tc-list The Living Text
- Regarding the discussion about what an autograph is and in view of Parkers
"Living Text of the Gospels":
If we depart from trying to reconstruct the autographs, what is the end
result? If we simply try to establish the diversity of readings? Each
variant represented the text of the Gospel for some group at some point.
Have they all the same value then?
Is this leading people to say: I believe in Codex B! - No, I'm a
Should all early readings (definition!) be placed with equal weighting side
by side in the NT? Will the new NA-28 look more like Swanson? Do we have the
choice to choose readings, both THE WORD OF GOD?
Haven't thought about that before, interesting. Is this a new TC paradigm?
- Wieland Willker wrote:
> Regarding the discussion about what an autograph is and in view of ParkersThe concept of "autograph" within NT textual scholarship should be trated with
> "Living Text of the Gospels":
> If we depart from trying to reconstruct the autographs, what is the end
caution, because it supports anachronistic and naive views of the task of our
In my view, the ultimate goal of textual scholarship is clearing up the textual
history of given texts. The proper designation of the starting point of a
textual transmission is not "autograph", but *archetype*. Whenever there is a
textual transmission, it is legitimate, in fact necessary, to ask for it's
archetype. However, for a lot of texts from antiquity the archetype doesn't
necessarily equal the autograph. This is especially true for texts which have
been transmitted through intermediary genres, such as collections of all sorts,
e.g., letter collections, collections of excerpts (epitomai), medical
prescriptions and diagnoses, laws, oracles, etc. Sometimes, the textual history
points back to a collective archetype. And, the quest for the autograph of every
single item within the collection requires new orientation.
If we follow the textual history of texts back to their off-spring, we should be
careful to not somehow "naturally" expect to face "autographs" behind the last
turn of the journey.
Dr. Ulrich Schmid
- Ulrich Schmid wrote:
> In my view, the ultimate goal of textual scholarship is clearing up thepoint
> textual history of given texts. The proper designation of the starting
> of a textual transmission is not "autograph", but *archetype*.1. What is your definition of
a) autograph and
2. How would you handle the edition of the GNT (pocket-edition) when there
are readings of "equal weighting"?
- Wieland Willker wrote:
> Ulrich Schmid wrote:The archetype is the starting point of a textual transmission. It's the last
> > In my view, the ultimate goal of textual scholarship is clearing up the
> > textual history of given texts. The proper designation of the starting
> > of a textual transmission is not "autograph", but *archetype*.
> 1. What is your definition of
> a) autograph and
> b) archetype?
step you can reach when you try to find your way back through the extant copies
of given texts.
Concerning definition of autograph I can't really tell. I do think, however,
that the notion of autograph has something to do with the author of a text,
pointing to a version he or she wrote down or dictated and approved.
Within the realm of NT textual transmission the concept of autograph is very
tricky to handle. Let's take, e.g., the Pauline epistles. In all likelyhood the
letter to the Romans was sent to Rome as an individual text (possibly a single
scroll). The physical reminders of the textual tradition of the Letter to the
Romans, however, bears every sign of belonging to joint edition(s): Codex
format, more than just the individual letter in one manuscript, superscripts and
subscripts. Let's put it boldly: Does anybody really think that one of the
versions of Romans found in GNT, NA-27, Von Soden, or Tischendorf has a chance
to go back to the version that was sent to Rome? If we just consider the
superscript "To the Romans" found in all the mentioned editions, we will
immediately realize that critical editions don't pretend to go back to the
letter that was sent ot the Romans, even if editors sometimes do. Critical
editions just as probably every single piece of Romans' papyrus/parchment go
back to collections of Pauline letters. It is not entirely clear, how many
collections existed and how many of those have contributed to the textual
transmission of the Pauline Corpus. It is, however, reasonably clear that more
than one collection was involved. We don't know where, when and through whom the
collections have been made. Moreover, we don't know how faithfully the various
collections have preserved the individual letters.
To sum up: There are quite a few intermediary stages within the textual
transmission of the Pauline Corpus, some of which definitely contributed to
confuse the whole story (contamination), that it seems utterly naive to assume
the textual history of the Letter to the Romans will somehow naturally lead to
as well as faithfully represent the version that Paul once sent to Rome - if
that's what stands behind the notion of autograph.
In my view, we should concentrate our efforts to clear up the archetype
situation of the NT books, i.e. identifying, localizing, and reconstructing
collections and subcollections, instead of taking the short-cut to the desk of
Paul (or John, or Matthew, or...).
> 2. How would you handle the edition of the GNT (pocket-edition) when thereI've not studied every single variation unit within the NT, especially not in
> are readings of "equal weighting"?
the GNT pocket-edition, because this one tends to isolate information to the
extend that it's not possible to study similar phenomena throughout a given
text. What do you mean by "equal weighting"? The committee's "D"-ratings?
Dr. Ulrich Schmid