- Categories of New Testament manuscripts
New Testament manuscripts are categorized into five groups. [Aland:106f,332-337.] This categorization scheme was introduced in 1981 by Kurt and Barbara Aland in "Der Text des Neuen Testaments". The categories are based on how each manuscript relates to the various text-types. Generally speaking, earlier, Alexandrian manuscripts are category I while later, Byzantine manuscripts are category V.
Description of categories
This category represents the earliest and best manuscripts. Fourth century and earlier papyri and uncials are in this category, as are manuscripts of the
Alexandrian text-type. The manuscripts in this category are important when considering textual problems and are considered to be a good representation of the autograph.
The manuscripts in this category are similar to category I manuscripts, and are important in textual consideration of the autograph. However, the texts usually contain some alien influences, such as those found in the
Byzantine text-type. Egyptian texts falls in this category.
The manuscripts in category III are important when discussing the history of the textual traditions and to a lesser degree for establishing the original text. The manuscripts usually contain independent readings, and have a distinctive character. "f"1, "f"13 are examples of manuscript families that fall within this category.
Category IV contains the few manuscripts that follow the text of the
Codex Bezae(D). These texts are of the Western text-type.
Byzantine and mostly Byzantine texts fall under this category.
Distribution of Greek manuscripts by century and category
See [Aland:159-162] .
Number of manuscripts by century and category
This system of classification prefers Alexandrian text-type. Manuscripts represented Western text-type are classified to IV Category in Gospels, and to II/III Category in Pauline Letters. Some manuscripts were not classified.
Uncial 055, because it is a commentary rather, and according some authorities written in a minuscule hand. P73, Uncial 080, 0174, 0263, 0264, 0267, 0268 are too brief to classify.
List of New Testament papyri
List of New Testament uncials
List of New Testament minuscules
List of New Testament lectionaries
*Aland, Kurt and Aland, Barbara. "The text of the New Testament: an introduction to the critical editions and to the theory and practice of modern textual criticism". Second revised edition. Translated by Erroll F Rhodes. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995. ISBN 0802840981.
* [http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/MSCategories.html Manuscript Categories]
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