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Novum testamentum Graece 1981
Kilpatrick, George Dunbar
Theologische Literaturzeitung 106. Jahrgang 1981 Nr. 9
Nestle-Aland: Novum Testamentum Graece, post Eberhard Nestle et
Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt K. Aland, M. Black, C. M.
Martini, B. M. Metzger, A. Wikgren; apparatum criticum recon-
suerunt et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt K. Aland et
B. Aland una cum Instituto studiorum textus Novi Testamenti
Monasteriensi (Westphalia). 26. neu bearb. Aufl. Stuttgart: Deutsche
Bibelstiftung 1979. IX, 78*, 779 S. 8 Kunststoff DM 18,-.
As far as text is concerned this edition is, with slight variations, the
same as the UBS Greek New Testament which I reviewed in ThLZ
104,1979 col. 260-270.1 remain unconvinced about the text and tex-
tual procedures of the UBS3 and N-A26, but will not repeat what I
have said in the earlier review.
This review will concern itself with the other and distinctive featu-
res of N-A26, and first with the apparatus. It is no praise to say of Tas-
ker's The Greek New Testament (Oxford and Cambridge, 1964) that
its text is the least unsatisfactory printed text we have, an opinion I
think to be true, but we can praise whole-heartedly the apparatus of
N-A26. tt is the best select apparatus that we have and we are much in-
debted to all who have helped in its construction. Some of them are
mentioned in the foreword from the two editors on pp. l*-2*: J. G.
Schomerus (references and Old Testament quotations); V. Reichmann
(Latin evidence); G. S. Wendt and B. Aland (Syriac versions);
G. Mink and F. J. Schmitz (Coptic Versions); Chr. Hannick and
G. Schmalzbauer (Patristic evidence); W. Grunewald (papyri);
K. Junack and M. Welte (other Greek manuscripts) and K. Junack
(general oversight). Many others have contributed as they were able.
To all these we are greatly indebted and any subsequent comment in
this review on the apparatus must be understood as in no way detrac-
ting from this praise.
First, let us consider two faults which lie, not in the apparatus, but
in its users. To begin with it is tempting to assume that all significant
variants are in the apparatus. N-A26 does its best, in a marvel of com-
pactness, to meet our needs, but it avowedly provides only a selection
of readings. If we assume otherwise we deceive ourselves and have
only ourselves to blame.
Secondly, we can assume mistakenly that we are always given all
the witnesses for a reading. For example N-A26 teils us that at Ac
vii.56 to dvtipamov there ist the variant t)eoß P" vid. 614 bomss. We
can add to these witnesses 491 Macarius / Symeon, the Old Georgian
and Murciu the Latin life of St. Patrick, evidence which gives the reading
a very wide distribution.
It is a thankless task to compile a select apparatus. No select apparatus
satisfies every demand, and it is not surprising that N-A26 has
For example, we miss the following readings relevant to the study
of the Synoptic Problem: Mt. x.19 nüx; fj om, xii.4 pövoic] om. (xii.4
ßövoiq ] om.) xiii.ll xb poaxripiov, xxi.23 SiSdaxovxi ] om. xxvii.58
npooekd(bv....))xrfoaxö Kpoafjki)ev....xai tfxrjoaxo, xxvii.59 ivexofa&v],
ivsünaev, Mk. i.40 oxi] xvpie, iii.l i^npappevrjv] £>}pav, vi.25 ßanxto-
xoü] ßanxiCpvxoc., viii.28 ßanxioxqv] ßanxiCovxa, ix.5 xai 2'] t)£tei?,
xi.29 'Itaoöc] + dnoxpideic,, Lk. ix.41 xai Siecrxpappevn]om,
xx.32 ßaxepov] om, xxiii.52 oöxoq] om. Most of them are in the apparatus
of Aland's Synopse, but that is no help to the man who has inve-
sted in N-A26.
