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Questionable Methodology in NTGF - The Weight of Shadows

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  • Vox Verax
    I have taken in hand Carl P. Cosaert s The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria, and although I have just skimmed it so far, to get the gist of it,
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 5, 2011
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      I have taken in hand Carl P. Cosaert's "The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria," and although I have just skimmed it so far, to get the gist of it, there seem to be some problems in the methodology that is used -- methodology which, if rumor is correct, is applied not only in this volume but in the whole New Testament in the Greek Fathers series. (Or is that "New Testament /and/ the Greek Fathers"? The info on the copyright-page differs from the name on the cover.)

      The presentation is pretty straightforward: a prefatory profile of Clement and of studies of his NT-text is followed by a list of all of Clement's quotations from the Gospels, book by book. This is followed by a quantitative analysis, and that is followed by a Group Profile analysis.

      A series of tables surveys the evidence that Clement provides:
      Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mt: 118.
      Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mk: 47.
      Number of genetically significant variant-units in Lk: 143.
      Number of genetically significant variant-units in Jn: 72.

      So we have, out of the entire text of the Gospels, 380 readings from which to deduce the character of Clement's Gospels-text. This is done, or attempted to be done, by identifying (a) Inter-Group Relations and (b) Intra-Group Relations, which is a matter of identifying (a) Distinctive Readings and Exclusive Readings, and (b) Uniform Readings and Predominant Readings. This is not Cosaert's approach; it is, as he explains in a footnote, the approach developed by Ehrman.

      A Distinctive Reading is a reading that is (a) attested by over half the representatives of a specific text-type, and (b) "not present in the witnesses from other textual groups." (p. 254) At least, that is what it is when the term is introduced. But immediately, the term is adjusted, depending on which text-type is involved! -- Although distinct Alexandrian readings (whether Primary Alexandrian [Aleph B P75 Sah] or Secondary Alexandrian [L, et al] are accepted if they are found in more than half of the Primary Alexandrian witnesses, and no others, but in order for a reading to be classified as distinctly Byzantine, it must be supported by "all but one of the Byzantine witnesses, and no others." The definition changes for distinct Caesarean and distinct Western readings, too.

      You might be wondering, "What are the "Primary Alexandrian" witnesses used in the analysis?" A list on p. 52 tells us: in Matthew and in Mark, the Primary Alexandrian witnesses are Aleph, B, and UBS4. In Luke, the Primary Alexandrian witnesses are Aleph, B, UBS4, and P75. In John, the Primary Alexandrian witnesses are Aleph (from 8:38ff), B, P75, and P66.

      That's it??? Yes, that's it; that is all. Which seems to mean that about half the time (in Mt, in Mk, and in places in Lk and Jn where one papyrus or the other is lacunose), anything that is unique to Aleph+UBS4, or to B+UBS4, or to Aleph+B = a Distinctive Alexandrian Reading.

      Then, you might be wondering, "What are the "Primary Byzantine" witnesses used in the analysis?" The list informs us: A, E, Delta (except in Mark), Pi, Omega, and the TR. (RP-2005? Nope. Sigma? Nope. The Peshitta? Nope. Gothic Codex Argenteus? Nope. Was W used at all as a Byzantine witness? Nope! And it's not as if an allergy to versional evidence is in play; Old Latin copies are used to define "Western" readings.) So, while all it takes to constitute a Distinctive Alexandrian Reading is that a reading be attested in Aleph+B+UBS4, or Aleph+B, or Aleph+UBS4, or B+UBS4 (so that in some cases one could say, by B and its echo, or by Aleph and its echo, wherever B or Aleph or B+Aleph has given decisive support for a variant adopted by UBS4), all that it takes to disqualify a reading from being Distinctive Byzantine is that two of the witnesses in the list disagree with the others.

      This seems to require that the real equation will fluctuate whenever one of the chosen representatives is lacunose (as A is for most of Matthew). In addition, it means that if A, E, Delta, Pi, or Omega happens to disagree with RP-2005 by agreeing with the TR -- >poof!< There goes a Distinctive Byzantine Reading. (I'm not sure if that ever happens or not, though.) And, it means that a Distinctive Alexandrian Reading is affirmed by the agreement of two witnesses out of three (one of which is UBS4), while a Distinctive Byzantine Reading is affirmed by the agreement of four witnesses out of six (one of which is the TR). The same ratio is in play, but the dynamics involved are different; the TR was assembled without the consultation of any of the other Byz witnesses, while UBS4 was assembled with Aleph and B under full consideration and with their influence heavily shaping the compilation; does no one see how this loads the deck, so to speak, in favor of the creation of Distinctive Alexandrian Readings? Does anyone not think that the text of UBS4 was often shaped by the consultation of Aleph+B?

      So that seems problematic. But that's something I will have to address later; it's not even what I wanted to focus on in this post. Because there is another aspect of the analysis that looms even larger: the problem of quotations that are difficult to nail down to a specific chapter and verse. With 380 genetically significant variant-units under consideration -- 118 in Mt., 47 in Mk., 143 in Lk., and 72 in Jn. -- just a few differences can significantly alter the textual complexion of Clement's text.

      To illustrate: suppose we are trying to discern what kind of text of Mark was used by Namus of Placus, who quoted from Mark exactly 75 times, in each of which he either explicitly stated that he was quoting from Mark, or happened to quote a part of Mark in which the verbiage is unique to Mark. But, Namus of Placus also appears to have made 25 quotations that look like they might have come from Mark -- but maybe they are inaccurate citations from Matthew, or Luke, or maybe they were phrases with an otherwise coincidental similarity to phrases in Mark.

