Excerpt from: Nazaroo,
Gaffes in UBS Greek text (case by case): #1 HAPLOGRAPHY ,
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2009
Acts: - Cases of Haplography in Acts
Acts 2:30 - (homoioarcton/teleuton)
Acts 15:24 - (homoioarcton/teleuton)
Acts 20:15 - (homoioarcton/teleuton)
Acts 21:22 - (homoioteleuton+)
Acts 22:9 - (homoioteleuton+)
Acts 26:29-31a - (homoioarcton)
Hort on Haplography - Hort discusses Acts
Paul: - Cases of Haplography in Paul's Letters
Romans 9:27-29 - (homoioteleuton+)
Romans 11:6 - (homoioarcton+)
Romans 13:9 - (homoioarcton/teleuton)
Romans 14:6 - (homoioarcton)
Romans 14:21 - (homoioTeleuton)
Romans 15:24 - (homoioArcton/teleuton)
Romans 15:29 - (homoioteleuton)
Deliberate alterations to the text can be a result of common theological influences operating independantly, or they can be simply imported artificially between text-types and genealogical lines. Thus they are unreliable indicators of either text-type or genealogical dependance, even when they are perpetuated by copying.
On the other hand, accidental errors can indeed be used to show genealogical dependance, and classify manuscripts into text-types, if these errors are of a kind that would be missed, and then perpetuated in further copies.
The peculiar error of haplography (accidental omission) is just the ideal type of error to establish genealogical relationships and offer stable features of a text-type. An error of haplography is likely to be copied unnoticed, especially if the material dropped has no special value or theological impact. It has the further advantage of being rather easy to spot and having unambiguous features: useful cases will have a combination of likely Homoioarcton (similar beginning of a line), Homoioteleuton (similar ending), plus a lack of theological or doctrinal signficance to the omitted material.
Of some 35 places in Mark where the critical Greek text departs from the traditional text significantly, deleting whole or half verses, almost a third are obvious cases of haplography. The manuscript evidence is also just what we would expect and require for these cases to be clinching.
Why critical Greek Texts Contain Errors
This is not an 'error' in procedure per se, to publish a critically reconstructed text, since one can reconstruct an earlier common (lost) archetype using 'agreement in error' between manuscripts. Such a text will necessarily contain the errors identified as copied from the extrapolated source to the extant MSS.
Westcott & Hort no doubt succeeded in reconstructing an early, error-ridden archetype for Aleph and B, possibly originating in the late 2nd or early 3rd century. (Since then, even earlier MSS that have been recovered that diverge from the text of this ancestor).
This text (Hort's hypothetical ancestor for Aleph and B) however should then have been corrected by carefully eliminating all known accidental errors of the haplographic type, before any further application of the text to 'correct' other texts is to be made.
Why Modern Versions should NOT Follow Critical Texts
It is a mistake however, to adopt the plain errors of any intermediary text in a finalized printed Bible, since the whole end goal of textual criticism is to eliminate errors, not re-introduce errors into the text, however ancient they may be. Thus using an 'unedited' critical Greek text is an enterprise in futility, and a clumsy misuse of valuable tools for the improvement of Bible accuracy.
Acts 2:30 (traditional text)
προφητης ουν υπαρχων και ειδως
οτι ορκω ωμοσεν αυτω ο ΘΣ εκ
καρπου της οσφυος αυτου (το )
κατα σαρκα αναστησειν τον ΧΝ
καθισαιεπι του θρονου αυτου
προιδων ελαλησεν περι της ανα-
στασεως του ΧΝ οτι ου κατελειφθη
η ψυχη αυτου εις αδου ουδε η σαρξ
αυτου ειδεν διαφθοραν
a prophet, therefore, being, and knowing
that by oath God did swear to him, out
of the fruit of his loins,
according to the flesh, to raise up the Christ,
to sit upon his throne, having
foreseen, he did speak concerning the
rising again of the Christ, that his soul
was not left to hades, nor did his flesh
INCLUDE LINE: INCLUDE LINE: Byz Maj (Majority of MSS), Lectionaries, Origen, Eusebius, Chrysostom
OMIT: OMIT: א, B, usual culprits (see UBS apparatus)
I think readers already know what can be said about this combination homoioarcton/homoioteleuton boner. When allowance is made for the short-forms of the Names of God and Christ in the text as typically copied in the 2nd-4th centuries, the alignment of the letters in the columns make the problem plain.
