Short Definitions: The Terminology in the Nestle-Aland Apparatus
- From Latin alii, meaning "others." Used to note that
the listed reading has support from a significant number of other manuscripts
but not enough manuscripts to represent even a portion of the Byzantine
tradition. It represents more manuscripts than pc but fewer than
pm -- perhaps between 5% and 25% of the total tradition. It is not
uncommon to find al used to note a reading where the Textus Receptus
departs from the Majority Text.
- Symbol used in the Nestle editions (and others) for the Lake Group
(l). For details of the
group, see the entry on the minuscule 1eap.
- Symbol used in the Nestle editions (and others) for the Ferrar Group
(f). For details of the
group, see the entry on the minuscule 13.
- Symbol used in Nestle to describe the error known as
"same ending" (which see).
- The symbol used in the current Nestle-Aland editions
(26th edition and up) for the "Majority Text." (The same Gothic
is also used
in the Hodges & Farstad text for the
Majority Text, but not in the same way.) It is thus equivalent in concept to the
symbol Byz in the UBS editions, or with w
in editions such as Souter's. It corresponds roughly with Von Soden's K. It
is not equivalent to the Textus Receptus
In the Nestle-Aland text, however,
has an additional use beyond the equivalent in the other texts. It also serves as a
group symbol to include any uncited "constant witnesses of the second order."
These "constant witnesses of the second order" are witnesses cited for
every variant in the apparatus, but whose readings are only cited explicitly when
they differ from .
The "constant witnesses of the second order" are as follows:
Note that some of these witnesses have lacunae; one should be sure to check that they
are extant for a particular passage before citing them on the basis of Nestle. Also,
some of the "constant witnesses" are fragmentary; this means that it is not
always possible to cite their readings explicitly. This is particularly true of 33
(this is one of the reasons why it was promoted to a first-order witness in NA27),
but it is also true of 1506, 2344, and 2377, which remain second-order witnesses.
- Gospels: K, N, P, Q (cited for Luke and John in NA26, but for
John only in NA27), G, D,
0292 (NA27 only), 28 (cited for the gospels in NA26, but only
for Mark in NA27), 33 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27),
565, 579 (NA27 only), 700, 892, 1010 (NA26 only), 1241,
1424, 2542 (NA27 only, for Mark and Luke),
844 (NA27 only),
2211 (NA27 only)
- Acts: L, 33 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27),
81, 323, 614, 945, 1175, 1241, 1505 (NA27 only),
1739 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27),
2495 (NA26 only)
- Paul: K, L, P, 33 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27),
81, 104, 365, 630, 1175, 1241, 1505 (NA27 only), 1506,
1739 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27),
1881 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27), 2464,
2495 (NA26 only),
249 (NA27 only),
846 (NA27 only)
- Catholics: K, L, 33 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27),
81, 323, 614, 630, 1241, 1505 (NA27 only),
1739 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27), 2495 (NA26 only)
- Apocalypse: In this section
will often be divided into K
(the main Koine text) and A
(the Andreas text). The witnesses in this section include P (as part of
046 (as part of K),
1006, 1611, 1841, 1854, 2030, 2050, 2053, 2062, 2329, 2344 2351, 2377
One brief example must serve to explain this.
In 2 Thes. 1:2 (the first variant in the apparatus of that book), the text has
o[hmwn]. In the
apparatus we read
¶ 1,2 o B D P 0111vid 33 1739 1881
pc m bopt | txt
A F G I 0278
lat sy sa bopt
(Y pc: h.t.)
That is, the
witnesses B, D, P, 0111vid, 33, 1739, 1881, and some versions omit the word;
the remaining witnesses include it. Among these remaining witnesses are, of course, the
ones explicitly cited ( A F G I 0278),
but also the witnesses comprehended within --
in this case, K, L, 81, 104, 365, 630, 1175, 1241, 1505, 2464,
is defective here, and we have seen that P goes with the other reading).
Of course, the Byzantine tradition sometimes divides. In this case, the Nestle
apparatus cites all witnesses explicitly, and marks the divided portions of the
Byzantine text pm.
- From Latin pauci, meaning "a few." Used to note that
the listed reading has support from a handful of other manuscripts (seemingly
not more than about 5% of the total tradition).
- From Latin permulti, meaning "very many." Used to indicate
a large number of manuscripts at points where the Byzantine tradition is
significantly divided. A reading marked pm is the a Byzantine
reading without being the Byzantine reading. A reading marked pm
probably has the support of roughly 30% to 70% of the total tradition.
- Also sometimes rel. From Latin reliqui, meaning "[the] rest."
Used in Nestle-Aland to indicate that all uncited witnesses support the reading.
In other editions, it may simply mean that the vast majority support the reading.
Some may even use specialized notations after rell (e.g. rel pl,
"most of the rest").
- From Latin videtur or ut videtur. Closest English
equivalent is probably "apparently." The siglum of a manuscript
is marked vid if the original reading cannot be determined with
absolute precision. This happens frequently with the papyri, where individual
letters are often illegible. It may also happen in the event of a correction;
the original text (or sometimes the correction!) may be partially obscured.
It is generally agreed that vid should only be used in a critical
apparatus if the manuscript being studied can only support one of several
possible variant readings. (In a collation, of course, uncertain letters
should be marked with a dot below the letter or some other symbol; letters
which cannot be read at all should be replaced by a dot.)
- From Latin varia lectio, meaning "a variant (or different)
reading." Used in Nestle-Aland refer specifically to readings found in the
margin of a manuscript and offered as an alternative to the reading in the text.
Such readings are most common in Harklean Syriac (where, however, they are indicated
by syhmg), but are also found in 1739 (where the reading of the text
is indicated 1739txt) and occasionally in other manuscripts (see, for
instance, the notes to 1 John 5:7-8, where we find the passage about the
"three heavenly witnesses" shown as a variant reading in 88 221 429 636).
It should be noted that variant readings are not necessarily better or worse
than those of the text; 1739 has some very interesting marginal readings (e.g.
Rom. 1:7, 1 John 4:3), but the readings of the text are generally superior; in the Harklean
Syriac both text and marginal readings have value; in the case of 1 John 5:6-8,
the marginal readings are obviously spurious.