Category Archives: Textual Criticism

Majuscule Uncial Robinson-Pierpont GNT

Robinson-Pierpont 2017 Greek New Testament in Majuscule / Uncial script

I have created and uploaded an edition of the Robinson-Pierpont 2017 Greek New Testament, Byzantine Textform, in all-majuscule letters (some say uncial letters).  This document is available for download in both “.docx” format and in PDF.  The PDF is 1.7 MB, 567 pages.

This document was created by David Robert Palmer to be a public domain document, in both “.docx” format and in PDF.  The Robinson-Pierpont Greek text is also free to use without permission.  For this document, I give you permission to to copy, paste, and / or re-format as you wish.  Only except that these documents are “locked” against changes in order to preserve the original formatting, and I ask that you leave them locked.  This means that if you want to edit or re-format the Microsoft® Word 2007 “.docx” document of the RP majuscule text, you can do so, but you will have to first “save as” a copy to your hard drive under another file name; in which copy you can then make changes.  Proper display of the “.docx” document may require that you install the KoineGreek.ttf font from Alan Bunning; the documents contain a download link for that font on the cover page.  This font was chosen because it renders the Greek majuscule / uncial letter Sigma as C, which is what is found in the early Greek New Testament manuscripts.  Be advised that the KoineGreek.ttf font renders a regular lower case letter into a capital Greek letter automatically.  If you wish to use some other font, you can do that, but you will probably first have to convert the base letters to upper case.

Nomina Sacra are used for the nominative, accusative, genitive, dative and vocative of κυριος, and the nom., acc. gen., dat. of θεος, Ἰησους, χριστος, and πνευμα..  It is possible that when the find/replace operations for these NS were conducted, some other word was accidentally changed which happened to contain these words.  This happened with vocative κυριε for example, but I believe I found them all and corrected them.

Download links (free) for the two documents: The PDF of the 2017 RP uncial text.  The Microsoft® Word 2007 “.docx” file of the Robinson-Pierpont majuscule text.

Robinson-Pierpont Greek New Testament, Byzantine textform in Uncial / Majuscule script

Robinson-Pierpont GNT in Majuscule

 

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Majuscule Epistle of Jude

The Epistle of Jude in Majuscule

I have just created and uploaded the Epistle of Jude in majuscule font, similar to what New Testament manuscripts looked like in the 3rd century.  The Greek New Testament text is the Robinson-Pierpont 2017 text.  Thanks to Alan Bunning for the KoineGreek majuscule font.

If you are particularly interested in the Epistle of Jude, see also my Swanson-style chart of the Epistle of Jude in 62 manuscripts and 12 GNT editions.

Epistle of Jude in majuscule

The Epistle of Jude in majuscule

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Greek Definite Article

Acts 8:5

Here is a Greek textual variant that should demonstrate to beginners in NT Greek that maybe they don’t know how to interpret the definite article.

The Textus Receptus and the Robinson-Pierpont Greek texts both read εις πολιν της Σαμαρειας, without the definite article την present before πολιν, “city.”  Here are some translations from the Textus Receptus:

KJV

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

NKJV

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

MEV

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

 

The UBS / NA text reads, εις την πολιν της Σαμαρειας, with the definite article την present before “city.”

Here are some translations reputedly from the UBS text:

NIV, TNIV

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.

RSV

Philip went down to a city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.

HCSB

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them.

CEB

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and began to preach Christ to them.

CJB

Now Philip went down to a city in Shomron and was proclaiming the Messiah to them;

NABRE

Thus Philip went down to [the] city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them.

NASB

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.

ESV

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.

NRSV

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them.

GNT

Philip went to the principal city in Samaria and preached the Messiah to the people there.

MOUNCE

Philip went down to the main city of Samaria and began proclaiming to them the Christ.

NET

Philip went down to the main city of Samaria and began proclaiming the Christ to them.

πολις της Σαμαρειας, for the city of Samaria had been utterly destroyed by Hyrcanus, and the city built by Herod on its site was called Σεβαστη, that is, Augusta, in honour of Augustus. Samaria comprised the tract of country formerly occupied by the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, west of Jordan, lying between Judea and Galilee, beginning, says Josephus, at Ginea in the great plain, and ending at the toparchy of Acrabateni.