A few scribes added minor variants in attempts to patch up the verse.
All modern critical texts and 'modern' versions omit the line, and most don't bother to document it adequately.
Acts 15:24 (traditional text)
οτι τινες εξ ημων εξελθοντες εταραξαν υμας
ΛΟΓοις ανασκευαζοντες τας ψυχας υΜΩΝ
ΛΕΓοντες περιτεμνεσθαι και τηρειν τον νοΜΟΝ
οις ου διεστειλαμεθα...
...that certain went from us did trouble you with
words, subverting the souls of you,
saying to be circumcised and to keep the law,
to whom we did give no charge,
INCLUDE LINE: C (E) P Ψ 049 056 (0142) 88 104 181 326 330 436 451 630 1241 (1505 2495) 1739 1877 2127 2412 2492 Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) (it-e) (it-gig) Syr-P, Syr-H, Armen, Aeth-P, Georg., (Ireneus-Lat) (Chrysos.) Greek(Acc. to Bede), Theoph.
OMIT: P33, א, B D 33 81 614 629 945 it-ar/d/l, vg Copt-Sa(Bo), Aeth-Ro, Origen(Lat), Athanasius(Lat). Apost Const., Epiph.-Vigil.
Another Double HomoioArcton-Teleuton Haplography error, unfortunately complicated by the obvious unlucky subject matter. This caused additional editing activity as copyists/editors fretted over the "meaning" of a simple boo-boo.
In uncial script, E was written in a rounded form, and Omega was also very similar to Omicron.
The usual ancient editing crew bails out on the reading, conveniently eliminating another "Jewish" reference which no one wanted to be reminded of.
Westcott/Hort, Nestle, drop the line, UBS follows, and most 'modern' versions dump the line without notes. (Living Bible - nothing, Good News - zip, The Message - no mention).
Acts 20:15 (traditional text)
κακειθεν αποπλευσαντες τη επιουση
κατηντησαμεν αντικρυ χιου τη
δε ετερα παρεβαλομεν εις σαμον
και μειναντες εν τρωγυλλιω τη
εχομενη ηλθομεν εις μιλητον
and thence having sailed, on the
next day we came on to
Chios, and next day we got to Samos,
and having remained in Trogyllium on the,
following day we came to Miletus,
INCLUDE LINE: p41(vid) D P 049 (056 0142) 88 (104) 181 32 330 451 614 945 1241 1505 1877 2127 2412 2492 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of MSS), it-d/gig, Syr-p/h, Cop-Sa, Chrysostom Theoph. (ψ)
OMIT: p74 א, B C E(gr) 33 630 1739 (kai te) 436 629 it(ac-vid) vg Arm Geo
This is a bit odder than the most simple cases seen, but needs little more than tiredness to completely and adequately explain the loss. Obviously the content is only incidental, and no copyist would invent such an insignificant clause. Lack of motive and Occam's Razor confirm the obvious.
The line was dropped by the stressed out Alexandrians once again.
Westcott/Hort omits, imagining a profound discovery, with Nestle and UBS in tow. All 'modern' English versions drop the geographic info with no 'how do you do'.
Acts 21:22 (traditional text)
τι ουν εστιν παντως
δει συνελθειν πληθος
ακουσονται γαρ οτι εληλυθας
what then is all this?
its apt, to come together, the throng;
'for they will hear that thou hast come.
INCLUDE LINE: P74 Aleph A D E P Ψ 33 88 181 326 629 945 1739-c it(ar)/e/gig Vg (W.O.R.) 049 056 0142 104 330 451 1241 (1877) Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) it-d, Chrysostom etc.
OMIT: B C* 436 614 630 1505 1739 2127 2412 2495 Syr(p)/h Cop-Sa/Bo, Arm Aeth Geo Origen?
