The Amsterdam Database of New Testament Conjectural Emendation: General Information
The Amsterdam Database of New Testament Conjectural Emendation is the result of a research project at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, conducted from 2010 to 2016 and funded by NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). It is currently maintained by Jan Krans at the Protestantse Theologische Universiteit, Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam Database collects all known conjectures on the Greek New Testament, as well as an important part of the reception history of these conjectures.
It is updated on a regular basis. Release notes for each instalment are published on a separate page.
The database was first put online on 23 September 2016, and released officially at the SBL annual conference in San Antonio, TX, November 2016.
In July 2018 the search possibilities were enhanced to include authors and works. In addition to linking to conjecture records, it is now possible to link to reception history records, as well as to authors and works.
With the Nestle editions up to NA27 (1993), scholars had access to only a very small part of New Testament conjectures, and even this small collection was very limited: the criteria for inclusion remained unclear, and for each conjecture only an author’s name—presumably of the earliest author—and the conjectured reading were given. When in NA28 (2012) it was decided to omit all conjectures from the apparatus, the Amsterdam project was already underway, and so the NA28 Introduction could announce the publication of the conjectures in a more satisfying digital form. In the end the teams in Münster and Amsterdam agreed that the best place for publication was to be the NT.VMR website.
The website itself should be easy to navigate, but some elements may require a brief explanation.
On first load an entry box is given in which a New Testament reference, a conjecture ID, a history record ID, or other IDs can be entered (see further below).
Access by New Testament reference
For New Testament verses and ranges, standard English book names and abbreviations will find the corresponding conjecture records, for instance:
Explanation of the conjectures table
When a reference is entered, the top of the page displays the existing conjecture records for that passage.
The first column contains the unique and stable conjecture ID for any given conjecture (e.g. cj10374). This ID can be used for linking to the record. An easy way to retrieve such a link is to click the link icon next to the conjecture ID. There is also a discussion icon, that allows users of the database to create a forum post that links to the conjecture.
Next to the conjecture ID and the biblical reference, the words from NA28 are shown on which the conjecture is made, as well as the conjecture itself. Hovering over the NA28 words will show these in context, together with a visual indication of the place of the conjecture and even partially of its nature. In some cases the visual clue also prevents ambiguity, such as for cj11091 on Heb 2:13, which concerns the omission of the second instance of καὶ πάλιν in that verse.
Author, short reference, and year are provided as well. The information icon next to the “Short Reference” when clicked shows the full title of the source as well as its bibliography ID (e.g. b1355 for Erasmus’ 1516 Annotationes).
The operation column shows the type of text-critical operation that the conjecture involves when compared to the NA28 text.
Four small columns provide information on the kind of the conjecture records and some more:
E. (“Editorial Alternative”) is marked when the conjecture record actually contains a proposal that does not alter the uncial text written without punctuation, accents and word divisions.
A. (“Attested”) is marked when the conjecture has been found to be attested in Greek manuscripts (in the case of editorial alternatives, A is marked by default).
N. (“Nestle”) is marked when the conjecture is mentioned in the apparatus of one or more of the Nestle editions since 1898. In that case the remarks (see below) provide more information.
M. (“Misunderstood”) is marked when the author attributed with the conjecture was actually misunderstood, so that the case is not a conjecture after all, but has been held to be one at some moment in history. Here as well the remarks provide more information.
The final two columns contain remarks by our team and the original citation found in the source mentioned in the record, accessed by the information icon in the respective column (‘Rem.” = “Remarks” and “Cit.” = “Citation”). The remarks are often useful for background information on the record and for references to other records.
All columns can be sorted by clicking on their header. There is also a search box at the top right which makes the table display only those records in which the search string occurs.
Expanation of the reception history table
All conjecture records have a reception history table in the database, that can be accessed by selecting the conjecture. Then a second table on the bottom of the page is opened, that contains elements of the reception history of the selected conjecture, including on its Urheber (German for “first author”).
The reception history table does not show the NA28 text, the conjecture itself or the verse reference, but it specifies the role of each reference.
As in the conjectures table, the information icon next to the “Short Reference” when clicked shows the full title of the source. The same applies to “Remarks” and “Citation.”
The reception history table also includes a search box at the top right.
Access by conjecture ID
As said, conjecture records have a unique, stable ID, such as cj10374 (Erasmus’ conjecture on Jas 4:1), shown in the first column of the conjectures table. This ID is to be used for reference as well (see also below: “How to refer”).
Any conjecture ID can also be entered in the entry box to access that conjecture.
Access by reception history ID
Records of the reception history also have unique and stable IDs, such as s23860. These are shown in the first column of the reception history table, and can be used for reference. As in the case of the conjecture IDs, a link icon is provided that allows creation of a reusable URL. Reception history IDs can also be entered in the entry box.
Access by author
Every record has a unique author. A list of all references to a given author can be opened in a new tab by clicking on the link icon at the right of the author’s name in the reception history table. In the new tab, clicking any conjecture in the conjecture table will highlight the author’s record (or records) in the corresponding reception history table. To every author belongs a unique author ID, such as a1016 (for Erasmus). These IDs can also be entered in the entry box, and can be used for reference.
The entry box also allows to search for an author by entering part of their name and then clicking the name in the drop-down list.
Access by work
Every record also has a unique work that is referred to. A list of all occurrence of this work in the Amsterdam Database can be opened in a new tab by clicking the link icon at the right of the short reference in the reception history table. As with authors, the reception history records will be highlighted once a conjecture is selected. Every work has a unique bibliography ID, such as b1355 (for Erasmus’ 1516 Annotationes). The entry box accepts these IDs as well.
How to refer to the database
The database can be cited as follows:
Jan Krans, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, et al. (eds.), The Amsterdam Database of New Testament Conjectural Emendation (https://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-conjectures).
One can also link to a part of the database, such as 1. a New Testament passage; 2. a conjecture record; 3. a reception history record; 4. an author; 5. a work.
1. A New Testament verse or verse range: e.g. the conjecture records in Jas 4:2: https://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-conjectures/?indexContent=Jas 4:2.
2. Conjecture records: e.g. cj10374 for Erasmus’ conjecture on Jas 4:2: https://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-conjectures/?conjID=cj10374.
3. Reception history records: e.g. s23860 for Zwingli’s acceptance of Erasmus’ conjecture on Jas 4:2: https://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-conjectures/?histID=s23860 (for reception history records it may be useful to refer to the conjecture record as well).
4. Authors: e.g. a1016 for Erasmus: https://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-conjectures?authorID=a1016.
5. Works: e.g. b1355 for Erasmus’ 1516 Annotationes: https://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-conjectures?biblioID=b1355.
The team responsible for the project consists of Jan Krans, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Bart Kamphuis, Silvia Castelli, and Karin Neutel, assisted by Suzan Doodeman, Jolyn Nijsink, Noortje Blokhuis, Riekelt Woort, Theo van Beek, Albert Wubs, and An-Ting Yi.
We thank the Münster INTF team for its hospitality and collaboration. Holger Strutwolf and Klaus Wachtel encouraged and helped us in many ways, and Troy A. Griffitts proved able to turn our data into a web-accessible form. We also thank our many colleagues who provided feedback or drew our attention to additional information.
Users are invited to contribute to the Amsterdam Database by means of a feedback function, which will create a Forum post.
The Amsterdam Database of New Testament Conjectural Emendation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.