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The Center for Study and Preservation of the Majority Text

The Center for Study and Preservation of the Majority Text (CSPMT) is an organization dedicated to scholarly study, research and preservation of Byzantine Greek New Testament manuscripts. This textual tradition is found in various printed editions in the West and is also preserved in the Greek New Testament and lectionary text of the Orthodox church.

Our board members at CSPMT are leading ecclesiastical officials, pastors and textual scholars from various traditions which uphold the Byzantine text of the Greek New Testament. At CSPMT we are dedicated in sharing this rich legacy with scholars, clergy and other interested parties.

May God bless you.

News & Website Updates

April 11, 2016

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: New CSPMT Director Dr. John Karavidopoulos of Thessaloniki, Greece

CSPMT welcomes Prof. John Karavidopoulos of Thessaloniki, Greece to our Board of Directors. Dr. Karavidopoulos is a well known and respected Greek New Testament scholar and longtime Prof. of Greek and New Testament at the Univ. of Thessaloniki. Dr. Karavidopoulos was also formerly advisor to the UBS critical text editions of the Greek New Testament.

Dr. Karavidopoulos brings years of research and expertise in Greek New Testament manuscript studies to CSPMT. In addition, Dr. Karavidopoulos will serve as senior advisor to our planned critical text edition of the Greek New Testament with the Ecumenical Patriarchal text (Antoniades) GNT. In the near future, CSPMT will undertake two critical text editions. One to have the base comparison text based upon the Antoniades GNT with accompanying critical apparatus. The companion edition will entail a more Western leaning edition with the (Scrivener) Textus Receptus of 1896 serving as the base text also with an extensive critical apparatus.

We will keep our readers and followers of CSPMT of our continued plans and preparations both editions of the Greek New Testament based upon the Byzantine and Traditional Texts of the Greek New Testament.

CSPMT

March 2, 2016

The Quincentennial of Erasmus' Novum Instrumentum omne & the Byzantine/Majority text

On March 1, 1516, Desiderius Erasmus completed his Greek New Testament which was published by Johann Froben in Basel, Switzerland. This groundbreaking edition of the Greek New Testament was to leave an invaluable legacy behind for scholars and laymen alike. Erasmus' Novum instrumentum edition of the Greek New Testament would prove to be one of the most important books ever published in the world.

Much attention within NT Textual Criticism has focused upon the rather hurried conditions under which the 1st Erasmian edition of the Greek New Testament had been published. However, when reviewing the evidence in future editions of Erasmus of the Greek New Testament, the evidence of any large textual changes or emendations in subsequent editions is just not evident. Also, Erasmus’ detractors usually from the non-Traditional Text “Reasoned Eclectic” position, claim that the relatively few late Greek MSS Erasmus utilized in production of his New Testament edition inhibits its overall importance for today. First of all, this presupposes a superior textual quality and importance of the early papyri and inherent bias in preference to early Greek uncial MSS such as Codex Vaticanus and Aleph (Sinaiticus) usually based upon the the relative age comparison to the later minuscule MSS utilized by Erasmus.

It must be pointed out that whether or not Erasmus could have utilized Codex Vaticanus at the Vatican in the production of his Greek New Testament, it is also highly unlikely that he would have accepted or preferred its unique readings in place of these so-called inferior Byzantine MSS that he chose to utilize. Erasmus’ subeditor Oecolampadius was favorable to readings found in the non-Byzantine MSS found in what today is called family 1. Erasmus was suspicious of Vulgate influence on this text-form. For the Novum Instrumentum and later editions, Erasmus favored Byzantine minuscule MSS over such minority texttypes like family 1 readings or readings for that matter he would have found present in Codex Vaticanus. Despite his reluctance, Erasmus conceded to Oecolampadius many readings that were found in family 1 in his Greek New Testament editions which would later be changed in other Received Text editions such as Stephanus. Any supposed favor or predisposition towards the Latin Vulgate that Erasmus supposedly had in his Greek editions of the New Testament is countered by his own hesitancy and distrust of the readings found in the Vulgate. His own opinion was obviously in favor towards readings found in the Byzantine/Majority text minuscules he selected for use in his important 1516 edition.

CSPMT has through collation of two leading Byzantine text-forms (Kx and Kr/f35) an extremely close overall textual proximity (98-99%) agreement to either the Erasmian text or later TR (Textus Receptus) editions of the Received text. While the two leading Byzantine types differ in a total of approximately 1,200 total variations between themselves, these same two Byzantine types which dominate the Greek minuscule tradition of the New Testament vary by no more than approximately 2,000 total variations from any of the Erasmian editions. However, the differences between the “critical text” editions Greek New Testament which remain primarily dependent upon Aleph and Codex Vaticanus, range between 5,000-6,000 total variations from both the Erasmian edition and the two main Byzantine text MS groupings. It must be further noted that Codex Vaticanus and Aleph vary from one another in over 1,000 times in the Gospel of John alone. In summary, most textual differences found between any of the Erasmian editions and/or other subsequent TR editions remain for the most part rather insignificant in terms of total number and importance in comparison to MSS and editions outside the sphere of the Traditional Text of the Greek New Testament.

The legacy and importance of the Erasmian text of the Greek New Testament cannot be over estimated. It would serve as a model as the preferred text-form of the New Testament preferred by the Church for centuries until the era of the Westcott-Hortian text in the 20th century. However, the type of Greek New Testament established by Erasmus of the New Testament remains the preferred text of choice for millions across the globe. Christians around the world continue to favor in one form or another both the Greek New Testament and various versions based upon the Traditional Text of the New Testament established by Erasmus' invaluable edition. CSPMT recognizes and respects the important legacy of Desiderius Erasmus left behind until today through his Novum Instrumentum omne edition of 1516 in our position of the superiority and primacy of the Byzantine/Majority Text of the Greek New Testament.

CSPMT

Feb 28, 2016

Update on the Byzantine text & the Harklean Syriac connection

CSPMT has continued our investigation of the close parallel textual connection between the assumed Greek exemplars of the Harklean Syriac version and particular groupings of Byzantine MS.

Most textual scholars have assumed within the Gospels that some type of Byzantine textual connection exists with the Harklean Syriac version completed by Thomas of Harkel in the NT (615-616) at St. Anthony's Monastery near Alexandria, Egypt. However, due to the unfamiliarity of most Greek and Syriac textual scholars with the particular MS groups found within the Byzantine Majority text, more precise identification has escaped notice until current day. CSPMT in recent research has located two groupings (Group β/1216 & Λ/Lambda) within the Byzantine Majority text with especially close textual proximity to readings found in the Harklean Syriac version. In collations of the Gospel of Matthew with it's especially uniform textual nature among most all Byzantine groups, various readings which stand out were especially useful from Matthew for further investigation and determination of the specific textual proximity of Byzantine Majority text groups.

A few examples below are given which aide in textual identification within the Gospel of Matthew between the readings found in the Harklean Syriac/Greek exemplar and Byzantine groups 1216 and Lambda:

Mt 1:11b - ADD "Joiakim"

Mt 3:11b - ADD "and Fire"

Mt 5:47 - Combination "brethren (φιλους)/Gentiles"

Mt 8:11b - ADD "and when the centurion returned to the house in that hour, he found the slave well".

Mt 18:11 - "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost".

Mt 27:35 - Long ending, inclusion of (Prophesy of Parting of Garments).

Many other textual variant unit combinations have been discovered in agreement in Matthew and in the other Gospels as well between Byzantine groups 1216 and fam. Lambda and the 2-3 Greek MS exemplars utilized by Thomas of Harkel in his revision of the Philoxenian Syriac version. This is an potentially an extremely important discovery as these MSS are stated in the colophons to have been found already at St. Athony's Monastery upon Thomas' arrival there in 615. In addition, Thomas described these are the "accurate, well-proven MSS" and "renowned for their accuracy".

We may lastly ask at this point our colleagues within the Reasoned Eclectic/Critical text position why Byzantine/Majority text-type uncial Greek MSS were already found and held in this high of regard in Egypt (near Alexandria) and preferred by Thomas of Harkel for his Syriac version revision if better or older Egyptian/Coptic like MSS could have just as easily been utilized in providing accurate Greek copies for the Philoxenian Syriac revision. Perhaps these MSS in fact are the ancient Byzantine/Majority type of MSS found as described by Victor of Antioch that existed too in Palestine or the MSS identified as the ancient Jerusalem exemplars copied by group members in Byzantine fam. Lambda. Time will tell as we continue our research on this fascinatingly important topic concerning the Byzantine/Majority text of the New Testament.

CSPMT

Feb 18, 2016

The Greek New Testament in the Majority Text Form Remembered: The HF Greek New Testament 1982/85.

