On Wed, 31 Jan 1996, Maurice Robinson wrote:
> > KAUXHSWMAI may have been the more difficult reading when Paul wrote, but
> I would not think a more "normal" Pauline word would have been "more
> difficult" in Paul's own day.
True, it's a Pauline word, but it is used in an unusual manner (a hapax
in conjunction with PARADW and SWMA! :-) ), so I can imagine a scribe
might have wondered what exactly Paul was trying to say. If this reading
is original, however, I would guess that the transition to KAUQH- was
primarily unintentional, spurred by the similarity of sound more than any
supposed difficulty with the text.
> > True, it's not
> > "good" Greek, but so many mss, particularly later ones, exhibit similar
> > shifts in spelling, that the fact that it appears in the majority of mss
> > does not seem very remarkable.
> The bigger problem is that it not only is "not good Greek" but it blatantly
> appears erroneous by suggesting a non-existent future subjunctive! I fail
> to see how scribes in the main would simply allow such an anomalous
> reading to stand, and why the vast majority -- even if they did create the
> reading "burnt" -- would not have at least followed suit with C D F G L et
> al. and at least read something which was eminently grammatical. This is
> a far greater matter than the mere issue of martyrdom.
I'm obviously missing something here. My contention is that many scribes
would have taken KAUQHSWMAI as equivalent to KAUQHSOMAI, just a phonetic
variant (obviously some didn't, hence the -OMAI readings). What are you
saying about KAUQHSWMAI, that it is really a future subjunctive, that it
is blatantly erroneous, of something else?
By the way, I think you, I, and Carlton Winbery all agree that KAUQHSWMAI
is the middle term in this equation. The question is whether there is a
lineal descent from KAUXHSWMAI to KAUQHSWMAI to KAUQHSOMAI or whether
both of the other terms derived independently from an original
KAUQHSWMAI. In either case, the certainly grammatical KAUQHSOMAI is not
original, ne c'est pas?
> The question of the frequency of copying MSS is moot. Some MSS might
> never be copied, others extremely frequently. In the absence of proof
> regarding which MSS were or were not copied at frequent rates,
> statistically the evidence points to the fact that the Byzantine MSS and
> they alone were those most frequently copied outside of local text
> situations. WHY they were frequently copied is another matter altogether,
> but I would venture that they were most frequently copied because they
> reflected the text in general (not localized) use.
Why conclude this and not rather that the Byzantine text was a local text
tradition that happened to have been the one that was accepted, for
whatever historical or theological reasons, by the majority of the
church? I would venture to suggest that the text-type current in
Constantinople would carry more sway than others, much as the bishops of
Rome and later Constantinople carried more sway than their "equals"
elsewhere. And if the Byzantine text was based on a local text, it was
one that was younger by a century or two than the Alexandrian, Western,
and probably other no-longer-extant text-traditions.
A parallel from the text of the OT might be in order here. The
present-day Masoretic Text (also an MT!) seems to be a collection of
different types of text, some fuller (Jeremiah, Samuel) and others less
full (Kings, Esther) than other mss of their day. Whether this situation
reflects different local texts (Cross) or texts from different strata of
society (Talmon) is immaterial for the present discussion. The point is
that the text-types preserved in the MT were originally local
(geographically or sociologically) texts, not official.
> Unfortunately, what W-H advocated in such situations was basically
> conjectural emendation, which their own principles would not permit.
> Modern eclecticism, whether reasoned or rigorous, similarly eschews
> conjecture (save for Aland's notorious Acts 16:12 case in the GNT3, now --
> at long last! -- finally "proven" by a few unnamed mss of the Vulgate).
> Appeal to "primitive error" -- so far as I know -- has not been in vogue
> since W-H; and such appeal establishes nothing in regard to the present case.
> I would be desirous in learning of the "numerous other instances" in
> which a patently "more difficult" reading which is NOT considered to be
> the original autograph text has been perpetuated in the mass of the MS
> and versional traditions. The examples should be instructive.
Conjectural emendation is certainly not in vogue in NT textual
criticism. However, I believe that NT text criticism should take a cue
from their OT counterparts on this issue and at least consider emendation
for difficult passages such as the ones W-H mention. Those were the
"numerous other instances" I was referring to (not to say that I would
accept all of their proposals by any means, but there are a large number
of them). Of course, it is more frequently the case that easier, secondary
readings proliferate, readings that seem to characterize (in general) the
Byzantine text-type more than the earlier ones, particularly the Alexandrian.
But that opens up a whole new set of questions!
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