Sunday, December 26, 2010

Other Haplography Errors in Mark

Its well-known that Hort (1882) held the theory that agreements between Aleph and B were the strongest candidates for the original text of the NT.   It was his belief, and that of others in the 19th century, that the Traditional text was bloated with insertions and glosses, and that most variants were caused by deliberate (if misguided) addition, rather than simple accidental omissions.

Accordingly, Hort essentially elevated one rule to paramount importance and universal application:
"Prefer the shortest reading."
This rule was originally a secondary rule proposed by Griesbach (1805) and meant only for cases where it was likely that a deliberate insertion had in fact been made.  Griesbach's orignal rule had a long series of exceptions and counter-cases attached.   But based on his own assessment of the value of Aleph and B (they were the oldest known manuscripts at the time), Hort judged that virtually all omissions were original, and all additions were spurious.
Click to Enlarge, backbutton to return

Hort's judgment is now known to be a gross mis-diagnosis of the case.  Many studies of scribal habits and key manuscripts have shown that scribes tended to accidentally omit material quite often, about 4 to 10 times as often as they added material (see our links page for excerpts from these studies).  We have found between 50 and 70 likely cases of accidental omission due to homoeoteleuton, and have documented them here.

On the other hand, the remaining 2/3 of omissions followed by Hort and modern critical editions are now also under serious suspicion.  Scribes also often skipped lines even when there were no extenuating circumstances, such as a similar line-ending or beginning.   Blunders are possible at any time, and many must have occurred in copying.  These accidental omissions would be even harder to detect and more persistent in the copying stream, because they lacked obvious homoeoteleuton/arcton features.

A comparison of all the other omissions in Mark found in Aleph and B show that they too are often multiples of the same line-lengths of already identified homoeoteleuton errors.   This suggests that they too may have been omitted accidentally under the same circumstances, at the same time as their complimentary homoeoteleuton companions.

The following charts illustrate the situation clearly.  They group the omissions in Mark shared by Aleph/B according to line-length, and propose an ancestor of appropriate layout behind the omissions.   They include the known homoeoteleuton errors for comparison.  Yellow coding indicates that an omission may alternately belong to an ancestor with a different line-width, since the text can be divided up several ways.  The Green color-coding here indicates more confidence both in the identification as homoeoteleuton, and as to the proposed line-length in the master-copy.  :


The overwhelming and numerous matches of line-length are strong evidence of an underlying master-copy with these widths.  It so happens that these line-lengths correspond quite closely to formats known to be popular in the 3rd century:

Click to Enlarge
An accumulation of haplography errors of the homoeoteleuton type seems to be responsible for the large number of omissions common to Aleph and B.   It appears that this isolated copying stream was a result of poor copying practices, and a lack of thorough error-checking in its earlier stages.

Although many of the omissions in the Aleph/B stream are relatively early, they are highly unlikely to be original.   The currently popular conjecture that the nearest common ancestor for Aleph/B is a 2nd century text seems to be an exaggeration, motivated by a desire to legitimize the Aleph/B text itself.    In fact the evidence points toward an early 3rd century origin for most of the omissions common to Aleph and B.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Acts 15:32-35 (h.t. +)

Using All
the Evidence

Acts 15:32-35

Is the Textus Receptus ever wrong? Of course it is.

After all, it wasn't actually produced by a careful comparison of the some 5,000 extant Greek manuscripts now available (as well as four times as many Latin).
But by providence and good fortune, the manuscripts (MSS) selected were excellent, and although those MSS were imperfect, they presented a consensus text very close to the agreement later found in the full majority of trustworthy manuscripts.

One such place where the Byzantine tradition took a minor hit was in the book of Acts 15:33. Another accidental error hit very close to this same spot, in the Alexandrian textual stream, Acts 15:34.
Surprisingly, even though both branches were damaged, we can restore the most probable original text by using BOTH traditions, along with our knowledge of scribal habits.

The first thing to observe is that all the variants at this place have no doctrinal importance at all, and in fact not even any historical relevance. Nor do any of the variants affect the ultimate meaning of the text. In fact, even the historical data lost in the damage to the text is essentially irrelevant.

All this points toward one thing: These variants are all either utterly accidental, or simply benign and naive; well-meaning meddling at the very most. No motive can be found to alter the text here, not even for art's sake. This is pure error, plain and simple.

Because we have two separate text-streams (Byzantine and Alexandrian), and we have two separate accidents, we can reverse both, and reconstruct the original text as if the ink was still wet on Luke's autographed copy!

Byzantine Text Damaged

Even when establishing the Majority Text, we find occasional variation units where the witnesses split nearly evenly. This is a sign of damage.
One interesting place is Acts 15:34. First lets admit the Byzantine text is damaged here also: We know this, because the Byzantine witnesses are also themselves divided in this instance, because of mixture, probably crossing over from the Alexandrian text. Had the Byzantine witnesses been united, there would be no discernable issue here.

Lets look at the Byzantine text first:

Acts 15:32-35 (Byzantine - part = TR)

ιουδας δε και σιλας και αυτοι
προφηται οντες δια λογου πολλου
παρεκαλεσαν τους αδελφους και
επεστηριξαν ποιησαντες δε χρονον
απελυθησαν μετ ειρηνης απο των
αδελφων προς τους
αποστολους []

εδοξεν δε τω σιλα επιμειναι αυτου
παυλος δε και βαρναβας διετριβον
εν αντιοχεια διδασκοντες και ευαγ-
γελιζομενοι μετα και ετερων πολλων
τον λογον του κυριου 

The underlined black line is the line which has been dropped by the Alexandrian tradition (Aleph/B etc.) and even a significant part of the Byzantine textual witnesses also.

Surely this omission is OLD, since we can see it in a lot of copies; it was re-copied and re-mixed into the Byzantine text too, because of its early prevalence, extent and apparent credibility.

We can also see a few similarities at the beginning and end of the line with the previous one (in uncial script, the letters are even more similar), although the connection is too weak to explain such a pervasive booboo. .


A Secondary Oddity and a Clue

But what we really want to draw attention to is not this variant, but the other two shown in RED above; here is where the later Byzantine text differs from the Alexandrian and other witnesses.

So now lets look at the Alexandrian Text:

ιουδας τε και σιλας και αυτοι
προφηται οντες δια λογου πολλου
παρεκαλεσαν τους αδελφους και
επεστηριξαν ποιησαντες δε χρονον
απελυθησαν μετ ειρηνης απο των
αδελφων προς τους
αποστειλαντας αυτους

παυλος δε και βαρναβας διετριβον
εν αντιοχεια διδασκοντες και ευαγ-
γελιζομενοι μετα και ετερων πολλων
τον λογον του κυριου
Here we see the more varied and longer, more complex and ambiguous text (highlighted in red).
These readings are contrary to what we know about Alexandrian scribes; the changes are not any kind of "Attic Stylistic improvements" or grammatical fixes. This is plainly the more primitive text.
The previous line to the omitted one reads,

"with peace from the brothers to those who sent them." Now it so happens that from the previous verses (Acts 15:22) that those who "sent them" were in fact the Twelve: the Apostles. It would have been absurd for a scribe to erase "Apostles" (as it reads in the Byzantine text) and write "those who sent them".
The Byzantine Text reads:

"with peace from the brothers to the Apostles." This has all the appearance rather of an emendation to the Byzantine text, to make explicit who sent them (the Apostles). The changes don't add (or take away) any information whatsoever to the text, since the people are the same in both cases (they are still the Apostles).

