Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, New Testament PhD

First Advisor

William F. Warren Jr.

Second Advisor

Robert M. Johnston

Third Advisor

Randall W. Younker

Abstract

Problem. Since the eighteenth century, textual scholars have been grouping New Testament Greek manuscripts into groups called text-types in order to evaluate the thousands of variant readings found in these manuscripts. These text-types form the basis for determining the earliest form of the text--the primary goal of New Testament Textual Criticism. Almost all textual critics recognize three main text types: Alexandrian, Western, and Byzantine. However, in recent times, W. Larry Richards and his followers identified a "mixed text-type" in six books of the Catholic Epistles that is distinguishable from the already established text-types. This text-type if supported by empirical investigation to be more original than the Alexandrian ant Byzantine texts, could necessitate the re-evaluation of these established text-types, and also the reevaluation of the designation 'mixed' attributed to this group.

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to do a more complete identification of this supposed mixed text-type in the Catholic Epistles and to determine the weighted value of these mixed manuscripts.

Method. Two hundred and twenty manuscripts were classified using the two-tiered process of Factor Analysis and a modified form of the Claremont Profile Method. (An additional 187 manuscripts already classified were also studied.) The distinctive readings of the mixed manuscripts that were classified as a result of this process were then evaluated using the canons of textual criticism.

Results. In addition to a more comprehensive picture of these mixed manuscripts, it was confirmed that the weighted value of this mixed category was negligible in terms of uncovering the earliest original, as only thirteen (18.5%) of seventy-two unique readings were confirmed to be the earliest form of the text. Probably the most significant fact that these mixed manuscripts affirm is that the evolution of the New Testament text that began in the early centuries continued in the Middle Ages.

Conclusion. The distinctive readings of the mixed text-type do not make a significant contribution to uncovering the earliest form of the text.

Recommendation. It would be worthwhile to ascertain whether this mixed phenomenon also exists in other parts of the New Testament and what is the weighted value that it carries in these other places in all factors that surround the history of the text.

Subject Area

Bible. Catholic Epistles -- Criticism, Textual, Bible. Catholic Epistles -- Manuscripts, Greek

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