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Byzantine Text

The name given to the form of text of the Greek NT to which the great majority of MSS dating from the Byzantine period and since bear witness. It underlies the “Textus Receptus” and therefore also the earlier English versions of the Bible. It is now thought to be due to a (perhaps lengthy) process of revision by which a generally standard text form arose. It is more closely related to the Syrian family of MSS than to any of the other families. This is marked by a tendency to conflate the shorter readings of earlier MSS, to harmonize differences, and to provide a smoother literary style. Because of this secondary character, the text is a much less reliable witness to the original text of the NT than are some of the other text families.