The Homoioteleuton Appears

But now look at what the Alexandrian text must have looked like before the line was dropped, if the Alexandrian was original in the previous line:

.ν προς τους αποστειλαντας αυτους
εδοξεν δε τω σιλα επιμειναι αυτου
This was an accidental omission by homoioteleuton in the early Alexandrian text.
What then happened to the Byzantine text? An entirely different haplographic error:

Here was the original line and how it ended up:

προς τους αποστειλαντας αυτους
προς τους αποστολους
An early copyist of the Byzantine stream made a short eye-skip from αντας to αυτους dropping the ending of the previous word.
Probably in his mind, the word "apostle" loomed large, and the vowel was automatically 'corrected' by a simple itacism.

But now, the evidence of the original homoioteleuton by the Alexandrian scribe has been obscured, and so some other cause (deliberate editing, scribal gloss) was probably speculated.

The Alexandrians couldn't restore the lost line from their own (otherwise more accurate) text, and the Byzantines had lost the evidence of the cause of the original error, and were unable to recognise it or show it was a common scribal omission.

The Reconstructed Text

Two innocent and minor haplographic errors have conspired to hide each other, and also the original text, which we can now reconstruct below:

.............................ιουδας τε και
σιλας και αυτοι προφηται οντες
δια λογου πολλου παρεκαλεσαν
τους αδελφους και επεστηριξαν
ποιησαντες δε χρονον απελυθησ-
αν μετ ειρηνης απο των αδελφων
προς τους αποστειλαντας αυτους
εδοξεν δε τω σιλα επιμειναι αυτου
παυλος δε και βαρναβας διετριβον
εν αντιοχεια διδασκοντες και ευαγ-
γελιζομενοι μετα και ετερων πολλ-
ων τον λογον του κυριου ...
The Alexandrians provide the first half of the paragraph, and the Byzantines provide the second half, explaining both the haplographic omission in the Alexandrian, and also the unconsious emendation in the Byzantine.

Does it matter? Not really in this case. But it shines clear light on the fact that most variants are random, and not doctrinally motivated, but are simple accidents.

It also goes a little way toward using ALL our text-critical resources (even the older MSS) to achieve a truly accurate text, as opposed to critical texts produced by rejecting en bloc large portions of the available textual evidence.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

1st Corinthians 10:28

Post Index

Haplography Variants: & the NT

The Text and Structure
 Review: to 1st Corinthians 10:28 Variant 
 English Text: literal translation
  Greek Text:  Traditional Text

External Evidence:
Textual Evidence: Listing
Interpretation: Evaluating Readings

The Line as an Addition:
As Deliberate Addition: Intrinsic Probability
As Accidental Addition: Transcriptional Probability

The Line as an Omission:
As: Deliberate Omission: Paul's Structural Argument
As: Accidental Omission: Scribal Habits

Summary: Combined Internal Evidence
Appendix: Hort on the new Papyri Evidence

1st Corinthians 10:23-11:1

(Traditional Text)


This example is a special case, requiring extra attention and technique.

To understand exactly what has taken place here, we need to take into account Hort's Intrinsic Probability (what the author likely did) as well as Transcriptional Probability (what the copyists likely did), and find the answer which properly harmonizes the evidence of both kinds.

To do this, we need to take the whole section into account, and understand its structure, from the parts of the text which are not in dispute.

This section forms a paragraph, a 'mini-lecture', which has been intentionally composed by Paul with a poetic structure, using repetition as an aid to memorization and understanding. Acknowledging this provides additional evidence for what likely happened:

Lets have a look:

English Text

Preamble: Introductory Teaching

'All things are allowed to me, but not all things will be helpful;

All things are allowed to me, but not all things will edify.

Theme: Key Teaching

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's benefit.

Case 1: General Rule

Whatever is sold in the open market,

(a) eat; asking no questions on behalf of conscience;

(b) for "the earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness." (Psalm 24:1)

Case 2: Practical Example

If any unbeliever invites you [to eat], and you desire to go,

..... whatever is set before you,

(a) eat; asking no questions on behalf of conscience;

Case 3: Important Exception

But if one were to tell you, "This was offered to idols,"

don't eat; on behalf of him telling you, - also for conscience;

(b) for "the earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness." (Psalm 24:1)

Exposition: Explaining Exception

"conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other.

Why then is my liberty mediated by another's conscience?

For if I partake with thanks, why am I blasphemed against?

- for [the food] over which I give thanks?

So then when you eat or drink, or whatever you do,

all to the glory of God do;

Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks

or to the church of God:

Theme Repeated: Guiding Rule and Purpose

- Just as I also please everyone in all things,

not seeking my own benefit, but that of many,

that they may be saved."

(1 Cor 10:23 - 11:1)

Greek Text

a)παντα μοι εξεστιν αλλ ου παντα συμφερει
b)παντα μοι εξεστιν αλλ ου παντα οικοδομει
theme:μηδεις το εαυτου ζητειτω αλλα το του ετερου εκαστος
CASE 1:παν το εν μακελλω πωλουμενον
a)εσθιετε, μηδεν ανακρινοντες δια την συνειδησιν
b)του γαρ κυριου η γη και το πληρωμα αυτης
CASE 2:ει δε τις καλει υμας των απιστων και θελετε πορευεσθαι
παν το παρατιθεμενον υμιν
a)εσθιετε, μηδεν ανακρινοντες δια την συνειδησιν
CASE 3:εαν δε τις υμιν ειπη τουτο ειδωλοθυτον εστιν, μη
εσθιετε δι εκεινον τον μηνυσαντα και την συνειδησιν
b)του γαρ κυριου η γη και το πληρωμα αυτης
Explan.:συνειδησιν δε λεγω ουχι την εαυτου
αλλα την του ετερου
ινα τι γαρ η ελευθερια μου κρινεται
υπο αλλης συνειδησεως
ει δε εγω χαριτι μετεχω τι βλασφημουμαι
υπερ ου εγω ευχαριστω
ειτε ουν εσθιετε ειτε πινετε ειτε
τι ποιειτε παντα εις δοξαν θεου ποιειτε
απροσκοποι γινεσθε και ιουδαιοις
και ελλησιν και τη εκκλησια του θεου
καθως καγω παντα πασιν αρεσκω
μη ζητων το εμαυτου συμφερον
αλλα το των πολλων ινα σωθωσιν
μιμηται μου γινεσθε καθως καγω χριστου.
Color Codes:

Similar beginnings and endings (homoioarcton/homoioteleuton) are marked in GREEN

Identical lines are marked a) or b) and colored BLUE or RED.

The Textual Evidence

Include Line: H-c K Ψ (88) 104 326 330 451 614 1984 2492 2495 Byz Maj (majority of continuous MSS) Lect Syr-H Goth Ephraem Chrysost. Euthal. Theod. Photius (attr. Pseud.-Oecumenius) Ps-Oecumen. Theophylact etc.

Omit: Aleph A B C D G H* P 33 81 181 436 629 630 1241 1739 1877 1881 1962 2127 It Vg Syr-P Cop-Sa/Bo Arm Aeth Ambrosiast. Aug. John-Dam.

The first thing we observe is that the whole section is rife with opportunities for errors of Haplography, because there is plenty of repetition, and also coupling of line pairs. This is undoubtably Paul's authentic way of composing his arguments, with an eye to easy understanding and memorization.

