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Whic GNT do you use?

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Whic GNT do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:06 pm

Which GNT do you currently read from? There are many editions of the GNT available today, and I was wondering if anyone used something that differs from the standard NA/UBS texts.

I've been using the UBS4 readers edition simply because it has quality binding, good layout for the running dictionary, a good font and small enough to carry around! As far as actual text goes, Im on the fence with a Byzentine text such as RP or Wilbure Pickering because, IMHO, there is less subjectivity when selecting the readings that should go in the text.

What do you think?
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby Markos » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:01 pm

I am in a situation similar to you. As a practical matter, the GNT I use the most often continues to be my Zondervan Reader's Edition (First Edition.) I don't need or use the glosses any more, and I have never liked the font, but I use it because it is the most portable and flexible, the only GNT that you can fold up as if it is a newspaper and stick in your back pocket. I love the light weight paper and the fake leather cover feels good in your hand. This text happens to be based on the reconstructed Greek text that underlays the NIV, so if differs in a few places from the NA 28.

I'm fairly convinced that the Byzantine Text is more original. My view is that the Alexandrian text is a shortened text reproduced by memory, which explains why a phrase here or there is left out. I also think that lots of ink is wasted trying to work out grammatical oddities that are found in only the few manuscripts that underlay the NA 28.

So, all things being equal, I prefer to read from my Robinson-Pierpont or my Trinitarian Bible Society Textus Receptus. I also dig my editions with facing Modern Greek versions.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:45 pm

Alexandrian text is a shortened text reproduced by memory

Fewer letters on very expensive Vellum or papyrus makes a cheaper production! Too.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby uberdwayne » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:26 am

So, all things being equal, I prefer to read from my Robinson-Pierpont or my Trinitarian Bible Society Textus Receptus. I also dig my editions with facing Modern Greek versions.


Wilbur M Pickering has an interesting take on a specific family of Byzantine type manuscripts. His differs from Robinson-Peirpont in about 1500 places, most minute. He hasn't published it yet, but, according to some recent emails, he's looking into it. The reason I mention this is because in an email back and forth, he sent me an overview of the general epistles, and from his collations so far of family 35 or Kr for Von Soden's Classification, hes come across a number of manuscripts which show NO VARIATION when comparing NT book by NT book. On top of this, there seems to be a very careful "transmission" of the family of byzantine manuscripts. Let me know what you think. Here's his website http://www.walkinhiscommandments.com/ His GNT is available here as well in PDF form.

I know this is more of a "textual critical" discussion, but because its Koine Greek, I think it fits here.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby gregf » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:22 pm

I was in Rome in July and bought a paperback copy of the UBS Greek New Testament A Reader's Edition at a book store near the Vatican, and I've come to really enjoy reading it. I also have a cheap interlinear that I've stopped using all together, and I spend a fair amount of time using Logos on my computer to look things up in dictionaries and grammars.

Right now I'm working through a list of Koine texts ordered by difficulty that I was given by my professor at the Greek course I mentioned above. I'm using my new bible to read through John's epistles (the easiest on my list), and am now about to finish Revelation (next easiest on the list). After that, the Gospels of Mark, John, and Luke.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:51 pm

Simple answer, all of them. Have gotten tired of using UBSGNT3 because the paragraph breaks and headings impose a particular exegetical scheme on the text which is hard to ignore. Have a large print NA27 which is easy to read. Have two print copies of Robinson-Pierpont, plus a tagged version in Tyndale-STEP. Have several e-versions of SBLGNT, no hard copy. Occasionally use the tagged Westcott-Hort in Tyndale-STEP. Have a hard copy of Hodges-Farstad which I consult perhaps one or twice a year. Have several tagged texts of TR in Tyndale-STEP which I have used in testing Tyndale-STEP, otherwise never consult. Have an ancient paperback TR in Jay Greens interlinear which I look at once in a long while. Always back and forth between hard copy and e-texts.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby Sofronios » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:17 pm

I am using UBS 4th and Patriarchal Text1904 but leaning toward PT1904. I am not into textual criticism or stuff, but I know there are two differing positions and would like to compare and just accept both as brothers.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby mwh » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:06 pm

I use (but not often) one of “the standard NA/UBS” editions (the 4th revised UBS one, to be precise, in Spanish, weirdly enough), which packs in enough info about variants and I think is very well judged in its text. But if you’re “not into textual criticism or stuff”—and readers of the NT have little or no need to be—I’d say it’s OK to use pretty well any text at all, since there are very few significant differences. Best if it excludes Jn.8.1-11, though, the tale of the woman caught in adultery, which is a late addition to the text.

