A very interesting paper.
Lots of good stuff in there.
The Byzantine text contains some few
original elements for which no, or almost no, ancient evidence
survives." (Zuntz) p. 13
A very important point.
However, if you then said (substituting Byzantine for Western) that
(2) The term "Byzantine" ought to
be applied to variants attested only by Byzatine witnesses. (p.
There would be very few Byzantine variants,
and the variants would have to be considered in a far more favorable
light, they could not be dismissed as Byzantine. In fact,
"distinctly Syrian" (the Hortian term) variants are close to
non-existent, since any early ECW support would lose the category.
This phrase was a Hortian ploy, which we discussed separately here a
And I do wonder about one major omission, the breaking off of the minimal
evidence of one textline (Alexandrian) into two lines, yet you never
mention that as one of the Hortian methods.
e.g in Romans 14:21
Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine,
nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
(An interesting variant, Westcott-Hort
leave Vaticanus, as they do on the Western non-interpolations, otherwise
it is very rare, but the abbreviated text is always a Hortian weak
You call Vaticanus an Alexandrian witness, yet Hort called Vaticanus part
of the neutral group (granted, this goes against his
"correcting" a Vaticanus addition as here, since neutral in
Hortian-speak implies perfect, Hort was never particularly
The root of the problem is that they simply fabricated a phantom
textline, a concept of no merit, and then it became easier to discuss
the evidence as stronger from the Neutral and/or Alexandrian
textlines. Two lines are better than one. Yet your paper
blithely (excuse me for being a smidgen critical on this point)
allows the two lines to co-exist, making it sound as if they are distinct
entities, without ever pointing out the game.
"Byzantine Imperial text"
On p.14 you use this phrase, an Alandian
abomination, as if it comes from Zuntz.
If Zuntz never used the phrase it should be put as part of his analysis.
"intrinsic merits and intellectual brilliance"
What are those merits?
Where do you see brilliance ? :-)
James Snapp, Jr.
.....So: just how old is the text of the Harklensis Group? Remember
how Hort tried to show that the Alexandrian Text, as a whole, pre-dates
the Byzantine Text, on the basis of eight variants? Dr. Daniel Wallace
has summarized part of Hort's theory this way: "The Byzantine text
was shown to depend on two earlier traditions, the Alexandrian and
Western, in several places. The early editors of the Byzantine text
combined (or conflated) the wording of the Alexandrian and Western
traditions on occasion, while nowhere could it be shown that the
Alexandrian combined Western and Byzantine readings or that the Western
combined readings of the Alexandrian and Byzantine." Now, I disagree
with Dr. Wallace's claim; a brief look at the reading of B in Colossians
1:12 show that he has overstated his case (and a thorough look at
Pickering's collection of conflations and quasi-conflations has the same
effect). But today I am only mentioning it to show that it was on the
basis of conflations that some influential textual critics -- including,
it seems, Dr. Wallace -- have thought that Hort demonstrated, via
"the conflation argument," that Byz was secondary.
Yes, correct, and other
"influential textual critics"--in particular, G. Zuntz, in his
1946 Schweich Lectures, published in 1953 as The Text of the
Epistles--have demonstrated the fundamental flaw in Hort's argument,
and have long since abandoned his hypothesis re the textual history of
the NT. See further, e.g.,
for an overview comparing the textual histories of Hort (for whom only
the Byz tradition conflates), Zuntz, and M. Robinson (for whom the Byz
tradition never conflates). If some contemporary textual critics wish to
continue to ride a dead horse, that doesn't mean the rest of us have to
continue to beat it.
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