Friday, September 28, 2007

Notes from Aland's Text of the NT

There are 5400 extant Greek NT, not including quotations from the Church Fathers.

Uncial: a style of orthography characterized by somewhat rounded capital letters; found especially in Greek and Latin manuscripts of the 4th to 8th centuries

Lectionary: A schedule of readings from Holy Scripture for use in the weekly liturgy. In current use are both an historic, one-year lectionary with readings that have been in use for centuries, and a more recently developed three-year lectionary. Use of a lectionary provides the congregation with the opportunity to hear carefully chosen sections from the entire Bible.

Codex: Book like format, as opposed to a scroll

Opisthograph: A manuscript, parchment, or book having writing on both sides of the leaves.

Provenance: Evidence of the history of the ownership of a particular book (eg: auctions records, booksellers' records, book plates, etc.) The book may be important because of who owned it; perhaps a president or important bookseller, collector, royalty, or someone who may be related to the book in some way. Important in establishing the ownership of especially rare items.

Minuscule: a portion of the New Testament

Folio: a book (or manuscript) consisting of large sheets of paper folded in the middle to make two leaves or four pages

Fascicles: Are sections of a book, usually a reference work, that because of its length, is issued in parts so that the information may be made available to the public as soon as possible rather than waiting years or decades to complete the entire work

Minuscule: A New Testament minuscule is a portion of the New Testament

[A New Testament uncial is a copy of a portion of the New Testament in Greek or Latin capital or uncial letters, written on parchment or vellum.

New Testament uncials are distinct from:

* New Testament papyri — written on papyrus and generally more ancient; and

* New Testament minuscules — written in minuscule (small, connected) letters and generally more recent.]

Catholic Letters: James, I and II Peter, I, II, and III John, and Jude

Apostolos: Acts and the Catholic Letters

Stemma: A tree diagram, showing the family relationships among manuscript copies of the same text. One key principle in constructing a stemma is to group manuscripts having the same error or eccentricity in common, as being all descended from the manuscript which first made that error.

Recension: Stem. The process of preparing a family tree or stemma of manuscripts. The first step in traditional stemmatics.

Interpolation: In relation to literature and especially ancient manuscripts, an interpolation is an entry or passage in a text that was not written by the original author. As there are often several generations of copies between an extant copy of an ancient text and the original, each handwritten by different scribes, there is a natural tendency for extraneous material to be inserted into such documents over time.

Interpolations may be inserted as an authentic explanatory note, but may also be included for fraudulent purposes.

Western non-interpolations : Are additions in view of the Wescott-Hort

Palimpsest: a manuscript which has been re-used by scraping off the original text and writing over the top

Free Text: a text dealing w/ the original text in a relatively free manner w/ no suggestion of a program of standardization

Normal Text: Relatively faithful tradition which departs from the its exemplar only occasionally

Strict Text: Differs from exemplar only rarely

Majority Text -The Majority Text is derived from the plurality of all existing Greek manuscripts; but because most of these manuscripts are late medieval manuscripts, there is a family resemblance between the Received Text and the Majority Text.

Byzantine text-type The kind of text found in the majority of medieval manuscripts

Alexandrian text-type the ancient type of text which is exhibited in our oldest available manuscripts

Courtesy of

Remember there are no verified separate Western, Casarean, or Jerusalem texts.

Orientals (Hebrew and Islam) = sanctity to the letter; Greeks = Sanctity to the message


p52 125 A.D. contains John 18:31-33, 37-38

Chester Betty papyri/p45,46,47:

45 (3rd Cent) = Gospels and Acts lacunae Matt 20:24 - Acts 17:17;

46 (200 AD) Pauline Letters lacunae 2 Thess, Philemon, and Pastorals

47 (3rd Cent) Rev. 9:10-17:2 w/ small lacunae.

Bodmer papyri: p66, 72, 75:

66 (200 AD) John1:1 – 14:39 w/ almost no lacunae and the rest in fragments. Sewing almost intact;

72 (3/4th century) *Jude and 1-2 Peter*. Has relatively undamaged pages

75 (3rd Century) Luke 3:10 and on w/ few lacunae and John 1:10 – 15:8 w/ few lacunae. Still has its binding and may be exemplar to Codex Vaticanus, thus eliminating the theory of recensions (that revisions were happening in the 4th century).

