Re: "Alexandrian" Text
at 04:57 PM, Maurice Robinson <mrobinsn@...>
said: I tried to input some comments of my own into this thread
since I am only a lurker but then it got to be more and more
difficult thus back to lurking and someday when I "grow up"
enough then I can jump in all the way..... <grin> I suggest that
more lurkers join once in a while.......
---On Tue, 4 Jun 1996, Robert B. Waltz wrote:
---> I suppose it depends on which problem one is attacking. In
---using the > terminology you do, you are working from a
---particular theory: Byzantine > priority.
---> Now it's obvious that I don't agree with this theory, but
---that's not > the point.
---> My goal is to start without *any* assumptions. If I
---construct a > textual theory, I want to do it from the bottom
---up. *Any* assumption > about the relationship of texts can
---lead to invalid results.
---I suspect that any attempt to start from the bottom up with no
--- assumptions regarding textual groupings or theory will lead
---to jumbled and inconclusive results (just as you are noting).
---Since textual criticism cannot be done in a vacuum, I do not
---think it unreasonable to begin with theories regarding
---transmissional history before attempting to evaluate the
---interrelationship among MSS based upon percentage agreements;
---but this may only be a peculiarity of my own approach.
Beg my pardon since I am only a lurker ;)
But this is precisely the point that Maurice is trying to make
and as far as my TC reading goes so far I wholeheartedly concur
with his opinion -- Starting with a theory sounds wonderful --
But which one?? Hort? Aland? Kilpatrick? Colwell? For much
too long I think that many of the theories have not influenced my
thinking as much as Maurice has done.
Of course I am not a heavyweight and rarely post in here due to
that fact.... Thus this is why I state that I have not been
greatly impressed or influenced by the trad. approaches
---not think the results are skewed by my method, nor do I think
---they are necessarily improved by your method.
---> If it be objected that elsewhere I have constructed a theory
---of the > text, and even attempted to reconstruct the original
---text based on > it, I will concede that this is true. But that
---reconstruction is > tentative, based on what I know about the
---manuscripts. It might > change if I knew more.
---My own textual theory and reconstruction is also based upon
---what I know about the MSS and copying habits of scribes etc.,
---but it does not require the determination of what I consider
---the minutiae of MS interrelationships in order to function.
---Even if the results remain tentative in any reconstruction,
---the theory still must exist in order to explain the
---> And, more to the point, I do not consider that text to be
---final > until the textual complexion of all manuscripts is
Excuse me I am too familiar with how this theory works out in
Theological circles thus I would not be surprised if you were to
conclude that you were correct all a long... <g> Weiss
methodology and Maurice has a lot more going for it than meets
the eye since many if not most are covertly and overtly opposed
to his system...... This is not true scholarship in my opinion
---And if such were indeed known, would you REALLY consider your
---text "final" and/or inviolate as a representation of the
---autograph? I certainly would not claim such in regard to the
---Byzantine Textform even were we to possess full collations of
---all MSS, since the places where the Byzantine MSS are divided
---would still remain tentative in light of both internal and
---external evidence. I simply remain skeptical of being able
---to approach any total level of certainty merely by statistical
---> So I maintain that, until we have fully examined that
---manuscripts, > we must refer to the process of adding
---Byzantine readings to > non-Byzantine manuscripts as mixture.
---Which, from your perspective, I can understand. From my
---perspective, I would prefer to maintain the semantic
---distinction previously mentioned.
--->> I obviously would not concur on this point. I do agree
---that the tendency >> would be for localized texts to move
---steadily toward a Byzantine form as >> they begin to be
---corrected by comparison with MSS from outside their local >>
---region. I also agree that the localized variations were
---themselves >> movements to varying degrees AWAY from the
---Byzantine Textform. But I do >> not concur that most MSS
---within the wider scope of MS transmission would >> derive from
---a non-Byzantine or less-Byzantine model. If this were so, >>
---what factors would legitimately, within any normal "process"
---view, cause >> non- or less-Byz MSS to become Byzantine?
---Barring a major textual >> upheaval, the normal patterns of MS
---copying and correction would tend to >> maintain the text
---which was dominant at any given point of time.
