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TC Chart Timesaver (TCCT): a new web-based application

If you do know Greek and are studying the New Testament, then this may be a lifesaver. OK, not a lifesaver, but at least a great timesaver. In fact, that’s part of the name, so it must be true!

If you don’t know Greek, this essay is not for you. Stop reading now.

TC Chart Timesaver (TCCT) converts text-data in the Nestle-Aland apparatus into a usable text-critical chart. It is available at www.nttextualcriticism.com. This current release (version 1.2), a web-based application for increased compatibility, works exclusively with “gothic M” manuscripts. (Later releases will expand on the manuscripts to be charted.) Deciphering and categorizing gothic M manuscripts has always been a time-consuming task for anyone working with the Nestle apparatus. To do it properly, one has to look at the front of the Nestle text and note which manuscripts belong to gothic M for the particular genre being studied (gospels, Paul, Acts, catholic letters, Revelation). These witnesses will only be cited explicitly when they disagree with gothic M. (Many don't realize that not all the manuscripts under the gothic M umbrella are Byzantine manuscripts. Placing all these manuscripts under gothic M is simply a convenient way to list the manuscripts without swelling the apparatus. Clarity and cost are sacrificed to concision; it’s a good trade-off, but has created some time-consuming activities for those working with the text of the NT.)

The individual then has to look at the particular textual problem in question and observe which of the gothic M manuscripts are reading against gothic M--that is, with another variant. One might think that it would be safe to assume that the manuscripts that don't disagree with gothic M must agree with it in this place, but that is not the case. For example, although 1506 is listed as a member of gothic M for Paul's letters, one would be mistaken to assume that it reads in Eph 2:21. Just because it doesn't disagree with gothic M there does not mean that it agrees with it. A glance at the back of Nestle-Aland27 reveals that 1506 doesn't read in Ephesians at all, even though it does read in other Pauline letters! All too frequently, lack of attention to the details or lack of understanding of how the Nestle apparatus operates has led to blunders when recording manuscript data. And that has often resulted in skewed interpretation that affects one's views of the whole textual problem. This program is designed to eliminate the guesswork and correct the inaccuracies, enabling you to have a chart of accurate data from which you can begin to make your text-critical decisions.

The program requires that you own a copy of the Nestle-Aland27 text; there are no operating system requirements.

Please visit the www.nttextualcriticism.com site to see how this works. Matthew chapter 1 is the demo version. An instruction manual will be available soon, although most of the tasks should be intuitive.

But to whet your appetite, below is a chart that took all of about 45 seconds to produce using this program.

Romans 8:1

txt

 

Primary

ALEXANDRIAN

Secondary

ALEXANDRIAN

WESTERN

BYZANTINE

CAESAREAN

OTHER

Papyri

           

Majuscules

           

Minuscules

 

1506 (1320)

       

Lectionaries

           

Versions

           

Fathers

           

Non-Literary

           

μη κατα σαρκα περιπατουσιν

 

Primary

ALEXANDRIAN

Secondary

ALEXANDRIAN

WESTERN

BYZANTINE

CAESAREAN

OTHER

Papyri

           

Majuscules

           

Minuscules

 

81 (1044)

     

365 (XII)

Lectionaries

           

Versions

           

Fathers

           

Non-Literary

           

+ αλλα κατα πνευμα

 

Primary

ALEXANDRIAN

Secondary

ALEXANDRIAN

WESTERN

BYZANTINE

CAESAREAN

OTHER

Papyri

           

Majuscules

     

018 {K} (IX)

020 {L} (IX)

 

025 {P} (IX)

Minuscules

 

104 (1087)

1175 (X)

1241 (XII)

2464 (IX)

 

Byz (IX-XVI)

 

1505 (XII)

630 (XII/XIII)

Lectionaries

           

Versions

           

Fathers

           

Non-Literary

           

Remember that only gothic M has been parsed; the rest of the data will need to be put in manually (for now). In later versions of this program, more MSS will be in the list. But even the above chart is a real timesaver.

Here’s hoping for greater accuracy and less wasted time in analyzing the NT MS data!