About Philip B. Payne Man and Woman, One in Christ Philip B. Payne, and the cover of his latest book, Man and Woman, One in Christ
October 13th
written by phil

I am grateful to Richard Fellows for pointing out to me that there is a ninth instance of the distigme-obelos symbol in Codex Vaticanus at Mark 6:11 (1285B) besides the eight identified in my New Testament Studies article. It both extends into the margin farther and is longer than any of the twenty undisputed paragraphoi adjacent to a distigme. Its following line of text also has a gap in it at the exact location of a fifteen-word block of later-added text. Like all five other distigme-obelos symbols in the Gospels of Vaticanus, the added text is not in the Vaticanus body text.

This ninth distigme-obelos symbol further confirms the argument in my New Testament Studies article that the text of the Gospels in Vaticanus comes from a period so early in the transmission of the text that its four Gospels do not include any of these six blocks of added text that scribe B marked as added at these locations. The antiquity of the text of the Gospels in Vaticanus is further confirmed by its virtually complete lack of high stops (a period at the end of sentence that is raised above the base line) since this reflects the earliest form of the Gospels.

This ninth distigme-obelos symbol also confirms my judgment that distigme-obelos symbols mark the location of later-added text and that scribe B penned these distigme-obelos symbols and left a gap in the text at the exact point where each block of added text was inserted. Only the original scribe could leave these gaps in the text.

Those who allege that it is a mere coincidence that every one of the (now nine) distigme-obelos symbols occurs at the exact location of a widely-acknowledged, three-word or more addition to the text, are faced with explaining why this coincidence would happen in all nine of these cases. The simple mathematical probability that nine randomly-selected lines in the Vaticanus New Testament would all happen to coincide with the location of a three-word or more textual variant listed in the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 28th edition (as each of these is) is less than one in 33 trillion (= UK 33 billion, 33,254,013,000,000). Those are the odds of any kind of multi-word textual variant occurring anywhere in that line of text. All of these are at the location of a particular kind of multi-word textual variant, namely the addition of a block of text at least three words long, and all eight of these widely acknowledged, multi-word additions to the text were added to the text at the exact point where scribe B left a gap in the text, not just anywhere in that line.


Leave a Reply