Categories of New Testament manuscripts

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New Testament manuscripts in Greek are categorized into five groups, [1] according to a scheme introduced in 1981 by Kurt and Barbara Aland in The Text of the New Testament. [2] The categories are based on how each manuscript relates to the various text-types. [2] :381 Generally speaking, earlier Alexandrian manuscripts are category I, while later Byzantine manuscripts are category V. [2] :381–382 Aland's method involved considering 1000 passages where the Byzantine text differs from non-Byzantine text. The Alands did not select their 1000 readings from all of the NT books; for example, none were drawn from Matthew and Luke. [3]

Contents

Description of categories

The Alands' categories do not simply correspond to the text-types; all they do is demonstrate the 'Byzantine-ness' of a particular text; that is, how much it is similar to the Byzantine text-type, from least (Category I) to most similar (Category V). Category V can be equated with the Byzantine text-type, but the other categories are not necessarily representative of a text-type. Even though most texts in Category I agree with the Alexandrian text-type, they are not necessarily Alexandrian themselves; they are just very non-Byzantine. [4] [2] :381–382

The Alands introduced the following categories (Aland & Aland category description according to the 1989 English translation, p. 106, between quotation marks): [4] [5]

Distribution of Greek manuscripts by century and category

See ref: [1] :159–162

Date (CE)IIIIIIIVV
150 𝔓52 , 𝔓90 , 𝔓104
200 𝔓32 , 𝔓46 , 𝔓64/67 , 𝔓66 , 𝔓75 , 𝔓77 , 0189,
250 𝔓1 , 𝔓4 , 𝔓5 , 𝔓9 , 𝔓12 , 𝔓15 , 𝔓20 , 𝔓22 , 𝔓23 , 𝔓27 , 𝔓28 , 𝔓29 , 𝔓30 , 𝔓39 , 𝔓40 , 𝔓45 , 𝔓47 , 𝔓49 , 𝔓53 , 𝔓65 , 𝔓70 , 𝔓80 , 𝔓87 , 0220 0212 𝔓48 , 𝔓69
300 𝔓13 , 𝔓16 , 𝔓18 , 𝔓37 , 𝔓72 , 𝔓78 , 0162, 𝔓115 𝔓38 , 0171
350 𝔓10 , 𝔓24 , 𝔓35 , 01, 03 𝔓6 , 𝔓8 , 𝔓17 , 𝔓50 , 𝔓62 , 𝔓71 , 𝔓81 , 𝔓86 , 0185 𝔓88 , 058 (?), 0169, 0188, 0206, 0207, 0221, 0228, 0231, 0242
400 057 𝔓19 , 𝔓51 , 𝔓57 , 𝔓82 , 𝔓85 , 0181, 0270 𝔓21 , 059, 0160, 0176, 0214, 0219
450 02 (except Gospels), 0254 𝔓14 , 04, 016, 029, 048, 077, 0172, 0173, 0175, 0201, 0240, 0244, 0274 02 (Gospels), 032, 062, 068, 069, 0163, 0165 (?), 0166, 0182, 0216, 0217, 0218, 0226, 0227, 0236, 0252, 0261 05 026, 061
500 𝔓56 , 071, 076, 088, 0232, 0247 𝔓54 , 𝔓63 , 072, 0170, 0186, 0213
550 𝔓33 , 06, 08, 073, 081, 085, 087, 089, 091, 093 (1 Peter), 094, 0184, 0223, 0225, 0245 𝔓2 , 𝔓36 , 𝔓76 , 𝔓83 , 𝔓84 , 06, 015, 035, 040, 060, 066, 067, 070, 078, 079, 082, 086, 0143, 0147, 0159, 0187, 0198, 0208, 0222, 0237, 0241, 0251, 0260, 0266 022, 023, 024, 027, 042, 043, 064, 065, 093 (Acts), 0246, 0253, 0265 (?)
