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Major Critical Texts of the New Testament
Byz RP: 2005 Byzantine Greek New Testament, Robinson & Pierpont
TR1550: 1550 Stephanus New Testament
Maj: The Majority Text (thousands of minuscules that display a similar text)
Gries: 1774-1775 Johann Jakob Griesbach Greek New Testament
Treg: 1857-1879 Samuel Prideaux Tregelles Greek New Testament
Tisch: 1872 Tischendorf’s Greek New Testament
WH: 1881 Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament
NA28: 2012 Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament
UBS5: 2014 Greek New Testament
NU: Both Nestle-Aland and the United Bible Society
SBLGNT: 2010 Greek New Testament
THGNT: 2017 The Greek New Testament by Tyndale House
GENTI: 2020 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear
WH NU ἀλλὰ ἀνάστηθι καὶ εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν πόλιν.
“But get up and enter into the city.”
𝔓45 𝔓 א A B C E P Ψ 33 1739 Maj
Variant/TR σκληρον σοι προς κεντρα λακτιζειν. 6 τρεμων τε και θαμβων ειπεν, Τι με θελεις ποιησαι; και ο κυριος προς αυτον, αναστηθι και εσελθε εις την πολιν.
“‘It hurts you to kick against the goads.’ Trembling and astonished, he said, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’ And he said, ‘Get up and enter the city.’” (629 the first clause) ith,p syrh** vg
The portion of the passage in question is omitted from virtually all modern versions (including both Majority Text editions), frequently without even a footnote. The reason for its omission is quite persuasive. As Bruce M. Metzger puts it, “So far as is known, no Greek witness reads these words at this place; they have been taken from [Acts] 26:14 and 22:10, and are found here in codices of the Vulgate. … The spurious passage came into the Textus Receptus when Erasmus translated it from the Latin Vulgate and inserted it in his first edition of the Greek New Testament (Basel, 1516). The 18th century Bible scholar, Johann David Michaelis, wrote (c. 1749), “[This] long passage … has been found in not a single Greek manuscript, not even in those which have been lately [ca. 1785] collated by Matthai. It is likewise wanting in the Complutensian edition; but it was inserted by Erasmus [translating it from the Latin Vulgate], and upon his authority, it has been adopted by the other editors of the Greek Testament…This passage then, which later editors have copied from Erasmus, and which is contained in our common editions, is not only spurious, but was not even taken from a Greek manuscript.” The passage does not appear in the Complutensian Polyglot (1516) and noted as doubtful in Wettstein’s 1763 London edition, and since then it scarcely appeared in the main text and sometimes not even as a footnote in editions of the Greek New Testament and modern translations.
Philip W. Comfort writes,
Although it is possible that the verse could have been omitted due to homoeoteleuton, it is hardly possible that the mistake would have occurred in so many manuscripts of such great diversity. Therefore, it is far more likely that the verse is a scribal interpolation borrowed from Matt 24:40, with harmonization to the style of Luke 17:35. Though the verse is not present in TR, it was included in KJV (perhaps under the influence of the Latin Vulgate), NKJV, and HCSB, which in deference to KJV has a pattern of including verses that are omitted by all other modern versions.
Bruce M. Metzger writes,
The clause σκληρόν σοι πρὸς κέντρα λακτίζειν is included after διώκεις (ver. 4) in E 431 vgmss syrp, Petilianus Jerome Augustine; and after διώκεις (ver. 5) in itgig, , vgms Lucifer Ambrose. Although Clark argued that it would have been “inartistic” of Luke not to include the clause in one or the other verses (Clark prefers ver. 4), it is more probable that the words were introduced by copyists who assimilated the passage to the account of Paul’s conversion given in 26:14, where the clause follows διώκεις (the text is firm). In support of this judgment is the lack of any reason that would satisfactorily account for the omission of the clause from verses 4 or 5, had it stood there originally. Likewise, it is always suspicious when a variant reading, which agrees with a parallel passage, has no fixed location but vacillates between two points of attachment in Western witnesses.
9:5–6 διώκεις· ἀλλά
After διώκεις (and omitting ἀλλά of ver. 6) the Textus Receptus adds σκληρόν σοι πρὸς κέντρα λακτίζειν. (6) τρέμων τε καὶ θαμβῶν εἶπε, Κύριε, τί με θέλεις ποιῆσαι; καὶ ὁ κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν, which is rendered in the AV as follows: “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (6) And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him.” So far as is known, no Greek witness reads these words at this place; they have been taken from 26:14 and 22:10, and are found here in codices of the Vulgate, with which ith, syrh with * copG67 substantially agree (all except the Vulgate add after θαμβῶν the words ἐπὶ τῷ γεγονότι αὐτῷ, taken from 3:10). The spurious passage came into the Textus Receptus when Erasmus translated it from the Latin Vulgate into Greek and inserted it in his first edition of the Greek New Testament (Basel, 1516). See p. 8* above.
