I have a basic question about NET Bible footnote. The note for Matt 17:21 says:

Many important MSS (א* B Θ 0281 33 579 892 pc e ff1 sys,c sa) do not include 17:21 "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." The verse is included in א2 C D L W Ë1,13 Ï lat, but is almost certainly not original.

My question:

The א stands for Codex Sinaiticus right? But what is the difference between א* and א2?

I couldn't find an explanation of this online. Can you please explain this to me.

  • 1
    If ScottS's answer is "correct", the normal procedure would be to indicate that by clicking the "check mark" under the up/down arrows at the top-left of his answer. Looks like a good one to me!
    – Dɑvïd
    Oct 25, 2014 at 20:31
  • FYI: In the NET's "Lumina Study Tool" there is a tool which helps users to "decode" the various abbreviations and symbols employed in NET "Notes." For my own purposes I have entitled it in conflated form, "LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS FOR THE NET BIBLE FOOTNOTE TYPES; ABBREVIATIONS FOR BOOKS OF THE BIBLE; AND LISTS OF, AND ABBREVIATIONS FOR, SOURCE MATERIALS USED IN THE NET BIBLE FOOTNOTES AND COMMENTARY". It's proved helpful to me. Interestingly, the various tables do NOT include the symbols you've mentioned (for Codex Sinaiticus). Don Oct 27, 2014 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


Analysis of Sinaiticus (yes, א is the symbol) has led to the conclusion that there are three general periods of additional editing. So the symbols represent information about these periods. Per the NA28 Introductory material on the critical apparatus:

  • א by itself means the only reading present.
  • א* Is a notation for the original reading when a later revision exists.
  • א with the 1 superscript is a revision from 4th-6th century.
  • א with the 2 superscript is a revision circa 7th century
  • א with the 3 superscript is revision circa 12th century.

The superscripts follow א in the NA28 apparatus, but appear to proceed it in the NET notes.

You can see the correction on the manuscript here (at the top of the page, above the second column, noted with a what looks like a % sign which is the symbol used to locate where the correction should be in the text below).

For a more detailed exchange about the textual issues related to Mat 17:21 with respect to Mark 9:29, see this question on BH.SE.

  • This is likely due to renders automatically detecting unicode Hebrews as an LTR font (Left-To-Right) font, and if the unicode HTML characters are used, it puts the super-script 2 to the left of the character. &#1488;<sup>2</sup> renders to &#1488;<sup>2</sup>, instead of ℵ2 (&alefsym;<sup>2</sup>). So, in all likelihood, the above answer is correct, and the reversed order is simply an anomaly of HTML.
    – user6152
    Oct 30, 2014 at 6:32

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