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Re: Up to date counts of NT mss, by century

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  • yennifmit
    Hi David, The information you need re (approximate) MS dates is here: http://intf.uni-muenster.de/vmr/NTVMR/ListeHandschriften.php Select All from the
    Message 1 of 18 , May 31, 2013
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      Hi David,

      The information you need re (approximate) MS dates is here:

      http://intf.uni-muenster.de/vmr/NTVMR/ListeHandschriften.php

      Select "All" from the "Select a manuscript" pull down menu then press go. Object IDs beginning with a 1 are papyri, 2 are uncials (or majuscules), 3 are cursives (minuscules), 4 are lectionaries.

      As for survival percentages, I've done a few estimates:

      1. MS copying simulation (2002):

      See these two files. One talks about the logistic growth equation used to calculate audience size. The other gives the actual numbers I plugged in:

      http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/downloads/simulation/ReadMe.html

      http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/downloads/simulation/config.xml

      These days I would use 10% of the respective best population guesses for Rome, Ephesus, Antioch, Caesarea (Palestine), and Alexandria as guesses of the Christian population at the later end of the simulation. (I know that leaves out rural populations -- perhaps 80% of the total.) I use a ratio of one manuscript per 100 Christians; somewhere in the ball park I think. The political events of the early 300s would have considerably changed the dynamics of Christian manuscript production so I like to end the simulation around then. (I have no idea whether the simulation would still work. It uses Java technology from the early 2000s.)

      2. An estimate in something I wrote about transmission of "To the Hebrews" (2005):

      http://www.tfinney.net/Hebrews/index.html#d0e1590

      3. An estimate in my "Manuscript Markup," _The Freer Biblical Manuscripts..._, ed. Larry W. Hurtado, (SBLTCS 6; Atlanta: SBL, 2006).

      I might have talked about the topic on this list, too.

      My current guess is that we now have between one hundredth and one thousandth of the Greek NT MSS produced before 300 AD. If estimating today I would start with a guess of one Greek manuscript per bishop of a Greek-liturgy church then use something like Harnack's _Mission and Expansion_ to get the numbers of bishops in different epochs. (One manuscript per bishop is no doubt an underestimate but would produce a useful lower limit.)

      Best,

      Tim Finney



      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "David Inglis" <davidinglis2@...> wrote:
      >
      > I am trying to get a grip on the numbers of NT mss written in each century. This raises several issues, the first of
      > which is to get a count of known mss by century. The attached Excel file shows what I have at the moment. I know that
      > there are more than 127 papyri, but I don't know about the uncials or minuscules. Does anyone know the latest counts for
      > all 3 categories, broken down by century, or know where such information might be available? Also, does anyone know of
      > any research that has been does into what % of mss written in any particular century are likely to have survived, or
      > even are likely to have been found so far? Thanks for any help.
      >
      > David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
      >
    • Robert Relyea
      ... Of course the key factor here is oldest entire scroll . Codex Leningradensis (on which most printed forms of the Hebrew bible is based) is a no another
      Message 2 of 18 , Jun 4, 2013
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        On 04/04/2013 09:54 PM, Richard Godwin wrote:
        
        Quote:    "World's oldest Torah scroll found in Italian library
                      Carbon-14 tests revealed that a Torah scroll found in the archives of Italy's University of Bologna dates to between 1155 and 1225, making it the oldest complete scroll known. An archivist in 1889 originally dated the roughly 800-year-old scroll as written in the 17th century. "This is important because this is the entire Torah scroll, the most ancient entire scroll that we know of," said Professor Mauro Perani. National Geographic News (5/30)"

        Of course the key factor here is 'oldest entire scroll'. Codex Leningradensis (on which most printed forms of the Hebrew bible is based) is a no another couple of hundred years older: 1010 a.d.

        bob
         
             
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 2:46 AM
        Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Old testament Textual Criticism

         

