Friday, November 25, 2005

More wisdom from the past?

"It will not be necessary endlessly to make the point that readings which we judge to be superior taken by themselves are only to be preferred to others if they are supported by at least a few ancient witnesses. I pay no attention to readings which are supported by no adequate witness, but only by late and worthless ones. However, the more internal indications of its excellence a reading displays, the fewer the witnesses necessary to establish it. In practice, therefore, it can happen that a reading exhibits so many and such obvious indications of its worth that two witnesses, provided that they belong to different types and families, or even a single witness, are enough to support it."

This seems sensible in general, don't you think?
What are the most compelling readings supported by only a single witness?


  1. I don't know of any passage in the NT where I would be tempted to suggest the reading of a single manuscript to be printed in the text of a GNT. That would be hardly different from printing a conjectural emendation!
    A very interesting (and not unlikely) choice of NA 27 is
    εις επιγνωσιν του μυστηριου του Θεου Χριστου in Col. 2:2, which is supported by only two Greek mss., P46 and B. But this logical reading may be nothing more than a conjecture by the scribe of P46...

  2. Mark 1.41 ORGISQEIS is supported by only one Greek manuscript, but has other versional support. That is a pretty good reading, certainly (by a long shot) the harder reading.

    Maybe not good enough for PJW


  3. Οργισθεις is good enough to make it into my apparatus, not my main text.