apparatus rigging

Steven Avery

Sister threads:

Romans 8:1 - the Origen reference - apparatus rigging - "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Pericope Adulerae - truly scripture - apparatus rigging (where Daniel Wallace got tricked by the apparatus)

This will be a thread to coalesce a lot of information.

Post #3 is brought over from: Rigging Games

Facebook is currently the main spot:
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Steven Avery

textual circularity

apparatus rigging

Any good thinker will become a "conspiracy theory" proponent if you study the textual criticism history and praxis.
Here is one example.


From the Department of Textual Circularity

The Profile Method for the Classification and Evaluation of Manuscript Evidence, as Applied to the Continuous Greek Text of the Gospel of Luke (1982)
Chapter III - The Quest for Text Classification
Frederik Wisse

2. Aland's Thousand Readings p. 21

Hutton’s approach has much in common with that of Kurt Aland.9 Aland also is not interested in the Byzantine text as such, but only in MSS which significantly diverge from the Byzantine text. An improvement on Hutton is that Aland no longer works with a Western text-type. If we understand him correctly — the description of his “1000 cursives examined in 1000 passages with a view to evaluate their text” has not been published — Aland has selected his 1000 passages from places where the Byzantine text differs from non-Byzantine MSS. In the light of Hutton’s problems of defining his triple readings, one would like to know how Aland determined what is a Byzantine reading and what is not. This crucial question awaits further word from Aland.

Also unanswered is the question whether Aland’s thousand readings will determine only whether a MS is Byzantine, or perhaps also what it is if it is not Byzantine. Thus it is not certain whether we are dealing here with a tool for the classification of minuscules or with a rough selection instrument for MSS important enough, i.e. non-Byzantine enough, to be included in a future critical apparatus. It certainly is the latter, but hopefully it is a great deal more. - p. 21
So much of their effort is designed to denigrate Byzantine manuscripts, to supply some sort of support of their corrupt Critical Text.

"non-Byzantine enough, to be included in a future critical apparatus"

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Steven Avery

2013 notes on apparatus rigging

Some notes from 2013, in PBWorks, that should be coalesced with the current Facebook KingJamesBibleDebate (and maybe PureBible) threads.

Apparatus Rigging Games

Let's look at a few additional aspects of the apparatus rigging.


Apparatus Rigging #1

Apparatus Rigged to Aland's Category Anti-Byz Circularity

Even Metzger and Ehrman note the apparatus-category circularity .. a circularity that is fundamental to the apparatus deception, as in the following lie:

"they provide the only tool presently available for classifying the whole manuscript tradition of the New Testament on an objective statistical basis"

About this "objective statistical basic", Metzger and Ehrman comment:

The Early Text of the New Testament
edited by Charles E. Hill, Michael J. Kruger
The Early Text of the Catholic Epistles
James Keith Elliott

Metzger and Ehrman
The categories given by Aland and Aland to manuscripts (I, II etc.) do not assist researchers interested in knowing which family groups have been established based on the Teststellen. Moreover there is a peculiar kind of circularity in this approach to classification since if one of the purposes in grouping witnesses is to assist in establishing the 'original text' it makes little sense to prejudge the issue by classifying witnesses precisely by how well they attest the original text! - The Text of the New Testament, 4th ed, 2005, p. 238

Showing that the famous Hortian maxim is, in practice, discarded.

"Knowledge of documents should precede final judgment upon readings"
The modern textual theorist is told that they really are supposed to only have full knowledge of non-Byzantine documents, and this is accomplished by the experts in Germany and America who say:

"I'm from the textual apparatus group and I'm here to help you"

Although the focus of the last posts is on the Greek uncial rigging, we see that the problem is pervasive throughout the apparatus. A circular bias against the Byzantine readings causes those readings to be marginalized (i.e. hundreds of mss placed in Byz without indicating the numerical support) or omitted from the apparatus entries (many uncials, and also early cursives) to give the false appearance of relatively greater support for minority and ultra-minority Vaticanus-primacy readings.