Here we can see not only homoioteleuton (similar ending), but a string of letters with about a 70% agreement in content or similarity. Only 7 letters are significantly different in form and sound to distinguish the two phrases.
A scribe reciting to himself this set of syllables could easily get "Deja Vu" and imagine he already wrote the second line. Again, the text has been shortened by fatigue, while the next copyist has an admittedly easier task with a smaller size text...
The nice thing about haplography is that like lightning, it usually can't happen twice in the same place, once the first similar line is lost.
W/H, Nestle, UBS follow B here, although Codex Sinaiticus flatly contradicts it. A further word-order-reversal by one branch of the copying stream makes the original Haplographic error nearly vanish. But modern scholars have no similar excuse, with all the variants before them.
Modern versions blank out again, caving in to the "assured results" of modern, but somehow uninspired, scholarship, even when it means ignoring the earliest papri evidence.
Acts 22:9 (traditional text)
οι δε συν εμοι οντες
το μεν φως εθεασαντο
και εμφοβοι εγενοντο
την δε φωνην ουκ ηκο-
υσαν του λαλουντος μοι
and they who are with
me the light did see,
and they were afraid,
and the voice they heard not
of him who is speaking to me --
INCLUDE LINE: D(gr) E P ψ 056 0142 88 104 330 436 451 614 630 945 1505 1739 1877 2127 2412 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) it-e/gig, Syr-h, Cop-Sa, Aeth Chrsostom (& many Gk MSS, accord to Bede)
OMIT: P74 א(corrector) A B 049 33 181 326 1241 2492 it(ar), vg Syr-p, Cop-Bo, Arm Geo (629corr.)
Another brief but thick Haplography gaffe, homoioteleuton plus similar midline, making an irresistable honeypot for tired scribes.
Once the line-length was changed in a new copy, the original error would be harder to notice or explain: it only takes one generation to hide and entrench an error. Aleph, eager not to miss a shorter variant, corrects and entrenches the shorter text.
With Christ fear vanishes, but we don't think this is what the Holy Spirit had in mind. We still want to keep the text, even if its just a sentimental reminder.
W/H eliminate, Nestle & UBS follow (UBS-2 gives footnote), and 'modern' versions happily skip down the trail into early errors, but without playing any notes for us on their own toy panflutes.
Acts 26:29-31a (traditional text)
ο δε παυλος ειπεν ευξαιμην
αν τω θεω και εν ολιγω
και εν πολλω ου μονον σε αλλα
και παντας τους ακουον-
τας μου σημερον γενεσθαι
τοιουτους οποιος καγω ειμι
παρεκτος των δεσμων τουτων
και ταυτα ειποντος αυτου
ανεστη ο βασιλευς και ο
ηγεμων η τε βερνικη και οι
συγκαθημενοι αυτοις και
προς αλληλους λεγοντες ...
But Paul said, `I would have
wished to God, both in a little,
and in much, not only thee, but
also all hearing me today, to become
as I also am -- except these bonds.'
And these things being spoken,
the king rose up, and the governor,
Bernice also, and sitting with them,
and having withdrawn, they were
speaking unto one another,...
INCLUDE LINE: Koine Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) pm h Syr-H etc.
OMIT: B etc. WH, (see Nestle) UBS2 - without notes.
This is another one of those typically endless rambling sentences, coupled with a half-dozen "and"s that begs to be broken up into something more literary, and sits ripe for a Haplography head-plant.
The only thing that could liven up this would be the subject matter, but it is apparent that Luke doesn't have much choice about that. The "kai...kai...kai..." construction is the usual translation-Greek, awkward in any language, and bound to put a copyist to sleep, no matter how sincere.
The uneven line-length in the older papyri were the natural result of trying to start clauses on a new line, but actually instigated many a HomoioArcton type error with "KAI...".
Again the loss here only improves the Greek by shortening, and the prose gets truncated. Who could hope to re-insert this successfully? Only the many independant lines of transmission assured a good standing in the MS evidence.
Not an error that causes much damage or concern, but it does furnish yet more evidence that the early papyri and uncials are not immune from such gaffes, and are not likely to have been always successfully corrected.
Modern versions all drop the line, but no footnotes are expected anytime soon.
