On Wed, 29 Apr 1998, schmiul@...
(U. Schmid) wrote:
>On the "method" of the Vetus Latina Institut (Beuron) see the essay of B.
>Fischer, "Das Neue Testament in Lateinischer Sprache. Der gegenwaertige
>Stand seiner Erforschung und seine Bedeutung fuer die griechische
>Textgeschichte," _Die alten Uebersetzungen des Neuen Testaments, die
>Kirchenvaeterzitate und Lektionare_, ed. K. Aland, ANTF 5 (1972), pp. 1-92.
>As far as I understand, the claim of "one original translation" is
>generally confined to those parts of the NT that have been subjected to
>closer examination. The in the VL series edited parts (Catholic Epistles
>and Pauline Epistles) are said to be derived from one original translation.
>The main argument for one original translation is basically this: Despite
>the many differences in readings (when compared to the Greek text) and
>renderings (when compared to each other) the Latin witnesses also display a
>great number of similarities in readings as well as renderings (word
>choices in cases where other words could have been used). The experts
>usually infer that the sheer amount of these similarities testifies to a
>common stratum of material that points to a common underlying translation.
In the case of the Catholics, this strikes me as very possible.
But, of course, the number of Latin witnesses there is very slight.
I'm also willing to concede it in the case of the Pauline Epistles,
with the possible exception of r, which (textually) is very
different from the other Old Latins -- in places seeming almost
The gospels, of course, are the source of most of the divergences.
It is here that the theory must be tested. :-) I think it safe
to say that, *textually*, the various witnesses (k and e versus
b, ff2, etc.) do not derive from the same original.
But the textual basis of a version can change without the style
of the version changing (witness the evolution of most of the
Eastern versions -- there are early witnesses which are non-Byzantine,
and later versions which are much more Byzantine, yet the wording
of the translation sometimes changes less than the textual base).
So: The question becomes, Could the European Latin be a revision
of the African Latin, with the textual base modified by the language
still often reflecting the original?
I don't have the sources to speak to this. But I'd be curious to the
reactions. The comments in the standard manuals usually don't say
much about this. If a consensus evolves, though, I'd better put
it on my web site. :-)
"The one thing we learn from history --
is that no one ever learns from history."