Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Alands on Hort's Text

Here is a succinct description of Hort's method and text from The Alands' book, Text of the NT: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and.. (Eerdmans, 1995)


"Finally, the fact should be noted (on which there is general agreement) that neither Westcott nor Hort ever actually collated a single manuscript but worked completely from published material, i.e., critical editions (viz., Tischendorf). This makes the claim in the first sentence of their appendix a trifle puzzling, that "the text of this edition of the NT has been formed exclusively on documentary evidence, no account being taken of any printed edition." (Hort, NT, 1:541) The text printed by Westcott and Hort does offer alternative readings in the outer margin, but there is nothing of a critical apparatus other than an appendix of "Notes on Select Readings" extending to about 140 pages.
Yet both here and more extensively in the introduction (by Hort) the editors develop such a penetrating analysis of the material that it is easy to understand the deep impression made by the work when it first appeared and the continuing influence of its theories even today, especially in the English-speaking world. (cf. Metzger, Text of the NT p.137) Two excerpts will suffice to show the character of the edition.

1. With reference to a אB text:

"Accordingly, with the exceptions mentioned above, it is our belief (1) that readings of אB should be accepted as the true readings until strong internal evidence is found to the contrary, and (2) that no readings of אB can be safely rejected absolutely, though it is sometimes right to place them only on an alternative footing, especially where they receive no support from the Versions or the Fathers." (Hort, NT, 2:225).
2. Yet the text of Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (Dea) is ascribed the highest quality:

"The text of D presents a truer image of the form in which the Gospels and Acts were most widely read in the 3rd and probably a greater part of the 2nd century than any other extant Greek manuscript." (Hort, NT, 2:149)

- Aland & Aland,
Text of the NT... (1995) p.18 fwd


The Alands on Hort < - - Click Here for Google Books Preview.

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