One of the reasons the Byzantine Text reads smoother is because it was transcribed by those who knew the Greek language.
There’s evidence that some Alexandrian manuscripts were copied by scribes who weren’t well learned in the source language, but rather copied syllable by syllable or letter by letter. For instance, P66 seems to have been produced by a scribe who didn’t know Greek because of the simple mistakes that any Greek reader would have detected. P75 has similar issues pointing to a non-Greek scribe.
You don't have that issue in Byzantium since they kept the Greek language long after the Alexandrian and Western Church. The point being that Byzantium would have been better fit for having scribes who were well adept in the Greek language.
Consider that before 200 A.D. those areas that spoke Latin stopped using Greek, though Byzantium kept the language alive. Aland speaks of this fact in - K. and B. Aland, The Text of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), pp. 52-53
And not only did the Byzantine Text become a predominant text, it also became a more uniformed text.
Generally speaking, as texts move further from their source in time and distance they become more and more divergent. How then could the manuscripts become more and more uniform as they moved past the 4th century, and the Byzantine Text-type began to take predominance? If it was not based on an early exemplar one would expect to find more divergence as time passed and as the regions that it was found in expanded. But we find quite the opposite. We actually find that, though time from the exemplars increased and the territories that it was found in spread, the text became more uniform. This would at least hint to an early exemplar(s) that the different regions began to go back to after the church was settled from much persecution.
Though the preservation of Scripture is “providential” and not “miraculous” in nature…none the less, it is a preservation that keeps the original language text “pure in all ages.”
We know from history that the Alexandrian Greek text was not promulgated after the Muslims took over the region those texts were found in.
Further, the Western Church did not promulgate the Greek text since Latin was its official language, and the Vulgate became its official version.
The Eastern Church was not affected by the Muslims until much later than the Alexandrian region, nor was its official language any other than Greek. Therefore, the Eastern Church was, in fact, the only Church that kept the Greek text preserved up until around the time of the Reformation.
Can't we look at this historical evidence and come to the conclusion that it was only Byzantium that kept the Greek text preserved since these other two regions neglected the Greek text in toto?
Pastor - Association of Charismatic Reformed Churches (ACRC)
Local Church - Reformed Presbyterian Church of Boothwyn, PCA
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