Chapter

The Early Text of Matthew

Tommy Wasserman

in The Early Text of the New Testament

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199566365
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740985 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566365.003.0006
The Early Text of Matthew

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This chapter examines the early textual witnesses to Matthew: thirteen papyri and one uncial. Transcriptions in each edition princeps and other editions have been carefully checked and are corrected. The textual quality and transmission character of each witness are evaluated according to the Alands’ categories. The witnesses represent various points along the spectrum from the ‘strict’ textual quality to ‘at least normal’ or ‘normal’, and, in terms of transmission character, from ‘strict’ via ‘normal’ to ‘free’ or ‘very free’ transmission. The results further suggest that the MSS with the best text, in particular, bear several characteristics of a controlled production. In regard to general scribal habits, substitutions and omissions are far more common than additions and transpositions in these papyri. The results confirm earlier observations that the traditional criterion to prefer the shorter reading is inapplicable to the early papyri.

Keywords: early text of Matthew; early papyri; textual quality; transmission character; Alands’ categories; scribal habits; controlled production; public reading

Chapter.  10270 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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