[b-greek] Mk 5:23b A, P45 & NA27

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (c.s.bartholomew@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Wed Sep 27 2000 - 15:45:52 EDT

I have undertaken a project to look at P45 in the entire Gospel of Mark and
see how it is reported in R. Swanson and NA27. The purpose of this project
is to understand more clearly how to use the apparatus in NA27. This is not
really a TC theory subject, it is just a clarification of how to use one of
our basic tools for reading the NT in Greek. For this reason I am posting on
b-greek not on the TC list.

In Mk 5:23b there is a lot of variation among the manuscripts. The different
readings do not cluster neatly into two groups since they variants tend to
be of different lengths. Those of you who have Ruben Swanson's Mark can look
this up (everyone should have Ruben Swanson!!).

NA27 only cites the D reading here and ignores the readings of A and P45. At
first glance this would seem to violate the rules of citation for "constant
witnesses" defined in K. & B. Aland (The Text of the NT, 2nd ed. page 243).
However if we take a close look at the problem we can see that the reading
in D is a longer variation unit, containing more words than either the A or
P45 variant readings. The readings in A & P45 are contained within the scope
of the D reading as subsets of it.

Why is this important? If you rely on NA27 alone for this information it
would be very easy to conclude mistakenly that in Mk 5:23b there are NO
alternate readings to report from A or P45. There are readings and they are
part of the same span of text that is reported for D but they are not the
exact same variation unit as the D reading since they are shorter in length.


There are some very subtle issues involved in using one of our most basic
tools for reading the NT in Greek. Exploring some of these issues takes some
time and patience but without doing this one is likely to draw all kinds of
false conclusions based on what is printed in the textual apparatus of NA27.

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

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