NTTC ACTS 10:19: So was it “three men” or “two men” or “men,” who were seeking Peter?

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Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 140 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Major Critical Texts of the New Testament

Byz RP: 2005 Byzantine Greek New Testament, Robinson & Pierpont
TR1550: 1550 Stephanus New Testament
Maj: The Majority Text (thousands of minuscules which display a similar text)
Gries: 1774-1775 Johann Jakob Griesbach Greek New Testament
Treg: 1857-1879 Samuel Prideaux Tregelles Greek New Testament
Tisch: 1872 Tischendorf’s Greek New Testament
WH: 1881 Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament
NA28: 2012 Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament
UBS5: 2014 Greek New Testament
NU: Both Nestle-Aland and the United Bible Society
SBLGNT: 2010 Greek New Testament ()
THGNT: 2017 The Greek New Testament by Tyndale House
GENTI: 2020 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02

ACTS 10:19 2020 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & TR NU TGNT SBLGNT) [BRD]
 19 ΤοῦOf the δὲbut ΠέτρουPeter διενθυμουμένουreflecting περὶabout τοῦthe ὁράματοςvision εἶπενsaid τὸtheπνεῦμαspirit ἸδοὺLook! ἄνδρεςmen τρεῖςthree ζητοῦντέςseeking σε·you; 

ACTS 10:19 WH Westcott and Hort
 19 ΤοῦOf the δὲbut ΠέτρουPeter διενθυμουμένουreflecting περὶabout τοῦthe ὁράματοςvision εἶπενsaid τὸtheπνεῦμαspirit ἸδοὺLook! ἄνδρεςmen δύοtwo ζητοῦντέςseeking σε·you; 

Acts 10:19 NEB REB NJB
19 But Peter was thinking over the vision, when the Spirit said to him, ‘Some men are here looking for you;

Acts 10:19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
19 And while Peter was reflecting about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look, three men are looking for you.

TR NU ἄνδρες τρεῖς ζητοῦντες σε
“three men are seeking you”
𝔓74 א A C E 33 1739 syrp, cop

Variant 1/WH ανδρες δυο ζητουντες σε
“two men are seeking you”
B

Variant 2 ανδρες ζητουντες σε
“men are seeking you”
D Ψ Maj syr

The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

If Applicable

א* The superscript * refers to the original Codex Sinaiticus before it has been corrected by the correctors at the time of it be published or later correctors.

א1 is the corrector who worked on the manuscript before it left the scriptorium. B2 is a tenth- or eleventh-century corrector, who also retouched the writing and added accents and punctuation marks.

vid (short for Latin videtur, “it seems so”) indicates that the reading appears to be in the witness, but a lacuna or other damage to the ms makes it somewhat uncertain.

9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS
Copyist

(ἄνδρες τρεῖς ζητοῦντες σε) “three men are looking for you” is supported by early evidence (א A C), as well as P74 E 33 1739 syrp, cop, and is in harmony with internal evidence of Acts 10:7. Another reading can make sense but only has one strong manuscript (B) for support. (ανδρες δυο ζητουντες σε “two men are looking for you.” This too is essentially true if we count the two slaves sent by Cornelius to look for Peter but do not count the soldier that was also sent to accompany them.  A third variant (ανδρες ζητουντες σε “men are looking for you” is supported by D Ψ Maj syr. It too makes sense and is essentially true because all three are men, but it lacks the external evidence and the internal evidence that Cornelius had sent two of his slaves and one soldier, namely, three men. – Acts 10:7.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS I AM John 8.58

Metzger in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, writes,

The evidence for and against each of the four principal readings is curiously kaleidescopic, and a case can be made for each of them.

(1) The reading of B, being the most difficult (because of the discrepancy with ver. 7 and 11:11), is preferred by Ropes, who suggests that the two servants alone (ver. 7) may be thought of as responsible messengers, the soldier merely serving as a guard. Scribes, not observing the reason lying behind the use of δύο, corrected what they supposed was an error either by deleting the word or by substituting τρεῖς (in accord with 11:11).

(2) The reading τρεῖς is strongly supported by diversified external evidence. Assuming this reading to be original, one can explain the origin of δύο as the work of a discriminating scribe and the absence of the word as an accidental omission after ἄνδρες (-δρεχτρεις).