        Hi Atef,
         
        I can't say I've read the first edition, but my overall impression is that the second edition is actually not overly dependent on the DH, contra Dave. He does have a large section on the sometimes fuzzy line between composition and revision, but I don't think it is excessively tied to any theory of Pentateuchal origins. Instead, it is an attempt to explain divergent texts that have been preserved in the tradition. The reality is that our textual evidence is almost entirely limited to the 3rd century B.C. and later, by most accounts significantly later than the composition of the Pentateuch. Since we are trying to sort out later copies, the contested origins of the Pentateuch only occasionally come into play. Even if you disagree on when the Pentateuch was written (and hence its textual transmission before our extant evidence), you will still find much of what Tov has to say about the manuscript evidence quite helpful.
         
        Hope that helps,
         
        Drew Longacre

        --- On Thu, 5/30/13, Atef Wagih <atef_wagih@...> wrote:

        From: Atef Wagih <atef_wagih@...>
        Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Old testament Textual Criticism
        To: "textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com" <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 6:42 PM

         
        Hi All,

        I want to thank in person everyone who helped me with more information about the OTTC.

        Regarding Dave's comments below, my question is: What about the third edition mentioned in a couple of answers ? Does it follow the DH theory ?

        I am a Coptic Orthodox Christian, and I am not a TC professional. For me it is hard to accept that Moses did not write the Torah, so I am a bit careful in my readings.

        Thanks a lot.

        In Christ,
        Atef

        From: Dave Washburn <davidlwashburn@...>
        To: Textual Criticism <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, 31 May 2013 1:47 AM
        Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] Old testament Textual Criticism

         
        Hello Atef,
        I found the first edition of that book very useful. He sets out all the issues, the evidence, and the methodology, and gives a good presentation.

        Then, for my money, he broke it.

        In the second edition he completely revamped the book and adjusted his views and conclusions based on the Documentary Hypothesis (JEDP). If you buy the DH, fine and dandy. I don't. So the newer edition became pretty useless to me. I stick with the first edition because there, he does his textual criticism independent of other theories outside the field of TC.

        Obviously, your opinion may vary, and that's fine. This is just my take on the two different editions.

        Dave Washburn
        http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
        Check out my review show, No Life With Irving



        To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        From: atef_wagih@...
        Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 21:57:50 -0700
        Subject: [textualcriticism] Old testament Textual Criticism

         

        Hi All,

        I need to buy a good reference book about the Old testament Textual Criticism that goes into details, not the sort of books that gives you a couple of information and that's it.

        I found these 2:




        can anyone please help me with feedback about the above mentioned books, or other books that can provide me with "in-depth" information?

        Thank you very much.

        In Christ,
        Atef




      • tom630965
        That is fascinating Tim - but it raises an issue that has puzzled me for some time; why it is that so few manuscripts are identified as copied directly from
        Message 3 of 18 , Jun 6, 2013
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          That is fascinating Tim

          - but it raises an issue that has puzzled me for some time; why it is that so few manuscripts are identified as copied directly from one another - certainly if we include the mass of minuscules. If we have no more that 1% of the total as survivors; then I would have expected there to be more father-son couples. Perhaps it is simply that we have not been that good at identifying those couples that exist.

          Which raises a subsidiary question;

          - how far are the 'canons' of criticism validated by empirical study of father-son manuscript couples? Hence, if Vaticanus were demonstrated as a copy of P75 (I know it isn't, but humour me); how many of the supposed canons of criticism can be demonstrated in copying errors or other divergent readings made by the scribes of Vaticanus in their texts of Luke and John?

          Perhaps I could offer an additonal meta-canon; 'no rule of textual criticism for choosing among alternative readings should be adopted, unless the underlying assumptions of the rule can be demonstrated in probable operation in the creation of diverging readings in at least five father-son couples.'

