The Byzantine Text, also called the Traditional or Syriac Text, is a New Testament text-type. It is named after the Byzantine Empire, because it was transmitted mainly by Byzantine monks. There are more manuscripts of this text type than of the other three (Alexandrian, Western, and Caeserean) combined.
While the Textus Receptus, upon which many older Bible versions were based (notably the Authorized Version), is a Byzantine Text, the Critical Text behind most modern Bibles is an Alexandrian Text. Most modern scholars consider the Alexandrian Text to be closer to the original, although some defend the Byzantine Text, and some, more specifically, defend the TR.
- It is also sometimes called, mistakenly, the Majority Text, because it so closely matches such. In reality, the Majority text is a reading based upon the majority consensus of all NT Greek manuscripts. There are currently two editions of it: The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text (Nelson, 1985) by Hodges and Farstad, and The New Testament in the Original Greek According to the Byzantine/Majority Textform (Original Word Publishers, 1991) by Robinson, Pierpoint, and McBrayer. Given that these editions use manuscripts thought to be representative of the majority, rather than the actual majority, they do not necessarily reflect the true Majority Text.
- Thomas Holland, Crowned With Glory: The Bible from Ancient Texts to Authorized Version (Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press, 2000), 9.