And what is the actual variant?

The second time the Psalm is quoted (here underlined), is absent in a handful of manuscripts. The question is, was it accidentally dropped, or was it accidentally added?

In this case, Transcriptional Probability (scribal habit) suggests an accidental omission is more likely. All the necessary features are here for such a boo-boo to happen.

Yet oddly, because of yet other features (earlier on in the piece), it is also possible that a scribe accidentally copied the line twice by temporarily skipping back to the previous line. This creates a lingering doubt, for in any specific case, we cannot pronounce what happened for certain.

So we must turn to Intrinsic Probability (the author's intent) for additional evidence.

Here we are have two important points to take into account.

(1) Paul is habitually repetative. Its a conscious and powerful teaching habit he uses frequently. This makes an accidental omission likely.

(2) The argument has a unity when the line is included which it doesn't have otherwise. This makes an accidental addition unlikely.

Point (1) is self-evident, and needs no discussion.

Point (2) however, requires some elaboration and analysis.

(1) The Variant as an Addition to 1st Cor. 10:28

Lets consider first the possibility that this line was not original,
but was later added to the letter by a subsequent editor or scribe.

a) The line as a Deliberate Addition

If the line was added deliberately, it could not have been added for the purposes of doctrine, or even for grammatical reasons.

It adds nothing doctrinally to this passage, nor does it increase clarity in the argument. It is not a correction in spelling or grammar, or even style.

It must fall under the category of "poetic improvement". But this is essentially unheard of among NT variants. It would be perhaps the only time a reading was invented to increase the "poetic form" of a passage.

There is a minor argument in favour of this as a clarification of subsequent talk by Paul, that is, it serves as a kind of built-in header, or topic notice.

But again, no other section of this letter, or indeed any letter in the NT has any such addition: it would stick out like a sore thumb. Why only here? Why didn't the author invent or add headings to every section of 1st Cor?

We must reject this as a deliberate addition, because of its extreme improbability, and because it refuses to fall into any known category of variant.

b) The Line as an Accidental Addition

Here the surface appearance, while unusual, offers at least a perfectly plausible mechanism for addition:

The scribe had to make essentially TWO errors of the Haplographic type, and/or act in a 'lazy' manner after the first mistake, leaving the text in:

(i) First the scribe copied correctly up to the first appearance of conscience (συνειδησιν) in verse 10:28.

(ii) Now glancing back, he unfortunately begins reading his master-copy at this same word further up, (συνειδησιν) its first appearance at the end of verse 10:25.

(iii) He continues copying, making a Dittography (repetition) error, all the way to the end of the quotation of the psalm.

Here now he must have done one of two things:

(iv - a) He recognises his error, and begins copying where he left off, but does not bother to cross out or erase the line. Perhaps he hopes his superior won't notice, or he makes a mental note (later forgotten) to deal with it, and presses on from the beginning of verse 10:29.

(iv - b) He fails to notice this huge dittographic boner, but somehow by amazing luck commits a second Haplographic error, this time looking by freak chance to the exact right line to continue from, and proceeds. The original Dittography is never noticed.

One can see immediately the problems with this kind of scenario:

(iv - a)
- at the very least suggests both an absurd, scandalous procedure and a complimentary dereliction of duty unseen elsewhere in early NT MSS.

To top it off, Colwell tells us from careful analysis ( - collating P45, P66 & P75) that this kind of error is transcriptionally highly unlikely:

"...the scribe looking for his lost place looked ahead 3 times as often as he looked back. In other words, the loss of position usually resulted in a loss of text, an omission."
( - E.C. Colwell, Scribal Habits, op cit. p.112)

That is, scribes committing Haplography commit homoioarcton or homoioteleuton (omission) 75% of the time, but only commit Dittography (addition) 25% of the time.

The probability then, is heavily against an addition, rather than an omission. As we will see later, we must also take into account that the features present in the text also offer the clear possibility that an accidental omission could have, and probably did in fact occur.

(iv - b)
- the alternate scenario, that of TWO 'lucky overlaps of Haplography in a row, is even more improbable than the former option.

All of these considerations speak even more strongly against this being an addition, rather than an omission.

(2) The Variant as an Omission to 1st Cor. 10:28

Its time to look at the alternative possibilities:

a) The line as a Deliberate Omission

The line actually works in the text quite well, if we give it the function of a 'heading', a topic for further discussion at this point (10:28) in the argument.


The Structure of Paul's Argument

Paul has given a universal guideline at the beginning:

"Let no one seek his own,
but each one the other's benefit." (1 Cor. 10:23)

This is the real topic and focus of the lesson,
and he returns to it again to sum up at the end:

"...Just as I also please everyone in all things,
not seeking my own benefit, but that of many,
that they may be saved." (1 Cor. 11:1)

He ends by re-iterating both the strategy, and the purpose behind it, salvation of men.

In discussing, Paul gives three examples, the first two granting freedom, but the last example being the key one, illustrating this principle under discussion:

The first two are easy to follow, and simply supported by authority of O.T. Scripture, namely Psalm 24:1

The problem comes from the third example. Why doesn't the Scriptural justification also apply to the third case? This is what Paul needs to argue, without undermining its application in the other two cases.

So the Psalm is repeated, as a 'local' topic under discussion:

for "the earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness." (Psalm 24:1)

It becomes the title of the small paragraph that follows. Its as if to say, "Scripture X: Why doesn't it apply to case 3?"

Paul answers by pointing out that this Psalm does not give permission to make one man's conscience rule over all others. Its not "my conscience", but the conscience of every man, which must be taken into consideration.

Paul doesn't deny the operation of your own conscience as a guide to your own sin. He demands instead that we look beyond our selves to the big picture.

A new principle is brought in:

"...whatever you do, all to the glory of God do;
Give no offense, (to others)..." (1st Cor. 31-32)

The real test is, are we really honouring God, or causing shame and offense? This makes the application of Psalm 21:1 inappropriate in the third and final case, according to Paul.

With an understanding of the full passage before us, we can see that the second occurance of the Psalm 21:1 is not redundant, but becomes the lead-in for the final argument.

Seeing that it does function in the passage, and that this is unlikely as a "lucky accident", does not mean it couldn't have been mistakenly expunged by an over-eager corrector or superficial reader.

(i) An editor could have simply dropped the line as a redundant quote.

(ii) A corrector could have dropped it as a (mistaken) case of Dittography.
Against both ideas, we have the following:

There are two other whole lines which are not so expunged. If the editor or copyist felt this tendency here, why not in the other places where a similar redundancy and Dittography mechanism appear?

The Dittography features make the second option far more attractive than the first, but the absence of any systematic procedure or multiple examples make both ideas suspect.

A singular variant unit suggests an accidental error, not a conscious program of editing.

Finally, we may well ask, even if the deletion of the verse as a mistaken case of Dittography occurred, this does not really explain the origin of the variation.

In the later environment where the variants have already occurred, this explanation is excellent. But this mechanism (editor/corrector) is better suited to the perpetuation of the variant than it is to the actual genesis of the variants which a later copyist would then have to consider.

b) The line as a Accidental Omission

For the genesis of the original omission, Haplography (homoioteleuton/arcton) is still the overwhelmingly probable first cause, and this is both the simplest and most likely explanation for how the variant arose.

The passage itself suggests that any number of such Haplographic errors could have arose, and the fact that this one did, is only how the cards fell.

