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RE: [Synoptic-L] Early interpolations (Bezae)

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    BRUCE: Lk 5:39 comes at the end of the new wine passage, and says, suddenly, that the old wine is better, whereas everyone up to that point sees Jesus as
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 5, 2011
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      BRUCE:
      Lk 5:39 comes at the end of the "new wine" passage, and says, suddenly,
      that
      the old wine is better, whereas everyone up to that point sees "Jesus"
      as
      commenting on the lack of fit of his new teachings (new wine) with old
      doctrines (old wineskins). To shift the metaphor in favor of old wine,
      thus
      reversing the previous sense of the pericope, makes no discernible
      sense.

      LEONARD:
      You will pardon me if I discern a sense (of the statement, at least in
      Luke's Gospel). The shift here is from a comment on why Jesus does what
      he does to a comment on why still existing groups of Johannine
      disciples (evidently, from Acts, known to Luke) do what they do (cf. Lk
      5:33.) The comment is not necessarily in favor of old wine, but merely
      serves to explain why the old is preferred in some circles. Again it is
      important to read the text carefully. In this verse, it is not Jesus
      who says that the old is good; rather, he is quoting people who say
      that, thereby explaining their existence as a separate and rival group
      to Christians.

      BRUCE: But it must have made sense to its author. What is its origin? I
      would
      attribute it to anti-Marcionite sentiment. Marcion had tried to excise
      the
      entire OT heritage of the Christianity of his day, a step for which
      those in
      charge were not ready; the habit of validating Jesus by OT prediction
      (see
      previous notes) was by then too ingrained in the apologetic of the
      movement.
      The sudden praise of "old wine" in Lk 5:39 might then be taken as an
      affirmation of the value of the old (Jewish) heritage of Christianity,
      as a
      rebuke to Marcion. If so, and given Marcion's departure from Rome in
      c144
      (so someone says; I do not know the evidence for this date), we should
      date
      the 5:39 addition to Luke, which of course was Marcion's preferred
      Gospel,
      to the next year or so, in the usual rough terms, c150.

      LEONARD: Nice thought, but the saying recorded in Lk 5:39 is not
      convincingly an expression of anti-Marcionite sentiment (of an orthodox
      Christian scribe), which never would have gone so far as to positively
      down-play the new in favor of the old ("nemo bibens vetus [statim] vult
      novum!). On the other hand, it cannot be ruled out a priori that the
      phrase is indeed secondary in Lk, with the meaning given above. The
      text would certainly make sense without it, but the attestation of the
      verse is strong in existing early manuscripts.

      By the way, Bruce wrote: "Lk 5:39 comes at the end of the "new wine"
      passage, and says, suddenly, that
      the old wine is better"

      LEONARD: The "better" Greek texts do not say "better" here, but good,
      congenial (CHRHSTOS: pace vulg. "melius").

      Leonard Maluf

      -----Original Message-----
      From: E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...>
      To: Synoptic <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: GPG <gpg@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Mon, Sep 5, 2011 3:08 pm
      Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Early interpolations (Bezae)

      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: David Mealand
      On: Bezae and Interpolation Evidence
      From: Bruce

      As an alternative to the recent note by David Mealand, here is another
      take
      on the value of D (Codex Bezae) in interpolation arguments. It involves
      recognizing that Matthew and Luke are very early witnesses to Mark. The
      thought then runs, If an omission of a canonical Mark passage in both
      Matthew and Luke corresponds to an absence also in Bezae, then we have
      extremely strong evidence that the passage in canonical Mark is an
      interpolation.