100 AD – Didache has the Lord’s Prayer

144 AD- Marcion Canon

170 AD – Muratorian Canon

150AD – Discernible quotes from the Gospels in Justin Martyr

175 A.D. - Tatian's Diatessaron, produced was the most prominent of a number of harmonies of the four Gospels, that is, the material of the four distinct Gospels rewritten as a continuous narrative, resolving conflicting statements and removing duplicated text (see synoptic problem). Only 56 verses in the canonical Gospels do not have a counterpart in the Diatessaron, the bulk of the excluded material comprising the two apparently irreconcilable genealogies of Jesus (one in the Gospel of Matthew and one in the Gospel of Luke), together with the pericope of the adulteress (John 7:53 - 8:11). No significant text was added; but, in order to fit all the canonical material in, Tatian felt free to create his own narrative sequence that departed radically from the succession and order of episodes in every one of the four Gospels. The final work is about 72% the length of the four gospels put together (McFall, 1994). Students of gospel harmonies frequently distinguish between the "textual" tradition - i.e. the sources and transmission for the words and phrases within each pericope; and the "sequence" tradition - i.e. the sources and transmission for the order in which pericopes are presented.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

180 AD – Closure of the Gospel and Pauline corpus

200 AD – Because of the spread of Christianity, there was a need for the translation of the NT and by 250 AD, the church was Latin.

3/4th Century – No centralized organization of the church, thus you have many varying manuscript traditions until than.

After Decius and Valeraion Persecutions (250-260 AD) the Koine Text started in Antioch, which became the Byzantine Imperial Text (also called the Lucian text in the 4th century). During the persecution many manuscripts were burned and lost, thus sciptoriums were built and copied the NT.

Papryus Bodmer XIV-XV/p75 – early 3rd century

383 AD – Jerome finishes revising the Gospels, from existing Latin text,in the Vulgate (rewrote mainly the OT from Hebrew)

4th/5th Century – k (Codex Babiensis) = earliest extant Latin manuscript

5th Century- Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis/D written in N. Africa or Egypt though it is called the “Western-Text.” Lots of tendentious revisions from its exemplar.

8th Century Uncial E or Basilensis - ignored by Erasmus

Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis/Dea 5th Century and Codex Claromontanus – Theodore Beza’s Library (16th Century) – poor translations – Wrote 9 editions of the Greek NT

1452-1456 – Johann Gutenberg’s 42 line Latin Bible in Mainz

1/10/1514 - Complutensian Polyglot (published 3/22/1522)

1590 – Pope Sixtus V declares the Vulgate the authoritative text.

1592- Pope Clement VIII again declares the Vulgate’s authority

3/10/1516- Desiderius Erasmus Novum Instrumentum Omne – First edition of the Greek NT (edito princeps). Also known as the Textus Receptus. Total of 5 revisions

Relied on 12/13th century Byzantine Imperial text, Koine text, or the Majority text

1550 & 1551 – Edito Regia – 7 editions first to use verses by Robert Estienne = Stephanus

1734 – Johnn Albrecht Bengel editied the TR and classified it as α = original reading w/ full certainty β = a reading superior to the TR, though w/ less than absolute certainty

Used Codex Alexandrinus (A) and commentary on Revelation by Andreas of Caesaerea

1751-1752 Johann Jakob Wettstein 2 vol. edition

1775-1777; 1796-1806 Johann Jakob Griesbach

1830 – Karl Lachman “Down w/ the late text of the TR, and back to the text of the early 4th century church.”

19th century - Constantin von Tischendorf deciphers the Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus (C) 5th century text; also found Codex Sinaticus {N/S}

1857-1859 – Cardinal Mai uses Codex Vaticanus (B)

1881 – The New Testament in the Original Greek by Wescott – Hort ; Primarily uses Codex Vaticanus (B) (4th century text)

1898 Eberhand Nestle – Novum Testamentum Graece (final nail in the coffin for the TR). Compared the Wescott-Hort and Tischendorf versions and where they agreed he kept. He consulted a third edition Weymouth’s 2nd edition of 1892 and after 1901 Weiss’ 1894 -1900 edition)

1902-1913 – Von Soden’s “The Writings of the New Testament, restored to their earliest attainable form on the basis of their textual history.”