The Greek New Testament according to the Majority Text was published by Thomas Nelson publishers in 1982 and in a slightly revised 1985 edition. This Greek New Testament was the first attempt in the West to produce a Greek New Testament based upon the majority of MSS typically found in the Byzantine text-form. The chief editors of the project were Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad. Zane Hodges was long time professor of Greek New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) while Arthur Farstad, was a former student at DTS and later served as chief editor of the New Testament for the New King James version.

The Greek NT edition of Hodges and Farstad or HF Majority text was itself largely based upon the earlier research of Herman Von Soden regarding the (Koine) or K-text Byzantine MS subgroups. Zane Hodges came to the conclusion that through reconstruction of the NT text through the “stemmatic” or genealogical approach, the “Autographic” text was best represented through the agreement of the majority of manuscripts found within Von Soden’s united K-text. More specifically, when the K reading divided the majority reading found in the Kx subgroup was to be preferred. Due to the editors reliance upon Von Soden’s earlier collation of limited K-text/Kx MSS, the accuracy of the edition representing the majority of Byzantine MSS has been debated. However, it should be further noted that the editors Hodges and Farstad urged caution on any final decisions regarding their edition as being the final or authoritative edition of the original text of the Greek New Testament. In addition, both Hodges and Farstad urged competent scholars to test the results of their findings and viewed their work as a preliminary work on Majority Text approach in contrast to current Greek NT editions which were largely based upon a minority of Greek NT MSS found primarily in Egypt. (see 1985 rev. Intro., pg. X). The Pericope Adulterae section selected in their two editions (μ6) was selected on their stemmatic reconstruction of the section in John. Von Soden found this μ6 PA form to be in the majority of cases the most common form found within the Kx subgroup.

It has also been also charged by some that the HF Majority text sided with many minority readings and does not adequately represent the majority of MSS in all cases. However, both editors recognized their edition was not always reproducing the majority reading in all cases. The same holds true though in other Byzantine text editions such as the RP2005 Byzantine Textform, the recent BGNT/f35 Byzantine text in addition to the TR (Textus Receptus) and Antoniades Greek Orthodox NT editions. The Orthodox Greek NT replicates to a large degree the lectionary text of the NT while the the Textus Receptus that found in other sources such as the early Church Fathers and other external sources outside the majority of Byzantine Greek MSS. All these editions of the Traditional Text of the Greek NT vary in the end no more than approximately of 2,000 places of variation in the entire NT. Some important variations exist but, most of these differences being are insignificant word spellings, textual transpositions and other minor textual differences. This is quite extraordinary in comparison to the two uncials Aleph (Sinaiticus) and Vaticanus B (03) which vary more than 1,000 places in the Gospel of John alone. Yet, these MSS remain the most relied upon by minority-text or “Reasoned Eclectic” proponents in editions closely related to the Westcott-Hort text such as the Nestle-Aland and the UBS texts.

Another criticism of the HF Majority text edition mostly made by non-Traditional Text text proponents is against the theological textual position maintained by both Hodges and Farstad. In the editors view, God faithfully preserved His inspired Word as found in the majority of MSS. Theology was an important factor maintaining the most faithfully reproduced MSS due to careful and controlled scribal replication of earlier worn out exemplars which were over time discarded through faithful copying of these earlier exemplars. In the end, God preserved His Word down through time in the “Majority” of MSS rather than the minority of MSS mainly isolated for the most part in Egypt. Theology to the editors cannot nor should be seen as divorced from faithful scribal reproduction of MSS. Suggesting that theology is somehow divorced from MS reproduction and production simply does not adequately account for the care which Orthodox scribes performed most MS production by not only preserving the text through acute scribal ability and care but through faith as well. In this part, CSPMT stands in agreement with the editors of the HF text as well as with the editors of the Orthodox Greek NT regarding this matter.

The editors textual position involved in the HF Majority Text is in overall agreement with further research at CSPMT as well. There is obviously widespread overall agreement found among the various Byzantine subgroups in most readings. The biggest challenge to the HF Majority Text therefore appears not whether a given Byzantine text-form is earliest or closest to the “Original Text” but, which of the subgroups within the Byzantine Majority text best reflects the earliest text of the Greek NT. The HF Majority text of the Greek NT despite shortcomings remains a standard and an innovative edition of the Greek NT reflecting the Majority Text position within textual criticism.

CSPMT believes that due credit should go to the memory of both Zane Hodges and Arthur Fartstad and the work of the contributing advisors for their important pioneering work in their edition representing the mass of Byzantine NT MSS.

CSPMT

Feb 12, 2016

Minority Readings and Textual Transition: The RP2005 Byzantine Textform

In our prior article it was brought to our attention that implication was made for the RP2005 edition of the Byzantine Textform holding to a "Majority" always is best or always preferred by the RP2005 text. This is not what CSPMT believes or meant to imply in our prior news update. It is in fact true and recognized at CSPMT that in fact all Byzantine Majority text editions including the Antoniades Orthodox text and the various Textus Receptus (TR) editions do on occasion for one reason or another side with specific readings which are in a numerical minority of Greek New Testament MSS. This is also true concerning the Byzantine f35 or BGNT edition as well.

Regarding the topic of transitional purification or the development of the Byzantine Textform further clarification is warranted. It is true the RP2005 edition does utilize various methodologies for selecting its preferred Byzantine readings including from both internal and external evidence and not relying solely upon comprehensive rigorous manuscript collation or readings from a particular Byzantine text group. However, this brings into question the external viability of the final textform. This can be noticed of the use of the μ5 PA (Pericope adulterae) form within a K/Kx textform preference. In fact, MS evidence points that the majority of MSS which are (Kappa) Byzantine type with this particular PA form are of the minority Ki and not Kx text form. Yet, this is seen irrelevant to the decision making in selection of the overall text and specifically the PA section form due to both internal and external methodology thus overriding the actual manuscript evidence to the contrary.

The following comment from the RP2005 edition highlights the processes the editors chose in considerations of selection of their readings for the edition. This leads us to conclude that the editors viewed the readings as unsettled from the beginning of the New Testament and that a transitional process was evident to arrive at the full set of readings which conform to the textform found in the RP2005 edition.

"the readings of the Byzantine Textform almost always are fully established from the earlier Byzantine lines of transmission that extend through the eleventh century."
RP2005, Preface, XIV

If there are further questions on this important subject concerning the Byzantine text, and how various Byzantine/ Majority Text editions have made decisions on various readings please write us at CSPMT. We will next be commenting on the HF1982/1986 edition and how its editors Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad selected readings for their Majority Text.

CSPMT

Feb 10, 2016

Important Discovery: The early origins of the Byzantine Majority text

CSPMT has recently been engaged in important, ground-breaking research regarding the ancient Byzantine text form of the Greek exemplars apparently utilized by Thomas of Harkel in his revision of the Syriac Philoxenian version completed AD 615-616 at St. Anthony's Monastery outside of Alexandria, Egypt.

Thomas of Harkel was appointed to revise the older Philoxenian Syriac version of the New Testament according to the best most accurate Greek MSS available in his day. This was completed by Thomas with meticulous textual acumen and scholarship. The textual identity of the Greek exemplars (2-3) MSS has passed notice by NT textual scholars up until this point. Some Syriac Christian scholars have recently attempt bring Syriac Harklean studies into the forefront by publishing the Harklean Syriac NT but this too is partial up until the present day.

Recently, CSPMT has closely examined and identified the recognized Byzantine text groups which closely follow the readings apparently found in the Greek exemplars utilized in the Harklean Syriac version revision. These are Byzantine groups β/1216 and related Λ (Lambda) groups which are both part of the Byzantine "Majority Text". These two groups match the assumed Harklean exemplars even in very small minority type textual differences and also the most important singular readings apart from the rest of the NT MS tradition. Group Lambda in fact holds a monopoly on the MSS containing the important often overlooked "Jerusalem Colophon". These Greek MSS utilized in Thomas' revision of the Philoxenian Syriac to more closely conform to the Greek New Testament as closely as possible were considered the "most accurate, well-proven" Greek MSS of the NT available at this time. The Harklean Syriac in Acts and Epistles is also found in the few MSS which are found in these same two Byzantine text groups as well as in the related Group 2138 MSS.

Implications for the Byzantine/Traditional Text and Reasoned Eclectic positions in Textual Criticism:

The Byzantine/MT and TR priority positions:

1. If indeed, Byzantine groups 1216 and Lamba represent the earliest form of the Byzantine text in association with the "Original Text" of the New Testament then the Byzantine text did not have to pass through a "purification process" over time as theorized by Dr. Maurice Robinson to get to a better, original text-form. This discovery calls into question the "progressive purification" theory of the Byzantine text reflected in the RP 2005 Byzantine Text. It also, brings into doubt the "Majority" reading is always best.

