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The Apocalypse in Codex Alexandrinus: Its singular readings and scribal habits

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Chapter Summary

John?s Apocalypse is perhaps the most fascinating and mystifying of all New Testament texts. In particular, one may ask whether scribes might have engaged in editorial activity beyond the improvement of the work?s grammar and style. Apart from doubts raised over its authorship and apostolic status, critics impugn the Apocalypse for its millennial teaching, its Jewish character, its depiction of angels, and its putative historical inaccuracies. A small step in this direction is to begin with the two earliest, full length manuscripts containing the Apocalypse: the fifth-century Codex Alexandrinus and the fourth-century Sinaiticus. This chapter focuses on Codex Alexandrinus. The evidence from Sinaiticus will serve primarily as a foil. The chapter analyses their singular readings takes its methodological cues from E. C. Colwell?s programmatic essay on the subject, coupled with J. R. Royse?s 1981 dissertation on scribal habits. With Colwell and Royse it considers singular readings to be ?created? readings.

Keywords: Codex Alexandrinus; E. C. Colwell; J. R. Royse; John?s Apocalypse; New Testament; scribal habits; Sinaiticus; singular readings



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