Monday, February 25, 2013

Presentation of NA28 (SBL Chicago)

Following up on Mike Holmes’ post on the changes between the 1st and 2nd editions of the Editio Critica Maior, this blogpost summarizes the presentation by Klaus Wachtel of the INTF, Münster, at the SBL in Chicago.

The presentation was part of a session presenting the Nestle-Aland 28th edition. The specific paper was entitled:

The Revision of the Catholic Epistles according to the Editio Critica Maior

– The text of NA28 has changed at 34 passages. A list of changes is available on the INTF website here. This list also displays the differences between ECM1 and ECM2, which are due to the benefit of using the whole database with the Catholic Letters.

– Diamonds have been inserted in the text and the apparatus where ECM2 will display a split primary line. A list of these passages which are marked with diamond in the text and apparatus is available here.

– The selection of witnesses has changed.

– The symbol “Byz” is used instead of Gothic M.

– The aim of the ECM is to present all relevant material [I think for the textual transmission of the NT in the first 1000 years] and the initial text.

– The simplest hypothesis (making least suppositions) is that the initial text represent of the text of the author as it is preserved in the extant textual tradition. However, a reconstruction of the authorial text is not possible in each case, every reconstruction cannot be absolutely claimed to be authorial. The present reconstruction is a hypothesis about the text of the authors.

– The old text-type terminology is not useful any longer. Core witnesses of the Byzantine text are integrated into the network. The ECM Byz is represented by seven witnesses with a pure Byzantine text (these representatives changes from letter to letter).

– Sometimes the editors preferred readings which were preserved in later witnesses (not the well-known witnesses). When the characteristic feature of the Byzantine text of smoothing out the text is not there, we can be sure that we have an old text before us.

– 125 passages are marked with diamond – here it is unclear which reading is the initial text. The bold dot has been abandoned.

NA28 vs. NA27

NA27: Aim was more secure reconstruction of the original text.

NA28: Aim is formulated as a hypothesis about the initial text (at many passages left open)

NA27: Text-type theory

NA28: Redefinition of external criteria based on relationships between individual witnesses

NA27: Prejudice against the Byz tradition

NA28: Reliability of the main stream tradition

NA27: The critical apparatus as a repository of variants

NA28: a gateway to the sources

NA28: ECM new basis for Nestle-Aland

Question (at QA-session): At places where there is a diamond, why print a certain reading in the main text? Answer: It was done for practical reasons – the printed reading is the NA27 reading. It would have been a worse alternative to print a new reading.

1 comment

  1. Just looking over the list of diamonds in James:

    Whaa?? the transpositions in James 1:22 and 3:4 and 5:18 are so unstable that they merit a split-line, but not the APOSKIASMA-vs-APOSKIASMATOS contest in 1:17?? And not the stand-here-sit-there variant-unit in 2:3??

    And, looking down the list a bit, to First Peter 5:14: why is this suddenly such a closely-contested variant-unit? Look at the array of witnesses for non-inclusion of IHSOU. Conclusive, I would say, especially considering the likelihood of scribal expansion at this point in the text. And the editors of UBS4 seem to agree, inasmuch as they gave this an "A" ranking. Now it jumps from "A" to the equivalent of "D," it would seem.

    The editors seem increasingly willing to decide not to decide. With that approach, why have a main text at all?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.