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Re: tc-list MS-relation to a text-type

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  • Dr. Ron Minton
    Date sent: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 09:34:44 -0600 From: Robert B. Waltz ... Text-type = the theoretical text behind
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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      Date sent: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 09:34:44 -0600
      From: "Robert B. Waltz" <news1!waltzmn@...>
      >...There is actually a more fundamental question here: Is a text-type a
      > collection of *readings*, or a collection of *manuscripts*?
      > This is a question without a true answer, because we don't *have* a
      > definition for a text-type....

      Text-type = the theoretical text behind similar manuscripts.
      Ron Minton
    • Dave Washburn
      ... An excellent question. I concluded a long time ago that, at least in the field of NT textual criticism, a text-type is basically a set of readings that
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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        T. Wasserman wrote:
        > I read today in Greenlee´s Introduction to NT TC (rev.ed.) p. 138, the
        > following:
        >
        > "...because no individual witness is a perfect representative of its
        > text-type...Hence the determination of the relationship of a MS to a
        > text-type must come from its agreement with the consensus of the
        > witnesses to that text-type, which is a standard to which no single
        > witness to the text-type is likely to measure up".
        >
        > At first this sounded reasonable, but then I stumbled on the word
        > "consensus" above. I get the feeling that the word is misleading (am I
        > wrong?). What is the nature of this consensus? How does one combine the
        > factor of "consensus" with the recognized and differentiated "quality"
        > (judged from external and internal considerations) of MSS within a
        > text-type?

        An excellent question. I concluded a long time ago that, at least in
        the field of NT textual criticism, a "text-type" is basically a set of
        readings that researchers have concluded characterises a
        particular region or textual flavor. But what constitutes a
        "consensus"? And how do we know? Suggested percentages of
        agreement that I have seen seem more than a little arbitrary.

        There are no true "representatives" of any of the purported text-
        types, the fact is that every single manuscript must be judged as
        "mixed" to some degree or another. This suggests to me that
        either we don't have any genuine text-types among the NT mss, or
        we need very different criteria for determining what types there are.
        I lean toward the former, but mine is definitely a minority view.

        Dave Washburn
        http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
        "But what about the muffler bearings?"
      • Tommy Wasserman
        I read today in Greenlee´s Introduction to NT TC (rev.ed.) p. 138, the following: ...because no individual witness is a perfect representative of its
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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          I read today in Greenlee´s Introduction to NT TC (rev.ed.) p. 138, the
          following:

          "...because no individual witness is a perfect representative of its
          text-type...Hence the determination of the relationship of a MS to a
          text-type must come from its agreement with the consensus of the
          witnesses to that text-type, which is a standard to which no single
          witness to the text-type is likely to measure up".

          At first this sounded reasonable, but then I stumbled on the word
          "consensus" above. I get the feeling that the word is misleading (am I
          wrong?). What is the nature of this consensus? How does one combine the
          factor of "consensus" with the recognized and differentiated "quality"
          (judged from external and internal considerations) of MSS within a
          text-type?

          Tommy Wasserman
          Swedish student of theology
        • Robert B. Waltz
          ... There is actually a more fundamental question here: Is a text-type a collection of *readings*, or a collection of *manuscripts*? This is a question without
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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            On 11/3/99, Tommy Wasserman wrote:

            >I read today in Greenlee´s Introduction to NT TC (rev.ed.) p. 138, the
            >following:
            >
            >"...because no individual witness is a perfect representative of its
            >text-type...Hence the determination of the relationship of a MS to a
            >text-type must come from its agreement with the consensus of the
            >witnesses to that text-type, which is a standard to which no single
            >witness to the text-type is likely to measure up".
            >
            >At first this sounded reasonable, but then I stumbled on the word
            >"consensus" above. I get the feeling that the word is misleading (am I
            >wrong?). What is the nature of this consensus? How does one combine the
            >factor of "consensus" with the recognized and differentiated "quality"
            >(judged from external and internal considerations) of MSS within a
            >text-type?

            There is actually a more fundamental question here: Is a text-type
            a collection of *readings*, or a collection of *manuscripts*?

            This is a question without a true answer, because we don't *have*
            a definition for a text-type. (For an interminable discussion of
            this point, see the article on text-types at the Encyclopedia
            site below. I know I wrote it :-), but I think that comes closer
            to being original work than almost anything on the site.)

