Acts 5 Hidden Text

What TC term do we use for this kind of missing text? It’s not really a lacuna, but rather a binding issue. In Acts 5:15 in Codex E it reads και εν ταις πλατ___ because the rest of the word is hidden in the binding gutter of the codex/book. Muenster says it reads πλατειας and Swanson πλατειαις. (When I publish a book with Amazon, I am very generous with gutter size, because I don’t want to get anywhere near this problem. I want people to be able to place my book on a copier and be able to copy it without pressing too hard and ruining the binding, and also so that no text is obscured or distorted by the falling away of the gutter.)

Acts Ch 4 Verse 12 Variant

Acts 4:12

υπο τον ουρανον το δεδομενον εν ανθρωποις ℵ A B E Ψ 0165 33 181 1175 1739 1891 Chrys Cyr TR AT BG SBL TH NA29 {/}

υπο τον ουρανον το δεδομενον ανθρωποις D¹

υπο τον ουρανον ο δεδομενον ανθρωποις D*

το δεδομενον εν ανθρωποις υπο τον ουρανον 1611 syr-h

το δεδομενον εν ανθρωποις P 049 056 RP

lac 𝔓⁷⁴ C H L

The Robinson-Pierpont text omits the phrase υπο τον ουρανον “under heaven.” There is no footnote about this even in the NA28. Is this a case of homoioteleuton, νον to νον? In Acts, I generally go against the Nestle-Aland text when all the earliest minuscules are against it. But here, they, 33 181 1175 1611 1739 1891, are all with it, and against the Robinson-Pierpont text. The RP text does not even have the Harklean Syriac this time. Nor are the Textus Receptus and the Antoniades Greek patriarchal text with it.

Acts 27 verse 19

I am translating Acts chapter 27. In verse 18 it says that, because of being in a violent storm, they lightened the ship by throwing stuff overboard. Then in verse 19 it says they threw stuff overboard “with their own hands.” But wait, whose hands were doing the ship lightening in verse 18 then?

Was it because of this very problem that the Byz text of verse 19 has the main verb in the 1st person, to differentiate the actors from verse 18? So the Byz text says “WE threw the ship’s equipment overboard with our own hands.”

Who is “we”? Paul, Luke and Aristarchus?

Then again even later, in verse 38, the crew throws cargo overboard to lighten the ship.

Some possibilities I see are:

  1. The Byz text changed the verb in v. 19 to the 1st person in order to eliminate the seeming nonsense described above.
  2. The 𝔓⁷⁴ ℵ A B C text wrote the verse 19 verb in the 3rd person by unconscious assimilation to the 3rd person verbs in the preceding verse.
  3. A long shot, but perhaps the original text in v. 18 had the violent storm itself causing the cargo to fly off the ship, and then in v. 19 the crew starting throwing stuff off with their own hands.

Acts 27:19 txt ερριψαν 𝔓⁷⁴ ℵ A B C 33 181 1175 1739 1891 2464 latt cop SBL TH NA29 {\} ερριψαμεν L Ψ 049 056 1611 𝔐 syr eth Chrys TR RP lac 𝔓⁴⁵ 𝔓¹¹² D E H.

Read Acts so far here:

Gospel of John Byzantine Printed

I have published a paperback edition of my translation of the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text of the Gospel according to John on Amazon. This is a new format, 8 1/2 X 11 in, in order to fit a large chart of manuscript readings of the Pericope Adulterae. This book has the Greek text alternating with my English translation.

There is also a Kindle edition of the same book available, except minus the PA chart, as that chart is just to complex and large for Kindle.

Pericope Adulterae GA2220

Life for a scribe was hard before computers and typewriters. In this 12th century manuscript, minuscule 2220, (picture below) which resides in the Limonos Monastery in Lesbos, the scribe was copying and writing the Pericope of the Adulteress section of the gospel of John. In the first page you can see the end of John 7:52, ἴδε ὅτι προφήτης ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας οὐκ ἐγήγερται – “see that there is no prophet risen out of Galilee.” Then next he wrote John 8:1, Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν – “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.”