2. This new discovery displaces a "Majority" reading is always "best and original" with the importance and possibility of a "Minority" Byzantine groups best reflects the original text of the New Testament. However, both Byzantine groups 1216 and the related Byzantine text Lambda group stand closer to Robinson's preferred K/Kx than other groups within the Byzantine/Majority text stream. In other words, the Byzantine text did not purify over time toward a higher percentage of Byzantine/Majority readings as he theorizes toward a increasingly K-text profile replicating the "Original text" of the New Testament.

3. The presumed Greek exemplars utilized in the Harklean Syriac also verify the antiquity of several questioned variants found in the TR i.e. Textus Receptus such as Acts 8:37 & Colossians 1:14. However, the CJ (comma johanneum) in 1 Jn 5 is found lacking. Therefore, while verifying disputed TR variants this ancient Byzantine text-form utilized in the Harklean version also challenges some important questioned readings found in the TR too.

In summary, both the Byzantine/MT and TR priority positions must clearly explain and come to terms with readings found in this ancient Byzantine text-form not found in the commonly accepted Byzantine text editions and the TR as well. Prejudice and simplification of facts will not longer suffice in establishing and confirming the Traditional Text priority of the New Testament we all adhere to.

The Critical Text or Reasoned Eclectic position:

1. This older Byzantine texttype is in fact a "Middle of the Road" type in terms of total Byzantine readings being neither the weakest, or the strongest in terms of total number of Byzantine readings. Dogmatism within the Byzantine/MT Traditional text priority cannot answer all concerns and arguments against a Byzantine/MT position. New research and discoveries about the Byzantine text must advance and progress the Byzantine "Majority" priority position. This cannot be accomplished through simple favoritism or over-simplification of facts about the Byzantine Majority priority position.

2. Reasoned Eclecticism or those within the pro-Critical Text position, have historically either theorized a late Lucianic Recensional theory or held to later origins for the Byzantine/Majority Text in relation to the "Original" or 1st i.e. "Ausgangstext text". Their theory of later textual origins of the Byzantine text is largely put into further doubt with this important new discovery with tremendous implications on the origins of the earliest Byzantine text. The Jerusalem Colophon presence in MSS containing this text-form among other factors must be explained in a satisfactory manner by current scholarship engaged in New Testament textual criticism.

3. The Critical text position must also explain why MSS of their preference were not favored in the Philoxenian Syriac (Harklean) revision which was carried out near Alexandria, Egypt (St. Anthony's Monastery) being the oldest extant Christian monastery today. This is most interesting since Thomas of Harkel was familiar with apparently what he considered inferior MSS and readings of the "Egyptian" text-form he had access to. He notes many of their readings in his marginalia but, rejects them for his revision turning to his "accurate, well-proven" Greek exemplars. If Thomas' Greek exemplars were older than both the Philoxenian 515 and his own time 615, and were considered both "accurate and well proven" by this time, the eclectic pro-CT side as further explaining to do. Since there is no proof of Westcott-Hort's Lucianic Syriac recension theory carried out in the 400s, CT advocates must offer another explanation for this ancient Byzantine text form which apparently earlier originated in Jerusalem.

Though no actual MS exists of this type near the age of Vaticanus or Aleph (Siniaticus), the Purple Uncials are closely related to this early Byzantine text-form as well. It is obvious this is the most ancient Palestinian (later called Byzantine) type which goes back to the beginning of the New Testament. If the Reasoned Eclectics are concerned about the "older is best" theory, the they too must give a full account for this ancient text form they have completely ignored up to this point in time. All Byzantine "essential" readings are verified in this ancient Byzantine text form i.e. Mt 6:13 (Doxology), 18:13; Mk 16:9-20; Lk 22:4 (Bloody Sweat); John 5:4 etc. We ask, why did Thomas of Harkel reject MSS having access in Egypt to supposedly MSS of superior quality and originality chose this better ancient Greek texttype? There is no proof that this ancient Byzantine text form ever went through a recensional process from Alexandrian text roots. In fact, quite the opposite holds true.

CSPMT will continuing to keep our readers informed of other developments on this important textual research and discovery. We also continue plans for a special session at SBL Annual US Conference commemorating the Quincentennial of the Received text first published by Erasmus in Basel, Switzerland in 1516.

CSPMT

Feb 10, 2016

Important Discovery: The early origins of the Byzantine Majority text

CSPMT has recently been engaged in important, ground-breaking research regarding the ancient Byzantine text form of the Greek exemplars apparently utilized by Thomas of Harkel in his revision of the Syriac Philoxenian version completed AD 615-616 at St. Anthony's Monastery outside of Alexandria, Egypt.

Thomas of Harkel was appointed to revise the older Philoxenian Syriac version of the New Testament according to the best most accurate Greek MSS available in his day. This was completed by Thomas with meticulous textual acumen and scholarship. The textual identity of the Greek exemplars (2-3) MSS has passed notice by NT textual scholars up until this point. Some Syriac Christian scholars have recently attempt bring Syriac Harklean studies into the forefront by publishing the Harklean Syriac NT but this too is partial up until the present day.

Recently, CSPMT has closely examined and identified the recognized Byzantine text groups which closely follow the readings apparently found in the Greek exemplars utilized in the Harklean Syriac version revision. These are Byzantine groups β/1216 and related Λ (Lambda) groups which are both part of the Byzantine "Majority Text". These two groups match the assumed Harklean exemplars even in very small minority type textual differences and also the most important singular readings apart from the rest of the NT MS tradition. Group Lambda in fact holds a monopoly on the MSS containing the important often overlooked "Jerusalem Colophon". These Greek MSS utilized in Thomas' revision of the Philoxenian Syriac to more closely conform to the Greek New Testament as closely as possible were considered the "most accurate, well-proven" Greek MSS of the NT available at this time. The Harklean Syriac in Acts and Epistles is also found in the few MSS which are found in these same two Byzantine text groups as well as in the related Group 2138 MSS.

Implications for the Byzantine/Traditional Text and Reasoned Eclectic positions in Textual Criticism:

The Byzantine/MT and TR priority positions:

1. If indeed, Byzantine groups 1216 and Lamba represent the earliest form of the Byzantine text in association with the "Original Text" of the New Testament then the Byzantine text did not have to pass through a "purification process" over time as theorized by Dr. Maurice Robinson to get to a better, original text-form. This discovery calls into question the "progressive purification" theory of the Byzantine text reflected in the RP 2005 Byzantine Text. It also, brings into doubt the "Majority" reading is always best.

2. This new discovery displaces a "Majority" reading is always "best and original" with the importance and possibility of a "Minority" Byzantine groups best reflects the original text of the New Testament. However, both Byzantine groups 1216 and the related Byzantine text Lambda group stand closer to Robinson's preferred K/Kx than other groups within the Byzantine/Majority text stream. In other words, the Byzantine text did not purify over time toward a higher percentage of Byzantine/Majority readings as he theorizes toward a increasingly K-text profile replicating the "Original text" of the New Testament.

3. The presumed Greek exemplars utilized in the Harklean Syriac also verify the antiquity of several questioned variants found in the TR i.e. Textus Receptus such as Acts 8:37 & Colossians 1:14. However, the CJ (comma johanneum) in 1 Jn 5 is found lacking. Therefore, while verifying disputed TR variants this ancient Byzantine text-form utilized in the Harklean version also challenges some important questioned readings found in the TR too.

In summary, both the Byzantine/MT and TR priority positions must clearly explain and come to terms with readings found in this ancient Byzantine text-form not found in the commonly accepted Byzantine text editions and the TR as well. Prejudice and simplification of facts will not longer suffice in establishing and confirming the Traditional Text priority of the New Testament we all adhere to.

The Critical Text or Reasoned Eclectic position:

1. This older Byzantine texttype is in fact a "Middle of the Road" type in terms of total Byzantine readings being neither the weakest, or the strongest in terms of total number of Byzantine readings. Dogmatism within the Byzantine/MT Traditional text priority cannot answer all concerns and arguments against a Byzantine/MT position. New research and discoveries about the Byzantine text must advance and progress the Byzantine "Majority" priority position. This cannot be accomplished through simple favoritism or over-simplification of facts about the Byzantine Majority priority position.

2. Reasoned Eclecticism or those within the pro-Critical Text position, have historically either theorized a late Lucianic Recensional theory or held to later origins for the Byzantine/Majority Text in relation to the "Original" or 1st i.e. "Ausgangstext text". Their theory of later textual origins of the Byzantine text is largely put into further doubt with this important new discovery with tremendous implications on the origins of the earliest Byzantine text. The Jerusalem Colophon presence in MSS containing this text-form among other factors must be explained in a satisfactory manner by current scholarship engaged in New Testament textual criticism.

