Contents: Introduction *
Noteworthy Block Mixed Manuscripts *
All known manuscripts are copied and corrected from previous
manuscripts. Usually the manuscripts are taken and corrected
from a single exemplar,
but this is by no means universal. A scribe's exemplar might be
damaged as some point, forcing him to refer to another manuscript.
Or he might come into the scriptorium one day to find his
exemplar in use, and have to refer to another for that day.
Or the exemplar might have been very thoroughly corrected in different places
from different manuscripts. Or, conceivably, a scribe might have
started to copy from one manuscript, decided he didn't approve
of its text, and turn to another.
All of these are possible causes of block mixture, where
a manuscript displays a sudden shift of text-type within a
corpus. (If a manuscript shows a change in type between one
corpus and another, this is not considered block mixture; this
situation is too common to invite comment. We should simply
keep in mind that the fact a document is Alexandrian in, say,
the Gospels, does not mean it will belong to that type
in other parts of the New Testament.)
Block mixture should not be confused with ordinary mixture,
in which elements of different text-types occur constantly
throughout a manuscript. Ordinary mixture is thought to be the
result of correcting a manuscript of one type from a manuscript
of another (meaning that readings from both manuscripts will
become jumbled together), while block mixture arises from the
sole use of multiple exemplars. (One might give an analogy
from baking. One can take a measuring cup of sugar, and a
measuring cup of flour. The sugar might be Alexandrian readings,
the flour Byzantine. As long as the sugar is in one cup and the
flour in another, the texts are block mixed. If we take the
two and mix them together, then put them back in the cups,
we they are mixed, not just block mixed.)
Block mixture is not overly common, but neither is it
rare. Students should always be alert to it, and never assume,
simply because a manuscript belongs to a certain text-type in
one book or section of a book, that it will belong to that
type in another section.
The following list highlights some of the better-known examples
of block mixture.
- Sinaiticus. In the Gospels,
is generally Alexandrian. The first nine or so chapters of John, however, do not belong with
the Alexandrian text; they are often considered "Western."
(For a recent examination of this, see the article by Fee.)
- C/04. The fragmentary nature of C makes it difficult to define its mixture. But it is
generally agreed that, in the gospels, it is mixed. Some have argued that it is block mixed.
Gerben Kollenstaart reports on the work of Mark R. Dunn, who concludes, "C is a weak
Byzantine witness in Matthew, a weak Alexandrian in Mark, and a strong Alexandrian in John.
In Luke C's textual relationships are unclear."
- L/019. Codex Regius, L of the Gospels, is mostly Alexandrian in
Mark, Luke, and John. In the first three-quarters of Matthew, however,
Byzantine elements predominate. (This is probably the result of
incomplete correction in an ancestor.)
- R/027. The general run of the text is about 80% Byzantine (the
remainder being Alexandrian). In chapters 12-16, however, Alexandrian
elements come to dominate, constituting about 60-70% of the total.
- W/032. The Freer Gospels are the most noteworthy example of block
mixture, containing a high number of textual shifts and no particular
pattern to their occurrence. (This has led to significant speculation
about the manuscript. Henry A. Sanders,
the original editor, believed W was copied from scraps of manuscripts
which survived Diocletian's persecution; Streeter
instead suggested that the various books were copied from multiple exemplars,
which showed different patterns of corrections.)
Metzger lists the books' contents as follows: Matthew -- Byzantine.
Mark 1:1-5:30 -- "Western." Mark 5:31-end -- "Cæsarean."
Luke 1:1-8:12 -- Alexandrian. Luke 8:13-end -- Byzantine.
John 1:1-5:11 -- Supplement with mixed text. John 5:12-end -- Alexandrian.
(Hurtado, however, argues that the break occurs not in Mark 5 but around
the end of Mark 4, and that while Mark 1-4 are "Western," Mark
5-16 do not align clearly with any text-type.)
- D/037. Byzantine
in Matthew, Luke, and John, but with a strong Alexandrian element in
Mark (especially in the first half of the book).
- Y/044. In the
gospels, Y is defective
for Matthew and the first half of Mark, but the second half of Mark is
strongly Alexandrian, Luke is almost entirely Byzantine, and John
is mostly Byzantine with many Alexandrian readings.
- 28. 28 is for all intents and purposes purely Byzantine in Matthew,
Luke, and John, but has other elements (usually regarded as
"Cæsarean") in Mark.
- 33. In Paul, 33 is largely Byzantine in Romans (Davies, who points
out that Romans comes from another hand, believes it has an affinity
with 2344); in the other Pauline writings it is a strong Alexandrian witness.
- 323. In the Catholics, 323 (and presumably its sister 322) is mostly
Byzantine in James, but gives way gradually to a Family 1739 text in the
- 579. Mostly Alexandrian in Mark, Luke, and John, but mostly Byzantine
with scattered Alexandrian readings in Matthew.
- 630. In Paul, 630 (and its close relative 2200) are rather poor members of
Family 1739 in Romans-Galatians,
but entirely Byzantine in the later books.
- 1022. In Paul, 1022 is Byzantine for Romans through Thessalonians, but
affiliates with the text of Family 1611 in the Pastorals and Hebrews.
- 1175. In Paul, 1175 is Byzantine in Romans, but generally Alexandrian
elsewhere. It may also be block-mixed in the Catholics; James and 1 Peter
seem clearly Alexandrian, but Richards reports that it is Byzantine in the
- 1241. In the Gospels, 1241 has both Alexandrian and Byzantine readings
throughout, but the Byzantine element is strongest in Matthew and Mark;
in Luke it almost disappears. John falls in between. In Paul, the text
shifts between purely Byzantine and Alexandrian/Byzantine mix; however,
this is the result of supplements. The basic run of the text is Byzantine;
where it has been supplemented, it is mixed.
- 2464. In Paul, 2464 is Byzantine in Romans; it has a much more Alexandrian
text in the other books.
- 2492. In Paul, according to Gary S. Dykes, 2492 shifts between a 330-type text
and a text unrelated to 330 (but probably mostly Byzantine).
Davies: M. Davies, The Text of the Pauline Epistles in MS. 2344 (Studies
and Documents 38, 1968)
Fee: Gordon D. Fee, "Codex
Sinaiticus in the Gospel of John: A Contribution to Methodology in
Establishing Textual Relationships," now available as Chapter 12
of Eldon J. Epp and Gordon D. Fee, Studies in the Theory and
Method of New Testament Textual Criticism (Studies and Documents
45, Eerdmans, 1993).
Hurtado: Larry W. Hurtado, Text-Critical Methodology and the
Pre-Cæsarean Text: Codex W in the Gospel of Mark (Studies
and Documents 43, Eerdmans, 1981).
Metzger: Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its
Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (third edition, Oxford,
Richards: W. L. Richards, The Classification of
the Greek Manuscripts of the Johannine Epistles (SBL Dissertation Series
35, Scholars Press, 1977).
Sanders: Henry A. Sanders, Facsimile of the Washington Manuscript
of the Four Gospels in the Freer Collection (University of
Streeter: B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins