Re: von Soden to verify Ropes

Michael Holmes (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 17:48:15 -0600 (CST)

At 10:32 AM 11/18/97 +0000, Clayton Bartholomew asked:
>Ropes reads OUN for DE in Bezae for Acts 7:12. This is minutia but I
>cannot find this reading in any other source available to me. Alford
>tracks with Ropes about 99% even on spelling issues like EI for H, etc.
>So I am wondering if Ropes slipped up here or if this reading has fallen
>through the cracks in my other sources.

A check of Scrivener's edition (a transcription of the text of Bezae in
ordinary Greek type) of Codex Bezae (_Bezae Codex Cantabrigiensis_, reprint
Pickwick Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 1978) confirms that Ropes is correct in his
presentation of the text of Bezae: OUN for DE. A check of David Parker's
list of corrections to Scrivener's transcription of Bezae confirms Scrivener
at this point (D.C. Parker, _Codex Bezae: An early Christian manuscript and
its text_ [Cambridge U.Press, 1992]).

>Is von Soden available anywhere for purchase? If not is there some other
>reference that would serve as a substitute? I understand (from K. & B.
>Aland's book) that von Soden is somewhat difficult to use. Can anyone
>verify this? What is one to do if one wants to study the text of the NT
>in detail?

Edward Hobbs, in his reply to Clayton, indicated why von Soden is difficult
to use. At present there is still no replacement in general for
Tischendorf's massive eighth edition of his Greek NT (now a century and a
quarter old). He uses an older system of numbering MSS, which can be
converted to the current Gregory/Aland system by using the conversion table
in K. Aland, _Kurzgefasste Lise der griechischen Handschriften des neuen
Testaments_ (2nd ed; de Gruyter, 1994) 377-389 (conversion tables for von
Soden to Gregory and Gregory to von Soden are on pp. 390-ff.).

Beyond this, it is a matter of learning, on a book by book basis, what other
more recent resources might be available: Ropes, for example, on the text of
Acts (vol. 3 in the five-vol. series on Acts ed. by Jackson and Lake), and
now Boismard and Lamouille's multi-volume publications on the same book; the
IGNTP volume on Luke; S. C. E. Legg for Matthew and Mark (though they must
be used with great caution); the IGNTP volume on the papyri MSS of the
Gospel of John; just now published, by the Institute for NT Textual Research
in Muenster, the volume on James--the first part of what they are calling
_Novum Testamentum Graecum: editio critica maior_.

Sorry for the longish post re textual criticism on B-Greek, but Clayton's
question seemed to call for a bit of detail for a response to be useful, and
perhaps others have had similar questions. And after all, it is in the
variant readings of the NT manuscript tradition that we find some of the
more interesting grammatical questions or issues--and not infrequently, in
the form of some variant readings, clues as to how Greek scribes interpreted
or rendered a difficult or awkward construction about which we now puzzle.

Mike Holmes
Bethel College
St. Paul, MN 55112