TERMS AS TO HOW WE SHOULD OBJECTIVELY VIEW THE DEGREE OF CERTAINTY FOR THE READING ACCEPTED AS THE ORIGINAL
The modal verbs are might have been (30%), may have been (40%), could have been (55%), would have been (80%), must have been (95%), which are used to show that we believe the originality of a reading is certain, probable or possible.
The letter [WP] stands for Weak Possibility (30%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading might have been original in that it is enough evidence to accept that the variant might have been possible, but it is improbable. We can say the reading might have been original, as there is some evidence that is derived from manuscripts that carry very little weight, early versions, or patristic quotations.
The letter [P] stands for Plausible (40%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading may have been original in that it is enough to accept a variant to be original and we have enough evidence for our belief. The reading may have been original but it is not probably so.
The letter [PE] stands for Preponderance of Evidence (55%), which indicates that this is a higher-level proof that the reading could have been original in that it is enough to accept as such unless another reading emerges as more probable.
The letter [CE] stands for Convincing Evidence (80%), which indicates that the evidence is an even higher-level proof that the reading surely was the original in that the evidence is enough to accept it as substantially certain unless proven otherwise.
The letter [BRD] stands for Beyond Reasonable Doubt (95%), which indicates that this is the highest level of proof: the reading must have been original in that there is no reason to doubt it. It must be understood that feeling as though we have no reason to doubt is not the same as one hundred percent absolute certainty.
NOTE: This system is borrowed from the criminal just legal terms of the United States of America, the level of certainty involved in the use of modal verbs, and Bruce Metzger in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), who borrowed his system from Johann Albrecht Bengel in his edition of the Greek New Testament (Tübingen, 1734). In addition, the percentages are in no way attempting to be explicit, but rather, they are nothing more than a tool to give the non-textual scholar a sense of the degree of certainty. However, this does not mean the percentages are not reflective of certainty.
Copyists made some additions to their Greek text at times. They were more inclined to do this than to omit material. One must always carry out careful research of the external and internal evidence to uncover such scribal interpolations. Hence, the most dependable witnesses are from the Alexandrian family of manuscripts found to be the most condensed. On the other hand, the Byzantine family is the most drawn out and extended from scribes taking liberties with the text.
Variant Reading(s): differing versions of a word or phrase found in two or more manuscripts within a variation unit (see below). Variant readings are also called alternate readings.
Variation Unit: any portion of text that exhibits variations in its reading between two or more different manuscripts. It is important to distinguish variation units from variant readings. Variation units are the places in the text where manuscripts disagree, and each variation unit has at least two variant readings. Setting the limits and range of a variation unit is sometimes difficult or even controversial because some variant readings affect others nearby. Such variations may be considered individually or as elements of a single reading. One should also note that the terms “manuscript” and “witness” may appear to be used interchangeably in this context. Strictly speaking “witness” (see below) will only refer to the content of a given manuscript or fragment, which it predates to a greater or lesser extent. However, the only way to reference the “witness” is by referring to the manuscript or fragment that contains it. In this book, we have sometimes used the terminology “witness of x or y manuscript” to distinguish the content in this way.
- Edward D. Andrews, FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS: Introduction-Intermediate New Testament Textual Studies (Cambridge, Ohio), 2021.
- B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek: Appendix (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1882)
- Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006)
- Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994),
- Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: NTG Apparatus Criticus, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012).
- Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament: Apparatus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).
- Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017),
- Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: Novum Testamentum Graece, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012)
- Philip Wesley Comfort, A COMMENTARY ON THE MANUSCRIPTS AND TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2015).
- Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary: Commentary on the Variant Readings of the Ancient New Testament Manuscripts and How They Relate to the Major English Translations (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008).
- Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts: Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, 2 Volume Set The (English and Greek Edition) (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019)
- Rick Brannan and Israel Loken, The Lexham Textual Notes on the Bible, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).
- Roger L. Omanson and Bruce Manning Metzger, A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger’s Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006).
- Wallace B., Daniel (n.d.). Retrieved from The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts: http://csntm.org/
- Wilker, Wieland (n.d.). Retrieved from An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels: http://www.willker.de/wie/TCG/index.html
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