In TC some of the insurmountable gaps between scholars have to do with a very different appreciation for some of the witnesses to the text of the NT (Codex B, the Majority text, vg, quotations in church fathers etc.). Transcriptional reasoning seems much less problematic, at first glance. The purest form of transcriptional reasoning is done by those who suggest conjectural emendations (cj) to the text.
I have noticed Evangelical scholarship tends to be quite reluctant to allow for cj.
Let me raise a question here: is cj compatible with a high view of Scripture? Personally I cannot see why not. In my article "Paul's Use of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 1-4 and Conjectural Emendation in 4:6." (Analecta Bruxellensia 9 (2004): 102-122) p. 108-115 I have suggested 10 criteria for evaluation of a conjectural emendation. I would appreciate your response. Here they are:
- The emendation does justice to the style or the idiom of the author, or at least more justice than the traditional reading.
- The emendation solves the problem in the text.
- The emendation does not introduce new difficulties or riddles.
- The extant readings are – either directly or indirectly – explicable as corruptions of the emended reading.
- Few early witnesses are available for the passage.
- The reconstruction of the original text has been contested in an early stage.
- The development from the conjectured original of at least one of the extant readings could have taken place in an early stage.
- The emendation requires only a minor intervention.
- Textual critics are not removing or softening elements in the traditional text that offend their logic, culture or ideology.
- The derivation of the traditional reading from the emended one may not require procedures that were not current in the earliest formative stage of the NT text.