How can I find how many manuscripts there are?

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Jason Saling - www.NapavineBaptist.com | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Jul 31 2010 1:13 PM

In Logos (or elsewhere), how can I find a current list of how many Greek manuscripts there are of particular books?  Such as how many manuscripts we have of Matthew, how many manuscripts there are of Mark, etc.  If there is also a way to find out how many versions/translations there are of each book would also be great, such as how many Syriac manuscripts there are of Matthew, etc.

Jason Saling

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 31 2010 1:59 PM

I seem to recall seeing a table once (maybe it was in Evidence that Demands a Verdict?) which showed how many manuscripts we had of each NT book, as compared to...say...Homer, or even the much more recent Shakespeare. The point being we have way more manuscript evidence of the authenticity of New Testament biblical books (and fewer variations among them) than we do of an older book which most people take for granted as authentic and fairly accurate.

Yes indeed, my memory serves me. I just looked it up in Amazon.com, and it was Evidence That Demands a Verdict (the 1992 edition, volume 1) that I was thinking of. Too bad it's not available in Logos format. Here are a few excerpts from the print edition (fair use) but due to copyright issues, you'll need to go look at the sample pages on Amazon.com yourself to see more.

I was surprised to see that Amazon lets you browse through most of the pages in this chapter (which begins on p. 40). Just search for reliability in the Look Inside This Book feature and scroll around from there. Sometimes you can see the missing pages by searching again on a word you see in an adjacent page and then scrolling back or forward a page from that latter search result.

Then again, I'm not sure how accurate or up-to-date Evidence that Demands a Verdict is. How many manuscripts of it do we have, and has it been translated into Syriac, etc.  Wink

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 31 2010 2:25 PM

Hi Jason.

Jason Saling:

In Logos (or elsewhere), how can I find a current list of how many Greek manuscripts there are of particular books?  Such as how many manuscripts we have of Matthew, how many manuscripts there are of Mark, etc.  If there is also a way to find out how many versions/translations there are of each book would also be great, such as how many Syriac manuscripts there are of Matthew, etc.

Bible Study Magazine had an infographic with some description on this. You can see the article online:

http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/interactive/newtestament/

The second graphic (scroll down just a bit) sounds like what you're looking for. The primary infographic is inside the Logos Infographics resource, so you can probably see that one in Logos 4 too.

Hope it helps.

Rick Brannan
Data Wrangler, Faithlife
My books in print

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 31 2010 2:32 PM

Rick Brannan:

Bible Study Magazine had an infographic with some description on this. You can see the article online:

http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/interactive/newtestament/

The second graphic (scroll down just a bit) sounds like what you're looking for.

Thanks, Rick. That's helpful, notwithstanding the bad grammar: "Amount of 5th Century and before Copies" and "amount of copies" Eggh! It's "number of copies" -- amount is for a non-countable substance such as water. I know you're not to blame, but you brought this to light, so maybe you can pass on the word to the person who made that infographic. Maybe it can be corrected in a future update. (Too late for the already published Bible Study Magazine article.)

Posts 112
T MacLeod | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 31 2010 8:02 PM

The question is complicated by the fact that many of the "manuscripts" are nothing more than tiny fragments. Should those count? (Notice on the Bible Study Magazine page how it says "Small fragments and whole books count the same.")

Posts 52
Scott Warren | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 9:07 AM

I don't know how interested in this subject you are, but a book by James wegner  (The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible/ Paul D. Wegner/Baker/2004/ISBN: 0801027993) is a great resource for studying the basics of manuscripts. It has a lot of tables and an index to quickly find them. Unfortunately I couldn't find it on Logos.

On the chapter Sources for NT Textual criticism it talks a little about this. He mentions the different collections and how many copies there are in them. He also mentions in another chapter the other versions (i.e. not Greek ). There is a table on page 228 that talks about the different text families and their sources. (it is adapted from J.H. Greenlee's book Introduction to New Testament Criticism) It shows how many manuscripts represent each text family (Alexandrian, Caesarean, Western, and Byzantine) and the specific manuscripts for Gospels, Acts, Pauline Epistles, General Epistles, and Revelation.

