Talk:Textual variants in the New Testament

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The article needs[edit]

Here is place only for important textual variants. Every textual variant should be given in Greek with translation into English. Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 11:27, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Leszek -- this is tremendous work. How much are you wanting to document? The UBS4 and Metzger's commentary have a certain number of variants, but the Nestle-Aland (in Greek) and the Comprehensive New Testament (in English) have a considerable amount more... about 15,000. There are also multivolume editions that would eclipse even those. Do you have a ballpark scope in mind? And I also noticed that you give Byzantine designations in a few places. Do you have an idea in mind for a systemization of the textual families?
I think, perhaps, we may need to agree on a few sources that would keep the scope under control. Have any suggestions? I personally think the Nestle-Aland scale would be too big, but I think you're heading beyond the UBS now. I definitely want to help here, so whatever ballpark figure you have in mind would steer me in the right direction. SkyWriter (Tim) (talk) 00:47, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
I am totally agreed. I know you are expert. Perhaps it will better if you can take over and work on. I will only translator into German, Polish... Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 01:04, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Leszek, you're quite the expert yourself! As I said in your barnstar... I'm in awe of the incredible work you are doing here. I'm just happy to help. Trust me, it will be all I can do to try to keep up with your pace.SkyWriter (Tim) (talk) 01:18, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Is it possible to find any kind of reference for how many of what kind of variant there are? I mean how many of Ehrman's estimated 400K are spelling errors? I don't know. Just wondering if you experts did. Tladuke (talk) 04:41, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

You can find references in manuscript articles. I used mostly these two books:

See also External links in this article. There is also available Tischendorf's Editio Octava (in Internet Arcive). Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 10:38, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

John 1:18[edit]

I made a slight change to John 1:18 to

John 1:18

ὁ μονογενὴς υἱὸς (the only-begotten son) — A C3 K X Δ Θ Π 063 0234 f1,13 28 565 700 892 1009 1010 1071 1079 1195 1216 1230 1241 1242 1253 1344 1365 1546 1646 2148 Byz
ὁ μονογενὴς θεὸς (the only-begotten God) — \mathfrak{P}75 אc 33 copbo
μονογενὴς θεὸς (God [the] only-begotten) — \mathfrak{P}66 א* B C* L

This does two things. First, it treats μονογενὴς as the more traditional "only-begotten" rather than "only". And second it treats μονογενὴς as a qualifier for θεὸς. The full force of the verse is that no one has ever seen the (invisible) God, but (the revealed) God has made him known. In this sense, "only" doesn't work, but becomes contradictory: "no one has seen God but the only God has made him known." However, in the sense of "no one has ever seen (the invisible) God, but God (the only-begotten) has made him known" is not contradictory.

The KJV, ASV, and NKJ read "the only-begotten son". The NAS reads "the only-begotten God". The CNT reads "God the only-begotten." Only the NIV is an outlier here, so the traditional reading is also more widely known.SkyWriter (Tim) (talk) 14:19, 24 January 2011 (UTC)


Is there any standard notation for the various manuscript citations? e.g. What happens when you have lectionaries supporting both variants? I've made a start at Col 1.14, but it might need some cleaning up. paulgear (talk) 09:12, 27 February 2011 (UTC) I had another shot and added some superscript manuscript designations after getting a look at my UBS4 & NA27. However, they seem to disagree on the list of minuscules (UBS lists 424, 1912, 2200, and 2464 in support of the longer reading; NA27 lists 614, 630, 1505, and 2464). I'm not sure whether there has been a manuscript renumbering or whether they just have different reasons for the evidence they cite, so i made the reference a little more general. paulgear (talk) 11:29, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Paul, The NU editions often list different manuscript witnesses for a given reading. UBS will often list some additional witnesses not listed in NA, and vice versa. The manuscript numbering is the same; both editions use standard Gregory-Aland numbering. Also, if a lectionary manuscript supports multiple readings, the apparatus should reflect this occurrence. List the lectionary as supporting whatever readings it attests. Gabeedman (talk) 11:30, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