The manuscripts:
txt πολιν C D E H P Ψ 049 056 33 1611 1739 1891 cop-sa,bo,meg chrys TR RP την πολιν 𝔓⁷⁴ ℵ A B 1175 SBL [NA28] {C} lac 𝔓⁴⁵ L

 

 

John 15 verse 8

I just made a TC footnote on the variant in John 15:8 regarding γένησθε (aorist subjunctive) in the NA28, versus γενήσεσθε (future indicative) in TR RP.  The UBS5 and NA28 footnotes cite ALL the Old Latin manuscripts as being in support of the γένησθε (aorist subjunctive) reading.  This is true insofar as the subjunctive versus indicative mood question.  But the Latin verbs do not agree with the Greek verbs exactly.  They read in fact: sitis (pres subj) “be” it-a,d,e,q,r¹ efficiamini (pres pass subj) “be made, be proven” it-aur,b,ff² possitis fieri “be able to become” it-f.  Certainly, none of the Latin manuscripts have a future tense verb.

A limitation of Coptic to render Greek is shown in the change from the UBS3 footnotes to now in the UBS5 footnotes.  The UBS3 footnote cites cop-sa,bo,ach2 in support of γένησθε (aorist subjunctive) of the NA28, but now in the UBS5 and NA28, the Coptic is not cited for any reading.  If you were to read the English translations of the Sahidic and Bohairic Coptic texts, you might think that they do support the NA28 reading, because they read in English, “and become to me disciples” (Sahidic) and, “and that ye be to me disciples” (Bohairic).

However, J. Martin Plumley writes in Metzger’s book “The Early Versions of the New Testament, Their Origin, Transmission and Limitations,” Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2001, p. 149, the following: “The well-developed system of auxiliary verbs in Coptic, while capable of dealing with the main temporal aspects of the Greek verb, are less able to represent the more subtle distinctions of mood, especially the subjunctive.  Thus, where Coptic uses a future tense containing the element -NA-, it is not possible to decide whether the Greek text showed the future indicative or the aorist subjunctive.”

Another example of the limitation of Coptic is when applied to the extremely common variant in the Greek MSS of τε versus δε, or ουτε v. ουδε, because Coptic did not distinguish between t and d, and d was usually but not consistently, defaulted to t.

To read the footnote on John 15:8, you can download the gospel of John here.

Ancient Greek Pronunciation

Translations of the Greek New Testament into other ancient languages help us know what the sounds were in ancient Greek compared to now.  In order to translate Christian texts, the Copts invented 7 extra glyphs for sounds unknown to the Greeks, but which they needed for their language.  This is informative to us as to what Greek sounded like as late as the early church times.  Thus we know that even as late as the Christian era in Egypt, the Greek letter φ (Phi) was not pronounced like English “F” but instead like our English “P.”  We know this because Coptic had to invent a separate letter Ϥ for the F sound, a sound which Coptic had, but Greek did not have.

And because of the law of Phonetic symmetry in the distribution of points of articulation in the mouth, we can reasonably extrapolate this principle to the other set of consonants also, that is, Χ and Κ.  And predict the following: the Greek letter χ sounded like our English “K” and the Greek letter Κ was a softer, unaspirated K for which English does not have a letter or symbol.  In Phonetics we find that languages that have both an aspirated and unaspirated P, will also have both aspirated and unaspirated versions of the other stops such as T and K etc.  Thus, φ was p sound, θ was t sound, χ was k sound, and π, τ, κ were unaspirated versions thereof, for which we do not have letters in English.

Another example that Plumley gives in Metzger’s book shows that the Greek letter θ definitely was not a “th” sound like we have in English, as in the word “thick.”  It was simply our Englsih “t” sound, as in “tick.”  One way we know this is because Coptic translators, when they heard the Greek word θαλασσα, wrote down HALASSA with the feminine definite article T in front of it.  That’s because it was pronounced TALASSA and the scribes or translators heard TALASSA.

The above knowledge can lead us to some interesting insights.  For example, knowing that φ was pronounced “p” and θ was pronounced “t,” we can pronounce correctly the word φθινοπωρινος in Jude v. 12, and recognize our English word “patina” there, and see how that relates to change in color of leaves in Autumn.  Greek had a word φθινα for the mildewing of material (which would change its color), but see also φθῖνάς “a waning, a wasting away”, or φθινιασμα “declining,” and the verb φθινω, “to perish, decay, waste away.”  Our English word patina also refers to the wasting away or corrosion of semi-precious metals, like copper and bronze, upon which a green film accumulates.

This page gives the correct pronunciation of ancient Greek consonants.

Victor of Antioch on Mark 16 vv. 9-20

Victor of Antioch (5th century) in his commentary on the gospel of Mark admits that the verses 16:9-20 “do not appear in the existing Gospel with most copies.”  But he says that the better Palestinian copies included it, and he and others added together what material was in the Palestinian gospel about the Resurrection, to the other copies.  This comment appears in many minuscules.  [Note that Victor is not saying “Egyptian manuscripts” lack the Longer Ending of Mark.  He is ‘of Antioch.’]

Victor of Antioch‘s pertinent Greek text from Cramer’s Catena Vol. 1:

Εἰ δὲ καὶ τὸ,”αναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ” μετὰ τὰ ἐπιφερόμενα παρὰ πλείστοις ἀντιγράφοις οὐ κεῖνται ἐν τῷ παρόντι Εὐαγγελίῳ, ὡς νόθα νομίσαντες αὐτὰ εἶναι, ἀλλ’ ἡμεις ἐξ ἀκριβῶν ἀντιγράφων ἐν πλείστοις εὑρόντες αὐτὰ, καὶ κατὰ τὸ Παλαιστιναῖον Εὐαγγέλιον, ὡς ἔχει ἡ ἀλήθεια Μάρκου, συντεθείκαμεν καὶ τὴν ἐν αὐτῷ ἐπιφερομένην δεσποτικὴν ἀνάστασιν, μετὰ τὸ “ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ,” τουτέστιν ἀπὸ τοῦ “αναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου” καὶ καθ’ ἑξῆς, μέχρι τοῦ “διὰ τῶν ἐπακολουθούντων σημείων.  Ἀμήν.”

Translation:

‘But even if the words “And having risen early” along with the words following, do not appear in the existing Gospel with most copies, as they are considered spurious, we however, having found them in most of the accurate copies, and in accordance with the Palestinian Gospel, exactly how the truth of Mark is, have added together also that in it, that follows the Master’s resurrection- after the words “for they were afraid,” that is, from “And having risen early on the first day of the week” and so on, up to the words “by the signs accompanying.  Amen.” ‘

You can download the PDF Gospel of Mark of mine from which I cut and pasted the above.

Papyrus 64/67 Readings in Matthew

The oldest Greek manuscript we have of any significant part of the Gospel of Matthew is probably Papyrus 64/67 (𝔓⁶⁴). Regarding Papyrus 64, there are 7 places where the Byzantine Robinson-Pierpont (RP) text and/or the Textus Receptus (TR) disagree with the Critical Text (CT), and where P64 is also extant:

5:20, CT and P64 read υμων η δικαιοσυνη, RP has η δικαιοσυνη υμων

5:22, CT and P64 read αυτου, RP reads αυτου εικη

5:25, CT and P64 read ο κριτης, RP reads ο κριτης σε παραδω

5:27, CT and P64 and RP read ερρεθη, TR reads ερρεθη τοις αρξαιοις (difference between TR and Robinson-Pierpont)

26:8, CT and P64 read μαθηται, RP reads μαθηται αυτου

26:22, CT reads εις εκαστος, RP reads εκαστος αυτων, but P64 omits both of these

26:23, CT and P64 read μετ εμου την χειρα εν τω τρυβλιω, RP reads μετ εμου εν τω τρυβλιω την χειρα

So, P64 agrees with CT 5 out of 7, agrees with CT and RP against TR 1 out of 7, and against both CT and RP 1 out of 7.

The only really significant variant is 5:22. CT and P64 say “angry with his brother,” and RP text says “angry with his brother without a cause”

5:27, CT and P64 and RP say “You have heard that it was said,” and TR says, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago.”

26:22, CT says, “they began each one to say to him; RP says “they began each one of them to say to him,’ and P64 says “they began to say.”

Free Windows Fonts for TC Footnotes

I made a chart comparing the capabilities of 15 free Windows fonts at displaying glyphs you might need in Textual Criticism (TC) footnotes, including display of Coptic.  The fonts compared are: Cambria Math, Cardo, Antinoou, IFAOGrec, Brill, GentiumAlt, FreeSerifCoptic, DoulosSIL, Andika, Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman, New Athena Unicode, Titus Cyberbit Basic, SBL, and Galilee.

http://bibletranslation.ws/down/fonts.pdf