Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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TRC Mark Sneak Peek

edited by John F. Felix

The TRC is an attempt at a new collation of at least the synoptic gospels, in order to provide functionality as an electronic tool for textual reconstruction, concordance and other applications, as an aid to further research on the so-called "synoptic problem." In addition, it is laid out in a database format for importation into Jet DBMS, for the express purpose of experimentation with sophisticated Structured Query Language queries.
The basic notion that started it was the beginning insight that every Greek text since Erasmus has been a collation of manuscripts. To best collate the Greek scriptures, then, it seemed logical to collate the collations, as each collator(s) produced what they each believed to be the most likely Greek text that would be closest to a hypothetical original; however later actual codexes and papyrii were included in our new collation.
A word needs to be said about the column headings:
1. ID Identficication number (a unique database identifier)
2. B Book (i.e., Mark = 2)
3. C Chapter
4. V Verse
5. W Word
6. TRC2009lex - The lexical forms for the TRC2009
7. TRC2009 - The current Textus Receptus Criticalis
8. TC2009lex - The lexical forms for the TC2009
9. TC2009 - The "textus criticalis," my own collation of UBS4 and NA/27, a critical text
10. TC2009elt - A third-party English Literal Translation based on the critical text
11. PAPYYnorm - The "normalized" papyrus witnesses (i.e., the lacunae are shown as if they were actually present)
12. PAPY - The papyrii with lacunae shown by brackets, for reference
13. AV2009rev_i - The King James Version in its actual English order (reverse interlinear)
14. REV_W - re-ordered Greek words in order of the AV
15. AV2009i - The AV in the order of the Greek
16. VUL - Jerome's Vulgate (Latin)
17. TR1894 - Scrivener's Greek text underlying the AV (deviations from the 1550 and other Greek mss are not reconstructed)
18. TR1550 - Stephanus 1550
19. TR1624 - Elziver's Greek text of 1624
20. MT2009 - My own collation of two Majority Texts: Hodges & Farstad 1985 and Pierpont & Robinson 2005
21. TISCH1872 - Tischendorf's critical text
22. WH1881 - Westcott-Hort 1881 critical text
23. RGNT2009 - My sub-project of the Resultant Greek NT based on the following
24. SINAI - Codex Sinaiticus (Greek, not Syrian)
25. ALEX - Codex Alexandrinus
26. VAT - Codex Vaticanus
27. TRGLS1872 - Tragelles critical text (date is an inference)
28. Not shown - Codex Bezae through chapter 5

The native format is in MS-Excel, mainly for the purposes of concordancing and proof-reading/correction. Therefore, an arbitrary order for the text was decided upon first, based rigorously on the NA/27 and UBS4 manuscript order. All other collated texts are re-arranged to fit this order of words. The texts for such codexes as Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, (Bezae is not shown), etc., should not be seen then as being in anything but an arbitrary order, and definitely not a guide to what the manuscripts actually record.
The reason this order was established first is because of Excel's "auto-filter" feature, which the readers can research for themselves. In order to align all the Greek and other texts across each column, certain principles were devised, the first principle being that each text must be normalized to minimize any differences between the texts, so all diacritics that may have existed in the e-texts have been removed (and the entire corpus reduced to lowercase), and all texts are maintained in unicode. Greek words that occur at the same location, but may differ, are aligned by whatever method reduces dissimilarities, e.g., if one text uses one conjunction and another uses another conjunction, then the words are aligned, and autofiltering can show the similarities and differences for each word in each place it occurs in the corpus. There is also the concept of conceptual similarity, which I won't delve into with this blog post, but will expand upon in an article posted to a wiki page at a later date.

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