1 Corinthians 9:20[edit]

- 1 Corinthians 9:20, the Byzantine Majority lacks μὴ ὢν αὐτὸς ὑπὸ νόμον, though I myself am not under the Law. The King James is one of the only versions to properly account for this, despite being based on the Receptus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Versional anomalies are irrelevant when discussing textual variation of extant manuscripts, and thus will be ignored. Gabeedman (talk) 11:18, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Hebrews 2:9[edit]

I think this needs more information. Syriac Peshitta manuscripts differ, and some even write "God, in his gracious favor" which was Monophysite interpolation, while Nestorian Copies read "Apart from God". (Although in one book I read even Monophysite manuscripts show deletion of "apart from God" and rewriting "with God's grace"... But can't find that book in internet at the moment)

Theodore of Mopsuestia(pre-Nestorian)said that some persons had removed the reading, "without God," and had substituted, "by the merciful favour of God". (From William Norton's Book about Peshitto-Syriac Translation of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John, Page xxxix.) He even ridiculed the more radical monophysite interpolation: "God, in his gracious favor, tasted death"

This is translation of Peshitta, with footnote:

  • So the Jacobite copies read; but the Nestorian copies read, But he, apart from God, tasted, &c. --Virtuslb (talk) 22:23, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

No reason to remove link to biblical inerrancy from See also section[edit]

It's a good contrast to this article. User:Leszek Jańczuk's reasons for removal don't seem to understand what see also sections are about. In a discussion about the variant texts, it's very useful to go to an article about biblical inerrancy. Stating and this article is about transmission of biblical text, not about inerrancy and "Biblical inerrancy" is not about transmission, "textual variants" is not about inerracy - different subject misses entirely the point that many people look at transmission errors as an argument that inerrancy is not a reasonable position. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:51, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I know that many people look at transmission errors as an argument against inerrancy, but not scholars. That is why we should avoid misunderstanding. Section Wikipedia:See also#See also section is only for related articles, this one is not related (or we should add several other). Link was added in this edit, I did not removed in that time because section "See also" was not very long (and many people think that transmission and inerrancy are the same). No section has 8 position. There is another link to the article very loosely related to the "Textual variants" - List of Bible verses not included in modern translations (the title is POV, it should be "Non-interpolations..."). I did not remove it because many users think that they are closely related, but it should be removed. I did not see you have ever edited New Testament textual critic articles. Of course wikipedia is not work of scholars, if other users want to see in "See also" "List of Bible verses not included..." or "Biblical inerrancy" I will not oppose. There are more articles with wrong titles or incorrectly written. Did you see article Jewish mythology? OR and POV. It should be deleted. Only on de-wiki this article is correct. I do not have time for this article, I work only in area of the New Testament textual criticism (and on 24 other wikis in the same area), in other articles I do only minor edits (usually). It will better if you will improve "Jewish mythology", because you have more time. With regards (Ps. I was wrong with Graham, you know I am overworked). Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 22:20, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Since there's no "for scholars only" template to place at the article, and non-scholars are likely to come to this article, your point is moot. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:10, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Per WP:See also, a hypothetical perfect article on textual variants would reasonably discuss the implications of textual variants on inerrancy - or the lack thereof. While this is mostly a list and very little of an article, I see no reason not to include a link to inerrancy in the See also section. Huon (talk) 03:02, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Codex Bezae?[edit]

So, am I to take it that D* represents Codex Bezae? Why the *? What does the superscript it mean? Thanks for your help. Rwflammang (talk) 16:28, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Criteria for inclusion?[edit]

Great to have this here on Wikipedia. What are the criteria for inclusion? An expert on Galatians says those references are "a real mixed bag" - see

Jonathan.robie (talk) 22:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)