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Re: [John_Lit] Aramaic John 1:1-10

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    ... Yes, he was. So were Wescott, Hort, Souter, Voobus, Merk, Tischendorff, vonSoden, and all the others that Yuri usually notes when he makes his claims
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 5, 2003
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      Jack Kilmon wrote:

      > Although I am always suspicious of century old references, was Burkitt a
      > Greek prioritist?

      Yes, he was. So were Wescott, Hort, Souter, Voobus, Merk, Tischendorff,
      vonSoden, and all the others that Yuri usually notes when he makes his claims
      about the scholars supporting the idea of the priority of the Syriac MSS over
      the "standard Greek text" -- which, notably, is rarely if ever supported by
      direct quotation of these scholars' works but through a reproduction of a
      quote of a T-C List message from Bill Petersen which does not say what Yuri
      thinks it says.

      FWIW, when Yuri first made this claim, and refused then to provide any actual
      quotes from
      these scholars, but instead just quoted Petersen, I decided to write to Bill
      on the matter and get the word "from the horse's mouth". so to speak.

      Here is the message:

      *****

      Date: Thu, 05 Sep 2002 20:06:44 -0500

      From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
      X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.79 [en] (Win98; U)
      X-Accept-Language: en
      MIME-Version: 1.0
      To: "William L. Petersen" <WLP1@...>
      Subject: Re: a question

      Bill,

      From what I know from reading Westcott, Souter, Burkitt, etc. ... , I am
      under the impression that each of
      these scholars was (and always remained) Greek priorists. That is to say,
      it
      is my understanding that each one never doubted that the NT writings were
      originally written in Greek and that each viewed the OS and OL MSS as
      (ultimately) translations from Greek originals. Moreover, I take it that the

      what they were asserting about the agreements between OS and OL MSS was that

      these agreements showed us a **Greek** text earlier than what the available
      Greek witnesses showed us regarding the wording of any given NT document. I
      am
      correct in thinking all of this, aren't I?


      Bill then wrote back to me with this reply.

      From - Fri Sep 06 08:43:55 2002
      Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 09:24:36 -0400
      To: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
      From: "William L. Petersen" <WLP1@...>
      Subject: Re: a question
      In-Reply-To: <3D77FFA4.C0171795@...>

      Hi, Jeffrey:

      Yes, you are correct--to a point. None of these scholars posited a Semitic
      language original. Rather, the conjunction of the Vetus Latina and the
      Vetus Syra pointed to an early, common (to the OL and the OS) base text, **in
      Greek** [my emphasis], from which both the OL and the OS had been translated.
      This
      "common" (Greek) text (common, because it was used by both the OL and the
      OS translators) was older than the Greek we have in our uncial MSS (aleph,
      Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, etc., etc.).

      My reservation ("to a point") is that I am not sure that all of the
      scholars you name really address this conjunction of the OL and OS. Souter
      does; I'd have to go back and reread Westcott and Burkitt (who had his own
      ideas, as I recall: for example, he argued that the original Diatessaron
      had been in Latin).

      Cheers! --Bill.

      *********
      But if Yuri has evidence to the contrary, I'd be grateful if he'd produce it
      and not just from a secondary source, but from the writings of Burkitt
      himself.

      In any case, what you really should be suspicious of -- as I'm sure you are --
      is any claims about a Gospel text based upon an English translation of it.

      By the way, the Syriac text of the Gospel of John (which is what Yuri
      **should** have produced if he really wants to do comparative studies with the
      any Greek MS witness to the prologue) is available at the TC-List site.

      Yours,

      Jeffrey
      --

      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

      1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
      Chicago, IL 60626

      jgibson000@...
    • Yuri Kuchinsky
      ... Well, actually, Jack, this is a fourth/fifth centuries CE reference, since this is the date of the Curetonian MS (i.e. the same date as that of the best
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 5, 2003
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        On Tue, 4 Feb 2003, Jack Kilmon wrote:

        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@...>
        > To: "John Lit-L" <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 1:57 PM
        > Subject: [John_Lit] Aramaic John 1:1-10
        >
        > > Greetings, all,
        > >
        > > Here's the opening of John as found in the Old Syriac Aramaic Curetonian
        > > MS of the gospel. This is F. C. Burkitt's 1904 translation of the
        > > Curetonian MS.
        >
        >
        > Although I am always suspicious of century old references,

        Well, actually, Jack, this is a fourth/fifth centuries CE reference, since
        this is the date of the Curetonian MS (i.e. the same date as that of the
        best Greek MSS). And is there any reason to distrust Burkitt's translation
        simply because it was done 100 years ago?

        If you can translate this passage better than Dr. F.C. Burkitt, by all
        means.

        > was Burkitt a Greek prioritist?

        Well, IMHO, this is the wrong question to ask at this point. Instead, it
        would be more useful to ask, did Burkitt support the priority of the
        Western text? And the answer here seems to be, Yes.

        But if Western text is indeed the more original, then clearly this Aramaic
        John passage is also more original than the standard Greek versions.

        Here's a list of some other big-name scholars besides Burkitt who
        supported the priority of Western text,

        http://www.biblebelievers.com/Hills_KJVD_Chapter5.htm

        [quote]

        Since the early days of New Testament textual criticism there has been a
        difference of opinion regarding the relationship of the Alexandrian text
        and the Western text. Some critics have believed that the Western text was
        earlier and that the Alexandrian text came into being as a refinement of
        the primitive Western text. Among those who have thought this are:
        Griesbach (1796); Hug (1808); Burkitt (1899); A. C. Clark (1914); Sanders
        (1926); Lake (1928); Glaue (1944); and Black (1954).

        [unquote]

        So I think that, above all, in order to clarify these issues, one needs to
        deal with the textual questions first, before one goes into the much more
        difficult hypothetical questions about the ultimate originals and their
        early translations.