Summary of the Internal Evidence

We are now in a position to give a relative ranking of the four main possibilities before us, based upon the sum total of the Internal Evidences:

(1) Deliberate Addition: Least likely, as it goes against Transcriptional Probability, and is not supported by Intrinsic Evidences or a convincing explanation regarding motives. Furthermore, contra-evidence exists that fit the Internal evidence far better.

(2) Accidental Addition: Possible but Unlikely, as it goes against our best information regarding Transcriptional Probability, and secondary considerations such as Intrinsic Probability lean in favour of an omission.

(3) Deliberate Omission: Possible but Unsatisfactory, as this explanation better suits an environment where the variants are already in existance, such as between the 2nd - 4th centuries when concern for the original text became a conscious issue.

(4) Accidental Omission: Most Probable, as this accounts satisfactorily for the features of the text and variants, and is in total harmony with both Transcriptional Probability and also Intrinsic Probability. Paul's letters are especially suited to such analysis.

Hort and the New Papyri Evidence

(Now posted on the Nazaroo Zone to shorten this post):
Hort and the New Papyri < - - Click here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

1st Peter 4:14 (h.t.)

1st Peter 4:14 - Traditional Text (homoioteleuton)

......................ει ονειδιζεσθε εν ονοματι XS μακαριοι οτι
το της δοξης και το του ΘΣ πνευμα εφ υμας αναπαυεται
κατα μεν αυτους βλασφημειται κατα δε υμας δοξαζεται
η γαρ τις υμων πασχετω ως φονευς η κλεπτης η κακο-
ποιος η ως αλλοτριοεπισκοπος

if ye be reproached in the name of Christ, happy, since
of the glory and of God rests upon you;

by them, blasphemed, but by you, he is glorified;
But make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer,
or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;

INCLUDE LINE: Everyone else! ... K P (Ψ) ...+ Byz, Maj (Majority of MSS)

OMIT LINE: א B 056 0142 436 629*vid 1739 it-c/dem/div/(gig) Vg(cl) Syr-p?/h? (UBS is hopeful here) Copt-Bo (alone) arm eth (made from Alex.text) Tertu. Origen (surprised?)

Another long line lost through the common error of homoioteleuton, one of the very reasons why early Christians switched to narrower columns, and why modern newspapers and wide books all use multiple narrow columns today.

Aleph and B again stand alone against all of antiquity, showing Agreement in Error and common ancestry, but equally demonstrating that such minority readings must be catalogued as boners and kept away from serious reconstructions of the Original autograph and out of master-copies used for translating modern Bibles.

Of course Hort, Nestle, and UBS follow into the darkness, seeking the 'holy grail' of Vaticanus' lost ancestor. But we can leave them there, and get back to making practical, complete, and useful translations containing light.

'modern' versions of the 20th century mistakenly rely upon the blind academics, to their own humiliation.

NKJV, YLT, KJ2000 to their credit leave the line in.

Hebrews 7:21-22 (h.a.)

Hebrews 7:21-22 (traditional text)


............ο δε μετα ορκω-
μοσιας δια του λεγοντος
προς αυτον ωμοσεν ΚΣ
και ου μεταμεληθησεται
συ ιερευς εις τ
ον αιωνα  
κατα την ταξιν μελχισεδεκ
κατα τοσουτον κρειττονος
διαθηκης γεγ
εν εγγυος ΙΣ

and he with an oath through
Him who is saying unto
him, `The Lord gave an
oath, and will not repent,
Thou [art] a priest - eternally,
according to the order of Melchisedek;'
according to so much of a better
covenant has Jesus become surety,

INCLUDE LINE: א(corr) A D E K L P al pler d e hal cop syr(utr) aeth Eus.(dem177.223) Byz Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS) etc.

OMIT LINE: א* B C 17. 80. f bg sah basm arm Euthal(cod) Amb.(fug saec.3)

א-a, A, C, 048 81 1739 it-r1 [Syr-Pal(pt)], Copt-Bo, aeth,

Marcion Origen(pt:gr/lat), Ephraem Aug. John-Dam.

Tischendorf's Original Apparatus:

21. [spelling:]

μετα cum א D E K L P al pler etc. Item א(c) B* C Euthal(cod)


μεθ cum A B(c) etc.

[variants, omission:]

| εις τον αιωνα absque additam cum א B C 17. 80. f bg sah basm arm Euthal(cod) Amb.(fug saec.3)


...ς (Gb(0)) Ln add κατα την ταξιν μελχισεδεκ cum א(c) A D E K L P al pler d e hal cop syr(utr) aeth Eus.(dem177.223) etc.

Another obvious haplography error (HomoioArcton), costing the tail end of an important quotation.

The idea that the careful composer of Hebrews would have left out the key player in this O.T. quotation is not worth considering.

The line length is classic for a column width of 22 letters, with or without contractions (nomina sacrae). As is often the case, the cause of the omission is found in the very next verse.

Tischendorf blindly follows his favourite codex Sinaiticus, while Hort follows Vaticanus with the same result: They duplicate an early error introduced by the ancestor of both.

How many times must we find the translators of modern versions asleep at the wheel? All of them omit this line, following the WH/NA/UBS text, which by the way has no footnote even acknowledging the omission.

Another important line in the NT vanishes without a trace...

Hebrews 1:8-9 (h.a.)

Hebrews 1:8-9 (Traditional Text)


προς δε τον υιον
ο θρονος σου ο θεος
τον αιωνα του αιωνος
ραβδος ευθυτητος
η ραβδος της βασιλειας σου

and unto the Son:
`Thy throne, O God,
[is] to the age
of the age;
a scepter of righteousness [is]
the scepter of thy reign;'...

INCLUDE LINE: Koine text, 33 etc. (miniscules), Byz Maj (Majority text)

OMIT LINE: B 33 t vg(some mss)

Perhaps B.J. Wright gave the most concise description of this obvious Haplography error, recently (2007):

"For centuries, the book of Hebrews has been the combat zone of many impasses and cacophonous speculations: its juncture is unstated, its author is unknown, and its destination ambiguous. Fortunately, these matters, while fascinating, are not at the viscera of the book's significance. What interests us here then, is one verse in the first chapter that possibly denotes the deity of Christ: namely, 1:8. Since the hermeneutical and exegetical issues here are beyond the scope of this paper, I will proceed by simply addressing the textual issues.


The first textual variant is pretty straightforward: the presence or absence of του αιωνος ("and ever") after εις τον αιωνα ("forever").

Externally, the absence of is significantly inferior with only a small handful of concentrated MSS omitting it (B 33 t vg-mss). Although it is true that scribes often expanded readings (with the apocapated reading generally being preferred), it is not the situation here for several reasons.

First, του αιωνος is a direct quotation from the OT with both the LXX [44:7] and MT [45:7] supporting it.

Second, this reading is supported by the best and earliest MSS (only a few omit it: B 33 t vg-mss).

Third, every time [ Heb: 'oulam od' ] occurs in the OT the LXX translates it with του αιωνος (Ps 10:16; 21:5; 45:7; 48:15; 52:10; 104:5). Putting it another way, if one accepts the shorter Greek rendering of the OT quote in Heb. 1:8 (simply by εις τον αιωνα ), and does not include του αιωνος, it goes against all the ancient versions.

Fourth, faulty eyesight could easily explain the omission."

