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Re: tc-list Text-Type of Old Syriac

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  • William L. Petersen
    ... The question is not a simple one. It would be best to go back and see to what from Burkitt, Lake and Kenyon, Wikenhauser is referring. One problem is (as
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 3, 1998
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      Doug Salmon wrote:

      >I am concerned by a statement I recently read in Wikenhauser's, New
      >Testament Introduction (ET, 1958) :
      >
      >"In recent times, however, competent textual critics (Burkitt, Lake,
      >Kenyon, and others) have insisted that the Old Syriac Gospel text does not
      >belong to the Western form" (p. 142).
      >
      >This is contrary to the usual discussions of the Western witnesses I am
      >familiar with, e.g. most recently Eldon J. Epp listed the Old Syriac
      >version as a witness in his article on "Western Text" in the Anchor Bible
      >Dictionary. My question to the list is: Are there scholars today who
      >_DON'T_ feel that the Old Syriac is a witness to the Western text-type.
      >
      >Doug Salmon
      >dfsalmon@...

      The question is not a simple one. It would be best to go back and see to
      what from Burkitt, Lake and Kenyon, Wikenhauser is referring.

      One problem is (as Bob Waltz pointed out) that there is no definition as to
      what the "Western Text" is. Is it Bezae? Is it the Vetus Latina? Is it
      the Vetus Syra itself? This lack of a definition makes any "tight"
      categorization of the Vetus Syra difficult.

      A second problem is: even if one had such a definition ("the Western Text
      = Codex Bezae"), then what would it take to "be" Western? 90% agreement?
      50% agreement? And agreement in what? Variants? Harmonizations? All
      readings?

      A third problem is: what part of the gospels are you talking about?
      Certain pericopes are "more" in agreement with Bezae (if that is the
      standard of reference), and others are less.


      If one takes (as I do) agreements among at least two of the following (but
      the more the better) as a "marker" (artificial designator of; the point at
      which I deem something worthy of a closer look) for the Western text--

      -non-Alexandrian, non-Byzantine,
      -deviating readings in Codex Bezae,
      -deviating readings in the Vetus Latina,
      -deviating readings in the Vetus Syra,
      -deviating early Patristic readings (pre-250 or so),
      -deviating readings from early apocryphal works (also roughly pre-250), and
      -deviating readings in Diatessaronic witnesses

      --then the Vetus Syra is obviously, by definition, "Western," for it has
      significant agreements with all of these witnesses.

      --Petersen, Penn State University,
      Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies.
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