3. The Critical text position must also explain why MSS of their preference were not favored in the Philoxenian Syriac (Harklean) revision which was carried out near Alexandria, Egypt (St. Anthony's Monastery) being the oldest extant Christian monastery today. This is most interesting since Thomas of Harkel was familiar with apparently what he considered inferior MSS and readings of the "Egyptian" text-form he had access to. He notes many of their readings in his marginalia but, rejects them for his revision turning to his "accurate, well-proven" Greek exemplars. If Thomas' Greek exemplars were older than both the Philoxenian 515 and his own time 615, and were considered both "accurate and well proven" by this time, the eclectic pro-CT side as further explaining to do. Since there is no proof of Westcott-Hort's Lucianic Syriac recension theory carried out in the 400s, CT advocates must offer another explanation for this ancient Byzantine text form which apparently earlier originated in Jerusalem.

Though no actual MS exists of this type near the age of Vaticanus or Aleph (Siniaticus), the Purple Uncials are closely related to this early Byzantine text-form as well. It is obvious this is the most ancient Palestinian (later called Byzantine) type which goes back to the beginning of the New Testament. If the Reasoned Eclectics are concerned about the "older is best" theory, the they too must give a full account for this ancient text form they have completely ignored up to this point in time. All Byzantine "essential" readings are verified in this ancient Byzantine text form i.e. Mt 6:13 (Doxology), 18:13; Mk 16:9-20; Lk 22:4 (Bloody Sweat); John 5:4 etc. We ask, why did Thomas of Harkel reject MSS having access in Egypt to supposedly MSS of superior quality and originality chose this better ancient Greek texttype? There is no proof that this ancient Byzantine text form ever went through a recensional process from Alexandrian text roots. In fact, quite the opposite holds true.

CSPMT will continuing to keep our readers informed of other developments on this important textual research and discovery. We also continue plans for a special session at SBL Annual US Conference commemorating the Quincentennial of the Received text first published by Erasmus in Basel, Switzerland in 1516.

CSPMT

Jan 6th, 2016

CSPMT would like to especially thank Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos for their research on the (Comma Johanneum) or CJ section found in 1 Jn 5:7-8. CSPMT is continuing our research to determine the exact edition and year of the Greek Apostles lectionary the disputed CJ section came into the text as it is now found in the Greek lectionary.

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish those on the Byzantine calendar (Old Style) a Blessed Nativity Feast.

Χριστὸς γεννᾶται! Δοξάσατε! • Христос Рождается! Славите!

Христос се роди! Ваистину се роди! • Hristos se naşte! Slăviţi-L!

Christ in Born! Glorify Him!

CSPMT

Dec 30th, 2015

CSPMT Year End Report

We would like to thank all our viewers and supporters around the world for a very busy and blessed year at CSPMT. Our website at CSPMT.org this year attracted record interest and views. Over 1/2 million web/hits from around 80 nations viewed our website this year with almost 2TB of traffic bandwidth used. Our recent Mt. Athos trip in October was a success as we look forward to return to the Holy Mount possibly in 2017. Our BGNT/f35 Byzantine text of the Greek NT is now found on Accordance Bible Software for research and for comparative textual studies. Other textual studies on the Byzantine and Traditional Text of the NT continues at CSPMT.

CSPMT is also now in the planning stages to chair a special session at the annual SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) meeting next Nov. 19th-22nd to be held in San Antonio, Texas. It will be dedicated to the Quincentennial of the
Received Text of the NT. At this commemorative special session, several papers are planned to be presented related to the Received Text (Textus Receptus) on the 500th anniversary of the publication of Desiderius Erasmus' (Editio Princeps) of the Greek NT published in 1516. There will also be a planned display area of rare editions of the Received Text of the Greek NT. More information will be provided about this SBL special session at the 2016 SBL Annual Conference in the coming months.

Happy New Year from CSPMT!!

Nov 20th, 2015

Mt. Athos Treasury MS Update:

CSPMT is announcing textual research findings regarding the continuous text (Tetraevangelion, except Vatop. skevo. no. 13 - eap) NT MSS digitized and preserved shared with our organization from both Vatopedi and Iveron monasteries on the Holy Mount. Including below is the MS no. in the monastery and their Byzantine grouping along with their respective PA (Pericopae adultera) form. Thus far, the Kx/m6 and Kr/m7 or f35 Byzantine group types dominate the treasury holdings of these large monasteries.

Vatopedi Monastery Treasury MSS

1. GA2869 (skevo. no. 1) Πa/m5 (Commentated)

2. GA2870 (skev. no. 2) Kx/m6

3. GA2871 (skevo. no. 9) Πb/m5

4. GA2872 (skevo. no. 10) Kx/m6

5. GA2873 (skevo. no. 11) Kx/m6

6. GA2874 (skevo. no. 13) Kx/m6

7. GA2875 (skevo. no. 14) Kr-f35/m7

8. GA2876 (skevo. no. 15) Kr-f35/m7

9. GA2877 (skevo. no. 17) Kr-f35/m7

10. GA1435 (recently moved to treasury) Kr-f35/m7

Iveron Monastery Treasury MSS

1. Skevo. no. 1404 Kx/m6

2. Skevo. no. 2105 Kx/m6

3. Skevo. no. 2107 Kx/m6

4. Skevo. no. 2108 Kx/m6

5. Skevo. no. 2109 Ki/m5

6. Skevo. no. 2110 Kr-f35/m7

7. Skevo. no. 2112 Πb/m5

8. Skevo. no. 2113 φa/m2

9. Skevo. no. 2114 Kx/m6

We will be making a listing of the lectionary MSS and their Byzantine type groupings as they are further collected and archived for research at CSPMT. Future followup visitations are planned at other monasteries at Mt. Athos.

CSPMT

Nov 15th, 2015

Book on NT Textual Criticism in Portuguese: From a Traditional Text Perspective

CSPMT would like to give notice to our viewers of a book published last year in Brazil on NT textual criticism from a Traditional Text perspective. It is by Dr. Paulo Anglada of Para, Brazil. Our readers may read the description of the book and purchase it from the link provided directly below:

http://loja.knoxpublicacoes.com.br/products/manuscritologia-do-novo-test...

Nov 10th, 2015

CSPMT update: New MSS from Mount Athos

Our team from CSPMT recently returned from Mt. Athos with three new complete unregistered (Gregory-Aland system) MSS in color pdf digitized format. All were obtained from the Iveron Monastery from its extensive treasury (skevophylakion) collections. Special thanks goes to the monastery librarian and the fathers at Iveron Monastery for making this possible. Additionally, the first edition of the Greek Gospel Lectionary (di Sabbio, 1539) was also shared from Iveron Monastery in a digitized color copy.

Textually, all new MSS of the New Testament thus far shared with CSPMT from the various Mt. Athos monasteries have been Byzantine in text-type. The majority of these have either been from two main dominant Byzantine (Kappa) types, the first being the Kx grouping with the μ6 Pa (Pericope adulterae) and the second being the Kr/fam. 35 (Kappa) type with the μ7 PA form. The few other MSS not belonging to one of these two MS groupings are also Byzantine in text-type but from minority group types within the overall Byzantine stream of MSS.

The new lectionary MSS from Mt. Athos have been identified by CSPMT as belonging to the majority type form preferred in Antoniades (Ecumenical Patriarchal) NT edition 1904/12 rev. with the exception of two more Kr/f35 lectionary type lectionary MSS. An additional important discovery was the finding that the di Sabbio Euaggelion (Editio Princeps, Venice, 1539), was textually a "core" Byzantine Kr/fam. 35 lectionary in text-type. This was somewhat a surprise finding being that all other Greek Gospel lectionary printed editions printed in Venice had been textually Textus Receptus based prior to the AD Press editions printed after 1936.

We will continue to keep our viewers informed of other developments and discoveries from our recent Mt. Athos trip. Other additional information and research regarding these and other new Byzantine New Testament MSS from Mt. Athos will be shared as a result of our continued future cooperation between the monasteries of Mt. Athos and CSPMT.

CSPMT

Nov 5th, 2015

CSPMT on Mount Athos

CSPMT President Paul Anderson and Secretary Deacon John Cavin have
returned from a successful trip to Mount Athos, also visiting the
National Library of Greece in Athens.

We are thankful to Patriarch Bartholomew, whom we visited in Istanbul at
the outset of our trip, for his hospitality and support for scholarship.

We are also thankful to our monastic hosts on Mount Athos. We will
continue to inform them of our research and of plans for our next
research visit to Athos. On Athos we visited five monasteries and were
able to view many new, unregistered manuscripts. We were also able to
bring home digital images of three new, unregistered manuscripts and the
first printed edition of the Gospel lectionary (da Sabio, 1539).

We would like to thank Professors Karavidopoulos, Karakolis, and
Tsalampouni, whom we met in Athens and Thessaloniki, for their
insightful comments and support. We found Professor Karavidopoulos
especially supportive of our objectives and mission at CSPMT. He was
most willing to be helpful.

