Re: [John_Lit] Jn 6:15 in the Diatessarons
- Hi Yuri,
I'm back in town. Will look into past discussion with J. Gibson on
architriklinos in weekend.
If people get too sharp, remember:
Littera occidit, Spiritus vivificat.
----- Origineel Bericht -----
Van: Yuri Kuchinsky <yuku@...>
Datum: Donderdag, Mei 23, 2002 10:00 pm
Onderwerp: [John_Lit] Jn 6:15 in the Diatessarons
> Dear friends,
> This article examines five versions of Jn 6:15, as found in the
> canonicalGreek text, the ancient Old Syriac Sinaiticus manuscript
> (SyrS), and three
> Diatessaronic witnesses. And, later on, an interesting reading in the
> Codex Bezae is also brought into the consideration.
> The purpose of these comparisons is to demonstrate that the
> Diatessaronicversions seem to be preserving an earlier text of
> GJohn in this verse.
> The following analysis is mostly based on Boismard's 1992 book LE
> DIATESSARON: DE TATIEN A JUSTIN, as well as on some more analysis
> suppliedby Plooij, in his magisterial commentary on the Liege
> Diatessaron. Also,
> this will permit a brief critique of WL Petersen's response to
> Boismard'sanalysis, as found in Petersen's TATIAN'S DIATESSARON,
> Brill, 1994:
> 348-356. Petersen critiqued Boismard rather harshly, but it seems
> like his
> criticism was not so well based, especially in regard to this
> Below, you can see five versions of Jn 6:15a, starting with the
> canonicalGreek. What we find is that the Arabic DT follows the
> canonical version
> pretty closely (although there are a couple of small differences
> there,that I will examine below). But the other three versions --
> SyrS, the
> Magdalene Gospel, and the Liege Diatessaron -- seem to stay much
> closertogether, and to contain some rather primitive elements.
> (Also, according
> to Boismard, the COMMENTARY by Ephrem the Syrian for this verse
> followsSyrS pretty closely, so this can be counted as some
> additional ancient
> Syriac attestation for this verse.)
> I have now counted five agreements between the Magdalene Gospel
> and SyrS
> for Jn 6:15a, which goes contrary to what Petersen asserted in his
> reviewof Boismard. According to Petersen, in this reading, SyrS
> was supposed to
> agree with the Arabic, "or more so than with any other witness"
> (1994:353). But, in actual fact, we find that SyrS and the Arabic
> don'tagree here at all.
> To these five agreements, I will also add two more as found in the
> secondpart of this verse, that were not commented upon by
> Boismard. All seven
> can be classified as the Syro-Latin agreements against the canonical
> The Latin versions below are supplied by Boismard on pp. 110-111
> of his
> _John 6:15a_
> Canonical Greek: Jesus, therefore, knowing (gnous) that they were
> about to
> come and to take him by force (harpazein), that they may make him
> king ...
> Arabic DT: et Jesus scivit quia venturi erant ut tollerent eum et
> facerenteum regem
> [and Jesus knew they were about to come and take him, and make him
> a king]
> SyrS: et cogitabant ut raperent eum ut facerent eum regem; ipse autem
> Iesus scivit
> [and they reasoned among themselves that they would take him with
> strength, and make him a king, but Jesus knew]
> MG 49:21: they were talking among themselves that they would all
> make him
> their king by force. And, meanwhile, Jesus ...
> [MG original text: thai speken amonges hem that hij wolden alle
> maken hym
> her kyng with strenkthe]
> Liege DT: Then they agreed that they would seize him by force, and
> makehim king over them. And when Jesus knew that ...
> So here are the five agreements between SyrS and MG, which almost
> all go
> against the Arabic text. Since MG seems to depend on an ancient
> Old Latin
> Diatessaron, all these can be counted as Syro-Latin agreements. We
> findthat the Liege DT also almost always goes along with these
> 1. A simpler grammatical construction is found in SyrS, MG, and
> the Liege.
> ("They reasoned... Jesus knew...")
> (At the same time, we can see that the Arabic also uses the simple
> pasttense for "Jesus scivit", while the canonical version has
> "Jesus sciens".
> In this small detail, the Arabic text seems to go back to the old
> Diatessaronic tradition, rather than depending on the canonical text.)
> 2. In the same group of three texts, Jesus' actions follow after "the
> people reasoned". But both in the canonical and the Arabic
> versions, this
> sequence is reversed.
> 3. All the versions here, including even the canonical, use the
> Latin word
> "raperent = Greek harpazein" (meaning "to take with strength"),
> but the
> Arabic is using "tollerent", which does not have such a meaning.
> Thus, the
> Arabic text doesn't really indicate that Jesus will be compelled
> to do
> anything he wouldn't want to do. So, for this particular reading, the
> Arabic doesn't really agree with _any_ of the above versions, let
> alonethe Syriac.