        Yours,

        Yuri.

        Baqqesh shalom veradphehu -- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:15)

        Yuri Kuchinsky -- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku -- Toronto
      • Jeffrey B. Gibson
        ... Excuse me, but what??? Even if there is such a thing as a Western text , does it differ from the standard Greek versions in its witness to the text
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 5, 2003
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          Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

          >
          > But if Western text is indeed the more original, then clearly this Aramaic
          > John passage is also more original than the standard Greek versions.
          >

          Excuse me, but what??? Even if there is such a thing as a "Western text", does
          it differ from the "standard Greek versions" in "its" witness to the text of the
          prologue?

          >
          > Here's a list of some other big-name scholars besides Burkitt who
          > supported the priority of Western text,
          >
          > http://www.biblebelievers.com/Hills_KJVD_Chapter5.htm
          >
          > [quote]
          >
          > Since the early days of New Testament textual criticism there has been a
          > difference of opinion regarding the relationship of the Alexandrian text
          > and the Western text. Some critics have believed that the Western text was
          > earlier and that the Alexandrian text came into being as a refinement of
          > the primitive Western text. Among those who have thought this are:
          > Griesbach (1796); Hug (1808); Burkitt (1899); A. C. Clark (1914); Sanders
          > (1926); Lake (1928); Glaue (1944); and Black (1954).

          Even if they really did think what you say they thought (and I note with
          interest that your claim is not based on a direct encounter with what these
          scholars wrote on the matter, but only through a secondary source) of dubious
          value. The Peshitta is a second century work??), so what? Each and every one of
          the scholars named above were Greek priorists who believed that the Syriac
          versions of the NT were translations from the Greek. And, so far as I know, not
          a single one of them reconstructed the text of the prologue of GJohn in the way
          that it is set out in SryC.

          Now if you have evidence to the contrary, please present it.

          JG
          --

          Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

          1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
          Chicago, IL 60626

          jgibson000@...
        • Bob Schacht
          ... Yuri, Thanks for this very interesting site. It got my curiosity going immediately, since the host site is biblebelievers.com, and the url for the chapter
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 5, 2003
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            At 03:14 PM 2/5/2003 -0500, Yuri wrote:

            >...Here's a list of some other big-name scholars besides Burkitt who
            >supported the priority of Western text,
            >
            >http://www.biblebelievers.com/Hills_KJVD_Chapter5.htm
            >
            >[quote]

            Yuri,
            Thanks for this very interesting site. It got my curiosity going
            immediately, since the host site is biblebelievers.com, and the url for the
            chapter refers to KJVD. Upon visiting this site, the author(s?) make their
            orientation very clear from the outset. As long as you quoted from the
            site, other parts of the chapter bear reading as well. The chapter begins
            thusly:

            >THE FACTS OF NEW TESTAMENT TEXTUAL CRITICISM
            >
            >Facts are the temporal truths which God, the eternal Truth, establishes by
            >His works of creation and
            >providence. God reveals facts to men through their thought processes, and
            >in and through the facts God reveals Himself. In the facts of nature God
            >reveals Himself as the almighty Creator God, in the facts of Scripture God
            >reveals Himself as the faithful Covenant God, and in the facts of the
            >Gospel God reveals Himself as the triune Saviour God. Certainty is our
            >clear perception of the clearly revealed facts. Probability is our dimmer
            >perception of the less clearly revealed facts. Error is the sinful
            >rejection of the facts, and especially of God's revelation of Himself in
            >and through the facts.
            >
            >In New Testament textual criticism, therefore, we must start at the
            >highest point. We must begin with God, the
            >supreme and eternal Truth, and then descend to the lower, temporal facts
            >which He has established by His
            >works of creation and providence. We must take all our principles from the
            >Bible itself and borrow none from the textual criticism of other ancient
            >books. It is only by following this rule that we will be able to
            >distinguish facts from the fictions of unbelievers.

            Now, I actually count myself among the "believers," but this is not a
            promising beginning for a work of objective scholarship. In fact, as these
            paragraphs make clear, it is not even *intended* as objective scholarship,
            unless one defines "objective" as whatever God reveals it to be.

            Other pages on this fascinating web site make clear that the King James
            Version is not only preferred, but presents the only infallible word of God
            (see article "HOW I KNOW THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD" By James
            L. Melton on their web site at
            http://www.biblebelievers.com/jmelton/knowkjv.html) And this article seems
            well within the norm of other articles on versions of the bible listed at
            http://www.biblebelievers.com/BibleVersions.html

            The chapter you cite is from a book by Edward F. Hills (1912-1981)
            entitled, "The King James Version Defended," which their web site
            introduces as follows
            (http://www.biblebelievers.com/KJV_Defended_Hills.html):

            >Because the Gospel is true and necessary for the salvation of souls, the
            >true Bible text has been preserved down through the ages by God's special
            >providence and is found today in the King James Version. Examine the
            >proofs of this fact. The subject is discussed from every angle. The
            >placement of this online book is by the copyright holder, Mrs. Edward
            >Hills, as implied by her wish that this online edition be made available
            >in its entirety, unaltered and at no cost to the recipient who downloads
            >this excellent book. If you wish to download this file in MS Word,
            >WordPerfect, or HTML, click here... ISBN: 0-915923-00-9

            Now, this does not mean that Hill's arguments about textual criticism are
            worthless, but it may help to know what axe it is that he's trying to grind.

            Bob
            Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
            Northern Arizona University
            Flagstaff, AZ

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Yuri Kuchinsky
            On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Bob Schacht wrote: ... Dear Bob, Now, I m not quite sure, what sort of an axe would Hill, as a KJV/MT supporter, be grinding here in this
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 6, 2003
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              On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Bob Schacht wrote:

              ...