The new discovery was that Byz can include many uncials, something I think most people who look at a NA-27 or UBS-3 apparatus, at least in the context of being placed in a paper for a verse analysis, do not understand. Similarly, as Jonathan pointed out, the early cursives that are Byz are hidden


Apparatus Rigging #2

Apparatus Rigged by Removing Gothic Textline

Bruce Metzger was puzzled by what can be seen as another type of earlier rigging of the apparatus.

Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (1995)
Bruce M. Metzger
On the negative side was the elimination, for some unexplained reason, of evidence of the Gothic version, made by Ulfilas about AD 385.

Here is some of what we know of the Gothic, it is generally an early pointer to the Byz and TR text.

As regards the New Testament, scholars generally agree that the type of text represented in the Gothic version is basically the Antiochian or Syrian form of text with a certain number of Western and non-Western readings embedded in it.... The Gothic version, therefore, appears to be the oldest extant representative of the Lucianic recension, despite subsequent infiltration of readings from the Old Latin version. -

The Lucianic Recension of the Greek Bible, 1963, p. 28
Chapters in The History of New Testament Textual Criticism,
Bruce Manning Metzger

All investigators agree (e.g. Westcott and Hort, von Soden, Streitberg, Nestle, Streeter, Kenyon, Friedrichsen, et al.) that it [the Gothic Bible] is basically a Syrian Antiochian form of text. It is, therefore, the oldest extant representative of the Lucianic or Antiochian type of text (Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, pp. 384-385) - quote taken from
In the 4th and 5th centuries the Gothic language using the term in its widest sense must have spread over the greater part of Europe together with the north coast of Africa. (Hugh Chisolm, Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1910)

While we can pass over the Lucian recension nonsense, you can see that the early Gothic would be embarrassing to the Hortian approach, and we see that it was slipped out of the apparatus. Afaik, this is the only such versional line subtraction in the modern Critical Text apparatus history. (Is there another possible reason .. conceivably .. but where is the response to Metzger? It would be fascinating to know how many Gothic readings were removed.)

Maybe an innate sense of fairness in Bruce Metzger desired the minority Vaticanus readings to be supported by tricks like word-parsing and special pleading logic about scribal habits, rather than blatant rigging.

Incidentally, this is from one of the only writers who noted this omission and the Metzger concern:

Students who had a corrupt UBS [United Bible Society] Greek New Testament in its earlier (1st-3rd) editions could read in the notes, buried at the bottom of the page in its critical apparatus, references documenting the affinity of the Gothic and the KJV texts. However, this fact weighed too heavily in favor of the King James Bible. It proved that the most ancient version of the Bible did not match the new versions. The now current UBS 4th edition has omitted these most important references to the Gothic edition. Even Bruce Metzger, an editor for the UBS text, admits the new edition's critical error in dropping the references to the Gothic Bible. (continues with quote from Octogenarian) -- Gail Riplinger, In Awe of Thy Word, 2004, Chapter 26, p. 969

While Riplinger editorializes a bit, she is the only writer I know who noted this rigging and the Metzger concern. And I will not pass up her notice due to a genetic fallacy approach, not when the issue is so fundamental and missed by so many.


Apparatus Rigging #3

Apparatus Rigging even includes the Papyri - "alien Byzantine influence"

Let us start by another example of how pervasive is the apparatus rigging:

The Early Text of the New Testament
Charles E. Hill, Michael J. Kruger
All but one of the papyri in my survey are graded by the Alands as category I, that is, according to p. 106, 'of special quality' by virtue of their age. Only P81 is category II because of alien Byzantine influence! (from Das Neue Testament auf Papyrus)

Granted, I am going on Kruger on this, and would really like to have the German words. Note that there are other papyri that are other categories, due to lateness or being hard to read or other reasons, not in the Hill-Kruger survey, which is P9, P20, P23, P72, P78, P81.

We can remember that Aland takes Metzger apart for his
anachronistic approach to papyri and text-types,:

The Text of the New Testament (1995)
Kurt and Barbara Aland
....Descriptions in such terms as "mixed text," "partly Alexandrian, partly Western (pre-Caesarean) text." etc.. to describe manuscripts of a period when these groups had not yet developed and could hardly be "mixed" contribute nothing to clear thinking.

