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[textualcriticism] Aland on ultra-late Byzantine variants, Casey Stengel on modern theorists

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  • Steven Avery
    Hi Folks, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis. Second Edition (2012) The Greek Minuscules of the New
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2013
      Hi Folks,

      The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis. Second Edition (2012)
      The Greek Minuscules of the New Testament
      Barbara Aland, Klaus Wachtel
      For nearly 80 percent of the surviving manuscripts attest only the late form of the full-blown Byzantine text,
      with variants that derive from the later period—that is, from the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries. (p. 74-75)

      Could anyone show me where we could find the significant variants (majority of the Byzantine manuscripts, or at least a solid minority) that:

       "derive from the .... thirteenth through fifteenth centuries".

      Derive clearly means it is not in the manuscript line, the versions, the ECW.  Is this really a common situation, as Aland and Wachtel indicate?
      Can anybody supply even five variants out of the many thousand that match this claim?


      On a broader basis we have:

      witnesses... in which the Koine stands out significantly from other forms of the text  (p. 48)

      Does that mean just by preponderance ?  In which case there is no problem, clearly the Byzantine text has many variants that stand out from the Alexandrian and Western.  The problem is, these variants often have strong early support in versions, manuscripts and ECW.  In fact, if the support is too strong, the variant is then labeled as, eg. "Western", even though it stands out in the Byzantine.

      Or, as above, is it claiming that the Byzantine/Koine readings are the singular support ?  If the latter, I would again like to see some examples.  In my experience, when I look at the apparatus it is very rare to see any variants where the Byzantine readings don't have versional or ECW antiquity support.


      In 1982, Frederick Wisse said that Aland was begging the question on the basic issues on the Byzantine text issues and variants.

      The Profile Method for Classification and Evaluation of Manuscript Evidence, as Applied to the Continuous Greek Text of the Gospel of Luke
      No one has ever presented a conclusive argument against the use of the Byzantine text.
      Certainly Hort's case against the late minuscules no longer convinces, and Aland is begging the question. 

      Does anyone feel that this situation has changed, when Aland and Wachtel in 2012 say, in Hort circular style:

      "individual manuscripts or isolated readings confirm the text of manuscripts already known to be reliable" p. 073

      Or when these two sentences are given, that appear self-contradictory:

      Scholars have thereby been provided with resources that can be used both to determine which minuscules attest early forms of the text and to establish "tentative group
      definitions" (Wisse). Moreover, in using these resources, the investigator is not bound by any set of presuppositions. (p. 77)

      Granted, Wisse himself seems a little flummoxed.  Thomas C. Geer, Jr. siting Ehrman, indicates that Wisse actually puts Bezae and Vaticanus in the same textual group.

      If that is accurate, then we fall back on the famous question of Casey Stengal:

      Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?


      Thanks to Mike Holmes for pointing to the 2012 second edition of Ehrman and Holmes:

       The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis. Second Edition  (2012)

      Lot's of interesting stuff there, although pricey if you have to buy it for your home library

      Steven Avery
      Queens, NY
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