              > Now, this does not mean that Hill's arguments about textual criticism
              > are worthless, but it may help to know what axe it is that he's trying
              > to grind.

              Dear Bob,

              Now, I'm not quite sure, what sort of an axe would Hill, as a KJV/MT
              supporter, be grinding here in this particular case? Namely, in saying
              that Griesbach (1796); Hug (1808); Burkitt (1899); A. C. Clark (1914);
              Sanders (1926); Lake (1928); Glaue (1944); and Black (1954) argued for the
              priority of Western Text.

              Besides, in any case, Hill's list of these Western Text supporters can be
              easily verified. For example, here's what Matthew Black said in his
              ARAMAIC APPROACH TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS, Oxford, 1946, p. 181,

              "[T]he variants of the ancient versions, in particular the Old Latin and
              the Syriac ... give access to a text earlier than that of any existing
              Greek manuscript; and there can be no doubt about the value of the text
              they assume."

              As to the discussion of KJV/Majority Text as such, I don't think it's
              directly relevant to our present topic. Still, I'm not alone in the
              opinion that, at this time, the Majority Text is often disregarded quite
              unfairly. IMHO, it remains an important textual witness; many of its
              readings are quite early, and are very valuable to a textual critic.

              Regards,

              Yuri.

              Baqqesh shalom veradphehu -- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:15)

              Yuri Kuchinsky -- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku -- Toronto
            • Horace Jeffery Hodges
              There has recently been an interesting series of posts concerning a statement by Yuri Kuchinsky. ... On Sunday, Feb 2, 2003, at 1:57 pm, in his post ÒAramaic
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 6, 2003
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                There has recently been an interesting series of posts
                concerning a statement by Yuri Kuchinsky.

                -----------------------------------------------------
                On Sunday, Feb 2, 2003, at 1:57 pm, in his post
                �Aramaic John 1:1-10,� Yuri Kuchinsky stated:

                �quite a few eminent textual scholars argued that the
                Old Syriac gospels preserve a text that is more
                original than the standard Alexandrian and Byzantine
                versions.�

                Since Yuri was citing F. C. Burkitt's 1904 translation
                of the Old Syriac Aramaic Curetonian manuscript in his
                post, Jack Kilmon (Tue Feb 4, 2003 11:33 pm) asked:

                �[W]as Burkitt a Greek prioritist?�

                Stephen C. Carlson" (Wed Feb 5, 2003 12:49 am)
                answered this in the positive by quoting Burkitt, THE
                GOSPEL HISTORY AND ITS TRANSMISSION (2d ed.; T&T
                Clark, 1907), p. 5:

                �The Gospels are written in Greek.�

                Then, Jeffrey B. Gibson (Wed Feb 5, 2003 8:31 am)
                confirmed Carlson�s information:

                �Yes, he [i.e., Burkitt] was [a Greek prioritist]. So
                were Wescott, Hort, Souter, Voobus, Merk,
                Tischendorff, von Soden, and all the others that Yuri
                usually notes when he makes his claims about the
                scholars supporting the idea of the priority of the
                Syriac MSS over the "standard Greek text" . . . . But
                if Yuri has evidence to the contrary, I'd be grateful
                if he'd produce it and not just from a secondary
                source, but from the writings of Burkitt himself.�

                Yuri, however, has other ideas. On Wednesday, Feb 5,
                2003, at 2:14 pm, he responded to Jack Kilmon�s
                question (i.e., �was Burkitt a Greek prioritist?�):

                �Well, IMHO, this is the wrong question to ask at this
                point. Instead, it would be more useful to ask, did
                Burkitt support the priority of the Western text? And
                the answer here seems to be, Yes. But if Western text
                is indeed the more original, then clearly this Aramaic
                John passage is also more original than the standard
                Greek versions.�

                Yuri then cited �big-name scholars besides Burkitt who
                supported the priority of Western text�:

                �Griesbach (1796); Hug (1808); Burkitt (1899); A. C.
                Clark (1914); Sanders (1926); Lake (1928); Glaue
                (1944); and Black (1954).�

                Yuri then concluded:

                �So I think that, above all, in order to clarify these
                issues, one needs to deal with the textual questions
                first, before one goes into the much more difficult
                hypothetical questions about the ultimate originals
                and their early translations.�

                At this point, Jeffrey B. Gibson" (Wed Feb 5, 2003
                6:33 pm) noted:

                �Even if they [i.e., Yuri�s �big-name scholars�]
                really did think what you say they thought... , so
                what? Each and every one of the scholars named above
                were Greek priorists who believed that the Syriac
                versions of the NT were translations from the Greek.�

                Jeffrey Gibson then challenged Yuri�

                �Now if you have evidence to the contrary, please
                present it.�
                -----------------------------------------------------

                I would like to weigh in, at this point, with an
                extended observation.

                Yuri began by stating that �quite a few eminent
                textual scholars argued that the Old Syriac gospels
                preserve a text that is more original than the
                standard Alexandrian and Byzantine versions.�

                When Yuri was questioned about these eminent scholars,
                he listed �Griesbach (1796); Hug (1808); Burkitt
                (1899); A. C. Clark (1914); Sanders (1926); Lake
                (1928); Glaue (1944); and Black (1954)� as textual
                �critics [who] have believed that the Western text was
                earlier and that the Alexandrian text came into being
                as a refinement of the primitive Western text.�

                Note that Yuri has not answered the original question
                about who these eminent textual scholars were who had
                argued that the Old Syriac gospels preserve a text
                that is more original than the standard Alexandrian
                and Byzantine versions. Instead, Yuri has attempted to
                answer a question that nobody has asked, namely, who
                the textual critics were who have believed that the
                Western text was earlier and that the Alexandrian text
                came into being as a refinement of the primitive
                Western text.

