A suitable site for Greek MSS

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Leonard Isaksson
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Joined: September 10th, 2013, 11:43 am

A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by Leonard Isaksson » September 15th, 2013, 10:14 am


I wasn't sure where to put this question. What are some good sites to visit that pertain to manuscripts that printed NT texts are based upon, I mean like Alexandrinus? I reckon this would be textual criticism that I am talking about.

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: a suitable site

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 15th, 2013, 11:36 am

I remember pouring over this in the library a couple of decades ago. Reading an uncial text gives one a broader perspective and an extra dynamic (like a slippery floor - not just rollerskates) when reading Greek.

Alexandrinus http://archive.org/stream/GA_02#page/n0/mode/2up
Leonard Isaksson wrote:textual criticism
I think that's more than just reading. It's when you compare them to other manuscripts and then make intelligent / informed choices about which reading is in which manuscript and for what reason, and make a scholarly decision about which reading you will accept. (Or more likely understand why someone else accepted a reading - like knowing why someone drove to deep mid-wicket without personally having an ounce of skill to handle a cricket bat with any dexterity themselves).

You might like to compare this one
Siniaticus http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/manus ... omSlider=0

If you have a critical edition of the GNT you could search the manuscrits numbers at the bottom of the page in google and sometimes find an original image just a couple of clicks away.

For sort of a scholarly (hybrid) Byzantine text, you could try http://byztxt.com/download/index.html

When the new wears off the DIY side of things, you might like to read some books like David Black, New Testament Textual Criticism; J Harold Greenlee, Introduction To New Testament Textual Criticism.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Leonard Isaksson
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Joined: September 10th, 2013, 11:43 am

Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by Leonard Isaksson » September 15th, 2013, 6:57 pm

Thank you very much for your good reply. It is hard on my eyes to make out much on the Alexandrinus codex. However, I would like to have Alexandrinus before me to read. Having it in a modern font would of course be much simpler. Thank you for the links, such as to the Byzantine texts.

I need to read again on the matter of the text of the NT(and OT) in Greek. I mean the uncials, papyri, Byzantine text vs. the older texts, etc. I think I will get myself the book by Black.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

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Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by RandallButh » September 16th, 2013, 2:06 am

You can get a PDF of the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine text at
http://bibletranslation.ws/2011/06/30/r ... reek-text/
Maurice Robinson has a long, informed, appendix in that edition that discusses the value of the Byzantine text.

I do recommend that students of the Koine and the KOINH DIAQHKH become acquainted with the Byzantine text as well as the various iterations of WH-Nestle-NestleAland. Over the years there have been several 'facts on the ground' that have changed in regard to the NT text. One, during the twentieth century many "Byzantine" readings have shown up in early papyri, though none in a conglomeration that could be called an early Byzantine exemplar. Two, error analysis on manuscripts has led to a conclusion that Vaticanus and the Alexandrian text suffer from accidental omissions--which means that the 'shorter reading criterion' is not a reliable guide. So where does one find the best text, somewhere in Greek-speaking Anatolia, or down in sophisticated Alexandria? My own boat has sailed from Alexandria and now enjoys calm seas somewhere in the East Mediterranean.

(PS disclaimer: this forum is not a textual criticism forum. However, basic information about available textual bases is part of the picture of Koine Greek. All three major textual families, the Alexandrian, the Byzantine, and Bezae (aka. the Western text), make for good and necessary reading for those interested in the Greek NT. [PPS: Bezae has some good historical and interesting non-historical tidbits, but it should not be equated with the original text.])

Stephen Carlson
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Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by Stephen Carlson » September 16th, 2013, 4:26 am

I don't want to get into a major discussion of textual criticism, but having done my dissertation on the textual history of Galatians, I can offer the following points.

The textual tradition for Galatians (and presumably the rest of the Pauline Corpus) divides very early into a Western stream and a Eastern stream. Codex Vaticanus and P46, usually considered "Alexandrian," are actually witnesses to a very early form of this Western stream, later attested to by Marcion (!), D (Codex Claromontanus in Paul), F, G, and the Old Latin. The best witnesses for the Eastern stream are Codex Sinaiticus (01) and 33. The Byzantine text is an outgrowth of one of the sub-branches of this Eastern stream, with a little influx of Western readings.

I avoided the shorter reading criterion precisely because of recent questions concerning its validity, and yet I still found the Byzantine text to be a fairly late stage of the text, characterized by harmonization, a smoother and less ambiguous text, and an avoidance of some of the non-classical particularities of the Koine. Theological changes, however, were neglible for this text. If any form of the text is undervalued, I argue that it is the Western. But for some reason, the Byzantine text get all the attention as the major alternative in America.

Since every major division of the New Testament has its own textual history, these findings won't apply to the Gospels, the Praxapostolos, or Revelation.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by RandallButh » September 16th, 2013, 6:10 am

Nice summary, Stephane.

Tony Pope
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Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by Tony Pope » September 16th, 2013, 9:59 am

A good number of manuscripts can be conveniently studied via this site: http://www.csntm.org/manuscript

ed krentz
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Location: Chicago, IL

Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by ed krentz » September 17th, 2013, 10:57 am

Go to ntgateway.com, a marvelous site for all kinds of resources. Click on textual criticism and you will find many resources on line, e.g. a complete list of NT papyri images of MSS, etc.

And Google NT textual criticism and find addit4ional resources.

Ed Krentz
Edgar Krentz
Prof. Emeritus of NT
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Jonathan Robie
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Location: Durham, NC

Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 17th, 2013, 1:04 pm

The New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room is pretty cool:

ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;

Leonard Isaksson
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Joined: September 10th, 2013, 11:43 am

Re: A suitable site for Greek MSS

Post by Leonard Isaksson » September 17th, 2013, 4:22 pm


Thank you kindly for the links and thoughts to what sounds like fertile fields of grazing. For Randall, so your ship has sailed to a peaceful spot in the eastern Mediterranean, eh? You mentioned three text families, the Alexandrian, the Byzantine, and the Western. Where does the Syrian or the Caesarean text fit in? Is the Syrian text an earlier name for the Byzantine text? I do enjoy the lines and phrases that are in the Western text that express so many details.

I will have to read Metzger's book.

One Greek NT that I used to have is Jose Marie Bover's Grk. NT. It has such an enjoyable font, and its text included Western readings, or I think it did. I cannot find that Greek testament now, and that bothers me. It is hard to find that trilingual text in America, the Greek Latin Spanish edition.

I have read how that the text of the Gospels in codex Alexandrinus is the earliest sample of the Byzantine text of the Gospels. Or at least that the Gospels in that document are of the Byzantine type. Since I am greatly unlettered in all of this I am curious.

Well, I hope that this thread has not diverged from the sites prime directive.

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