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The Shorter Reading?

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Chapter Summary

One of the most venerable canons of textual criticism is that the shorter reading is generally to be preferred. The discovery that all six of the papyri analyzed here omit more often than they add makes it important to return to this principle, and to ask how earlier scholars could have formulated a rule that so clearly goes against the scribal activity evidenced in our papyri. The early formulation of the canon by Griesbach clearly presents both the view of scribal activity presupposed by the principle, and the exceptions to its utilization. Many of the accidental omissions involve scribal leaps, but many have no such cause. This chapter also discusses Peter M. Head's results, Min's Study of Early Manuscripts of Matthew, and Silva's Studies on the shorter reading of the papyri.

Keywords: Min's Study; papyri; Peter M. Head's results; scribal activity; scribal leaps; shorter reading; Silva's study



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