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[tc-list] RE: the text of the gospels in 2nd c.

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  • U.B.Schmid
    ... Yes. In my view the discussion is rather speculative, although more has been published recently. You may want to check D. Parker, The Living Text of the
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 29, 1999
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      Annette Reed wrote:
      > I was wondering if anyone could point me to good secondary sources
      > concerning the nature of the text of the four gospels in the second century
      > CE. I need some general information about this, for a footnote in a work on
      > a related subject (the use of the term euaggelion in Ireneaus' _Against
      > Heresies_) and have just read conflicting assessments in two articles
      > collected in the volume _Gospel Traditions in the Second Century_, by
      > Koester (very fluid) and Wisse (rather fixed). However, I do not have enough
      > background in NT textual criticism to confidently assess their arguments. Is
      > there a general, scholarly consensus on this matter or is it argued? Or,
      > since there are no manuscripts extant from that century (except the very
      > tiny P54), is the issue discussed only in a purely speculative fashion?

      Yes. In my view the discussion is rather speculative, although more has been
      published recently. You may want to check
      D. Parker, The Living Text of the Gospels, Cambridge 1997, and
      K.Th. Heckel, Vom Evangelium des Markus zum viergestaltigen Evangelium, Tübingen
      1999(?).

      Personally, I think we lack a sound theoretical framework in order to properly
      evaluate the evidence. I'm pretty convinced, however, that Koester's case is way
      off the mark. It's even inconsistent from within his own perspective as both
      Parker and Heckel have shown.

      ------------------------------------------
      Dr. Ulrich Schmid
      U.B.Schmid@...


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    • Annette Reed
      Many thanks for the helpful references and insightful comments (esp. concerning Koester s hypothesis, about which I suspected as much, yet am pleased to have a
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 29, 1999
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        Many thanks for the helpful references and insightful comments (esp.
        concerning Koester's hypothesis, about which I suspected as much, yet am
        pleased to have a more learned confirmation). On a somewhat related subject,
        is there any general consensus about the earliest probable date for the use
        of a four-gospel codex? I recently purused an article by Skeat, proposing a
        date as early as 170 CE, albeit on somewhat speculative grounds (i.e.
        suggesting that Ireneaus based his defense of the "four-formed gospel" in
        Adv. haer. 3.11 on an earlier non-extant source, due to the order of the
        evangelist-animals therein), and was wondering if such suggestions are
        generally accepted, or if most remain more cautious about this issue, given
        the continued preponderance of single-gospel codices.

        Thanks again,

        Annette Reed
        E-mail - areed@...
        Homepage - http://www.annettereed.com/


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      • Robert B. Waltz
        ... What is your source of information on the continued preponderance of single-gospel codices ? Seems to me that such a claim is hard to defend. We have
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 29, 1999
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          On 12/29/99, Annette Reed wrote:

          >Many thanks for the helpful references and insightful comments (esp.
          >concerning Koester's hypothesis, about which I suspected as much, yet am
          >pleased to have a more learned confirmation). On a somewhat related subject,
          >is there any general consensus about the earliest probable date for the use
          >of a four-gospel codex? I recently purused an article by Skeat, proposing a
          >date as early as 170 CE, albeit on somewhat speculative grounds (i.e.
          >suggesting that Ireneaus based his defense of the "four-formed gospel" in
          >Adv. haer. 3.11 on an earlier non-extant source, due to the order of the
          >evangelist-animals therein), and was wondering if such suggestions are
          >generally accepted, or if most remain more cautious about this issue, given
          >the continued preponderance of single-gospel codices.

          What is your source of information on the "continued preponderance of
          single-gospel codices"? Seems to me that such a claim is hard to
          defend.