The inconsistency and hypocrisy is mind-boggling. While the German NA experts properly point out difficulties in anachronistic textual grouping and comparing of papyri, when done by Metzger, when they want to marginalize a papyrus they do so because of "alien Byzantine influence". This is also part of a jet-black pot-and-kettle battle.

Here is one of the Aland references to P81 as category II.

Der Text Des Neuen Testaments (1995)
Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland
P81 ... 1995


Apparatus Rigging #4

HOW TO HIDE EVIDENCES ---> "Integrated into the Network" (text-geek speak)

Notice that NA-28 follows the same idea to consciously rig .. whatever is Byz .. clump it together with other Byz evidences and hide it:

The Revision of the Catholic Epistles according to the Editio Critica Maior
Michael Holmes
Core witnesses of the Byzantine text are integrated into the network. The ECM Byz is represented by seven witnesses with a pure Byzantine text (these representatives changes from letter to letter).

Thus, they will even make it very hard for you to know what they hid. And they feel their job is done because the supports for the TR-Byz text is "integrated into the network" == deceptive geek-speak for "hidden".


Apparatus Rigging #5

Collate only the Manuscripts that might support Vaticanus, ignore the Byzantine

Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior: - An Evaluation
Bart D. Ehrman

The Introduction... states that the reasoned selection of 182 mss "guarantees reliably" that the apparatus contains all the known readings which have appeared in the history of the text from its earliest beginnings through the formation and final establishment of the Byzantine text. But I suspect that the guarantee is a bit premature. For as Prof. Aland has pointed out, not every ms of James was collated in full in preparation for the edition. Instead, the Institute fully collated only those later mss which they judged to contain non-Byzantine forms of the text (along with a few clear representatives of the Byzantine tradition).... Mss were collated in full for these 98 passages; mss that varied from Majority text more than 10% in these units of variation were the ones chosen.


More Tidbits On the Apparatus Question

"Witnesses of the first order ..."
was another part of all this, it is the equivalent of the highest category
"whose claim to attention rests on the quality of their text, their age, or the circumstances of their discovery"

Furthermore, minuscules which are of importance for the history or establishment of the text have been included among the consistently cited witnesses for the first time. Consistently cited witnesses of the first order include the minuscules 33, 1739. 1881 (in the Pauline letters) and 2427;

This was similar to the Category rigging, and was changed in NA-28

The distinction between consistently cited witnesses of the first order and of the second order has been eliminated.
Jack Moorman is one of the few who has pointed out some of the apparatus and manuscript games:

However, the strange thing about it is, it is very, very difficult to get a complete list. You can for the papyri, but not quite so easily for the uncials and certainly not for the miniscules or for the lectionaries.
Ironically, Moorman was just talking about a list of manuscripts, and the greater problem is what is hid away from the apparatus, even uncials and early cursives.


Notice that while Maurice Robinson properly calls the modern text biased in an anti-Byzantine manner:

"a presuppositional bias against the claims of the Byzantine Textform"
The day-to-day specifics of putting the bias into the underlying scholarly apparatus he does not seem to address.


Archived at:

[TC-Alternate-list] apparatus rigging games
Steven Avery - April 11, 2013

From: Steven Avery
A thread on the sister forum is uncovering a rather amazing fact about the NA and UBS apparatus, and to some extent apparatuses that utilize their information. We have known for a long time that Byz can hide 500 or 1000 cursives, and this is a major aspect of the Hortian fog approach, to make the mass of Greek manuscripts into a minor aspect. (Why not at least show the number of mss? Oh, we could discuss the question of which cursives are shown, but let's let that go by today).

Mark 7:19, is "Jesus declared all foods clean" in the original Greek manuscripts?

Archived at:
[TC-Alternate-list] UBS-NA Critical Text apparatus - none dare call it rigging

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Steven Avery

Maurice Robinson - “It’s All About Variants”—Unless “No Longer Written’’

Maurice Robinson put out a paper in 2017 that is essentially about apparatus rigging (although he does not use the term.)

The paper starts with a quote from Daniel Buck:

“It’s amazing how many textual critics can carry on a discussion of a variant unit in total ignorance of how the mass of manuscripts read. And why? Because its not mentioned in their trusted apparatus.”

I'll plan on having more on this paper.

