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Re: tc-list History of transmission

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  • U. Schmid
    ... Your statement above consists of three sentences that obviously interrelate and are intended to make a point. From my perspective, however, there seem to
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 3, 1998
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      On Mon, 2 Feb 1998, Matthew Johnson wrote:

      >Ulrich Schmiud wrote:
      > Matthew Johnson wrote:
      >>>Actually, the Vulgate has surprising links with what could be the
      >>>original text. This is because the Vulgate didn't really take over as
      >>>the standard until several centuries after it was written. In the
      >>>meantime, people continued to copy the Old Latin version, even mixing
      >>>it with the Vulgate.
      >>This goes too fast for me to make sense.
      >Really? I can't see why, unless you are trying very hard to
      >read between the lines and see some claim I did not make.

      Your statement above consists of three sentences that obviously interrelate
      and are intended to make a point. From my perspective, however, there seem
      to lay a lot of implicite arguments behind the three sentences in order to
      make a point. And I simply was not sure, whether I got them all. E.g., why
      are there *surprising* links between the Vulgate and the *original text*?
      Are you talking about the *original text* of the Latin version or the
      Greek? Why can the non-take-over of the Vulgate as a standard text be
      considered as a (the?) *reason* for the *surprising* links? Moreover, the
      time frame *several centuries* was not clear to me? Therefore, I asked the
      following question:

      >> Besides, what do you mean by
      >> several centuries?
      >There is nothing unclear here. Several centuries IS the time between
      >that when Jerome finished his work on the Vulgate (whether he really
      >did do only the OT and Gospels or not) and the time it finally took
      >over as the official text of the Roman Church. It was not until Trent
      >that Pope and Council proclaimed it official, and not until Bacon's
      >time that he [Roger Bacon] could get away with saying that Jerome's
      >Vulgate was the true text of the church, which must not be tampered

      To which Glen Thompson already replied: "The question, as I see it, is not
      when the Vulgate became the
      "official" text of the Roman church, but when it became the
      predominant text among Latin-using Christians. While Old Latin
      influences certainly survived for several centuries, the Vulgate
      seems to have become the predominant text long before Bacon or

      >> When consulting _B. Fischer, Die Lateinischen Evangelien
      >>bis zum 10. Jahrhundert (4 vols.), 1988-1991_ I find 21 Mss counted among
      >>the Old Latin type(s), while around 430 are counted among the Vg Mss.
      >But what does this really mean? These numbers tell us next to nothing
      >about which text was predominant when. Nor do these numbers tell us
      >anything about Old Latin readings surviving in Vulgate manuscripts,
      >nor about Old Latin manuscripts harmonized to the Vulgate. Both
      >phenomena were common enough.

      There certainly is a limited number of cases for which it is hard to decide
      whether we are actually dealing with Old Latin texts being "vulgatized"
      (i.e., adapted to a dominant Vulgate text) or Vulgate texts being
      influenced by Old Latin texts. Yet I think the general figures do indeed
      tell us something. Though occasionally Old Latin texts had been copied in
      later times - just as old, non-Byzantine texts had been copied in the greek
      minuscule times -, the vast majority of Latin Mss from the 5th to 9th/10th
      centuries seem to basically belong to the Vulgate type. Thus the latter
      phenomenon seems to tell us something about the predominant text for most
      every place of Ms production despite a much later "official" (church
      council) reception of this text.

      >>Though it is true that virtually every Vg Ms has some sort of Old Latin
      >>tincture, nevertheless your statement seems to be too unsubtle. BTW-- We
      >>know virtually nothing about the later history of the Vulgate from the 10th
      >>to the 15th centuries.
      >This may be true, but it would have little bearing on the application
      >of the knowledge of the history of the Vulgate text to understanding
      >the Old Latin & therefore the Western text, since for this we are by
      >far more concerned with the Vulgate in an earlier period, for which we
      >know the history better.

      Who knows? Within the literally thousands of later Vulgate Mss we might
      even detect more and different residues of Old Latin tincture than we
      already know, thus possibly pointing partly to a much stronger Old Latin
      element even in later times. This could even serve to strengthen your
      point, if I understand it correctly.

      >>Part of the NT Vulgate, for example the Pauline Epistles, most likely
      >>wasn't even the work of Jerome.
      >Now how _would_ you tell the difference between this claim and the
      >scenario I described, that:
      >>>Besides, much of the New Testament, even in Jerome's Vulgate, was
      >>>copied almost unmodified from the Old Latin. Perhaps the Pope was
      >>>putting pressure on Jerome to finish.
      >In either case, the Vulgate NT outside the Gospels remains mostly Old
      >Latin. So now it is my turn to ask you: what is the point _you_ are
      >trying to make?

      Again, your statement is much too unsubtle. According to _Walter Thiele,
      Probleme der Versio Latina in den Katholischen Briefen, in: Die Alten
      Uebersetzungen des Neuen Testaments, die Kirchenvaeterzitate und Lektionare
      (ed. K. Aland), ANTF 5 (Berlin - New York 1972), pp. 93-119_, the Vulgate
      of the Catholic Epistles, though interlocked with the Old Latin types, has
      a unique character when compared to the Old Latin.

      >The point I am trying to make is not that subtle or mysterious. It is
      >that the previous poster seems to be dismissing the Vulgate text as
      >irrelevant to finding original readings. But because of the close
      >relation between the Old Latin and the Western text, this dismissal is
      >uncalled for.

      So the point you are making is dependent on the role of the "Western text".
      Is this correct? But this involves a whole *kosmos* of theories on the
      "Western text", which are hotly debated. You simply cannot expect me (or
      others) to know which theories you subscribe to in that respect, nor that I

      >But I am not arguing for unique original readings in the Vulgate. In
      >fact, I am not aware of any (although I would not be surprised if a very
      >small handful of such existed). What I am arguing for is its relevance
      >to the history of the text, and to the process of establishing which
      >reading best explains the others.

      Here we possibly meet one of the sources of our misunderstandings, if I may
      put it that way. You are concerned with *original readings* (Greek Urtext?)
      and overall textual history, while my concern in this case (i.e., Latin
      version) is a much more modest one. I'm simply struggling with the history
      of the *Latin versions* on its own. In that perspective your inferences
      from the Latin versions towards overall textual theory seems to me an
      example of oversimplification on the Latin side.

      >Since in a slightly earlier post you referred to Metzger's handling of
      >the longer ending of Mark,


      Now that strikes me.
      a) When ("slightly earlier") did I refer to Metzger?
      b) When did I refer to Metzger in a connection that is pertinent to our
      present discussion?
      Remember, my focus is on the Latin versions and the understanding of their
      development. From my point of view I only addressed questions related to
      that problem. (E.g., if Jerome were not responsible for the Vulgate of the
      whole NT, speculations on the pope's "pressure" accounting for the Old
      Latin element in the Vulgate is of no help.) I need to understand this
      problem first before connecting it to overall textual theory. Your initial
      abbreviated presentation of the Latin versions was too condensed to be
      clear to me. I simply called for a more detailed outline on your side.
      Maybe I should have been more explicit on that.

      Ulrich Schmid

      Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study
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