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  • 1. New Testament Textual Criticism: An Introduction Presented by Clinton Baldwin, Ph.D. 22/9/13

2. x The History of the New Testament Text: An Overview 3. The History of the New Testament Text : -An Overview- The Bible was written in different ancient languages The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic The New Testament was written in Greek 4. The History of the NT Text: An Overview No autograph of any Biblical book has survived What we have are copies of copies of copies of copies 5. The History of the New Testament: An Overview The Biblical books were first written on scrolls, then in codices, i.e., book form. This form of writing was first composed of all capital letters, called Uncials Uncial letters were written in scriptio continua, i.e. no break between the letters and words. Everything flowed into one. 6. Example of Uncials Script: Sections of Codex Sinaticus 7. Minuscules Around the 8th and 9th century the uncial script was replaced by the minuscule. This kind of writing is cursive. Scribes were able to write faster and smaller. It saves both time and material This facilitated the rapid multiplicity of copies of the scriptures. So many more people received it in a shorter possible time. 8. Example of Minuscule Script 9. The History of the New Testament Text Currently, there are approximately 23,000 extant ancient manuscripts of the New Testament i. approximately 8,000 Greek manuscripts ii. approximately 10,000 Latin manuscripts iii. approximately 5,000 combined in other languages such as Coptic, Syriac, Ethiopic and Gregorian Since the NT was originally written in Greek, Greek is the primary language manuscript of the NT 10. The History of the New Testament Text No two manuscripts are exactly alike Why? They were copied by hand under various circumstances Thus the scribes sometimes made mistakes 11. . Scholars estimate that there are approximately 300,000 to 400,000 variant readings in the New Testament. Whereas there are approximately 140,000 words in the New Testament, this means that there are more errors than there are words in the New Testament Note: The overwhelming majority of errors are insignificant and do not affect the meaning of the text in any way. 12. Origen (186-255 AD) It is a recognized fact that there are much diversity in our copies, whether by the carelessness of certain scribes, or by some culpable rashness in the correction of the text, or by some people making arbitrary additions or omissions in their corrections. Selections from the Commentaries and Homilies of Origen, trans.by R. B. Tollinton (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1929) 109-110. 13. . Errors made by scribes as they copied the scriptures were of different types depending on various situations in which they found themselves 14. Types of Errors Eye Sight: Homoeoteleuton: the scribe skips from one letter or word to the same letter or word farther down the page. 1 . . . . . . . .. autos ek tou 2 kosmos . 3 . . . . . . . . . autos ek tou 4 ponhrou John 17:15 : I do not pray that you should [take them from the world, but that you should] keep them from the evil one 15. Types of Errors Metathesis: Changing the order of letters or words. Example: Mark 14:65, e (received), for (struck). kai. oi` u`phre,tai r`api,smasin auvto.n e;labon and the guards receive him with blows. 16. Types of Errors Of Hearing: Iticism: e.g. for or o for w Romans 5:1 ecwmen for ecomen Therefore having been justified by faith let us have ecwmen peace with God. instead of we have peace ecomen with God 1 Cor 16:54 vneikos (conflict) for nikos (victory) death is swallowed up in conflict, instead of death is swallowed up in victory 17. Types of Errors Error of Judgment: Sometimes a copyist made a judgment call as to whether or not a glossary in the margin of his text ought to be included in the main body of the text The troubling of the water: John 5:3-4 Angry with his brother : Matt 5:22 18. Error of Judgment: Troubling of the water John 5:3b,4 3b waiting for the moving of the water, 4: For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water; whoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatever disease he had. 19. Error of Judgment: Troubling of the water John 5:3b,4 These words first appeared in the margin of a manuscript in the fifth century AD. It was later removed from the margin and placed in the body of the text. Its purpose was to give theological rationale as to why the water in the pool had healing powers. The scribe made a mistaken judgment call when he removed it from the margin and placed it in the body of the text. 20. Error of Judgment: Matt 5:22 Whoever is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court Whoever is angry with his