It’s been a good weekend for lovers of textual criticism. Not only has an electronic edition of a portion of the work of J. J. Wettstein become available (see my previous post), but Jimmy Doyle has posted a handy list of early New Testament papyri (all those that antedate the fourth century), including their proposed dates of origin, Gregory-Aland designations, and other cataloging information. And on top of that, James Tabor offers some excellent thoughts on the “Western non-interpolations”: the handful of passages in which the generally expansive Western text is shorter than its Alexandrian counterpart. This unusual brevity has led some scholars, most notably Westcott and Hort, to conclude that familiar phrases such as “‘…which is given for you, Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood'” (Luke 22:19b-20) are not original to the New Testament, as they do not appear in Codex Bezae and other equally wordy Western witnesses.
Thanks to James McGrath and his weekly roundup of Western Non-Interblogations for directing me to these links.