“It’s All About Variants”—Unless “No Longer Written’’
—Maurice Robinson
p. 116-153

Weighed not Counted

So I may have to add to:

Apparatus Rigging Games

e.g. Maurice makes excellent points on the very selection of what variant gets into the apparatus. They may include a rinky-dink article question that has little difficulty, but omit a major Byzantine variant that has 1,000 Greek mss in support.


Note great quotes from Aland and Leslie McFall


King James Bible Debate{"tn"%3A"R"}
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Staff member
Mark 7:19 and apparatus rigging

This was an example discussion:

Mark 7:19 - (I'll plan on documenting this discussion better, it was an example of uncials being hid.

> Daniel Buck
> You give too much credit to the support for the masculine. X is not a true uncial--it's a cursive commentary with text in 'modern' capital letters. And you double-list Theta by name and abbreviation. So the split is really more like 9-12.

The note on the double theta is appreciated, I was trying to work with many different lists and missed that.

The question of X is more for the apparatus folks, since they gave it the uncial letter, however I will keep it in mind.

In the later post, the split ended up 12-14, and a bit in favor of the TR-Byz reading if you include early cursives, as pointed out by Jonathan.

What is fascinating about Mark 7:19 is that, while doctrinally important, from a straight evidentiary point of view the evidence is pretty well split. It is one of the variants where John William Burgon flipped his position. In fact, imo the biggest problems of the CT reading is that it is so textually unlikely. If an author wanted to say that the words were a Markan interpolation (making Jesus a sinner while he walked Jerusalem and Judea and Galilee), the way the text is in the CT is extremely dysfunctional. Any extra push to the CT side in my writing was purely accidental and temporary.

And it just turns out to be a nice visible verse for watching the rigging of the apparatus in action.

Mark 7:19
Because it entereth not into his heart,
but into the belly,
and goeth out into the draught,
purging all meats?

From what I can see, the textual community is rather blasé about the fact that even their chief apparatus is rigged to help the Hortian variants, against the expressed pure goal:

"knowledge of documents should precede final judgement upon readings"

And even those supporting the TR and Byz have been too quiet, although I probably could find some objections of note, such as to the whole concept of hiding hundreds of mss in Byz, and many readers not really understanding that little game. In my experience, the ECW are often biased rather heavily as well, with there being a rare exception where the error is the other way (e.g. UBS-3 had Cassian for the heavenly witnesses).
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Steven Avery

apparatus rigging gets noticed en passant

I find it particularly interesting that attention is being paid to the 6th c. purple codices. It seems to me an omission in the NA apparatus that whereas N/022 is a constant witness (albeit secondary, in that it is not explicitly cited except where it disagrees with the Majority), neither O/023 nor Σ/042 are constant witnesses. My point is not that they should be cited for the sake of completeness, since their text is virtually identical to N, but that they are sometimes extant where N is not extant, so they are to that extent complementary to N and therefore ought to be treated the same way.

Tony Pope

The whole system has the purpose of excluding pure Bible readings.
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Steven Avery

silenced, misrepresented, or marginalised

Leslie McFall (1944-2015)

did speak it straight.

The voice of the majority text has been effectively silenced, misrepresented, or marginalised in modern critical apparatuses, which does a disservice to textual studies, where all the evidence should be adequately presented to the reader to consider,

The 500th Anniversary of the Printing of the Greek New Testament. Does the Textus Receptus Still Have a Future? (2014)

The paper has strengths and some severe weaknesses, the apparatus comment is spot-on.
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Staff member
Related to the rigging are the absurd, contradictory and circular speculations about scribal habits.
This is largely Metzger and is well known.

