TR vs Alexandrian Greek

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blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Lately I've been curious what the differences are between the TR Greek and the Alexandrian Greek. So I copied/pasted the Greek (with variants identified) from E-Sword into an Excel spreadsheet so I could quickly identify differences. I wanted to see:

1. How many verses (total and by book) were exactly the same,
2. How many verses had both TR and Alexandrian variants in them,
3. How many verses had only TR variants in them, and
4. How many verses had only Alexandrian variants in them.

Out of 7955 verses, I found that:

1. 2986 verses (38%) were exactly the same.
2. 4064 verses (51%) had both TR and Alexandrian variants
3. 719 verses (9%) had only TR variants
4. 186 verses (2%) had only Alexandrian variants.

I'm going to (out of curiosity) continue to take a look at the differences just to see what they are. I'm sure I'll have questions as time goes on.

I just wanted to ask two (sets of) questions:

1. I'd always heard that the OT scribes were very maticulous when they copied manuscripts, being very careful to ensure that each letter/word was copied as it appeared in the original. I was just curious if anybody knew what instructions were given to those who copied the NT manuscripts. What were their "marching orders"? Were they expected to just copy letter by letter and word by word what they saw, or were they given some latitude about how they did their job? (ie., similar to the latitude that translators nowadays seem to have)

2. As I look at the number of verses to compare, and the number of years (zero) I've trained in the Greek language, it makes sense to me that it might be to expect to be able to dogmatically come to a conclusion which is better. Maybe some of you are in the same boat I am. For those who have investigated the differences, how did you come to the conclusion that one set of manuscripts was superior to the other?
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
While running an errand, I remembered a third set of questions.

I've worked for some time now as a technical writer. It seems next to impossible to catch all the mistakes the first go around. I read through it, it looks good, then I run spell check and find an assortment of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors that I need to correct. Those of you who have done any writing may have noticed the same thing.

3. All scripture is inspired by God. Does that mean that when Paul, Matthew, Peter, John, etc., wrote what they wrote, that there were absolutely no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, and that the Greek as they wrote it was perfect Greek? If so, wow! Could/would the manuscripts that they wrote be considered inspired if there were spelling, grammar, etc., mistakes? If there were such mistakes, would those who made the new manuscripts free to make corrections, or were they (in theory) confined to copying everything exactly as it was?
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Great questions! I can't wait to read the answers..... :D
:ditto:

Also, I'm a little unclear what guidelines should be followed when posting in this forum. I'm not sure who to direct this to, but I was wondering if a moderator could PM me so I know what should and shouldn't be posted.

Thanks,

Bob
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
The moderators are working on this still. Ii would be best to hold off posting to the forum for now until there is some guidance posted.
Great questions! I can't wait to read the answers..... :D
:ditto:

Also, I'm a little unclear what guidelines should be followed when posting in this forum. I'm not sure who to direct this to, but I was wondering if a moderator could PM me so I know what should and shouldn't be posted.

Thanks,

Bob
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Great questions! I can't wait to read the answers..... :D
:ditto:

Also, I'm a little unclear what guidelines should be followed when posting in this forum. I'm not sure who to direct this to, but I was wondering if a moderator could PM me so I know what should and shouldn't be posted.

Thanks,

Bob
Bob,

The thread and forum is open.

Respondents are reminded to answer the very specific questions asked. Both the TR and CT use a form of textual criticism. Present your answers to the questions Bob asked according to your method. Connect the dots.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
While running an errand, I remembered a third set of questions.

I've worked for some time now as a technical writer. It seems next to impossible to catch all the mistakes the first go around. I read through it, it looks good, then I run spell check and find an assortment of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors that I need to correct. Those of you who have done any writing may have noticed the same thing.

3. All scripture is inspired by God. Does that mean that when Paul, Matthew, Peter, John, etc., wrote what they wrote, that there were absolutely no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, and that the Greek as they wrote it was perfect Greek? If so, wow! Could/would the manuscripts that they wrote be considered inspired if there were spelling, grammar, etc., mistakes? If there were such mistakes, would those who made the new manuscripts free to make corrections, or were they (in theory) confined to copying everything exactly as it was?

The Westminster view is that God is the author, and that the texts as given through the Holy Spirit were authentic.

IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical...

So the original manuscripts were without error. Unfortunately, those originals are not presently with us. But the answer to your first question is 'Yes'.
 
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