The Alands go so far as to say that if a reading is found in one manuscript it is almost surely not authentic: “The principle that the original reading may be found in any single manuscript or version when it stands alone or nearly alone is only a theoretical possibility.”7 Further, “Textual difficulties should not be solved by conjecture, or by positing glosses or interpolations, etc., where the textual tradition itself shows no break; such attempts amount to capitulation before the difficulties and are themselves violations of the text.”8 Their opinions in these matters should be considered as that of expert witnesses. Further, it is shared by most others in the discipline.9
What are the implications of the non-need to guess about the wording of the original? Only that in virtually every instance the original reading is to be found somewhere in the manuscripts...Further, since the original reading is not something to be merely guessed at, we have an actual database—the pool of variants found in the manuscripts—that can be tested for any theological deviations."
J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, Daniel B. Wallace, Reinventing Jesus: What the Da Vinci Code and Other Novel Speculations Don't Tell You, p. 106-107