We look forward to our next visit to Greece and Mount Athos, which
should occur after our planned Textus Receptus session and SBL 2016 in
San Antonio.

More details to follow in future postings.

CSPMT

September 28th, 2015

Byzantine MSS Online: National Library of France

Recently, Gallica the online manuscript website of the BnF (National Library of France) has recently added many Byzantine New Testament MSS to its online collections. Below is a list of most of the MSS added within the last week with the shelf no. at the BnF and their comparable GA (Gregory-Aland) manuscript as well.

The Gallica (BnF) site link at http://gallica.bnf.fr/?lang=EN can be accessed to view the following MSS:

Gr 47 – GA18 (eapr) f35

Gr 51 – GA260 (e) Kx/Ki-M5

Gr 52 – GA 261 (e) Kx

Gr 55 – GA17 (e) Cl 17

Gr 61 – GA263 (e) K1

Gr 65 – GA264 (e) Kx

Gr 66 – GA265 (e) Πa

Gr 67 – GA266 (e) Π266

Gr 72 – GA268 (e) Π268

Gr 79 - GA273 (e) Kmix

Gr 74 – GA269 (e) 1519

Gr 75 – GA270 (e) Πa

Gr 82 – GA278 (e) Π278

Gr 85 – GA119 (e) Gr 16

Gr 86 – GA279 (e) Kx

Gr 87 – GA280 (e) Πa

Gr 88 – GA281 Kx Cl 281

Gr 91 – GA10 (e) M10

Gr 95 – GA285 (e) Kr/f35

Gr 96 – GA286 (e) Kx

Gr 98 – GA 287 (e) Cl 17

Gr 102a – GA469 (apr)

Gr 103a – GA567 (apP)

Gr 112 – GA6 (e) Π6

Gr 113 – GA291 (e) Gr 291

Gr 114 – GA292 (e) Π473

Gr 115 – GA27 (e) M27

Gr 116 – GA32 (e) 1519

Gr 117 – GA293 (e) M1193

Gr 118 – GA294 (e) Kx

Gr 119 – GA580 (e) Kx

Gr 120 – GA295 (e) Π1441

Gr 124 – GA296 (apk)

Gr 125 – GA604 (ap)

Gr 179 – GA727 (eK)

Gr 181 – Gr 728 (eK)

Gr 184 – GA731 (eK)

Gr 185 – GA732 (eK)

Gr 189 – GA19 (eK)

Gr 191 – GA25 (eK)

Gr 192 - GA734 (ePK – Mt Lk)

Gr 194 – GA304 (ePK – Mt Mk)

Gr 194a – GA303 (eK)

Gr 195 – GA305 (eK)

Gr 202 – GA310 (epK)

Gr 203 – GA311 (ePK)

Gr 217 – GA606 (apK)

Gr 219 – GA91 (aprK)

Gr 222 – GA1932 (pK)

Gr 225 – GA1935 (pP)

Gr 230 – GA12 (eK)

Gr 234 – GA740 (eK)

Gr 224 – GA1934 (prK)

Gr 281 – L64 (U-lesk)

Gr 285 – L68 (le) Phi-Maj.

Gr 286 – L69 (le) Phi-Maj.

Gr 288 – L70 (le) Phi-Maj.

Gr 290 – L72 & L1358 (lesk)

Gr 292 – L74 (lesk)

Gr 293 – L75 (le) Phi-Maj.

Gr 294 – L83 (le)

Gr 296 – L77 (lesk)

Gr 302 – L15 (le) (K)

Gr 310 – L12 (le) Phi-Maj. (divg.)

Gr 311 – L86 (le) Kr/f35

Gr 313 – L87 (lesk)

Gr 316 – L89 (lesk)

Gr 317 – L90 (lesk)

Gr 318 – L91 (lesk)

Gr 319 – L147 (lae)

Gr 320 – L148 (lae)

Gr 324 – L92 (laLit)

Gr 238 – GA1938 (pPK)

Gr 380 – L99 (lesk)

Gr 381 – L100 (lesk)

Gr 1775 – GA742 (epK-J)

We will keep our viewers informed of further MS updates on the Gallica website.

CSPMT

August 10th, 2015

New Accordance Bible Software Module release - Byzantine Greek New Testament Module

We are pleased to announce that Accordance Bible Software in cooperation with CSPMT has released today two Byzantine Greek New Testament texts for their Accordance Software program. The first of these is the GNT-F35 text which based upon the BGNT (Byzantine Greek New Testament) at CSPMT. It is based upon Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering's
f35 Byzantine text collation of the consensus majority reading of numerous family 35 Byzantine Greek New Testament manuscripts. The second Byzantine text released is the GNT-EP or the Greek Orthodox (Antoniades) New Testament completed for the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1904 and slightly revised in 1912.

CSPMT is pleased to have worked with Accordance Bible Software to provide these additional Byzantine Greek New Testament texts to the public. You may see details regarding the new Accordance software Byzantine text module from the Accordance Software blog link on the module release provided below:

http://www.accordancebible.com/New-Titles-For-Biblical-Language-Study

In other news, CSPMT has recently completed a full collation of the Stephanus 1550 (Editio Regia) Greek New Testament versus the Byzantine family 35 Greek New Testament. It was found that the Stephanus text contained approx. 2000 variations or 98-99% overall agreement with the f35 Byzantine type text (including the Apocalypse). Some individual books varied by as little as 2 total variants in 2 locations/variants. Our collation data shows that even though the Stephanus text was slightly more distant from the f35 Byzantine text than the RP or Kx/K Byzantine type text but, both are extremely close overall to the TR. Interestingly, by comparison, H. Hoskier showed in collation that Codex Vaticanus or B was over 1,000 variants apart from Codex Siniticus in the Gospel of John alone. This shows in fact, the TR is much closer to the two main Byzantine text forms than most reasoned eclectic scholars are willing to admit.

Lastly, in related news, CSPMT continues its Greek lectionary edition research finding the TR type of Greek lectionary especially active and common after the Greek independence in the early 19th century. We are continuing our research on this topic and will keep our readers up to date on this and further developments on our planned Mt. Athos expedition in October.

CSPMT

June 10th, 2015

Iveron & Vatopedi Monasteries: Mt Athos update

CSPMT has been invited for visitation to Iveron and Vatopedi monasteries on Mt. Athos beginning Oct 10th. We would like to thank the fathers at both monasteries for their invitation for our planned NT manuscript research during our visits to both monasteries. Already, 13 new complete unregistered New Testament manuscripts have been identified through color digital images shared by Iveron Monastery.

During our visit to Mt. Athos, CSPMT plans to visit several other monasteries as well. We will keep our viewers informed of the latest updates regarding our upcoming visit to Mt. Athos.

CSPMT

June 6th, 2015

Greek Lectionary Collations by CSPMT

CSPMT associate John Larocque of Canada has recently revised and completed two Greek Lectionary collations for the Greek Euaggelion (Gospel) Lectionary and most recently for the Apostolos (Acts/Epistles) Greek lectionary.

In the completed Greek lectionary collations, Larocque compares three main historical textual lines of Greek lectionary in both the Gospel and Acts/Epistles Greek lectionary tradition with the Greek Greek lectionary editions of the Apostoliki Diakonia Press (Athens). The first period are the early printed editions of (da Sabio) and (Spellini) Greek typographers in Venice, Italy from the 1500s. The second phase are the (N. Saros) editions of the 1700s and finally, the various reprints of the Phoenix Greek lectionary editions by the Athens printing house of (M. I. Saliberou) 1899/1900.

In all cases in the earlier Greek lectionary editions, CSPMT has found the Greek lectionary editions are mainly influenced by the Erasmian Greek New Testament editions which text-form passed into use in the Greek liturgical tradition beginning at the Aldine Press in Venice. Later, various other Greek printers in Venice and Athens text of Erasmus' Received Text of the Greek New Testament into their liturgical Greek lectionary editions. By the time of the Phoenix (Venice) and Saliberou (Athens) editions, the influence of the TR-type Greek lectionary edition was completed. The Greek dispersion into Venice initiating the Greek Renaissance in the West left a lasting influence on Greek liturgical texts in the West. Coupled with Erasmus' time in Venice in the Greek Aldine Academy in 1508, leaving also a reciprocal influence of Western Greek scholarship in the liturgical texts of the Greek Orthodox Church. Later, in the 1940s and finally in the 1960s the Greek lectionary Euaggelion and Apostolos editions were revised under D. Tzerpos for the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church and the AD Press nearer toward the Ecumenical Patriarchal text of (B. Antonides), 1904/12.