                The problem with this is that an affirmation of the
                priority of the so-called �Western text� is not an
                affirmation of the priority of any Syriac manuscripts,
                let alone of the SyrC version of the prologue of the
                Gospel of John.

                Still, let me see if I understand Yuri�s argument --
                and I�m having to extrapolate a bit to make it fuller
                and more coherent. Yuri holds that the Old Syriac
                gospels preserve a text that is more original than the
                standard Alexandrian and Byzantine versions. The
                Alexandrian and Byzantine texts are based on the
                Western text. Yuri cites a number of scholars who say
                so. The scholars whom Yuri cites in support of this
                view were all Greek prioritists. Being Greek
                prioritists, then they also necessarily held that the
                Old Syriac gospels were based on a Greek text. Now, if
                it is Yuri�s point that the Old Syriac gospels were
                based upon the Western text, then there is no
                guarantee that the Old Syriac gospels preserve a text
                that is more original than the standard Alexandrian
                and Byzantine versions. The Old Syriac, Alexandrine,
                and Byzantine versions would all be based on the
                Western text. It is up to Yuri to show that the Old
                Syriac version is actually closer to its source, i.e.,
                the Western text, than are the Alexandrian and
                Byzantine versions, especially since the eminent
                scholars whom he has cited as support do not actually
                state this.

                But even if Yuri does this, what�s the point?

                We have to look again at his original post:

                �I hope this [Old Syriac Aramaic Curetonian
                manuscript] can add to the discussion of a Proposed
                Re-construction of a Postulated Hymn-like Composition
                to the Word. After all, quite a few eminent textual
                scholars argued that the Old Syriac gospels preserve a
                text that is more original than the standard
                Alexandrian and Byzantine versions.�

                The only way that the Old Syriac Aramaic Curetonian
                manuscript could add to the Proposed Re-construction
                of a Postulated Hymn-like Composition to the Word
                (i.e., John 1:1-10) would be if the Old Syriac Aramaic
                Curetonian manuscript preserved an original version
                from which all of our Greek versions have been
                derived.

                I take it that Yuri means precisely this. If so, then
                he needs to show not just that some scholars believe
                that the Western text is more original that the
                Alexandrian and Byzantine versions. He needs also to
                show that the so-called Western text really is more
                original than the Alexandrian and Byzantine versions
                and that the Western text is based upon the version
                preserved in the Old Syriac Aramaic Curetonian
                manuscript. Then, he needs to go one step further and
                demonstrate that the Old Syriac Aramaic Curetonian
                manuscript is more original than all of the Greek
                manuscripts.

                Unfortunately, Yuri does not seem to have the
                proficiency in the relevant ancient languages to
                enable him to do this.

                What he could still attempt to do is the following:

                He could provide the names of scholars who argue
                against the idea of Greek priority, the titles of the
                books in which they make this argument, and direct
                quotes that show them making this argument. Indeed,
                Yuri should do this for all of the authors that he
                cites in support of his theories. This way, we can see
                for certain if they really say what he thinks they
                have said.

                This was the challenge that was (implicitly) issued,
                and so far, Yuri has not risen to it.

                Jeffery Hodges

                P.S. During the time that I was preparing this post,
                Yuri posted a response to Bob Schacht�s post of
                Wednesday, February 5, 2003. Let�s look at some points
                from Yuri�s post (Thu, 6 Feb 2003 13:14:15):

                �Griesbach (1796); Hug (1808); Burkitt (1899); A. C.
                Clark (1914); Sanders (1926); Lake (1928); Glaue
                (1944); and Black (1954) argued for the priority of
                Western Text.�

                This still does not answer the original question
                concerning the priority of the Old Syriac Aramaic
                Curetonian manuscript.

                Yuri adds a quote from Matthew Black, ARAMAIC APPROACH
                TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS, Oxford, 1946, p. 181:

                �[T]he variants of the ancient versions, in particular
                the Old Latin and the Syriac ... give access to a text
                earlier than that of any existing Greek manuscript;
                and there can be no doubt about the value of the text
                they assume.�

                I�d like to know what was snipped and replaced by
                ellipses. A full quote here would be more helpful
                perhaps.

                At any rate, note that Black does not say �that the
                Old Syriac gospels PRESERVE a text that is more
                original than the standard Alexandrian and Byzantine
                versions.� Black says (apparently) that �the Syriac
                ... GIVE[S] ACCESS TO a text earlier than that of any
                existing Greek manuscript.� Black�s formulation is far
                more careful than Yuri�s.

                Moreover, we should keep in mind what Yuri originally
                stated:

                �[Q]uite a few eminent textual scholars argued that
                the Old Syriac gospels preserve a text that is more
                original than the standard Alexandrian and Byzantine
                versions.�

                Yuri still needs to back up this large claim. In
                evaluating his response (if we get one), let�s keep in
                mind that �quite a few� means far more than just �a
                few.�

                Jeffery Hodges

                =====
                Horace Jeffery Hodges (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley)
                Assistant Professor
                Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                Yangsandong 411
                South Korea

                __________________________________________________
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              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... Do you have a real citation of Burkitt that not only champions the Western text but also supports this leap in logic that any member of the Western
                Message 7 of 19 , Feb 6, 2003
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                  At 03:14 PM 2/5/03 -0500, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
                  >Well, IMHO, this is the wrong question to ask at this point. Instead, it
                  >would be more useful to ask, did Burkitt support the priority of the
                  >Western text? And the answer here seems to be, Yes.
                  >
                  >But if Western text is indeed the more original, then clearly this Aramaic
                  >John passage is also more original than the standard Greek versions.

                  Do you have a real citation of Burkitt that not only
                  champions the "Western" "text" but also supports this
                  leap in logic that any member of the Western text-type,
                  no matter how corrupt, is always more original than
                  any Greek MS in the other text-types, no matter how
                  pure?