      The classic cases for which Bezae is usually called in as evidence are
      the
      so-called Western Non passages, mostly in the Second Tier Gospels,
      chiefly
      Luke, rather than in Mark (Mt 27:49, Luke 22:19b-20, 24:3, 24:6, 24:12,
      24:36, 24:40, 24:51, and 24:52). These were recognized by WH as
      interpolations, but subsequently restored to the UBS text (over the
      passionate protest of Bruce Metzger; see his Commentary, 2ed 164f).
      They are
      present in the usually superior Vaticanus (plus Sinaiticus), a fact
      which
      swayed the UBS majority, but are lacking in Bezae (and in some cases,
      though
      not in all, also in the Old Latin). Metzger pleads for considering them
      together, and if considered together, a scenario for at least the Lukan
      ones
      does suggest itself: many have to do with ritual matters, which were
      evolving in the 1c, and were also of high-profile concern, so that the
      temptation to create a canonical precedent for a given variant would be
      considerable.

      As Metzger notes, some have complained that other seemingly qualifying
      passages (see his p165 n3) have been denied Western Non status by WH;
      see
      also Wieland Willker's site for his take on this issue. I have
      investigated
      a couple of them, and agree that one of them, Lk 5:39 (present in the
      Vaticanus text of Mark, but absent in the Bezae text of Mark) is an
      interpolation. The picture with this passage is that it absent not only
      in
      Bezae but in Matthew and Luke, which are by far our earliest witnesses
      to
      Mark. It is not part of the cluster of liturgically focused late Luke
      passages, and thus not involved in that system. What might be going on
      here?

      Lk 5:39 comes at the end of the "new wine" passage, and says, suddenly,
      that
      the old wine is better, whereas everyone up to that point sees "Jesus"
      as
      commenting on the lack of fit of his new teachings (new wine) with old
      doctrines (old wineskins). To shift the metaphor in favor of old wine,
      thus
      reversing the previous sense of the pericope, makes no discernible
      sense.
      But it must have made sense to its author. What is its origin? I would
      attribute it to anti-Marcionite sentiment. Marcion had tried to excise
      the
      entire OT heritage of the Christianity of his day, a step for which
      those in
      charge were not ready; the habit of validating Jesus by OT prediction
      (see
      previous notes) was by then too ingrained in the apologetic of the
      movement.
      The sudden praise of "old wine" in Lk 5:39 might then be taken as an
      affirmation of the value of the old (Jewish) heritage of Christianity,
      as a
      rebuke to Marcion. If so, and given Marcion's departure from Rome in
      c144
      (so someone says; I do not know the evidence for this date), we should
      date
      the 5:39 addition to Luke, which of course was Marcion's preferred
      Gospel,
      to the next year or so, in the usual rough terms, c150.

      The scenario would be that both Bezae and Vaticanus go back to a very
      good
      and very early Archetype, but the two separated at some point, and after
      that point, the Western Non passages were added to Vaticanus or its
      ancestor, leaving Bezae free of them. Call this point D, the divergence
      of
      the respective ancestors. AFTER point D, the two strands had different
      histories; the one leading to Vaticanus sustained very few subsequent
      interpolations, whereas the ancestor of Bezae (presumably under
      different
      management) over the subsequent years added many. The most notorious
      Bezae
      additions are the expansions of Acts, which add considerably to the
      bulk of
      Acts; these seem chiefly to make the story more obvious, or more
      emphatic
      but in the same way as Acts itself. Among the traits that late Bezae
      thus
      magnifies are what late writers call anti-Semitic ones; hence Epp's
      conclusion that Bezae is anti-Semitic. I think it suffices to say that
      Bezae
      magnifies generally, colors in the blank pages, and cranks up the
      volume of
      Acts, whatever Acts itself is up to at a given point. Anyway, despite
      some
      who feel that the Bezae version of Acts is the original, or at least a
      co-original, the consensus at the moment (with which I agree; for the
      principal names, see Schnelle 263f) is that it is a late expansion,
      probably
      of late 3c Syrian origin, and thus without bearing on the original text
      of
      Acts. This is to say that Bezae is not a unity; we should where possible
      distinguish the early Bezae (intensely valuable) and the late expansive
      Bezae (merely of curious interest).

      The point at which the early Bezae diverged from the ancestor of
      Vaticanus
      would be very nice to know. David suggests 75; I have above proposed a
      scenario leading rather to c150. Perhaps David can supply the basis for
      his
      figure.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst






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