Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NIV Greek and English New Testament (Booknote)

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I have received a copy of the NIV Greek and English New Testament edited by John R. Kohlenberger III (Zondervan, 2012), and here is a brief description focusing on the textcritical aspects of particular interest for our blog.

The book has the Greek and English (NIV, revised and updated 2011) texts side by side with textual notes and a concise Greek-English dictionary. The Greek text that underlies the NIV (NIVGT) was first established by J. R. Kohlenberger III and E. W. Goodrick for the NIV Exhaustive Concordance (Zondervan, 1990), which in turn was based on the 1984 edition of the NIV.

The Greek text behind the NIV was published in A Reader's Greek New Testament edited by R. J. Goodrich and A. L. Lukaszewski (Zondervan, 2003) and was one of the four editions used by our Mike Holmes as a starting point for his editorial work on SBLGNT (see his description here), whereas a second edition of A Reader's Greek New Testament (2006) published the Greek text behind the TNIV, as re-evaluated by Gordon Fee, one member of the committee working on The New International Version (TNIV) published 2002, 2005.

The NIVGT has subsequently been re-evaluated once again by J. R. Kohlenberger and D. Moo, chair of the committee working on TNIV. I do not know exactly to what extent this has led to any changes in the Greek text but Mike Holmes has said earlier on this blog (here #2) that the former NIV Greek text differed from the NA/UBS text "at about 235 or so places." Michael Clark then states in a review of A Reader's Greek New Testament (2d ed.) that the edition differed from the UBS in 285 places.
Now, according to the introduction of NIV Greek and English New Testament, this edition of NIVGT (more properly TNIVGT) has 384 differences (plus another  336 places where the only difference is that UBS places the text in square brackets), so it seems that the [T]NIVGT has moved away slightly more from the UBS for each stage of re-evaluation.

The introduction (p. ix) further indicates:

"The note 'UBS adds [xxx]' (usually in brackets) 191 times . . . ;"

"The note 'UBS omits xxx' occurs 13 times . . . ;"

"The note 'UBS reads xxx' occurs 54 times."

Personally, I think these figures are somewhat unhelpful because the notes indicate omissions/additions, substitutions (and presumably transpositions) in other ways apart from these phrases. It would have been better if we were given the totals for each type of variation instead of just the frequency of these phrases.

In addition, the notes mention all textual variants included in the NIV footnotes, such as comments on the Greek text underlying the KJV, and other significant variants.

Interestingly, the NIVGT treats the sections placed in double brackets in UBS4/NA27, considered by those editors to be later editorial expansions, in two different ways: Luke 22:43-44 and Luke 23:34a are retained in the text (with footnotes), whereas the Long Ending of Mark (16:9-20) and the Pericope of the Adulteress (John 7:53-8:11) are set in smaller Greek typeface, "to indicate even more clearly their uncertain status" (p. xiv). The Short Ending of Mark (after 16:8) is placed in a footnote.

Update: The post was updated on 26 June in relation to the different editions of NIVGT (or TNIVGT).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Khan quotation

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"The extant proto-masoretic manuscripts show that the text had been fixed not only in content but also in orthography by the third century BC." (Geoffrey Khan, 'Languages of the Old Testament' in Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. 1, p. 5).

Unpublished manuscript on ebay

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The bidding on this item is over, but it just shows that if you have only a little money around there are still interesting bits for sale. The interesting part is in the vellum binding, of course. I think we have a manuscript of Matthew used as a protective cover with a very nice minuscule.


I don't know where the manuscript has gone (I certainly did not buy it), but at least we have some pictures for posterity. Would just the picture warrant a mention in the Liste?

Feel free to give a transcription, a guess on the date of the script, and any relevant variants.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Three new verses in Romans 14

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In a recent conversation with Bruce Morill on the indexing of a Romans manuscript (GA 1506), he pointed out that I had indexed a particular page as Rom 14:23-15:8, though the correct indexing is Rom 14:23; 16:25-27; Rom15:1-8. Of course he was right, but it made me think about how just this way of numbering verses is.

It is a well known textual issue that most manuscripts have the verses that are numbered 16:25-27 in our modern editions at the end of Romans 14. And just by numbering them as part of chapter 16 we are making a judgement call.

The solution is obvious. We need Romans 14:24-26. Not just so because it is easier to index all those manuscripts that have text at this place, but also because this reflects the Bibles that were used for hundreds of years. And if I wanted to sound a little more contemporary, I could say things such as that we need these verse numbers as a matter of respect to the actual artefacts we are working with. Or, Why impose our theories on these documents?

On checking this phenomenon in some editions, I found, not unsurprisingly, that there is at least one edition out that contains Romans 14:24-26, the Byzantine Textform edition by our own Maurice Robinson (congratulations, you beat me to it). And for a moment I thought we had something similar in von Soden as well. Look at this page, where we have a note on a verse 24:


But alas, this is a wandering note that got lost here and perhaps should have been placed at Romans 8:26.

Still, we need Romans 14:24-26, regardless whether we believe that the words found also in 16:25-27 should be there. Time to end this colonial nonsense and give a home back to the dispossed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NT.VMR 2.0

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All great movies have a sequel.  Like a Terminator returning from the future to change the course of history, the Virtual Manuscript Room has now officially reappeared with a new scholarly edge.  The old VMR (1.0) was like the musuem that you visit to gawk at the manuscripts.  The new VMR (2.0) is a laboratory, designed to house scholarly activity online.  Whereas earlier scholars relied upon technical support to upload images and transcriptions, the newer version allows even the slowest of us to manage our own digital editions.  (I will launch my own edition of the Sahidic Apocalypse in the Fall).

The new VMR offers extensive possibilities for discussing and sharing manuscripts.  It's Facebook meets a cyborg-reanimated Bruce Metzger robot.  You want to show your friend a page of Sinaiticus.  No problem.  A page with a transcription -- easy.  Has a paragraph break got you all riled up, and you need to tell the world about it? You can learn more from the following instruction video or visit the VMR and experience the raw power for yourself. You will need to create an account to gain full access. Do not forget to check out the Coptic Apocalypse manuscripts.



Here is the official announcement from the VMR nerve center in Münster:

NTVMR 2.0 Announcement

The New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room (NTVMR) from the Institute for New Testament Text Research (INTF) is a community portal for scholarly research of New Testament Greek manuscripts.  For decades, the INTF (producers of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament) has housed the most comprehensive collection of manuscript resources for Greek New Testament studies, and now this resource is finally coming online for public access.  Over 2.1 million pages have been cataloged with nearly half a million images published in cooperation with holding institutes around the world, including P45, P46, and P47 from The Chester Beatty Library and University of Michigan, The Freer Gospels from the Smithsonian Institute, and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus reordered from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

This is the first public invitation to join this portal, make use of these scholarly resources, and contribute to this public repository of New Testament manuscript research.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Where to find ancient manuscripts?

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Some recent examples confirm Head’s rule - that the best place to look for ancient manuscripts is in a library (previous examples include P52, Luther’s lectures on Romans, the Archimedes Palimpsest):