          We have three codices of the gospels which are so extensive that
          we can be sure of their contents (unless someone knows more than
          I do :-)

          P45 contains all four Gospels plus Acts
          P75 contains Luke and John, and might be part of a two-volume set.
          P66 contains John

          Looks like pretty close to a tie to me. :-)

          Admittedly P5 looks like it, too, contained John only. But I really
          don't think one can establish a rule based on four examples. :-)

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

          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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        • Annette Reed
          I apologize for being so vague; I was not referring only to earliest gospel codices, but to those thereafter. More specifically, I recall reading somewhere (I
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 29, 1999
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            I apologize for being so vague; I was not referring only to earliest gospel
            codices, but to those thereafter. More specifically, I recall reading
            somewhere (I cannot remember exactly where at the moment, but will look it
            up-- it was either in the context of the later influence of Ireneaus'
            "four-formed Gospel" idea or the use of Tatian's harmony) that well after we
            find codices with four gospels together, there are still many single-gospel
            codices circulating. Is this incorrect? I am far from an expert on these
            matters and am inquiring precisely because I do not know the state of the
            field, and thus find it difficult to judge the scattered (often uncited, to
            my frustration) assertions concerning these matters that I keep finding in
            articles about Irenaeus.

            Thank you again,

            Annette Yoshiko Reed
            areed@...




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          • rlmullen@netpath.net
            It strikes me that the asssertion that large numbers of single-gospel manuscripts continued to circulate even after the time of Irenaeus would be hard to
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 29, 1999
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              It strikes me that the asssertion that large numbers of single-gospel
              manuscripts continued to circulate even after the time of Irenaeus would be
              hard to prove. First of all, virtually all of the early papyri of the
              gospels are fragmentary. Secondly, the uncial manuscripts (dating to the
              Third Century and later) that are complete seem to have all four gospels,
              though many of the uncial manuscripts are fragmentary as well. A very
              rapid scan through Kurt Aland, KURZGEFASSTE LISTE DER GRIECHISCHEN
              HANDSCHRIFTEN DES NEUEN TESTAMENTS, 2nd. ed. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter,
              1994) does not reveal any manuscripts that would support the assertion.
              But someone else may know better than I. --Rod Mullen

              At 04:39 PM 12/29/99 -0500, you wrote:
              >I apologize for being so vague; I was not referring only to earliest gospel
              >codices, but to those thereafter. More specifically, I recall reading
              >somewhere (I cannot remember exactly where at the moment, but will look it
              >up-- it was either in the context of the later influence of Ireneaus'
              >"four-formed Gospel" idea or the use of Tatian's harmony) that well after we
              >find codices with four gospels together, there are still many single-gospel
              >codices circulating. Is this incorrect? I am far from an expert on these
              >matters and am inquiring precisely because I do not know the state of the
              >field, and thus find it difficult to judge the scattered (often uncited, to
              >my frustration) assertions concerning these matters that I keep finding in
              >articles about Irenaeus.
              >
              >Thank you again,
              >
              >Annette Yoshiko Reed
              >areed@...
              >
              >
              >
              >
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              >


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            • H2pariter@aol.com
              Question. Thank you for the textual criticism web site you referred to at the bottom of your e-mail. I seem to recall about eight years ago reading a [journal]
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 29, 1999
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                Question.
                Thank you for the textual criticism web site you referred to at the bottom of
                your e-mail.
                I seem to recall about eight years ago reading a [journal] article affirming
                the priority [?] of the Majority text. It was a mathematical article under
                the assumption that one only has an original reading and that the
                non-Majority readings should be the majority in the mathematical reasoning.
                Since they do not, the Majority reading should reflect the original.
                Are you aware of the article? or criticisms of its method?
                Perhaps I should have looked at the Byzantine priorty section of the web site
                versus the Mathematics section.

                Thank you.

                Love from six!

                Lowry Hershey

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              • Wieland Willker
                Maybe this book is of interest. I haven t read it, but it sounds interesting. Note the last sentence! Theo K. Heckel: Vom Evangelium des Markus zum
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 30, 1999
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                  Maybe this book is of interest. I haven't read it, but it sounds
                  interesting. Note the last sentence!

                  Theo K. Heckel: Vom Evangelium des Markus zum viergestaltigen Evangelium
                  From the Gospel according to Mark to the Four Gospels. By Theo K. Heckel.
                  (Published in German).

                  Theo K. Heckel examines the collection of the four gospels, ranging from the
                  final form of the oldest gospel up to the way they are dealt with in
                  Irenaeus (around 180). Originally, each of the four gospels was to have been
                  read on its own. In spite of this, a combination in which all of them were
                  to be taken in by the reader parallel to one another gained general
                  acceptance. The Gospel according to John underwent a similar development.
                  John 1-20, which actually can stand alone as a text, opened out in its
                  supplementary chapter John 21 to include other written records which had
                  been handed down. The four gospels can be explained by this about-turn,
                  since their theological program is expressed in the headings of the gospels.
                  The sources which originated before Irenaeus confirm that the collection of
                  the four gospels was already in existence around 110-120 AD.

                  1999. XIV, 409 pages (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament
                  120). ISBN 3-16-147199-7 cloth DM 178.00 / oeS 1299.00 / sFR 152.00

                  Best wishes
                  Wieland
                  <><
                  --------------------
                  mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
                  http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/


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                • Robert B. Waltz
                  ... I m guessing that the article you re referring to is somehow related to Appendix C in Pickering s _The Identity of the New Testament Text_. This is
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 30, 1999
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                    On 12/30/99, H2pariter@... wrote:

                    >Question.
                    >Thank you for the textual criticism web site you referred to at the bottom of
                    >your e-mail.
                    >I seem to recall about eight years ago reading a [journal] article affirming
                    >the priority [?] of the Majority text. It was a mathematical article under
                    >the assumption that one only has an original reading and that the
                    >non-Majority readings should be the majority in the mathematical reasoning.
                    >Since they do not, the Majority reading should reflect the original.
                    >Are you aware of the article? or criticisms of its method?
                    >Perhaps I should have looked at the Byzantine priorty section of the web site
                    >versus the Mathematics section.

                    I'm guessing that the article you're referring to is somehow related
                    to Appendix C in Pickering's _The Identity of the New Testament Text_.
                    This is entitled "The Implications of Statistical Probability for the
                    History of the Text."

                    It is also the worst piece of mathematical nonsense I have ever seen.

                    The demonstration, insofar as it has validity at all, makes the following
                    impossible assumptions:

                    1. Nothing ever happened. There is no such thing as history. Every
                    manuscript has an identical ancestry
                    2. There are no such things as text-types. That is, all readings
                    have independent textual history
                    3. That all readers of the article are so stupid that they will
                    accept handwaving proofs. :-)

                    It should be noted that mathematical models are intended to
                    model *actual* behavior. They are not predictive. That is, you
                    cannot argue from mathematics to how the text "must have"
                    evolved. You can only say, "Here are the facts. Here is
                    a mathematical model which explains it. Other implications
                    of this model are...." If the other implications of that
                    model pan out, then and *only* then can the model be considered
                    to have validity.

                    Frankly, that Appendix C strikes me as a combination of bad
                    logic and deliberate obfuscation. Whenever the author cannot
                    make a valid point, he introduces a new variable to deliberately
                    confuse the reader.

                    I find it shocking that the mathematician involved would allow
                    mathematics to be so abused. I can only conclude that he knew
                    nothing about the actual processes of textual criticism, and
                    so let himself be fooled by Pickering et al.

                    Note that none of what I say above proves or disproves the
                    Majority Text position. It simply means that the math used
                    by Pickering proves nothing. Frankly, I don't believe you
                    can demonstrate the history of the text mathematically.

                    I cannot, on this matter, claim greater authority than the
                    author, but I will claim what little authority I have by
                    affirming my actual training:

                    Robert B. Waltz
                    B.A., Physics and Mathematics, 1985
                    Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

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

                    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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                  • Sam Schnaiter
                    Lowrey Hershey wrote:
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 30, 1999
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                      Lowrey Hershey wrote:

                      <<I seem to recall about eight years ago reading a [journal] article
                      affirming
                      the priority [?] of the Majority text. It was a mathematical article
                      under
                      the assumption that one only has an original reading and that the
                      non-Majority readings should be the majority in the mathematical
                      reasoning.
                      Since they do not, the Majority reading should reflect the original.
                      Are you aware of the article? or criticisms of its method?
                      Perhaps I should have looked at the Byzantine priorty section of the
                      web site
                      versus the Mathematics section.>>


