Bible Manuscript

Text-criticism is a type of scholarship that most of us don’t think about. It’s where we get the footnotes in our bibles that say things like b Gk Vg: Heb in the plain or f Heb lacks on the bed. Scholars compare lots of manuscripts and, when there’s a discrepancy, they try to judge which reading is the right one. (Usually, they add the footnote to document what the alternative was.)

I ran across an article that has some interesting pictures of Bible manuscripts. It gives you a feel for how much science and/or detective work goes into those little notes.

The article is aimed at text critics, so the first couple of paragraphs are accessible, but after that it gets … uh, well, let me know if this means anything to you, because it’s Greek to me:

Although this MS follows the Byzantine text, it has a rare variant of the aorist subjunctive πιστευσητε (049 218 945 1751 2374) instead of the present subjunctive πιστευητε in v. 13. It also has what may be a unique variant in v. 15, ητοικαμεν instead of ητηκαμεν.

For most of the past 2,000 years, people were lucky to have access to any Bible at all. Today, anybody can have a Bible, and thanks to text critics, they’re the most accurate and trustworthy Bibles this side of heaven.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s