Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri
In textual criticism, the 'scribal habits' in a manuscript (tendencies to make various sorts of changes) must be known in order to evaluate its testimony. Colwell analyzed the scribal habits in P45, P66, and P75, by examining their singular readings. This book expands on Colwell's work by studying P45, P46, P47, P66, P72, and P75, the six most extensive early New Testament manuscripts. All the singular readings in these papyri are studied along with all the corrections. The results, which incorporate many revised readings of these papyri, make possible the more precise use of these papyri in textual criticism. Among the important discoveries is that the general tendency of these early scribes was to omit rather than to add.
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The book is a veritable tome of knowledge concerning the scribal habits evident in the six most extensive and important papyri. Royse's book is meticulously researched, and it shows in his detailed explanations coupled with his excellent judgment. It is indispensable for any serious work in textual criticism. The most frustrating aspect of the book, in my opinion, is the organization of the index: one must look in several different sections to find all the citations to a given verse.
An important work which, among other things, challenges and overturns the long-established text-critical canon that the shorter variant is to be preferred to its longer rivals.
Chapter One The Study of Scribal Habits
Chapter Two Singular Readings
Chapter Three Methodology
Chapter Four The Scribe of P45
Chapter Five The Scribe of P46
Chapter Six The Scribe of P47
Chapter Seven The Scribe of P66
Chapter Eight The Scribe of P72
Chapter Nine The Scribe of P75
Chapter Ten The Shorter Reading?
Chapter Eleven Concluding Remarks
Appendix A The Singular Readings of the Papyri
Appendix B The Corrections of the Papyri
Appendix C Orthographic Phenomena