From: Roe (
Date: Thu Feb 03 2000 - 14:43:07 EST

Tony Costa schrieb:
> Dear Friends,
> Can any of you suggest any books or websites that deal with the various MS
> readings and the variants found among the MSS (Majority and Minority Texts)
> of the NT in an English version?? Many thanks.

Besides Robert Waltz's site are, for example,

Mark Goodacre's site:

Rodney Decker's textcrit page:

Or, check out the links at Carl Conrad's site:

These such sites don't focus on what variants exist in a given passage
in the mss, but tend to discuss the arena, methodology, approaches and
history of textual criticism.

For information on the actual variants of each verse, one would best be
advised to get a critical text with apparatus, such as:

        o the Nestle/Aland 27th ed.

        o the United Bible Societies 4th ed.

The apparatus of Nestle-Aland's "Novum Testamentum Graece", 27th ed.
(NA27) shows many more of the variants found in the manuscripts. The
apparatus of the UBS 4th Ed Greek NT has the same text as NA27 but shows
fewer variants. However, the UBS4 is more exhaustive in its listing of
witnesses for the (fewer) variant readings it does show. The UBS GNT has
the advantage of having the companion volume "A Textual Commentary on
the Greek New Testament" by Bruce Metzger, which explains, verse by
verse, why the committee evaluated the text the way they did --
something one can't get for the NA27. Get Metger's book at ABS for $23
-- half of retail:

If you're only interested in the Gospels, Acts and Galatians, Swanson's
critical apparatus looks interesting for a couple reasons: *extremely*
clear apparatus; and is generally more balanced (the NA27 seems more
biased toward the Alexandrian text and against the Byzantine). Swanson
is so bulky because he writes out (in parallel) the various readings, as
Vincent Broman notes in his evaluation of Swanson on the TC website
(e.g., Matt. 9. 1):

embas eis ploion [Aleph]B L 1,565,1582
embas eis to ploion o Ihsous C*
embas o Ihsous eis to ploion Cc
embas eis to ploion E F K W P
enbas eis ploion Q*
enbas o Ihsous eis ploion Qc
embas o Ihsous eis ploion 13

One can buy Swanson quite reasonably at:

For a look at variants *within* the Byzantine tradition, try Hodges And
Farstad's "Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text.

Remember, apparatuses are limited so that (even with the NA27) one
cannot say of a verse for which no variant is shown "no Greek ms has a
different reading". Bart Ehrman (in a presentation given at the NT
Textual Criticism section of the Society of Biblical Literature 1997
meeting) made a quick comparison of the variants in James 2:1-11, as
shown in the UBS-4th ed., the Nestle-Aland 27th, and the new Editio
Critica. The Editio Critica Maior presented 69 units of variation, the
NA27 only 22, and the UBS-4th ed. only one! (I think the Editio Critica
Maior has to date only published James?)

Happy researching,


D. W. Roe
Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

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