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Re: tc-list The Living Text

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  • U.B.Schmid
    ... The archetype is the starting point of a textual transmission. It s the last step you can reach when you try to find your way back through the extant
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 4, 1999
      Wieland Willker wrote:
      > Ulrich Schmid wrote:
      > > 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*.
      > 1. What is your definition of
      > a) autograph and
      > b) archetype?

      The archetype is the starting point of a textual transmission. It's the last
      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 there
      > are readings of "equal weighting"?

      I've not studied every single variation unit within the NT, especially not in
      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
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