Revelation Apocalypse in Print

I have published the Apocalypse of John in paper and ink:

• large size – 8.25 x 11 inches
• large font – 12 point font
• 168 pages
• 518 footnotes
• 82 endnotes
• 3 tables
• Bargain price! $7.59, €6.93

A new English translation from the ancient Greek, the English text alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; with footnotes pertaining to translation issues and pertaining to Greek textual variants.  This latter “critical apparatus” cites 86 Greek manuscripts,  6 Greek New Testament editions, as well as early versions and Fathers.  The editions collated are the NA28, SBL, TH (Tyndale House), Robinson-Pierpont, Byzantine Greek, Antoniades, and the Textus Receptus.  When the dozens of editions of the Textus Receptus disagree, this is noted.  At the end of the book are several tables, including a list of all  handwritten Greek manuscripts of the Apocalypse of John.

Hoskier and Ligature Books Published

This is a reminder that in 2010 and 2011 I published some books on Lulu, and they are still available:

Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse” by H. C. Hoskier, paperback, 647 pages. $21.55

Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse” by H. C. Hoskier, hard cover, 647 pages. $39.18

Quick Reference Greek Ligature Guide, by David Robert Palmer; paperback, 55 pages, $14.95

1 Timothy 3 Verse 16

There is a famous Greek textual variant in 1 Timothy 3:16, where the “critical text,” SBL TH NA28 reads

 Ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί  “Who/he was manifested in the flesh.” (relative pronoun)

and the “majority text,” TR RP reads

θεὸϛ ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί  “God was manifested in the flesh.”

The difference originally in the most ancient manuscripts was much less clear in appearance.  Because there was a custom of contracting or abbreviating sacred names and concepts, by shortening them to fewer letters and putting a line over the whole group of letters, as can be seen in the correction in Codex Claromontanus (D- 06).  (These contractions were called “Nomina Sacra” or NS for short.)  Observe that the two-letter NS for God ΘΕΟC, which is just ΘC with a line over it, as seen in the correction of Codex Claromontanus, looks very similar to the relative pronoun OC in Codex Sinaiticus.  Note that Sinaiticus did not have an overline originally, and a late third hand made a correction toward the majority text.

What could have contributed to the problem is that scribes such as the one for Codex A used a caligraphy type pen tip, which was wide in a down stroke and very thin in a horizontal stroke. Thus the cross-bar in the capital letter Theta, Θ, could be very faint and therefore look like a capital Omicron, Ο.

Codex Claromontanus (D – 06) below:

Codex Sinaiticus (01) below:

Codex Alexandrinus (02) below:

Comparing Transcriptions

In the process of finalizing my Revelation with Greek document for publishing, I am searching for every ? in the footnotes, in order to determine a more definite conclusion for the critical apparatus if possible, and eliminate the ?.  There was a ? after a reading of MS GA 1888 in Revelation 2:13.  This is an 11th century minuscule residing in Jerusalem, with the reference number 181 in Hoskier’s collation in Volume 2 of “Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse.”  As you can see in the attached image snips, Hoskier says 181* (original hand) reads αντειπασ and then notes that the word και following was erased.

Whereas the Münster transcription site says the MS reads ἀντίπας, with no indication of a corrector regarding that. The blue text shows that και is the original hand, and a java script mouse-over window shows that a corrector erased και.

But here is a snip of the actual manuscript, GA1888:

I think Hoskier is correct that there is a correction regarding αντιπας. I am told that what looks like a circumflex accent above it may be some kind of indicator from the scribe to read a marginal note about a correction.  So, I still have an unanswered question.  Which is the original reading of 1888- ἀντίπας or ἀντεῖπας?  I certainly understand why Hoskier left a ? after it.  For comparison to the uncials, ℵ* C P 046 RP TH read Αντιπας, and ℵ² A SBL NA28 read Αντειπας.  Would the correction be more likely to have moved toward 046 and the RP majority text?  (Note that the Tyndale House ed. differs from the SBL and NA28.) This variant is not treated in the footnotes of the NA28 nor of the UBS5.  However, there is a footnote in the Tyndale House edition that does reference Antipas, and it states that Codex A reads Αντιπας, whereas Codex A definitely reads Αντειπας.  See image of Codex A below, where Antipas is the last word in the image.  Perhaps the Münster and Tyndale House editors are considering ἀντίπας versus ἀντεῖπας as a trivial difference in spelling of the same word, and not worth noting.  (Except that elsewhere, the Münster site does note this kind of difference.)   One problem with Codex A is that its Π, Pi, usually has a very faint or even invisible top crossbar, and so, for example, here with Antipas, it looks like three Iotas in a row and then AC.

You can download my Revelation with Greek pdf here.

Singular Textus Receptus Readings

There are twenty-four or so textual variants in the Textus Receptus text of the Revelation of John which have extremely slim or zero Greek manuscript support.  Usually, two handwritten Greek manuscripts agree with these readings.  These MSS are 296 and 2049.  They used to be known as 57 and 141 respectively.

