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Re: Athanasius and the Text of the NT

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  • schmiul@uni-muenster.de
    ... This is indeed the crucial point. ... If his readings are found in MSS, this seems to be the first and most natural suggestion. ... Can we clarify our use
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 25, 1997
      On Tue, 22 Apr 1997, John Brogan wrote (inter alia):

      >> >This shows that the types of changes attested, or in
      >>> some cases even produced, by Athanasius eventually make their way
      >>> into the stream of textual transmission.
      >> What types of changes are involved? How can you assure that it was
      >> Athanasius who produced them?

      >I hope to explore some of these questions more fully in the future.
      >I don't think we can be *assured* that for any particular reading,
      >Athanasius produced it (much depends on what would constitute

      This is indeed the crucial point.

      >There is always the possibility that he took the
      >reading from a manuscript.

      If his readings are found in MSS, this seems to be the first and most natural

      >I am convinced, however, that Athanasius
      >at times corrupted his biblical text when citing it.

      Can we clarify our use of the term corrupting/corruption? As far as I can see,
      in TC corruption is the technical term for scribal alterations in the course of
      _copying_ MSS. _Citing_ (part of) a text within the context of another text is
      categorically different from copying texts. When citing a text one is simply
      adding a totally different context to the source text, thereby, from a
      formcritical perspective, employing the *Gattung* "citation". In so doing the
      source text gets a new "Sitz im Leben" within the context of the new text.
      Citation as a *Gattung* follows "principles" that are partly different from mere
      copying. Therefore, alterations within citations have to be firstly addressed
      from within the *Gattung*. They should not be confused with corruptions, i.e.
      alterations within the course of MSS copying processes.

      >Athanasius is the earliest witness of some of the readings he attests
      >(at least as far as my own collations and checking the collations of
      >Tischendorf, von Soden, Legg, etc. reveal).

      What datings of MSS do you use, e.g., is Athanasius older than Aleph or B? Most
      likely you know that the age of a witness not necessarily points to the age of
      origin of its readings.

      >Some of these readings
      >eventually found there way into a manuscript (as can be seen in the
      >corrections of Aleph) and into the broader stream of textual
      >transmission. I think it is likely that some of Athanasius'
      corruptions became part of the transmission through his influence on
      the theology of the scribes who were copying manuscripts.

      How could Athanasius have influenced the theology of scribes so that they
      conformed their MSS to another standard. Are Athanasius' readings related to
      theological concerns? I thought we already agreed on the fact (a) that different
      readings never played a role in the theological debates of the fourth century,
      and (b) that each participant could make sense of whatever proof-text in
      whatever textual form within his own theological framework. If this is the case,
      you need strong and coherent internal evidence for theologically motivated
      textual alterations with respect to Athanasius, for there is simply no external

      >Even if
      >Athanasius were not responsible for creating the reading, he would
      >have been influential in preserving and propagating the reading.

      How could someone "propagate" readings apart from making an edition? Did
      Athanasius make an edition?

      >agrees with the corrections of Aleph against the original hand in the
      >following places (sorted by corrector):

      >Corrector "A" - Mt 6:28
      >Corrector "B" - Mt 6:25, 6:26, 13:25, 18:20; Jn 1:18
      >Corrector "Ca" - Lk 1:27, 17:2, 24:39; Jn 1:3, 1:13, 1:18, 6:38,
      > 6:39, 6:46, 8:59, 12:32, 14:16, 14:28,
      > 16:15, 17:5, 17:22, 18:37, 19:39(2x)

      >Athanasius agrees with the original hand of Aleph against a
      >correction only in Lk 17:2. In Jn 1:18, Athanasius disagrees with
      >both Aleph* and AlephC.

      Could you please add the readings pertinent to your analysis. To me it was not
      always clear how to figure them out (c.f., e.g., Jn 1:18?).

      Thank you very much in advance.

      Ulrich Schmid, Muenster
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