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.
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.
EDIT: My next post updates this one, as I was mistaken in this post. But I will leave it for the images and information / illustration of the difficulties of reading New Testament Greek Ligatures.
As I posted before, I am currently busy updating and improving the footnotes to my translation of the Revelation of John, “The Apocalypse of John.” One of the ways I am expanding the footnotes, is specifying which Vulgate manuscripts (not just editions) support what reading. Also, where the Textus Receptus is divided, specifying which editions read what.
In this process, I have found several places in which I disagree with H. C. Hoskier’s collation of the TR editions. I do not know if he was relying on someone else’s collations, or if he looked at the original documents themselves. But the problem lies in understanding the ligatures for letter combinations that are used in Greek cursive manuscripts, including the Greek New Testament editions made by Erasmus, Beza, Elzevir, and Stephens. Now, I possess PDF copies of the original cursive manuscripts of the following “Textus Receptus” editions. All 5 Erasmus editions, the 1550 Stephanus edition, the 1598 Beza edition, the 1624 Elzevir edition, plus the Complutensian Polyglot (1514).
Revelation 17:8 variant- καιπερ εστιν
There is a famous textual variant in Revelation chapter 17 verse 8 where the Textus Receptus disagrees with all Greek manuscripts and reads καιπερ εστιν. However, I found that I disagree with Hoskier regarding the readings of Erasmus’ editions 1, 3 and 4, as follows.
First, a snip showing what Hoskier says:
Erasmus Ed. 1 (1516): Hoskier says και περ is two words, I say one:
Erasmus Ed. 3 (1522) very clearly reads καί παρ, not καί περ:
Erasmus Ed. 4 (1527) very clearly reads καί παρ, not καί περ:
See here the difference- Erasmus Ed. 5 (1535) shows the ligature for περ:
I still offer my chart of Greek cursive ligatures for free (also thanks go to Vernon Eugene Kooy, PhD for his font). These above images and data are now included in my Revelation pdf, downloadable for free.
The word Armageddon is found only once in the Bible, in Revelation 16:16. “And He gathered them together at the place called in Hebrew Harmagedōn.”
There is a great variety of spellings of the word in the Greek and Latin manuscripts of the New Testament. But there are two main divisions of the spellings: those with just Magedon, and those with the AR in front.
The earliest Greek manuscripts have αρμαγεδων. Here is the image snipped from Codex Alexandrinus (Codex A), 5th century:
The Greek New Testament editions read as follows:
Ἁρμαγεδών Antoniades, Robinson-Pierpont, SBL, and NA28
Ἀρμαγεδών BG (Byzantine Greek), and TH (Tyndale House)
Ἀρμαγεδδών TR (Textus Receptus)
The difference between the first two spellings is the “breathing mark” in front of or above the initial vowel. The first one has a backwards apostrophe, and that is the “h” sound in Greek, so Harmagedon.” The second and third spellings have a regular-facing apostrophe and so that has no “h” sound, thus Armagedon.
John tells us that it is a Hebrew name, so the Har would be Hebrew for mountain, and Magedō would be the place called Megiddo, mentioned in 2 Chronicles 35:22 and Judges 1:27. So “Mountain of Megiddō.” This was a frequent battleground because of a strategic pass and the Megiddo plain below. You can download here the book of Revelation with a fuller accounting of the readings in the Greek manuscripts.
In my ( David Robert Palmer ) translation documents, I provide a critical apparatus in the footnotes, indicating what ancient Greek, Latin and other manuscripts support which Greek text reading. However, I have up to this point been dissatisfied with the citations of Latin Vulgate manuscripts. I had been getting them from the footnotes of the Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies’ editions, and also from, in the case of Revelation, on which I am currently working, H. C. Hoskier.
The problem I have with the Vulgate citations is that they are citing “editions.” They are not citing particular manuscripts of a certain date, but editions of all of them. For example, right now I am revising and expanding my footnotes in the Apocalypse of John. Quite often, the Textus Receptus and the King James Version have a reading that is found in no Greek manuscript, but only in one edition of the Vulgate, the “Clementine” edition, which is indicated by the sigla vg cl in the apparatuses. The majority reading in the same variant set may be supported by vg ww,st . The st stands for Stuttgart, which comes from a 5th century edition. The ww represents another critical edition, the Wordsworth-White.
Would it make a difference to you if you learned that the Clementine Vulgate dates from the year 1592, and was made for Pope Clement VIII? But, this Vulgate too, is an edition which seeks to ascertain the earliest text, especially of Jerome, and has been updated with revisions, to a final edition in 1995.
It gets murky when I try to cite the Latin evidence. A given Latin manuscript can be “Vetus Latina” or “Old Latin” in some books of the New Testament, while in Revelation or some other book, its text is considered “Vulgate” text.
So, for the Vulgate in Revelation I do use the sigla found in the UBS and NA footnotes for the Stuttgart, Wordsworth-White, and Clementine editions, but I also indicate when Hoskier or Tischendorf lets us know the readings of specific Vulgate manuscripts. These are:
am – Codex Amiatinus, beginning of the VIII century fu – Codex Fuldensis 541-546 tol – Codex Toletanus 950 dem – Codex Demidovianus XIII harl – Codex Harleianus, second half of the IX century lipss – 3 Leipzig Latin mss cited in Tischendorf 8th Edition
I am lately inclined to think as follows. The k or l variant was original, but copyists not fluent in LXX or Koine Greek took its meaning by lexical glosses only, as “I am become the Alpha and Omega.” This seemed doctrinally incorrect, since Jesus had always been the Alpha and Omega, not become just now. (The expression “I am become” is very common in the Old Testament. And the NT authors, including John, frequently used the verb γινομαι as merely “to be.”) So, thinking the “become” idea must more sensibly apply to the previous statement of Jesus’ words, “These words are trustworthy and true,” they thought this phrase was referring to that, that those words are “accomplished” now. Then they had to add the words εγω, “I,” or εγω ειμι, “I am,” to apply to the following Alpha and Omega.
In the Apocalypse of John, also known as the book of Revelation, Jesus says the phrase “I am coming soon” four times. The Greek word rendered “soon” is ταχυ (neuter of ταχυς). The King James Version and many other translations render this as “quickly,” which is another meaning of ταχυ.
Many people think that “quickly” is the correct rendering, because when this Apocalypse document was written, “coming soon” would be a problem since the Lord has not come soon compared to when it was written, according to some people. Jesus says this phrase “I am coming soon” three times in chapter 22. Also in that chapter, in verse 10, Jesus says, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.”
I say that this phrase “the time is near” is just as much a problem then, as the phrase “I am coming soon,” in the sense that it apparently was not near, going by that same reasoning. So you see, the rendering “I am coming soon” is in agreement with what Jesus says in Rev 22:10 that the time is near for the fulfillment of the prophecy of this book.