Tag Archives: Byzantine

Papyrus 39 John Variant

In John 8:14 there is a textual variant between Η in the NA28 versus ΚΑΙ in the Byzantine text:

ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἔρχομαι  Η ποῦ ὑπάγω

ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἔρχομαι, ΚΑΙ ποῦ ὑπάγω.

Now concerning Papyrus 39, the Münster Institute and the NA28 say 𝔓³⁹ reads Η, while the IGNTP says it reads ΚΑΙ.  The NA28 does not even put a “vid” with it.  But only the right edge of the last letter of the word is visible to me.  It is rounded, not a straight up and down line like it would be for H or I. But the scribe’s Epsilon is round, and it seems more likely to be an E than Η or I, thus perhaps ΟΥΔΕ.  Is the theory that there is only room there for one letter, like H?  However, it certainly does not look like an H. (Image posted below, the 2nd line ΠΟΥ ΥΠΑ with the letter in question barely visible before that.)

The NA28 text in English is “but you do not know where I came from or where I am going.”
The Byz text in English is “but you do not know where I came from and where I am going.”
𝔓³⁹ if ΟΥΔΕ in English is “but you do not know where I came from nor where I am going.”

Papyrus 39, John 8:14

Revelation 21:6 Theory

“they are accomplished I am”

a. γεγοναν εγω ειμι A 1678 1778 TH NA28 [ειμι] {\}

b. γεγοναν εγω ℵ²a SBL

c. γεγονασιν εγω ειμι 254 469 1006 1841 2020 2053 2062 2065 2078 2080 2436

“it is accomplished I am”

d. γεγονεν εγω ειμι 2087? TR AN

“it is accomplished” ?!

e. γεγονεν 149 368 386 1948 2021 2025 2028 2029 2033 2044 2054 2068 2069? 2083 2305 2349

‘I am become I am”

f. γεγονα εγω ειμι 2060 cop-sa 

“I am / I am become”

g. γεγωνα 2196

h.  εγω ειμι Beat Ps-Ambr

i. εγω ℵ²b syr-h-mss ?

j. γεγωνα εγω 181 616 680 2030 2082 syr-h-mss ?

k. γεγονα εγω ℵ* P 046 051S 35* 42 91 104 172 175 203 205 205 209 241 242 250 367 424 506 617 632mg? 664 699 792 922 1094 1384 1611 1732 1854 1862 1876 1888 1934 2014 2016 2017 2018 2026 2031 2034 2036 2037 2038 2042 2043 2045 2046 2047 2050 2056 2057 2058 2070 2073 2074 2075 2076 2077 2079 2081c 2084 2254 2258 2286 2329 2595 syr-h 

l. γεγονα 18 35c 61 82 93 110 141 177 180 325 336 337 367 385 429 432 452 456 467 498 517 522 582 620 627 632* 743 757 808 824 920 935S 986? 1072 1075 1248 1328 1352² 1503 1551 1597 1617 1637 1704 1719 1728 1733 1734 1745 1746 1771 1849 1852 1859 1864 1865 1893 1894 1918? 1957 2004 2023 2024 2027 2035 2039 2041 2048 2051 2055 2061 2064 2067 2071 2081* 2138 2186 2814 2821 HF BG RP

m. γεγοναι 2059

lacunose C 052 69 88 94 218 256 314 459 468 628 911? 919 1626 1740 1774 1828 1955 2015 2019 2022 2032 2052 2302 2040 2200 2256 2351

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.

This is a note in my PDF of the Apocalypse of John, freely downloadable.

Gospel of Matthew Printed Editions

I have published on Amazon two editions of my translation of the gospel of Matthew. They alternate verse by verse between the Greek text and my English translation. They have 671 footnotes each. I have footnoted with critical apparatus most all the meaningful variants between the NA28 text and the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text.

Eclectic Edition of the Gospel of Matthew, with my Greek text being unique. I follow more Byzantine readings than does the Tyndale House GNT, but on the other hand there are a few times the TH follows the Byz where I do not. I have a couple readings not found in any of the above. The U.S. price on Amazon is $6.89.

The Robinson-Pierpont edition, the Gospel According to Matthew. The U.S. price on Amazon is $6.95.

Neuter Plurals Singular Verb

This post discusses a textual variant in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 26, verse 31, as follows:

διασκορπισθησεται 𝔓³⁷ 𝔓⁴⁵ D E F K U V W Γ Δ Θ Π Φ ƒ¹ 2 28 565 579 1424 pm Eus Chrys Or-pt TR RP διασκορπισθησονται 𝔓⁵³ ℵ A B C G H L M S Σ 067 0281 ƒ¹³ 33 157 700 892 1071 1241 pm Or-pt SBL TH ΝΑ28 {\} lac 𝔓⁶⁴ N P Q Ζ 0233 346

The nominative substantive, the subject of our sentence here, is τα προβατα, “the sheep,” a neuter plural subject. But the BYZ text couples with it a singular verb, διασκορπισθησεται, while the NA28 text uses a plural verb, διασκορπισθησονται.

Classical, Attic, Greek had a grammar rule that broke the grammar rules.  Usually, verbs must agree in gender, number and case with the subject noun.  This is called concord.  But there was a rule that neuter plural subjects usually took a singular verb.

BDF §133: “This is because neuter plurals were originally in part feminine singular collectives: Schwyzer ɪ 581 f.). The rule appears to have been most strictly followed in the Attic dialect (Schwyzer ɪɪ 607); Homer and Koine are less consistent, while the plural is used exclusively in MGr.  In the NT (as in the LXX and pap.: Mayser ɪɪ 3, 28 ff.) there is marked diversity, and often in individual instances the MSS diverge.  The plural is used for the most part in Herm. (1) The plural is used especially with neuters designating persons (also class., K.-G. ɪ 65), most frequently with ἔθνη, less often wth τέκνα and δαιμόνια. (2) The singular, on the contrary, preponderates with words having non-personal meaning (even when a numeral is inserted: ἐὰν γένηται…ἑκατὸν πρόβατα Mt 18:12), (3) and even more so with abstracts and pronouns (ταῦτα, ἅ etc.).—For stereotyped ἴδε, ἰδού, ἄγε used in spite of a plural subject, s. §144.”

Smyth §958: “A neuter plural subject is regarded as a collective (996), and has its verb in the singular: καλὰ ἦν τὰ σφάγια the sacrifices were propitious X.A.4.3.19.  Here, sheep are a herd, a collective, so take a singular verb, the herd is scattered.  But Smyth then says in §959, “A plural verb may be used when stress is laid on the fact that the neuter plural subject is composed of persons or of several parts: τὰ τέλη τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων αὐτὸν ἐξέπεμψαν the Lacedaemonian magistrates despatched him (Thuc. 4.88), φανερὰ ἦσαν καὶ ἵππων καὶ ἀνθρώπων ἴχνη πολλά many traces both of horses and of men were plain X.A.1.7.17. (a.) With the above exception Attic regularly uses the singular verb.  Homer uses the singular three times as often as the plural, and the plural less frequently with neuter adjectives and pronouns than with substantives.  In some cases (B 135) the metre decides the choice.” 

Here in Mt 26:31 the sheep are persons, so one cannot declare with absolute certainly which reading in this variant is grammatically correct for classical Greek.  Now, there are many other examples of this category of variant in Matthew, but I am showing this one because so many papyri are extant.  The testimony is equally early for both readings.  Each has a III century papyrus in support, 𝔓⁴⁵ and 𝔓⁵³.  The Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, does not pertain here, as Zech 13:7 in the LXX does not have the same sentence structure, that is, there is no neuter plural subject.  Rather it says, “Strike the shepherds, and remove the sheep…”  I should also mention that neither the Byzantine majority text nor the “critical text” consistently follow this Attic rule. There are variants where the Byz breaks the rule and the critical text follows it.

Now a question for us is, was Matthew (or his translator, if he wrote his gospel in Hebrew or Aramaic) bound to follow Attic rules, or even familiar with Attic rules?  Possibly editors or copyists of Matthew corrected what they thought was incorrect grammar, to follow the Attic rule.  But in this variant we probably have a legitimate exception to the Attic rule since the sheep are persons.  This explanatory note, and many like it, can be read in my translation of the gospel of Matthew, downloadable here.

Change of Reading to Byz

As I am making my Robinson-Pierpont edition of the gospel of Matthew, I am editing my eclectic edition here and there. During this process I found a Byzantine reading that I think is the original text rather than what I previously had in my eclectic text and is found in the NA28.

Matt 21:25 παρ εαυτοις ℵ C D E W Σ Φ 0102 0233 𝔐 TR RP TH εν εαυτοις B L Z Cyr SBL NA28 {\} lac A N P 0281.

The reading with παρ has strong support.  I immediately thought that since εν εαυτοις is a very common phrase in the gospels, and παρ εαυτοις is not, it is far more likely that scribes would write εν εαυτοις automatically unconsciously, than the other way around.  So I changed my text to the παρ εαυτοις reading, and this was before I looked up the Tyndale House reading and saw that they follow that reading.  The preposition παρα with the dative case answers the question “where.”  They were “by” themselves, which implies separation for privacy; thus, “away by themselves.” You can download my eclectic edition of Matthew’s gospel here.

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 Acts chapter 27.

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