brother [without a cause -- eikh (eike) ] shall be guilty before the court eikh (eike) first appeared in the margin and was later removed and placed in the body of the text 21. Types of Errors (contd) Haplography : writing of a letter or word once when it should have been written twice. Example: 1Thessalonians 2:7; h (we became gentle,) for h, we became infants. Dittography : The writing of a letter or word twice instead of once. Example: Mark 12:27; o for 22. x Theologically Motivated Errors 23. Theologically Motivated Errors Most of the variants we have examined so far were caused by unintentional scribal blunders. However, there were also many errors which were deliberate theological changes by the scribes as they copied the scriptures 24. Codex Bezae (D-05)= 4th Cen Mark 2:26 . which is not lawful to eat except only for the priests. In codex Bazae the following words appear: The same day seeing someone working on the Sabbath, he said to him, man if indeed you know what you are doing then you are blessed. But if you do not know then you are accursed and a transgressor of the law 25. 1John 5:7, 8 The father, the word and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth. Erasmus (1516 AD) was forced to place these words in his translation of the Greek Bible. The Catholic Church wanted an explicit text to support the doctrine of the Trinity. 26. Correct rendering As found in a, A, B, y, 33, 81, 323,et al. For there are three that bear record, the spirit and the water and the blood and these three agree in one. 27. Codex Bezae (D) & Brixianus (f) Mark 10:11, 12 Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if a woman goes out from her husband and marries another, she commits adultery. 28. Better Rendering The more authentic reading as found in codex Sinaticus (a) and codex Vaticanus (B) is: Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another she commits adultery. 29. Luke 22: 43, 44 An angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and his sweat became like drops of blood, falling upon the ground. The verse first appeared approximately 500 years after Luke wrote his gospel. The theological motivation was to support the position that Jesus was indeed human- against Gnostics who denied his full humanity 30. Text-types After centuries of copying, manuscripts in certain localities began to have similar patterns of errors Manuscripts with similar patterns of errors are called Text-types. The basic definition of text-types is the largest identifiable group of manuscripts 31. Four Main Text-Types Western Alexandrian Byzantine Caesarean ? Mixed 32. Text-Types Western: North Africa, Italy, and S. France Alexandrian: Alexandria, Egypt Byzantine: Byzantine Empire (80% of all mss) Caesarean ?: Probably originate in Caesarea or Egypt. Has virtually been discredit as an authentic category 33. Dates/Characteristics Western : 2nd Cen. Alexandrian : late 3rd early 4th Cen. Byzantine : 4th 9th Cen. Caesarean ? Characteristic of Text-types Western: Paraphrase, harmonizations, assimilation Alexandrian: Shorter more difficult, non-harmonious readings Byzantine: Smoother, easier, more harmonious, more straight-forward readings 34. . In order to produce a coherent Greek Text, scholars for centuries have been studying the mass of ancient manuscripts and by using different scientific criteria have been able to synthesize coherent Greek text(s) from which the various modern language translations are based. 35. Procedure for Determining the Earliest Originals This can be summarized into four simple steps, namely: 1. The Collation of manuscripts 2. Classification of manuscripts into groups (text-types) 3. Selection of representative manuscripts from each text- type 4. The application of specific criteria to specific variant readings 36. Determining the Earliest Originals: Collation Collation is the process of identifying the variant readings in a manuscript. This is accomplished by comparing the subject manuscript with a chosen exemplar and every variation noted. 37. Determining the Earliest Originals: Classification Having identified and distilled the significant variant readings, these readings are then used to classify the manuscripts into the major categories or text-types, namely, Alexandrian, Byzantine, Western and Mixed Various methods of classification can be employed such as: 1) Factor analysis 2) Claremont profile method, 3)Teststellen 4) Quantitative analysis 5) Comprehensive profile 38. Determining the Earliest Originals: Selection of Manuscripts The most credible representative manuscripts from each group are selected and the variant readings from these manuscripts are then analyzed using the select criteria for studying individual variant readings 39. Determining the Earliest Originals Criteria for Analyzi