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Scribal Corruptions (unintentional)

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Lesson

While it is undeniable that NT scribes made mistakes of various types in copying the inspired text, understanding the often simple reason for these mistakes renders much reward in understanding the sacred text. The fundamental principle of textual criticism is this: select the reading that best explains the rise of the other readings.

Outline

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Unintentional errors

B. Intentional changes (easiest to identify)

C. Importance of the Classifications

II. ERRORS OF SIGHT

A. Confusion of letters (mostly capital letters)

1. Rom 6:5

2. 1 Tim 3:16

B. Homoioteleuton (similar endings)

1. Haplography (writing once what should have been written twice, 1 John 2:23)

2. Dittography (writing twice what should have been written once)

3. Homoioarchton (similar beginnings, 1 Thess 2:13–14)

4. Homoiomeson (similar middle)

C. Metathesis (transposition, Mark 14:65)

III. ERRORS OF HEARING

A. The evidence that this happened is virtually non-existent

B. Also, the amanuensis might incorrectly hear the author dictate

1. Romans 5:1

2. 1 Thess 2:7

IV. ERRORS OF MEMORY

A. Substitution of synonyms

B. Transposition of words

C. Transposition of letters

D. Assimilation of one passage to a more familiar one

V. ERRORS OF JUDGMENT

A. Marginal notes in the exemplar could mistakenly be incorporated into the text

B. John 5:4

C. John 3:15

VI. ERRORS OF FATIGUE AND CARELESSNESS (CODEX L)

A. John 1:1

B. John 1:30

VII. SUMMARY

Choose the reading that best explains the rise of the others