While there are at least 5400 known fragments or manuscripts many of these are in other languages. If you are interested this book explains all of this in easy to understand terms.

Sorry if I seem to rambleTongue Tied

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Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 10:54 AM

Jason, if you have a print NA27 there will be an insert with a list of manuscripts, what they cover (it's only a generalization, i.e. a manuscript may be of the Gospels but it doesn't tell you if that means all of them). Also the front matter will include a list of the main manuscripts that the eclectic text was drawn from. It won't be an exhaustive list of what's available but is should give you a snapshot of which texts the editors considered to be the most reliable.

Someone with the SESB: does your edition of the NA27 have this info?

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 11:26 AM

Jason Saling:

In Logos (or elsewhere), how can I find a current list of how many Greek manuscripts there are of particular books?  Such as how many manuscripts we have of Matthew, how many manuscripts there are of Mark, etc.  If there is also a way to find out how many versions/translations there are of each book would also be great, such as how many Syriac manuscripts there are of Matthew, etc.

The number of mss is a moving target.  While many of them are not of earth-shattering significance, they continue to find mss of the NT or lectionaries. 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 12:11 PM

Kevin Becker:

Jason, if you have a print NA27 there will be an insert with a list of manuscripts, what they cover (it's only a generalization, i.e. a manuscript may be of the Gospels but it doesn't tell you if that means all of them). Also the front matter will include a list of the main manuscripts that the eclectic text was drawn from. It won't be an exhaustive list of what's available but is should give you a snapshot of which texts the editors considered to be the most reliable.

Someone with the SESB: does your edition of the NA27 have this info?

I do not have SESB (yet) but in my paper version of NA26 I have list of the Greek and other manuscripts. It surely will be in NA27 also.

Bohuslav

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Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 12:41 PM

Bohuslav Wojnar:

Kevin Becker:

Jason, if you have a print NA27 there will be an insert with a list of manuscripts, what they cover (it's only a generalization, i.e. a manuscript may be of the Gospels but it doesn't tell you if that means all of them). Also the front matter will include a list of the main manuscripts that the eclectic text was drawn from. It won't be an exhaustive list of what's available but is should give you a snapshot of which texts the editors considered to be the most reliable.

Someone with the SESB: does your edition of the NA27 have this info?

I do not have SESB (yet) but in my paper version of NA26 I have list of the Greek and other manuscripts. It surely will be in NA27 also.

Of course it is. I have a print NA27 and the front matter is very helpful, but mostly related to how to use the apparatus. That's why I asked if it was in the SESB since that's the only way to get the Apparatus. Also, I wanted to keep my comment Logos related in some way Smile

 

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Jim L. West | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 12:43 PM

Daniel Wallace has a website, http://www.csntm.org/ , for his organization which is in the process of searching for, digitizing, and cataloging all NT manuscripts. They keep the info very well up to date. 

Of course his book "Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics", which has nothing to do with NT Textual Criticism, but is (or already has) becoming a standard for intermediate Greek  grammar, is available in LOGOS, http://www.logos.com/products/details/1517

Posts 343

George Somsel:
The number of mss is a moving target

One of the reasons I was wanting to know if there was a "central" place/website of all currently known manuscripts was because I was doing a study in regards to authenticity of the last 12 verses of Mark.  The great thing about Logos, I was able to do an easy search throughout the my library on all the articles/resources that deal with the topic/debate.  The bummer part was that most of the resources were one sided, thinking the last 12 verses were not authentic, yet at the same time admitting that there is a problem with ending after verse 8, concluding that whatever was after verse 8 is "lost."  I don't buy into that, Jesus said his words would never pass away, so I'll take his word for it.

Some things I was able to gather in my study...

