The Process of Attempting to Ascertain the Original Wording of the Original Texts of the New Testament

Confronted by a mass of conflicting readings, editors must decide which variants deserve to be included in the text and which should be relegated to the apparatus. Although at first, it may seem to be a hopeless task amid so many thousands of variant readings to sort out those that should be regarded as original, textual scholars have developed certain generally acknowledged criteria of evaluation.

History of the Transmission of the New Testament Text

In the earliest days of the Christian church, after an apostolic letter was sent to a congregation or an individual, or after a gospel was written to meet the needs of a particular reading public, copies would be made in order to extend its influence and to enable others to profit from it as well. It was inevitable that such handwritten copies would contain a greater or lesser number of differences in wording from the original.

Textual Variants in the Greek New Testament

Textual variants in the New Testament are the subject of the study called textual criticism of the New Testament. Textual variants in manuscripts arise when a copyist makes deliberate or inadvertent alterations to a text that is being reproduced.

OTTC HOSEA 14:2: Is “bulls” (MT) or “fruit” (LXX; 14:3) the original reading of the Hebrew text?

The MT has the reading “bulls” (פָרִים; farim) in verse 2 of chapter 14. On the other hand, the LXX: Greek Septuagint reads “fruit”  (καρπὸν; fruit) in verse 2 of chapter 14. The Septuagint continues to be very much important today and is used by textual scholars to help uncover copyists’ errors that might have crept into the Hebrew manuscripts either intentionally or unintentionally. ...

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