- Brian James Wright, "Jesus as Theos: Scriptural Fact or Scribal Fantasy?" (Dallas Seminary, 2007)

Wright adds a footnote: 'For this and other possibilities see E.C. Colwell, Studies in the Methodology in Textual Criticism of the NT (Eerdmans, 1969), 106-124. , Cf. J. R. Royse, "Scribal Tendencies in the Transmission of the Text of the NT"; J.R. Royse, "The Treatment of Scribal Leaps in Metzger's Textual Commentary", NTS 29 (1983) 539-51.'

It only needs to be added that Codex Sinaiticus also carries its own unique set of absurd variants in the book of Hebrews, and consequently its omissions also have all the appearance of scribal boners due to negligence and fatigue. (see B.B. Warfield's enlightening list of Aleph's boners in Hebrews).

1st Timothy 6:7 (h.t.)

1st Timothy 6:7 (Traditional Text)

- homoioteleuton

When we naturally read "it is certain", in a cherished passage of Holy Scripture, we can be absolutely certain that even the simplest and most obvious of haplographic blunders will be duly recorded and foisted on the critical Greek text, even in (or perhaps especially in) the total absence of testimony from Codex Vaticanus.

..ουδεν γαρ εισηνεγκαμεν
εις τ
ον κοσμον δηλον οτι ου
εξενεγκειν τι δυναμεθα

'For we brought nothing into this world,
it is certain that we can carry nothing out.'

The English reader simply misses the full impact of the conspiracy between the lovely 'sing-song' of the rhythm here in the Greek, ("en" / "on") and the early Majuscule/Uncial form of the letters, virtually lullabying the scribe to sleep in blunder-land as he recites the lines to himself while writing.

Its worth taking a special look at what the Egyptian scribe must have had to read, in the days when spaces between words were minimized to save papyrus and rounded 'e' and 's' ruled the calligraphic la-la land:


Or perhaps the sleepy scribe saw something more like this:


depending on how the ink had dried and worn on his exemplar.

All that is left for Englishmen is the terrible irony of the meaning that is all but lost in the resulting 'modern' translations.

For although we can be given the sacred treasure of the Holy Scripture, and be warned to take our duty to protect it in determined solemness, it is certain that we will probably leave this world with a washed-down ceremony minus any doctrinal commitment or Christian hope, and be buried against our wishes and common sense with some groaner of a paraphrase tucked under our head.

The only consolation for this farce will be the knowledge that this corrupt text will be appropriately left in the coffin by grave-robbers looking for more lasting treasures, like cheap gold rings and shoes.

Include Phrase: א (c) D(c) K P Ψ (88) 104 181 326 330 436 451 614 629 630 1241 1877 1962 1984 1985 2127 2492 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS) Lectionaries Syr-P/H, Italic-c/dem/div/f/mon/x/s, Vg, Basil, Macarius, Chrysostom Euthalius, Theodoret, John-Damascus, Marcion too!
(subst. alethes) D* Italic-ar/d/m (Syr-Hmarg) Goth Cyprian Ambrosiaster Pelagius Theodore(Lat) Augustine Paulinus -Nola

Omit: א* A G 048 061 33 81 1739 1881 ital-g/r1 Origen(!)... apparently omit: Ephraem Orsisius Jerome Augustine (Lat) Cyril

*When we consider the patristic 'evidence', we have to remember that the early fathers are paraphrasing from memory a third of the time, with predictable results. Thus for omissions and creative variants we must apply to them with great caution! By nature omissions are 'arguments from silence'.

We can see from the list that even 5 great uncials and their correctors are not enough to stay the cutting and snipping.

1st Thessalonians 3:2 (h.a/t.)

1st Thessalonians 3:2 (Traditional Text)

- homoioarcton/teleuton

...and sent Timothy,
our brother
and minister of God,
and our fellow laborer
in the gospel of Christ,
to establish you
and encourage you
concerning your faith,...

Booboo # 1:

και επεμψαμεν τιμοθεον
τον αδελφον ημων

και διακονον του θεου
και συνεργον ημων
εν τω ευαγγελιω του ΧΣ
εις το στηριξαι υμας
και παρακαλεσαι υμας
περι της πιστεως υμων

Booboo # 2:

και επεμψαμεν τιμοθεον
τον αδελφον ημων

και διακονον του θεου
και συνεργον ημων
εν τω ευαγγελιω του ΧΣ
εις το στηριξαι υμας
και παρακαλεσαι υμας
περι της πιστεως υμων

Booboo # 3:

............και επεμψαμεν τιμοθεον
τον αδελφον ημων και διακονον
του θεου και συνεργον ημων
εν τω ευαγγελιω τουXριστου
εις το στηριξαι υμας και παρακαλ
εσαι υμας περι της πιστεως υμων...

Full Text: D(corr) K 88 104 181 326 330 436 451 614 629mg 630 1877 1894 1985 2127 2492 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of continuous MSS), Syr-P/H Chrysostom (Theodoret) John-Damascus (w.o.r) G, it-f/g, Syr-Pal.vid

#1 minus (και συνεργον ημων): א A P Ψ 81 629* 1241 1739 1881 vg Syr-H Cop-Sa/Bo Goth Aeth. Basil Pelagius Theodore Euthalius

#2 minus (και διακονον του θεου): B 1962
(and + του θεου after συνεργον): D* 33 it-d/e/mon* Ambrosiaster Pelagius Pseudo-Jerome

#3 minus (του θεου και συνεργον ημων): it-z, Cassiodorus

An examination of the surrounding text shows this as another hotbed ripe for haplography errors, and the errors indeed came, as well as the amateurish attempts to repair the text afterwards.

The different layouts over the years, caused by change in line-length contributed to the variations in an old theme: homoioArcton/Teleuton omissions.

The cases, although unusually dense, are self-explanatory, but hardly less dense than the Hort following B, and the UBS-2 text following Codex Bezae!

This has to be a case of UBS-2 choosing the worst possible variant on the principle of

"prefer the stupidest reading to outsmart the early editors",

a doubtful strategy at best...

...'modern' versions were left to fend for themselves, with the expected random results.

Philippians 3:15-17 (h.t.+)

Philippians 3:15-17 (Traditional text)

- homoioteleuton +

και τουτο ο θΣ υμιν απο-
καλυψει πλην εις ο εφθα-
αμεν τω αυτω στοιχειν
κανονι το αυτο φρονειν

συμμιμηται μου γινεσθε
αδελφοι ...

...God will reveal even this to you:
Still, up to what we have already attained,
let us walk the same rule,

let us be of the same mind.
Join in following my example,

INCLUDE LINE: א(corr.) K P Ψ (69 1908 w.o.r.) 88 181 326 614 630 1877 1962 1984 1985 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of continuous MSS), Syr-H, Syr-P, Aeth., Chrysostom Theodore Theodoret John-Dam

(reverse phrases): 81 104 330 451 (629) 1241 2127 2492 it-c/d/dem/div/f/x/s, Vg Goth Arm Euthaliu

Omit Line: P46 א* A B Ivid 33 1739 Copt-Sa/Bo Aeth-Ro. Hilary Aug. Theod.-Aneyra Ferrandus

Omit Other Line: 1881

Another case where over 55% of the line resembles the previous one.

Like the previous case, some textual critics imagine this to be some kind of remnant left-over from a long lost act of conflation, hoping to bolster Hort's theory of an inferior Byzantine text-type.