The so-called Byzantine text I believe came into being even later (arguments for its early existence are worthless), and is expanded. Many Christians cling to it, irrationally. The so-called Alexandrian text is earlier, and it’s not “a shortened text reproduced by memory” (as Markos would have it). No-one who knows the first thing about papyrus manuscripts or transmissional processes could think that. There is an incredible amount of special pleading, mostly faith-based or tradition-based or both, when it comes to evaluating the manuscript history of the NT.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby jeidsath » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:33 pm

On editions:

I use three bibles: 1) The UBS Reader's edition. The glosses are a great help to me at my level. 2) The SBLGNT. Reading without glosses is good too, even if I have to guess at some words. It has just enough in the way of textual apparatus. 3) I have a combined USB Septuagint/GNT for the Old Testament.

I wish that I had a combined Septuagint + GNT with chapters and versus printed only on the sides, like a classical text, limited punctuation, and a limited apparatus. I may print one on lulu.com for myself if I ever get around to it.

On text choice:

The earliest Christians (and first century Jews), to whose ideas we are presumably trying to get back to, were perfectly content with their sometimes somewhat free Greek translations. I've read that it was Jewish-Christian competition that put the Hebrew scriptures back onto their pedestal, but I don't know very much about it.

The first lesson of being a textual primitivist then -- which includes almost everybody nowadays, perhaps especially the nonbelievers -- is that textual exactness is a slightly later development in Christian belief. Certainly later than Paul.

The textual history is still interesting to me because of what it can tell us about the evolution of ideas in the 2nd-3rd centuries -- though there is little enough to be gleaned there. Note how the word ἀναμάρτητος jumps out at you in John 8:7 -- that's a clear example of a more worked out theology of sin and purity, as compared to what you find in the rest of the gospels. It's rather closer to what you'd find in a modern (Orthodox or Catholic or Protestant) sermon.

I believe that it is Acts that has most of the Byzantine/Alexandrian differences? I haven't studied it yet, but I'd be interested to see what early scribes thought needed emendation and explanation there.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby mwh » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:38 am

Yes in Acts the split between the “Alexandrian” and the “Western” texts is most pronounced. (The Byzantine text shares features of both, more with the former than the latter.) And apparently it’s been generally seen as a “two-text” problem. A 5th-century Acts papyrus published in 2009 (Oxyrhynchus Papyri LXXIV 4968) upsets that view of things, since it doesn’t fall in with either the “Alex.” text or the “Western” (nor with the Byz., which doesn’t come on the scene till later). Apparently this came as a surprise. No-one here has yet engaged with the new evidence (is it still not online?), but I’ve mentioned it before (and Shenoute actually provided some of the publication) and I discussed transmission with uberdwayne in a lengthy series of posts in an earlier thread of his on the Byzantine text, in which I argued for greater recognition of fluidity. The textual history of the NT really needs a complete overhaul: best to relinquish all presuppositions and to start from scratch with the primary evidence. Fat chance of that.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby jeidsath » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:23 pm

The databases are getting better. This makes overhauls more likely as it gets easier for one person to work with vast quantities of textual data. Still, I can't work up much interest in the textual variation problems. This is more my kind of thing:

The New Testament in the Apostolic fathers. (Note especially the table on page 137. If anyone can recommend me more like this, I'd love to see it.)

How and when were the texts that we have composed? What is the precise relationship of the different Gospels to each other? What were the different concerns and ideas of the writers of the Gospels and the Epistles? Those strike me as interesting and proper questions, and deserve the bulk of scholarship. I don't think that any amount of manuscript tradition research will move the ball on these questions.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby mwh » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:16 pm

Well Joel, the only thing that will move the ball forward on your questions, all of which have been and will forever be exhaustively and exhaustingly discussed, is new evidence, and new evidence is hard to come by except from papyri. They give us gospels and such that didn’t make it into the eventual canon and multifariously advance understanding of the societal and cultural environments and different religious communities. These bear very significantly on the otherwise hackneyed questions you pose. But NT textual history underlies what seems most to preoccupy people here.
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby jeidsath » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:36 am

Perhaps. But what has been the most interesting New Testament textual discrepancy discovered since Erasmus?

As far as non-canonical gospels, they're all late, and worse, none of them seem to be based on any first-century sources that we don't already know about. Not that I'd mind a look at the Gospel according to the Hebrews.

The field has been caught up in the quest for hidden knowledge for 200 years now. I don't think that it is there. There is no Q, and the next mummy is going to have a version of Matthew barely discernible from what we already have. If the texts are not interesting in and of themselves, then the entire pursuit is pointless. Which it could well be: φύλαξαι ποιῆσαι βιβλία πολλά· οὐκ ἔστιν περασμός, καὶ μελέτη πολλὴ κόπωσις σαρκός.

(Aside: Is the LXX version warning against the making of many books?)
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:23 pm

jeidsath wrote:As far as non-canonical gospels, they're all late, and worse, none of them seem to be based on any first-century sources that we don't already know about.

Are you sure?
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Re: Whic GNT do you use?

Postby jeidsath » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:23 pm

Read them all for yourself. Most of them are great fun and written by a far more vital and expressive Christianity than has existed in later periods. If you find some 1st century leftover hanging about in one, let me know.
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