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By Frederic G. Kenyon

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It has a considerable sprinkling of readings of a different type, and used therefore to be regarded as belonging rather to the 'Western5 group. 1 Some additional Coptic evidence will be mentioned when I come to deal with the latest discovery of Biblical manuscripts known as the Chester Beatty Papyri; but the description of these will be more conveniently reserved until some account has been given of the developments of textual theory which preceded them; for the interest of the new material lies in the light which it throws on the conclusions at which textual critics had been arriving.

Ch. viii, § 4. 46 DEVELOPMENTS IN TEXTUAL THEORY represented respectively by B and D, but about equidistant between them. As to the place of origin of this recension, Lake's colleague, Prof. R. P. Blake, starting from the Georgian character of the script of 6, suggested Sinai, where there was a Georgian colony, and which was in touch with Jerusalem on the one hand and Egypt on the other. In 1924 Canon B. H. Streeter, in his remarkable book The Four Gospels, carried the matter much farther. First he produced evidence to show that the conclusions at which Lake had arrived in respect of Mark held good also of the other Gospels, so that we have here a distinctive text with a claim to stand by itself alongside the other main textual groups.

So large an addition, not of mere fragments but (except the Jeremiah) of substantial portions of manuscripts, to the list of extant Biblical papyri is obviously an event of great importance. In the first place they make a notable extension backwards in date of the tradition of the text of the Greek Bible. Hitherto there has been nothing except small fragments earlier than the period represented by the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, that is, about the middle of the fourth century, which marks the beginning of the vellum period of palaeography.

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Recent Developments in the Textual Criticism of the Greek Bible by Frederic G. Kenyon


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