Steven Avery

Facebook - Pure Bible - Dec 2017
Constant Witnesses and Negative Apparatus{tn:R}

Apparatus Rigging is a major trick of the textual criticism crew.
dumb and dumber
For now, here is a new one, we can see exactly where they say that the ultra-corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaiticus "weigh" more than 1500 Greek mss from all over Europe and more.
Sometimes M is a fancy symbol, sometimes it is Byz
NA27 introduction, section III. Critical Apparatus, heading Presentation of Witnesses
The following group signs are used
M, = the Majority text, including the Byzantine Koine text) indicates readings supported by the majority of all manuscripts, i.e., always including manuscripts of the Koine type in the narrow sense. M therefore represents the witness of the Koine text type, together with the witness of all consistently cited manuscripts of the second order which agree with it in a given reading. M has the status of a consistently cited witness of the first order. Consequently in instances of a negative apparatus, where support for the text is not given, the reading attested by M may safely be inferred: if it is not otherwise explicitly cited, it agrees with txt
the text).
"M has the status of a consistently cited witness of the first order"
This means that the massive evidence of 1500 mss from Austria, Constantinople, France, England, Russia, Romania, Egypt, etc will have, at best, the status of ONE of the corruption texts like Vaticanus. And half the weight when you add in the 1800s Sinaiticus.
This is really a game of dumb and dumber.
(some of the major apparatus riggings)
Some of the rigging includes:
omitting many uncials that support the Byzantine text from the individual ms list
circular category rigging - mss, including cursives, that support the NA text are put in a high category (this is in the 1-2-3-4-5 category system) thus they can show up in the apparatus while other mss will be ignored simply because they have the Byz pure Bible reading.
absurd conclusions in the A-B-C-D-E system of uncertainty.
There are additional tricks that they use in the apparatus:
misplace and ignore early church writer evidences that support the Byz and/or TR readings
(this can be easily demonstrated on the major variants.)
Here are a couple of others:
removed the Gothic evidences (too much Byzantine support, even Bruce Metzger was puzzled by this move)
make supposed text-types of minor evidences as with syrpal look equivalent to hundreds of mss as with the Peshitta Syriac
There is a whole series of posts and studies on this issue, I will plan on making it more accessible.

Aland (1987)
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Steven Avery

Short Definitions: The Terminology in the Nestle-Aland Apparatus





Uncials that may be missing from the Apparatus as "Constant Witnesses"

K, L, N, P, Q

046, 0292

The symbol used in the current Nestle-Aland editions (26th edition and up) for the
"Majority Text." (The same Gothic is also used in the Hodges & Farstad text for the
Majority Text, but not in the same way.) It is thus equivalent in concept to the symbol Byz
in the UBS editions, or with ω in editions such as Souter's. It corresponds roughly with
Von Soden's K. It is not equivalent to the Textus Receptus ( ).

In the Nestle-Aland text, however, has an additional use beyond the equivalent in the other texts. It also serves as a group symbol to include any uncited "constant witnesses of the second order." These "constant witnesses of the second order" are witnesses cited for every variant in the apparatus, but whose readings are only cited explicitly when they differ from
The "constant witnesses of the second order" are as follows:
m Gospels: K, N, P, Q (cited for Luke and John in NA 26 , but for John only in NA 27),
Γ, ∆, 0292 (NA 27 only), 28 (cited for the gospels in NA 26, but only for Mark in
NA 27 ), 33 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27 ), 565, 579 (NA 27 only), 700, 892,
1010 (NA26 only), 1241, 1424, 2542 (NA 27 only, for Mark and Luke), 844 (NA27
only), 2211 (NA27 only)
m Acts: L, 33 (NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA27 ), 81, 323, 614, 945, 1175, 1241,
1505 (NA27 only), 1739 (NA 26 only; cited explicitly in NA 27), 2495 (NA 26 only)
m Paul: K, L, P, 33 (NA 26 only; cited explicitly in NA 27 ), 81, 104, 365, 630, 1175,
1241, 1505 (NA 27 only), 1506, 1739 (NA 26 only; cited explicitly in NA 27), 1881 (1 of 3) [31/07/2003 11:49:02 p.m.]

