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Re: Synoptic Harmonization

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  • Maurice Robinson
    ... There is no question that Matthew, being the most popular gospel in teh early church, was the target for harmonization. However, the matter of
    Message 1 of 1714 , Jan 29, 1996
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      On Mon, 29 Jan 1996, Stephen C Carlson wrote:

      > Which of the synoptics is more prone to harmonization than
      > the others?

      There is no question that Matthew, being the most popular gospel in teh
      early church, was the target for harmonization. However, the matter of
      harmonization is somewhat overblown, since a study of individual MSS'
      copying habits (using singular readings as a guide) will evidence that
      harmonization did not occur on a scale as wide as usually argued by
      eclectic critics. Neither is harmonization specifically a characteristic
      of the MSS comprising the Byzantine Textform more than the MSS of other
      texttypes. Wisselink's book on "Assimilation" makes some very good
      points in this regard.

      > Specifically, I have a question about Mt19:20 --
      >
      > EFULACA
      > {A} 01* B L Theta f1 579 900 it.aur,ff1,g1,l vg Jermoe etc.
      > EFULACA EK NEOTHTOS (see Lk18:21)
      > (01.d NEOTHTOS MOU) D it.d
      > EFULACAMHN EK NEOTHTOS MOU (see Mk10:20)
      > C W Delta f13 28 33 etc. Byz
      >
      > Although the EFULACAMHN ... reading is attributed to harmonization to
      > Mark in my UBS4 apparatus and is not found in the best manuscripts,

      Both of those claims are subjective judgments. I would question both of
      them from my own text-critical perspective.

      > what about the fact the middle voice presents a more difficult reading
      > (it seems to be a Semiticism/LXXism; good literary Greek calls for the
      > active voice)?

      The middle voice is "more difficult" more because it differs from the other
      readings. Since Mark does have the middle voice without significant
      variation, I would not make a specific judgement on it being more
      difficult in context, even in Matthew.

      I would suggest that the reading of Aleph B L Theta etc. is more likely to
      reflect an accidental line omission of 16 letter (following the Byzantine
      Text) than to have been the original reading, specifically due to the
      extremely limited and not even texttype-specific support that reading
      possesses. The reading of D, being basically unique to itself, is not
      unusal in this case, being a typical sloppy omission of various
      characters from the Byzantine reading.

      > Finally, vv16, 17, 20 in many MSS (esp. Byzantines)
      > show a harmonization to Mark (and Luke). Is this typical? I would
      > thing that, given the importance of Matthew, that the harmonization
      > would go the other direction.

      The question is primarily whether those other MSS which harmonize are in
      a significant numerical quantity, or whether they are merely isolated
      cases which happen to go that direction. In almost all cases,
      harmonization among individual MSS is observed to head for Matthew.


      =========================================================================
      Maurice A. Robinson, Ph.D.
      Associate Professor of Greek and New Testament
      Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
      Wake Forest, North Carolina
      <mrobinsn@...>
      =========================================================================
    • Julian Goldberg
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      Message 1714 of 1714 , Feb 4, 1997
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