                  Stephen Carlson
                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                  Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                  "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... What I had in mind is that, since Hill evidently favors the 1611 edition of the KJV, he might thereby favor the priority of any manuscripts resembling most
                  Message 8 of 19 , Feb 6, 2003
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                    At 01:14 PM 2/6/2003 -0500, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

                    >On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Bob Schacht wrote:
                    >
                    > ...
                    >
                    > > Now, this does not mean that Hill's arguments about textual criticism
                    > > are worthless, but it may help to know what axe it is that he's trying
                    > > to grind.
                    >
                    >Dear Bob,
                    >
                    >Now, I'm not quite sure, what sort of an axe would Hill, as a KJV/MT
                    >supporter, be grinding here in this particular case? ...

                    What I had in mind is that, since Hill evidently favors the 1611 edition of
                    the KJV, he might thereby favor the priority of any manuscripts resembling
                    most closely the manuscripts from which the 1611KJV was translated, and
                    disfavor those that differed to the greatest extent from the manuscripts
                    from which the 1611KJV was translated. Since the number of early
                    manuscripts not used by the 1611KJV has grown quite large, and since the
                    textual basis for the 1611KJV was relatively small, and since many modern
                    translations give more weight to ancient texts unknown to or not used by
                    the 1611KJV, and since Hill is known to disfavor these modern translations,
                    then there is ample grounds for suspecting a considerable amount of axe
                    grinding. However, I state this only as a caveat rather than as a
                    conclusion, because I do not have the time to pursue the matter of Hill's
                    possible biases in this regard.

                    As for the rest of your post, I have nothing to add to what others have
                    written.

                    Bob

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                    I received an offlist email response from Yuri to my lengthy onlist post. I have requested that Yuri post his response to this list since, in my opinion, it
                    Message 9 of 19 , Feb 7, 2003
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                      I received an offlist email response from Yuri to my
                      lengthy onlist post. I have requested that Yuri post
                      his response to this list since, in my opinion, it
                      belongs here rather than offlist.

                      Whether Yuri posts it or not, I would like to note a
                      few things. I won't quote Yuri, but I will summarize
                      the points of his that I am responding to.

                      One claim that Yuri makes in his offlist email is that
                      it is irrelevant that the scholars whom he cites are
                      all Greek prioritists.

                      On this, I would just point out that many of the
                      people on this listserve disagree with Yuri on this
                      matter.

                      Yuri argues in his offlist email to me that the Syriac
                      manuscript that he discussed is a Western text and
                      that since the Western texts are closer to the
                      original text, then the Syriac can be used to get at a
                      more original text.

                      My response to this is that Yuri would still need to
                      show that the Syriac text is more original than the
                      Greek texts. In fact, in my original onlist post, I
                      stated:

                      > [Yuri] needs to go one step further and demonstrate
                      > that the Old Syriac Aramaic Curetonian manuscript is
                      > more original than all of the Greek manuscripts.
                      >
                      > Unfortunately, Yuri does not seem to have the
                      > proficiency in the relevant ancient languages to
                      > enable him to do this.

                      Yuri replied to this in his offlist email to me and
                      suggested that I was attacking him personally and that
                      I seem to lack objectivity and professionalism.

                      I deny that my remark was a personal attack. It was an
                      observation based upon my impression that Yuri does
                      not have the expertise in Semitic langauges or in
                      Greek to do the sort of analysis that he would need to
                      do in order to argue his case.

                      This is why I originally suggested (in my online
                      post):

                      > What ... [Yuri] could still attempt to do is the
                      > following:
                      >
                      > He could provide the names of scholars who argue
                      > against the idea of Greek priority, the titles of
                      > the books in which they make this argument, and
                      > direct quotes that show them making this argument.
                      > Indeed, Yuri should do this for all of the authors
                      > that he cites in support of his theories. This way,
                      > we can see for certain if they really say what he
                      > thinks they have said.
                      >
                      > This was the challenge that was (implicitly) issued,
                      > and so far, Yuri has not risen to it.

                      Related to this point, I had also wondered about
                      Yuri's quote from Black:

                      > Yuri adds a quote from Matthew Black, ARAMAIC
                      > APPROACH TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS, Oxford, 1946, p.
                      > 181:
                      >
                      > "[T]he variants of the ancient versions, in
                      > particular the Old Latin and the Syriac ... give
                      > access to a text earlier than that of any existing
                      > Greek manuscript; and there can be no doubt about
                      > the value of the text they assume.

                      I stated in my post:

                      > I would like to know what was snipped and replaced
                      by
                      > ellipses. A full quote here would be more helpful
                      > perhaps.

                      Yuri's offlist response to this was that it showed
                      incredible suspiciousness and confirms that I lack
                      objectivity.

                      On this point, I simply note that others on this
                      listserve also questioned the quote and its ellipse.

                      As it turns out, the ellipse was apparently a mistake
                      by Yuri (or his source?), and Yuri has, in fact, given
                      the quote in full.

                      Even so, as others on this listserve have pointed out,
                      the Black quote does not support Yuri's arguments.

                      Yuri closed his offlist email to me by suggesting that
                      my response, in spite of its length, did not seem to
                      have added anything productive to the discussion.

                      But he did thank me for it anyway.

                      Jeffery Hodges

                      =====
                      Horace Jeffery Hodges (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley)
                      Assistant Professor
                      Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                      447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                      Yangsandong 411
                      South Korea

                      __________________________________________________
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                    • Yuri Kuchinsky
                      Greetings, all, As I see it, there isn t really so much that I still need to add to this discussion. I have posted the Curetonian version of John 1:1-10 here
                      Message 10 of 19 , Feb 9, 2003
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                        Greetings, all,

                        As I see it, there isn't really so much that I still need to add to this
                        discussion. I have posted the Curetonian version of John 1:1-10 here
                        because I saw all those members who seemed to be interested in
                        reconstructing the underlying sources for this passage. So I thought that
                        the Aramaic version would be quite relevant, and of interest to them,
                        since there are many indications that this Aramaic text preserves an
                        earlier version of this passage. In fact, having studied various Western
                        texts for some time, it seems reasonably certain to me that the Aramaic
                        text preserves an earlier version here.

