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[Synoptic-L] The western text of Luke - Longer or shorter?

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  • David Inglis
    Hallo everyone, I m back (sorry for the previous abrupt departure). ... I ve not yet been able to come up with a definitive answer, and instead have found
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 6, 2002
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      Hallo everyone, I'm back (sorry for the previous abrupt departure).

      Back in November 2001 I asked the question:

      >3 I've seen references that Western Luke is both longer *and* shorter
      >than other texts. I know about the Western non-interpolations (IMHO a
      >horrible phrase), but overall which is the longer text?

      I've not yet been able to come up with a definitive answer, and instead have
      found different people referring to Blass in support of BOTH positions. For
      example, in chapter 6 of his book 'Authority of Scripture', under the
      heading 'Should Shorter and Harder Readings Be Preferred?' (a web version of
      this chapter is available at
      http://www.bibleviews.com/authority-6.html#_Toc397722017), Leland Haines
      wrote:

      "Blass has suggested that Luke brought out two editions of his Gospel in
      order to account for the Western text to be 8.5 percent longer than the
      Alexandrian."

      However, at http://www.studylight.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?number=T5607 The
      International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states the following regarding
      Luke:

      "Blass, Philology of the Gospels (1898), has advanced theory of two
      recensions of this Gospel (a longer and a shorter), such as he holds to be
      true of Acts. In the case of Acts, theory has won some acceptance (see ACTS
      OF THE APOSTLES), but that is not true of the Gospel to any extent. The
      Western text of the Gospel is the shorter text, while in Ac it is the longer
      text. In both instances Blass holds that the shorter text was issued after
      the longer and original text."

      So, we have two different authorities, both referencing Blass, claiming
      opposite things. According to Haines the Western text of Luke is the
      longer, while the Encyclopedia claims that the Western text of Luke is the
      shorter. As these statements cannot both be correct, please can anyone let
      me know whether we have a simple 'typo' in one case, or whether there is
      something else that I have missed. Note: As far as I can tell everyone is
      fully agreed that the END of the Western version of Luke is the shorter
      (e.g. because of the 'Western-Non-Interpolations'), and also that the
      Western version of Acts is the longer, so my question just relates to Luke
      as a whole.

      Dave Inglis
      david@...
      3538 O'Connor Drive
      Lafayette, CA, USA






      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... It would have been nice if either of your references had given the page numbers in Blass, but here is the relevant passage on p. 104: So in the Western
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 6, 2002
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        At 09:56 AM 3/6/2002 -0800, David Inglis wrote:
        >>3 I've seen references that Western Luke is both longer *and* shorter
        >>than other texts. I know about the Western non-interpolations (IMHO a
        >>horrible phrase), but overall which is the longer text?
        >
        >I've not yet been able to come up with a definitive answer, and instead have
        >found different people referring to Blass in support of BOTH positions.

        It would have been nice if either of your references had given the
        page numbers in Blass, but here is the relevant passage on p. 104:

        "So in the Western form of the Gospel and of the Acts, we may expect
        additions to the known text in the Acts, and omissions in the Gospel,
        and this is actually the case in D and its associates."

        The Leland Haines quote has apparently confounded the Gospel and Acts:

        >"Blass has suggested that Luke brought out two editions of his Gospel in
        >order to account for the Western text to be 8.5 percent longer than the
        >Alexandrian."

        Haines' failure to cite a page number or even footnote the Blass book,
        when he is otherwise good at documenting his sources, indicates that
        the Blass book was not at hand and he had to use his (faulty) memory.
        The 8.5% longer statistic is often given of the Acts, not the Gospel:
        e.g. Metzger, TEXTUAL COMMENTARY (2d ed. 1994: 223): "The Western text
        is nearly one-tenth longer than the Alexandrian text."

        The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, on the other hand,
        appears to correctly summarize Blass. (cf. Blass, p. 103: "the Romans
        got the later copy of the Gospel and the earlier copy of the Acts").