Terminology in the Nestle Apparatus
(NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA 27 ), 2464, 2495 (NA 26 only), 249 (NA 27 only), 846
(NA27 only)
m Catholics: K, L, 33 (NA 26 only; cited explicitly in NA 27), 81, 323, 614, 630, 1241,
1505 (NA 27 only), 1739 (NA 26 only; cited explicitly in NA 27), 2495 (NA 26 only)
m Apocalypse: In this section will often be divided into K (the main Koine text)
and A (the Andreas text). The witnesses in this section include P (as part of A),
046 (as part of K), 1006, 1611, 1841, 1854, 2030, 2050, 2053, 2062, 2329, 2344
2351, 2377
Note that some of these witnesses have lacunae; one should be sure to check that they
are extant for a particular passage before citing them on the basis of Nestle. Also, some
of the "constant witnesses" are fragmentary; this means that it is not always possible to
cite their readings explicitly. This is particularly true of 33 (this is one of the reasons why
it was promoted to a first-order witness in NA27 ), but it is also true of 1506, 2344, and
2377, which remain second-order witnesses.
One brief example must serve to explain this.
In 2 Thes. 1:2 (the first variant in the apparatus of that book), the text has πατροσ
o [ημων]. In the apparatus we read
¶ 1,2 o B D P 0111 vid 33 1739 1881 pc m bo pt | txt A F G I 0278 lat sy sa bopt (Ψ pc:
That is, the witnesses B, D, P, 0111 vid, 33, 1739, 1881, and some versions omit the
word; the remaining witnesses include it. Among these remaining witnesses are, of
course, the ones explicitly cited ( A F G I 0278), but also the witnesses comprehended
within -- in this case, K, L, 81, 104, 365, 630, 1175, 1241, 1505, 2464, 249, and 846
(1506 is defective here, and we have seen that P goes with the other reading).
Of course, the Byzantine tradition sometimes divides. In this case, the Nestle apparatus
cites all witnesses explicitly, and marks the divided portions of the Byzantine text pm.
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Steven Avery

To Michael Marlowe

November 1, 2022

Greetings Michael,
Just sharing:
I think you have a mistaken idea of how the CT apparatus uses "constant witnesses".
Aland et al., 1979
. Kurt Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece post Eberhard Nestle et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, Allen Wikgren; apparatum criticum recensuerunt et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Kurt Aland et Barbara Aland una cum Instituto studiorum textus Novi Testamenti Monasteriensi (Westphalia). 26th edition. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1979; 27th edition, 1993.

... The apparatus is redesigned to display the readings of the most important witnesses (called "constant witnesses") in every place where there is a reasonable doubt concerning the text,
This page has one of the best summaries.
Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism
Essentially, this is an effort, rather successful, to hide many of the Byzantine witnesses to a variant.


Enjoy using your site!

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY USA
(347) 218-3306

Steven Avery


For any critical edition of the Greek New Testament a decision is made which manuscript to include in the apparatus and which not. Nestle-Aland 28 divides the manuscripts up between ‘consistently cited manuscripts’ and the others. In the introduction to NA28 a clear (!) explanation is given why manuscripts were included as 'consistently cited'. Eighteen manuscripts were included because they have the ‘initial text’ as their closest potential ancestor. There is also a 19th manuscript in this category, minuscule 468, but this one was replaced with minuscule 307 since the Byzantine text was well represented anyway. In addition to these, 88 and 1881 are added for one of the letters only, 33 because it is so interesting, 1448 and 1611 because they are Harkleian, and 642 because it represents a particular Byzantine group. All the papyri are included as well. We all know that for the Catholic Epistles NA28 is dependent on the Editio Critica Maior, 2nd edition (ECM2) and there the continuous witnesses of the first sub-group above (the 18 + 1) are given under the label ‘witnesses that have A as potential ancestor with rank one’.

Steven Avery

Dirk Jongkind
"manuscripts were included as 'consistently cited'. Eighteen manuscripts were included because they have the ‘initial text’ as their closest potential ancestor."

Which is simply circularity, rigging the apparatus to include those manuscripts which support the Westcott-Hort recension (Vaticanus primarcy) text, even in ultra-minority variants.

Similarly we have "consistently cited witnesses", simply a negative way to omit Byzantine and Received Text supports from the apparatus contra the Critical Text . Then we can discuss classifications like A-B-C-D-E,

How many ways to rig an apparatus? Let me count the ways.

Circularity, the jewel.


Steven Avery


Leslie McFall (1944-2015)
The 500th Anniversary of the Printing of the Greek New Testament. Does the Textus Receptus Still Have a Future? (2014)

The voice of the majority text has been effectively silenced, misrepresented, or marginalised in modern critical apparatuses, which does a disservice to textual studies, where all the evidence should be adequately presented to the reader to consider.