Thursday, August 19, 2021

ECM of Mark: Thirty-three Changes to the Initial Text


The Novum Testamentum Graecum. Editio Critica Maior (ECM) of the Gospel of Mark has just arrived in Sweden in a shoebox size 43. First of all I want to warmly congratulate the team of the INTF in Münster for this splendid achievement, in particular for doing the finish during a long pandemic.

 There are of course many things to say, but here below I simply list the thirty-three changes to the initial text from NA28 to the ECM of Mark, indicating where how the Byzantine text aligns where it is not split itself (ECM Mark I:2,1, p. 20*). Apparently, in twenty twenty-five places the initial text moves towards the Byzantine text, and in six five places it moves away from it. In this context, however, it should be noted that there are thousands and thousands of variation-units (I have not checked how many).

A pdf of the list of changes as it appears printed in vol. 1 can be downloaded from the INTF, here

Further, there are 126 places where the editors print a split guiding line, i.e., where the decision between two competing variants is left open. This list can be downloaded from here

As for the accompanying digital tools, I wrote some years ago: “A desideratum for the future is an interactive interface that will enable users to pursue the complete critical process: to create their own local steammata of variants, build up a genalogical database, and successively evaluate the consequences of their textual choices” (Tommy Wasserman, “Criteria for Evaluating Readings in NT Textual Criticism,” in The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research, ed. Ehrman and Holmes [Brill, 2013], p. 607).  Well, the future is now here; to cite Klaus Wachtel, “Every user may now install the CBGM locally, make textual decisions, construct local stemmata, and make these the basis for their own genealogical evaluation” (ECM Mark I:2,3, p. 6). 

Thus, the CBGM toolbox (formerly called “Genealogical Queries”) for Mark is found here.

If you want to know more about how you can use the tools on your own, go here.

Again, congratulations to the editors and all contributors to this milestone in New Testament textual criticism! Now we look forward to the next volume.

Changes to the Initial Text of Mark

ECM / NA28 

  • 1:1/12-16
    υιου του θεου Byz / [υιου θεου] 
  • 1:2/18
    εγω Byz / om.  
  • 1:4/5
    om. Byz / [ο] 
  • 2:12/18
    εναντιον Byz / εμπροσθεν
  • 3:11/18-26
    προσεπιπτον αυτω και εκραζον λεγοντα / προσεπιπτον αυτω και εκραζον λεγοντες 
  • 3:14/6-14
    δωδεκα ινα ωσιν μετ αυτου Byz / δωδεκα [ους και αποστολους ωνομασεν] ινα ωσιν μετ αυτου
  • 3:16/1
    om. Byz / [και εποιησεν τους δωδεκα] 
  • 3:20/12-16
    συνερχεται παλιν οχλος Byz / συνερχεται παλιν [ο] οχλος 
  • 3:32/34-40
    om. / [και αι αδελφαι σου] Byz
  • 4:15/50-52
    εν αυτοις / εις αυτους 
  • 4:16/2-6
    και ουτοι εισιν ομοιως Byz / και ουτοι εισιν 
  • 4:31/4
    κοκκον Byz / κοκκω 
  • 6:22/30-40
    ο δε βασιλευς ειπεν τω κορασιω / ειπεν ο βασιλευς τω κορασιω Byz
  • 6:23/6
    αυτη Byz / αυτη [πολλα] 
  • 6:40/10-16
    ανα εκατον και ανα Byz / κατα εκατον και κατα 
  • 7:6/24-26
    ως γεγραπται Byz / ως γεγραπται [οτι] 
  • 7:9/28
    τηρησητε Byz / στησητε 
  • 7:12/2-10
    και ουκετι αφιετε αυτον ουδεν ποιησαι Byz / ουκετι αφιετε αυτον ουδεν ποιησαι 
  • 7:35/3
    om. / [ευθεως] Byz 
  • 7:37/22-30
    ποιει ακουειν και αλαλους λαλειν / ποιει ακουειν και [τους] αλαλους λαλειν Byz 
  • 8:35/28
    απολεση Byz / απολεσει 
  • 9:1/20-24
    των ωδε εστηκοτων Byz / ωδε των εστηκοτων 
  • 10:25/18
    εισελθειν Byz / διελθειν 
  • 10:28/22
    ηκολουθησαμεν / ηκολουθηκαμεν 
  • 11:3/20
    οτι Byz / om. 
  • 11:23/4
    γαρ Byz / om. 
  • 11:32/12-14
    τον λαον Byz / τον οχλον 
  • 12:36/20
    ο Byz / om. 
  • 14:31/12-18
    με δεη συναποθανειν σοι Byz / δεη με συναποθανειν σοι 
  • 14:44/34
    απαγαγετε Byz / απαγετε 
  • 15:12/19
    om. / [θελετε] Byz 
  • 16:14/4 
    om. Byz / [δε] 
  • 16:19/8
    κυριος Byz / κυριος ιησους 

Update: After I published this blogpost, Maurice Robinson asked me why the Byz was not indicated in a few additional passages, and in one case (16:19/8) it was indicated in the wrong place. When I looked at these passages I realized that the Byz had been dropped from the passages because the sign is not indicated where there is only a negative apparatus, but it certainly ought to be in the list on p. 20*. Greg Paulson of the INTF confirms that this is the case and will add them in the online PDF of textual changes (see link above). (I will ask him to check also the list with split guiding line.) In the last passage there was a printing error (the Byz sign was placed before κυριος ιησους too far to the right which created confusion; this has also been rectified).


  1. Got my copy on order. More interested in the 2nd and 3rd volumes (all the textual notes of the first volume are already up on INTF, so a print copy is more of a bonus).

    I'm very interested to see if there's any discussion on the Syriac manuscripts which apparently agree with 𝔓45 in omitting ἀνὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα in Mark 6:40 (cited as VFHms on the online INTF). Only manuscript I knew of which agreed with 𝔓45 was the Harklean Syriac manuscript Vat. Syr. 267 which originally omitted the words, but then added them interlinearly (ܡܢ ܡܐܐ ܘܡܢ ܚܡܫܝܢ - see (55v), left hand column lines 15-16 ).

    So yes, very exciting times!

  2. I dont speak German, are there editions in English?

    1. The first and second Parts have combined English/German pages (similar to Nestle-Aland GNT's etc); only the third Part - Studies - has some German-only sections.

  3. Does ECM put Mark 16:9-20 in double brackets like the Nestle-Aland editions?

  4. Is 10:28 a place that should be marked with "Byz"? I'm basing that on the fact that (according to the SBLGNT apparatus) WH, Treg, & NA28 have the kappa while RP has the sigma. Thanks!