Crowd versus Crowds

As I make my Byzantine edition of Matthew’s gospel, I get annoyed sometimes by the numerousness of variants that are meaningless in the Greek manuscripts and even in the editions thereof. Matthew chapter 15 verse 36 is a good example, in which there are a half dozen unimportant variants.

One that is actually amazing to me is that the word for crowd, οχλος, is plural in the NA28 but singular in the Robinson-Pierpont, yet in the previous verse, v. 35, they switch, and οχλος is singular in the NA28 and plural in the RP! Both verses are talking about the same crowd and occasion.

15:35 τοις οχλοις E F G H K L M N P S U V W X Γ Δ Π Σ Φ 0233 2 118 565 700 1071 𝔐 it-a,d,e,f,k,q syr-c,p cop-bo Hil TR RP τους οχλους C 892c 1424 τω οχλω ℵ B D Θ ƒ¹ ƒ¹³ 33 157 346 579 788 892* it-b,ff¹,f²,g¹,g²,l vg syr-h cop-sa-mss,mae,bo-mss arm eth Or SBL TH NA28 {\} lac A Q Z 0281 28 69.

15:36 τω οχλω C D E F G H N P S U W X Γ Δ Θ Σ Φ 2 118 565 1071 1424 𝔐 it> vg cop-sa-mss,mae arm Chr TR RP τοις οχλοις ℵ B K L M Π ƒ¹ ƒ¹³ 33 157 238 243 346 579 700 788 it-e,f,ff¹ syr cop-sa-ms,bo SBL TH NA28 {\} ‖ lac A Q Z 0233 0281 28 69. 

I offer a few observations: 1.) The plural is maintained in both by L M Π 700 syr-c,p cop-bo.  (2.) The singular is maintained in both by arm.  I would not begrudge any translator rendering all these as a singular.  (3.) This may demonstrate how insignificant the singular v. plural of οχλος is.

Current Activities

Though I still have a job doing something I don’t want to do, I now have a little more spare time than I did the last few years. Also, I moved to the state of Florida. I am currently working on 3 projects at once:

1.) Revising and updating my translation of the Apocalypse of John, or the Book of Revelation. My original edition I did about 15 years ago, and it still refers to the UBS4 and NA27. I am updating the GNT editions cited to include the SBL and Tyndale House editions, and of course UBS5 and NA28, as well as the BG, family 35 and Antoniades here and there. In addition, I am eliminating the accentuation of the Greek in the textual variant footnotes, since the direction of the accents would be technically incorrect when outside of the sentence and punctuation of the actual Bible text, and the early manuscripts did not contain them. This is what the Nestle-Aland editions do in their footnotes. This is all in preparation for publishing on Amazon.

2. Revising and updating my translation of the gospel of Matthew, since, again, my original was done 20 years ago or more, and I have learned much since then, and also become less closed to the Byzantine text stream. Like with Revelation, I am adding citation to the SBL and TH editions, but also adding many more textual variants in comparison to the Robinson-Pierpont text, as I am simultaneously creating a Robinson-Pierpont (RP) edition. This is all in preparation for publishing on Amazon.

3. Still slowly translating the Acts of the Apostles, currently in chapter 25.

Byzantine Gospel Mark Paperback

I just published “The Gospel According to Mark, a New English Translation of the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform” in paperback form on Amazon.

Alternates verse by verse between the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text and Author’s English translation, with many Textual Criticism footnotes and commentary footnotes and end notes by David Robert Palmer. The critical apparatus is after the pattern of the United Bible Societies’ editions. Includes the readings of most all manuscripts and witnesses 8th century and earlier; and the readings of at least five Greek New Testament editions: The NA28, SBL, Tyndale House, Robinson-Pierpont, and the Textus Receptus. Contains cross references to “Palmer’s Diatessaron,” a harmony of the gospels in English similar to Tatian’s.

The same work is also available as a Kindle book.

I published a paperback of the eclectic edition of Mark’s gospel as well.

The Gospel According to Mark, Robinson-Pierpont edition

Matthew ch 13 v 15 correctors

I was collating Codex E (07) for Matthew chapter 13 verse 15 and saw that Tischendorf says a corrector changed ιασομαι to ιασωμαι, if I understand the notations correctly. But to me, it looks a change in the other direction. He also says Codex Δ (037) corrected from ιασωμαι to ιασομαι. What do you think?

Here is a snip from Tischendorf’s apparatus:

Tischendorf apparatus Mt 13:15b

Here is a snip from Codex E (07):

ιασομαι in Codex E

Here is a snip from Codex Δ (037)

ιασωμαι to ιασομαι in Codex Δ (037)

Definite Article Variant

In Matthew 13 verse 2, there is a Greek textual variant involving the Greek definite article, in this case the neuter singular accusative, with the word for boat, so το πλοιον.

