Re: [Synoptic-L] Q and Matthew's lilies
- On 14 Jul 2001, at 8:44, Ron Price wrote:
> In _The Critical Edition of Q_ (Ed. J.M.Robinson, P.Hoffman,Thanks for raising an interesting question, Ron. I've read both the
> J.S.Kloppenborg), p. ci, we read concerning Mt 6:28:
> "... the original hand of Codex Sinaiticus ...attest[s] the original
> reading OU XAIN-, already corrupted into AUXAN- in Matthew and Luke,
> and hence presumably in Q..."
> The wording here seems a little strange. Should "in Matthew" be
> understood as "in most MSS of Matthew"?
> If not, can anyone exlain why Robinson et al., who think "do not
> was the original meaning of the verb in the saying, appear to reject
> the obvious corollary that the original hand of Codex Sinaiticus here
> correctly represents the archetype of Matthew? For if it does, then Q
> would presumably be taken to have had the uncorrupted "do not card"
> rather than the supposedly corrupted "grow" which occurs in most MSS
> of the Lukan parallel.
ZNW and the HTR articles on the subject (the latter available on
the web, though without any of the all-important Greek -- see latest
NT Gateway Featured links) and I'm not entirely sure I know why
the suggestion you make is rejected. As far as I can see the logic
runs like this: (a) Robinson (& Heil) are agreeing with the text-
critical consensus for Matthew that AUXAN- was original in
Matthew, and that OU XAIN- in the pre-corrected Sinaiticus is an
anomaly; (b) then, given that Luke witnesses also to AUXAN- , this
means that AUXAN- must have stood in Q (on the assumption that
Matthew and Luke are independently dependent on Q). (c) Given
that the reading OU XAIN- exists in P Oxy 655 and in the pre-
corrected Sinaiticus and that it makes better sense than AUXAN-,
this must have been the original reading in Q's Vorlage.
I think that there are several difficulties with Robinson and Heil's
robust conclusion: (1) They are too confident about the reading in P
Oxy 655, in which the crucial letters are missing. It may be that
we should read AUXAN- there too. There is a helpful article on this
by Stanley Porter in JTS 52 (2000), pp. 84-92, "P. Oxy 655 and
James Robinson's Proposals for Q: Brief Points of Clarification".
Porter concludes that AUXAN- is the more plausible
reconstruction, though Robinson and others may be right.
(2) Incorporating your point, Ron: given that they make a great
deal of Skeat's uncovering of the OU XAIN- reading in Codex
Sinaiticus, they then (it seems to me) struggle to explain the origin
of the unusual reading. There appear to be two suggestions: (a) a
brilliant scribal conjectural emendation or (b) emendation in the
light of knowledge of the Gospel of Thomas. But (a) reduces the
impact of the reading as a witness to the original reading of Q and
(b) simply provides an extra potential witness to the Thomasine
reading. Robinson (& Heil) support this by noting that we know of
at least four Greek Thomas texts extant in the 3rd/4th centuries, 3
x P Oxy. + Coptic Thomas's Vorlage, but crucially only one of
these features the key wording; indeed Coptic Thomas does not
contain the relevant verse at all.
(3) The internal grounds given for preferring OU XAIN- are weak. It
is claimed that the threefold do not sow/reap/store away when
talking about the birds requires a threefold do not card / labour /
spin when talking about the lilies. This is a classic case of where
we should not let Biblical scholars near poetry! The first threefold
negative does not require another one afterwards. The point is
enhanced by the addition the second time round of "how they grow
. . ." it adds to the basic point about God's provision -- they grow &
yet they neither toil nor spin. If Q changed OU XAIN- to AUXAN-,
perhaps Q was a poet!
(4) and perhaps most crucially, the full range of options is not
given. Why not AUXAN- in Q, copied by Luke, but adjusted by
Matthew to OU XAIN- as a brilliant conjectural emendation in the
light of Thomas? Or why not OU XAIN- in Q, witnessed in Matthew
but adjusted to AUXAN- in Luke? Perhaps scribal harmonisation of
Matthew to Luke would then further explain virtually all MSS of
Matthew? Or OU XAIN- in Matthew, changed by Luke to AUXAN-,
effectively acting in harmony with scribes of Matthew who
subsequently harmonised to Luke? I am sure that there are other
possible combinations, each one at least as plausible as the one
proposed by Robinson and Heil.
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
Birmingham B15 2TT
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