Then, he realized that he had skipped John 7:53.  And so he erased what he had written on the rest of the folio, and started the next folio with John 7:53, και απηλθεν εκαστος εις τον οικον αυτου “and each went to his own home.” (the Antoniades, Hodges and Farstad, Pickering reading.)  The scribe thought, and I would agree, that starting on a new page was preferable to writing over erased text.

Now why did he skip John 7:53 in the first place?  Some other MSS did also, some of them clearly because of homoioteleuton or homoioarcton.  Because 7:53 is each departing to their own home, and 8:1 is Jesus departing to the Mount of Olives.  Scribes skipped from επορευθη to επορευθη, or from απηλθεν to απηλθεν.  In the case of GA 2220 here, he could have had more than one exemplar, and one had επορευθη and another had απηλθεν. Manuscripts 295 and 2411 also skip 7:53, 2411 from επορευθη to επορευθη.

Singular Reading in GA992

Singular (or rather in this case, rare) readings are fun. John 8:8-9 says Jesus said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” then bent down again and was writing in the earth. Then after that all the manuscripts say “when they heard Οι δε ακουσαντες. Except 992 and 20 other manuscripts, which say “when they read” what he wrote.

If your brother sins

Matthew 18:15-17
¹⁵Now if your brother sins, go show him his fault, just between you and him.  If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.  ¹⁶But if he does not listen, take with you one or two others, so that ‘upon the mouths of two or three witnesses every matter be established.’  ¹⁷And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly.  And if he refuses to listen to the assembly, he should be regarded by you no differently than a gentile or a revenue agent.”

I agree with the UBS textual commentary that the phrase “against you” [if your brother sins against you] might have been added in order to harmonize this verse with the “against me” of v. 21 shortly thereafter where Peter asks, “How many times shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?”

Peter was thinking of himself, but Jesus was thinking of the whole church and church discipline.

In my opinion, when it comes to variants in the Greek text of the New Testament, this is one of the most damaging, the longer reading containing “against you,” is damaging. Here is the practical situation.  A brother is reported to have sinned, or be sinning.  But not sinning against anyone in particular in that community.  So no one goes and confronts him about it, because it was not involving them.  The result is gossip, and then inflating of the original rumor, and even ultimately progressing to people “bearing false witness against their neighbor.” I know very well this scenario personally, because there are rumors about me sinning which are false rumors, but no one has come to me to talk to me about it. The rumor just keeps spreading, and takes on the appearance of truth since so many people have heard it.

Does anyone in that scenario want to “win back your brother”?  If you have Christian love for your brother, you will go to him and talk to him about it, even if he did not sin against you in particular, because if the rumor is true, you want him to be restored.  And if the rumor is not true, you do not want people spreading untrue things about your brother. This may not be scientific textual criticism, but I believe for practical and doctrinal and ecclesiological reasons that the shorter reading must be correct.

This is a very important, and very wonderful passage in the Bible, if applied correctly. Because it nips in the bud the problem of gossip. If you cannot get one or two others to agree to be witnesses with you against this brother regarding the accusation, then the accusation is probably not true. And if you do get someone to go with you, and you confront the brother, and he asks, when and were did you see me do this sin, and neither you nor your witnesses can answer that question, then that is another indication that the rumor is false. You have just been believing a rumor, started perhaps by some jealous person who has a personal problem with the accused. Then after finding that out, you have an obligation to rebuke anyone whom you hear repeating the false rumor.

You can download my translation of the Gospel of Matthew here.

Acitivities October 2023

These are the activities of David Robert Palmer in October 2023:

  1. I am updating, and adding more manuscripts to my chart of the manuscript readings for the Pericope Adulterae, in the style of Swanson. Then the plan is to add it to my 2nd edition of the Gospel of John. In addition to soon publishing a Second Edition of my eclectic-text based Gospel of John, I am composing a Robinson-Pierpont edition, which will also include the PA chart. You can download the PA chart by itself still, at this link:
  2. On the side I am casually making a harmony of five translations of the Book of Enoch, blending the translations of Richard Laurence, R.H. Charles, M. Knibb, George Schodde, and Matthew Black, plus consulting two Greek manuscripts myself. If you like you can download that file now, and keep checking back for updates: