The Coherence Based Genealogical Method as a Tool for Explaining Textual Changes in the Greek New Testament

in Novum Testamentum
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This article discusses the advantages of the the Coherence Based Genealogical Method (cbgm), not only as a tool for reconstructing the text of the New Testament, but also for surveying the history of readings and for explaining textual changes. The cbgm promises to detect readings, which have emerged several times independently in the textual tradition. The method is applied to selected examples in 1 John 5:6 and Jude 4, which are relevant to the issue of “orthodox corruption,” as raised by Bart D. Ehrman. The results speak against deliberate textual changes as effects of early Christological controversies in these particular passages. Rather the textual changes reflect other typical behaviour on the part of the scribes throughout the history of transmission.

The Coherence Based Genealogical Method as a Tool for Explaining Textual Changes in the Greek New Testament

in Novum Testamentum

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References

1

Gerd Mink“Zur Stemmatisierung neutestamentlicher Handschriften,” in Bericht der Hermann Kunst-Stiftung zur Förderung der neutestamentlichen Textforschung für die Jahre 1979-1981 (Münster: Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung1982) 100-114.

4

Tommy Wasserman“Criteria for Evaluating Readings in New Testament Textual Criticism,” in The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Questionis (ed. Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes; 2d ed.; nttsd 42; Leiden/Boston: Brill 2013) 595-607.

10

Bart D. Ehrman“The Text as Window: New Testament Manuscripts and the Social History of Early Christianity,” in The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research803-830. For an illustrative example of how the textual tradition of a certain passage can give insights into church history see Jennifer Knust and Tommy Wasserman “Earth Accuses Earth: Tracing What Jesus Wrote on the Ground” htr 103.4 (2010) 407-446 (on John 8:6 8).

11

Bart D. EhrmanThe Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (2d ed.; Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press2011).

13

So MetzgerTextual Commentary646-647.

14

Bart D. EhrmanThe Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (2d ed.; Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press2011) 70. This reading is adopted by C.H. Dodd The Johannine Epistles (London: Hodder & Stoughton 1946) 128 n.1.

22

MetzgerTextual Commentary656.

24

Cf. I. Moir and J.K. ElliottManuscripts and the Text of the New Testament: An Introduction for English Readers (Edinburgh: T&T Clark1995) 59-60.

25

Charles LandonA Text-Critical Study of the Epistle of Jude (JSNTSup 135; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press1996) 63-66.

26

Landon ext-Critical Study 64. On the other hand Nigel Turner in a similar case (2 Pet 1:1) suggests that the article “could have been repeated to avoid misunderstanding if separate individuals had been intended.” See Nigel Turner Syntax (vol. 3 [1968] of A Grammar of New Testament Greek; ed. James H. Moulton W.F. Howard and Nigel Turner; 4 vols. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark 1908-1976) 181.

27

LandonText-Critical Study65. Here and elsewhere Landon appeals to Bart D. Ehrman’s work The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. Interestingly J.J. Wettstein referred to Jude 4 as an example of doctrinal alteration preferring the reading without θεόν as the less orthodox reading a circumstance which demonstrates the bluntness of such a criterion in practical application. See Johann Jakob Wettstein ed. Novum Testamentum Graecum (2 vols.; Amsterdam: Dommerian 1751-1752) 2:864.

31

This reading is printed in my editionThe Epistle of Jude: Its Text and Transmission (ConBNT 43; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell Int.2006).

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Textual flow diagram for variant c in 1 John 5:6 (space 16)
  • View in gallery
    Textual flow diagram for variant e in Jude 4 (space 48-58) assuming that it is the initial reading (A)
  • View in gallery
    Textual flow diagram for variant e in Jude 4 (space 48-58) assuming that reading a is the initial reading (A)
  • View in gallery
    Textual flow diagram for variant a in Jude 4 (space 48-58) assuming that reading a is the initial reading (A)

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