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October 25, 2004

Dear ALL:

I purchased the LOGOS electronic version of NESTLE-ALAND GREEK NEW TESTAMENT 27TH EDITION, but it does not explain the codes or how to use it to find the sources of the various alternate readings in the Greek manuscripts. It seems to have two versions of the Greek text , an interlinear English line, and a line with various codes.

I would appreciate any advice on how I can learn to use this resource for finding split words.

Thanks, and God's Bleesings to you,

Shlama Akhi Otto:
I have the printed edition of NA 27 and it has the codes in the introduction (in English and German) and also comes with a separated code page (in German)... I wonder if you know German (because of your name?). What I could do is to scan this page and send it to you. How about that?
NB. I have done an Spanish translation (in a .doc) document and I could also translate it to English, but I think that maybe some Greek font are needed...
I have the book version of Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece. I am not so sure about what you mean by "codes." Are you referring to the symbols of the manuscripts of the NT?

The late Professor Kurt Aland wrote a book in German that could be used as a companion to NTG. I don't read German and I am glad that I have the English translation to this book:

The Text of the New Testament an Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism
[Image: 0802840981.01.THUMBZZZ.jpg]

If you have a Greek New Testament (Fourth Revised Edition) published by UBS which is also edited by Kurt Aland and his wife Barbara, et al, it is good to get the companion edited by Dr Bruce Manning Metzger. It has detailed explanation on why certain text is preferred over the other.
October 27, 2004

In NA27 under each Greek word of the text there is a series of letter codes such as "NMSG" or "ASFN" or "CCV" and so on. Those are the codes I do not understand. If you can e-mail a key, even if it is in German, to <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e --> that would be very much appreciated. I have ordered the book recommended by Dan.

The NA27 has two lines in Greek. What if there are more than two different Greek versions of a given line of the text? How is that indicated in NA27?


I am not sure how the critical apparatus is presented in Logos software but I assume that it is not much different from the printed edition except that it has no introduction and appendices since you do not understand how the structure of the critical apparatus works.

The printed edition has more than a hundred pages of introduction and appendices of the codices of the Greek and Latin manuscripts, signa, sigla, abbreviations, etc.

Greek manuscripts are cited depending on the significance of the individual manuscript for establishing the text. There is an explanation of the critical signs that I am not able to type here as the signs are not available on my keyboard.

The apparatus is organized in the following way :

| A solid vertical line separates the instances of variation from each other within a single verse or section of the apparatus
. A large dot followed by a bold verse number opens each new section of the apparatus
txt This sign (=textus) introduces the list of witnesses supporting the text of this edition. It always occurs as the last member of a group of readings, or variance unit.

Presentation of Variant Readings

Variant readings are usually spelled out in full in the apparatus: any abbreviations are readily explained by reference to the text above.
Only the distinctive element of a variant form may be given, whether it is the first part of a word or the last word.

Three periods (...) represent the text of the edition where the variant form cited is in agreement with it.

[ ] Brackets enclose conjectures with regard to both the text and its punctuation.

Presentation of Witnesses

The witnesses for a reading are always given in the same sequence: Greek manuscripts, versions, patristic citations. For Greek mss the order of papyri, uncials, minuscules & lectionaries is observed & for the early versions the order of Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, Ethiopic & Church Slavonic.

Greek mss are cited in their numeric order according to the list of mss.
The following group signs are used :
M = Majority text, including the Byzantine.
pc = pauci : a few mss
al = alii: some mss
pm = permulti : a large number of mss
rell = reliqui: the rest of mss tradition supporting txt
a. = ante : before
p. = post : after

The Greek Witnesses

Four groups of Greek NT text mss may be distinguished on the basis of their textual quality, designation, & frequency of citation in the apparatus:
(a) consistently cited witnesses of the first order
(b) consistently cited witnesses of the second order
© frequently cited mss
(d) occasionally cited mss

Symbols of the mss:

All extant papyri are presented by the letter p with the number e.g. p35.

The uncials (i.e. Greek mss with uppercase/capital letters & no space e.g. ENARCHEENOLOGOSKAIOLOGOSPROSTONTHEONKAITHEOSENOLOGOS)
are presented by

Aleph - Codex Sinaiticus
A - Codex Alexandrinus
B - Codex Vaticanus

The minuscule families are presented by f1 & f13. f1 is based on the works of Kirsop Lake - Codex 1 of the Gospels & its allies (Texts & Studies). I have this book <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) -->

Regarding the consistently cited witnesses of the first order the following are cited:
All extant papyri & the following uncials:
Aleph, A, B, C, D, E, Psi (Greek letter), etc.

The Early Versions

NA27 emphasizes on the Latin, Syriac & Coptic versions and the version are cited only where their underlying Greek text can be determined with confidence.
The following symbols identify the Latin witnesses:
it = Itala : represents all or the majority of Old Latin witnesses as a group.
vg = Vulgata represents agreement of the most important editions of the Vulgate in support of some Greek reading.

The various Syriac versions cited are Peshitta, Philoxeniana, Harklensis etc & the following symbols identify the Syriac witnesses:
sy s -Vetus Syra i.e Old Syriac
sy p - Peshitta


The Church Fathers
I don't have the time to type the whole fathers cited but here is an example :

Aug - Augustine
Eus - Eusebius of Caesarea
GrNy - Gregory of Nyssa

The printed edition also has the differences of the major critical editions of the Greek NT by famous NT scholars like Constantin von Tischendorf, Bruce F, Wescott & FJ A. Hort. I am not sure whether your LOGOS software has this additional stuff.
T: Tischendorf
H: Westcott/Hort
h: Westcott/Hort in margine
S: von Soden
V: Vogels
M: Merk
B: Bover
N: Nestle/Aland 25th edition

I hope my brief introduction to the structure of the critical apparatus of NA27 will help you a little in your endeavour with Greek NT. I have not touched this Greek NT for many years and it is good that you asked as it helps me to refresh my memory. To be a Bible scholar is tough. You have to know at least half a dozen languages - Greek, Syriac, Hebrew, Latin, German. <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> Kurt Aland, Bruce Manning Metzger, & Carlo M. Martini and other editiors of NA26 , NA27 are incredible people. For example, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini alone knows 8 languages (if I am not mistaken the no is 8. ). And they have long life too. Metzger & Martini are now in their 80s. <!-- s:bigups: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bigups.gif" alt=":bigups:" title="Big Ups" /><!-- s:bigups: -->

I will be travelling to my brother's place this weekend (if God is willing and if I am able to get train ticket). I don't have a scanner at my place and if I can remember to bring along my NA27, I will scan for you the extra page in German mentioned by Vsanzcm.
October 28, 2004

Dear Dan and Valentin:

Thanks for all your help. One of my problems is the electronic NA27 that I got from Logos does not seem to have the footnotes, or I don't know how to find them. I am going to buy a printed copy of NA 27. That should help.


Yes, you should get the printed copy. It is one of the "must have" tools for Bible students. The critical apparatus of NA27 is very comprehensive but incomplete.

Have you heard of "Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior" ? Barbara Aland is the chief editor of this project.

I can't wait to get this edition once it is published in its entirety. A few years back I heard that the Epistle of James and Catholic Epistles have been published. It includes all the variants found in the Greek mss selected & in the quotations by the Greek Church Fathers. It further includes all the non-intraversional variants of the most important early versions, as well as the evidence of the other versions to the extent these are available in scholarly editions and research publications. This will be the ultimate tool for Bible students who do not have access to the ancient mss of the NT.

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