      So we classify each of Namus' 75 clear quotations, and the result is that Namus' text of Mark was 66% Alexandrian (i.e., 50 Alexandrian readings), and 33% Byzantine (i.e., 25 Byzantine readings). Thus we conclude that his text of Mark was Alexandrian. But what is the margin of error? Put the unclassified 25 shadowy readings in the equation, and instead of having definite proportions of 66% for Alex and 33% for Byz, you'd have 50% definitely for Alex, 25% definitely for Byz, and 25% unknown -- which, until that unknown 25% is analyzed, /could/ mean that Namus' text was 75% Alexandrian and 25% Byzantine, or, /could/ mean that Namus' text was 50% Alexandrian and 50% Byzantine, or some other proportion. (This illustration was simplified for simplicity's sake -- Western or Caesarean or other text-forms could be featured as well.)

      And when it comes to Clement, there are a lot of shadow-quotations: in Appendices One and Two, Cosaert lists 161 "Indeterminable Gospel References" and 23 "Catena Fragments and Latin References" -- none of which were used in the analysis. So when we see Cosaert conclude (on p. 299) that it is accurate to classify Clement's text of Matthew as representative of the Primary Alexandrian text, we should realize that (a) he got there by shuffling agreements with Byz at 12:36 (LALHSWSIN) and 16:26 (WFELEITAI) into different categories (as he explains on the same page), so as to effect a statistical shift: Clement would have appeared to agree in Matthew with Byz 53.8% of the time, and with Alex 45.5% of the time, but that artistic touch tilts the statistical scales so that Clement agrees in Matthew with the Primary Alex 46.2% of the time, and with Byz 45.5%.

      What if just four or five of those 161 Shadow-quotations are actually agreements with Byzantine readings? The scales would tip again, with the result that Clement's text of Matthew would appear more Byzantine than Alexandrian. (And this is Clement of Alexandria's text, remember!)

      So we are in a position somewhat akin to a person who listens to a news-report about an election: "The citizens of Burgburg have finished electing a mayor: Sam Smith received 47% of the votes, and Mike Miller received 45%." A clear victory for Sam Smith, right? But then comes the rest of the report: "In the Burgburg election, 279 people voted. The election-board rejected 161 ballots which could not be understood. Then two more ballots were rejected; one had marks beside Miller and an independent candidate named Caesar, and the other one had marks beside Miller and an independent candidate named West." Would you still think it was a clear victory? Would you conclude that Mike Miller didn't exist at the time of the election?

      Despite what seems to be a major methodological problem (which is not Cosaert's fault; he did not make the citations ambiguous), Cosaert's book is a wonderful mine of data. For example, besides the readings in Matthew 12:36 ane 16:26, he identifies five other variants in Matthew, quoted by Clement as Byzantine readings.

      Although, as I said, I have just picked up the book, it seems to me that the Byzantine Text was repeatedly robbed by a factor built into the analysis. It looks like the witnesses C L 33 and 892 are presented as "Secondary Alexandrian" witnesses, and whenever they agree with the Byzantine Text, >poof<, there goes a Distinctive Alexandrian reading; whatever is Byzantine *and* Secondary Alexandrian is, by definition, not Distinctive. But what *is* the Secondary Alexandrian text as attested by C, by L, by 33, and by 892 -- or, more specifically, by three out of those four (see p. 254) -- if not, very often, a mixture of Alexandrian and Byzantine readings? Wherever a Byzantine reading has been adopted in three of those four witnesses, it is disqualified from being counted as Byzantine. That seems like a significant flaw in the analysis.

      Similarly, it looks like whenever Theta, f1, f13, and 1582 agree, their agreements are treated as equivalent to the Caesarean Text, and thus all Byzantine readings which agree with such a reconstructed Caesarea Text are disqualified from being Distinctive Byzantine Readings. But (besides the problem that f1 is essentially counted twice in very many cases by having f1, and then 1582, be considered separately) why should this be the case? There seems to be no adequate account taken for mixture in the witnesses that are used to determine the categories of texts (Primary Alex, Secondary Alex, Western, Caesarean, and Byzantine); because of this, the testimony of Byzantine readings are somewhat muted in part of the analysis, just because they were so popular that they enjoy the support of f1 and f13. Now there is a problem: the Byzantine readings that have /too much/ support are not allowed to represent the Byzantine Text.

      There, anyway, are some initial impressions.

      (And, the "578.3%" on p. 258 should be "58.3%.")

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • BenD
      Dear James: When dealing with Clement at least, it is perhaps best to go back to the drawingboard, and look at the original collations. I mean those of P.
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 6, 2011
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        Dear James:

        When dealing with Clement at least, it is perhaps best to go back to the drawingboard, and look at the original collations.
        I mean those of P. Mordaunt Barnard:
        Texts and Studies (Ed. Robinson) Vol. V. No.5, Clement of Alexandria's BIblical Text (1899).

