Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [textualcriticism] tabulating variants

Expand Messages
  • Edward Andrews
    Dear Stephen: Maybe a chart I created will be of help. The chart is hypothetical, just to make the point.    Sincerely ______________________________ Edward
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 27, 2012
    Dear Stephen:

    Maybe a chart I created will be of help. The chart is hypothetical, just to make the point. 
     
    Sincerely
    ______________________________
    Edward D. Andrews
    CEO and President
    Bible Translation Magazine
    http://bible-translation.net/
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/BibleTranslation
    You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/BibleTranslation
    Skype: edward.andrews13 
    Yahoo IM: tyndal_e@...
    A Christian magazine dedicated to the education of the churchgoer and layperson about the trustworthiness of the Bible as the authoritative, inspired and fully inerrant Word of God. 
    740-630-9318 office
    740-680-3431 Cell




    From: Stephen Lord <endeomenos@...>
    To: "textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com" <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
    Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:34 AM
    Subject: [textualcriticism] tabulating variants

     
    Might list members forgive a likely obvious and stupid question from a non-specialist?

    I've searched the list archives, a couple books on textual criticism, and read Wallace's paper, "The Number of Textual Variants:  An Evangelical Miscalculation," and it is still not clear to me how variants are tabulated in order to reach the oft quoted 400,000 number.

    Would any informed list member care to educate me, using mostly one syllable words, either off list or on?

    Is it that we start with a base text, say a single mss (Sinaiticus) or text-type (Alexandrian), and then any time we encounter a difference between the base text and other mss (i.e. metathesis, etc.), does that count as a "variant"?  And if that exact same variant shows up in 10 mss, does that count as but 1 variant or 10?

    Using English versions to illustrate (bad idea?), my KJV NT reads "to be a Prince and a Saviour" in Acts 5:31.  (Let's pretend the KJV is my base text.)  My NIV reads, "as Prince and Savior".

    How many "variants" do I have in this one phrase as a textual critic would count them?

    Pretending "Saviour" and "Savior" is a variant, if I have 10 NIV copies, does that count as 10 variants or 1?  If I have 10 KJV mss and 10 NIV mss is that still 1 variant, or 10, or 100 in this one place?

    My thanks to whoever is willing to enlighten this ignorant fellow.
     
    Respectfully,
    Stephen Lord
    endeomenos@...


  • yennifmit
    Dear Stephen, There are various ways to define a variation unit and its boundaries. In the end it comes down to editorial discretion. If a computer is being
    Message 2 of 5 , Sep 27, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Stephen,

      There are various ways to define a variation unit and its boundaries. In the end it comes down to editorial discretion. If a computer is being used then the boundaries of a variation unit depend on the algorithm. (E.g. one might use diff. An alternative is the synthetic text procedure I developed during my PhD research. Desmond Schmidt has developed a more sophisticated procedure.)

      The following piece by me addresses some of the issues:

      http://www.tfinney.net/Potential/index.html

      In general, it is not far off the mark to say that any word that can vary does vary. In other words, expect variation in all except the most simple words. (And even they can and do vary.) This doesn't mean that every word is subject to doubt. When texts are compared, textual variations which are unlikely to be primitive are readily weeded out. In the end there is a relatively small proportion of text that is subject to doubt. In those cases the choice is usually between two options which both say pretty much the same thing. Places where contending readings are both viable (i.e. apparently primitive and supported by various textual witnesses) and say significantly different things are relatively rare. (Hebrews 2.9 is one.) Even then, what is said in each alternative can often be found somewhere else in the New Testament, at least at the conceptual level. I would be happy to have any ancient version of the text as a sufficient representation of what the Apostles and their followers said.

      Best,

      Tim Finney

      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Lord <endeomenos@...> wrote:
      >
      > Might list members forgive a likely obvious and stupid question from a non-specialist?
      >
      > I've searched the list archives, a couple books on textual criticism, and read Wallace's paper, "The Number of Textual Variants:� An Evangelical Miscalculation," and it is still not clear to me how variants are tabulated in order to reach the oft quoted 400,000 number.
      >
      > Would any informed list member care to educate me, using mostly one syllable words, either off list or on?
      >
      > Is it that we start with a base text, say a single mss (Sinaiticus) or text-type (Alexandrian), and then any time we encounter a difference between the base text and other mss (i.e. metathesis, etc.), does that count as a "variant"?� And if that exact same variant shows up in 10 mss, does that count as but 1 variant or 10?
      >
      > Using English versions to illustrate (bad idea?), my KJV NT reads "to be a Prince and a Saviour" in Acts 5:31.� (Let's pretend the KJV is my base text.)� My NIV reads, "as Prince and Savior".
      >
      > How many "variants" do I have in this one phrase as a textual critic would count them?
      >
      > Pretending "Saviour" and "Savior" is a variant, if I have 10 NIV copies, does that count as 10 variants or 1?� If I have 10 KJV mss and 10 NIV mss is that still 1 variant, or 10, or 100 in this one place?
      >
      >
      > My thanks to whoever is willing to enlighten this ignorant fellow.
      >
      > �
      > Respectfully,
      > Stephen Lord
      > endeomenos@...
      >
    • Drew Longacre
      Hi Stephen,   Several others have already given some good technical explanations about how different editors count variants, but I thought I would state the
      Message 3 of 5 , Sep 28, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Stephen,
         
        Several others have already given some good technical explanations about how different editors count variants, but I thought I would state the obvious to help clarify. No one has ever "tabulated" the 400,000 variants. :) No reasonable person would devote his or her life to such a colossal waste of time. :) It's really more of a guess based on a limited pool of data, so you might perhaps more accurately say they "extrapolated" the 400,000 variants. :)
         
        -Drew

        From: Stephen Lord <endeomenos@...>
        To: "textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com" <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2012 3:34 PM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] tabulating variants

         
        Might list members forgive a likely obvious and stupid question from a non-specialist?