          Tom Hennell

          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "yennifmit" <tjf@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi David,
          >
          > The information you need re (approximate) MS dates is here:
          >
          > http://intf.uni-muenster.de/vmr/NTVMR/ListeHandschriften.php
          >
          > Select "All" from the "Select a manuscript" pull down menu then press go. Object IDs beginning with a 1 are papyri, 2 are uncials (or majuscules), 3 are cursives (minuscules), 4 are lectionaries.
          >
          > As for survival percentages, I've done a few estimates:
          >
          > 1. MS copying simulation (2002):
          >
          > See these two files. One talks about the logistic growth equation used to calculate audience size. The other gives the actual numbers I plugged in:
          >
          > http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/downloads/simulation/ReadMe.html
          >
          > http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/downloads/simulation/config.xml
          >
          > These days I would use 10% of the respective best population guesses for Rome, Ephesus, Antioch, Caesarea (Palestine), and Alexandria as guesses of the Christian population at the later end of the simulation. (I know that leaves out rural populations -- perhaps 80% of the total.) I use a ratio of one manuscript per 100 Christians; somewhere in the ball park I think. The political events of the early 300s would have considerably changed the dynamics of Christian manuscript production so I like to end the simulation around then. (I have no idea whether the simulation would still work. It uses Java technology from the early 2000s.)
          >
          > 2. An estimate in something I wrote about transmission of "To the Hebrews" (2005):
          >
          > http://www.tfinney.net/Hebrews/index.html#d0e1590
          >
          > 3. An estimate in my "Manuscript Markup," _The Freer Biblical Manuscripts..._, ed. Larry W. Hurtado, (SBLTCS 6; Atlanta: SBL, 2006).
          >
          > I might have talked about the topic on this list, too.
          >
          > My current guess is that we now have between one hundredth and one thousandth of the Greek NT MSS produced before 300 AD. If estimating today I would start with a guess of one Greek manuscript per bishop of a Greek-liturgy church then use something like Harnack's _Mission and Expansion_ to get the numbers of bishops in different epochs. (One manuscript per bishop is no doubt an underestimate but would produce a useful lower limit.)
          >
          > Best,
          >
          > Tim Finney
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "David Inglis" <davidinglis2@> wrote:
          > >
          > > I am trying to get a grip on the numbers of NT mss written in each century. This raises several issues, the first of
          > > which is to get a count of known mss by century. The attached Excel file shows what I have at the moment. I know that
          > > there are more than 127 papyri, but I don't know about the uncials or minuscules. Does anyone know the latest counts for
          > > all 3 categories, broken down by century, or know where such information might be available? Also, does anyone know of
          > > any research that has been does into what % of mss written in any particular century are likely to have survived, or
          > > even are likely to have been found so far? Thanks for any help.
          > >
          > > David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
          > >
          >
        • David Inglis
          Is it possible that various manuscript production centers created their own mini-collations (perhaps of individual books), and then used these as masters?
          Message 4 of 18 , Jun 7, 2013
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            Is it possible that various ‘manuscript production centers’ created their own mini-collations (perhaps of individual books), and then used these as masters? I’m thinking here of one center getting a ms produced in another and using it to ‘correct’ their own master. If that were the case then we might well see intermingling of variants confusing the parent-child relationships.

            David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

             

             

            From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tom630965
            Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 1:14 PM
            To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Up to date counts of NT mss, by century
             

            That is fascinating Tim

            - but it raises an issue that has puzzled me for some time; why it is that so few manuscripts are identified as copied directly from one another - certainly if we include the mass of minuscules. If we have no more that 1% of the total as survivors; then I would have expected there to be more father-son couples. Perhaps it is simply that we have not been that good at identifying those couples that exist.

            Which raises a subsidiary question;

            - how far are the 'canons' of criticism validated by empirical study of father-son manuscript couples? Hence, if Vaticanus were demonstrated as a copy of P75 (I know it isn't, but humour me); how many of the supposed canons of criticism can be demonstrated in copying errors or other divergent readings made by the scribes of Vaticanus in their texts of Luke and John?