Again, we are given many linguistic variants, but we are not given
enough to enable us to follow a linguistic feature consistently. Thus
Ttät; and ärcag are often variants, but it is questionable whether, apart
from Luke-Acts, any NT writer used änaq. In this connexion we miss
variants at Mt. vi.32, xxiv.39, xxviii.ll, Mk. i.27, viii.25, xi.32,
[xvi.15], Eph. vi. 13, lTim. i.16, Jac. iii.2. In most of these passages
the variant is näq. Another example is waei. It is a poetic word used in
parts of the LXX, but again, apart from L-A, there are no certain
examples of it in the NT. In the apparatus of N-A26 we miss the variant
cbc. at Mt. ix.36, Mk. ix.26, Rom. vi. 13, Heb. i.12. There are
grounds for thinking that, except at Ac. vii.16, pvnpeiov, not pvrjpa,
was the NT form, but it is not reported as a variant at Mk. v.3,5, Lk.
viii.27, Ac. ii.29. In Bauer's Wörterbuch ££dniva is quoted only from
Mk. ix.8, but in N-A26 the variant eMicac, is not reported. The variant
xcp for xfjg is quoted for Rev. ii.l, 8, 12, 18; iii.l but not for Rev.
iii.7,14, nor is the intriguing variant dveßaXöprjv for dved&prjv mentioned
at Gal. ii.2.
A reviewer can spend any amount of space on points of this kind
and in the correction of minor errors. For example, is the comma
right at Jac. iv. 29? At Ac. i. 20 should not the reference in the margin
be to Mt. xxiii. 38 and not 39? At Rev. iii. 12 is the punctuation pou,
xfjg xaivfjg right against pou xrjc. xatvfjc.,1 Assiduity can in time turn Up
such details, but the impressive thing is that in such a mass of detail
slips are few.
One problem we have. We are told that the witnesses have been re-
gularly collated on the basis of photographs and the like. Our natural
assumption is that where a witness quoted in earlier apparatuses is
not quoted in this we encounter a correction, but unfortunately its ab-
sence may be due to the need to save space. Can we always teil whether
silence is due to correction or compression?
Great>claims are made on behalf of N-A26. Not merely is it said to
be the Standard Text (= ST), but the reader may easily get the impres-
sion from pp. 4*-5* that in its present form ST is largely the work of
K.. Aland. Further we may question whether ST = N-A26 = UBS3 is
really the Standard text that we are encouraged to think it. I plan to
produce reasons for this opinion in another place.
Aland makes another prophecy which is relevant to this claim. On
p. 10* Aland introduces a new symbol 3J? = Mehrheit which largely
takes the place of the Old St = Koine.
In this connexion Aland describes the 19th Century as the age of
Uncials, the mid 20th as that of Papyri, and „Jetzt treten wir ins Zeitalter
der Minuskeln ein". Does this predict another recencion of the
NT differing from that of N-A26 = UBS3? In this connexion the term
Mehrheit may be significant. We have already noticed expressions
like "the great mass of manuscripts" (ThLZ cit. 265). Are they antici-
pations of this Mehrheit and "the age of minuscules"?
This new symbol has not made the new apparatus more complica-
ted. A. Souter used a corresponding symbol (CD) in his Nouum Testamentum
Graece. I have been using N-A26 for some six months and
have found the apparatus reasonably clear and intelligible. Very
rarely am I in any doubt about what is intended.
At the end of N-A26 are four appendices: Codices graeci et latini:
textuum differentiae; loci citati uel allegati; signa, sigla et abbreuia-
tiones. Appendix I Codices graeci, if we use it with understanding, en-
ables us to infer much from the silence of the apparatus, and few
Greek witnesses seem to be overlooked, but the list of Codices latini is
inadequate if we compare it with B. Fischer's lists of Latin manuscripts
in Vetus Latina I Verzeichnis der Sigel (1949) with the supple-
mentary indications in Fischer's appendix in B. Metzger, The Earfy
Versions of the New Testament (1977), 461-464. We notice in parti-
cular the failure to quote mss" like Usserianus 2 (r2, 28) and the Book
of MullingfjU, 35) which have a considerable old Latin dement.
We may notice another feature in the treatment of the Latin. If we
are in the age of the minuscules, we are certainly not in the age of the
versions. We are told: „Die Vetus Latina (Itala) geht mit ihren Anfängen
tatsächlich bis ins 2. Jahrhundert zurück. Wenn man für sie aber
eine Uriibersetzung annimmt, von der alle spätere Überlieferung abhängt
, so ergibt deren Rekonstruktion nur die eine dafür benutzte
griechische Vorlage (alles andere wäre innerversionelle Entwicklung),
während wir aus dieser Zeit in den Papyri mehrere griechische Texte
besitzen." (17*f). Let us work this out. There are good reasons for
thinking (despite B. Metzger, The Text ofthe New Testament ,
72) that the Latin translation of the NT was made in the mid second
Century A. D. We may infer that the Greek exemplars from which
this translation was made would belong to the first half ofthe second
Century. I know ofthe substantial remains of a number of NT papyri