The way I’ve learned the text-types is a bit different from TxGodfollower.
When Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort published The New Testament in the Original Greek in 1881, they classified existing manuscripts of the NT into four text-types: the Neutral, the Alexandrian, the Syrian, and the Western. Eventually it was recognized that ‘Neutral’ and ‘Alexandrian’ are the same thing (specifically, two phases of the same text), and the ‘Syrian’ text was relabelled, thereby giving us the three versions of NT manuscripts that we know today: the Alexandrian, the Byzantine (Westcott-Hort’s ‘Syrian’ text), and the Western. (Some scholars have also proposed a fourth text, the Caesarean, but its very existence soon came into question by others.)
The Alexandrian text is associated with Egypt and is the one that predominates in most of the earliest surviving manuscripts (many of which admittedly came from Egypt, where hot and dry conditions helped preserve ancient texts which would normally have rotted away) and in Coptic versions. It was also the version used by the Alexandrian fathers such as Origen, Clement, St. Athanasius, Didymus the Blind, and St. Cyril. Out of the textual versions the Alexandrian is the most restrained: its readings tend to be shorter, and have a lower tendency to expand or paraphrase.
The Western text is mainly associated with the Latin West (north Africa, Italy, Gaul), although some manuscripts and versions exhibiting this text have also been found in the East such as Egypt and Syria. The version is apparent in the gospels, Acts, and the Pauline epistles; general epistles and Revelation probably did not have a Western form of text. In Greek, the text is found chiefly in manuscripts that also contain the text in Latin (such as Codex Bezae and [Codex Claromontanus](“Codex Claromontanus”); cf. also the later Augiensis and Boernerianus). In Latin, it is attested in Vetus Latina translations as well as Latin writers (such as Marcion, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, Pelagius; but cf. also Justin Martyr). One of the definingcharacteristics of this version is how it plays loose with the text, favoring extensive paraphrase and expansion.
The Byzantine text is the form found in the largest number of surviving manuscripts, though not in the oldest: there are six manuscripts earlier than the 9th century which conform to the Byzantine text, but in most instances they only attest to the version in the gospels (cf. Codex Alexandrinus). The first writers to have cited the Byzantine text substantial New Testament quotations is St. John Chrysostom (ca. 349-407) and the Arian Asterius the Sophist (died ca. 341), although some Byzantine readings could already be found among earlier witnesses (who otherwise followed other text-types or none). This version seems to also underlie the Gothic translation by Ulfilas (d. 383) and the Syriac Peshitta (ca. 5th century), although both also exhibit Alexandrian and/or Western readings. The Byzantine text is a smooth combination of the characteristics of the Alexandrian and the Western texts. Byzantine readings tend to show a greater tendency toward smooth and well-formed Greek and display fewer instances of textual variation between parallel synoptic passages, being less likely to present difficult passages and more likely to harmonize.
The Caesarean text is a bit sketchy because there are no ‘pure’ Caesarean texts; instead what we have are manuscripts which display a consistent pattern of variant readings that are not found in other text-types but which otherwise ‘belong’ to the other texts. The existence of the Caesarean text is based mainly on the testimony of Origen (who settled in Caesarea after he was banished from Alexandria), who wrote about manuscripts of Matthew available to him in Caesarea reading “Jesus Barabbas” instead of simply “Barabbas” (which I’ve talked about in an earlier post). Otherwise the Caesarean readings have a mildly paraphrastic tendency that seems to place them between the more concise Alexandrian and the more expansive Western texts. Since we have no evidence for any common distinctive readings in the other books of NT, the Caesarean - if it does exist - might be limited only to the gospels.
BTW, TxGodfollower, where did you get the ‘Antiochian’ and the ‘Egyptian’ and the ‘Ecclesial’ texts from?