Tag Archives: majority text

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:

Matthew chapter 25 verse 6 variant

There is a variant in the Greek manuscripts of the gospel of Matthew, chapter 25 verse 6, where the Majority text reads, “Look! The bridegroom is coming,” while the NA28 reads, “Look! The bridegroom.”  So the NA28 text lacks the word ερχεται, “is coming.”  Then after that, in both texts, the next Greek word is also a form of the word “come,” εξερχεσθε, and says “Come out to meet him.”

νυμφιος ερχεται C³ E W Σ Φ latt syr-p,h arm Chrys TR RP νυμφιος ℵ B C* D L Z cop-sa Cyr SBL TH NA28 {\} lac A N P 0233 0281

What I found that is significant, is that the scribe of Codex D, Codex Bezae, first wrote εξερχεται, which is only two letters different than ερχεται, just adding εξ to it, “out,” but then he omitted εξερχεσθε that is supposed to follow that according to all manuscripts.  He seems to have gotten confused by the similarity of the two words.  Here is a snip from the image of Codex D.

Matthew 25:6 in Codex D

So in view of the problem the scribe of Codex D had, I changed my Greek text to that of the Majority text, adding ερχεται, “the bridegroom is coming.”  Because I find this to be an explanation as to how the variant arose, how ερχεται dropped out of text streams.  In other words, the most important question in textual criticism is, which variant best explains the rise of the others?

Matthew chapter 20 verse 15 variant

What is going on here in Matthew 20:15? The Majority text reads:

Ἢ οὐκ ἔξεστίν μοι ποιῆσαι ὃ θέλω ἐν τοῖς ἐμοῖς; Εἰ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρός ἐστιν, ὅτι ἐγὼ ἀγαθός εἰμι;

Here are the two significant variants in the verse, showing only witnesses 8th century and earlier:

η ουκ…ει ο οφθαλμος lat Chrysostom TR RP η ουκ…η ο οφθαλμος ℵ C E N W Σ Φ 085 syr-p,h cop-sa TH [NA28] ουκ…η ο οφθαλμος B* D L Z SBL ουκ…ει ο οφθαλμος B² ‖ lac A P 0233 0281. 

All the witnesses above except B D L Z SBL begin the sentence with the Greek word Ἢ, “or.” Then the TR and Majority text for the second variant read ει, a marker for a direct question. What I am pointing out is that none of the English translations based on the Majority reading translate the word Ἢ as “or.”

BUT, neither do the English translations based on the second reading, which has the Greek word η for both variants, neither do they appear to render their text as it is found.

Practically none of the English translations translate the first η as “or.” 

The translations supposedly based on the TR / Majority text, at first seem to read as the Vaticanus corrector. (ουκ…ει ο οφθαλμος B²). The English translations from the Syriac, the Etheridge and Murdock translations, also seem to read as B².

The EMTV, “English Majority Text Version, reads as the SBL text.

We have seen that none of the English translations translate the first η as “or.”  But they are probably not following the reading of B* D L Z Θ SBL. The BDF grammar in Sec. 440 (3) says a simple interrogative ἦ does not exist in the NT.  In Sec. 440 (1) DeBrunner gives four examples in the NT of “simple interrogative ἤ,” Matt. 20:15, 26:53; 1 Cor. 9:8; 2 Cor. 11:7.  This must be how the first η is being interpreted.

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

Acts chapter 26 verse 4

There is a textual variant in the Greek manuscripts of The Acts of the Apostles chapter 26 verse 4, that affects the accuracy of the translations made from them. The variant is the presence or absence of the word τε, which means “and” or “also.” The NA28 and Tyndale House Greek New Testaments contain the word τε, while the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine Majority Text do not contain it.

Here is how the English text reads in some translations with the word τε in their source text:
NIV: The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.
DRP: My manner of life since youth therefore, which took place at first in my own country and also in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews.

The problem with the text without τε, is that the translations made from it make it sound like the apostle Paul lived his whole life in Jerusalem, when in fact he was from Tarsus in Cilicia before he lived in Jerusalem.