                        But, of course, in this case, I'm merely arguing from the general to the
                        particular. I haven't really studied this passage, as such, in very great
                        detail. It's quite a difficult passage, and there are many interpretative
                        problems there in every way -- textually, theologically, grammatically,
                        and in regard to translation. It will not be easy to mount any sort of a
                        persuasive argument re priority based merely on this passage, because of
                        all these problems of interpretation. Still, I'm confident that the
                        serious scholars on this list are pleased with an opportunity to examine
                        this quite interesting Aramaic version of John 1:1-10 for themselves (even
                        if in an English translation), and to compare it with the standard Greek
                        texts.

                        There are many differences there between these two texts. The most
                        striking one surely is right in the first verse, where the word "he" is
                        added up three times. As a result, the whole meaning of the verse seems
                        different; it appears to be simplified considerably.

                        Verse 3 is also quite interesting, because it is shorter in the Aramaic
                        text. The equivalent of the Greek words /en o gegonen/ is lacking in the
                        Aramaic. These words do seem to me like a gloss, a later insertion into
                        the Greek text, since it appears to be redundant.

                        Also, verse 4 is quite different. It's longer in the Aramaic text, but,
                        also, there's some good evidence, as supplied in Burkitt's footnotes, that
                        these Aramaic expansions may have been part of a pre-canonical text.
                        Burkitt cites Origen and Ephrem as providing textual support for this
                        Aramaic verse.

                        There are many other differences between these two texts but, as I say,
                        I'm not a big authority on this passage, so I will not comment further.

                        The subject of Textual Criticism as such is probably off-topic to this
                        list, so, likewise, I will not go into this too deeply. Still I see a
                        number of misunderstandings on the part of various posters that seem to
                        have arisen. Because, so far, I have certainly not claimed that this
                        Curetonian version of John 1:1-10 is _the_ original text of John. In any
                        case, we don't really know for sure what was the original text of John.
                        Thus, I feel that it would be hazardous to speculate which language it was
                        in. Those people who like to speculate can speculate, but this wouldn't be
                        me.

                        I'm not interested in such blanket speculation primarily because, together
                        with many other textual critics, I doubt that we have the originals for
                        any of the 4 gospels. IMHO, the canonical texts that we do have currently
                        represent much later recensions. The exact textual shape of those
                        "original versions" can only be seen as highly hypothetical. Thus, I feel
                        that it would be presumptuous to claim to know what some hypothetical
                        documents might have looked like, and what was their language or
                        languages.

                        On the other hand, there are many indications that this Curetonian version
                        of John 1:1-10 preserves _a_ more original text of John. Thus, those who
                        are really interested in studying the sources for this passage will be
                        interested in studying this Curetonian text.

                        Now, just for the record, actually I'm not a blanket Semitic prioritist.
                        I'm still quite open to various gospel passages, or even whole gospels,
                        having being written originally in Greek. At the same time, I also do not
                        accept the blanket Greek priority. I see blanket Greek priority as mostly
                        an article of faith at this time. Certainly, so far, nobody has been able
                        to demonstrate it conclusively.

                        There was nothing wrong with my quote from Black. OTOH, S. Carlson was
                        clearly wrong in saying that my second ellipse "covers only an omitted
                        period". In fact, it covers an omitted period plus the word "They".

                        Also S. Carlson's implying (in another post) that some members of the
                        Western text-type are textually "corrupt" is merely a subjective judgement
                        on his part. In my own view, based on the extensive study of these texts,
                        members of the Western text-type are generally far less corrupt than the
                        canonical Greek texts.

                        Of course, M. Black is only one of many eminent textual scholars who
                        expressed the view that Western texts are prior to the canonical Greek
                        texts. Indeed, there is a very large body of evidence that tends to point
                        to this conclusion.

                        Those who are interested in discussing these textual matters further are
                        always welcome at Loisy-List.

                        Best regards,

                        Yuri.

                        Baqqesh shalom veradphehu -- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:15)

                        Yuri Kuchinsky -- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku -- Toronto
                      • Stephen C. Carlson
                        ... So, in the final analysis, the only bibliographical citation from your extensive research to support your views that is not cribbed from a King James
                        Message 11 of 19 , Feb 11, 2003
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                          At 03:37 PM 2/9/03 -0500, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
                          >Also S. Carlson's implying (in another post) that some members of the
                          >Western text-type are textually "corrupt" is merely a subjective judgement
                          >on his part. In my own view, based on the extensive study of these texts,
                          >members of the Western text-type are generally far less corrupt than the
                          >canonical Greek texts.

                          So, in the final analysis, the only bibliographical citation from
                          your "extensive" research to support your views that is not cribbed
                          from a King James Only website is (Y. Kuchinsky, pers. comm., 2003)?

                          Stephen Carlson
                          --
                          Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                          Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                          "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                          ... I find it extremely curious that Yuri not only keeps referring to the Curetorian version of John 1-10 as an **Aramaic** text while claiming both on and off
                          Message 12 of 19 , Feb 11, 2003
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                            Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

                            > Greetings, all,
                            >
                            > As I see it, there isn't really so much that I still need to add to this
                            > discussion. I have posted the Curetonian version of John 1:1-10 here
                            > because I saw all those members who seemed to be interested in
                            > reconstructing the underlying sources for this passage. So I thought that
                            > the Aramaic version would be quite relevant, and of interest to them,
                            > since there are many indications that this Aramaic text preserves an
                            > earlier version of this passage.

