Scribal Habits and Singular Readings in Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Ephraemi, Bezae, and Washingtonianus in the Gospel of Matthew offers a text-critical portrait of scribal activity in five of the earliest extant Greek copies of Matthew. In each of the selected manuscripts, the study determines where a spelling, word, clause, phrase, sentence, or group of sentences is different from other manuscripts. These “singular readings” are collected in order to determine what such idiosyncrasies can tell us about the manuscript or the tendencies of the scribes who copied them. The study seeks to examine the biblical, grammatical, and transcriptional context in which the scribes made changes and explores possibilities as to why these changes occurred. It also investigates if there is any clear evidence that these scribes were motivated to make theological alterations during the copying process of the Gospel of Matthew and probes whether the scribes had a greater tendency to omit or to add words, comparing these findings with other contemporary studies. As the first comprehensive examination of singular readings in these five manuscripts in Matthew, the study explores whether singular readings can shed any new light on our understanding of scribal habits, and more broadly, how these singular readings might contribute to a clearer understanding of these significant Greek New Testament manuscripts.
Scribal Habits and Singular Readings
Gregory S. Paulson