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Textual Criticism, Assimilation And The Synoptic Gospels

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Chapter Summary

The main object of textual criticism is to establish as accurately as possible a text approximating to the original words of the original authors. As far as the text of the synoptic gospels is concerned, one of the main problems in establishing the text is the amount of cross-fertilization in the MSS whenever the gospels are in parallel. Scribes were prone to assimilate the gospel they were copying to a parallel text in another gospel. The principles which were applied to some of the variants in Mark seem therefore not to have been consistently acknowledged in other variants. This observation ought to make us cautious in using the United Bible Societies text or of our accepting uncritically the explanatory notes in Metzgers Commentary. Our concentration on the UBS text is significant, because the 9th edition of Alands Synopsis has a text substantially the same as UBS.

Keywords: Alands Synopsis; Mark; Synoptic Gospels; textual criticism; United Bible Societies text



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