Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

Representing Multiple Pathways of Textual Flow in the Greek Manuscripts of the Letter of James Using Reduced Median Networks

  • Matthew Spencer
  • Klaus Wachtel
  • Christopher J. Howe

Abstract

Many manuscripts of the Greek New Testament are influenced by multiplepathways of textual flow. This makes it difficult to reconstructa stemma using traditional methods. We describe a novel applicationof the reduced median algorithm (developed in evolutionary biology)to reconstructing a stemma for selected Greek manuscripts of theLetter of James. This stemma is a network in which contaminationis explicitly represented. It is consistent with the ideas thatmost variants arose early in the history of the Greek New Testament, that early manuscripts were often influenced byboth oral and written traditions, and that later copies introduced fewer variants. Since similar problems of contamination occur in many text traditions, we expectmethods of this kind to be widely useful.

contamination Greek New Testament Letter of James phylogenetics reduced median networks stemmata text traditions 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Spencer
    • 1
  • Klaus Wachtel
    • 2
  • Christopher J. Howe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Institut für neutestamentliche TextforschungMünsterGermany

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