Hort on Haplography
Hort discusses Acts
For Acts 2:30, F.J.A. Hort (1892) comments in his Introduction (Notes on Select Readings) p 92:
+kata sarka...etc. - is in both the "Western and Syrian (Gk Syr.[=Byzantine])" text; its found also in Origen Ps. (XV Cord.Gall.) Eusebius Ps.. On the other hand it is missing from the "Latin copy of Ireneaus and Euseb. Ecl.. Perhaps [it is a reference] from 2 Sam. vii.12."
From this it is plain that Hort acknowledged that the fuller reading is found in two of the three major text-types, which he himself held as legitimate entities through his own "Genealogical Method". He selects the "Neutral" reading (the Alexandrian/Egyptian text-type) for his text by reason of his preference for this text-type over all others combined, not on the basis of any internal evidence or argument, or any even-handed treatment of the major text-types.
Hort does not comment on Acts 15:24.
For Acts 20:15: Hort again offers a brief note:
+KAI... - Western and Syrian (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Egypt.[Copt]) & "many of the later documents"...
In support of omission: "אABCE cu lat.vg me aeth arm".
Again Hort offers no discussion at all of internal evidence, or of possible HomoioArcton. He appears to deliberately avoid any discussion of haplography in every case when it comes to omissions adopted by him from B/Aleph.
Hort completely avoids commenting on his alterations at Acts 21:22, 22:9.
The only extensive note in the Introduction is on Acts 26:28.
Again Hort completely avoids discussing Acts 26:29-31a, presumably because he would then have to confront the question of Haplography again.
So Hort has little to offer for our examples. We might turn to Metzger for a bit more of a textual discussion, but probably not much of one on Haplography errors. For that we will have to turn to E.C. Colwell and and probably Hoskier.
Romans 9:27-29 (traditional text)
..........το καταλειμμα σωθησεται
λογον γαρ συντελων και συντεμνων
εν δικαιοσυνη οτι λογον συντετμημενον
ποιησει κυριος επι της γης και καθως
the remnant shall be saved;
for a word He is finishing, and is cutting short
in righteousness, because a word cut short
will the Lord do upon the land; even as Isaiah
saith before, ...
INCLUDE LINE: Aleph (corr.) D G K P 33 88 104 181 326 330 451 614 629 630 1241 1877 1962 1984 1985 (2492) 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) Lectionaries It (ar/d/dem/e/f/g/x/s), Vg Syr-H, Goth Arm Euseb. Ambros. Chrysos. Euthalius Ps-Oecumen. Theoph.
OMIT: (p46vid) Aleph* B 1739 1881 (2127) Syr-P, Cop-Sa/(Bo-part), AEth Origen Euseb., August. (Theod.) John-Damas.
A classic case of homoioteleuton (similar ending) with a generous overlap in the content and syllables in the middle of the sentence.
Westcott/Hort, Nestle & UBS all run after the favoured uncials, but since this time UBS-2 gave a reasonable footnote, a few modern versions like the New Berkeley Version (NBV) manage to escape repeating the mistake. They merely bracket the clause in question, but leave it in the text.
Romans 11:6 (traditional text)
ει δε χαριτι ουκετι εξ εργων, επει η χαρις ουκετι γινεται χαρις
ει δε εξ εργων ουκετι εστιν χαρις επει το εργον ουκετι εστιν εργον
but if by grace, not then from works, else the grace no more becomes grace;
but if from works, not then is it grace, else the work no more is work.
INCLUDE LINE: א(corr) (B) ψ 88 104 181 330 436 451 614 1241 (1962) 1984 1985 2492 (2495) Byz Maj (Majority of MSS) Lect. Syr-P/H, (Aeth) Chrysost. Theodor. Gennad. Ps-Oecumenius Theophyl.
OMIT: p46 א* A C D G P (81) 629 630 1739 1881 it-ar/d/dem/d/f/g/x/s Vg Cop-Sa/Bo Arm Origen(Lat) Ambrosiast. Chrysos(comm) Theod (comm) John-Damasc.
Paul's long argument borders on repetition, because of its completeness. This is something that often happens in writing as opposed to speaking. A letter affords a chance to be thorough.
