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RE: [Synoptic-L] Early interpolations

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  • David Inglis
    Bob, I m not sure how the two websites you refer to help with my question, which is about what state the original copy of a hand-written document might have
    Message 1 of 73 , Sep 4, 2011
      Bob, I'm not sure how the two websites you refer to help with my question, which is about what state the original copy
      of a hand-written document might have been in after it had been completed, e.g. what 'interpolations' (or other changes)
      might the original author have left in the text when it was completed. This is a rather different issue from what
      scribes might then have done when making further copies. However, the point of the question is to see whether the edits
      made by the original author can be distinguished from later changes made during copying, or whether we are in danger of
      trying to get back to something that the original author never intended anyone to see.

      David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

      From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bob Schacht
      Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 4:55 PM
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Early interpolations

      At 03:16 PM 9/4/2011, David Inglis wrote:
      >I have a big problem when trying to understand what changes the
      >gospel authors might have made during the writing of
      >what became the first versions of their texts to be seen by anyone
      >else (except their scribes if they used them).
      >Because I've never been in the position of writing by hand anything
      >of this length, I just don't have a good frame of
      >reference to know how many false starts the authors might have made,
      >how many pages (or scrolls?) might have been thrown
      >away, how many pages of notes might have been made before writing,
      >how many crossings out and/or re-writing there might
      >have been, etc. Surely, until we have a handle on the physical
      >process involved at the time (including, or course, the
      >cost and/or availability of writing material), then I don't see that
      >we can really understand the state of the first
      >version to be seen by others. Is there anything that can shed any
      >light on just how easy or difficult it was to produce
      >that first version, and how many changes/corrections it might have contained?

      To avoid re-creating the wheel, which is what seems to be going on
      here, I recommend starting with the long Wikipedia article on Textual Criticism
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textual_criticism). This article
      includes a section on interpolations that may be instructive.

      There is also an Encyclopedia of Textual Criticism -- at least as an
      unfinished product. Fortunately, there is a website inspired by the
      Encyclopedia compiled by Richard Elliot at

      >A Site Inspired By
      >The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism
      >Conceived by Rich Elliott
      >of Simon Greenleaf University
      ><mailto:reelliott@... <mailto:reelliott%40verizon.net> >reelliott@... <mailto:reelliott%40verizon.net>
      >The Encyclopedia attempts to cover all aspects of New Testament
      >Textual Criticism in an orderly and fair fashion.

      I remember a number of Elliot's previous contributions, and was
      impressed. His online Encyclopedia has been in development for 10 years.
      It includes an Introduction to Textual Criticism
      (http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/intro.html) that I think was
      written by Elliot himself.

      At present, there is no article on Interpolations, but our questions
      may be covered by other entries, such as the article on

      Conjectures and Conjectural Emendation


      I have invited him to review the comments on interpolation here.

      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [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
        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.

        David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


        The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
        Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
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