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8252Re: [XTalk] Relative order of books in the Pauline corpus

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  • Bob Schacht
    Sep 2, 2001
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      Thank you for your patience, and for this response which greatly enhances
      my understanding of your previously articulated position! More below.

      At 11:38 AM 9/2/01 -0400, you wrote:
      > >>This [i.e., that "200 CE, early as it is, is pretty darn *late*,
      >well after any of these books were written"] is irrelevant, because at
      >issue is Trobisch's analysis of the manuscripts. We *don't have* any
      >manuscripts before P46. All such manuscripts, and what they may have
      >include, and in what order, are hypothetical.<<
      >Keep in mind that *you* are the one that keeps mentioning p46 as the
      >earliest witness as if this has great significance. Does it or doesn't

      Sure it does. I am surprised that you consistently seem to regard this
      earliest witness as *irrelevant,* a position that is hard for me to
      understand, although the reasons seem to become clearer below.

      > >>What has this got to do with Trobisch's argument that Hebrews was
      >added to the Pauline Corpus at a later date? Perhaps I'm just being
      >Perhaps. <g> It has to do with YOUR idea that p46, being the earliest
      >mss and including Hebrews second in order, had some sort of special
      >significance. I was suggesting that p46 was not a *published* mss but
      >a private one. As a private one, its order could have represented the
      >whim of the owner/copyist, not the mss tradition of publishers. One of
      >Trobisch's points was that NT mss overwhelmingly show evidence of
      >being the products of publishing houses (scriptoriums, if you like...

      It is not surprising to me that the earliest document *might have been* a
      "private" manuscript, and that later documents were "published" copies.
      Duh. I think Trobisch (and you) seem to exaggerate the importance of this
      point all out of proportion. But see below.

      > >>What baffles me is that you see, and wrote with your own hand, that
      >the two earliest manuscripts included Hebrews. Does that mean nothing
      >to you?<<
      >I'm willing to take another look at manuscript tradition:
      > P46* 03** 01 06 012 Byz Min5 Min794
      > per 02 010
      > chap 03**
      > no's 04
      > 200 4th? 4-5th 5-6th 9th
      >Rom 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
      >1Co 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
      >2Co 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
      >Gal 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
      >Eph 5 6 5 5 5 5 5 5
      >Phi 7 7 6 7 6 6 7 6
      >Col 8 8 7 6 7 7 6 7
      >1Th 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8
      >2Th ? 10 9 9 9 9 9 9
      >1Ti ? ? 11 10 10 10 11 11
      >2Ti ? ? 12 11 11 11 12 12
      >Tit ? ? 13 12 12 12 13 13
      >Phm ? ? 14 13 13 13 14 14
      >Heb 2! 5! 10 14*** Omit! 14 10 10&15!
      >Looking at this chart again, there *is* evidence that Hebrews was
      >variously placed at the end of one or another of the three major
      >groupings of letters, but always as an appendix (except in p46).

      OK, I think I follow you here. But rather than quibbling about the next
      paragraph [snipped], let's get to the real breakthrough:

      >...To change the subject away from Hebrews, maybe the question should be,
      >"Are these groupings, found in all mss except p46, evidence for
      >previously existing independent collections appended together (as
      >Trobisch suggests) or some sort of critical grouping (group 1 =
      >undisputed, 2 = intermediate, 3 = disputed)?

      AH! Now all your previous messages make sense. Rephrase it not as a
      question but as a hypothesis, and everything you have been arguing falls
      into place. But I think that there are several significant problems with
      this hypothesis:
      1. It reconstructs a hypothetical ancestral letter collection (pre-200
      C.E.) for which there are no manuscripts.
      2. It appears to regard texts ranging in date from 200 C.E. to the 9th
      Century as all having equal value as witnesses to the pre-200 collection of
      letters. This is an astonishing presumption, as it equates pre-Constantine
      texts (P46 and maybe 03) with texts dating to the period of the first 4
      Ecumenical Councils (from Nicea in 325 to Chalcedon in 451) and even later.
      In other words, most of the 8 collections of letters date after Nicea, and
      so that the selection and arrangement of letters is likely to have been
      influenced by those councils. Therefore, it is strange to regard them as
      witnesses to the pre-200 C.E. collection.

      In other words, I would argue that the answer to your question is "No".

      >These groupings do exist,
      >and seem to have significance (even in deciding where to place
      >Hebrews) so if they were not evidence of independent groupings later
      >appended into the present collection, then what are they evidence for?

      First, they might be evidence for Conciliar judgments about the
      significance of the various letters.
      Second, let's go back to the issue of the authorship of Hebrews. McCoy
      makes a case for Silvanus. Suppose that the author was Silvanus or another
      colleague of Paul, someone of Paul's generation known to be associated with
      Paul, but not Paul himself. BTW, McCoy is not the first to have thought of
      Silvanus as author: The ABD article on Hebrews mentions Silas(Silvanus) as
      one of the proposed authors.

      Collections of letters would then have a slight problem: Should Hebrews be
      grouped with the known letters of Paul, or the subsequent generations of
      Pauline letters? Hebrews does not begin like a letter, but it ends like a
      letter and so on grounds of being a letter and being authored by a close
      associate of Paul, there would be uncertainty about where to put it. But
      see more below.

      >Before we all go rushing to conclusions, though, here is Trobisch's
      >table with the length of each book in characters based (I think) on
      >ROM 34,410 18.4%
      >1CO 32,767 17.5%
      >2CO 22,280 11.9%
      >GAL 11,091 5.9%
      >EPH 12,012 6.4%
      >PHI 8,009 4.3%
      >COL 7,897 4.2%
      >1TH 7,423 4.0%
      >2TH 4,055 2.2%
      >1TI 8,869 4.7%
      >2TI 6,538 3.5%
      >TIT 3,733 2.0%
      >PHM 1,575 0.8%
      >HEB 26,382 14.1%
      >TOTAL 187,041 100%
      >The 3 major groupings are always in order of length (except Ephesians
      >and Hebrews).

      But with P46 the order *is* based (roughly) on length. A strict ordering on
      length would place it between I and 2 Corinthians. To avoid interrupting
      the Corinthian letters, a length-based ordering would place Hebrews either
      before the Corinthian letters (as P46 did), or after them. Thus, P46
      appears to treat Hebrews like any other of the Pauline letters, placing it
      on the basis of length.

      >Ephesians is always, without fail, appended to the first
      >grouping. Hebrews is appended to all three groupings, or omitted, in
      >an inconsistent manner.
      >What are we to make of this order?

      That Hebrews was known not to have been written by Paul, but to have been
      written by a close associate of Paul, and that since it at least ends like
      a letter, it belonged "somewhere" in the collection of Paul's letters. On
      the basis of length, it belongs with the first group (so P46 and 03), but
      on the basis of not being by Paul, it might have been bumped to the second
      or third group. If it was thought early, (e.g. with reasoning like
      McCoy's), it would be logical to append it after the Thessalonian
      correspondence. If it was thought too far removed from Paul's thinking,
      that might have been grounds to append it to the third group. At any rate,
      it would be interesting to know what debates about Hebrews were made in the
      Ecumenical Councils.

      But I think we have digressed from the original point. :-)
      In any case, thanks for clarifying the basis of Trobisch's argument. At
      least, now I know where you were "coming from".


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