I am not qualified to suggest which mss to compare. I have spent some more time trying to understand how BW CNTTS works. Here are some further observations I hope may be of some use to you.
Each time I look at CNTTS to figure out how it works, I find something new and different. This is an attempt to describe how the different fields and codes are used, and how they relate to each other. I will be dealing with the codes that are set in the search window.
My conclusions are tentative -- I keep finding unexpected combinations of codes.
I don't know the literature of textual criticism. I'm approaching this as a question of how to exploit the CNTTS apparatus in BibleWorks, what questions the BW search window allows the user to ask of the apparatus, what information is contained in the apparatus,
and how the information is structured.
Searches can only use information from one line in the data -- each line contains three codes (VU/MV type, Var code, Minor var), Details (text, sometimes additional description), and a list of manuscript identifiers. So you cannot qualify your search with any information from an earlier or later line that deals with the same variation unit.
Structure and content of BW CNTTS:
Var code 0 (base text, UBS)
VU(Variation Type) L [L0] means no lacunae, not that the text agrees with UBS
VU S [S0] means text agrees with UBS, other mss. are deemed to have significant variants. It is followed by entries with the following characteristics:
MV (major variation type) A or M or R or T and
Var code of 2-11 which is supposed to mean 2 or more supporting Greek witnesses. But these codes can be on entries where only 1 mss is cited.
A given S variation group can have Insignificant and singular/Latin (Z) variants as well as Significant ones.
VU Z [Z0] means text agrees with UBS, variant(s) exist with only 1 Greek witness, and/or only Latin support. It is followed by entr(y/ies):
MV type A or M or R or T
Var code of 50-69
(usually Minor var is blank, but can be non-blank. For example, an MV=A can also have a Minor var of P (proper name spelling) because the unit has both additional words and an different spelling of a name in the base text)
A given Z variation group can have Singular/Latin and Insignificant variants.
VU I [I0] means text agrees with UBS, the only variant(s) are Insignificant. Insignificant variants look like the:
VUM/MV type is blank (3 cases have non-blank MV)
Var code is supposed to be 1, I have seen 99 as well, so suggest using only Minor var code when looking for minor variations.
Minor var code is # or E or H or N or O or P or X (when this code is present MV type is usually blank, but not always.)
VU codes (I L S Z) always have a Var code of 0.
The only case of Var code 0 not being associated with a VU code is this: Mar 14:35-11.0 R 0 Reading: ina ei dunaton estin parelqetw MSS: 579
Var codes are difficult to use, other than 0 (base text). They don't seem to be applied consistently -- I've seen codes 2-11 used where only one witness was cited. And the search window is very clumsy when you need to enter a range of codes.
It is understandable that with a large project like CNTTS different contributors will make different decisions when using the coding scheme.
Var code 97 (Indeterminable readings) is used 59 time, always for the original hand of ms 35.
Var code 99 (Full Lacunae) also has non-lacunae uses. A few examples:
Mar 3:2-5.0 M 99 H Reading: OM MSS: W 157
Luk 5:39-1.20 M 99 Reading: OM MSS: D05 a b c e ff2
Mat 1:4-1.0 99 H Reading: OM MSS: P (3812 cases of 99 H)
Also cases of 99 E, 99 O, 99 X
Suggestions for use of CNTTS:
Always be aware of the options in effect.
Be careful! Be sure you know what question(s) you are trying to get CNTTS to answer.
By using Var code 0 (base UBS text) with care (remember to not include L0) you can answer questions about how different mss. agree with UBS -- and whether 2 mss. vary at the same or different points.
Use Var codes other than 0 with care, if at all.
Generally, use as few codes as you can; don't assume that the relationship between codes is what you expect. For example, a ms with a Var code A (addition) for a given variation group may also have an Minor var code for the same variation group to indicate both additional words and a different spelling. I found 11,761 rows that had a non-blank MV type and a non-blank Minor var. code.