                            I find it extremely curious that Yuri not only keeps referring to the
                            Curetorian version of John 1-10 as an **Aramaic** text while claiming both on
                            and off List off list that people are not maintaining scholarly objectivity on
                            the matter of what this text is, but that he seems to claim the authority of
                            Burkitt as his warrant for doing so. FWIT, Burkitt never thought that SyrC or
                            any of the OS MSS should or could be called "Aramaic" texts. More importantly,
                            he openly castigated anyone -- including Cureton himself -- who did so as
                            uninformed, linguistically incompetent, and not worth listening to. See
                            _Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe_ Vol. 2 (Introduction and Notes), p. 6.

                            Moreover, nowhere to my knowledge, and certainly not in either Vol1 or Vol 2
                            of the work just mentioned, does Burkitt (or **any** of Yuri's "giants" of
                            Text criticism, including Voobus, whose knowledge of Syriac and of Syiac
                            Biblical texts is incomparable) ever assert that the SyrC text of the prologue
                            of GJohn preserves an earlier version of this passage.

                            > In fact, having studied various Western
                            > texts for some time, it seems reasonably certain to me that the Aramaic
                            > text preserves an earlier version here.
                            >

                            Right. The problem is, however, that nothing within the text tradition
                            preserved by "Western" MSS would lead to this conclusion since -- with the
                            exception of the issue of how vs. 3-4 is to be punctuated and whether we
                            have an OUDEN instead of an OUDE EN in v. 3 and an ESTIN instead of an HN in
                            v. 4 (but see Sinaticus!) -- they are SFAIK at all points **in agreement
                            with** the Alexandrian and the Byzantine MSS text tradition. So I wonder not
                            only whether Yuri's claim about his having actually "studied" Western MSS Yuri
                            is true, but also, if so, whether he hasn't misread those he has looked at.

                            > But, of course, in this case, I'm merely arguing from the general to the
                            > particular. I haven't really studied this passage, as such, in very great
                            > detail. It's quite a difficult passage, and there are many interpretative
                            > problems there in every way -- textually, theologically, grammatically,
                            > and in regard to translation. It will not be easy to mount any sort of a
                            > persuasive argument re priority based merely on this passage, because of
                            > all these problems of interpretation.

                            And "of course" this is wholly irrelevant. Even if it is true that the passage
                            is difficult to interpret or translate, this has noting to do with what the
                            text originally read, let alone whether the SyrC version represents a more
                            original form of the wording of the prologue than is found in other witnesses.

                            > There are many differences there between these two texts.

                            > The most striking one surely is right in the first verse, where the word
                            > "he" is
                            > added up three times. As a result, the whole meaning of the verse seems
                            > different; it appears to be simplified considerably.

                            And if this is so, what it actually indicates is that the SyrC text is late,
                            not early. And for what it's worth, Burkitt himself says that the three fold
                            appearance of the word "he" in this verse is due NOT to the fact that the SyrC
                            version of this verse preserves an earlier more original text which contained
                            "he" at the points where we now read them in the SyrC version of GJohn 1:1,
                            but that the scribe responsible for SyrC **inserted** the word "he" at these
                            points (see vol 2, p. 306) In other words, the "hes" in SyrC Gjohn 1:1 are
                            scribal additions.

                            > Verse 3 is also quite interesting, because it is shorter in the Aramaic
                            > text. The equivalent of the Greek words /en o gegonen/ is lacking in the
                            > Aramaic.

                            Of course this is not so -- and as a quick glance at the actual Syriac text,
                            rather than an English translation of it. shows.


                            > These words do seem to me like a gloss, a later insertion into
                            > the Greek text, since it appears to be redundant.

                            I wonder not only what Yuri's criteria are for saying so, but how Yuri
                            explains the fact that their equivalent shows up in both OL MSS and the
                            Diatessaron and is quoted frequently by Church fathers who reputedly worked
                            only from "Western" texts that were reputedly older and less corrupt than than
                            anything in the Alexandrian text tradition?

                            > Also, verse 4 is quite different. It's longer in the Aramaic text,

                            No it's not, once one takes into account how the SyrC scribe punctuated what
                            (given Stephanus' versification of GJohn) we now regard as vvs 3-4 -- which,
                            by the way, is also the punctuation given in P75.

                            > but,
                            > also, there's some good evidence, as supplied in Burkitt's footnotes, that
                            > these Aramaic expansions may have been part of a pre-canonical text.
                            > Burkitt cites Origen and Ephrem as providing textual support for this
                            > Aramaic verse.

                            Maybe it's my eyes, but I do not see Burkitt giving any such notes. In any
                            case, what Ephraim actually supports is not what Yuri claims he supports.
                            Unlike SyrC, where the full stop occurs after the first EN in the phrase OUDE
                            EN hO GEGONEN EN, Ephraim places it after GEGONEN. See the textual apparatus
                            in UBS 3 and Burkitt Vol 2, 139-140.

                            But more importantly, even if Ephraim does what Yuri says it does, it would
                            not support Yuri's claim that the SyrC of Jn 1:4 is more original than that of
                            "standard Greek texts" since there is no difference in the wording -- only
                            where the wording is punctuated -- something over which even Alexandrian
                            authorities were divided.

                            > There are many other differences between these two texts but, as I say,
                            > I'm not a big authority on this passage, so I will not comment further.

                            **Many** other? What are they? And FWIW, one who **was** someone whom Yuri
                            regards as a big authority on this passage, namely Loisy, not to mention
                            Burkitt and Voobus, did not think this was the case. If Yuri has reasons
                            thinking that these men were wrong on this point, I'd be grateful to see them.
                            What is it that he sees that they didn't?

                            [snip]

                            > Of course, M. Black is only one of many eminent textual scholars who
                            > expressed the view that Western texts are prior to the canonical Greek
                            > texts.

                            And "of course" Yuri has produced nothing which supports this claim.

                            >
                            > Those who are interested in discussing these textual matters further are
                            > always welcome at Loisy-List.

                            For any here who are not familiar with Yuri's's Loisy List and who might
                            initially be inclined to take up Yuri's offer, you might first wish to know
                            that LL is essentially an unmoderated a forum for a hate campaign against the
                            NT guild, and against text critical scholars in particular, which is now
                            populated by correspondents who, among other things, believe that Jesus was
                            abducted and taught by space aliens, that Jesus and John the Baptist were the
                            same person, that when the demon in the Gerasene demoniac said that his name
                            was "Legion" he was speaking French, that animals can talk and that they
                            pray, and that either a space alien inspired document known as the TJammuel or
                            a 14th century ME Gospel harmony represents the source from which our
                            canonical Gospels were derived. The sound you often hear when members of that
                            list discuss matters biblical, let alone text critical, is Loisy spinning in
                            his grave.

                            Yours,

                            Jeffrey Gibson

                            --

                            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                            1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                            Chicago, IL 60626

                            jgibson000@...
                          • Yuri Kuchinsky
                            ... Not quite. There s actually my book that you can read. As well as my webpage, where a lot of this research is available. For example, how about my detailed
                            Message 13 of 19 , Feb 12, 2003
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                              On Tue, 11 Feb 2003, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                              > At 03:37 PM 2/9/03 -0500, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

                              > >Also S. Carlson's implying (in another post) that some members of the
                              > >Western text-type are textually "corrupt" is merely a subjective judgement
                              > >on his part. In my own view, based on the extensive study of these texts,
                              > >members of the Western text-type are generally far less corrupt than the
                              > >canonical Greek texts.
                              >
                              > So, in the final analysis, the only bibliographical citation from
                              > your "extensive" research to support your views that is not cribbed
                              > from a King James Only website is (Y. Kuchinsky, pers. comm., 2003)?

                              Not quite.

                              There's actually my book that you can read. As well as my webpage, where a
                              lot of this research is available. For example, how about my detailed
                              study of John 2:1-11. To remind, three Diatessarons (i.e. Western texts)
                              from different parts of the world happen to agree among themselves against
                              the canonical Greek text of John. Logically, this can only happen if they
                              preserve a pre-canonical text. I'm still waiting for anyone to find any
                              problems with this analysis.

                              4 versions of TURNING WATER INTO WINE,
                              http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/4vdt.htm

                              Also, lots of new research is available here,

                              Ancient Aramaic Texts (2002),
                              http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/aramaic.htm

                              Yuri.

                              Baqqesh shalom veradphehu -- Seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:15)

                              Yuri Kuchinsky -- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku -- Toronto
                            • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                              Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
                              Message 14 of 19 , Feb 12, 2003
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                                Yuri Kuchinsky <yuku@...> wrote:

                                <[T]hree Diatessarons (i.e. Western texts) from
                                different parts of the world happen to agree among
                                themselves against the canonical Greek text of John.
                                Logically, this can only happen if they preserve a
                                pre-canonical text.>

                                If we limit ourselves to logic for the moment, then
                                let me point out that this is only one logical
                                possibility. Logically, the three texts could stem
                                from the same corrupt postcanonical text.

                                Jeffery Hodges

                                =====
                                Horace Jeffery Hodges (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley)
                                Assistant Professor
                                Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                                447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                                Yangsandong 411
                                South Korea

                                __________________________________________________
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                              • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                                ... On top of that -- and leaving aside the fact that Yuri s comparison is done not on the basis of the original texts of these witnesses, but on English
                                Message 15 of 19 , Feb 12, 2003
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                                  Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

                                  > Yuri Kuchinsky <yuku@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > <[T]hree Diatessarons (i.e. Western texts) from
                                  > different parts of the world happen to agree among
                                  > themselves against the canonical Greek text of John.
                                  > Logically, this can only happen if they preserve a
                                  > pre-canonical text.>
                                  >
                                  > If we limit ourselves to logic for the moment, then
                                  > let me point out that this is only one logical
                                  > possibility. Logically, the three texts could stem
                                  > from the same corrupt postcanonical text.

                                  On top of that -- and leaving aside the fact that Yuri's comparison is
                                  done
                                  not on the basis of the original texts of these witnesses, but on
                                  English
                                  translations of them, and that Yuri's original "analysis" showed a
                                  woeful
                                  lack of understanding of significant terms within the Greek text) -- it
                                  has
                                  been noted that Yuri has severely cooked the evidence he uses to come to
                                  the
                                  conclusion he does.

                                  Not only does he leave out in his comparison several Diatessaronic texts
                                  which agree with the "canonical" version of John 2 and disagree with the
                                  text
                                  he is trying to argue is more original (the version found in the 14th
                                  century
                                  ME gospel Harmony known to all but Yuri as the Pepysian Harmony) AND
                                  employ
                                  an undefined and question begging criterion for determining what is
                                  "original" (a criterion of "realism"). He has also wholly misread and
                                  misrepresented what the witnesses he appeals to actually show vis a vis
                                  the
                                  "canonical" text and the version in the PH. Quite contrary to what Yuri
                                  claims, his witnesses, the Leige Gospel Harmony and the Persian Harmony,
                                  agree with the "standard" Greek text of John 2 and stand against the
                                  version
                                  of the story that he is trying to show is more original.

                                  Are we back to discussing the PH again on John Lit?

                                  Yours,

                                  Jeffrey
                                  --

                                  Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                  1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                  Chicago, IL 60626

                                  jgibson000@...
                                • Jack Kilmon
                                  This topic is now closed. Jack Kilmon Moderator
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Feb 13, 2003
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                                    This topic is now closed.

                                    Jack Kilmon
                                    Moderator
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