Reasons Against it's Inclusion

• Vaticanus and Sinaiticus do not include the last 12 verses of Mark (being two of the oldest known Greek manuscripts)

• The last 12 verses of Mark have 17 Greek words that Mark didn't use in the rest of the Gospel of Mark (therefore someone else must of added it)

• It speaks of taking up serpents and drinking poison, "not consistent with what God would want his church to be involved in"

Reasons FOR it's Inclusion

• According to some scholars the two 4th century manuscripts (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) are suspect and often don't match readings between each other, nor with the majority of Greek manuscripts

• In the Sinaiticus there is a blank space at the end of Mark sufficient to fit the last 12 verses of Mark

• In the Vaticanus, it is obvious that pages are missing.  One page ends at Mark 16:8 and then next page starts up at Luke 1:18 (we don't discredit the first 17 verses of Luke, it's obvious that a page(s) were missing)

• 99% of Greek manuscripts of Mark contain the last 12 verses. (This I couldn't verify, therefore being the reason I wanted to see if there was a "list" of all the Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark, since I do have a list of Greek manuscripts that do NOT contain the last 12 verses, so if I knew how many total manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark there are, then I would be able to confirm how many greek manuscripts DO contain the last 12 verses.)

• The majority of ancient translations contain it, Latin, Syriac, Gothic, most of Georgian, Coptic, and many others.  Also in translations during the Reformation period, in German, French, Spanish, and multitudes of others.

• Several Christian writings (church fathers) are dated earlier (2nd & 3rd century) than the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus (4th century), and they quote portions of the last 12 verses of Mark.

• Some lectionaries dated earlier than the 4th century quote from the last 12 verses of Mark

• It would be an awkward and unnatural stop for the text to end after verse 8. It doesn't make sense in greek grammar, plus the book would end on a note of fear, and of not sharing the good news, no appearances of the resurrected Christ, no victory, no Great Commission, no ascension.

This was an interesting  and balanced article I read http://apologeticspress.org/articles/2780

On a scholarly side for it's inclusion is John Burgon's work "The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: Vindicated Against Recent Critical Objectors & Established" (It'd be great to see his works in Logos!)

Jason Saling

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 1:02 PM

Jason Saling:
Reasons FOR it's Inclusion

Being Pentecostal I find your study very interesting... Smile

Bohuslav

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 1:24 PM

You probably already know of http://www.csntm.org/ but it is very pertinent with regards to the continued discovery of additional manuscripts. 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 1:36 PM

George Somsel:

Jason Saling:

In Logos (or elsewhere), how can I find a current list of how many Greek manuscripts there are of particular books?  Such as how many manuscripts we have of Matthew, how many manuscripts there are of Mark, etc.  If there is also a way to find out how many versions/translations there are of each book would also be great, such as how many Syriac manuscripts there are of Matthew, etc.

The number of mss is a moving target.  While many of them are not of earth-shattering significance, they continue to find mss of the NT or lectionaries. 

Perhaps the best place to look online is the "Virtual Manuscript Room" which has a version of the Kurzgefaßte Liste online, though you've got to kind of know what you're looking for in order to find it. That is, I don't readily see an easy way to "give me all the MSS that have some portion of Mark" type query.

http://intf.uni-muenster.de/vmr/NTVMR/ListeHandschriften.php

From the front page of the VMR, look for the "List" button on the right.

Hope it helps.

 

 

Rick Brannan
Data Wrangler, Faithlife
My books in print

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 2:37 PM

Jason Saling:

• 99% of Greek manuscripts of Mark contain the last 12 verses. (This I couldn't verify, therefore being the reason I wanted to see if there was a "list" of all the Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark, since I do have a list of Greek manuscripts that do NOT contain the last 12 verses, so if I knew how many total manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark there are, then I would be able to confirm how many greek manuscripts DO contain the last 12 verses.)

• The majority of ancient translations contain it, Latin, Syriac, Gothic, most of Georgian, Coptic, and many others.  Also in translations during the Reformation period, in German, French, Spanish, and multitudes of others.