But again the actual textual evidence is inverted: The earlier text appears to be a fuller reading, and the omissions begin 200 years after Christ.

The evidence of Haplography overwhelms any other explanation. The alternate mistake of the late Ms. 1881 just underlines how easy haplography errors are, and how they can generate imaginary features of "conflation".

When a scribe drops a line, its natural (if the sense allows) just to write the line following the intruding 2nd (now 1st) line. Haplography errors naturally generate phrase order reversals, because it is less effort than erasing a whole line written in permanent ink.

Naturally however, we can't expect to be of the same mind with textual critics who take Hort's conflation theory seriously.

Hort, Nestle & UBS2
omit to spite the evidence, and all 'modern' versions follow, ignoring the UBS notes and skipping along with the lacunated critical judgements of long dead skeptics.

Ephesians 5:30 (h.t.)

Ephesians 5:30 (Traditional Text) homoioteleuton

(1) EARLY BONER: (wide line format)

................................καθως και ο κυριος την
εκκλησιαν οτι μελη εσμεν του σωματος

εκ της σαρκος αυτου και εκ των οστεων αυτου

αντι τουτου καταλειψει ανθρωπος τον ΠΡ αυτου

(2) LATER BONER: (narrow column format)

καθως και ο κυριος την
εκκλησιαν οτι μελη εσμεν
του σωματος
εκ της σαρκος αυτου

και εκ των οστεων αυτου

αντι τουτου καταλειψει
ανος τον πατερα
αυτου also the Lord, the
church, because mem-
bers we are of his body,

of his flesh, and of his bones;
___"for this cause shall
a man leave his father...

Include Line in Full: א(corr.) D G P Ψ 88 104 181 326 330 436 451 614 (629) 630 1241 1739mg 1877 1962 1984 2127 2492 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of continuous MSS), it-ar/c/d/dem/e/f/g/mon/x/z, Vg Syr-H, Syr-P, Arm., Iraeneus Ambrosiaster Victorinus-Rome Chrysostom Jerome, Theodore Theodoret John-Dam.

First Booboo: P46 א* A B 33 81 1739 1881 Copt-Sa/Bo Aeth. Origen(lat) Methodius Euthalius Ps-Jerome.

Second Booboo: MS 1985

Its rare we get to see the same boner committed twice
, in two different forms, simply because of a change of format.

Τhe early boner was caused when papyri had wide single columns and longer lines, and then much later on, the same type omission is committed on a half-line due to the narrower multiple-column format!

Not surprisingly, WH, Nestle, UBS all opt for complete omission of the entire line, seemingly oblivious to the obvious haplographic clowning.

All 'modern' versions follow, apparently drifting along with the UBS-2 text.

Yet never could the evidence be clearer, than both the physical features of the text, and the actual accomplishment of the same error alike in two different times, places, and circumstances. Again, the deliberate addition of the line would be non-sensical and implausible as a theologically motivated note or gloss. Even less likely would be that scribes hundreds of years apart would by coincidence come up with the same half-line to insert.

Instead we have the usual motive-less, accidental omission that most haplographic errors cause.

Ephesians 3:14-15 (h.t.)

Ephesians 3:14-15 (Traditional text) - Homoioteleuton

...............τουτου χαριν
καμπτω τα γονατα μ
προς τον πατερα του
κυριου ημων ΙΣ χριστου

εξ ου πασα πατρια εν ου-

ρανοις και επι γης ονομα-

For this cause I bow my
knees unto the Father of

our Lord Jesus Christ,
of whom whole family in the
heavens and on earth is named,...

INCLUDE LINE: א(corr.) D G K Ψ 88 104 181 326 330 436 451 614 629 630 1241 1877 1881 1984 1985 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of continuous MSS), it-ar/c/d/e/f/g/t/x/z, Vg Syr-H, Syr-P, Goth, Arm., Origen(Gr1/3,Lat) Ambrosiaster Victorinus-Rome Ephraem Basil Ps-Justin Chrysostom Latin mss (Jerome), THeodore Theodoret John-Dam. Photius.

OMIT: P46 א* A B C P 33 81 1739 1962 2127 2492 it-dem Syr-Pal Copt-Sa/Bo Aeth. (Clement) Origen Cyril-Jer. Epiphanius Jerome Augustine Cyril Euthalius Vigilus.

Its not hard to see how the combination of narrow columns and the use of the Noma Sacrae (Short form ΙΣ for "Jesus") here conspired to create an awkward procession of similar endings.

As seems to occur more often than we would like, the added self-similar beginning and ending of the lost line, and its similarity to other line endings has here resulted in more loss of text than usual. The basic mechanism is the same however, even with the 'hiccup'. Anyone who has typed a letter has experienced the frequent loss or addition of a repeated word at the beginning or end of phrase, especially when jumping to a new line.

Here sadly, Hort, Nestle, and UBS-2 conspire to remove another clarifying reference to our Lord Jesus, losing something of Paul's thought here.

Most 'modern' versions follow the UBS text, and drop the line, usually without adequate notice of a possible gaffe.

Galatians 3:1 (h.a.)

Galatians 3:1 Traditional Text (& omission)

.............ω ανοητοι γαλα-
ται τις υμας εβασκανεν

τη αληθεια μη πειθεσθαι

οις κατ οφθαλμους ΙΣ ΧΣ
προεγραφη εν υμιν εστα-

'oh foolish Textual Cri-
tics! Who has bewitched you,
that you should not obey the truth?
- before whose eyes Jesus Christ
has evidently been set forth...

INCLUDE LINE: C Maj (most) Vg(Cl) Syr-H etc.

(+εν υμιν) D G Maj K pm


Here's another one of those borderline cases: Not in the sense that the omission makes any sense, but in the sense that there's not much excuse in terms of haplography opportunities for the scribe.

We can suppose two lines beginning in 't' helped, but this really must be put down to sheer fatigue, and the haplographic danger may have been unneeded entirely.

No plausible premise can be conjured for the "addition". Its simply Paul, wordy and in your face.

Choosing the shortest text can be explained as filling Hort's need for a common ancestor by Agreement in Error, but who else can claim such a lame excuse? Certainly not Nestle or UBS. Their goals were not Hort's (we hope).

This is simply a mechanical and mindless application of a dubious rule.

All modern versions follow down the golden path to Egypt's very first bumbling copyist, played in the movie masterfully by Peter Sellers as "Scribe Clouseau".

1st Corinthians 15:52-54

1st Corinthians 15:52-54 (Traditional Text)

κοιμηθησομεθα παντες δε αλλαγησομεθα
εν ατομω εν ριπη οφθαλμου εν τη εσχατη
σαλπιγγι σαλπισει γαρ και οι νεκροι εγερθησον-
ται αφθαρτοι και ημεις αλλαγησομεθα δει γαρ
το φθαρτον τουτο ενδυσασθαι αφθαρσιαν και
 θνητον τουτο ενδυσασθαι
θανασιαν οταν δε
το φθαρτον τουτο ενδυσηται  αφθαρσιαν και

το  θνητον τουτο ενδυσηται  αθανασιαν
γενησεται ο λογος ο γεγραμμενος
..........."κατεποθη ο θανατος εις νικος..."