        I've searched the list archives, a couple books on textual criticism, and read Wallace's paper, "The Number of Textual Variants:  An Evangelical Miscalculation," and it is still not clear to me how variants are tabulated in order to reach the oft quoted 400,000 number.

        Would any informed list member care to educate me, using mostly one syllable words, either off list or on?

        Is it that we start with a base text, say a single mss (Sinaiticus) or text-type (Alexandrian), and then any time we encounter a difference between the base text and other mss (i.e. metathesis, etc.), does that count as a "variant"?  And if that exact same variant shows up in 10 mss, does that count as but 1 variant or 10?

        Using English versions to illustrate (bad idea?), my KJV NT reads "to be a Prince and a Saviour" in Acts 5:31.  (Let's pretend the KJV is my base text.)  My NIV reads, "as Prince and Savior".

        How many "variants" do I have in this one phrase as a textual critic would count them?

        Pretending "Saviour" and "Savior" is a variant, if I have 10 NIV copies, does that count as 10 variants or 1?  If I have 10 KJV mss and 10 NIV mss is that still 1 variant, or 10, or 100 in this one place?

        My thanks to whoever is willing to enlighten this ignorant fellow.
         
        Respectfully,
        Stephen Lord
        endeomenos@...


      • Steven Avery
        Hi Folks, Drew, Several others have already given some good technical explanations about how different editors count variants, but I thought I would state the
        Message 4 of 5 , Sep 28, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Folks,

          Drew,
          Several others have already given some good technical explanations about how different editors count variants, but I thought I would state the obvious to help clarify. No one has ever "tabulated" the 400,000 variants. :) No reasonable person would devote his or her life to such a colossal waste of time. :) It's really more of a guess based on a limited pool of data, so you might perhaps more accurately say they "extrapolated" the 400,000 variants. :)

          Steven
          If they extrapolate to get the number, they should be able to
          give a sample verse so we could see the methodology that was used.  400,000 variants is about 50 per verse, so could they give an example of a verse and show how they count the 50 (or 25 or 100) variants ? 

          If they can not do that, does such a number have any value whatsoever ?

          And shouldn't an example using a small, comprehensible unit be a given part of any process of claiming global numbers ?

          ========================================

          And I asked some similar questions here, and I believe Stephen is asking similar with his Acts 5:31 question below.

          [textualcriticism] "Evangelical Miscalculation" by Daniel Wallace, textual variants and textual problems
          Steven Avery - June 22, 2012
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/7263
          WHAT IS A VARIANT ?
          Another major problem is the need to define variants.  Simple example: how many variants are involved in the Pericope Adultera sections ?  Absolutely no idea.  And thus we also cannot say what percent are translatable (thus that versional section has its own difficulties). What if the variants of Acts 8:37 or 1 John 5:7 are largely in Latin manuscripts ? How do they count ? How many variants are involved in the dozens of verses and phrases that are in Codex Bezae and some supporting witnesses that are not in 99.9% of the Greek ms ?  Absolutely no idea. In inclusion/omission, is the count per letter, per word, per phrase, per verse or per section ? The answer for a section could range from 1 to 100s. Similarly word order and spelling differences can have very differing calculation. To talk about a total number of variants, without a definitional base, is simply far too loose.

          Shalom,
          Steven Avery
          Bayside, NY

          From: Stephen Lord <endeomenos@...> 
          Might list members forgive a likely obvious and stupid question from a non-specialist? I've searched the list archives, a couple books on textual criticism, and read Wallace's paper, "The Number of Textual Variants:  An Evangelical Miscalculation," and it is still not clear to me how variants are tabulated in order to reach the oft quoted 400,000 number. Would any informed list member care to educate me, using mostly one syllable words, either off list or on? Is it that we start with a base text, say a single mss (Sinaiticus) or text-type (Alexandrian), and then any time we encounter a difference between the base text and other mss (i.e. metathesis, etc.), does that count as a "variant"?  And if that exact same variant shows up in 10 mss, does that count as but 1 variant or 10?

          Using English versions to illustrate (bad idea?), my KJV NT reads "to be a Prince and a Saviour" in Acts 5:31.  (Let's pretend the KJV is my base text.)  My NIV reads, "as Prince and Savior". How many "variants" do I have in this one phrase as a textual critic would count them? Pretending "Saviour" and "Savior" is a variant, if I have 10 NIV copies, does that count as 10 variants or 1?  If I have 10 KJV mss and 10 NIV mss is that still 1 variant, or 10, or 100 in this one place? My thanks to whoever is willing to enlighten this ignorant fellow.
          Respectfully, Stephen Lord
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.