Re: A Little TC Help Needed

From: Steven Craig Miller (
Date: Tue Mar 21 2000 - 13:25:47 EST

<x-flowed>To: Harold R. Holmyard III,

<< The UBS4 did not feel that it was necessary to include information about
variant readings at 1 Cor 2:14. Since the discussion originally had
centered around which was the original text, it seems likely that the
opinion of the editors grew stronger in favor of the majority of the
witnesses. They did not include variant readings because they felt that the
text was sufficiently established to bypass the issue in UBS4. At least,
since we are not certain of the editors' thinking, this is a reasonable
conclusion to draw from the available information. >>

IMO, your inference is not justified. The UBS4 dropped 300 variants: 23 had
been rated A; 99 had been rated B; 162 had been rated C; and 16 had been
rated D. At the same time UBS4 added 285 new variants: 168 were given an A
rating; 62 were given a B rating; and 55 were given a C rating. IMO there
is no justification (at least none to my knowledge) for assuming that the
Committee of the UBS4 now hold that all of those 300 variants dropped from
the UBS4 edition should now be rated at the A or even B level. Furthermore,
the variant at 1 Cor 2:14 was originally given a B rating in UBS1 and then
in the second edition it was lowered to a C! Merely because it has now
dropped out of the UBS apparatus, that is no justification for assuming
that the Committee would now rate it back up as a B or higher.

Kent D. Clarke, in his "Textual Optimism: A Critique of the United Bible
Societies' Greek New Testament" (1997) quotes H. P. Scanlin as having written:

<< After decades of use by those engaged in Bible translation, it was
decided that the Fourth Edition should incorporate changes in the apparatus
to enhance its usefulness for translators. About 15 translations in several
major languages were carefully checked to see where these translations made
text-critical decisions that affected their translation. The Editorial
Committee then carefully reviewed both the existing items in the apparatus
and the additional items that could be useful to translators to determine
which items could be removed from the textual apparatus and which should be
added >> (94-95; citing Scanlin [1994] BT 45:349).

And so my statement seems correct, namely: << The omission of this variant
reading [at 2 Cor 2:14] in UBS4 does not necessarily mean that the
Committee was no longer bothered by the possibility that the shorter
reading might be "the original text," rather the omission means that the
Committee didn't feel that this variant reading was important for
translators. ... Although the omission does not necessarily imply that they
had raised their evaluation of this reading, they could have done that too. >>

-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
FWIW: I'm neither a clergy-person, nor an academic (and I have no post-grad

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