[b-greek] Re: Col. 2:17b P46 NA27 vs. Comfort/Barrett

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Sun Sep 24 2000 - 13:15:29 EDT

With some kind assistance from a German scholar off list I have sorted out
my problem which turned out to be a elementry one due to a misreading of
some statements in K. & B. Aland, "The Text of the NT, 2nd ed..

It is amazing how soon one forgets what one once knew. I have used the
apparatus in NA26/27 very little in the last five years. When I was working
on Codex Bezae in Acts, I used J.H. Ropes and checked it against H. Alford
until Ruben Swanson's book on Acts came out and then I used it to verify
J.H. Ropes.

During my studies in the Gospel of Mark I have used Ruben Swanson almost
exclusively, with an occasional glance at H. Alford or H.B. Swete to verify
the information on the Uncials.

But when I decided to do a brief study of Colossians, I had no Ruben Swanson
to use so I had to "fall back" on NA27 for the first time in a long time and
I had forgotten the "rules."

There are some statements on pages 244,245 of K. & B. Aland ("The Text of
the NT, 2nd ed) which if they are taken out of context can be very
misleading. On page 245 we read "In the Pauline letters the 'constant
witnesses' cited explicitly for each variant where they are extant include
all the available papyri . . . ." It would be very easy reading this
statement alone to draw the wrong conclusion that P46 should be cited in
Col. 2:17b.

However, on page 243 we read " 'Constant witnesses' are manuscripts which
are cited regularly in the recording of variants (when witnesses are
cited)." Watch out for the parenthetical remark! What this boils down to is
that a "Constant Witness" will always be cited when and if the editors of
NA27 see fit to report a variant.

I should have remembered this, but after years of neglecting the NA
apparatus I had forgotten it and I just jumped to page 245 and read the
statement on the Pauline witnesses and came to the wrong conclusion.

Anyway, since a whole lot of people on this list are relatively new users to
NA27 I thought it was worth while to expose my error here lest others get
caught up in it.


on 09/23/00 8:30 AM, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:

>> I was musing over the use of SWMA in Col. 2:17 (which is worth some
>> discussion
>> itself, but that is not what my question is about) when I decided to read
>> Colossians chapter 2 in P46 using Comfort/Barrett.
>> I noticed a small discrepancy in Col. 2:17b
>> NA27 (corrected, 2000 ed.) reads:
>> but P46 according to the Comfort/Barrett transcription reads:
>> Now the issue here is not CRU which is a Nomina Sacra, the issue is the
>> missing TOU.
>> B. & K. Aland list P46 as a "consistently cited witness of the first order"
>> for Colossians. Perhaps I am misunderstanding what the Alands mean by a
>> "consistently cited witness of the first order." I was assuming that it meant
>> they would always cite the readings of P46 when the differed from the text of
>> NA27. If that isn't what they mean then I am clueless (again).
>> Anyway, there is no indication in NA27 (corrected, 2000 ed.) that TOU is
>> missing in P46. So, what is the story here? Did Comfort/Barrett goof or is
>> this an oversight in NA27 or is it just a misunderstanding on my part of what
>> the Aland's mean by "a consistently cited witness of the first order?"
> I took a look at B. & K. Aland' s Text of the NT (2nd ed.) again and read
> their explanation of a "consistently cited witness" which in this book they
> call a "constantly cited witness." It appears that my assumption about this
> was correct.
> I also took a look at Hodges & Farstad for Col 2:17b and they show the
> Majority reading agreeing with P46 in that both omit the TOU. So it would
> appear that Comfort/Barrett are correct.
> So what do you folks make of this? Is this an error in the NA27 (corrected,
> 2000 ed.) or am I still overlooking some little obvious fact that everyone
> else knows.
> One idea that past through my mind was that nomina sacra in the papyri might
> omit the article for the sake of saving space. What about this?

Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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