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
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
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Terminology in the Nestle Apparatus
(NA26 only; cited explicitly in NA 27 ), 2464, 2495 (NA 26 only), 249 (NA 27 only), 846
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
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.