Tag Archives: textual criticism

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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Longer Ending of Mark

The Longer Ending of Mark

The “Longer Ending” of the gospel of Mark was not the majority text, as late as the 5th century.  Victor of Antioch said that the majority of copies of Mark in Antioch in the 5th century lacked Mark 16:9-20. It is deceptive to indicate that the absence of the Mark Longer Ending has scant MS evidence. It would also be deceptive to state that the omission of Mark 16:9-20 is an Egyptian or Alexandrian one. Again, Severus, in Antioch, Syria, and Victor, in Antioch, Syria acknowledged that in the 5th century, the best copies, and even the majority of copies, omitted Mark 16:9-20. This is why I do not care what the number of copies made in the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th centuries, do include it. Isn’t that reasonable? See my notes in my translation of the Gospel of Mark.

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Eusebius ad Marinum

EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA, Gospel Problems and Solutions, Quaestiones ad Stephanum et Marinum

Announcing a new upload for you to download. This PDF contains Eusebius’ Quaestiones ad Stephanum et Marinum. Edited by Roger Pearse, Greek and Latin translated by David J. D. Miller.  This document contains the famous passage by Eusebius which indicates that in his day, almost all copies of the Gospel of Mark did not contain 16:9-20.  For that section of the text, right-click Eusebius- Gospel Problems and Solutions, Quaestiones ad Marinum, and choose “save as,” and tell your computer where to save the pdf, then open it and go to page 113 of the pdf, (p. 97 of the printed document.)  There you will find the section entitled “To Marinus.”

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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.

Simon the Zealot or Canaanite?

In Mark 3:18 and Matthew 10:4, the the King James Bible has Simon as a Canaanite.  However, in Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13, the KJV has Simon as a Zealot.  These are not really compatible to be mutually co-existent, since Jesus would not have appointed a Gentile to be one of the Twelve, or one of the names on the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:14.  In teh Matthew passage, in the very next verse, Matt. 10:5, Jesus tells the twelve not to go down any Gentile road, but to go “only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  Jesus surely would not tell a Gentile that.  Moreover, since the KJV admits that Simon was a zealot, this is also unlikely, that a Gentile would be a Zealot, one of the factions of Judaism.  The earliest manuscripts of Matthew and Mark say Simon was a καναναῖος, which word was derived from the Aramaic word for Zealot.  And the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine text have Simon a Κανανίτης.  Strong’s Concordance for this word, G2581, says this word also is derived from קנּא kan-naw’, “Jealous.” Canaan in Greek consistently starts with the letter Χ :

Canaan (ie., Genesis 13:12) Χανααν; Canaanite: Χαναναίων (Genesis 10:18) Χαναναίους (Genesis 15:21)  And in the NT, for the Canaanite woman, Matt 15:22, Χαναναία

BDAG Lexicon: “Κανανίτης, ου, ὁ man from Cana, Cananite. Acc. to Strabo 14, 5, 14 one of the two Stoics named Athenodorus received this name to distinguish him fr. the other Ath.; ἀπὸ κώμης τινός (Cana near Tarsus) was added. Numerous mss. replace the apparently unintelligible Καναναῖος with this term.” Under Κανά it says the home of, “according to many, also of Simon, Mt 10:4 (s. Καναναῖος). – Heinz Noetzel, Christus und Dionysus ’60. – EDNT.BBHW II 926. M-M.”

The bottom line is that both variants apparently mean the same thing: someone from Cana.  The KJV saying Canaanite is simply rendered incorrectly in English.

I have updated my footnotes on the pertinent passages in Matthew and Mark.  They are linked for downloading.

2 Peter with Greek text

Announcing a new Greek-English diglot of 2nd Epistle of Peter, with TC footnotes citing 9 Greek editions: TR, Tregelles, Westcott-Hort, Antoniades, VonSoden, Robinson-Pierpont, Byzantine Greek New Testament (f35), SBL, and NA28/ECM2. And citing Greek MSS P72 P74 01 A B C K L P 044 048 049 0142 0156 0209 0247 5 33 307 623 665 1175 1241 1243 1448 1735 1739 1852 2298 2423 2464 2805.

TR edition cited is Stephens 1550, except in 3:7, where Stephens, Beza, Elzevir, Erasmus, and Scrivener are split.


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