            Perhaps I could offer an additonal meta-canon; 'no rule of textual criticism for choosing among alternative readings should be adopted, unless the underlying assumptions of the rule can be demonstrated in probable operation in the creation of diverging readings in at least five father-son couples.'

            Tom Hennell

          • yennifmit
            Hi David, I would say that every manuscript production centre had its own stock of favourite exemplars. (My simulation used the Zipf distribution to choose an
            Message 5 of 18 , Jun 8, 2013
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              Hi David,

              I would say that every manuscript production centre had its own stock of favourite exemplars. (My simulation used the Zipf distribution to choose an exemplar. That makes some "MSS" more likely than others to be chosen as exemplars.)

              Best,

              Tim

              --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "David Inglis" <davidinglis2@...> wrote:
              >
              > Is it possible that various 'manuscript production centers' created their own mini-collations (perhaps of individual
              > books), and then used these as masters? I'm thinking here of one center getting a ms produced in another and using it to
              > 'correct' their own master. If that were the case then we might well see intermingling of variants confusing the
              > parent-child relationships.
              >
              > David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of tom630965
              > Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2013 1:14 PM
              > To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Up to date counts of NT mss, by century
              >
              > That is fascinating Tim
              >
              > - but it raises an issue that has puzzled me for some time; why it is that so few manuscripts are identified as copied
              > directly from one another - certainly if we include the mass of minuscules. If we have no more that 1% of the total as
              > survivors; then I would have expected there to be more father-son couples. Perhaps it is simply that we have not been
              > that good at identifying those couples that exist.
              >
              > Which raises a subsidiary question;
              >
              > - how far are the 'canons' of criticism validated by empirical study of father-son manuscript couples? Hence, if
              > Vaticanus were demonstrated as a copy of P75 (I know it isn't, but humour me); how many of the supposed canons of
              > criticism can be demonstrated in copying errors or other divergent readings made by the scribes of Vaticanus in their
              > texts of Luke and John?
              >
              > Perhaps I could offer an additonal meta-canon; 'no rule of textual criticism for choosing among alternative readings
              > should be adopted, unless the underlying assumptions of the rule can be demonstrated in probable operation in the
              > creation of diverging readings in at least five father-son couples.'
              >
              > Tom Hennell
              >
            • yennifmit
              Hi Tom, Please see below... ... I think that we have a higher survival rate for minuscules. My guess of 0.1% to 1% survival relates to MSS from before the time
              Message 6 of 18 , Jun 8, 2013
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                Hi Tom,

                Please see below...

                --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "tom630965" <tom.hennell@...> wrote:
                >
                > That is fascinating Tim
                >
                > - but it raises an issue that has puzzled me for some time; why it is that so few manuscripts are identified as copied directly from one another - certainly if we include the mass of minuscules. If we have no more that 1% of the total as survivors; then I would have expected there to be more father-son couples. Perhaps it is simply that we have not been that good at identifying those couples that exist.

                I think that we have a higher survival rate for minuscules. My guess of 0.1% to 1% survival relates to MSS from before the time of Constantine.

                I don't know how many parent-child pairs have survived but there are not many. That indicates that a large proportion of the MSS which once existed is now lost, even for the minuscules.

                >
                > Which raises a subsidiary question;
                >
                > - how far are the 'canons' of criticism validated by empirical study of father-son manuscript couples? Hence, if Vaticanus were demonstrated as a copy of P75 (I know it isn't, but humour me); how many of the supposed canons of criticism can be demonstrated in copying errors or other divergent readings made by the scribes of Vaticanus in their texts of Luke and John?

                James Royse has written a book on scribal habits based on NT papyri. It is not based on parent-child relationships because none exists among the papyri.

                >
                > Perhaps I could offer an additonal meta-canon; 'no rule of textual criticism for choosing among alternative readings should be adopted, unless the underlying assumptions of the rule can be demonstrated in probable operation in the creation of diverging readings in at least five father-son couples.'

                The scarcity of parent-child pairs presents a problem here. That said, I have a problem with canons which are wrong around about as often as right. One might as well flip a coin.