        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


        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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      • David Inglis
        ... have ... Stephen, Thank you for confirming what I believed to be the case. However, this brings up a problem. If Western Luke is shorter, how did the
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 6, 2002
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          Stephen Carlson wrote:

          > At 09:56 AM 3/6/2002 -0800, David Inglis wrote:
          > >>3 I've seen references that Western Luke is both longer *and* shorter
          > >>than other texts. I know about the Western non-interpolations (IMHO a
          > >>horrible phrase), but overall which is the longer text?
          > >
          > >I've not yet been able to come up with a definitive answer, and instead
          have
          > >found different people referring to Blass in support of BOTH positions.
          >
          > It would have been nice if either of your references had given the
          > page numbers in Blass, but here is the relevant passage on p. 104:
          >
          > "So in the Western form of the Gospel and of the Acts, we may expect
          > additions to the known text in the Acts, and omissions in the Gospel,
          > and this is actually the case in D and its associates."
          >
          > The Leland Haines quote has apparently confounded the Gospel and Acts:
          >
          > >"Blass has suggested that Luke brought out two editions of his Gospel in
          > >order to account for the Western text to be 8.5 percent longer than the
          > >Alexandrian."
          >
          > Haines' failure to cite a page number or even footnote the Blass book,
          > when he is otherwise good at documenting his sources, indicates that
          > the Blass book was not at hand and he had to use his (faulty) memory.
          > The 8.5% longer statistic is often given of the Acts, not the Gospel:
          > e.g. Metzger, TEXTUAL COMMENTARY (2d ed. 1994: 223): "The Western text
          > is nearly one-tenth longer than the Alexandrian text."
          >
          > The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, on the other hand,
          > appears to correctly summarize Blass. (cf. Blass, p. 103: "the Romans
          > got the later copy of the Gospel and the earlier copy of the Acts").

          Stephen,

          Thank you for confirming what I believed to be the case. However, this
          brings up a problem. If Western Luke is shorter, how did the Western
          Non-Interpolations ever get accepted as original? I always thought that it
          was because they 'went against the tendency' of D, because the Western text
          was, in general, deemed to be longer. However, if in fact Western Luke is
          shorter, then the short version of chapter 24 (containing the Western
          Non-Interpolations) is simply part of that trend, and should never have been
          accepted! It appears, therefore, as though D was treated as a 'unity' from
          a textual point of view, rather than the individual books in D being treated
          as different.

          I also have a problem with referring to D as a whole being Western. If we
          believe that there is a 'cause' or a particular 'process' associated with
          any particular text-type, then we should expect to see that the differences
          between the Western and Alexandrian versions of Luke have similar
          characteristics to the differences between the Western and Alexandrian
          versions of Acts. However, if in one case the 'process' results in a
          shorter text, and in the other a longer text (as is actually the case here),
          then surely we have to assume that they were actually created by different
          processes. In other words, if Luke in D is 'Western', then Acts can't be,
          and vice versa.

          Perhaps a better way of expressing what I'm trying to say is that D (and
          probably other 'Western' MSS) should in fact be regarded as containing three
          different text-types, one each for Luke, Acts, and Paul (if we include Dp).
          There MAY have been a common process involved in creating what is called the
          Western form of Luke, Acts, and Paul, but this common process must have only
          been part of the story. For example, even if one particular scribe was (for
          some reason) responsible for creating an overall 'Western' set of variants,
          there must have also been something else to account for Luke being shorter
          and Acts being longer. In my view that 'something else' is that variants of
          both Luke and Acts were created BEFORE the overall 'Westernizing process
          took place, and this is something I'm working on at the moment.

          I'd be interested in anyone's view on this.

          Dave Inglis
          david@...
          3538 o'Connor drive
          Lafayette, CA, USA




          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... It should be made clear that the Western Luke is shorter is Blass s characterization, primarily due to the so-called non-interpolations, in support of
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 6, 2002
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            At 07:26 PM 3/6/2002 -0800, David Inglis wrote:
            >Thank you for confirming what I believed to be the case. However, this
            >brings up a problem. If Western Luke is shorter, how did the Western
            >Non-Interpolations ever get accepted as original? I always thought that it
            >was because they 'went against the tendency' of D, because the Western text
            >was, in general, deemed to be longer. However, if in fact Western Luke is
            >shorter, then the short version of chapter 24 (containing the Western
            >Non-Interpolations) is simply part of that trend, and should never have been
            >accepted! It appears, therefore, as though D was treated as a 'unity' from
            >a textual point of view, rather than the individual books in D being treated
            >as different.

            It should be made clear that the "Western Luke is shorter" is Blass's
            characterization, primarily due to the so-called non-interpolations,
            in support of his theories. The Western text generally is somewhat
            expansionistic or wild, which is why Westcott and Hort treated the
            non-interpolations so seriously. With the discovery of the papyri,
            particularly P75, there has been less enthusiasm in following W&H
            on the originality of the non-interpolations.