(3) If, as is usual in similar cases, the shortest reading is regarded as original (compare ἄνδρας, ver. 5), recollection of ver. 7 or 11:11 would have induced scribes to include a numeral with ἄνδρες.

On balance, it seemed to the Committee that the least unsatisfactory solution was to adopt the reading supported by the broadest spectrum of external evidence.

English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II

Variant Reading(s): differing versions of a word or phrase found in two or more manuscripts within a variation unit (see below). Variant readings are also called alternate readings.

Variation Unit: any portion of text that exhibits variations in its reading between two or more different manuscripts. It is important to distinguish variation units from variant readings. Variation units are the places in the text where manuscripts disagree, and each variation unit has at least two variant readings. Setting the limits and range of a variation unit is sometimes difficult or even controversial because some variant readings affect others nearby. Such variations may be considered individually, or as elements of a single reading. One should also note that the terms “manuscript” and “witness” may appear to be used interchangeably in this context. Strictly speaking “witness” (see below) will only refer to the content of a given manuscript or fragment, which it predates to a greater or lesser extent. However, the only way to reference the “witness” is by referring to the manuscript or fragment that contains it. In this book, we have sometimes used the terminology “witness of x or y manuscript” to distinguish the content in this way.

THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1 Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

TERMS AS TO HOW WE SHOULD OBJECTIVELY VIEW THE DEGREE OF CERTAINTY FOR THE READING ACCEPTED AS THE ORIGINAL

The modal verbs are might have been (30%), may have been (40%), could have been (55%), would have been (80%), must have been (95%), which are used to show that we believe the originality of a reading is certain, probable or possible.

The letter [WP] stands for Weak Possibility (30%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading might have been original in that it is enough evidence to accept that the variant might have been possible, but it is improbable. We can say the reading might have been original, as there is some evidence that is derived from manuscripts that carry very little weight, early versions, or patristic quotations.

The letter [P] stands for Plausible (40%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading may have been original in that it is enough to accept a variant to be original and we have enough evidence for our belief. The reading may have been original but it is not probably so.

The letter [PE] stands for Preponderance of Evidence (55%), which indicates that this is a higher-level proof that the reading could have been original in that it is enough to accept as such unless another reading emerges as more probable.

The letter [CE] stands for Convincing Evidence (80%), which indicates that the evidence is an even higher-level proof that the reading surely was the original in that the evidence is enough to accept it as substantially certain unless proven otherwise.

The letter [BRD] stands for Beyond Reasonable Doubt (95%), which indicates that this is the highest level of proof: the reading must have been original in that there is no reason to doubt itIt must be understood that feeling as though we have no reason to doubt is not the same as one hundred percent absolute certainty.

THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

NOTE: This system is borrowed from the criminal just legal terms of the United States of America, the level of certainty involved in the use of modal verbs, and Bruce Metzger in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), who borrowed his system from Johann Albrecht Bengel in his edition of the Greek New Testament (Tübingen, 1734). In addition, the percentages are in no way attempting to be explicit but rather they are nothing more than a tool to give the non-textual scholar a sense of the degree of certainty. However, this does not mean the percentages are not reflective of certainty.

9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

SOURCES

  • B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek: Appendix (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1882)
  • Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006)
  • Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994),
  • Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: NTG Apparatus Criticus, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012).
  • Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament: Apparatus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).
  • Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), Matt. 6:8.
  • Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: Novum Testamentum Graece, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012)
  • Philip Wesley Comfort, A COMMENTARY ON THE MANUSCRIPTS AND TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2015).
  • Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary: Commentary on the Variant Readings of the Ancient New Testament Manuscripts and How They Relate to the Major English Translations (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008).
  • Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts: Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, 2 Volume Set The (English and Greek Edition) (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019)
  • Rick Brannan and Israel Loken, The Lexham Textual Notes on the Bible, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).
  • Roger L. Omanson and Bruce Manning Metzger, A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger’s Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006).
  • Wallace B., Daniel (n.d.). Retrieved from The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts: http://csntm.org/
  • Wilker, Wieland (n.d.). Retrieved from An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels: http://www.willker.de/wie/TCG/index.html

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