Re: [Synoptic-L] Evidence of Independence
- To: Synoptic
In Belated Response To: Chuck Jones
On: The 1Th 2:15-16 Interpolation Possibility
One more thing on my screen to tidy up, before the weekend gets entirely
away from me. It concerns a methodologically general and thus presumably
licit matter: the point at which an interpolation is added to a text. A
reminder of the issue here discussed: I have held that not all
interpolations are made by evil scribes in later ages; they may also be made
(as self-interpolations) by authors, or by legitimate text proprietors,
simply to improve the text in their eyes, before it goes public and is
copied for a wider readership.
CHUCK: Separately, the reason interpolations like the one in I Thess. are
hypothesized is that the content of the passages doesn't make sense for that
author at that place and time. The I Thess verses, it is said, betray later
knowledge of the fate of the Jewish people. By definition, this change
would have been made after some period of time, not when one copy existed.
BRUCE: Non sequitur. I don't find any alternative to the idea that 1Th 2:16b
shows a knowledge of what can only be the Temple destruction of 70.
Therefore, an interpolation is indicated, and it must have been made after
Paul's death, unless someone has a whole new theory of Paul's death. But it
does not follow that "after some period of time" necessarily takes us into
the zone where "more than one copy existed." Manuscript variation, scribal
interference, is not the only available model.
Here is a sample of the other model. I have recently been editing some of my
and Taeko's papers for publication in the year 2008. Some of them go back to
1995, before our book The Original Analects had come out. While preserving
the general historical stance of those papers, we have thought it right and
helpful to include occasional references to our subsequent work; otherwise
one is functioning like a museum curator. Hence several footnotes along the
lines of "see now also [name of later publication]." All some future editor,
say someone at Brill gathering the best Sinological work of the past several
years, has to do is to move those notes into the text, and strike the adverb
"now," and our self-interpolations (still visible as such, given their
marginal position) become *integrated* interpolations, and the document for
the first time becomes genuinely anachronistic.
I generally suspect and disrecommend modern parallels; our literary culture
is too different. But I nevertheless submit this one as a verifiable case of
the kind of thing I think is perfectly possible to have happened with any
authority text possessed by a 1c Christian group, whether it was received
from an Apostle or composed by the group's own leader. One tries to keep
these things reasonably fresh, current, and responsive to present need and
interest. Just so, I venture for the last time to suggest, might the
resident preacher of the Thessalonians have dealt with the genuine Pauline
holograph in his care.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst