Stemmatology—the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method
The tradition of the books of the New Testament is highly contaminated. This characteristically leads to a situation where a comparison between any two textual witnesses will yield, in each of the witnesses, variants that are older as well as ones that are younger than in the other witness. The resulting conflict of data represents a stemmatological challenge. Yet another problem arises from the fact that variants with the same wording may repeatedly emerge by coincidence so that they give no hint for a genealogical connection.
A genealogical hypothesis (stemma) has to be extracted by a method that allows for contamination (with its typical results) and the coincidental multiple emergence of variants. First of all, however, a suitable method has to answer the question of how relevant genealogical data can be obtained at all.The Coherence-Based Genealogical Method was developed to do justice to the problems typical of contamination, and to arrive at an overall picture of the genealogical relationships in spite of the high degree of contamination. The application of this method and its further development
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