...and we all shall be changed;
- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, in the last
trumpet, for it shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we -- we shall be changed: for it behoveth
this corruptible to .......... put on incorruption, and
this mortal to put on immortality; but when
this corruptible may have put on incorruption, and
this mortal may have put on immortality, then 
shall be brought to pass the word that hath been written,

`The Death was swallowed up -- to victory;

INCLUDE LINE: B! C(2vid) D! K P Ψ (33) 81 88 104 181 330 436 451 614(mg) 629(c) 630 (1241) 1739(mg) 1877(mg) 1881 1962 1984 (1985 2127) 2492 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS) l(809m)/1441(m) it-d/(e) Syr-p/h Origen Cyprian Chrysostom Jerome Augustine Euthalius Theodoret Cosmos John-Damascus

OMIT: Aleph* 088 (629) it-ar Ambrosiaster Hilary Athanasius (G 614* 1877* it-f/g Cop-bo(ms)

With 19 letters of homeoarcton (similar beginning), and 14 letters of homoioteleuton (similar ending), only a two-letter difference is left over! As a scribal gloss it is absurd, but understood as yet another haplographic accident, it is all too plain.

Its hard not to sympathize with the scribe who tripped holding this wedding cake full of Haplographic opportunities.

This is a case so shamefully obvious that both Nestle and the UBS editors felt obligated to leave the line in the text
with no more than a list of variant MSS for a footnote.

Still, Hort felt equally obligated to worship the singular witness of Aleph, even against his beloved Codex B! Its hard not to suspect Hort's hidden agenda of eliminating as much NT verse as possible...

The usual (but unusually small) handful of confused copyists follow Aleph to nowhere.

Luckily, most 'modern' translations also felt obligated to follow the (strangely correct) judgment of the UBS-text here, and leave the verses in, with the exception of the always foolish New English Bible (NEB). We must document it here nonethless, because at least a few 'modern' versions took it seriously.

Apparently we won't be putting on incorruption, until the corruption of Codex Sinaiticus has fully tired us all out.

Yet there is no real excuse for the exact flub that Aleph makes, somehow failing to drop the middle line, also nearly identical with its paired counterpart. This "every-other-line" similarity is not unique in poetry or prose, but the expected mistake was both lines; the scribe of Aleph was seemingly so addled with ale that he blundered twice, once to drop the line, and once to find his place again at the wrong place...(roll eyes here).

Still, even this double gaffe was not enough to disguise the original haplography from the watchful eyes of the UBS committee. If only they were asleep at the wheel less often....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Romans 15:29 (h.t.)

Romans 15:29 (traditional text)


οιδα δε οτι ερχομενος προς
υμας εν πληρωματι ευλογιας

ΤΟΥ ευαγγελιου ΤΟΥ χριστου

but I have known that coming
to you -- in the fulness of the blessing
OF THE good news OF THE Christ
I shall come.

INCLUDE LINE: א(corr.), ψ, 33, 88 104
181 326 330 436 451 614 1241 1877 1962 1984 2127 2492 2495
Byz, Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS)
Lect. it-d/e/m Vg-Cl Syr-P/H (Ephraem) Aeth.-ro Chrysost. THeod. (John-Dam.)

P46, א*, A B C D G P, 81 629 630 1739 1881 it-ar/d/e/f/g/x/z, Vg-ww, Copt-Sa/Bo Arm Clement Origen-Lat Ambrosiast. Pelag. [Sedulius-Scotus ?]

Another short case of similar endings, this one unusual in that both ends were simultaneously dropped. But this subcategory of boo-boo is not that uncommon with short bursts of text containing multiple repetitions. Dean Burgon long ago noted a similar error in Luke 16:21 by the scribe of Codex Sinaiticus (א) which went unnoticed for centuries.

Westcott/Hort, Nestle, UBS2 all omit the phrase, completely changing the meaning of the verse. UBS-2 has it in the apparatus, but don't expect a useful footnote in the average 'modern' version.

Romans 15:24 (h.t.)

Romans 15:24 (traditional text)

.........ως εαν πορευ-
ωμαι εις την σπανιαν

ελευσομαι προς υμας
ελπιζω γαρ διαπορευο-
θεασασθαι υμας
και υφ υμων προπεμφ-
θηναι εκει...

I may go on to Spain,

I  will come  to you,
for I  hope in passing
to see you, and by you
to be carried
forward hence,...

INCLUDE LINE: Koine Greek Byz Maj (Majority of continuous MSS)

OMIT LINE: p46 A-pc (B D G-pc W)
(- from Nestle apparatus)

Another simple "oops", and a line is lost. This time homoioArcton (similar beginning of line) and a shared letter midline. Depending upon the line-length of the original copied from, there is also a potential homoioTeleuton (similar ending) as well!

Westcott/Hort & Nestle omits, UBS follows (the B text) with no apparatus, and the modern versions follow UBS with no footnote.

Romans 14:21

Romans 14:21 (traditional text)


καλον το μη φαγειν κρεα
μηδε πιειν οινον μηδε εν
ω ο αδελφος σου προσκοπτει
η σκανδαλιζεται η ασθενει

Good, [is] this; not to eat flesh,
nor to drink wine, nor to act in a
way that your brother will stumble,
or is made to fall, or is weak.

INCLUDE LINE: א(corr) B D G (P) ψ, 0209vid 33 88 104 181 326 330 436 451 614 629 630 (1241 transp.) 1877 1881 1962 2127 2492 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS), Lect. It-ar/d/dem/e/f/g/x/s, Vg Syr-H, Cop-Sa, Arm
Ambrosiast. Basil Chrysos. Theod. (1984 1985 it-m transp.)

א-a, A, C, 048 81 1739 it-r1 [Syr-Pal(pt)], Copt-Bo, aeth,
Marcion Origen(pt:gr/lat), Ephraem Aug. John-Dam.

A simple case of homoioteleuton.

The reasoning is typical of Paul, composing on the fly and trying to cover the key cases.

Westcott/Hort omit, Nestle follows, but UBS2 omits and gives a lengthy footnote, indicating some doubt as to the correct reading.

The possible source of the omission, Marcion (whether accidental or simply opportunistic) is disturbing.

Nonetheless, all 'modern' versions also omit, leaving a confused and poorly documented lacuna.

Romans 14:6 (h.t.)

Romans 14:6 (traditional text)

HomoioTeleuton +

φρονων την ημεραν κυριω ... φρονει και ο
μη φρονων την ημεραν κυριω ου φρονει και ο

... εσθιων κυριω ..... εσθιει ..... ευχαριστει
γαρ τω θεω και ο
μη εσθιων κυριω ουκ
εσθιει και ευχαριστει ....... τω θεω

He who is ..... regarding the day, to the Lord he doth ..... regard [it], and

he who is not regarding the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it].
He who is eating, to the Lord he doth eat, for he doth give thanks to God; and
he who is not eating, to the Lord he doth not eat, and doth give thanks to God.

INCLUDE LINE: Koine text, 33 etc. (miniscules), Byz Maj (Majority text)

OMIT LINE: Heschian (Egyptian = B/ א /C / A? [ΔΨ?] ) text,
von Soden gives both readings equal probability
(notes courtesy of Nestle text)

A formal case of Haplography could never have a more perfect form than this; the two lines differ by only three letters. 3/44 counting word-spacing, or an agreement in exact content of about 93%.

No editor or scribe would create such a monstrosity just to make Paul's argument more complete. Instead we have Paul's usual thorough "either ...or" style of debating, coupled with one tired copyist, followed by eager editors (excisors).

The dual-line structure so common in Hebrew poetry and proverb is a plain Pauline Hebraism. The internal evidence for authenticity is given in the immediately following parallelism.