600 𝔓26 𝔓43 , 𝔓44 , 𝔓55 , 083 𝔓3 , 0164, 0199
650 𝔓74 , 098 𝔓11 , 𝔓31 , 𝔓34 , 𝔓79 , 0102, 0108, 0111, 0204, 0275 𝔓59 , 𝔓68 , 096, 097, 099, 0106, 0107, 0109, 0145, 0167, 0183, 0200, 0209, 0210, 0239, 0259, 0262 𝔓73 , 0103, 0104, 0211
700 𝔓42 , 𝔓61 𝔓60
750 019, 0101, 0114, 0156, 0205, 0234 𝔓41 , 095, 0126, 0127, 0146, 0148, 0161, 0229, 0233, 0238, 0250, 0256 07, 047, 054 (?), 0116, 0134
800 044 (Catholic epistles) 044 (except Catholic epistles)
850 33 (except Gospels) 010, 038, 0155, 0271, 33 (Gospels), 892, 2464 012, 025 (except Acts, Rev), 037, 050, 0122, 0128, 0130, 0131, 0132, 0150, 0269, 565 09, 011, 013, 014, 017, 018, 020, 021, 025 (Acts, Rev), 030, 031, 034, 039, 041, 045, 049, 053 (?), 063, 0120, 0133, 0135, 0136 (?), 0151, 0197, 0248, 0255, 0257, 0272, 0273 (?), 461
9001841 0115, 1424 (Mark) 1424 (except Mark), 1841
950 1739 (Catholic epistles, Paul) 0177, 0243 (?), 1739 (Acts), 1891, 2329 051, 075, 0105, 0121a, 0121b, 0140, 0141, 0249, 307, 1582, 1836, 1845, 1874, 1875, 1912, 2110, 2193, 2351 028, 033, 036, 046, 052, 056, 0142, 1874, 1891
10501175, 1243, 2344 81, 323, 945, 1006, 1854, 1962, 2298 28, 104, 181, 323, 398, 424, 431, 436, 451, 459, 623, 700, 788, 1243, 1448, 1505, 1838, 1846, 1908, 2138, 2147, 2298, 2344, 2596 (?) 103, 104, 181 (Rev), 398, 431, 451, 459, 945, 1006, 1448, 1505, 1846, 1854, 2138, 2147, 2298
1100 256, 17351735, 1910 256
11501241 (Catholic epistles) 36, 1611, 2050, 2127 1 (Gospels), 36, 88, 94 (?), 157, 326, 330, 346, 378, 543, 610, 826, 828, 917, 983, 1071, 1241 (Gospels, Acts, Paul), 1319, 1359, 1542b, 1611, 1718, 1942, 2030, 2412, 2541, 2744 1 (except Gospels), 180, 189, 330, 378, 610, 911, 917, 1010, 1241, 1319, 1359, 1542b (?), 2127, 2541
120015731573 (?)
1250 2053, 2062 442, 579, 1292, 1852 6 (Catholic epistles, Paul), 13, 94, 180, 206, 218 (epistles), 263, 365, 441, 614, 720, 915, 1398, 1563, 1641, 1852, 2374, 2492, 2516, 2542, 2718 (?) 6 (Gospels, Acts), 94 (?), 180, 206, 218 (except epistles), 263, 365, 597, 720, 1251 (?), 1292, 1398, 1642, 1852, 2374, 2400, 2492 (?), 2516
13001342
13501067, 1409, 1506, 1881 5, 209, 254, 429 (except Paul), 453, 621, 629, 630, 1523, 1534, 1678 (?), 1842, 1877, 2005, 2197, 2200, 2377 5 (?), 189, 209, 254, 429 (Paul), 1067, 1409, 1506, 1523, 1524, 1877, 2200
14002495
1450 322 69, 205, 322, 467, 642, 1751, 1844, 1959, 2523, 2652 69, 181, 205, 429 (Rev.), 467, 642, 886, 2523, 2623, 2652 (?)
1500 61 (epistles, Rev), 522, 918, 1704, 1884 61 (Gospels, Acts), 522, 918, 1704
1550- 849, 2544 (Paul)2544 (except Paul)

