CNTTS Greek New Testament Apparatus

Over the last few years I have been blessed to work with the great scholars associated with Center for New Testament Textual Study ( and One of the center’s ongoing project is our New Testament Critical Apparatus. The opening page in the module prepared for the Accordance Bible Soffware gives this introductory information.


© 2010 by the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

This database is a project of the H. Milton Haggard
Center for New Testament Textual Studies (CNTTS),
a research center under the auspices of
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS).

Dr. Bill Warren, Director of the CNTTS

What makes this database truly amazing is the level of information that it provides for the scholarly study of the Greek New Testament. One can get a sense of the tool’s sophistication from the symbols used in communication various information about each manuscript;


Variation Type (First Column, First Line)
S     Significant, this variation unit contains readings that likely are significant for tracing textual affinities
I     Insignificant, this variation unit may not be significant for tracing textual affinities except perhaps within smaller groupings of manuscripts
Z     Singular, this variation unit only has a single Greek witness to what might be a significant reading or only has Latin support
L     Lacunae, this variation unit appears at the beginning of each verse and shows all manuscripts that are partially extant or not extant for this verse or passage

Major Variations (First Column)
A     Addition, the reading includes more text than found in the UBS text
M     Subtraction, the reading contains less text than found in the UBS text
R     Replacement, the reading has a different wording than the UBS text
T     Transposition, the reading has a different word order than the UBS text

Variation Code (Second Column)
0     Notation for base text, N-A 27th
1     A reading that represents the base text with only minor differences (orthography, Nomina Sacra, etc.)
2-20     A significant change from the base text with at least two supporting witnesses
50-up     A significant change from the base text but with only one supporting Greek witness or a reading with only Latin support
99     Lacunae listed under significant variation units; omitted portions of the text noted in previous units; and instances where Latin witness are indeterminable (e. g. addition omission of a Greek article)

Minor Variations (Third Column)
E     Error, the reading seems to be a scribal error that resulted in a nonsense reading
H     Homoioteleuton, the reading likely is the result of jumping from like endings
N      Movable Nu (+ν,-ν), the reading seems to be due to the movable Nu rule
O     Orthography, the reading is likely due to vowel confusion or spelling differences
P     Proper Name/Noun, the reading involves the spelling of a proper noun
X     Nomina Sacra, a shortened form of a sacred word/title/name has been used

Manuscript Notations
*     indicates the reading of the original hand of a manuscript (B*)
c     indicates a corrector’s reading in the manuscript (Bc)
mg     indicates a reading in the margin of the manuscript (Bmg)
cmg     indicates a corrector’s reading found in the margin of the manuscript (Bcmg)
vid     indicates an apparent reading (Bvid)

Symbols in Text
lac.     lacunae, the manuscript is not extant for this reading or passage
OM     Omit, the base reading is omitted
…     ellipsis, represents the rest of the text within the verse/passage (μη … δε)
.     dots, indicate uncertainty regarding the letters between the dots (.μη.)
[ ]     brackets, used to indicate missing text (δε α[υτου])
(1) (2)     denotes multiple occurrences of the same word in the verse (και(1) … και (2))
1, 2, 3     the order of the words in a transposition relative to the base text’s order
+     Add the following text (or letter) to the base text
–     Delete the following text (or letter) from the base text
sup     Supplied, this portion of the text was supplied later by a different scribe

Arrangement of the Readings
The readings for each variation unit are arranged in the following order.

• Orthographic variations
• Additions to the base text
• Omission
• Omissions within the base unit
• Changes within the base unit (replacements, transpositions, etc)
• Singular Greek readings
• Latin readings
• Lacunae

Due to the nature of the readings, some exceptions to the above may be noted.

This resource is available through Accordance ( or Biblework ( Here is a screen shot of the program:



Filed under New Testament, Textual Criticism

2 responses to “CNTTS Greek New Testament Apparatus

  1. Paul

    In the list of the features above. I don’t understand the entry under L
    shouldn’t it be partially extant or extant? Those same numbers are associated with the variants that follow. If they are not extant how can they be used?

  2. snhelton

    Paul, it reads correctly. L notes text that is missing or lacunose. So it notes text that is partially extant or that is not extant (which is a way of saying, partially missing or totally missing).

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