The pre-9th century witnesses are as follows:

πλοιον ℵ B C L W Z Σ SBL TH NA28 {\} το πλοιον D E Φ 𝔐 TR RP lac A N P 0233 0281

Note that the Textus Receptus contains the definite article with “boat,” but the English translations based on the TR do not say “the boat” but rather “a boat / a ship.”  See the Geneva Bible, Tyndale, Bishops’ Bible, the KJV, and the NKJV, which all say “a” not “the.”  This is because the definite article in Greek does not necessarily mean “the” in English.  The article here is not anaphoric, as it cannot be referring back to a known boat, since there is no boat mentioned previously in the context.  The article cannot be referring to “the only” boat, because there were several boats owned by the disciples, besides the fact that other people could have had boats on hand.

To download my translation of Matthew containing this footnote, click here.

What is the “firmament” in Genesis 1:6?

Hebrew: רקיע


Brown-Driver-Briggs Definition:

1) extended surface (solid), expanse, firmament

1a) (flat) expanse (as if of ice, compare הַקֶּרַח כְּעֵין), as base, support (WklAltor. Forsch. iv. 347) Eze_1:22-23, Eze_1:25(gloss ? compare Co Toy), Eze_1:26 (supporting ׳י’s throne). Hence (CoEze_1:22)

1b) the vault of heaven, or ‘firmament,’ regarded by Hebrews as solid, and supporting ‘waters’ above it, Gen_1:6-7, (3 t. in verse); Gen_1:8 (called שָׁמַיַם; all P), Psa_19:2 (|| הַשָּׁמַיַם), הָר ׳זֹהַר Dan_12:3; also הַשָּׁמִיִם ׳ר Gen_1:14-15, Gen_1:17, ר ׳עַלמְּֿנֵי ׳הַשּׁ Gen_1:20 (all P). **עֻזּוֺ רְקִיעַ Psa_150:1 (suffix reference to ׳י).

1b1) considered by Hebrews as solid and supporting ‘waters’ above

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H7554

Greek: στερέωμα   A “calque” from Hebrew; not a loan word, but a loan translation.

In linguistics, a calque (/kælk/) or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal word-for-word or root-for-root translation. When used as a verb, “to calque” means to borrow a word or phrase from another language while translating its components, so as to create a new lexeme in the target language. For instance, the English word “skyscraper” led to calques in dozens of other languages.


[in LXX: Gen_1:6 ff., Psa_19:1; Psa_150:1, Eze_1:22-26; Eze_10:1; Eze_13:5, Da LXX, TH Da 3:56, Dan_12:3 (H7549), Deu_33:26 (H7834), Psa_18:2; Psa_71:3 (H5553), Es 9:29, 1Es_8:78 (82), Sir_43:1; Sir_43:8, 1Ma_9:14 *;]

a solid body;

(a) a support, foundation (Arist., al.); metaph., strength (Psa_17:1-15; Psa_70:1-5, 1Mac, ll. c.); steadfastness, firmness: τ. πίστεως, Col_2:5;

(b) the dome of heaven (believed to be a solid canopy), the firmament (LXX).†


solid body, Hp. Flat. 8, Anaxag. ap. Placit. 2.25.9. ἄϋλα ς . immaterial solids, Dam. Pr. 425, cf. 205 .

2. foundation or framework, e.g. the skeleton, on which the body is, as it were, built, Arist. PA 655a22; στερεώματος ἕνεκα τοῦ περιτρήτου to strengthen it, Hero Bel. 95.8: metaph., solid part, strength of an army, LXX 1Ma_9:14; also, ratification, ἐπιστολῆς ib. Esa_9:29; steadfastness, τῆς πίστεως Ep.Col_2:5 .

3. = στεῖρα (of a ship), Thphr. HP 5.7.3 .

4. firmament, i.e. the sky, the heaven above, LXX Gen_1:6, Eze_1:22, al.; τὸν τῶν οὐρανίων ς. δεσπότην Tab.Defix.Aud. 242.8 (Carthage, iii A.D. ).

The NET Bible footnote:

An expanse. In the poetic texts the writers envision, among other things, something rather strong and shiny, no doubt influencing the traditional translation “firmament” (cf. NRSV “dome”). Job 37:18 refers to the skies poured out like a molten mirror. Dan 12:3 and Ezek 1:22 portray it as shiny. The sky or atmosphere may have seemed like a glass dome. For a detailed study of the Hebrew conception of the heavens and sky, see L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World, 37-60.