[b-greek] Re: Secondary Witnesses?

From: Rodney J. Decker (rdecker@bbc.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 12 2000 - 16:04:59 EDT

>>The minuscules that include this interpolation are 424, 614, 630,
>>1505,1912, 2200, 2464. A half dozen out of about 5,000 would, I
>>think, >be considered secondary regardless of one's textual
>>position--except for the fact that it shows up in the TR!
>It seems to me that you have switched meanings in your answer from the
>original question. But I could very well be mistaken, hence this clarification.

"Secondary" refers to the *value* of a reading. Support which comes from
other than a Greek MS are inherently secondary (e.g., the versions,
patristics). It can also be used to refer to a minority reading from MSS
considered inherently less reliable. (That, of course, is based on one's
approach to txt. crit.!) Thus I judge that a reading which occurs in only a
very few of the most recent MSS is secondary *relative* to those which are
either among the oldest, most reliable witnesses to the text (i.e., the
critical text--by whatever name you choose to call it) *or* which are part
of the majority of the MS evidence (i.e., the Byzantine/majority text).

>You seem to reject DIA TOU hAIMATOS AUTOU on the basis that only 6
>minuscules attest to it. Can you think of any word or phrase with LESS
>ATTESTATION that you personally consider ORIGINAL?

Offhand, no. (And I don't have time to hunt up some examples for you
today.) But this only raises the question of "value" again. Some MSS are of
much greater value than others, and thus a few of some may carry a far
greater weight than a few of others. (That, of course, is once again based
on one's approach to txt. crit.! But this isn't the right forum to resolve
that one! [or prob. even to discuss it--we're pressing the "list limits"
when we get into much txt. crit. stuff].

Rodney J. Decker, Th.D. Baptist Bible Seminary
Assoc. Prof./NT PO Box 800, Clarks Summit, PA 18411
rdecker@bbc.edu http://faculty.bbc.edu/rdecker/
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