---> I must admit that I don't understand that paragraph. So I
---may be missing > the point.
Me too..... <grin>
---Let me rephrase simplistically: if local texts existed (and
---they did), they must have come about as a deviation from the
---autograph. What was the autograph remains the question. If
---the autograph were basically the Byzantine Textform, then the
---local texts in process of time would tend to slowly disappear
---and become re-amalgamated within the Byzantine Textform
---through the process of cross-comparison and correction against
---MSS from other portions of the Greek-speaking Empire. This is
---a logical and natural conclusion from within my own
---On the other hand, if the local texts were deviations from an
---autograph which itself was non-Byzantine in character, some
---other explanation needs to be given as to how and why the
---deviant local texts did not eventually return to the
---theoretically "predominant" autograph text which supposedly
---permeated the Greek-speaking portion of the Empire hitherto,
---but instead gravitated inexorably toward a Byzantine
---> But how much do we really know about local texts? We know a
---little about > the text of Egypt from the papyri. But other
---than that, it seems to me > that our knowledge of local texts,
---especially in the western half of the > Roman Empire, is very
---I really have no problem with the concept of local texts. The
---Western text, even though fragmentary and scattered, still
---seems to be quite clearly divided into European and African
---forms. The local text of Alexandria can be seen not only in
---the Greek MSS in varying degrees, but also in the national
---Coptic texts of that locality; the "Caesarean", though also
---questionable in nature and essence, still seems to stand
---midway between the Alexandrian and Byzantine texts, and does
---seem, from patristic evidence, to have an locale of origin in
---and around Palestine, with possible spreading from there into
---the Georgian and Armenian versions. Even some of the
---Byzantine sub-families likely reflect texts current in a
---given locality, and that possibly a monastery or even
---> Looking at the statistics for collections in the (old)
---Kurzggefasste Liste > and in Aland/Aland, it would appear that
---40% are in Greece and nearby > areas -- areas which would
---belong to the Patriarchy of Constantinople. > Another 40+% are
---in libraries to which they must have been moved (e.g. >
---London, Oxford, Ann Arbor). Most of the rest are either at
---Rome or > Sinai. So how can we claim to know *anything* about
---the local text > of, say, North Africa (except from patristic
---I'm not sure what your point is here: the present localities
---of MSS have no bearing on the "local text" question, since
---that goes back to the venues wherein they were originally
---copied, and the resultant textual alignments which can be
---discerned among the existing MSS. Of course, if you are
---starting from scratch and reject the alignments, then nothing
---> >This is why I supplement the Colwell rule with Griffith's
---"Near-Neighbor > >Clusters" concept. I find that approach
---works admirably well, and allows > >a MS like 424 to be
---"generally" Byzantine, but equally part of a > >distinctive
---fam.1739 (and there is no reason why both cannot be true, >
--->just as with Family Pi).
---> That sounds reasonable -- though I do not know the work you
---mention. > Can you tell me was it published? (Thanks in
---John G. Griffith, "Numerical Taxonomy and Some Primary MSS of
---the Gospels," JTS, n.s. 41(?) 1969. Not completely sure of
---the reference; that was off the top of my head, but the
---article is definitely in the fall 1969 fascicle.
---> It sounds like you and I may suffer from the same degree of
---frustration, > even if for wholly different reasons. As long
---ago as Lake, people were > calling Westcott-Hort a "failure,"
---yet no one has proposed a substitute.
---Excuse me? I thought _I_ had done that *;-) Maybe you mean
---"within the modern eclectic fold"?
---> Why do you think I started this discussion? Remember, I was
---offering a > deliberate unorthodoxy -- even though I was not
---sure it was true.
---I recall that quite well. I also offer a heterodoxy to the
---common eclectic position, though I am more convinced that my
---model has validity.
---> In saying this, I can only think of the history of science.
---At (admittedly > irregular) intervals something comes along
---and completely overturns > everything. On that analogy,
---textual criticism is overdue for a revolution.
---On this I fully concur.
---Maurice A. Robinson, Ph.D. Assoc. Prof./Greek and
---New Testament Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
---Wake Forest, North Carolina
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