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Re: Future subjunctive

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  • Maurice Robinson
    ... I continue to differ, as previously, but have no need to rehash my reasons further on those points. ... Again, I think not. The issue is what scribes did.
    Message 1 of 1714 , Feb 3, 1996
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      On Sat, 3 Feb 1996, Carlton Winbery wrote:

      > I would add that on internal grounds
      > the explanation of the readings at I Cor. 13:3 is KAUXHSWMAI then
      > KAUQHSWMAI then KAUQHSOMAI. When you consider intrinsic evidence this is
      > most likely. When you consider transcriptional probilities this is more
      > logical.

      I continue to differ, as previously, but have no need to rehash my
      reasons further on those points.

      > The argument that the Byzantine scribes would not have allowed
      > the future subjunctive to stand had they known other mss that had either of
      > the other readings begs the question.

      Again, I think not. The issue is what scribes did. You are correct in
      that "What scribes did was copy mss." Most of them could care less about
      what the rest of the MSS in the world read; they were interested only in
      their own copy, and in making it conform as closely as possible to their
      exemplars. That is why the copies scribes made were regularly read by an
      outside proofreader (diorthwths), as well as by the scribe himself/herself.

      The matter comes to this: if scribe A made an error and changed -X- to
      -Q-, producing a questionable reading of "burnt", as well as a
      grammatically questionable "future subjunctive" (or whatever you wish to
      call it), this is something that a corrector would spot, even without
      comparing it with an exemplar. The appearance of the "future subjunctive"
      alone would cause the corrector to instantly reach for the exemplar to
      see if it stood so there. And if it did, there likely would be a check
      against another exemplar. Had the reading been perfectly sensible, like
      KAUXHSWMAI, not an eyebrow would have been raised.

      But look at it from the wider perspective. This was but one scribe in
      one situation, supposedly creating the erroneous reading. Now this event
      has to be repeated identically in numerous scattered monasteries and
      churches, with little or no correction ever being made back to the easier
      and more sensible original KAUXHSWMAI (contrary to the supposed tendency
      of most scribes), and as a final result this erroneous reading ends up
      permeating the entire Byzantine tradition, comprising 95%+ of all the MSS!

      This whole scenario boggles the imagination and probably would be
      dismissed by most historians as pure fiction. Add to this the very early
      dissemination of the "erroneous" Byzantine reading in the entire Old Latin
      tradition, as well as in Latin fathers, and the fiction becomes almost a
      fable (the Greek Ante-Nicene fathers are basically silent on this passage;
      Chrysostom of course quotes the Byzantine reading).

      > To assume that they would not have let stand this reading for so long (if a
      > reasonable argument) speaks also against such a reading being original. I
      > think the effort to argue for the originality of the future subjunctive is
      > made primarily on the assumption that the Byzantine text more closely
      > represents the original text.

      The appeal is made from the basis of a transmissional history, with
      analysis of alternative historical scenarios, such as examined above with
      regard to the hypothesis that KAUXHSWMAI might be original. My own decision
      to advocate Byzantine-priority follows a proper methodology, and
      certainly is not based upon mere a priori assumption that the Byzantine
      Textform is more likely original. That might be a conclusion drawn from
      the bulk of the evidence, coupled with a historical reconstruction of
      transmission, but it is not by any means axiomatic.

      Would modern eclectics (such as yourself) argue so vociferously for what
      plainly seems to be an "easier" reading here had KAUXHSWMAI in fact been
      the Byzantine and KAUQHSWMAI the Alexandrian readings? I think not,
      since Metzger flip-flops continuously on this score in his Textual
      Commentary. There is just as much "primary assumption" made by the
      eclectics in favor of Alexandrian witness (Aleph/B) and early papyri
      (when convenient) as you allege toward the Byzantine-priority position.

      If the modern eclectics would at least prepare a reasonable model for
      historical transmission which would explain the rise of all the texttypes
      from the original text they hypothesize in their critical editions, and
      also explain the rise and utter dominance of the traditional Byzantine
      Textform within a solid historical framework, a great deal of good would
      be accomplished. The problem is that they cannot so do, given the basic
      presuppositions of eclectic methodology. So they remain in a text-critical
      quagmire, uncertain of what the original text was and unable to explain
      how it developed during transmissional history into all the other forms
      now known to exist (in this paragraph I am merely paraphrasing Epp from
      his "Requiem for a Discipline" and "Twentieth-Century Interlude" articles
      in JBL, so please do not think this is merely a prejudiced Byzantine
      opinion -- I would like to make Eldon J. Epp happy *:-).

      Maurice A. Robinson, Ph.D.
      Associate Professor of Greek and New Testament
      Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
      Wake Forest, North Carolina
    • Julian Goldberg
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      Message 1714 of 1714 , Feb 4, 1997
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