WH, Nestle, UBS opt for the shorter text on the basis of the "textual evidence" (i.e., Aleph/B), and UBS inexplicably leaves out any textual footnote whatsoever.

Naturally 'modern' versions following the UBS text omit the verses without even a note to say goodbye.

Romans 13:9 (h.t./h.a.)

Romans 13:9 (traditional text)

     ...το γαρ ου μοιχευσεις
ου φονευσεις ου κλεψεις 

ου ψευδομαρτυρησεις

ουκ επιθυμησεις και ει τις
ετερα εντολη εν τουτω τω
λογω ανακεφαλαιουται εν
τω αγαπησ
τον πλησιον
σου ως εαυτον

or, `Do not commit adultery,
Do not murder, Do not steal,
Do not bear false witness,
Do not covet;' and if there is any
other command, in this word
it is summed up, in this: `You
shall love your neighbor as yourself;'

INCLUDE LINE: א (P) Ψ 048 81 88 104 326 330 436 451 629 1962 1984 2127 Byz Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS) It-ar/c/dem/gig/s, Vg-cl Cop-Bo Arm Aeth Origen(Lat) Chrysostom (2495 Syr-H).  Lect,

OMIT: p46 A B D G 33 181 614 630 1241 1739 1877 1881 1985 2492 Lect. It-d/e/f/g/x Vg-ww Syr-P Cop-Sa Goth Ambrosiast. Amb. Aug. Cyril Theod. John-Dam.

Here's another big clump of Haplographic features waiting for a victim. And soon one scribe came, to fulfill the requirement of falling on one's copy-face.

HomoioArcton/Teleuton is written all over these five consecutive clauses. Since the list of Ten Commandments is not complete anyway, who is going to notice one of five examples falling through the cracks?

No scribe/editor would add only one commandment to an incomplete list. Its another case of Paul's wordiness causing a copyist to poke himself in the eye with his stylus.

W/H, Nestle, UBS2 all omit, following Codex B even when the oldest Uncial, Codex Sinaiticus chooses to differ, exposing this to be a Haplographic error more recent than the ancestor of either manuscript. Now is a good time to take note that papyri like P46 are not that much older (c. early 3rd cent.), and may even be close relatives of an intermediate exemplar for Vaticanus (B).

"modern" translations follow Hort in omitting the Commandment, and also omitting any witness to the tampering, false or otherwise (nyuk nyuk).

Romans 11:6 (h.a.)

Romans 11:6 (traditional text)

ει δε   χαριτι ουκετι  εξ εργων,
επει η χαρις ουκετι γινεται χαρις
ει δε εξ εργων ουκετι εστιν χαρις
επει το εργον ουκετι
εστιν εργον

but if by grace,   not then from works, 
else the grace no more becomes grace;
but if from works, not then  is it grace, 
else the work  no more is work.

INCLUDE LINE: א(corr) (B) ψ 88 104 181 330 436 451 614 1241 (1962) 1984 1985 2492 (2495) Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) Lect. Syr-P/H, (Aeth) Chrysost. Theodor. Gennad. Ps-Oecumenius Theophyl.

OMIT: p46 א* A C D G P (81) 629 630 1739 1881 it-ar/d/dem/d/f/g/x/s Vg Cop-Sa/Bo Arm Origen(Lat) Ambrosiast. Chrysos(comm) Theod (comm) John-Damasc.

Paul's long argument borders on repetition, because of its completeness. This is something that often happens in writing as opposed to speaking. A letter affords a chance to be thorough.

The repeating vocabulary also creates plenty of cross-eyes while copying. It is understandable that many a scribe did not fully understand the complex arguments of Paul, and so both lines appear extremely close in both content and meaning. Only careful reading makes the complimentarity of both sentences plain.

But such precise but longwinded arguments become a fertile ground for haplography errors, as in this case. At the same time, it is possible that an Alexandrian editor felt the repetition of ideas was indeed redundant, and has sought to improve the situation by excision (possibly after the variant first appeared).

Remarkable here is that this error appears to have flooded the Latin stream of transmission, and swept the old uncials under its influence too. Nonetheless, the Greek MSS support for the line is overwhelming.

All critical editors follow the Ancient Alexandrian/Caesarean tradition of prefering the shorter text, and the modern versions follow, without explanations.

Romans 9:27-29

Romans 9:27-29 (traditional text)

..........το καταλειμμα σωθησεται
λογον γαρ
συντελων   και συντεμνων
εν  δικαιοσυνη οτι λογον συντετμημενον
ποιησει κυριος επι της γης και καθως
προειρηκεν ησαιας...

the remnant shall be saved;
for a word He is finishing, and is cutting short

in righteousness, because a word cut short
will the Lord do upon the land; even as Isaiah
saith before, ...

INCLUDE LINE: Aleph (corr.) D G K P 33 88 104 181 326 330 451 614 629 630 1241 1877 1962 1984 1985 (2492) 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) Lectionaries It (ar/d/dem/e/f/g/x/s), Vg Syr-H, Goth Arm Euseb. Ambros. Chrysos. Euthalius Ps-Oecumen. Theoph.

OMIT: (p46vid) Aleph* B 1739 1881 (2127) Syr-P, Cop-Sa/(Bo-part), AEth Origen Euseb., August. (Theod.) John-Damas.

A classic case of homoioteleuton (similar ending) with a generous overlap in the content and syllables in the middle of the sentence.

Westcott/Hort, Nestle & UBS all run after the favoured uncials, but since this time UBS-2 gave a reasonable footnote, a few modern versions like the New Berkeley Version (NBV) manage to escape repeating the mistake. They merely bracket the clause in question, but leave it in the text.

Hort on Haplography

Hort on Haplography

Hort discusses Acts

For Acts 2:30, F.J.A. Hort (1892) comments in his Introduction (Notes on Select Readings) p 92:

+kata sarka...etc. - is in both the "Western and Syrian (Gk Syr.[=Byzantine])" text; its found also in Origen Ps. (XV Cord.Gall.) Eusebius Ps..

On the other hand it is missing from the "Latin copy of Ireneaus and Euseb. Ecl.. Perhaps [it is a reference] from 2 Sam. vii.12."

From this it is plain that Hort acknowledged that the fuller reading is found in two of the three major text-types, which he himself held as legitimate entities through his own "Genealogical Method".

He selects the "Neutral" reading (the Alexandrian/Egyptian text-type) for his text by reason of his preference for this text-type over all others combined, not on the basis of any internal evidence or argument, or any even-handed treatment of the major text-types.

Hort does not comment on Acts 15:24.

For Acts 20:15: Hort again offers a brief note:

+KAI... - Western and Syrian (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Egypt.[Copt]) & "many of the later documents"...
In support of omission: "אABCE cu me aeth arm".

Again Hort offers no discussion at all of internal evidence, or of possible HomoioArcton. He appears to deliberately avoid any discussion of haplography in every case when it comes to omissions adopted by him from B/Aleph.

Hort completely avoids commenting on his alterations at Acts 21:22, 22:9.

The only extensive note in the Introduction is on Acts 26:28.

Again Hort completely avoids discussing Acts 26:29-31a, presumably because he would then have to confront the question of Haplography again.

So Hort has little to offer for our examples. We might turn to Metzger for a bit more of a textual discussion, but probably not much of one on Haplography errors. For that we will have to turn to E.C. Colwell and and probably Hoskier.