            >I also have a problem with referring to D as a whole being Western. If we
            >believe that there is a 'cause' or a particular 'process' associated with
            >any particular text-type, then we should expect to see that the differences
            >between the Western and Alexandrian versions of Luke have similar
            >characteristics to the differences between the Western and Alexandrian
            >versions of Acts. However, if in one case the 'process' results in a
            >shorter text, and in the other a longer text (as is actually the case here),
            >then surely we have to assume that they were actually created by different
            >processes. In other words, if Luke in D is 'Western', then Acts can't be,
            >and vice versa.

            D is the only extensive Greek Western witness for the Gospels and Acts.
            It is considered "Western" because it agrees with the Old Latin (pre-
            Vulgate) manuscripts and with Western fathers. "Western" is a bit of
            a misnomer because some of the Syriac versions are also considered
            Western. I've never found the notion of a text-type being the result
            of a 'process' to be a particularly helpful way of looking at text-types.
            I'd rather view each text-type as exemplifying its own lineage, i.e.
            in genealogical terms, but the majority of critics seem to define a
            text-type quantitatively (e.g. at least 70% agreement and a gap of
            10% with non-members).

            >Perhaps a better way of expressing what I'm trying to say is that D (and
            >probably other 'Western' MSS) should in fact be regarded as containing three
            >different text-types, one each for Luke, Acts, and Paul (if we include Dp).
            >There MAY have been a common process involved in creating what is called the
            >Western form of Luke, Acts, and Paul, but this common process must have only
            >been part of the story. For example, even if one particular scribe was (for
            >some reason) responsible for creating an overall 'Western' set of variants,
            >there must have also been something else to account for Luke being shorter
            >and Acts being longer. In my view that 'something else' is that variants of
            >both Luke and Acts were created BEFORE the overall 'Westernizing process
            >took place, and this is something I'm working on at the moment.

            Because each book (of the gospels) and each division of the N.T. circulated
            separately, text-types are only really commensurate with n the same book
            or division. It is not uncommon for MSS to switch text-types in different
            books (or even within books: codex Sinaiticus Aleph/01 in John is Western
            for the first few chapters, then switches to Alexandrian). Nevertheless,
            D (Codex Bezae) remains close to the Old Latins in both the Gospels and
            Acts, so it is convenient to continue to refer to D as Western whereever
            it is attested.

            As for Luke being shorter, see above. As for Acts being longer, Metzger in
            his TEXTUAL COMMENTARY surveys many theories, so that is probably the best
            place to start.

            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


            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
            List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
          • David Inglis
            ... variants, ... shorter ... of ... Gospels ... freely ... Wieland, If I understand you correctly, most of the variants in D were created by a single person
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 9, 2002
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              --- In synoptic-l@y..., "Wieland Willker" <willker@c...> wrote:
              > David Inglis wrote:
              > >For example, even if one particular scribe was (for
              > >some reason) responsible for creating an overall 'Western' set of
              variants,
              > >there must have also been something else to account for Luke being
              shorter
              > >and Acts being longer. In my view that 'something else' is that variants
              of
              > >both Luke and Acts were created BEFORE the overall 'Westernizing process
              > >took place, and this is something I'm working on at the moment.
              >
              > The person who is responsible for the majority of variants in D was a
              > harmonizer. He added and omitted to harmonize. Besides the canonical
              Gospels
              > he had other sources at his disposal, probably a harmony, evtl. the
              > Diatessaron. This harmonizing process is probably responsible for many of
              > the omissions.
              > Since in Acts he had nothing to harmonize it with, he could work more
              freely
              > without particular reasons to omit.

              Wieland,

              If I understand you correctly, most of the variants in D were created by a
              single person ("a harmonizer. He added ..."), and presumably this took place
              no earlier than the late 2nd century, otherwise it is difficult to see how a
              Gospel harmony would have been available. However, this raises some
              questions:

              1) If a late 2nd century harmonizer created the majority of the variants in
              D, how could these same variants have been known to Polycarp and Marcion in
              the first half of the 2nd century?

              2) I don't understand your comment about Acts. I don't see why someone who
              felt free to add 10% more text to Acts would not feel free to do the same to
              the Gospels, whatever sources he had available. Also, you haven't explained
              why the harmonizer would add so much to Acts, but also REMOVE so much from
              Luke (e.g. the Western Non-Interpolations in chapter 24).

              I simply find it very difficult to understand how the Western forms of both
              Luke and Acts could possibly have been created by one person in the way you
              describe. As you sound very sure of your position, I would be interested in
              knowing what evidence you have, and how you came to these conclusions.

              Regards,

              Dave Inglis
              david@...
              3538 O'Connor Drive
              Lafayette, CA, USA



              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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