                      Pickering's book of which Waltz wrote was a re-do of his Th.D.
                      dissertation under Zane Hodges at Dallas Theol. Sem.
                      Hodges (co-author with Arthur Farstad of The Greek New Testament
                      According to the Majority Text) used the "expertise" of his brother
                      (David M. Hodges, BS Mathematics, Wheaton College, 1957) who I
                      believe was in the Army as a statistician at the time for the
                      mathematical probability chart you refer to. You may have seen
                      something similar in one of Hodges articles in the late seventies in
                      JETS. Specifically I know he had articles in Vols. 21:1 & 2 in
                      1978. He was thoroughly critiqued by Gordon D. Fee at the time. As
                      Waltz mentioned, the material was then used by Pickering in Appendix C
                      of his book.

                      doxa en uyistoiV qew monw.

                      Sam Schnaiter
                      Bob Jones University

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                    • Maurice A. Robinson
                      ... article ... original. ... So far as I know there were only two studies which tried to move in this direction: (1) Birks in the 19th century entitled A
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jan 4, 2000
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                        On Thu, 30 Dec 1999 00:06:05 EST H2pariter@... writes:

                        >I seem to recall about eight years ago reading a [journal] article
                        >affirming the priority [?] of the Majority text. It was a mathematical
                        article
                        >under the assumption that one only has an original reading and that the
                        >non-Majority readings should be the majority in the mathematical
                        >reasoning. Since they do not, the Majority reading should reflect the
                        original.
                        >Are you aware of the article? or criticisms of its method?

                        So far as I know there were only two studies which tried to move in this
                        direction:

                        (1) Birks in the 19th century entitled "A Right Estimation of Manuscript
                        Evidence" or something similar, which tried to establish quantitative
                        weighting factors which ended up supporting the majority text.

                        (2) Zane Hodges' "Defense of the Majority Text", originally a pamphlet
                        privately issued, later Appendix C in Pickering's "Identity of the NT
                        Text" volume, in which a mathematical analysis (which only a statistician
                        could love) was made by Hodges' brother, which claimed that "normal"
                        transmission even assuming error in the first copying generation would
                        still result in a minimal "majority" after several copying generations.

                        Both these approaches are flawed in various ways, and a case for the
                        majority text even as its proponents define it cannot be based on such
                        statistical claims and misapplications. Even though there are other areas
                        in which the issue of "number" can become a legitimate factor;
                        statistical probability as applied in these articles simply does not
                        happen to be persuasive or convincing.

                        ==============================================
                        Maurice A. Robinson
                        Professor of NT and Greek
                        Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
                        Wake Forest, North Carolina

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                      • Maurice A. Robinson
                        On Thu, 30 Dec 1999 10:27:59 -0500 Sam Schnaiter ... Several corrections: (1) Pickering received his Ph. D. in (non-text-critical)
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jan 4, 2000
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                          On Thu, 30 Dec 1999 10:27:59 -0500 "Sam Schnaiter " <sschnait@...>
                          writes:
                          >Lowrey Hershey wrote:

                          >Pickering's book of which Waltz wrote was a re-do of his Th.D.
                          >dissertation under Zane Hodges at Dallas Theol. Sem.
                          >Hodges

                          Several corrections: (1) Pickering received his Ph. D. in
                          (non-text-critical) linguistics from the University of Toronto. (2) He
                          did his Th.M. at Dallas Seminary, his thesis dealing solely with a review
                          of Burgon's text-critical labors. (3) Pickering did not work under Hodges
                          at Dallas (indeed, Hodges has supervised _no_ doctoral students, since he
                          himself has no doctorate); Hodges and Pickering instead were
                          near-contemporaries as fellow Th.M. students at Dallas.


                          ==============================================
                          Maurice A. Robinson
                          Professor of NT and Greek
                          Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
                          Wake Forest, North Carolina

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