Number of manuscripts by century and category

CenturyCategory ICategory IICategory IIICategory IVCategory V
II3
II/III6
III2512
III/IV82
IV5810
IV/V177
V2161912
V/VI66
VI153112
VI/VII143
VII28174
VII/VIII21
VIII6125
VIII/IX11
IX37125
IX/X122
X151810
XI372416
XI/XII221
XII152416
XII/XIII11
XIII242118
XIII/XIV1
XIV141712
XIV/XV1
XV1119
XVI54
XVI/XVII21

Limitations

This system of classification would seem to prefer manuscripts which coincide more or less with the critical text of the Nestle-Aland and UBS Greek New Testaments, of which there are many supposedly Alexandrian manuscripts in Category I. [2] Some manuscripts are placed in Category V because they are considered too "brief" to classify. [2] :382,385 The Alands consider Uncial 055 unclassifiable because it is a commentary, and not exactly an "Uncial" manuscript. [1] :119 Accordingly 𝔓7 , 𝔓89 , Uncial 080, Uncial 0100, Uncial 0118, 0174, 0230, 0263, 0264, 0267, 0268 are considered by the Alands to be too brief to classify. [1] :96,102,120–127 Uncial 0144 and 0196 are not accessible. The Alands do not classify 𝔓25 , stating this is due to the Diatessaric character of text (i.e. the four Gospels combined into a single narrative). [1] :97

𝔓5 was classified to Category I, but it is not a representative of the Alexandrian text-type. According to biblical scholar Philip Comfort it is "a good example of what Kurt and Barbara Aland call "normal" (i.e. a relatively accurate text manifesting a normal amount of error and idiosyncrasy). [7]

Waltz stated:

As a classification scheme, [Aland & Aland's] attempt was at once a success and a failure. A success, in that it has conveniently gathered data about how Byzantine the various manuscripts are. A failure, because it has not been widely adopted, and in any case does not succeed in moving beyond Byzantine/non-Byzantine classification. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

In textual criticism of the New Testament, the Alexandrian text-type is one of the main text types. It is the text type favored by the majority of modern textual critics and it is the basis for most modern Bible translations.

<i>Novum Testamentum Graece</i> Critical edition of the Greek New Testament

Novum Testamentum Graece is a critical edition of the New Testament in its original Koine Greek, forming the basis of most modern Bible translations and biblical criticism. It is also known as the Nestle–Aland edition after its most influential editors, Eberhard Nestle and Kurt Aland. The text, edited by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, is currently in its 28th edition, abbreviated NA28.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biblical manuscript</span> Handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the Bible

A biblical manuscript is any handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the Bible. Biblical manuscripts vary in size from tiny scrolls containing individual verses of the Jewish scriptures to huge polyglot codices containing both the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the New Testament, as well as extracanonical works.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Uncial 030</span> New Testament manuscript

Uncial 030, designated by siglum U or 030, ε 90, is a Greek uncial manuscript of the New Testament on parchment, dated palaeographically to the 9th century. The manuscript has complex contents, with full marginalia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Codex Cyprius</span> New Testament manuscript

Codex Cyprius, designated by Ke or 017, ε71, or Codex Colbertinus 5149, is a Greek uncial manuscript of the four Gospels, written on parchment. It is one of the few uncial manuscripts with the complete text of the four Gospels, and it is one of the more important late uncial manuscripts. It was brought from Cyprus to Paris.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Codex Regius (New Testament)</span> 8th century Greek uncial manuscript of the 4 canonical gospels

Codex Regius, designated by siglum Le or 019, ε56, is a Greek uncial manuscript of the New Testament written on parchment. Using the study of comparative writing styles (palaeography), it has been assigned to the 8th century. The manuscript has several gaps. Textual critic Frederick H. A. Scrivener described it as "by far the most remarkable document of its age and class."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Codex Monacensis (X 033)</span> New Testament manuscript

Codex Monacensis, designated by X or 033 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering of New Testament manuscripts), A3 (in the von Soden numbering of New Testament manuscripts), is a Greek uncial manuscript of the four Gospels written on parchment. The manuscript contains commentary from several church fathers. Using the study of comparative writing styles (palaeography), it has been dated to the 9th or 10th century. The manuscript has several gaps, and has been rebound at least once.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Codex Sangallensis 48</span> New Testament manuscript

Codex Sangallensis, designated by Δ or 037, ε76, is a Greek-Latin diglot uncial manuscript of the four Gospels. Using the study of comparative writing styles (palaeography), it is usually dated to the 9th century CE, though a few palaeographers would place it in the 10th century CE. It was given its current name by biblical scholar Johann Martin Augustin Scholz in 1830.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Codex Athous Dionysiou</span> New Testament manuscript

Codex Athous Dionysiou, designated by Ω or 045, ε 61, is a Greek uncial manuscript of the New Testament. The codex is dated palaeographically to the 9th century. It has marginalia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minuscule 5</span> Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament

Minuscule 5, δ 453, is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, on 342 parchment leaves. Using the study of comparative writing styles (palaeography), it has been dated to the 13th century.

Minuscule 892, ε 1016 (Soden). It is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, on 353 parchment leaves. It is dated palaeografically to the 9th century.

Uncial 0206, is a Greek uncial manuscript of the New Testament. Using the study of comparative writing styles (palaeography), it has been dated to the 4th century.

Uncial 0233, is a Greek uncial manuscript of the New Testament. The manuscript paleographically had been assigned to the 8th-century.

Minuscule 27, ε 1023 (Soden). It is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, written on vellum. Palaeographically it has been assigned to the 10th-century. It has liturgical books and marginalia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minuscule 1424</span> Greek minuscule manuscript

Minuscule 1424, δ 30 is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, written on 337 parchment leaves. It has been dated paleographically to the 9th or 10th century).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minuscule 579</span> New Testament manuscript

Minuscule 579, ε 376, is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament Gospels, written on parchment. Using the study of comparative writing styles (palaeography), it has been dated to the 13th century. It was formerly labelled as 80e. The manuscript has some missing portions of text.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minuscule 157</span> Greek minuscule of the New Testament, circa 1122

Minuscule 157, ε 207, is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament Gospels, on vellum. According to the colophon it is dated to the year 1122. Formerly the date was wrongly deciphered as 1128. It has complex contents and full marginalia.

Minuscule 346, ε 226, is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, written on parchment. Using the study of comparative handwriting styles (palaeography) it has been assigned to the 12th century. It has notes in the margin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minuscule 652</span> New Testament manuscript

Minuscule 652, ε1095, is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, written on parchment. Using the study of comparative writing styles (palaeography), it has been assigned to the 10th century. The manuscript has complex contents. Biblical scholar Frederick H. A. Scrivener labelled it as 875.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minuscule 788</span> New Testament manuscript

Minuscule 788, ε1033, is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament written on parchment. Using the study of comparative handwriting styles (palaeography), it has been assigned to the 11th century.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F Rhodes (trans.) (2 ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B Eerdmans. pp. 106, 332–336. ISBN   0-8028-4098-1.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Ehrman, Bart D. (1989). "A Problem of Textual Circularity: The Alands on the Classification of New Testament Manuscripts". Biblica. 70 (3): 377–88. JSTOR   42707499.
  3. Wisse, Frederik (1982). The Profile Method for the Classification and Evaluation of Manuscript Evidence, as Applied to the Continuous Greek Text of the Gospel of Luke . Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p.  21. ISBN   0-8028-1918-4.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Waltz, Robert B. (2013). The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism. p. 116–133. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Epp, Eldon Jay (1989). "New Testament Textual Criticism Past, Present, and Future: Reflections on the Alands' 'Text of the New Testament". The Harvard Theological Review. 82 (2): 225. JSTOR   1509645.
  6. Metzger, Bruce Manning; Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 237. ISBN   0-19-516667-1.
  7. Comfort, Philip Wesley; Barrett, David (2001). The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. Tyndale House Publishers. pp. 73–74. ISBN   0-8423-5265-1.