        There, Burkitt's introduction is instructive:

        pg xi fwd:

        "...at least we should expect that, where the reading could be ascertained, it would side with the critical editors.
        Other 'Fathers' in the East or West might use a text tainted with 'Western' errors, but should not look for them in Clement of Alex., our earliest witness in the one land which we think of as preeminently free from 'Western' influences.
        Yet the unexpected is what we find.  Clement's quotations have a fundamentally 'Western' character.  His allies are not B and the Coptic Versions, but D and the Old Latin.
        ...it was only to be expected that Clement would side with the best Greek [B et al] and the best Latin when they agreed together.  The really surprising thing is, that when they are divided Clement sides so often not with the Greek but with the Latin.  Examples are easy enough to find. ..." ...
        not only 'Western', but 'Western of a particular type; for in each instance the Old Syriac evidence goest with the ordinary text against Clement and D with its Latin allies. ....As a working hypothesis, therefore, we have good grounds for treating the text used by Clement as a branch of the 'Western" text not akin to th eOld Syriac Version; in other word, as a text really and geographically Western.
        This preliminary conclusion is of great importance for estimating the value of the numerous striking agreements of Clement with the Old Syriac, expecially with the Sain Palimpsest.  If Clement's text and the OS be practially independent of one another, their agreements mark the confluence of two separate lines of evidence; the readings thus preserved must be so ancient as on that account alone to challenge acceptance. ..."


        This earlier work is refreshing in that instead of theories, it presents for the most part detailed readings of Clement which the reader can compare for themselves with the Byz. text.