                Best,

                Tim Finney
              • TOM HENNELL
                Thanks Tim, That is very helpful; Thinking about it further;  I suppose we don t actually need demonstrated parent-child pairs;  so long as we are able, ina
                Message 7 of 18 , Jun 8, 2013
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                  Thanks Tim,

                  That is very helpful;

                  Thinking about it further;  I suppose we don't actually need demonstrated parent-child pairs;  so long as we are able, ina sufficient number of mancuscripts, to identify the hand of the 'original' corrector i.e. the guy who checked the work of the first scribe against the exemplar.  If such correctors are doing their job properly (a big assumption)  ,then we ought to be able to reconstruct readings of each original exemplar and how they have been changed by copyists;  and hence perhaps to estimate empirically the statistical probablility of the various processes underlying copying variation, that are assumed to operate in each of the canons of criticism.

                  Has anyone attempted this to your knowledge?

                  regards

                  Tom




                  From: yennifmit <tjf@...>
                  To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, 8 June 2013, 16:00
                  Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Up to date counts of NT mss, by century

                   
                  Hi Tom,

                  Please see below...

                  --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "tom630965" <tom.hennell@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > That is fascinating Tim
                  >
                  > - but it raises an issue that has puzzled me for some time; why it is that so few manuscripts are identified as copied directly from one another - certainly if we include the mass of minuscules. If we have no more that 1% of the total as survivors; then I would have expected there to be more father-son couples. Perhaps it is simply that we have not been that good at identifying those couples that exist.

                  I think that we have a higher survival rate for minuscules. My guess of 0.1% to 1% survival relates to MSS from before the time of Constantine.

                  I don't know how many parent-child pairs have survived but there are not many. That indicates that a large proportion of the MSS which once existed is now lost, even for the minuscules.

                  >
                  > Which raises a subsidiary question;
                  >
                  > - how far are the 'canons' of criticism validated by empirical study of father-son manuscript couples? Hence, if Vaticanus were demonstrated as a copy of P75 (I know it isn't, but humour me); how many of the supposed canons of criticism can be demonstrated in copying errors or other divergent readings made by the scribes of Vaticanus in their texts of Luke and John?

                  James Royse has written a book on scribal habits based on NT papyri. It is not based on parent-child relationships because none exists among the papyri.

                  >
                  > Perhaps I could offer an additonal meta-canon; 'no rule of textual criticism for choosing among alternative readings should be adopted, unless the underlying assumptions of the rule can be demonstrated in probable operation in the creation of diverging readings in at least five father-son couples.'

                  The scarcity of parent-child pairs presents a problem here. That said, I have a problem with canons which are wrong around about as often as right. One might as well flip a coin.

                  Best,

                  Tim Finney



                • yennifmit
                  Hi Tom, Now you re talking. Royse does something like what you suggest using the major early NT papyri to see what those scribes and correctors tended to do.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jun 9, 2013
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                    Hi Tom,

                    Now you're talking.

                    Royse does something like what you suggest using the major early NT papyri to see what those scribes and correctors tended to do.

                    The multidimensional scaling maps in my PhD dissertation can be used to see what direction in textual space corrections tend to go for the early Greek manuscripts of Hebrews:

                    http://www.tfinney.net/PhD/PDF/part3.pdf

                    (Careful: 6MB.)

                    Often the trajectory is from non-Byzantine to Byzantine, however not for early papyri. I think that Egypt was something of a textual island early on. Nevertheless, there is evidence of textual cross-talk between Egyptian and other texts. One example is the apparent influence of the "Eastern" text upon the Sahidic Coptic in the first few chapters of Mark. See e.g. the section on block mixture in my Groups article:

                    http://www.tfinney.net/Groups/index.xhtml#d5e1705

                    In particular, compare these two maps (cop-sa is the Sahidic):

                    http://www.tfinney.net/Groups/cmds/eg3a.1of4.gif

                    http://www.tfinney.net/Groups/cmds/eg3a.2of4.gif

                    Getting back to the textual tendencies of correctors, a few of the data sets found at my Views site can be used to see textual shifts between the first and subsequent hands of a manuscript. (Caveat: The Views site is a work in process.)

