained, before printing off for publication. Accordingly many corrections dealing with punctuation or otherwise of a minute kind, together with occasional modifications of reading, have been introduced into the stereotype plates within the last few months.


      So what were the
      occasional modifications of readings ?
      And were any western non-interpolations involved ?

      Steven Avery
      Queens, NY

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