CT readings not found in any manuscripts...

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Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm trying to come up with a list of readings in the "critical text" that can't be found in any Greek manuscripts. I'm referring to those readings that some Traditional Text people have called "hybrid readings". Dr. Maurice Robinson refers to these readings in these words...

"An additional problem affecting modern critical editions is a form of eclecticism that even in short passages of text (single NT verses or less) introduces a sequence of words that can be demonstrated as having no actual existence in any ancient MS, version, or patristic quotation prior to their modern (19th or 20th century) creation"

Any help would be appreciated.
 
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rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
That would be an interesting list. How would it be compiled and who has done it?
 

Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think you'll find this article helpful:

An Introduction to Textual Criticism: Part 10--"Traditional Text" Positions: Byzantine-Priority

The quote you're referring to is by Maurice Robinson and James does a great job of summarizing his position on Byzantine priority and his criticisms of the eclectic method and gives some examples of verses.

Over the last couple of years I've been intrigued by Robinson's position. He seems to address many of the key problems I have been having with the 'reasoned eclectic' approach to textual criticism. I recently blogged on this at http://www.reformedbaptistblog.com/my-journey-in-new-testament-textual-criticism/.

I'd like to see a more comprehensive list of these hybrid readings to which Robinson refers. It would seem to me that, in part, these are the 1 John 5:7s of the 'critical text'.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
From the above linked Colin Robinson article:
The problem is that the Eclectic approach repeatedlyproduces readings that have no manuscript support. In Matthew 20:23, for example, there are seven variants. Of these seven variants, the Nestle-Aland text (27thedition) follows Aleph, B, and other Alexandrian or non-Byzantine readings over Byzantine readings in three places (the first, second, and sixth variants). The resulting passage (i.e., the chosen readings along with the rest of the verse) has no manuscript support, according to Robinson. In other words, the effort expended to determine the correct reading of a couple of variants has all been for the purpose of supporting a non-existent (let alone non-extant) text. Robinson believes that the transmissional history that the Eclectic critics would have to propose to support such readings is not even remotely probable to have occurred under any normal circumstances.

If I'm understanding the data correctly, there are seven variants in Matthew 20:23, and NA27 follows Sinaiticus in all but variant #6, which has τουτο in brackets to show that the evidence is mixed. Most other textual critics (Wescott-Hort, Tregelles, SBL, NIV) omit τουτο, and thus match Sinaiticus. This an example where NA27 is idiosyncratic among textual critics.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
I agree there are problems with modern textual criticism. However, it isn't always a matter of simply going along with an "actual" reading. For example, if there are 5 manuscripts in which a verse reads "a-b-c" and 5 in which it reads "b-c-d" - yet none that actually read "a-b-c-d" - is it still necessarily a bad deduction that the original reading was likely "a-b-c-d"?
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
I agree there are problems with modern textual criticism. However, it isn't always a matter of simply going along with an "actual" reading. For example, if there are 5 manuscripts in which a verse reads "a-b-c" and 5 in which it reads "b-c-d" - yet none that actually read "a-b-c-d" - is it still necessarily a bad deduction that the original reading was likely "a-b-c-d"?

Well, all other things being equal, textual criticism would generally go with b-c being the original reading since text is inserted more often than removed. And no, I don't think this is a bad deduction. It just means that you have two different strains of variants, probably based on geography.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The problem, as I see it, would be that this solution arises from an "atomistic" approach to the words of the text. It ignores the question of how such an original reading could exist, or (more pertinently) why such a variant never existed. The modern editors have, in essence, created a *new* text-tradition that has never before existed--except in the minds of 20th century editors, who conjecture what the original might have been, but for which no preservation is extant.

In other words, no one after the original recipients of Matthew's gospel (for instance) has ever seen the inspired, uncorrupted text (in this place) until today, so far as we know.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
The problem, as I see it, would be that this solution arises from an "atomistic" approach to the words of the text. It ignores the question of how such an original reading could exist, or (more pertinently) why such a variant never existed. The modern editors have, in essence, created a *new* text-tradition that has never before existed--except in the minds of 20th century editors, who conjecture what the original might have been, but for which no preservation is extant.

In other words, no one after the original recipients of Matthew's gospel (for instance) has ever seen the inspired, uncorrupted text (in this place) until today, so far as we know.

So ... if you had 5 manuscripts of A-B-C and 5 manuscripts of B-C-D ... you would think it more likely that B-C-D came from A-B-C (or vice versa) than both coming from B-C? Why?

I don't see a problem with it. Just because we haven't found a manuscript with that reading doesn't mean one doesn't exist, and even if we find one, that doesn't necessarily mean that this reading is much more likely to be the correct one.

So ... does anyone else have any more examples of such "hybrid' verses? Matt. 20:23 doesn't quite fit in that category, in my opinion.
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
An example of an odd choice made as a result of following the "logic" of the canons of criticism is the new SBL critical text on Mark 1:41. Consider a summary of the range of attestation:

Mark 1:41:
TEXT: "And moved with pity, he stretched out [his] hand"
EVIDENCE: S A B C K L W Delta Theta Pi 090 f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect most lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: D
NOTES: "And being angry, he stretched out [his] hand"
EVIDENCE: D four lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEB TEVn

Holmes' SBL GNT selects "moved with anger" despite the extremely weak attestation.

Mark 1:41 καὶ ὀργισθεὶς ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἥψατο καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι

ὀργισθεὶς Holmes WHmarg*]*σπλαγχνισθεὶς WH Treg NIV RP

Evidently there is as much "art" as "science" in textual criticism. Frankly, after all of my undergraduate and graduate studies pretty much assuming the validity of the UBS/Nestle critical text, I find myself unable to argue very effectively against Robinson and have been cautiously moving toward the superiority of the Byzantine text (but NOT TR).
 