The repeating vocabulary also creates plenty of cross-eyes while copying. It is understandable that many a scribe did not fully understand the complex arguments of Paul, and so both lines appear extremely close in both content and meaning. Only careful reading makes the complimentarity of both sentences plain.
But such precise but longwinded arguments become a fertile ground for haplography errors, as in this case. At the same time, it is possible that an Alexandrian editor felt the repetition of ideas was indeed redundant, and has sought to improve the situation by excision (possibly after the variant first appeared).
Remarkable here is that this error appears to have flooded the Latin stream of transmission, and swept the old uncials under its influence too. Nonetheless, the Greek MSS support for the line is overwhelming.
All critical editors follow the Ancient Alexandrian/Caesarean tradition of prefering the shorter text, and the modern versions follow, without explanations.
Romans 13:9 (traditional text)
το γαρ ου μοιχευσεις
ου φονευσεις ου κλεψεις
ουκ επιθυμησεις και ει τις
ετερα εντολη εν τουτω τω
λογω ανακεφαλαιουται εν
τω αγαπησεις τον πλησιον
σου ως εαυτον
or, `Do not commit adultery,
Do not murder, Do not steal,
Do not bear false witness,
Do not covet;' and if there is any
other command, in this word
it is summed up, in this: `You
shall love your neighbor as yourself;'
INCLUDE LINE: א (P) Ψ 048 81 88 104 326 330 436 451 629 1962 1984 2127 Byz Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS) It-ar/c/dem/gig/s, Vg-cl Cop-Bo Arm Aeth Origen(Lat) Chrysostom (2495 Syr-H). Lect,
OMIT: p46 A B D G 33 181 614 630 1241 1739 1877 1881 1985 2492 Lect. It-d/e/f/g/x Vg-ww Syr-P Cop-Sa Goth Ambrosiast. Amb. Aug. Cyril Theod. John-Dam.
Here's another big clump of Haplographic features waiting for a victim. And soon one scribe came, to fulfill the requirement of falling on one's copy-face.
HomoioArcton/Teleuton is written all over these five consecutive clauses. Since the list of Ten Commandments is not complete anyway, who is going to notice one of five examples falling through the cracks?
No scribe/editor would add only one commandment to an incomplete list. Its another case of Paul's wordiness causing a copyist to poke himself in the eye with his stylus.
W/H, Nestle, UBS2 all omit, following Codex B even when the oldest Uncial, Codex Sinaiticus chooses to differ, exposing this to be a Haplographic error more recent than the ancestor of either manuscript. Now is a good time to take note that papyri like P46 are not that much older (c. early 3rd cent.), and may even be close relatives of an intermediate exemplar for Vaticanus (B).
"modern" translations follow Hort in omitting the Commandment, and also omitting any witness to the tampering, false or otherwise (nyuk nyuk).
Romans 14:6 (traditional text)
ο φρονων την ημεραν κυριω ... φρονει και ο
μη φρονων την ημεραν κυριω ου φρονει και ο
... εσθιων κυριω ..... εσθιει ..... ευχαριστει γαρ τω θεω και ο
μη εσθιων κυριω ουκ εσθιει και ευχαριστει ....... τω θεω
He who is ..... regarding the day, to the Lord he doth ..... regard [it], and
he who is not regarding the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [it].
He who is eating, to the Lord he doth eat, for he doth give thanks to God; and
he who is not eating, to the Lord he doth not eat, and doth give thanks to God.
INCLUDE LINE: Koine text, 33 etc. (miniscules), Byz Maj (Majority text)
OMIT LINE: Heschian (Egyptian = B/ א /C / A? [ΔΨ?] ) text,
von Soden gives both readings equal probability
(notes courtesy of Nestle text)
A formal case of Haplography could never have a more perfect form than this; the two lines differ by only three letters. 3/44 counting word-spacing, or an agreement in exact content of about 93%.
No editor or scribe would create such a monstrosity just to make Paul's argument more complete. Instead we have Paul's usual thorough "either ...or" style of debating, coupled with one tired copyist, followed by eager editors (excisors).
