For the first time, the readings of the newly discovered Papyri 117-127 are listed in the apparatus, opening up interesting perspectives particularly for the Acts of the Apostles.
The distinction between consistently cited witnesses of the first and second order has often caused uncertainties and complications. It was difficult to discover, for example, whether a consistently cited witness of the second order was not explicitly cited because it agreed with the majority reading or because it had a lacuna, and so we have given up this distinction. From now on all manuscripts cited consistently for the respective writing will be listed for passages with a positive apparatus.
Abandoning the distinction between consistently cited witnesses of the first and second orders increases the number of apparatus notes. At the same time, however, we have rearranged the apparatus for more tightness and clarity. Witnesses not cited consistently are listed only if they contribute variants of text-historical relevance. Unless there are particular reasons not to do so, the variants of consistently cited witnesses are given in full, even if they differ from other consist- ently cited witnesses in detail only. The appendix containing variae lectiones minores has been retained, but it is confined to readings which would have disturbed the clarity of the main apparatus.
In the context of the NTTranscripts project and of transcription of manuscripts for the Editio Critica Maior the Nestle-Aland apparatus notes were checked systematically. This brought about increased precision in the citation of Greek manuscripts.
Furthermore, the notes pauci (pc) and alii (al) indicating that, apart from the witnesses cited explicitly, there are a few or more additional witnesses for a variant, have been abandoned. The main reason for this is that these notes could easily lead to a mistaken conclusion that apparatus entries without pc or al were exclusively supported by the witnesses cited. However, even where the ECM is extant pc and al cannot be used in a precisely defined way, because full collation of all the manuscripts would yield more witnesses for known variants.
Concatenation of apparatus entries by et or sed has been criticised, because often the witnesses listed in support of the text at the second variation unit were erroneously referred to the combination of both passages. Now attestations that were concatenated previously are cited separately, and cf points to possible relations between variants, where a hint appeared to be useful.
Latin abbreviations and connecting texts are kept as simple as possible. They are translated in the general list of abbreviations (Appendix IV).
The apparatus of references in the outer margin has been thoroughly revised and supplemented mainly with references to early literature.