23.4 Byzantine Text Type.
The Byzantine text type is based on the harmonizing work of Lucian of Antioch around 310 A.D. He and his helpers deliberately combined the elements of the different earlier text types. The Greek Orthodox Church used a manuscript of this text type to make copies for their Churches. That is the reason for the numerous copies of this text type. The question remains whether many copies of the same manuscript should weigh more than a few copies of another text type. In the light of the secondary origin of this text type as a whole, most investigators of the New Testament as well as most Bible Societies deem it rather as of lesser value.
The most important witnesses of this text type are:
1) Codex Alexandrinus (A); (±450 A.D.) It contains the Old Testament as well as most of the New Testament. Cyril Lucar, Patriarch of Constantinople presented it to King Charles 1 of England in 1627. It rests in the British Museum, London. In the gospels it is the oldest witness of the Byzantine text type. The rest of the New Testament is of Alexandrian text type, probably copied from another source text.
2) Codex Basiliensis (E); (±750 A.D.) It contains the gospels and is kept in the University of Basle, Switzerland.
. All contain the gospels and are dated between 801 to 900 A.D., except for P, dated ± 550.Y, P3) Codices F, G, H, K, P, S, V,
4) Codex Washington (W); (375-425 A.D.) It contains the Gospels in different text types in the Western order (Matthew, John, Luke, Mark), as mentioned.
Mathew and Luke 8:13-24:53 represent the Byzantine text type.
5) Codex 049 (±850 A.D.) Contains Acts and the Pauline epistles.
6) Codices 046, 051 en 052; dated ±901 – 1000 A.D. All three on Revelation.
7) Most of the minuscule manuscripts represent the Byzantine text type, as explained above, and dated after the year 901 A.D.
8.) The first printed Greek text of Desiderius Erasmus, later known as the Textus Receptus, is reckoned as the finale form of this text type. Even so, Erasmus’ text differs almost 2000 times from the standard Byzantine text.
It is a common human characteristic to cling to that which we are familiar with, or with which we grew up with. As far as I could find out, the Greek Orthodox Church officially accepts the Byzantine text as their official version of the New Testament. Yet for common use the Textus Receptus in modern Greek is used, even with Erasmus’ own alterations as pointed out above.
More important than the version we use, is to establish a living relationship with the Author of the Bible!