            Whichever answer you use, however, text-types exist. The existence
            of the Alexandrian and Byzantine types, at least, cannot reasonably
            be questioned (though the manuscripts which represent the types
            are open to debate).

            As to how one determines a "consensus," it depends on one's
            methods. For Westcott and Hort, for instance, a "consensus"
            consisted of the agreement of Aleph and B. Where they agreed,
            there was no need to continue. Where they disagreed, attention
            had to be paid to their supporters (L 33 etc. in the Gospels,
            A 33 etc. in Paul, and so forth).

            With the many more witnesses at our disposal today, it gets more
            complicated. But I would submit that there are several steps to
            be followed (I'll give examples for Paul, since that's what I
            know best):

            1. Ascertain the key witnesses of the type. In Paul, for example,
            the key witnesses are Aleph A C 33 (Note: NOT P46 and NOT B; which
            Zuntz and I agree are not Alexandrian in the same sense that Aleph
            etc. are)
            2. Check the agreement of these key witnesses. If they all agree, that
            is the Alexandrian reading.
            3. If the key witnesses do not agree, we must check the secondary
            witnesses (81 104 1175 2464 etc.). We must also determine what
            is the *reading of the Byzantine text*. Chances are that at least
            some of the secondary witnesses have been influenced by the
            Byzantine reading.
            4. The "consensus" reading is the reading found in the clear majority
            of witnesses *once the Byzantine influence has been subtracted*.

            Point 4 is the key point: Mixture must be dealt with. It may be that
            the consensus reading is not actually found in the majority of so-called
            Alexandrian manuscripts. It need only be the reading found in the
            majority of manuscripts which have not suffered mixture at this point.

            In some instances, you may have to apply internal sorts of criteria,
            such as quasi-stemmatic approaches. But this is generally to be avoided
            *for text-types*, which will be much more closely knit than the tradition
            as a whole. Personally, I would only allow it in cases such as John 7:8
            where a certain sort of correction would obviously suggest itself.

            We should note that it may not be possible to determine the reading
            of a text-type at every point. This is true even of the Byzantine text.

            -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

            Robert B. Waltz
            waltzmn@...

            Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
            Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
            (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
          • Robert B. Waltz
            ... There are some who would accept this. I can t agree. This assumes, in effect, that every manuscript of a type goes back to a common ancestor. This cannot
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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              On 11/3/99, Dr. Ron Minton wrote:

              >Date sent: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 09:34:44 -0600
              >From: "Robert B. Waltz" <news1!waltzmn@...>
              > >...There is actually a more fundamental question here: Is a text-type a
              > > collection of *readings*, or a collection of *manuscripts*?
              > > This is a question without a true answer, because we don't *have* a
              > > definition for a text-type....
              >
              >Text-type = the theoretical text behind similar manuscripts.

              There are some who would accept this. I can't agree.

              This assumes, in effect, that every manuscript of a type goes back
              to a common ancestor. This cannot be shown, and does *not* follow.

              Presumably this means you agree with those who regard a text-type
              as a collection of readings. This, too, remains disputed.

              But even if you can get everyone (except me) to agree on your
              definition of a text-type, the above is not a *practical*
              definition. A definition, to be usable, must allow us to
              recognize text-types. The above does not allow us to do so.

              Take an example: The Koridethi Codex. Von Soden said it was
              type I, i.e. "Western." Streeter said it was "Caesarean."
              Today, we agree it's not "Western," and many would dissolve
              the "Caesarean" text. So what text-type does Theta belong to?

              A definition must allow us to

              1) Define a text-type, that is, look through the tradition and
              determine which text-types exist.
              2) Determine what manuscripts belong to a text-type.

              Given that people still call P46 Alexandrian, while some call
              Theta "Caesasrean" and others claim it is not, it is clear
              that we do not have a universally accepted definition of
              a text-type.

              (And yes, I know, Hurtado or somebody is going to quote Colwell
              and Tune. Apart from being wrong, it's still not *universally
              accepted.* Nor, be it noted, is it sufficiently precise, since
              I can -- and *have* -- juggled boundary conditions to move
              manuscripts in and out of text-types. In any case, while
              Colwell fulfills condition (2), it does not fulfill condition
              (1).)

              -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

              Robert B. Waltz
              waltzmn@...

              Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
              Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
              (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
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