Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri


In textual criticism, the 'scribal habits' in a manuscript (tendencies to make various sorts of changes) must be known in order to evaluate
its testimony. Colwell analyzed the scribal habits in P45, P66, and P75, by examining their singular readings. This book expands on
Colwell's work by studying P45, P46, P47, P66, P72, and P75, the six most extensive early New Testament manuscripts. All the singular
readings in these papyri are studied along with all the corrections.
The results, which incorporate many revised readings of these papyri, make possible the more precise use of these papyri in textual
criticism. Among the important discoveries is that the general tendency of these early scribes was to omit rather than to add.

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James R. Royse, Ph.D (1969) in Philosophy, University of Chicago, Th.D. (1981) in Biblical Studies, Graduate Theological Union. He has published on early New Testament manuscripts and on the text of Philo, including The Spurious Texts of Philo of Alexandria (Brill, 1991).
The work is meticulous in detail, exhaustive in bibliography and in discussing every opinion on each topic, and significant in its conclusions....It will be some time before use will have made one properly familiar with the detailed workings ofthis remarkable book. What is clear is that the effort will be rewarding. Colwell started something worth following, and that we are indebted to Royse for pursuing it so thoroughly.

D.C. Parker, Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists, 2009

'...this study is undoubtedly a mammoth study with significant text-critical insights. ...Royse's study is a landmark achievement and those involved in textual criticism are greatly indebted to him.'

Paul Foster, Expository Times, April 2010
All those interested in New Testament textual criticism, as well as in studies of early manuscripts in general.
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