- Given three readings, such as "in," "inside," and "outside" in which
one is more like the other two than they are like each other, the
rule must be that the original reading is the one that explains the
other two. In the example, "in" explains "inside" and "inside"
explains "outside" perfectly well, and vice versa, "outside" explains
"inside" and "inside" explains "in" perfectly well; it is not a
foregone conclusion that "inside" explains both "in" and "outside,"
that is only another possibility. In fact, the following is also
possible: ":in" is the original reading, "outside" is a mistake, and
"inside" is an unsuccessful correction. Also, if "in" explains
"inside" satisfactorily and for some reason "inside" does not explain
"outside" satisfactorily (remember, similarity is not explanation)
then there is no way to tell which reading is the original. And so on.
See my book, Principles and Practice of Textual Analysis (1974),
pp. 42-56, for correct rules.
Vinton A. Dearing
- On Wed, 19 Mar 1997, "Vinton A. Dearing" <dearing@...> wrote:
>See my book, Principles and Practice of Textual Analysis (1974),I'm sorry, I *can't* let this pass.
>pp. 42-56, for correct rules.
"Correct"? How do you know? Can you prove it? Have you the autograph in
hand? *All* canons of criticism are theories -- theories about how
the text is transmitted. Some -- e.g. "That reading is best which
best explains the others" -- are almost universally accepted, but
they are still only theories.
If any rule could be *proved* to be correct, then textual criticism
would simply be a matter of applying the rules. But, obviously,
it is not.
This is not a criticism of Dearing or his book. Where his rules
differ from mine, it's certainly possible that he's right and
I'm wrong. I just can't *stand* this sort of sloppy language.
Grumble, grumble, rant, rave....
OK, I'm through now. :-)
Robert B. Waltz
Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
(A very rough draft of part of the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)