Our viewers may download the completed CSPMT lectionary collations from the links provided below:

Euaggelion Lectionary Collation

Apostolos Lectionary Collation

May 29th, 2015

Mt. Athos & CSPMT Update:

Founder and president of CSPMT Paul D. Anderson and organization Secretary Fr. John Cavin (ROCOR) will be traveling to Mt. Athos on October 8th of this year. They will first be making Iveron Monastery their first stop during their stay on Mt. Athos. The CSPMT team will be doing scholarly research on Greek New Testament manuscripts and editions during their visitation to the Holy Mount.

In other news, CSPMT associate John Larocque of Canada has completed the first comprehensive collation of the primary Greek lectionary editions of the Apostolos (Acts & Epistles). CSPMT will be posting the collation to our website in the very near future.

May 27th, 2015

The BGNT/f35 Greek New Testament on Accordance Software

We are pleased to announce that the BGNT/f35 Byzantine Greek New Testament will soon be made available as a separate module for Accordance Biblical Software. It will be coded as the GNT-F35 text. We have also been informed the GNT-F35 text module will be a made available as a fully grammatically tagged version of the f35 Byzantine text-form.

Our viewers may contact Accordance Software directly for more details and availability at their website provided below.

Accordance Software:

http://www.accordancebible.com/

May 20th, 2015

Historic Slavonic editions:

The Gennadius, Ostrog and 1663 Moscow Bibles are being made available through direct source links provided by CSPMT. These historic Slavonic editions of the Bible are textual related to the Byzantine Majority Text and Textus Receptus through their various readings and revisions.

Our viewers may download these editions through the links provided below:

St. Gennadius Bible/NT (1490s)
Gospels: http://old.stsl.ru/manuscripts/unikalnye-knigi/7
Acts & Epistles, Apocalypse: http://old.stsl.ru/manuscripts/unikalnye-knigi/8

Ostrog Bible (1581)
http://www.vechnoe.info/bible/pdf
or
http://www.chronologia.org/en/old_books/obible.html

Moscow Bible (1663)
http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/tel4/record/1000096336572?
and
http://dlib.rsl.ru/01003345095

May 17th, 2015

The Byzantine Text by Van Bruggen and Kerr

CSPMT is making available an article written several years ago on the Byzantine Text of the New Testament by Prof. Jakob Van Bruggen of the Netherlands. Prof. Van Bruggen was a editorial advisor on the Hodges-Farstad Greek New Testament according to the Majority Text and a Professor of New Testament at Kampen, Holland and a leading proponent of the Byzantine-Received text of the New Testament.

Another article is also made available recently completed by Glenn Kerr (CSPMT associate), regarding the theological textual transmission of the Byzantine text. Kerr, discusses the Byzantine text in light of recent developments and perspectives on the subject.

Our viewers may download both articles on the Byzantine text from the links provided below:

The Ancient Text of the NT

A Biblical Theology of Manuscript Transmission

April 29th, 2015

Byzantine Manuscript lexical & bibliographical resources

CSPMT is offering two new lists of Byzantine New Testament manuscript references and bibliographies. The first being listing of recommended Koine Greek resources including Greek NT editions, interlinear and Koine Greek lexical resources. The second list offers our viewers a comprehensive listing of Byzantine manuscript bibliographic references regarding Byzantine manuscripts.

The two lists may be downloaded from the links provided below:

Koine Greek NT Resources

Greek Palaeography Resources

April 21st, 2015

CSPMT & Mt. Athos

We are pleased to announce that CSPMT has a planned visit to Mt. Athos scheduled for October of this year immediately following our meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul.

Recently, CSPMT has been examining copies of several new New Testament manuscripts obtained from the Iveron and Vatopedi monastery's sacristy (treasury) collections on Mt. Athos by director Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering. We are continuing to pursue our goal at CSPMT of preserving and researching these precious New Testament manuscripts, many which are found on Mt. Athos. These holy and sacred manuscripts are some of the finest examples of New Testament manuscripts preserved from the time of the Byzantine Empire.

We will continue to update our viewers on our planned mission to Mt. Athos and on new manuscript discoveries from our upcoming trip to Mt. Athos. In addition, our viewers around the world may contribute to our mission to Mt. Athos through donations made via PayPal or by check or money order sent to our mailing address found on our donations page.

Paul Anderson
CSPMT

April 14th, 2015

CSPMT Sec. Deacon John Cavin & the Byzantine text-type from a Russian Orthodox Perspective

Recently, Fr. John Cavin, Secretary of CSPMT presented a paper to a Russian Orthodox audience in Yekaterinburg, Russia. In the paper presented by Fr. Cavin, he describes the mission and role of CSPMT and it's research on Byzantine Greek manuscripts in relation to the Russian Orthodox textual tradition of the New Testament. Fr. Cavin continues to research the development of the early Slavonic and Russian New Testament and their relationship to Byzantine Greek New Testament manuscripts. In addition, the textual connection of the Slavonic authorized liturgical texts to the Textus Receptus as found in the Moscow Bible (1663) and the authorized Elizabeth Bible (1751) is briefly described.

This paper presented by Fr. Cavin in Yekaterinburg may download this paper in either English or Russian translation below:

Byzantine text paper (English) : English

Byzantine text paper (Russian trans.) Перевод Нины Усовой : Russian

March 29th, 2015

Update on Vatopedi/Mt. Athos Monastery MSS

Digital color images of the following 9 continuous text MSS have now been obtained by CSPMT director Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering. This listing completes the continuous text MSS located in the Vatopedi Monastery sacristy (skevophylakion) collection. Images of these NT MSS are not available at INTF (Institute for New Testament Textual Research).

These new Byzantine NT manuscripts are being more closely examined at CSPMT. More information will be available on these MSS in the near future.

GA 2869 - A commentated Gospel. 11th century. Family Π text-form.

GA 2870 Gospels. Dated 1090. Kx (m6 PA).

GA 2871 Gospels. XII cent. Πb (m5 PA)

GA 2872 Gospels. XI/XII cent. Kx (m6 PA).

GA 2873 Gospels. Dated 1280/81. Kx (m6 PA).

GA 2874 Gospels, Acts, Epistles. Dated 1305/06. Kx (m6 PA) K Acts, Epistles.

GA 2875 Gospels. Dated 1314/15. Kr/f35 (m7 PA).

GA 2876 Gospels. XIV cent. Kr/f35 (m7 PA).

GA 2877 Gospels. XIV cent. Kr/f35 (m7 PA).

CSPMT

March 23rd, 2015

Vatopedi Monastery Treasury MSS

CSPMT director Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering has obtained digitized copies of several new Byzantine manuscripts from Mt. Athos/Vatopedi Monastery treasury. These New Testament manuscripts have been registered at INTF (Institute for New Testament Textual Research) in Münster, Germany for the past few years now without available images. Among these manuscripts include:

- GA 2870 (Kx-m6 PA)
- GA 2871 (Πb-m5 PA)
- GA 2874 (Kx-m6 PA)
- GA 2876 (Kr/f35-m7 PA)

We will be obtaining digital copies of other mss. from the Vatopedi/Mt. Athos treasury in the near future. We would like
to thank the librarians and fathers at Mt. Athos for their continued generosity and assistance in obtaining copies of these valuable manuscripts.

In other news, the Bnf (National Library of France) has added the Byzantine uncial manuscript Codex Campianus (M 021) to their online manuscripts collection. Codex M or Campnianus is one of the most important Byzantine uncial manuscripts and is a slightly textually divergent member of Byzantine (Group M) of which it is the leading representative manuscript. It was brought from the East in the early 1700s and now is in the collections of the National Library of France in Paris.

Our viewers may see and download this important Byzantine uncial manuscript at the Bnf from the link provided below:

Codex Campianus (M 021) Bnf link:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10507213z/f1.image.r=.langEN

CSPMT

March 6th, 2015

F35 Byzantine Greek NT

CSPMT director Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering's completed (f35) Byzantine Greek New Testament has been added to our website. Dr. Pickering in completing this new Byzantine text edition has devoted years to collation of dozens of mss. from the Kr (f35) Byzantine text-form. The f35 GNT text is very similar to the BGNT text differing in only one significant variation - Acts 12:25 with "into Antioch" versus "into Jerusalem" as found in the BGNT text. The f35 Byzantine type
also exemplifies unique scribal control and precision in NT manuscript copying.

Our viewers may freely download the f35 Byzantine GNT from the link provided below:

F35 Byzantine Greek New Testament

February 17th, 2015

More Byzantine Mss. Online

We are pleased to announce the digital imaging of more Byzantine Greek New Testament manuscripts online. You may find these and other digitized Byzantine mss. at the links provided below.

National Library of France BnF (Gregory-Aland) - GA 15 Identification: (Cluster 15 or Ak, no PA)
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b105157462.r=.langEN

National Library of France BnF (Gregory-Aland) - GA 268 Identification: (Cluster Π268, μ5 PΑ)
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10501703c.r=.langEN

Vatican Library, Vat., Pal. gr. 189 (Gregory-Aland) - GA 150 Identification: (Mixed Kappa, μ5 PA)
http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Pal.gr.189

CSPMT

February 11th, 2015

New Traditional Text Versions

We are informing our viewers of the recent release of two significant new versions based upon the Textus Receptus and the King James Version.

