Errors in transmission of manuscripts


Bruce Metzger, The Text of the NT (ch.7: "The Causes of Error in the Transmission of the Text of the NT")


1) unintentional changes


    1. faulty eyesight

    2. faulty hearing


"My New Spell Checker"


Eye halve a spelling checker
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.


Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.



As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.


Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My checker tolled me sew.


(Sauce unknown)


    3. errors of the mind

    4. errors of judgment


2) intentional changes


    1. spelling & grammar

    2. harmonistic corruptions

    3. addition of natural complements & similar adjuncts

    4. clearing up historical & geographical difficulties

    5. conflation of readings

    6. doctrinal alterations

    7. addition of miscellaneous details


See also here.