                    http://www.tfinney.net/Views/index.xhtml

                    See, e.g., the pairs of data sets based on Fee's work in the Gospel of John. The data sets which Fee compiled do not allow the first hand and corrector to be shown in the same analysis result using the methods which I use. (His tables omit percentage agreements between first hands and correctors.) Nevertheless, one can see the relative locations by comparing a pair of maps. E.g.:

                    http://www.tfinney.net/Views/cmds/John-Fee-1-8.gif

                    http://www.tfinney.net/Views/cmds/John-Fee-1-8-corr.gif

                    Here, it looks like the corrector of P66 (P66-c) is conforming to a text in the vicinity of C, Aleph-c, P75, and B.

                    (How well a corrector conforms a text to the new exemplar is difficult to say. Sometimes it seems to be a partial job, other times thorough.)

                    Best,

                    Tim Finney

                    * Streeter's term; he further split this into Antiochian and Caesarean branches.



                    --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, TOM HENNELL <tom.hennell@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks Tim,
                    >
                    > That is very helpful;
                    >
                    > Thinking about it further;  I suppose we don't actually need demonstrated parent-child pairs;  so long as we are able, ina sufficient number of mancuscripts, to identify the hand of the 'original' corrector i.e. the guy who checked the work of the first scribe against the exemplar.  If such correctors are doing their job properly (a big assumption)  ,then we ought to be able to reconstruct readings of each original exemplar and how they have been changed by copyists;  and hence perhaps to estimate empirically the statistical probablility of the various processes underlying copying variation, that are assumed to operate in each of the canons of criticism.
                    >
                    > Has anyone attempted this to your knowledge?
                    >
                    > regards
                    >
                    > Tom
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ________________________________
                    > From: yennifmit <tjf@...>
                    > To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Saturday, 8 June 2013, 16:00
                    > Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Up to date counts of NT mss, by century
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >  
                    > Hi Tom,
                    >
                    > Please see below...
                    >
                    > --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "tom630965" <tom.hennell@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > That is fascinating Tim
                    > >
                    > > - but it raises an issue that has puzzled me for some time; why it is that so few manuscripts are identified as copied directly from one another - certainly if we include the mass of minuscules. If we have no more that 1% of the total as survivors; then I would have expected there to be more father-son couples. Perhaps it is simply that we have not been that good at identifying those couples that exist.
                    >
                    > I think that we have a higher survival rate for minuscules. My guess of 0.1% to 1% survival relates to MSS from before the time of Constantine.
                    >
                    > I don't know how many parent-child pairs have survived but there are not many. That indicates that a large proportion of the MSS which once existed is now lost, even for the minuscules.
                    >
                    > >
                    > > Which raises a subsidiary question;
                    > >
                    > > - how far are the 'canons' of criticism validated by empirical study of father-son manuscript couples? Hence, if Vaticanus were demonstrated as a copy of P75 (I know it isn't, but humour me); how many of the supposed canons of criticism can be demonstrated in copying errors or other divergent readings made by the scribes of Vaticanus in their texts of Luke and John?
                    >
                    > James Royse has written a book on scribal habits based on NT papyri. It is not based on parent-child relationships because none exists among the papyri.
                    >
                    > >
                    > > Perhaps I could offer an additonal meta-canon; 'no rule of textual criticism for choosing among alternative readings should be adopted, unless the underlying assumptions of the rule can be demonstrated in probable operation in the creation of diverging readings in at least five father-son couples.'
                    >
                    > The scarcity of parent-child pairs presents a problem here. That said, I have a problem with canons which are wrong around about as often as right. One might as well flip a coin.
                    >
                    > Best,
                    >
                    > Tim Finney
                    >
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