The new Modern English Version (MEV) ediited by a team of 50 translators from various denominations led by Rev. James F. Linzey. It is published by Passio (Charisma House) and was begun in 2005 and completed and released late 2014. It is a formal equivalency based version and has some textual changes in the New Testament apart from the KJV and NKJV. Especially notable is the change at Jn 1:18. CSPMT will review this new version possibly at a later date. The version website is:

www.modernenglishversion.com

The other new version is the internet based CKJV (Chinese King James Version). It appears to be revision of the Chinese Union Version (CUV) critical text based version towards the King james Version. It is very close to the King James Version and is the 1st Chinese version close to the Textus Receptus and KJV in over 100 years. It was completed by a teams of primarily Chinese translators. The website of this new Chinese version is user friendly and is found at:

www.ckjv,asia

CSPMT will announce any further developments on these or other new Traditional Text based versions.

February 4th, 2015

CSPMT Byzantine Greek NT update

CSPMT is continuing collation of mss. for our critical apparatus to be included in the BGNT (Byzantine Greek New Testament) edition. Representing the Byzantine text will be “core” group members of 10-12 Byzantine text groups
all with specific readings and variations apart from one another. These main Byzantine text group groups which will be represented in the BGNT apparatus are:

Byzantine (Kappa) groups:

1. K1 or Ω – Von Soden theorized the K1 group to be the oldest text form of the of the Kappa Byzantine texttype. It contains between 40-50 minuscules clustered around two unical Byzantine mss. S(028) and Ω(045) which mostly contain the μ2 PA form.

2. Ki or E-text – These Byzantine Kappa mss. were limited in Von Soden’s study to uncials but CSPMT has found nearly 80-100 minuscule mss. which cluster around uncials E(07) F(09) G(011) and H(013). Minuscule GA 2 which Erasmus utilized extensively and notated for his TR editions is a member of this group. Von Soden did not locate minuscules members of this Kappa grouping and wrongly included them as part of the larger Kx grouping. It contains minuscules with the μ5 form as found in the RP Byzantine text edition.

3. Kx – The large majority of Kappa Byzantine minuscule mss. are found in this large Byzantine group. Its textual boundaries are rather undefined due to containing a large mass of readings in mss. forming the majority of the Kappa Byzantine type. This group was discovered and termed as Κx by Von Soden and contains all mss. which textually stand between K1 and the Kr Byzantine groups. This majority Kappa type was often copied between the 10th to 13th centuries at Studite Monastery scriptorium by scribes prior to 1261. Most often they contain the μ6 PA profile form as described by Von Soden and as contained in the Hodges-Farstad Majority Text.

4. Kr or fam. 35 – Most Kr manuscripts have easily recognized red lectionary rubrics in the marginalia and do not contain the Eusebian Canon tables common in the beginning of most other Greek NT mss. Several Kr/fam. 35 group members are complete NT mss. containing usually the Complutensian text-form of Revelation. This group discovered by Von Soden is frequently found at Mt. Athos and Constantinople and copied extensively by scribes at the Holy Hodegon Monastery Scriptorium in Constantinople up until 1453. He also theorized it as the latest most developed recensional form of the Byzantine Kappa text type. Most all group members having the M7 PA form except for fringe group members such as GA 47.

5. K or Mixed K – Many Byzantine mss. have a mixed Kappa form especially clustered around the main Kx majority group. Often these have the commentated text and or a mixed Kx text form and usually have the μ6 PA form shared with the main Kx Kappa group.

Byzantine (Non-Kappa) groups:

6. Group Λ – This group is headed by an uncial located by Tischendorf and called Codex Tischendorfianus IV or Λ(039) in Gregory-Aland classification. Approx. 20-20 mss. comprise this group which textually stands close to the much larger Kx Kappa group. Manuscripts in this group often contain the Jerusalem Colophon and have the μ4 form of the PA shared with non-Byzantine group f13.

7. Family Π – Centered around uncial mss. K(017) and Π(041) and loosely including Α(02) and Y(034). The third largest minuscule group of mss. containing nearly 100 mss. Originally, part of Von Soden’s I or Western text groups. Later, studied intensively by the Lakes and identified as a historically significant Byzantine text group. It also stands in close proximity textually to both the (Harklean) Syriac version and the Ethiopic type-A. This group’s minuscules mostly contain with a unique form of the μ5 form of the PA.

8. Group M – Clustered but not dependent around its uncial relative M(021). Nearly 50 minuscules are contained around GA 27 and GA 188. This group was a textual transition group and forming the boundary between the non-Kappa and Kappa Byzantine text groups in the early minuscule period later to be dominated by Kx Kappa form. Most of the mss. in group M with the exception of divergent uncial M(021) and subgroup 188 contain the μ5 PA form and are further subdivided into subgroups Ma and Mb.

9. Group 1216 – A textually distinct Byzantine non-Kappa group was known as group β in Von Soden. It contains some Caesarean readings but not as frequently as f1424. It also contains the rare μ3 PA form. It is divided into subgroups 1216a and b clustered around GA 1216 and 348 respectively.

10. Group 22 – Centered around the distinct Byzantine minuscule GA 22. It contains subgroups a and b. Earlier these minuscule mss. were thought by Von Soden to belong to the f1 grouping, it is recognized now though to contain overall a Byzantine text form in the majority of its group members. The 22a subgroup has the Kx like μ6 PA form while several members of the 22b main subgroup do not contain the PA.

11. Group 1424 or f1424 – Textually, the most distinct among Byzantine text type groups. It is clustered around the complete NT minuscule GA 1424. Von Soden earlier divided f1424 into two subgroups, φa and φb. Subgroup φb being the common or majority lectionary form found in most Greek lectionary mss. The two φ subgroups may be represented a critical apparatus by GA 1424(φa) and GA 7(φb). The Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchal NT or Antoniades NT replicates this Byzantine text form due to the utilization of the majority of lectionary readings found common in the majority of Greek lectionary mss.

In future updates, we will discuss the lectionary, Church Father and edition witnesses to be included in the future BGNT apparatus.

CSPMT

Jan. 14th, 2015

CSPMT & the Balamand University Arabic Lectionary Project

CSPMT and the Balamand University (El-Khoura, Lebanon) are uniting efforts in a joint project to categorize, collate and to make available all Arabic language lectionary mss. and editions. There are more Arabic lectionary mss. that exist than all Arabic continuous text mss. of the New Testament. In recent communications between CSPMT and the Balamand Lectionary Project, we have found that there is a very close textual linkage between Arabic lectionary mss. and current editions of the Arabic lectionary and the various Byzantine/Majority text mss. and various related editions including the Textus Receptus.

CSPMT is now in the process of increasing our cooperation in this joint effort by sharing collations with the Balamand University Lectionary Project. In the future, a joint symposium is planned between CSPMT and the Arabic lectionary project. CSPMT is continuing to expanded in other related projects and for continued research, preservation and promotion of the Byzantine text of the New Testament.

Dec 24th, 2014

Update on new Byzantine MSS from Mt. Athos

CSPMT would like to provide this information on the following new MSS from the Iveron Monastery sacristy on Mt. Athos which have been submitted to INTF for review and registration. CSPMT will be posting more information on these new MSS as CSPMT continues as we continue to review them.

1. Iveron sacristy no. 2106 - (le) 17th cent. lectionary, Kr/f35-TR type.
2. Iveron sacristy no. 2107 - (e) 13th cent. Kx-M6
3. Iveron sacristy no. 2108 - (e) 14th cent. Kx-M6/M7 mix
4. Iveron sacristy no. 2109 - (e) 11th cent. Ki-M5
5. Iveron sacristy no. 2110 - (e) 1322 Kr/f35-M7
6. Iveron sacristy no. 2111 - (lsel) 11th cent. (Maj. type)
7. Iveron sacristy no. 2113 - (e) 13th cent. f1424-M2
8. Iveron sacristy no. 2114 - (e) 12th cent. Kx-M6
9. Iverson sacristy no. 1404 - (le) 11th-12th cent., cruciform (Maj. type)
10. Iveron sacristy no. 1405 - (e) 14th cent., Kx-M6

CSPMT also wishes our viewers around the world a Merry Christmas and blessed Nativity Season and a Happy New Year. We thank you for all your prayers and continued support. In addition, we encourage our website viewers to continue to pray for and to help spread the news on the work and ministry of CSPMT.

God Bless.

From the Directors and Associates at CSPMT

November 28th, 2014

New Byzantine Manuscripts - Iveron Monastery Sacristy Mss.