        ----------
        mr.scrivener







        --- In TC-Alternate-list@yahoogroups.com, "Vox Verax" <voxverax@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have taken in hand Carl P. Cosaert's "The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria," and although I have just skimmed it so far, to get the gist of it, there seem to be some problems in the methodology that is used -- methodology which, if rumor is correct, is applied not only in this volume but in the whole New Testament in the Greek Fathers series. (Or is that "New Testament /and/ the Greek Fathers"? The info on the copyright-page differs from the name on the cover.)
        >
        > The presentation is pretty straightforward: a prefatory profile of Clement and of studies of his NT-text is followed by a list of all of Clement's quotations from the Gospels, book by book. This is followed by a quantitative analysis, and that is followed by a Group Profile analysis.
        >
        > A series of tables surveys the evidence that Clement provides:
        > Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mt: 118.
        > Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mk: 47.
        > Number of genetically significant variant-units in Lk: 143.
        > Number of genetically significant variant-units in Jn: 72.
        >
        > So we have, out of the entire text of the Gospels, 380 readings from which to deduce the character of Clement's Gospels-text. This is done, or attempted to be done, by identifying (a) Inter-Group Relations and (b) Intra-Group Relations, which is a matter of identifying (a) Distinctive Readings and Exclusive Readings, and (b) Uniform Readings and Predominant Readings. This is not Cosaert's approach; it is, as he explains in a footnote, the approach developed by Ehrman.
        >
        > A Distinctive Reading is a reading that is (a) attested by over half the representatives of a specific text-type, and (b) "not present in the witnesses from other textual groups." (p. 254) At least, that is what it is when the term is introduced. But immediately, the term is adjusted, depending on which text-type is involved! -- Although distinct Alexandrian readings (whether Primary Alexandrian [Aleph B P75 Sah] or Secondary Alexandrian [L, et al] are accepted if they are found in more than half of the Primary Alexandrian witnesses, and no others, but in order for a reading to be classified as distinctly Byzantine, it must be supported by "all but one of the Byzantine witnesses, and no others." The definition changes for distinct Caesarean and distinct Western readings, too.
        >
        > You might be wondering, "What are the "Primary Alexandrian" witnesses used in the analysis?" A list on p. 52 tells us: in Matthew and in Mark, the Primary Alexandrian witnesses are Aleph, B, and UBS4. In Luke, the Primary Alexandrian witnesses are Aleph, B, UBS4, and P75. In John, the Primary Alexandrian witnesses are Aleph (from 8:38ff), B, P75, and P66.
        >
        > That's it??? Yes, that's it; that is all. Which seems to mean that about half the time (in Mt, in Mk, and in places in Lk and Jn where one papyrus or the other is lacunose), anything that is unique to Aleph+UBS4, or to B+UBS4, or to Aleph+B = a Distinctive Alexandrian Reading.
        >
        > Then, you might be wondering, "What are the "Primary Byzantine" witnesses used in the analysis?" The list informs us: A, E, Delta (except in Mark), Pi, Omega, and the TR. (RP-2005? Nope. Sigma? Nope. The Peshitta? Nope. Gothic Codex Argenteus? Nope. Was W used at all as a Byzantine witness? Nope! And it's not as if an allergy to versional evidence is in play; Old Latin copies are used to define "Western" readings.) So, while all it takes to constitute a Distinctive Alexandrian Reading is that a reading be attested in Aleph+B+UBS4, or Aleph+B, or Aleph+UBS4, or B+UBS4 (so that in some cases one could say, by B and its echo, or by Aleph and its echo, wherever B or Aleph or B+Aleph has given decisive support for a variant adopted by UBS4), all that it takes to disqualify a reading from being Distinctive Byzantine is that two of the witnesses in the list disagree with the others.
        >
        > This seems to require that the real equation will fluctuate whenever one of the chosen representatives is lacunose (as A is for most of Matthew). In addition, it means that if A, E, Delta, Pi, or Omega happens to disagree with RP-2005 by agreeing with the TR -- >poof!< There goes a Distinctive Byzantine Reading. (I'm not sure if that ever happens or not, though.) And, it means that a Distinctive Alexandrian Reading is affirmed by the agreement of two witnesses out of three (one of which is UBS4), while a Distinctive Byzantine Reading is affirmed by the agreement of four witnesses out of six (one of which is the TR). The same ratio is in play, but the dynamics involved are different; the TR was assembled without the consultation of any of the other Byz witnesses, while UBS4 was assembled with Aleph and B under full consideration and with their influence heavily shaping the compilation; does no one see how this loads the deck, so to speak, in favor of the creation of Distinctive Alexandrian Readings? Does anyone not think that the text of UBS4 was often shaped by the consultation of Aleph+B?
        >
        > So that seems problematic. But that's something I will have to address later; it's not even what I wanted to focus on in this post. Because there is another aspect of the analysis that looms even larger: the problem of quotations that are difficult to nail down to a specific chapter and verse. With 380 genetically significant variant-units under consideration -- 118 in Mt., 47 in Mk., 143 in Lk., and 72 in Jn. -- just a few differences can significantly alter the textual complexion of Clement's text.
        >
        > To illustrate: suppose we are trying to discern what kind of text of Mark was used by Namus of Placus, who quoted from Mark exactly 75 times, in each of which he either explicitly stated that he was quoting from Mark, or happened to quote a part of Mark in which the verbiage is unique to Mark. But, Namus of Placus also appears to have made 25 quotations that look like they might have come from Mark -- but maybe they are inaccurate citations from Matthew, or Luke, or maybe they were phrases with an otherwise coincidental similarity to phrases in Mark.
        >
        > So we classify each of Namus' 75 clear quotations, and the result is that Namus' text of Mark was 66% Alexandrian (i.e., 50 Alexandrian readings), and 33% Byzantine (i.e., 25 Byzantine readings). Thus we conclude that his text of Mark was Alexandrian. But what is the margin of error? Put the unclassified 25 shadowy readings in the equation, and instead of having definite proportions of 66% for Alex and 33% for Byz, you'd have 50% definitely for Alex, 25% definitely for Byz, and 25% unknown -- which, until that unknown 25% is analyzed, /could/ mean that Namus' text was 75% Alexandrian and 25% Byzantine, or, /could/ mean that Namus' text was 50% Alexandrian and 50% Byzantine, or some other proportion. (This illustration was simplified for simplicity's sake -- Western or Caesarean or other text-forms could be featured as well.)
        >
        > And when it comes to Clement, there are a lot of shadow-quotations: in Appendices One and Two, Cosaert lists 161 "Indeterminable Gospel References" and 23 "Catena Fragments and Latin References" -- none of which were used in the analysis. So when we see Cosaert conclude (on p. 299) that it is accurate to classify Clement's text of Matthew as representative of the Primary Alexandrian text, we should realize that (a) he got there by shuffling agreements with Byz at 12:36 (LALHSWSIN) and 16:26 (WFELEITAI) into different categories (as he explains on the same page), so as to effect a statistical shift: Clement would have appeared to agree in Matthew with Byz 53.8% of the time, and with Alex 45.5% of the time, but that artistic touch tilts the statistical scales so that Clement agrees in Matthew with the Primary Alex 46.2% of the time, and with Byz 45.5%.
        >
        > What if just four or five of those 161 Shadow-quotations are actually agreements with Byzantine readings? The scales would tip again, with the result that Clement's text of Matthew would appear more Byzantine than Alexandrian. (And this is Clement of Alexandria's text, remember!)
        >
        > So we are in a position somewhat akin to a person who listens to a news-report about an election: "The citizens of Burgburg have finished electing a mayor: Sam Smith received 47% of the votes, and Mike Miller received 45%." A clear victory for Sam Smith, right? But then comes the rest of the report: "In the Burgburg election, 279 people voted. The election-board rejected 161 ballots which could not be understood. Then two more ballots were rejected; one had marks beside Miller and an independent candidate named Caesar, and the other one had marks beside Miller and an independent candidate named West." Would you still think it was a clear victory? Would you conclude that Mike Miller didn't exist at the time of the election?
        >
        > Despite what seems to be a major methodological problem (which is not Cosaert's fault; he did not make the citations ambiguous), Cosaert's book is a wonderful mine of data. For example, besides the readings in Matthew 12:36 ane 16:26, he identifies five other variants in Matthew, quoted by Clement as Byzantine readings.
        >
        > Although, as I said, I have just picked up the book, it seems to me that the Byzantine Text was repeatedly robbed by a factor built into the analysis. It looks like the witnesses C L 33 and 892 are presented as "Secondary Alexandrian" witnesses, and whenever they agree with the Byzantine Text, >poof<, there goes a Distinctive Alexandrian reading; whatever is Byzantine *and* Secondary Alexandrian is, by definition, not Distinctive. But what *is* the Secondary Alexandrian text as attested by C, by L, by 33, and by 892 -- or, more specifically, by three out of those four (see p. 254) -- if not, very often, a mixture of Alexandrian and Byzantine readings? Wherever a Byzantine reading has been adopted in three of those four witnesses, it is disqualified from being counted as Byzantine. That seems like a significant flaw in the analysis.
        >
        > Similarly, it looks like whenever Theta, f1, f13, and 1582 agree, their agreements are treated as equivalent to the Caesarean Text, and thus all Byzantine readings which agree with such a reconstructed Caesarea Text are disqualified from being Distinctive Byzantine Readings. But (besides the problem that f1 is essentially counted twice in very many cases by having f1, and then 1582, be considered separately) why should this be the case? There seems to be no adequate account taken for mixture in the witnesses that are used to determine the categories of texts (Primary Alex, Secondary Alex, Western, Caesarean, and Byzantine); because of this, the testimony of Byzantine readings are somewhat muted in part of the analysis, just because they were so popular that they enjoy the support of f1 and f13. Now there is a problem: the Byzantine readings that have /too much/ support are not allowed to represent the Byzantine Text.
        >
        > There, anyway, are some initial impressions.
        >
        > (And, the "578.3%" on p. 258 should be "58.3%.")
        >
        > Yours in Christ,
        >
        > James Snapp, Jr.
        >
      • schmuel
        Hi Folks, Thanks, James. Well done. If you remember, I did a study a few months back about the floating and joke definitions of distinctively Byzantine (or
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 6, 2011
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          Hi Folks,

          Thanks, James.  Well done.  If you remember, I did a study a few months back about the floating and joke definitions of "distinctively Byzantine" (or "distinctively Syrian", the Hort usage)  as used and abused by Hort and the Horticuli.

          [TC-Alternate-list] distinctively Byzantine - a phrase distinctly from the Hortian Fog
          Steven Avery - October 28, 2011
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC-Alternate-list/message/4668
          by definition no "distinctly Byzantine" readings can be early
           ...   Once an early writer like Origen or Tertullian quotes a variant, that fact alone will remove it from the Hortian category.

          This is similar to the rigging that you expose below.
          So now to Carl Coseart:

          The text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria (2008)
          Carl P. Cosaert
          http://books.google.com/books?id=27U9z0LKccIC
          http://www.brill.nl/text-apostolos-epiphanius-salamis - Brill
          http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6784 - RBL
          "This volume applies the latest methodological advances in patristic textual analysis .... Clement�s Gospel text reveals an Alexandrian influence in John and Matthew and a stronger Western influence in Luke and his citations of Mark 10."

          The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria
          Sept 5, 2008
          http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2008/09/text-of-clement.html

          Review of The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria
          Mike BIrd - December 19, 2009
          http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2009/12/review-of-text-of-gospels-in-clement-of.html
          http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/6784_7349.pdf
          The only major reservation that I have about this volume is the continued use of the notion of text--types such as �Alexandrian,� �Western,� �Caesarean,� and so forth... He is also correct to ask in what meaningful sense the primary influence on Clement�s text of Matthew can be Byzantine when Byzantine readings do not emerge as a unified text-type until the fourth century. I question, therefore, whether it is profitable to even try to place Clement in relation to a particular text-type. The most we can do is identify Clement against a series of analogous readings from other texts that may themselves fluctuate in the character and origin of their witness.

          Mike 0Bird makes good points, while looking at the "text-form" trap discussed the other day, raised by Aland. They all still miss the fact that the "unified text-form" of the Alexandrian text is basically simply a self-definition of Vaticanus as the Alexandrian text-form ! 

          And pointing to a Western unified text-form is a bit of a game as well, since it is based on the vague issue of ECW Latin quotes and bringing backwards Old Latin manuscripts (with the oddball Codex Bezae thrown in at times) ... while essentially ignoring as secondary and irrelevant the agreement of Byzantine and TR manuscripts with these same ancient sources.  And a Caesarean text-form is long disputed. And, while playing this game, a person might as well claim a "neutral" text-form in the Hortian manner.

          J. K. Elliot - July 5, 2009
          Review
          http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/6784_7348.pdf
          In fact, Cosaert concludes that, although Clement's citations from John are Alexandrian in text-type, in Luke there are many readings close to the so-called Western text-type, and in Matthew (as usual, the Gospel most regularly quoted from) there are significant agreements with (what became) the Byzantine text-type. Cosaert need not be as diffident as he is about observing that fact: Wachtefs recent work on the Byzantine text shows that it began relatively early and only gradually evolved into the fully-blown ecclesiastical type normally labeled as "Byzantine."

          Here is the post that tried to give some of the backdrop on the manuscript circularity issue, so blatant that it was exposed (up to a point) even by Epp and Ehrman.

          [TC-Alternate-list] circularity in manuscript categories, key to the modern Alexandrian superiority game
          Steven Avery - Dec 5, 2011
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC-Alternate-list/message/4794

          Now with Coseart we now have more games, much like the "neutral text" and "distinctively Byzantine" (as those terms are defined, or not defined, or ill defined, by Fenton Hort). Or the Aland category classifications.   Or the particularly scrupulous Alexandrian scribes. 

          Only here it filters down to the technical methodology used in a detailed modern paper, and it takes a James Snapp to take the time and effort to ferret out and describe the huge methodology flaws and problems.  The normal peers of the textual establishment simply are paralyzed away from pointing out major and fundamental methodology flaws that come from their academy.  ie. Not if the jargon and patterns of speech are acceptable, and the arithmetic is ok, and the TR is not being earnestly considered as a pure text contender.

          =============================

          My view:

          You would get more true and accurate and useful information if you simply did a triangular analysis of the Clement of Alexandria variants. (With the Peshitta I was even able to do such a triangular analysis in the English target versions, in a study limited to 200 major section differences  .. omission or addition. )   James did something along this line quite successfully with P45, Vaticanus and the Byzantine Text, in one of the threads where CARM has thrown out the valuable work instead of archiving.

          Of the arguably 380 variants referenced by Coseart, the basic question is :

          how many have a different reading in the Critical Text compared to the Received Text ?

          (an alternative would be the Byzantine Text, or you could just sub-unit that information where the TR is not the Byz.).
          If you were studying the "Western Text" you could allow that to try to be considered as well, although it is far more difficult to define variant by variant

          So perhaps 50, or less, of those variants have a different reading in the UBS-4 than in the Received Text .
          My guesstimate

          Thus, using that calc for conceptual consideration, the other 330 are simply irrelevant to a basic study, since the Alexandrian Text and the Byzantine Text are the same.  The only interesting question is places where the Clement text disagrees with both --- does it go Western/Vulgate, independent, or something else ?  If there are 10 such independent variants from Clement, it matters little.  If there are 50-100, obviously more consideration is needed and the methodology may need reconsideration.  Likely there are few.

          Now, let us say 30 different is more realistic than 50.  Let's be honest with the reader and simply point out that those 30 are the only significant variants for the study. It is scholastic game-playing to try to assign text-types when there is not a significant variant between the basic Byzantine-TR and Alexandrian texts.  (It would be interesting to see if such assignment was frequently the result of the rigged (my word) methodology exposed by James.

          Then say 25 of those are clearly in one camp or the other, the other 5 being "other".  And you simply compare the numbers.  20-CT vs 5-TR would predominantly, but not fully, Alexandrian.  A 15-10 split would be close to a tie.   And your study is done, and informative and helpful.

          The one other issue is the significance of the variants, it would be helpful to highlight those that are glaring.  A small variant of a possible preposition altered or omitted can barely be considered as on the same level of a phrase omitted or inserted.

          In such a simpler methodology, we could easily involve the rest of the NT beyond the Gospels.

          =============================

          By the grace of the Lord Jesus, I will try to follow these thoughts up with ..

          An analysis of some of the truly significant Clement variants. 

          (Note: I have not done this yet, the goal is to find at least 10 that are clear-cut Byzantine/TR or Alexandrian. Show the texts, have some discussion, and come up with a reasonable "final answer".)

          Shalom,
          Steven Avery
          Queens, NY

          James Snapp
          I have taken in hand Carl P. Cosaert's "The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria," and although I have just skimmed it so far, to get the gist of it, there seem to be some problems in the methodology that is used -- methodology which, if rumor is correct, is applied not only in this volume but in the whole New Testament in the Greek Fathers series.  (Or is that "New Testament /and/ the Greek Fathers"?  The info on the copyright-page differs from the name on the cover.)

          The presentation is pretty straightforward:  a prefatory profile of Clement and of studies of his NT-text is followed by a list of all of Clement's quotations from the Gospels, book by book.  This is followed by a quantitative analysis, and that is followed by a Group Profile analysis. 

          A series of tables surveys the evidence that Clement provides:
          Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mt:  118.
          Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mk:  47.
          Number of genetically significant variant-units in Lk:  143.
          Number of genetically significant variant-units in Jn:  72.

          ... Similarly, it looks like whenever Theta, f1, f13, and 1582 agree, their agreements are treated as equivalent to the Caesarean Text, and thus all Byzantine readings which agree with such a reconstructed Caesarea Text are disqualified from being Distinctive Byzantine Readings.

        • Vox Verax
          BenD, Cosaert went back to the drawing-board just fine; he reviewed Barnard s work, and pointed out some of its shortcomings. Barnard s work is far surpassed.
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 6, 2011
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            BenD,

            Cosaert went back to the drawing-board just fine; he reviewed Barnard's work, and pointed out some of its shortcomings. Barnard's work is far surpassed. Cosaert presents, in order, all of the identifiable citations that Clement makes from the Gospels. And such a step makes perfect sense; that is something that is *right* with this book -- the data-presentation is very good. The existence of so many shadow-readings (in Appendices One and Two) are a real concern, though, when it comes to the reliability of the analysis-results, for the reasons I already gave.

            Yours in Christ,

            James Snapp, Jr.
          • schmuel
            Hi Folks, With thanks to James and Ben and others, continuing the studies. First, here is Percy Barnard (1868-1941) online, partial, referenced by Ben (his
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 8, 2011
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              Hi Folks,

              With thanks to James and Ben and others, continuing the studies.
              First, here is Percy Barnard (1868-1941)  online, partial, referenced by Ben (his post url below).

              Note: My colors were commented on (sister forum).
              Understand that, generally, everything I write original is in blue.

              =============================================

              Percy Mordaunt Barnard -- in the Hortian Fog:

              Text and Studies (1899)
              The Biblical Text of Clement of Alexandria in the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles
              Percy Mordaunt Barnard
              http://books.google.com/books?id=fAc4AAAAIAAJ&pg=RA3-PR3

              While Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) has an interesting intro about John Burgon, the quotes given by Ben show that Barnard was also stuck in the Hortian paradigm, of the late Byzantine text, subject to a priori dismissal.

              Under that construct a Byzantine reading that agrees with Alexandrian simply confirms the Alexandrian antiquity, A Byzantine reading that agrees with the Western against the Alexandrian is simply a Western off-shoot of no import. And a "distinctively Byzantine" reading is of the least import at all. And if there is support in early church writers for what might be "distinctively Byzantine" then it is no longer "distinctively Byzantine" ... those church writers can be considered the off-shoot Alexandrian or Western original corruption.  (After all, now you have studies like Cosaert that tell you that Clement had some sort of "Alexandrian" text Bible, once you rig the methodology to a nice circle.)

              All this about Barnard is clear from the quotes in Ben's post and the paper, such as:

              It was only to be expected that Clement would side with the best Greek and the beat Latin when they agreed together. The really surprising thing is, that when they are divided Clement sides so often not with the Greek but with the Latin.

              The best Greek would be good old Vaticanus.
              The best Latin, .. is .. something .. Old Latin, Vulgate, Codex Bezae, church writers, kitchen sink.

              Thus the standard dual paradigm that rigs textual studies -- straight from the Hortian Fog.

              =============================================

              REVIEW OF TC-Alternate

              Review of Cosaert:

              [TC-Alternate-list] Questionable Methodology in NTGF - The Weight of Shadows
              James Snapp - Dec 6, 2011
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC-Alternate-list/message/4803

              [TC-Alternate-list] Questionable Methodology in NTGF - The Weight of Shadows
              Ben - Dec 06, 2011
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC-Alternate-list/message/4804
              P. Mordaunt Barnard: Texts and Studies (Ed. Robinson) Vol. V. No.5, Clement of Alexandria's BIblical Text (1899).  .... This earlier work is refreshing in that instead of theories, it presents for the most part detailed readings of Clement which the reader can compare for themselves with the Byz. text.

              [TC-Alternate-list] questionable methodologies and categories - slanted to Hortian theories -- analyzing Clement of Alexandria sensibly
              Steven Avery - Dec 06, 2011
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC-Alternate-list/message/4806

              Plus James discusses Cosaert and Barnard in 4807

              ==========================================================================

              Hortian Rigging and the Fog

              An example (note the turgid, convoluted Hortian writing, where meanings can be obscured by an unusual type of scholasticism).

              The New Testament in the Original Greek: Introduction. Appendix (1882)
              Brooke Foss Westcott
              http://books.google.com/books?id=Mv82AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA204
              § 279
               ...  Lastly, even me presence of tried and verified Pre-Syrian patristic evidence in opposition to the primary Greek MSS, in conjunction with its absence from their side, loses much of the weight to which it would otherwise be entitled, when the actual texts employed in the extant writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers are taken into consideration. Western readings, it will be remembered, are abundant in Clement and Origen, much more in Eusebhis; and these are the only Ante-Nicene Fathers, represented to us by more than petty fragments, whose texts are not approximately Western.... If therefore even Clement or Origen swell the array,
              (of a "clear Western element" opposed to the "primary Greek mss" ) the source of their readings in these passages, as in many others where no doubt is possible, may be Western; and if so, they contribute nothing towards shewing that these readings were only preserved by the Western text, not originated by it. Nevertheless, since the greater part of the texts of the Alexandrian Fathers is Non-Western (see § 159), their certified opposition to a reading of the primary Greek MSS ought to forbid its unqualified acceptance except after the fullest consideration.

              From above, here is an example of Hortian incomprehensibility:

              If therefore even Clement or Origen swell the array, the source of their readings in these passages, as in many others where no doubt is possible, may be Western; and if so, they contribute nothing towards shewing that these readings were only preserved by the Western text, not originated by it.

              Apparently this is Hort's way of saying that Clement and Origen agreement with the Western text (and 1000 Byzantine Greek majority manuscripts and other ECW evidences and internal considerations) makes no difference on a Vaticanus text, perhaps with Sinaiticus agreement, for which "no doubt is possible", although that lack of doubt should come after "the fullest consideration".

              Understand, I stopped to show this since I use the phrase the Hortian Fog a lot.  Sometimes the moisture from the fog can be refreshing.

              http://books.google.com/books?id=Mv82AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA112
              § 159
              The most striking phenomenon of the evidence belonging to the time before 250 is the number of places in which the quotations exhibit at least two series of readings, Western and what may be called Non-Western. The first clear evidence of any kind that we possess, that obtained from recorded readings of Marcion (Pontus and Rome) and from the writings of Justin Martyr (Samaria and Rome), is distinguished by readings undoubtedly Western, and thus shews that texts of this character were in existence before the middle of the second century. The same character of text is found in Ireraus and Hippolytus, and again in Methodius and predominantly in' Eusebius. Thus the text used by all those Ante-Nicene Greek writers, not being connected with Alexandria, who have left considerable remains is substantially Western. Even in Clement of  Alexandria and in Origen, especially in some of his writings, Western quotations hold a prominent place.

              In the Hortian economy, Clement simply can not have Byzantine readings, by definition, since the age was pre-Syrian.  And the "Western" readings (in fact, generally Byzantine-Western agreements against an ultra-minority Alexandrian), even if equal in number to the Alexandrian, simply do not matter. 

              This is true in the simplistic and erroneous explanations of today as well:

              Clement of Alexandria (d. after 215) and Origen (d.254) are primary witnesses to the Alexandrian text. (Daniel B. Wallace, Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: p. 15)

              If Daniel Wallace simply read and understood John WIlliam Burgon, he would not make so many blunders in writing.

              ==========================================================================

              And I also discussed what I though would be more sensible, and some plans (in process) to do a "live" review of a number of Clement variants.

              However, first, I notice that this was omitted in all the above. And this is much more what I shared .. you do better to first ignore variants where there is no substantive textual disagreements and then look in a triangular fashion (the ECW or ms or version source text, and the two competing texts compared).

              The traditional text of the Holy Gospels vindicated and established
              John William Burgon
              http://books.google.com/books?id=fX9CAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA99
              Clement of Alexandria and Origen are described as being remarkable for the absence of Traditional readings in their works.Whereas besides his general testimony of 82 to 72 as we have seen, Clement witnesses in the list just given 8 times for them to 14 against them ... Clement as we shall see used mainly Alexandrian texts which must have been growing up in his days, though he witnesses largely to Traditional readings (p. 103)

              In other words, Burgon shows that even the Clement of Alexandria text is approximately = to the Alexandrian.  Or down the middle.  Note that Burgon is a bit unclear above, the main concern is that he is counting multiple readings for the same verse independently in the count.  My check of the 30 verses shows:

              5 Traditional Text
              4 Neologian /Hortian
              2 both sides

              And this is counting John 1:18 somewhat questionably as Alexandrian. 
              Here is another interesting resource on Clement of Alexandria.

              The Theological Works of Edward Burton, Vol 2 (1837)
              Edward Burton
              http://books.google.com/books?id=lUotAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA111

              While Burton (1794-1836) is most interested in this section (p. 111-180) showing the deity of Messiah position of Clement, contra the Unitarian approach, in so doing he runs through a number of fascinating variants and does discuss other ECW. Sections include John 1:18, Philippians 2:6 and 1 Timothy 3:16.

              An interesting point is that he actually has Clement extrapolating "orthodox" understandings beyond the actual Bible text (see p. 166

              Shalom,
              Steven Avery
              Queens, NY


              Thanks, James.  Well done.  If you remember, I did a study a few months back about the floating and joke definitions of "distinctively Byzantine" (or "distinctively Syrian", the Hort usage)  as used and abused by Hort and the Horticuli.

              [TC-Alternate-list] distinctively Byzantine - a phrase distinctly from the Hortian Fog
              Steven Avery - October 28, 2011
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC-Alternate-list/message/4668
              by definition no "distinctly Byzantine" readings can be early
               ...   Once an early writer like Origen or Tertullian quotes a variant, that fact alone will remove it from the Hortian category.
              This is similar to the rigging that you expose below.
              So now to Carl Coseart:

              The text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria (2008)
              Carl P. Cosaert
              http://books.google.com/books?id=27U9z0LKccIC
              http://www.brill.nl/text-apostolos-epiphanius-salamis - Brill
              http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6784 - RBL
              "This volume applies the latest methodological advances in patristic textual analysis .... Clement’s Gospel text reveals an Alexandrian influence in John and Matthew and a stronger Western influence in Luke and his citations of Mark 10."

              The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria
              Sept 5, 2008
              http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2008/09/text-of-clement.html

              Review of The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria
              Mike BIrd - December 19, 2009
              http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2009/12/review-of-text-of-gospels-in-clement-of.html
              http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/6784_7349.pdf
              The only major reservation that I have about this volume is the continued use of the notion of text--types such as “Alexandrian,” “Western,” “Caesarean,” and so forth... He is also correct to ask in what meaningful sense the primary influence on Clement’s text of Matthew can be Byzantine when Byzantine readings do not emerge as a unified text-type until the fourth century. I question, therefore, whether it is profitable to even try to place Clement in relation to a particular text-type. The most we can do is identify Clement against a series of analogous readings from other texts that may themselves fluctuate in the character and origin of their witness.

              J. K. Elliot - July 5, 2009
              Review
              http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/6784_7348.pdf
              In fact, Cosaert concludes that, although Clement's citations from John are Alexandrian in text-type, in Luke there are many readings close to the so-called Western text-type, and in Matthew (as usual, the Gospel most regularly quoted from) there are significant agreements with (what became) the Byzantine text-type. Cosaert need not be as diffident as he is about observing that fact: Wachtefs recent work on the Byzantine text shows that it began relatively early and only gradually evolved into the fully-blown ecclesiastical type normally labeled as "Byzantine."

              Here is the post that tried to give some of the backdrop on the manuscript circularity issue, so blatant that it was exposed (up to a point) even by Epp and Ehrman.

              [TC-Alternate-list] circularity in manuscript categories, key to the modern Alexandrian superiority game
              Steven Avery - Dec 5, 2011
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TC-Alternate-list/message/4794

              Now with Coseart we now have more games, much like the "neutral text" and "distinctively Byzantine" (as those terms are defined, or not defined, or ill defined, by Fenton Hort). Or the Aland category classifications.   Or the particularly scrupulous Alexandrian scribes. 


              James Snapp
              I have taken in hand Carl P. Cosaert's "The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria," and although I have just skimmed it so far, to get the gist of it, there seem to be some problems in the methodology that is used -- methodology which, if rumor is correct, is applied not only in this volume but in the whole New Testament in the Greek Fathers series.  (Or is that "New Testament /and/ the Greek Fathers"?  The info on the copyright-page differs from the name on the cover.)

              The presentation is pretty straightforward:  a prefatory profile of Clement and of studies of his NT-text is followed by a list of all of Clement's quotations from the Gospels, book by book.  This is followed by a quantitative analysis, and that is followed by a Group Profile analysis. 

              A series of tables surveys the evidence that Clement provides:
              Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mt:  118.
              Number of genetically significant variant-units in Mk:  47.
              Number of genetically significant variant-units in Lk:  143.
              Number of genetically significant variant-units in Jn:  72.

              ... Similarly, it looks like whenever Theta, f1, f13, and 1582 agree, their agreements are treated as equivalent to the Caesarean Text, and thus all Byzantine readings which agree with such a reconstructed Caesarea Text are disqualified from being Distinctive Byzantine Readings.
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