Re: tc-list The ultimate goal of textual criticism
- Bob Waltz wrote:
> First off, let's please distinguish between gospels and Paul. The gospelsSince both are codices and somewhat fragmentary, I'm not sure we
> were clearly intended for publication; even if only one or two copies
> were made of AMk, the hope was still that it would be disseminated.
> And the Gospels *did* achieve independent circulation. P66 contained
> only John. P75 contained only Luke and John. It is likely that many of
> the other gospel papyri contained only one gospel.
can say with absolute confidence that these gospels are all the
actual codices ever contained. True, it is possible that some
manuscripts only contained one or two gospels; the question then
> In Paul, the situation is completely different. The documents wereI don't see how this has anything to do with the question. What
> for public use, yes, but had a particular destination. They weren't
> intended for actual *publication.* It wasn't until they were collected
> that an actual public edition seems to have been contemplated. To
> the best of my knowledge, there is only *one* Pauline manuscript which
> can be shown to have contained only a single book of the Pauline
> corpus: P13. And that's a double special case, because P13 is a
> scroll and Hebrews was a disputed book. There is no evidence that,
> say, Galatians was ever published separately. (Note the term
you're actually saying is that the paulines in fact did have
autographs. Also, the last part of Colossians indicates that Paul
intended his letters to be circulated at least somewhat, which
sounds an awful lot like "publication" of a sort to me. If the
commentaries are correct that Ephesians was a cyclical letter,
surely Paul would have assumed the churches to whom it was
circulated would have made copies and likely disseminated them.
That also sounds a lot like publication. It would appear then, that
the matter is not nearly as cut-and-dried as Bob wants to make it.
> Thus every manuscript of the gospels presumably goes back to aHow is it reasonable? The fact that the letters were ultimately
> single stopping point. (It may not be the autograph, because it
> could, say, be taken from a scribe's fair copy of Mark's autograph.
> But it is a stopping point consisting of Mark only.)
> In Paul, in all likelihood, there is no such "single stopping point"
> for each book. The common starting point is *not* the autograph of
> Romans and the autograph of 1 Corinthians and the autograph of
> 2 Corinthians (the last of which never even actually existed). It
> is the manuscript in which they were all assembled. Or, at least,
> this is a reasonable assumption.
assembled has nothing to do with the question of autographs, at
least not as far as I can see. The goal of TC is still to discover
exactly what was in those autographs, so I'm not sure I see the
> I don't know how we can "prove" this textually. But there is alwaysBut there may be a difference between a first disseminated
> that first disseminated document. Which may or may not be the
> autograph. And if it is *not* the autograph, we have no way to
> move beyond it except by emendation.
document and an autograph. Suppose Paul sent 1 Corinthians to
its recipients with the goal of its ultimately being read by other
people and churches as well. Someone in that church takes it and
makes a copy to send to the Christians in the next town, but to
save space or whatever he uses nomina sacra where Paul had
spelled things out. Is this the first disseminated document, or is
the letter as it came from Paul? I would argue for the latter, and
include the former in the textual history of the letter. I don't see
how we can look at it any other way.
> Functionally, it's like (say) Beowulf. There is *one* copy.Again, I don't see the point. The church canonized a certain
> All we can do is reconstruct that copy as best we can, and then
> decide whether to emend from there.
> I get the feeling this bothers people. It shouldn't. If you think
> of it from a church standpoint, you're reconstructing the work
> the church canonized. It didn't canonize 2 Corinthians 8; it
> canonized *Paul*. And if you look at it from a secular standpoint,
> or when examining a secular book, well, you're reconstructing
> an actual edition.
corpus of letters it determined to be from Paul, but that has little or
nothing to do with the quest for the autographs as he originally sent
them out. (Incidentally, the form-critical stuff about 2 Corinthians is
open to fierce and heated debate, but it's secondary and I won't
pursue it.) Reconstructing an edition is well and good if that's what
you want to do, but the goal of TC is still supposed to be the text of
the autograph as it came from the author's hand.
> And the earliest known edition, be it added. If it isn't theHow do you know? If the earliest known edition is what was
> autograph, it's as close as you can get.
canonized in the fourth century and we have some copies that are
earlier than that, then it would seem that we have a fairly good
chance, at least in places, of getting at least 2 centuries closer to
the autograph than the earliest known edition. I really don't see the
> This isn't new, either. Remember, Lachmann set out to reconstructThat was Lachmann's problem, not mine.
> the fourth century text, not the original text....
"Ich veranlassenarbeitenworken mein Mojo."
- On Mon, 20 Sep 1999 20:38:02 -0500 "Robert B. Waltz"
>[ ...Lots of nice agreement, not that that helps any :-)... ]But it makes us feel good. :-)
>I'm missing something here. I never said that *any* text-type wasAgreed, you did not. But it seems an either/or hypothesis. If all texts
>dominant at an early date.
were local in nature, then how would dominance be rapidly achieved, even
with the Arab conquest, since an amalgam of "local text" MSS should have
dominated the Empire if there was no one dominant text. Even allowing the
Arab conquest to remove two or three "localities," this would not under
normal transmissional processes wipe out the otherwise-extant amalgam
permeating the remainder of the Empire in such a way as to allow the
rapid growth and dominance of a single remaining local text.
