Tag Archives: TC

Accidental Scribal Addition

An Accidental Scribal Addition in DRP translation of Revelation

I finished translating the Apocalypse of John in April, 2006.  And now in August 2016, as I am making my TR and RP editions, I discovered a scribal error on my part.  In Rev. 16:11, I wrote in English “they reviled the name of the God of heaven.”  But the Greek only says ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸν θεὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, they reviled the God of heaven.  So, I made a scribal addition of the words “the name of.”  Even though my exemplar had the correct text.  Why did I accidentally do this?  Because two verses prior, the same word ἐβλασφήμησαν was followed by τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ, “they reviled the name of God,” and I was familiar with that phrase from just having translated that verse.  See immediately below my translation as it stood from April 2006 to August 2016.

16:9 καὶ ἐκαυματίσθησαν οἱ ἄνθρωποι καῦμα μέγα, καὶ ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἔχοντος τὴν ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ τὰς πληγὰς ταύτας, καὶ οὐ μετενόησαν δοῦναι αὐτῷ δόξαν.
⁹And the people were burned a very bad burn, and they reviled the name of God, the one having authority over these plagues; yet they did not repent to give him glory.

16:11 καὶ ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸν θεὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐκ τῶν πόνων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἑλκῶν αὐτῶν, καὶ οὐ μετενόησαν ἐκ τῶν ἔργων αὐτῶν.
¹¹and they reviled the name of the God of heaven, because of their pains and because of their ulcers, yet they did not repent of their works.

I looked in Hoskier’s apparatus to find out if any ancient scribes made the same mistake which I did, and lo, two of them did indeed make the same addition.

The minuscule 1957 reads in v. 11, ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ, an exact duplication of the previous phrase in v. 9, even without the τοῦ οὐρανοῦ of v. 11.

The Philoxenian Syriac in v. 11 reads ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.  My translation was an exact translation of the Philoxenian Syriac, without my knowledge or intent.

So, when you see the UBS Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament speculate that a phrase found in the BYZ text but not found in the UBS text, and they say it was added because of scribal familiarity with that phrase a couple verses prior, I can personally attest how that can and does happen.

Greek Cursive Ligatures

Quick-Reference Greek Ligature Guide

Many of us read printed editions or transcriptions of New Testament Greek frequently. But unless you are collating or reading minuscules often, you can forget the “ligatures” used in cursive manuscripts. Ligatures are the shorthand mergings or combinations of Greek letters that are found in cursive minuscule Greek manuscripts. I myself was reading minuscules often in the early 2000’s, but then after I stopped doing that, I have been forgetting the ligatures. So I use this guide myself when reading minuscules.

Here I offer free download of a quick-reference Greek ligature guide in PDF.  It has two narrow columns. So narrow, that you can make it a sliver on one side of your screen or monitor, and still have plenty of room for your mains documents. The first column is the more familiar form of a Greek letter or number, and on the right of that, a column showing various ligatures for that letter alone or ligatures for combinations of letters that start with that letter. It mostly uses Dr. Vernon Kooy’s character set, but also some others. I know that this will be useful to people in this group. The download is free, but you can also order a printed and bound edition from Lulu. Also, if someone has made a font or knows of a font that includes one or more ligatures than I have included in this document, please let me know, and I will add it to the document.

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Textual Variant Revelation 11:10

In Revelation 11:10, the Byzantine text says people will “give gifts” to each other, whereas the TR and NA28 says they will “send gifts.”  Which turns out to be the more accurate prediction of gifting in the future?

Revelation 11:10- txt πέμψουσιν ℵ² A C ƒ052 922 1006 1841 2040 2053txt vg it-gig Tyc1,3 Prim Ps-Ambr syriac coptic-bohairic arab TR SBL NA28 {\} πεμπουσιν ℵ* P coptic-sahidic arm2,3,4 Tyc2 Beat πεμψωσιν 2329 π̣[εμψου]σιν 𝔓⁴⁷ ‖ π̣[εμψουσιν] 𝔓¹¹⁵  πεμπειν 2053com  δώσουσιν 046 1828 eth RP hiat 051 2050 2062.  Both Papyrus 47 and Papyrus 115 read words that start with π, so they are some form of the word “send.” To download my document that contains this:  http://bibletranslation.ws/trans/revwgrk.pdf

Revelation 8:7 Homoioteleuton

A case of homoioteleuton in the Textus Receptus

Will one third of the earth be burned up or not?  Revelation 8:7.  This is a variant between Bible versions based on the Textus Receptus, and all others.  The Textus Receptus and the King James Version omit the first of the three phrases below, which means, “and one third of the earth will be burned up.”

καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῆς γῆς κατεκάη
καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῶν δένδρων κατεκάη
καὶ πᾶς χόρτος χλωρὸς κατεκάη

Only three late Greek manuscripts (out of 300+-) omit the first phrase, and it is a clear case of “homoioteleuton” that happened in the Greek copying process.  That means, the lines end the same, so a copyist, having left off his work for a break, then resumed doing his work, and he remembers, “I resume, at the line ending with κατεκάη,” but he resumed with the wrong line ending with κατεκάη.  Skipped one line by accident.  Homoioteleuton.

Or, it could have been a case of “homoioarcton,” that is, all three lines BEGIN the same, with καὶ, and the scribe having left off, resumed, thinking, “I resume with the line beginning with καὶ, but he picked the wrong line beginning with καὶ.

Interestingly, the scribe of manuscript 620 wrote the phrase in question two times, which is another kind of parablepsis from homoioteleuton.

As long as I am on this verse, let’s look at a Bible version.  As you can see, the word κατεκάη is used 3 times, the exact same word and same form of the word, and it means “burned up.”

NLT:  One-third of the earth was set on fire, one-third of the trees were burned, and all the green grass was burned.

So why does the New Living Translation render one of the occurrences of κατεκάη as “set on fire”?  This is simply unacceptable.  Just one of thousands of translation errors in the NLT.  I would never recommend the NLT, or the Message.  If you want a paraphrase, the Philips NT is much better, or the NIV.  I consider the NIV a mild paraphrase.

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Codex Sinaiticus Correctors

I have in August 2015 adopted the sigla conventions of the NA28 for the correctors of Codex Sinaiticus in Revelation, and updated my apparatus accordingly:

א*           4th century
א¹            4th – 6th century (only one occurrence- in 21:4
א²            7th century
א²a          7th century
א²b          7th century
אc            12th century

To download my translation of Revelation.

Most Important Greek Textual Variant

Is This the Most Important Greek Textual Variant?

Revelation 14:9-11 says that if anyone takes the mark of the beast, that person will be tortured in fire and sulphur for ever and ever.

So it is very important not to get the mark. But how will it happen that people take the mark? Will it be forced on them by the beast, or will they give it to themselves / get it for themselves? Because of this question, I think that the textual variant below from Revelation 13:16 is the most important textual variant in the Bible.

In the first set of manuscripts, “they” are giving the mark. In the second set, with the Textus Receptus alone among the editions, “he,” that is, the beast, is giving the mark.

“they” Aleph A C P 046 82 94 141 172 175 181 241 256 367 424 459 469 616 627 792 920 922 986 2059 1611 1678 1732 1778 1828 1854 1862 1888 2019 2020 2026 2028 2048 2067 2070 2080 2081 2138 2256 2349 2351 2436 sahidic WH VS TG RC AT PK NA27 HF RP SBL

“he” 051 2053 2065 2302 2329 2814 TR

Download this chart in the Swanson style for the variant in 78 manuscripts and 11 editions.

Rev. 13:16

KJV: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:”

NIV: He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,

NASB: And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,


DRP: And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to provide themselves a mark on their right upper limb or on their forehead,

Rev. 14:9-11: And another angel, a third one, followed those, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or on his hand, he shall himself also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, mixed undiluted in the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. And the smoke of their torture goes up for ever and ever, and they have no relief day or night, those who worship the beast and the image of him, and anyone who takes the mark of his name.”

I have received criticism of my rendering of this verse. Here is a copy of some of that discussion, from a discussion board:

Critic: “Surely the unmentioned subject of the plural verb δωσιν does not refer to those included in παντας, but rather is generic, namely, ‘He makes it so that they (generic) should give all a mark on their right hand or forehead,’ hence why most translations simply say ‘receive’ instead of the unnecessarily wooden-literal translation.”

My response:

Rev. 13:16 καὶ ποιεῖ πάντας, τοὺς μικροὺς καὶ τοὺς μεγάλους, καὶ τοὺς πλουσίους καὶ τοὺς πτωχούς, καὶ τοὺς ἐλευθέρους καὶ τοὺς δούλους, ἵνα δῶσιν αὐτοῖς χάραγμα ἐπὶ τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν τῆς δεξιᾶς ἢ ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον αὐτῶν,

Let me get this straight. You are saying that ποιεῖ, 3rd person singular, should be rendered “He makes it,” where there is no Greek word present for “it.” So you supply an object for the verb. And you are saying that δῶσιν, 3rd person plural, which means “they give,” agrees in grammatical concord with an un-named subject you supply, rather than agrees with the 3rd person plural πάντας, which immediately and naturally follows our verb ποιεῖ.

So, you are supplying both an unwritten object, and an unwritten subject. All in one sentence!
Call me unreasonable, but how is this “surely”? I don’t see anything sure about it.

If you truly honestly believe that that is what the Greek means, then you should write that in your translation, like this, “And he makes it so that they give everyone a mark…” That isn’t so wooden. But literal it certainly is not. That would be very far from literal.

And I want to state, in case some readers don’t know, that the pronoun αὐτοῖς can and often does mean “themselves” as in ἑαυτοῖς. There is a contraction in the Greek of that time for ἑαυτοῖς as follows : αὑτοῖς. Notice the difference between αὐτοῖς and αὑτοῖς? There is a huge difference. The first has a smooth breathing mark, so it means “them,” and the second has a rough breathing mark, so it means “themselves.” Reflexive meaning. But the earliest Greek manuscripts did not necessarily always have breathing marks and punctuation. One of the most common Greek textual variants in Revelation, about which I am very knowledgeable by the way, and won’t apologize for it, is this confusion between αὐτός and αὑτός in the minuscules.

I thus find it easy to defend my rendering of this verse in my translation of Revelation. Your defense on the other hand of “most translations” is a great example of why I do not trust “most translations,” and am doing my own.

To download my translation of the Revelation of John, use this link.

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Oxford TC Debate

The Oxford TC Debate

on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, @ New College, May 6, 1897, PDF, 162 MB is now downloadable here and on my new Bible translation page. The participants discussed theories by Hort, Scrivener and Burgon. Prebendary Miller represented Burgon. The other participants besides Mr. Miller were Dr. Ince, Professor Sanday, G. H. Gwilliam, A. C. Headlam, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Bonus.
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