CSPMT has now transferred 10 new Byzantine biblical mss. to INTF (Institute for New Testament Textual Research) for review and registration. These highly illustrated and illuminated mss. were among those recently obtained by Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering and CSPMT from Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos.

As soon as INTF official authenticates these new biblical mss., CSPMT will be posting more information on some of the individual manuscripts from this new collection.

November 10th, 2014

The Byzantine Majority text: Its Ancient Origins Examined

The Byzantine Majority text was often claimed in the past by critical text advocates of the New Testament to have originated in a later Lucianic recension which occurred during the 4th century. However, the theological and textual problems in this theory on the origins of the Byzantine text contains serious problems for this often repeated claim making this theory now highly suspect within the field of NT textual criticism today.

Another problem in both past and current critical text theories for the origin of the Byzantine Majority text lie in the very nature of exactly what actually constitutes the Byzantine Majority text. Some critics of the Byzantine text-form even in recent times have even claimed the “Byzantine or Majority text was not even found as a “texttype” in the Church Fathers. These same critical-text critics will claim that that Byzantine Majority text readings are found in the Church Fathers but, as a “texttype”, no such form existed in the 4th century. We ask at here at CSPMT, which Byzantine-text are these same critical text proponents claiming did not exist in the Church Fathers and how do they qualify the Byzantine texttype? The issue is not as simple as may sound. Most textual scholars recognize that the ancient Syriac Peshitta and Harklean Peshitta is closely related to the Byzantine Majority text. Also, it is generally recognized that St. John Chrysostom utilized some form of the Byzantine Majority text-form in his writings. Secondly, Victor of Antioch’s claim that viable textual variants such as Mark 16:9-20 was found in “older and better” exemplars found in Jerusalem warrants notice. However, even with this evidence, the ancientness of the Byzantine Majority text remains in question even until today. Critical text proponents still claim the Egyptian text-form or B-text type best represented by B(03) or Codex Vaticanus, Aleph (01) or Codex Sinaiticus and the papyri best represents the earliest form of the Greek New Testament text. However, once again there is the textual disunity issue between Aleph and B and locational limitation issues involving the papyri ancient though they are. This further leads to questioning if there really is a “Egyptian” or Alexandrian text form that existed which was copied in successive transmissional scribal activity.

Clarification from all sides as to exactly what is meant by the Byzantine-text form is required when addressing this important topic. It is clear that some form of the Byzantine texttype did in fact exist contemporaneously with the oldest mss. representing the Egyptian or so-called Alexandrian text-form. Textual discoveries made by CSPMT at Mt. Athos evidence the dominance of the Byzantine Majority text down through time. Without proper definition of the textual nature of the Byzantine Majority text repeated erroneous statements on true nature of the early Byzantine text-form will persist in NT textual criticism. This important question and other issues regarding the ancientness of the Byzantine Majority text are currently under further investigation and research through the work and research of CSPMT.

November 4th, 2014

New Byzantine Text Manuscripts from Mt. Athos

The recent CSPMT expedition to Mt. Athos in Greece resulted in the location of several new unregistered New Testament manuscripts. Most of these have not been seen or catalogued in the West.

Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering director of CSPMT was able to obtain copies of 10 new manuscripts from Iveron Monastery. Of these 7 contin. text (Gospel) and 3 lectionary manuscripts (including a rare cruciform lectionary manuscript) were copied and sent to CSPMT. Most of these were copied in color digital format. Also, from the IPAMIET (Bank of Greece Project) repository in Athens, three more new unregistered New Testament manuscripts were brought back. Many more new manuscripts were identified in their holdings that are not found in the current K-Liste (INTF) of New Testament manuscripts.

The texttype of these new manuscripts varies somewhat from one another, but all are Byzantine text manuscripts. Among the Iveron, manuscripts, a beautiful Kr/fam. 35 parchment Gospel manuscript with a μ7 PA was found. It was written by scribe Chariton in 1322 at the Hodegon Monastery in Constantinople. Also, a highly illuminated (μ6 PA) Kx text Byzantine manuscript from the 12th century and a Ki (μ5 PA) manuscript of the Gospels were obtained. All three copies of new lectionary manuscripts from Iveron are also highly illuminated with one being one of only four cruciform type lectionary manuscripts known.

More information on these new Byzantine manuscripts of the Greek New Testament will be forthcoming as CSPMT is continuing to work on obtaining other new manuscripts from Mt. Athos for research and digital conservation.

October 23rd, 2014

Greek Lectionary Editions and the Textus Receptus

Recent collations conducted by CSPMT on various editions of the Greek lectionary of both Gospel and Acts/Epistle lectionary editions have resulted in a important textual discovery. We have found that all printed Greek lectionary editions are textually dependent upon the TR (textus receptus) in their origins.

The Erasmus 1st and 2nd editions and Aldine Greek New Testaments both had a prominent role in the development of the printed lectionary liturgical text and all subsequent printed Greek lectionary editions. This was made possible by Erasmus’ time spent in Venice under the tutelage of the Greek scholar-printer Aldus Manutius. After Manutius’ death, family relatives printed his Greek NT being a strict copy of Erasmus’ 1st edition (Novum Instrumentum omni, 1516). The editio princeps of both Gospel (Euaggelion) and Acts/Epistles (Apostolos) were printed in Venice by Steffano da Sabbio in 1525 and 1539 respectively. The da Sabbio lectionary editions were based upon the the editorial work of Demetrios Zeros a Greek scholar at that time. Other later Greek Renaissance liturgical text printers such as Emmanuel Glouzianou and Nikolaos Saros utilized the earlier da Sabbio-Zeros editions slightly modifying their earlier texts over time. These liturgical text printing houses continued printing Greek lectionary texts in Venice through the late 1700s. Later in Athens, the well known printing firm of Saliberou continued the printing of the Textus Receptus lectionary text-form in their own editions based upon Glouzianou’s earlier edited lectionary text. The Glouzianou-Saliberou lectionary editions based upon the Textus Receptus remain in common use in the Greek Orthodox Church until present day.

After the foundation of the Apostoliki Diakonia Press (AD Press) in Athens in 1937, some slight textual changes were introduced into the lectionary texts. The Ecumenical Patriarchate desired to conform the Greek lectionary text more closely to the Antoniades or (Ecumenical Patriarchal) Greek NT. These first lectionary revisions were produced in the 1940s. A more thorough textual revision toward the Antoniades GNT was carried out for both the Gospel and Apostolos lectionaries mainly through the efforts of the late Fr. Demetrios Tzerpos completed in 1986. Despite Tzerpos' extensive textual revision, remnants of the Textus Receptus influence upon the lectionary textual tradition remains in all current Greek lectionary editions.

The role the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament has had in the textual transmission in all Greek lectionary editions demonstrates the broad position taken by the Orthodox Church regarding various textual traditions as acceptable and representing the traditional text of the Greek New Testament within the Church. Other non-Byzantine manuscript types like f13 (family 13) apparently were rejected earlier for textual transmission and use by the Church. Additionally, various manuscript texttypes of the Byzantine text have been utilized within the lectionary text tradition. The Textus Receptus has been much maligned and criticized throughout the modern era especially the West. However, it has had an important part in the transmissional history of the Byzantine Majority text and continues to in present day.

October 20th, 2014

CSPMT & PayPal

Tax free contributions and donations may now be made to CSPMT through PayPal which has been added to our donations area on our website.

Also, director Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering and CSPMT associate Horacio Vieira of Brazil are now in Athens visiting several Greek New Testament manuscript repositories for research. We will have more on the CSPMT trip to Mt. Athos and Greece in the coming days.

October 15th, 2014

The first visit to Mt. Athos in Greece by CSPMT has now been completed. We would like to especially thank those at each monastery visited for their cooperation and hospitality. Director Dr. Wilbur N. Pickering and CSPMT associate Horacio Vieira of Brazil, visited five monasteries on Mt. Athos during this trip. The two team members examined several new Greek New Testament manuscripts not registered or known at INTF (Institute for New Testament Textual Research).

We will have more information on several of these new manuscripts of the Greek New Testament upon Dr. Pickering and Horacio Vieira's return from Greece.

September 29th, 2014

CSPMT has added the Complutensian Polyglot New Testament along with the 1633 Elzevir "textus receptus" edition to our edition resources page. Our viewers may download these editions through the links provided below.

September 27th, 2014

The Aldine Greek New Testament has been added to our editions resources page. The Aldine New Testament was published posthumously by the family press in Venice, Italy in 1518. It was accompanied by by the 1st printed
Septuagint Old Testament. The Aldine Greek New Testament had a prominent role in the transmissional history of the Venetian Greek lectionary editions of both the Euaggelion (Gospel) and Apostolos (Acts & Epistles) lectionary editions.

You may download the New Testament part of the Aldine Bible through the download link provided below:

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