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The Ending of the Apocalypse

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Chapter Summary

Textual criticism is not so simple a science as some people seem to think. To judge from many commentaries on the NT, one would suppose that all that was necessary in a disputed case was to assemble the authorities for each reading and cast one's vote for the reading with the greatest weight of manuscript and other authority behind it. Of course manuscripts differ very greatly in authority: a few Alexandrian uncials can outweigh a host of Byzantine minuscules. But in most cases it is not difficult to determine where the preponderant weight of authority lies. It has often been pointed out that to couch an apocalypse in the form of a letter was a most unusual proceeding, but commentators have mostly assumed that this was in fact the author's intention throughout; he begins in the epistolary style (1:4) and makes his purpose clear again at the end (22:21).

Keywords: Alexandrian uncials; apocalypse; Byzantine minuscules; epistolary style; manuscript testimony; Textual criticism

10.1163/9789004266551_028
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