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A New Scrivener -- The Arguments

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  • Robert B. Waltz
    It s amazing how quickly discussions on this list can turn ugly. (And yes, I know I ve been part of that; don t say anything.) I wish I had some way of telling
    Message 1 of 7 , May 27, 1997
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      It's amazing how quickly discussions on this list can turn ugly. (And
      yes, I know I've been part of that; don't say anything.) I wish I had
      some way of telling you all to "cool it."

      First, let's not exaggerate Scrivener's textual theories. We all know
      that Scrivener was not a liberal such as Hort. Nut neither was he a
      conservative such as Burgon. Even a casual glance at his introduction
      will show that.

      Scrivener was a moderate. And, like most moderates, his views were
      actually on the conservative end of the spectrum. But -- unlike Burgon --
      he used and respected old and/or non-Byzantine manuscripts. The fact
      is, I don't know of anyone on this list who agrees with his positions.
      But they are not absurd or extremist; we should respect him -- and
      deeply respect his collation work.

      But none of this was the point of my original post. I was speaking
      of Scrivener's *manual*. Which is by no means the extremist document
      that, say, the Alands' is. (I call Aland & Aland extremist because
      they really pay almost no attention to other viewpoints or editions
      than their own.)

      The excellent thing about Scrivener is that it gives so much useful
      information about the entire spectrum of NT materials. Yes, it's now
      brutally dated (it doesn't use Gregory numbers; the Sinai Syriac was
      unknown; there are no papyri, etc...). But the *form* is good, and
      rather unbiased. To get that same level of information today, you
      qould need the Kurzgefasste Liste, Aland & Aland, Metzger's volume
      on the Versions, and at least one other introduction. And even so,
      you wouldn't have as much detail.

      Someone objected that it would be much harder to gather that level
      of detail about manuscripts today. True enough. But the T&T volumes
      demonstrate that the information is available (in Munster, at least).
      It just hasn't been published.

      If nothing else, it's a hint for what should be in the next edition
      of the KListe. And, in my opinion, the writers of upcoming TC manuals
      would be well-advised to examine Scrivener for ideas.

      Now can we stop arguing about a century-out-of-date book and
      start arguing about something more current? :-)


      Robert B. Waltz

      Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
      Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
      (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
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