The CNTTS textual database is a comprehensive textual apparatus designed to include as much textual information from each manuscript (MS) as possible. The base text is that of the United Bible Societies The Greek New Testament (3rd ed. corr., 1983) (UBS3). At first the data for the MS readings largely depended on various sources (see below under ‘Sources for the Database’), but now data is predominantly derived from fresh transcriptions and/or collations by CNTTS researchers, with two transcriptions being made for each MS and then those two being reconciled. The resulting reconciled data is often then compared with other existing transcriptions when available and feasible.
Work on the database began in 2000, with a Gospels module appearing in 2004. The other sections of the New Testament were added over time as fast as collations, transcriptions, and reconciliations allowed, with information on the entire New Testament appearing in 2010. Although various updates and improvements appeared in succeeding years, the current release (2021) represents the culmination of a total review of the variation units that began in 2014.
This current 2021 release is a major upgrade in that new MSS have been included, corrections have been made to numerous readings and variant divisions, and new coding has been added both to enhance the information for the user and to enable some advanced uses of the database, with some of those uses being present in the update and others on the near-term horizon for implementation. Beyond this major update of the Apparatus, an advantage of this electronic format is that additions and improvements can carried out on a continual basis, with some already being planned with the inclusion of more witnesses. The result is a product that continually improves in both quality and comprehensiveness.
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