1927 – Erwin Nestle’s 13th ed. of the Nestle Text

1922-1955 – Vogel’s Novum Testamentum Gracae et Latine

1933-1984 – Merk’s Novum Testamentum Gracae et Latine

1942-1986 – Bover’s Novi Testamenti Gracae et Latina

Vogel-Merk-Bover = Roman Catholics

1966 – The Greek New Testament (GNT)

1979 – Pope John Paul II starts work on the Neo-Vulgate (initiated by Pope Paul VI)

Latest and greatest are the Nestle-Aland26 and GNT4 (NA26 closest to GNT3)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gospel Contradictions Answered! Part 5 + Some Other Stuff

Did Mark Misquote Malachi and Give Credit to Isaiah in Mark 1:2?

I didn't even realize I had this little gem in my blog! So if you missed it too, don't worry. Some people think that Mark misquotes Malachi 3:1 and wrongly attributes it to Isaiah in Mark 1:2, hence there is an "error" in the Bible. Once again, we shall see with a little insight, this is far from being and "error."

Mark 1:2
2As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:


Malachi 3:1
"Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 40:3
A voice is calling,
"Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God."
Mark puts two verses together Malachi 3:1(v2) and than Isaiah 40:3(v3), and as the literary custom of the day, he attributes the entire quote to the higher ranking prophet.

BTW, notice that in original quotation Malachi, God/YHWH uses the pronoun "Me," while in Mark when refering to Jesus it is "You." Why is that? Because Jesus is the second person of the Godhead and so when God/YHWH says something, it is appropriate to quote Jesus as saying it.

Courtesy of Dr. Knox Chamblin Lectures on the Gospel and Acts

For more answered contradictions see the links here:

Gospel Contradictions Answered! Part 1

Gospel Contradictions Answered! Part 2

Gospel Contradictions Answered! Part 3

Gospel Contradictions Answered! Part 4

Extra Credit:

For a good explanation of why we need the Law go to the Role of the Law in Galatians 3:19-25

Here's a little quote from Doug Ward of CRI:

Likely anticipating the objections to his treatment of the law, Paul strives to find a positive role for the law in 3:19-25. Two questions introduce the potential problem that others would have with Paul’s explanation. "What then, was the purpose of the law" (19), and "Is the law opposed to the promises of God?" (21).

Paul answers his own question in verse 19 with one of the most troublesome phrases in his letters, "it was added because of transgressions" (NIV). This phrase could potentially have a variety of translations. 1) The law was added because of transgressions, with a restraining effect. 2) The law was added to create transgressions, acting as a lure. 3) The law was added to increase or intensify transgression, acting as an identifier. One clue within this phrase is the inclusion of the word parabaseon ("transgressions"). This word is used specifically within Paul’s letters to denote wrongdoing done in the presence of the law. Romans 4:15 functions almost like a dictionary entry when Paul writes "where there is no law there is no transgression."
Parabaseon is a specialized word. Before something can be called a transgression, there must be some standard to transgress, and that standard in Galatians is the Mosaic Law. One scholar has rightly noted that with the word transgression "Paul is not thinking of the general condition of sin that justifies the infliction of God’s wrath, but the more specific situation that obtains wherever people are confronted with clearly defined, verbally transmitted laws and commands. Parabaseon always refers to passing beyond the limits." [6] The use of "transgression" here does not imply that the law itself brings sin, but rather a qualitative difference to the sin. Instead of a vague imperfection or general wrongdoing, it now becomes outright disobedience to a known command of God. This is also how this word is used in Romans 5:14, where the first sin of Adam is described as a transgression since it involved Adam’s disobedience to a known command of God.

This consideration of the meaning of parabaseon gets to the heart of what Paul means in Galatians 3:19. If one considers that a transgression is not even possible unless there is a law to transgress, Paul cannot mean that the law was given to restrict transgression, for there was no transgressions to restrict until the law appeared. So the function must be different. The law is valuable here in that it was added to identify the character of sin, labeling it as explicitly contrary to God. So the law was added to label, identify, and condemn sin as something contrary to God.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Finally a Creationism Post

Here are some links to some old, but not well known ideas, and to some very new research that is quite illuminating for Creationist/Intelligent Design proponents. Much kudos to Uncommon Descent, the blog of prominent ID proponent and Christian Seminary Professor Dr. William Dembski, where I received much of this info.

1. Haldane's Dilemma (my personal favorite)

Go to Walter Remine's website for an excellent explanation of the issue.
In a nutshell, the human and primate split happened (last common ancestor) about 6.5 million years ago, but let's use 10 million years for the ease of mathematics. The human genome has 3,000,000,000 nucleotides ("pieces of DNA) and let's say chimpanzees do also. Both have a scientifically accepted generation of 20 years (i.e how many years it takes them to reproduce; some flys are 10-12 days). Now we've all heard that there is a 2% difference in between the human and chimp genomes (false, but we'll skip that for now) so that means there needs to be 3 billion x 2% = 60,000,000 changes.

The numbers are approximate, but the main idea is that 10 million years is not enough time for the propagation and domination of those genetic changes.

Note: Keep in mind that when you hear about the 2% difference is not putting human and chimpanzee DNAs side-by-side and that they only have a 2/100 DNA differences. I mean humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes and chimps 24 (doesn't that already eliminate the 2% difference). According to the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, there are "35 million single nucleotide changes, 5 million insertion/deletions, and various chromosomal rearrangements." This puts the number at little over 1%, but stating all these changes in the light of Haldane's dilemma should show us how unlikely all these changes could've happened in the last 6.5 million years or so.

2. The Sea Anenome's Genome

How can the Sea Anenome, a creature that predates bilateral symmetry, have the genes for breast cancer?!? How could evolution know to put them there?

Sea Anemone Provides a New View of Animal Evolution. SCIENCE VOL 317 6 JULY 2007

Moreover, the anemone genes look vertebratelike. They often are full of noncodingregions called introns, which are much less common in nematodes and fruit flies than invertebrates. And more than 80% of the anemone introns are in the same places inhumans, suggesting that they probably existed in the common ancestor [750 Million years ago]...Finnerty and his graduate student James Sullivan also looked in the anemone genome for 283 human genes involved in a wide range of diseases... Moreover, in a few cases, such as the breast cancer gene BRCA2, the anemone’s version is more similar to the human’s than to the fruit fly’s or to the nematode’s.

Here's the link to the summary and the full article

3. Deletion of Ultraconserved Regions Produce Functional Mice

How can regions of the genome that have been ultraconserved (ultraconserved elements have been defined as a group of extremely conserved sequences that show 100% identity over 200 bp or greater between the human, mouse, and rat genomes) be so unimportant? If evolution went so out of its way to conserve these areas, why are they so frivolous? Think, if you had some of your heart and brain genes deleted (which are presumably highly selected for) would you live?

Link to the article

4. The Genes for Limbs Already in Fish

How can the instructions for limbs before they are needed be in fish?

Link here at

Long before animals with limbs (tetrapods) came onto the scene about 365 million years ago, fish already possessed the genes associated with helping to grow hands and feet (autopods) report University of Chicago researchers in the May 24, 2007, issue of Nature.

5. Genomics and the Irreducible Nature of Eukaryote Cells

That is the original title of the article - I SWEAR!
Basically it smashes the idea of prokaryotic to eukaryotic evolution. Obviously, the authors still believe in evolution, but its nice to see this concept of endosymbiosis seriously reconsidered. Remember from a design standpoint , its easy to see b/c of the design constraints of a prokaryotes that they could not have mutated or "fused" into what we know as eukaryotes. This eliminates (makes highly dubious even from an evolutionary standpoint) one of evolutions prized idea that Creationist have known to be false for a long time.

Here's the Link to the article, hopefully you can find access for it at your school or library.
Extra Credit: A clear point for Design Theorist

There is this whole idea of "Junk DNA" which scientists thought were evolutionary remnants, of you guessed it, worthless/junk DNA, that just stayed in our genome. Prominent evolutionary proponent and professor of Biology at Brown University said :

From a design point of view, pseudogenes are indeed mistakes. So why are they there? Intelligent design cannot explain the presence of a nonfunctional pseudogene, unless it is willing to allow that the designer made serious errors, wasting millions of bases of DNA on a blueprint full of junk and scribbles. Evolution, however, can explain them easily. Pseudogenes are nothing more than chance experiments in gene duplication that have failed, and they persist in the genome as evolutionary remnants of the past history of the b -globin genes.

Ken Miller, Life's Grand Design Technology Review Feb/March 1994 Volume 97 (2):24-43

While, prominent Intelligent Design proponent and professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, Dr. Michael Behe predicted in his book Darwin's Black Box that Junk DNA, would have a purpose.

Guess who won? You got it - Dr. Behe.

See here:

Encyclopedia of DNA: New Findings Challenge Established Views on Human Genome

Much thanks to Uncommon Descent for this one.

Another prediction that Creationists got right and Darwinist got wrong - The Appendix!

Darwinists predicted that the appendix had no function, while the Creationist (from a design standpoint) predicted it did... who won? You got it Creationists.