Advantages of the NA over the UBS (was: The Bible I ended up with...)

From: Perry L. Stepp (
Date: Wed Oct 20 1999 - 10:54:49 EDT

In all the discussion yesterday, no one really pointed out (unless I
completely skipped over it) the chief advantages of the NA over the UBS for
most users, namely the extra apparatuses (apparatii? apparatix?) The NA
editions have many helps for interpreters that the UBS simply does not
offer--Friedrich Danker's *Multipurpose Tools* has the best summary, and
instructions on how to best use the NA editions.

As I look at the NA26 on the desk in front of me (currently opened to John
6.32ff), I can see the following interpreters helps:

1. Down the inner margins, the Eusebian canons (a thorough and workable
"harmony of the gospels".

2. Down the outer margins, the index of cross references and citations,
which points out linguistic, thematic, and grammatical parallels. For
example: note how the NA cross-references Sirach 24.21 at Jn 6.35 (leading
the interpreter to consider Jn 6.35 in the light of wisdom Christology.

3. At the bottom of the page, you can trace the history of the
interpretation of certain passages by noting how the text has been changed
to make it more clear/orthodox/etc. by different scribes at different times
and in different situations. Also, the older NA editions (NA25 is best)
suggested many more alternatives in punctuation.

You should also consider the tables at the end of the volume, the new NA
editions have a *huge* amount of valuable information in the appendices.

For these reasons, I would never recommend the UBS over the NA26/27.

(And then there's the font thing.)



Pastor, DeSoto Christian Church
Ph.D. Candidate (ABD), Baylor University
#1 Cowboy fan


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