Q: "New Testament Greek Manuscripts" [was: Sinaiaticus]

From: Nichael Lynn Cramer (nichael@sover.net)
Date: Sun Apr 28 1996 - 01:11:47 EDT

[Cross-posted to b-greek.]

In the recent discussion about obtaining a copy of the complete Sinaticus text
Prof Robinson suggested the use of the "Concordant Greek NT" as a
relatively inexpensive (i.e. cheaper than a facsimile) and comparatively
easy (i.e. easier than working from the UBS/NA apparatuses) alternative.
This brought to mind something I've meant to ask about.

A couple of months ago I received a flyer in the mail (apparently sent to
the SBL mailing list) for a series called "New Testament Greek Manuscripts"
edited by Rueben Swanson and published by Bibal Press.

In short, I was wondering if anyone else is familar with this series and
can comment on it?

For those who've not seen the series (or the flier), in this series the
text is printed (more or less) verse by verse, with the text from Vaticanus
at the top of each column. Below this line, and in parallel, each variant
for the verse is printed in its entirety (together with a listing of
witnesses for each variant).
A total of "45 critical manuscripts" are represented in the work.

At the bottom of each page, in a sort of critical aparatus, is an
indication of which manuscripts exhibit lacunae for the passage shown on
that page. A second listing shows "[o]rthographical variants, scribal
errors, erasures and other discrpancies..."

Finally, each NT book is printed as a separate volumn in this series
(curently only the Gospels are available).

A brief note: While the complete list of included manuscripts is not
included in the flier, judging from the example page included in the ad, it
would appear that only one papyrus manuscript was included (p45). On the
other hand by my count at least 1/3 of the "45 critical manuscripts" are

While I understand that claim on the cover of the flier that "New Testament
study has changed forever!" is advertising hyperbole ;-) this does seem,
possibly, to be an interesting approach. On the other hand, I can't help
but wonder 1] what --other than possibly convience-- advantage does this
series really offer (other than, e.g., would be obtained from using the
more standard editions I already own) and 2] given the somewhat apparently
selective set of manuscripts used, am I correct in assumimg a certain,
well, bias in the work of the editor?

(Prices are in the range of $26-$39 per volume).


nichael@sover.net __
http://www.sover.net/~nichael Be as passersby -- IC

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