• Several Christian writings (church fathers) are dated earlier (2nd & 3rd century) than the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus (4th century), and they quote portions of the last 12 verses of Mark.

• Some lectionaries dated earlier than the 4th century quote from the last 12 verses of Mark

Manuscripts are not to be counted but evaluated.  The best manuscripts DO NOT contain the Markan ending.  It matters not at all that 99% or 99.99% of the manuscripts contain it.  If the mss are of little value otherwise then the value of their testimony to the Markan ending is likewise of little value.  Supposed references to Mk 16.9-20 are generally to Luke 10.19.  And supposed lectionaries antedating the 4th century are simply false.  There are no such lectionaries.

A prerequisite for the emergence of such lectionaries is firm ecclesial organization which regulates the sequence of the celebrations of the church year, the liturgical arrangement of these celebrations, and the determination of Bible texts, prayers, hymns, etc. to be read. However, for historical reasons, such organization is nowhere imaginable before the 4th century. But since 95 percent of the 2,252 extant lectionary mss and fragments, i.e., over 2,000, show uniform arrangement in reference to the succession of days and celebrations and to the choice of pericopes, something more must stand behind these mss: a world church, such as it arose from the 5th to the 7th century in the Byzantine church with its center in Constantinople, dominant for Eastern Christianity.

Freedman, D. N. (1996, c1992). The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (4:271). New York: Doubleday.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 4:36 PM

George Somsel:
And supposed lectionaries antedating the 4th century are simply false.  There are no such lectionaries.

George, anyone else I would let by on this (maybe) ... but how do we know no such lectionaries exist? I'd easily agree no such lectionaries have been found ... but you are usually so careful and its been eons since I've teased you.Big Smile

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 5:04 PM

I have questions and I do not expect answers.  I have noted some lose ends in this thread.  And I have been told by friends that some of my questions are ‘cans of worms’.  One thing that I have noted is that often questions asked do not get answered.  That positions taken do not get countered – that may be outside of the forum rules.  

 

One post

• In the Sinaiticus there is a blank space at the end of Mark sufficient to fit the last 12 verses of Mark

• In the Vaticanus, it is obvious that pages are missing.  One page ends at Mark 16:8 and then next page starts up at Luke 1:18 (we don't discredit the first 17 verses of Luke, it's obvious that a page(s) were missing)

 

The Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus are considered two of THE BEST if not THE BEST TWO. [Students: Search and find verification]

Is there a missing page?  [Reference please]

Is there a blank space sufficient to fit the last 12 verses? [Reference please]

Is there a detailed evaluation of these points?  [Reference please]  (like other missing pages and other blank spaces)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 5:34 PM

MJ. Smith:

George Somsel:
And supposed lectionaries antedating the 4th century are simply false.  There are no such lectionaries.

George, anyone else I would let by on this (maybe) ... but how do we know no such lectionaries exist? I'd easily agree no such lectionaries have been found ... but you are usually so careful and its been eons since I've teased you.Big Smile

While it is true that we cannot state with absolute certitude that lectionaries never were used prior to the 4th century and the Constantinian establishment, such is rather unlikely for the reason stated in the ABD article I cited.  Given the perishible nature of the materials used for the composition of any such lectionaries, the attempts of many scholars to discover old manuscripts and the limited number of locations in which it might be preserved, I seriously doubt that we are likely to find such in the future baring another Oxyrhynchus.  In any case, to maintain that lectionaries prior to the 4th century exist which provide evidence for the longer ending of Mark is manifestly false.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 2 2010 6:16 PM

David Ames:

The Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus are considered two of THE BEST if not THE BEST TWO. [Students: Search and find verification]

Is there a missing page?  [Reference please]

Is there a blank space sufficient to fit the last 12 verses? [Reference please]

 

http://www.csntm.org/Manuscript/View/GA_03 gives you the images of the Vaticanus ... they probably have the Sinaiticus as well.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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