However, H. C. Hoskier, who did a two-volume investigation of all the manuscripts of the Apocalypse of John, says this about them in Text 2, p. 156, lines 26,27: “This MS 187 with 57 and 141 must not be accorded any weight whatsoever.  They are brought into the record because of their very connection with the printed text.”   See also Text 2, p. 156, lines 26,27, where he says “… 57 et 141 ex ed. typ. exscripti.”  The Latin means “copied from printed edition(s).”

In their own pages which describe each, Hoskier had this to say.  About 296 (old 57) he says in Text 1, p. 179, “I suppose I ought to eliminate 57 from the list altogether.”  And on p. 180 Hoskier says, “So 57 becomes Colinaeus.”

About 2049, (old 141) he says in Text 1, p. 474, that MS 2049 is most like Erasmus’ 4th Edition, because the whole manuscript is word for word to it, except for one word, in 22:21, ἡμῶν for ὑμῶν.  Which could easily have been an error made by the copyist when copying Erasmus.  This exact variant is one of the most common mistakes scribes made throughout the Greek New Testament.  There are a few uses of contractions, which differs from Erasmus not adding up to a word of difference, but that is to be expected from a scribe who was hand copying such a large document.  It is reasonable to conclude that 2049 is a handwritten copy of Erasmus’ 4th edition (1527).

Below are snips from his book.  I have also added these images to my Revelation with Greek document which you can download here.

July 21 update

Hello brothers and sisters, here is what has been happening in the last two weeks.

Roughly a dozen people in China, using the search engine Baidu, downloaded the PDF of 1 Peter with Greek. In the last few months it is apparent that China loosened their Internet censorship somewhat, because for years I got no traffic from Baidu. It opens up only intermittently. Anyway, there must have been a co-ordinated study of the First Epistle of Peter going on there.

There were several downloads of the gospel of Luke in north African countries. Speaking of Luke, that is the favorite Bible book in the country of Iran, judging by the history of downloads from my site.

I started a Facebook page for Please visit it and “like it” if you will.

The document I am hard at work on is the Revelation with Greek file. I am perfecting the table of manuscripts of Revelation, and have expanded the footnotes. UPDATE: This now published in paper and ink in paperback form on Amazon. I tell you, my free PDF of this document which you can download, represents a tremendous amount of work over the years that you are getting for free. You should download it while you can.

Pericope of the Adulteress

In the Pericope of the Adulteress, John 8:6 has the most significant and interesting variant in the passage.  In the part where Jesus bends down and writes in the ground, about half of the majority text manuscripts add the words μη προσποιουμενος, see below.

εις την γην D Μ S U Γ Λ Ω 047 0233 2c 7 8 9 28 65c 115sup 118 700 892 1049 1071 1203 1216 1243 1514 2722 lat TR-Eras,Beza,Elz,Steph AN HF BG [NA28]

εις την γην       προσποιουμενος 1194

εις την γην μη προσποιουμενος E G H K 2* 18 27 35 65* 346 475 532 579 682 1212 1505 1519 2561-mg 2253 2907 geo-mss TR-Scriv RP

  lac  F P Q V Π

The John 8:6 passage it translated into English like this: “But Jesus bent down and was writing in the earth with his finger, taking no notice.”

But what was Jesus writing?  Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat (and Jerome before him) has a good answer to this.

Just prior to this in John 7:38, Jesus had declared himself to be the fountain of living waters.  And now that the Jewish leaders had turned away from that fountain, Jeremiah 17:13 was being fulfilled in two ways: they were put to shame, and their names were being written in the earth. Jeremiah 17:13 says, “Thou hope of Israel, Yahweh! All that forsake Thee shall be ashamed; they that turn away from Thee shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Yahweh, the fountain of living waters.”

This is in contrast to those who believe in the Son of God and are born again.  Their names are written in heaven, not in the earth which will be destroyed.  Luke 10:20; Hebrews 12:23; Phil 4:3; Rev. 13:8; 17:8;20:12,15; 21:27; Psalm 69:28.

The above material can be read in my translation of the gospel of John, in PDF and in Print, and in Kindle.

Mark of the Beast 666

I have an interesting book by an ex-Muslim terrorist who has become a Christian. In his book he puts forth a theory on what glyphs looked like which the apostle John originally wrote in Revelation 13:18 for the mark of the beast. His theory is a visual one, in which you take the Greek abbreviation for 666 found in many of the manuscripts and turn the letters on their side. So take χξς and turn the letters leftward onto their sides, and it looks quite a lot like a famous slogan in Arabic script that is central to Islam.

I am quite sure the theory is not correct, but here are snips of the four earliest Greek manuscripts of this verse that we have:

The abbreviation χ̅ξ̅ϛ̅ for 666 in Papyrus 47:

The abbreviation χ̅̅ι̅ϛ̅ for 616 in Papyrus 115:

The number 666 written out in Codex Sinaiticus (ℵ) as εξακοσιαι εξηκοντα ἕξ

The number 666 written out in Codex Alexandrinus (A) as εξακοσιοι εξήκοντα ἕξ:

I have an updated footnote on this in my Revelation PDF. Download it here.