> 4. In SyrS, MG, and the Liege, the word "to come" is absent. So
> this is
> yet another broad agreement against the Arabic, which in this case
> closelyfollows the canonical text.
> 5. The Syriac and MG both go against the Arabic in describing the
> actionsof the people. Because, in the Syriac and MG, the crowds of
> people only
> _discuss_ making Jesus king against his will; they haven't actually
> decided to do anything as yet.
> We can see that, in this case, the Liege follows the canonical and the
> Arabic versions. (And yet, as Plooij documents in his commentary
> on the
> Liege DT, there's yet another medieval Dutch text, Hned, that
> seems to
> have a version almost identical to MG, indicating the conversation
> betweenthe people: "worden si te rade")
> This fifth agreement between SyrS and MG is quite interesting,
> because it
> implies the greater powers of Jesus to see other people's inner
> thoughts.But also, it may indicate a greater respect for Jesus on
> the part of the
> people of Israel.
> As I said, there are also two more agreements in Jn 6:15b that can be
> classified as Syro-Latin agreements. I will come back to them further
> below but, first, some more comments about Petersen's critique of
> In the same passage as cited above, Petersen also critiqued a
> couple of
> other textual comparisons that he found in Boismard, all part of "the
> Multiplication of the Loaves" pericope. (These are the various
> versions of
> Lk 9:15a, and Jn 6:11; Petersen numbers them as #5 and #9). Just
> like with
> the preceding example, Petersen's critiques of these are likewise very
> problematic. (I can supply more details if someone is interested.)
> Overall, it seems like there are no big problems with Boismard's
> analysisof these passages.
> Basically, Boismard's purpose in his analysis of "the
> Multiplication of
> the Loaves" pericope was to demonstrate that SyrS has textual
> affinitieswith Justin's Harmony, rather than with the later
> versions of the
> Diatessaron, such as the Arabic DT. He certainly seems to be
> correct about
> this in regard to Jn 6:15a, as well as more generally in this whole
> section of his book. These textual affinities are there, just like
> Boismard says they are. But in so far as interpreting these
> affinities,and determining how they originated, of necessity, this
> will be a lot more
> conjectural. Myself, I don't necessarily agree with Boismard as
> far as his
> larger interpretation of these affinities goes.
> Now, the following two Syro-Latin agreements have not been noted
> either by
> Boismard or by Petersen. They have been noted by Plooij, however,
> in his
> apparatus for the Liege DT, although his analysis remained somewhat
> At the end of Jn 6:15, according to the canonical version, Jesus
> withdraws"to the mountain by himself". Here is how we find this
> text in our 4
> extra-canonical witnesses,
> Arabic: he ... went up into the mountain alone for prayer.
> Syriac: ascended to the hill alone.
> MG: Jesus was up on the mountain in order to pray.
> Liege: went up into a mountain to say his prayer.
> So here are the other two Syro-Latin agreements that can be noted
> in these
> 6. Both MG and the Liege add a very interesting detail that Jesus
> goes up
> to the mountain in order to pray. This detail is lacking in the
> canonicalAlexandrian text, and yet it's actually present in the
> Western text of the
> Codex Bezae, in both its Greek and Latin versions,
> Jn 6:15 in the Greek Bezae: kakei proseukheto
> Latin Bezae: et ibi orabat
> Plooij does note this agreement with Bezae, but he only does this
> for the
> Liege DT. The only other version he cites is the Sahidic. And yet he
> neglected the Magdalene version, as well as the agreement with the
> ArabicDT that, as we can see above, is also present there. This
> parallel with
> the Arabic should make this a Syro-Latin agreement, because the Arabic
> text is believed to depend on the Syriac version. Interestingly
> enough,the Old Syriac text, itself, seems to have lost this
> detail, while it was
> retained by the Arabic DT.
> 7. And, finally, another Syro-Latin agreement that can be noted is the
> detail that Jesus goes _up_ to the mountain, i.e. the idea of
> ascent. This
> is present in all four of our extra-canonical witnesses.
> (MG has a somewhat different version here, but the idea of ascent
> is still
> present there. In MG, as different from all other texts, there's
> no sense
> that Jesus is escaping from the people. It remains open how can this
> variant reading be interpreted.)
> Now, if it's accepted that these textual agreements between SyrS
> and the
> Western Diatessarons indeed fall into the category of the Syro-Latin
> agreements, then they should precede the canonical Greek text.
> After all,
> great many eminent textual critics expressed the opinion that the
> Syro-Latin agreements tend to indicate the more primitive textual
> layer in
> NT gospels. Among these scholars are B.F. Westcott (1896), F.C.
> Burkitt(1899), E. Nestle (1901), A. Souter (1909), C.H. Turner
> (1928), and A.
> Voobus (1951).
> Best wishes,
> Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku
> Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
> it is time to reform -=O=- Mark Twain
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