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Early interpolations

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  • Ronald Price
    Mk 9:12b (KAI PWS GEGRAPTAI .....) is a good example of a text which some scholars take as an early interpolation. Having reviewed the various arguments and
    Message 1 of 73 , Sep 2, 2011
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      Mk 9:12b (KAI PWS GEGRAPTAI .....) is a good example of a text which some
      scholars take as an early interpolation. Having reviewed the various
      arguments and added a cogent extra one, I am definitely on the side of those
      who take the last 13 words of this verse as a 'marginal gloss'. But my
      concern at the moment is not this particular text, but the wider question of
      early interpolations.

      It is typical even for critical NT scholars to treat early interpolation as
      a last resort when trying to explain a puzzling text. This is fair enough.
      However some go further and appear to rule out any such resort in principle,
      regarding it as mere idle speculation.

      I would be very interested to know whether there is any logical basis for
      such an extreme position.

      Please bear in mind my reasoning so far. Firstly there are thousands of
      textual variants, so it is difficult to see why there were not similar
      variants made before, say, 150 CE, a period from which there are very few
      extant NT texts. Secondly, it is clear that scribes had a tendency to add
      rather than delete material (perhaps out of respect) and therefore
      identifying any substantial changes to the text should usually be possible
      in principle unless the interpolator was very skilled. Thirdly, whether the
      likes of NA27 should mention conjectural amendments is a related but
      different question that is not my immediate concern.

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK

      http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_home.html


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Mealand
      Out of curiosity I tried this search on Google Books interpolation OR interpolated OR interpolate subject: Gospels or New Testament Date 1900-2011 I got
      Message 73 of 73 , Sep 12, 2011
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        Out of curiosity I tried this search on Google Books

        interpolation OR interpolated OR interpolate
        subject:"Gospels" or "New Testament
        Date 1900-2011

        I got about 10 hits - far fewer than I expected. On looking at
        these (where that was possible) I noted a considerable variety
        of usage. One or other of the terms is used (in the books located)
        in relation to Mat.27.16; Mk.1.2; Lk 9-18; Jn 1.6-8 & 15; 3.22-30;
        Jn 19.35, 21.24; Rom 15-16;1 Cor.1.2-16;Josephus Apion Bk.2,or the
        Gospel of Nicodemus
        Some are "editorial" interpolations, some are interpolations with
        textual evidence, but I think one or two may be neither of these.

        As it would seem that writers of the available books don't use the term
        much I then turned to the ATLA database of journal articles
        with a similar search for
        "interpolation OR interpolated OR interpolate" (in full text) AND
        subject:"Gospels" Date 1950-2011

        This got 44 hits from a shorter span of time, most of them from items
        available in pdf, but not showing where the hits are, or what they include.
        (To check these one would need to do a lot of downloads and pdf searches.)

        Tentative conclusion: it would seem that articles use the term more
        than books do, but the snippet results from Google Books provide a
        handy list of varied examples from the NT of three different types of
        suspected "interpolation".

        David M.






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        David Mealand, University of Edinburgh






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