>But I maintain that, *if* all areas had a local text (and thelocal texts
>assumption is that they would, even though different areas might have
>that were practically identical), and if all but one of those areasBut how would this be accomplished _quickly_ under the slow "process"
>were wiped out, we would expect that local text to become dominant.
view of transmission?
>Thus, one would expect the local text-type of Byzantium to be theExcept that one hardly has to wait till the 12th century to find this
>dominant one in later centuries. Doesn't matter what its earlier
dominance already existing. Basically the history after the 10th century
is irrelevant to the point.
>One could even make an Old Testament analogy. Prior to the Flood,Certainly. But I was talking transmission and neither archetype nor
>most people were not descended from Noah. After it, if one believes
>the Biblical account, they all were descended from Noah. Doesn't
>mean Noah was the first man, just the first man to survive. Archetype,
>not autograph. :-)
>The following example refers specifically to Sinai, but it couldSo far as I know, all extant MSS were copied from older exemplars. :-)
>This is where data on manuscript origins would be really interesting.
>However, I believe that you are making an unwitting assumption here.
>The assumption being that most manuscripts were copied from old
>exemplars. The evidence seems to indicate, if anything, the contrary.
_How_ old is another question, but they still are all in a line of
transmission which stretches back for centuries. The problem is reflected
in the Lake, Blake, and New study of the MSS at Sinai, Jerusalem, and
Athos, which was somewhat frustrating to them since they saw no real
signs of genealogical connection between the existing MSS preserved in
each individual location (whether they were overly-pessimistic on this
point is another matter). This implied clearly that the lines of
transmission stemmed from what were apparently earlier exemplars which
similarly preserved their relative genealogical autonomy, even within a
basic Byzantine Textform. How far back this relative autonomy went, of
course, no one knows.
>So suppose someone showed up from Constantinople (not impossible byWait a minute -- first you have to explain how those isolated Sinai monks
>any means, even *after* the Arab conquest; immigration controls are
>a modern invention) with a nice fancy new manuscript of the Kx
>recension, in this beautiful minuscule script, with accents and
>breathings and spaces between words and Eusebian apparatus and all
>that great stuff. And your alternative is to copy from something
>like Sinaiticus, and try to add the accents yourself, and figure
>out what all those correctors wrote. Which do you pick?
who were totally used to uncial MSS became attracted to and adopted the
minuscule script (which only arises relative to NT MSS in the 8th
century), long after the Muslim conquest of that region. And what would
make them decide to abandon their centuries-long practice of copying in
uncials (which for those who used such were _easier_ to read than
minuscule (ask modern student collators), just as later on the minuscule
became easier to read than uncial for those trained in such). And why
would they use an upstart "new" MS of (say) Kx type as the basis for all
their new copying endeavors when it differed so radically from what they
had been supposedly been used to for centuries? Tradition is a difficult
thing to overcome, but with a change of script added as well, it would
seem well-nigh impossible.
>Unless you're an early version of Hort, you're likely to pick theActually, I think the Sinai monks might well have been early versions of
Hort, and would prefer the older uncials to which they had been used
rather than any "new" and upstart differing text, especially assuming
relative isolation caused by the Arab conquest as a preserving factor
within their tradition.
>So texts of this type could easily become widespreadIf so, then what precisely did the Arab conquest damage in regard to MS
>*even in a place where the Byzantine text wasn't originally dominant.*
transmission? Are you suggesting that MSS of a given texttype could flow
_in_ to the isolated areas, but that those of a different texttype would
not flow _out_?
>Now this is just a hypothetical; I don't know what happened. ButThe Byz MSS do dominate the collection at Sinai, as well as at Jerusalem.
>one can't argue from Byzantine manuscripts (and not all recent
>manuscripts at Sinai are Byzantine!) that the Byzantine text was
Whether such dominance existed from ancient times is a different matter,
but quite clearly the Byztxt was dominant in those locations for most of
the time following the Arab conquest.
>For that matter -- where and when was Sinai founded? I will admitThere are histories, but separating pious tradition from actual fact
>that I don't know. But I doubt it was founded from Alexandria. That's
>not based on textual theories; it's based on the fact that Egyptian
>monks tended to go into the desert, not to Sinai, to meditate.
>Sinai seems, from what little I know, to have been a Byzantine
might be difficult.
Probably no real reason to reject at least the Justinian-era foundation
for some form of monastic activity in that area, and (if various
traditions be correct) it may be likely that those MSS (including Aleph)
which were found in that monastery may well have been there from close to
the time they were written. But again, all is speculation on these
Maurice A. Robinson
Professor of NT and Greek
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina