Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dr. Jac Perrin on Family 13

Jac Perrin has successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Family 13 in Saint John’s Gospel,” submitted to the University of Birmingham, and written under the supervision of Prof. D. C. Parker and examined by Profs. Ulrich Schmid and Paul Foster.
To date, the single criterion of Family 13 constituency has been the relocation of the Pericope Adulterae from its traditional location in John 7:53. This dissertation demonstrates why this criterion is inadequate and proposes a new criteria.

After an overview of the history of research, potential Family 13 witnesses are classified by means of a methodology originated by Dr. David Parker’s use of Text und Textwert. This process identifies 8 witnesses inappropriately nominated as Family 13 members, thus establishing GA 13, 69, 124, 346, 543, 788, 826, 828, 983, and 1689 as valid members. Each of these 10 witnesses is then described palaeographically as a discrete artefact.
Phylogrammatic software, originally designed for DNA analysis, is then adapted to exhaustively study these Johannine Greek texts. The by-product of this novel process complements and validates the earlier Text und Textwert process. Also available as a result of this study are original witness transcriptions (available at, a Critical Apparatus of Family 13 in St. John’s Gospel, an exhaustive description of the contents of 18 potential witnesses, and a description of the computer analysis process used in the study.

As Perrin points out in his thesis, all the 10 valid members of Family 13 are of Calabrian provenance as Abbé Martin has asserted, despite the fact that his specific attempts to localise them are problematic.

Further, Perrin concludes that one of the family members has the Pericope Adulterae in its traditional location in John 7:53 (1689), and not in Luke as other family members, so this cannot be the single criterion for filiality.

Perrin traces three different subgroups of F13 (in concord with Lake’s study of F13 in Mark).  The image below (fig. 63), reproduced with permission, is one way to depict the final stemma (“splits tree cladogram”).

Congratulations to Dr. Jac Perrin!

Update: I have removed reference to a point Perrin makes which seems to be erroneous that “the PA of several other witnesses was in Luke, but their textual content was much closer to the TR than to any F13 member” (p. 277); I cannot find the data to back this up. Perrin’s main point, however, is valid, that the relocation of the PA to Luke (after 21:38) cannot be the single criterion of F13 membership.


  1. Congratulations! Always nice to see some phylogenetic approaches to TC be done.

  2. So, what is the answer to the question that is constantly asked about f13: why is the PA at that particular location in Luke? Because it because it was convenient to move it there because of the lectionary-cycle, or for some other reason?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  3. According to Tommy, Perrin supposedly states that "Conversely, there are MSS shown to be outside of Family 13 which have the PA located in the Gospel of Luke."

    Given that I have collated all the available MSS containing the PA (and have the results readily available to me in my database), I am curious about this claim.

    My data show only the already-established members of fam.13 transposing to the Lukan location -- namely 13, 69, 346, 543, 788, 826, 828, 983; and this with 1689 as noted in the normal Johannine location.

    Are some otherwise unknown MSS now being cited, or is the statement given above erroneous?

    1. Drs. Robinson and Wasserman are indeed correct about this statement from my dissertation being erroneous. All the MSS I studied which had the PA in Luke were F13. There are no others with the PA in Luke which I found to be F13 in St. John’s Gospel (although 1689 is exceptional in that it clearly contains many F13 readings but the PA of this witness is at Jn. 7:53). I apologize for my error which resulted in confusion. I am a pastor professionally and only a NT textual critic avocationally.

  4. And as an additional comment (not sure whether these were addressed by Perrin or not):

    Besides GA 1689 having a fam.13 type of PA text in the johannine location, there also are the following MSS that have a basically fam.13 type of PA text in Jn: GA 166, 174, 211, and 591mg.

    Also, there is the fam.13 lectionary, L-574, which has the PA within the Lukan section of the Synaxarion, Friday of Week 11 in Lk.

  5. Maurice, you are absolutely right. I think Perrin made a mistake here... I checked again and indeed he states in the conclusion which I read:

    "Also making the traditional criterion [relocation of the PA to Luke] obsolete is the realization that the PA of several other witnesses was in Luke, but their textual content was much closer to the TR than to any F13 member." (p. 277)

    But when I now look in the analysis part I cannot find anything to back up this statement. On the contrary, a very nice table (table 2 on p. 35) shows that all the F13 members except 1689 and *no other* nominated F13 members have the PA post Luke 21:38!

    One can only conclude that this textual trait is unique for F13, and an indication of membership as far as we know, although, as Perrin points out, it is not the sole criterion, since 1689 has the PA in its normal place.

    I will add a comment to the original blogpost.

  6. Congratulations. Nice work with some interesting results (IMO).

  7. Just for the record, here are a few other MSS that otherwise are not family 13 but which have a family 13 type of text in the PA:

    L-4 (in part)

    Also, Yvonne Burns had claimed MS 873 was family 13, but clearly not so in the PA; the same applies to MS 1709 (in relation to Lafleur's recent NovT article).

  8. The m4 PA profile that f13 contains is also shared by Byzantine Lambda members. These MSS mentioned by Maurice are for the most part members of that group.

    Paul Anderson

  9. Leapin' lizards, Dr. Robinson; you should get a doctorate on top of your doctorate.

    ... So, why is the PA at that particular location in Luke? Because it was convenient to move it there due to the lectionary-cycle, or for some other reason?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  10. The PA transference to Luke in most Family 13 members is as certainly due to lectionary-related issues as is the Family 13 transference of the Bloody Sweat of Lk 22:43-44 to follow Mt 26:39. This has been long recognized by various scholars.

  11. Dr. Robinson,

    Well, they're keeping it a pretty tightly-held secret. How about an ETC-entry on the subject?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  12. No "secret" at all, and certainly not "tightly held".

    Cf. Chris Keith, "The Initial Location of the Pericope Adulterae in Fourfold Tradition," NovT 51(2009)229:

    "The manuscripts in this family that contain PA after Luke 21:38 are perhaps the most obvious example of lectionary impact."

    On the same page: "van Lopik aligns himself with Metzger and Wikgren, who have pointed out that the location of the PA in fam 13 is a blatant example of the influence of the Byzantine lectionary system on the text of the New Testament."

    Hardly a "secret" with such witnesses in support.