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Difference between CNTTS and NA26/UBS4


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#1 caorongjin

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 02:55 PM

I was wondering if somebody can clarify for me the difference between CNTTS and the textual variants found in the hard-copy versions of NA26 or UBS4. The first time I heard of them was through Accordance.

Also, is there a version of the NA26 or UBS4 variants in Accordance or planned to come from Oaktree?

Thanks! :D

#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 03:11 PM

Yes, we are preparing a CD for the German Bible Society with both Greek and Hebrew apparatus. It should be out later this year.

The CNTTS is an entirely new work in progress which aims to document every variation in every manuscript.
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#3 caorongjin

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for the clarification! :rolleyes:

#4 David Lang

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 09:04 PM

Just to chime in here, I had occasion today to look at John 1:18, which has a significant textual variant. Some translations read "Only Begotten (or One and Only) Son," while others read "Only Begotten (One and Only) God." The difference in the Greek is between the words huios "son" (which appears in the textus receptus/majority text) and theos "God" (which appears in critical editions of the Greek New Testament).

Looking this up in the CNTTS, I was able to see a listing of every manuscript which contained each reading, and by dragging over the symbols, I could see the name and approximate date of each manuscript, along with some basic information about it (Byzantine, Alexandrian, etc.). It was all very cool, and while I recognize that a text-criticism amateur such as myself should evaluate variant readings with caution, I definitely came away with a better sense of each reading's manuscript support.

I also found it intriguing that in this case, it is the critical Greek text and earliest manuscripts which speak explicitly of Christ's deity. This flies in the face of those who object to the critical Greek text on theological grounds, arguing that it is an attempt by scholars to remove references to Christ's deity from the New Testament.

In looking at this variant, I also consulted a pre-release version of the NA 27 critical apparatus. The apparatus corroborated the information in the CNTTS apparatus, but it generally gave less information, and was less clearly laid out. Until the CNTTS is completed (it only covers the Gospels right now), the NA 27 will be a must-have for information about the rest of the New Testament, but I generally found the CNTTS the most helpful.

Hope this helps.
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#5 caorongjin

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 01:06 AM

In looking at this variant, I also consulted a pre-release version of the NA 27 critical apparatus. The apparatus corroborated the information in the CNTTS apparatus, but it generally gave less information, and was less clearly laid out. Until the CNTTS is completed (it only covers the Gospels right now), the NA 27 will be a must-have for information about the rest of the New Testament, but I generally found the CNTTS the most helpful.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I personally own a UBS4 which is supposed to be different from the NA 27 primarily by the amount of variants it lists. That is, the UBS4 is suppose to have fewer and only the more significant ones for translation purposes. From what you are telling me, it sounds like the CNTTS has more variants than the NA 27 and is inclusive of its variants. Would that be accurate?

#6 David Lang

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 07:37 AM

Great question, and it got me looking at the two resources more closely. The CNTTS definitely lists more variants, not just the important ones. Also, it tends to list more manuscripts in support of each variant. Finally, it goes into greater detail with respect to the actual text of the variant (for example, which manuscripts use the nomina sacra ths in place of the complete word theos).

However, the CNTTS does not currently list quotations of a reading in the early church fathers or support from other versions, while the NA 27 apparatus does.

Hope this helps.
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David Lang
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#7 Joe Weaks

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 09:35 AM

I would say that the above discussion understates what is contained in the NA apparatus. It actually contains "virtually all significant variants", by listing them and citing them in groups. Still, the CNTTS is "more exhaustive" (whatever that means), although in order to do so, it ignores quotations. It is non-debatable I would think, that some (small?) number of textual variants are best preserved in early quotations.
But as for your original question, yes, the UBS has "fewer and only the more significant [variants] for translation purposes". It also contains the scale for how sure the committee was on each decision.

#8 Ruben Gomez

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 11:54 AM

I would say that the above discussion understates what is contained in the NA apparatus. It actually contains "virtually all significant variants", by listing them and citing them in groups. Still, the CNTTS is "more exhaustive" (whatever that means), although in order to do so, it ignores quotations. It is non-debatable I would think, that some (small?) number of textual variants are best preserved in early quotations.
But as for your original question, yes, the UBS has "fewer and only the more significant [variants] for translation purposes". It also contains the scale for how sure the committee was on each decision.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Personally, I'm used to the standard apparatuses found in NA27 and UBS4 (without forgetting the invaluable companion text, "A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament," by Bruce M. Metzger). Having said that, and leaving aside for a moment the quotations from the Fathers, important though they are, I must admit that CNTTS goes into much greater detail as far as significant and insignificant (but interesting nonetheless) variations are concerned. Sometimes the sheer number of variants and witnesses cited is overwhelming. You only need to take a look at the John 1:18 example mentioned by David.

I think that different apparatuses serve different purposes, and it is very important to know which one suits our particular needs (Bible translation, sermon preparation, exegesis, mss collations, etc.). Hence the importance of reading through the introductory material and getting to know the philosophy that lies behind each one of them.

Regards,




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