Questions regarding the science of textual criticism which attempts to reconstruct the oldest or original wording of a given text.
I also recently answered a question that had a strong text critical component to it. However, Noah's comment to my answer brought out a point in my mind that, upon searching, I cannot find that anyone as significantly addressed--whether textual criticism fits BH.SE?
Exegesis and hermeneutics presupposes a text to work with. That is, one can only derive meaning from a given text. Further, exegesis and hermeneutics have nothing to do with determining which texts among textual variations is a "correct" (i.e. original autograph) text. Note that this is contra to the opening sentence of the second paragraph of this meta answer, which states (emphasis added):
Our field is Biblical Hermeneutics: the field of study covering textual criticism of the Biblical canon, the understanding of its original languages, the historical knowledge necessary to place them in context and the process of interpreting these texts to make sense in contemporary languages including solving references and making associations as necessary draw out the meaning of the text.
Such identification is precisely what the field of textual criticism is about, not hermeneutics and exegesis.
Now back to the question itself that I answered, it originally asked this as its final goal:
If we put our attention in the characteristics of the Koine Greek, what was added or removed from the autograph text?
Note that such a question is not about textual meaning, but a question of "which text is correct" among the variations. It was seeking an answer by "what can we conclude from the text in Greek?", but as I note in my answer, textual questions rarely can be answered by that (though the possibility exists in that question that such an answer might be able available to disprove the omission; read all the following discussion there for details).
After my original answer, the OP followed up with an edit to the question that was more in line with exegesis/hermeneutics, when he posted:
Assuming that the phrase does not exist in the autograph, what is the translation of οὖσιν καὶ?
Now the question is not about "which text is correct," but has (at least for the sake of argument) assumed a text form, and is seeking an answer to possible meaning given that text form. This change of focus is without question in proper context for the site.
However, as my original answer to that question noted, and my comment to Noah indicates, resolving text critical questions on variation is wholly based on which text critical methodology one assumes to be correct in deriving an answer, which means what one presupposes about textual preservation and analysis is going to lead to differing answers in many cases. On this basis, it would seem to me that such questions are off topic (as I understand how the site desires to shape itself).
- Is resolution of textual variations on topic for the site, especially in cases where the text itself cannot be used to answer the question (which is most cases for the significant, disputed variants)?
- Are questions about the field of textual criticism itself valid, since the field is not about obtaining meaning itself, but correct text form (the conclusions from which can obviously impact greatly the meaning, but only in the sense of changing "what" was written, not in changing what each variation might itself mean when exegeted and interpreted)?
As of this writing, there are 55 questions tagged as textual-criticism, though a quick perusal tells me not all really are very related to that (for example, this question currently tagged with it is not about text criticism at all, except perhaps in being "critical" of the text as it is stated). However, some are very much related.
Any links to previous discussions about this that I could not track down are appreciated. As well as any new or revised discussion based on this. This question has similarities to this one on source criticism, but authorship and dating questions are far easier to bring both textual and historical evidence to light that may answer it. Textual form questions are far more challenging to answer by such "evidence," especially since often the evidence can be looked at equally logically and coherently from the two main presuppositional viewpoints--making the presupposed methodology of how to do textual criticism the driving factor behind the conclusion of which text is more likely accurate.
This would seem to make the whole area off limits for the site; only allowing discussion of "if it is there, it means this, if it is not, it means this..."