KJV: My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
NKJV: My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.
EMTV: Therefore my way of life from my youth, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews know,

Here is the list of the readings of the manuscripts:
 txt εν τε 𝔓⁷⁴ ℵ A B E 181 1175 2464 syr-h-ms SBL TH NA29 {\} εν C H L P Ψ 049 056 33 1611 1739 1891 Byz vg syr-h-ms Chrys TR RP lac 𝔓²⁹ 𝔓¹¹² 048 096.

General Epistles Robinson-Pierpont

I have revised my translations of the General Epistles translated from the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform 2018 Greek text. The footnotes I augmented some, and improved the accuracy of the translation some. I have uploaded a new PDF of the document, as well as published a new printed edition on Amazon. The printed book has 194 pages, and was newly published June 26, 2022.

Cover of the book, General Epistles Robinson-Pierpont Majority Text

New Upload RP General Epistles

New Upload Byzantine General Epistles

I have uploaded a new PDF document, containing the General Epistles of the New Testament. It has the Robinson-Pierpont 2017 Byzantine Majority Text alternating verse by verse with my new English translation. PDF 3.5 MB, 530 footnotes.

The footnotes contain not only translator’s notes, but extensive notes covering the Greek manuscript variants, including the readings of the following seven (7) Greek New Testament editions: the Textus Receptus, Scrivener 1894 Ed.; Antoniades 1904; Byzantine Greek New Testament (Wilbur Pickering’s Family 35 text); the NA28; the SBL; the Robinson-Pierpont 2017, and the Tyndale House Greek New Testament (2017). Shown in this post is a screen capture of one of the footnotes.

This document has replaced the individual PDF files of those books James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude that had the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text with them.

To download the new General Epistles Byzantine PDF click the link in this sentence.
A printed edition is also available, and possibly later a Kindle edition.

A footnote in this Robinson-Pierpont General Epistles document

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Robinson-Pierpont GNT 2018 Update

Robinson-Pierpont Greek New Testament 2018 edition

I have updated and uploaded my PDF document of the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Greek New Testament. The 2017 text was converted to Unicode in Microsoft Word by myself, David Robert Palmer, from CCAT raw text files sent to him by Dr. Maurice A. Robinson. Then DRP has now updated the Nestle-Aland textual variants to the NA28, and in Acts, to the ECM / NA29.  All old links to the RP GNT still work, and they do point to this updated edition, since I did not change the file name.

The 2018 edition of the Robinson-Pierpont text has very few, and minor, text changes from the 2005 edition, including one corrected error of reading (based on misinterpretation of Hoskier’s data) at Rev 2:17 (now omits φαγειν) and John 18:11, 32, where a marginal reading has now become the main text and vice versa. Mainly it has updates and corrections in capitalization, accentuation, and punctuation, plus some previously missing iota subscripts. The most significant changes in this 2018 edition is that the variant readings of the Nestle-Aland text are updated to the NA28 in the catholic epistles, and in the Acts of the Apostles, to the ECM (Editio Critica Maior), which changes in Acts will likely be the text of the NA29.

Now available for download by right-clicking here or going to the long list on my translations page: Robinson, Maurice A., and Pierpont, William G.: The New Testament in the Original Greek, Byzantine Textform; PDF, 13 MB. This is a free download of a single pdf. (A stripped down edition without variants or Appendix is available also, a 9 MB pdf.) This Robinson-Pierpont edition of the Greek New Testament attempts to represent the Byzantine text form archetype. This is not the same approach to textual criticism as, for example, the Hodges-Farstad Majority Text approach. Also included in this document is the Appendix, entitled, “The Case for Byzantine Priority” by Maurice A. Robinson, PhD.

I have also uploaded editions of some of my Greek-English documents, but with the Robinson-Pierpont 2018 Greek text, and the English translation thereof. You can download them right here as well. Completed are: The Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, Gospel of LukeGospel of John, The General Epistles and Revelation.  You can get Amazon printed editions of Robinson-Pierpont Matthew, Mark, Luke and the General Epistles as well.

Download Robinson-Pierpont 2018 NT PDF.

robinson-pierpont 2018

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