The dual-line structure so common in Hebrew poetry and proverb is a plain Pauline Hebraism. The internal evidence for authenticity is given in the immediately following parallelism.
WH, Nestle, UBS opt for the shorter text on the basis of the "textual evidence" (i.e., Aleph/B), and UBS inexplicably leaves out any textual footnote whatsoever.
Naturally 'modern' versions following the UBS text omit the verses without even a note to say goodbye.
Romans 14:21 (traditional text)
καλον το μη φαγειν κρεα
μηδε πιειν οινον μηδε εν
ω ο αδελφος σου προσκοπτει
η σκανδαλιζεται η ασθενει
Good, [is] this; not to eat flesh,
nor to drink wine, nor to act in a
way that your brother will stumble,
or is made to fall, or is weak.
INCLUDE LINE: א(corr) B D G (P) ψ, 0209vid 33 88 104 181 326 330 436 451 614 629 630 (1241 transp.) 1877 1881 1962 2127 2492 2495 Byz Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS), Lect. It-ar/d/dem/e/f/g/x/s, Vg Syr-H, Cop-Sa, Arm
Ambrosiast. Basil Chrysos. Theod. (1984 1985 it-m transp.)
OMIT LINE: א-a, A, C, 048 81 1739 it-r1 [Syr-Pal(pt)], Copt-Bo, aeth,
Marcion Origen(pt:gr/lat), Ephraem Aug. John-Dam.
A simple case of homoioteleuton.
The reasoning is typical of Paul, composing on the fly and trying to cover the key cases.
Westcott/Hort omit, Nestle follows, but UBS2 omits and gives a lengthy footnote, indicating some doubt as to the correct reading.
The possible source of the omission, Marcion (whether accidental or simply opportunistic) is disturbing.
Nonetheless, all 'modern' versions also omit, leaving a confused and poorly documented lacuna.
Romans 15:24 (traditional text)
.........ως εαν πορευ-
ωμαι εις την σπανιαν
ελευσομαι προς υμας
ελπιζω γαρ διαπορευο-
μενος θεασασθαι υμας
και υφ υμων προπεμφ-
I may go on to Spain,
I will come to you,
for I hope in passing
to see you, and by you
to be carried
INCLUDE LINE: Koine Greek Byz Maj (Majority of continuous MSS)
OMIT LINE: p46 A-pc (B D G-pc W)
(- from Nestle apparatus)
Another simple "oops", and a line is lost. This time homoioArcton (similar beginning of line) and a shared letter midline. Depending upon the line-length of the original copied from, there is also a potential homoioTeleuton (similar ending) as well!
Westcott/Hort & Nestle omits, UBS follows (the B text) with no apparatus, and the modern versions follow UBS with no footnote.
Romans 15:29 (traditional text)
οιδα δε οτι ερχομενος προς
υμας εν πληρωματι ευλογιας
ΤΟΥ ευαγγελιου ΤΟΥ χριστου
but I have known that coming
to you -- in the fulness of the blessing
OF THE good news OF THE Christ
I shall come.
INCLUDE LINE: א(corr.), ψ, 33, 88 104 181 326 330 436
451 614 1241 1877 1962 1984 2127 2492 2495
Byz, Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS)
Lect. it-d/e/m Vg-Cl Syr-P/H (Ephraem) Aeth.-ro Chrysost. THeod. (John-Dam.)
OMIT LINE: P46, א*, A B C D G P, 81 629 630 1739 1881 it-ar/d/e/f/g/x/z, Vg-ww, Copt-Sa/Bo Arm Clement Origen-Lat Ambrosiast. Pelag. [Sedulius-Scotus ?]
Another short case of similar endings, this one unusual in that both ends were simultaneously dropped. But this subcategory of boo-boo is not that uncommon with short bursts of text containing multiple repetitions. Dean Burgon long ago noted a similar error in Luke 16:21 by the scribe of Codex Sinaiticus (א) which went unnoticed for centuries.
Westcott/Hort, Nestle, UBS2 all omit the phrase, completely changing the meaning of the verse. UBS-2 has it in the apparatus, but don't expect a useful footnote in the average 'modern' version.