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middle readings

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  • Vinton A. Dearing
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 19, 1997
      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
    • Robert B. Waltz
      ... I m sorry, I *can t* let this pass. Correct ? How do you know? Can you prove it? Have you the autograph in hand? *All* canons of criticism are theories --
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 19, 1997
        On Wed, 19 Mar 1997, "Vinton A. Dearing" <dearing@...> wrote:

        >See my book, Principles and Practice of Textual Analysis (1974),
        >pp. 42-56, for correct rules.

        I'm sorry, I *can't* let this pass.

        "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
        waltzmn@...

        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)
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