Wednesday, March 07, 2018

A diamond reading in 1 Pet 2:12 in NA28 (1st printing)

A while ago, Pete Head raised an issue concerning the lack of the positive apparatus for a ‘diamond’ reading at 1 John 2:4. Diamond readings are a well-known convention of the ECM. For those that might not be cognisant of it: in ECM (and now, in the Catholic Epistles in NA28) mark places where the editors couldn’t decide on the initial text between the two most likely variants—hence, at such places the base text is split. The reading appearing on top is actually that of the NA26–7 text, although that doesn’t imply its genealogical priority in any way.

This morning, as I read the work of another Peter, I came across a similar problem at 1 Pet 2:12. Here NA28 follows its predecessor in printing εποπτευοντες, which, however, is marked with a diamond, following the ECM. The competing variant is the aorist form εποπτευσαντες, attested in A P Ψ 5 33 81 436 642 1735 2344 Byz Cl. In contrast, when we turn to the NA27 apparatus, the positive apparatus is provided, and we’re told the reading is supported by P72 ℵ B C 69 614 630 945 1241 1505 1739 al syH co.

I’m not quire sure why this ‘omission’ took place, especially given the presence of the positive evidence in the previous edition—and this is not the only one in the Catholic Epistles (besides the above-mentioned 1 John 2:4, cf. e.g. 1 Pet 3:5). I wonder how widespread this phenomenon is? Someone should check this as there are clearly places which have both (e.g. 1 Pet 3:20). In any case, as Jim Royse once retorted to an inquisitive panelist, ‘[O]mission is always so much more tempting than addition.’


  1. Do we know if this was changed in subsequent printings?

  2. This was not changed in subsequent printings of the NA28.

    An online addendum was, however, created (after Peter Head's post in 2015) that supplied a positive apparatus for all diamond units that lacked a positive apparatus in the Catholic Letters in the NA28. See the link titled "Text attestation where the primary line is split in the ECM2" here:

    Greg Paulson