Robert Truelove

Puritan Board Sophomore
I agree there are problems with modern textual criticism. However, it isn't always a matter of simply going along with an "actual" reading. For example, if there are 5 manuscripts in which a verse reads "a-b-c" and 5 in which it reads "b-c-d" - yet none that actually read "a-b-c-d" - is it still necessarily a bad deduction that the original reading was likely "a-b-c-d"?

My view of preservation is that God preserved his word in the extant Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. I believe the first principle in textual criticism should be that anything proposed as a solution to textual variants that results in a reading not found in any manuscript should be rejected. I believe the alternative is too problematic.

In the example you gave, what you are saying is that God did not actually preserve this reading in any manuscript but it must be deduced apart from any historical reading. If that is actually true for any particular reading, then I don't believe the true reading could ever be known beyond a hopeful conjecture which is not very helpful.

From my standpoint, all that is achieved by such a methodology (from your example) is the production of brand new conflations. Conflations that before now, are unknown in the historical, extant manuscripts.

This is one of the areas where the idea behind the Byzantine Priority Theory, to restore an actual historical text-form, is very compelling to me.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
So ... if you had 5 manuscripts of A-B-C and 5 manuscripts of B-C-D ... you would think it more likely that B-C-D came from A-B-C (or vice versa) than both coming from B-C? Why?

I think you're missing the point. It's not as if they have constructed a sentence from B-C but the sentence itself is a hybrid where no single manuscript contains the sentence constructed. In your example, they might take two words from A, two from B, one from C and the sentence constructed looks like nothing we find in any of the manuscripts that we possess.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
I agree there are problems with modern textual criticism. However, it isn't always a matter of simply going along with an "actual" reading. For example, if there are 5 manuscripts in which a verse reads "a-b-c" and 5 in which it reads "b-c-d" - yet none that actually read "a-b-c-d" - is it still necessarily a bad deduction that the original reading was likely "a-b-c-d"?

My view of preservation is that God preserved his word in the extant Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. I believe the first principle in textual criticism should be that anything proposed as a solution to textual variants that results in a reading not found in any manuscript should be rejected. I believe the alternative is too problematic.

In the example you gave, what you are saying is that God did not actually preserve this reading in any manuscript but it must be deduced apart from any historical reading. If that is actually true for any particular reading, then I don't believe the true reading could ever be known beyond a hopeful conjecture which is not very helpful.

From my standpoint, all that is achieved by such a methodology (from your example) is the production of brand new conflations. Conflations that before now, are unknown in the historical, extant manuscripts.

This is one of the areas where the idea behind the Byzantine Priority Theory, to restore an actual historical text-form, is very compelling to me.

Still don't see the big deal. God's word is preserved in the entirety of the manuscripts: parts of it in some manuscripts, and parts of it in another.

Even if you're Byzantine priority, no one Byzantine manuscript preserves the entirety of Byzantine Priority. The only difference is that you're saying that a full verse must be preserved in its entirety for it to be authentic, but a verse (or sentence, or clause) is an arbitrary unit. If a full verse must be preserved in its entirety, why not a full chapter? Or full book? Or all of the New Testament?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The only difference is that you're saying that a full verse must be preserved in its entirety for it to be authentic, but a verse (or sentence, or clause) is an arbitrary unit. If a full verse must be preserved in its entirety, why not a full chapter? Or full book? Or all of the New Testament?
I don't think that this is a good comparison. The question is one of *textual basis*, of a history of a certain reading. And yes, a "reading" is different from a "word." A reading implies word relation, syntax, and grammar. It presupposes an original text that followed conventions, as well as a subsequent history of copying.

The claim made, when a *word* or *wordS* are simply inserted in another text, is that there is evidence that it belongs there, and the existence of a *word* in an alternate text-tradition is most meager evidence. It can just as easily be evidence of *not belonging* as *belonging*. The NA text has supplied a *reading* that is not available out there in the text-tradition anywhere. It is not the case that the Byzantine reading is being preferred at this point, because the reconstructed Siniaticus doesn't reflect the Byzantine construction, or any other known construction (apparently; I'm not the expert).

The creation of an "eclectc" text of readings from a variety of traditions presupposes that the "bits" actually exist somewhere, that a specific history has preserved that reading. That's not the same thing as throwing a word into an alternate text-tradition for a verse, a chapter, or a whole book, does one thing--it creates a *new* text-tradition, because it creates a *new* reading. What reason is there to prefer the "insertion-text" to the Sinaticus-text that lacks it? Don, you said that the probability was greater for an unwarranted insertion; so by inserting τουτο into Siniaticus Mt.20:23, is this an example of errant insertion? How can we tell one way or another?

I recommend actually taking a look at the verse in both a CT version and a MT version.
 

elnwood

Puritan Board Junior
What reason is there to prefer the "insertion-text" to the Sinaticus-text that lacks it? Don, you said that the probability was greater for an unwarranted insertion; so by inserting τουτο into Siniaticus Mt.20:23, is this an example of errant insertion? How can we tell one way or another?

As I noted above, NA27 is idiosyncratic in its insertion of τουτο, and the insertion is in brackets, which means that they really weren't sure but thought they ought to put it in there as an option. I would tend to side with SBL/Trig/NIV/W-H and omit it, but not out of any loyalty to adhering to an existing manuscript.

There have been thousands and thousands of manuscripts out there that have been destroyed and lost over the centuries. Sinaiticus is one of our best and earliest manuscripts, and it's from the 4th century, dozens of generations removed from the autographs. Whether or not we discover a particular manuscript that has the exact same 27-40 word verse that we think is the original reading is not particularly relevant.
 
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