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Re: Future subjunctive

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  • Carlton Winbery
    Maurice Robinson wrote; ... In addition to a number of Fathers beginning with Tertullian, but I do not think that counting mss is the name of the game. ...
    Message 1 of 1714 , Jan 30, 1996
      Maurice Robinson wrote;
      >On Mon, 29 Jan 1996, Carlton Winbery wrote:
      >> I would like to comment on the textual problem at I
      >> Cor 12:3. I am persuaded that the original is KAUXHSWMAI supported by P46,
      >> aleph, A B and others. Some scribe (perhaps in a scriptorum) heard that
      >> word and wrote KAUQHSWMAI (Psi, and a many others). Another scribe saw
      >> that reading and changed it to KAUQHSOMAI (C D F G L the whole latin
      >> tradition and some others). The aorist deponent subjunctive with hINA
      >> makes good sense here, "in order that I might boast."
      >(Let me insert a small but significant addendum to the data above: the
      >reading KAUQHSWMAI of Psi "and many others" actually encompasses the
      >entire Byzantine/Majority tradition, and this fact should not be minimized
      >in the discussion which follows).

      In addition to a number of Fathers beginning with Tertullian, but I do not
      think that counting mss is the name of the game.

      >The problem I see with the above approach is that KAUQHSOMAI/KAUQHSWMAI is
      >clearly the "more difficult" reading. Paul uses the concept of "boasting"
      >almost to excess, particularly in the Corinthian correspondence. Nowhere
      >else does he speak of giving one's body to be burnt, and even the
      >particular locus of that reference in the immediate context is problematic.
      >By applying the principle of favoring the reading most likely to give rise
      >to the other(s), as well as acknowledging the reading which was most
      >difficult (to the scribe), either KAUQHSWMAI or KAUQHSOMAI would be
      >favored over the "easier" and "more familiar" Pauline verb KAUXHSWMAI.

      There must be a distinction between "more difficult" and absurd. The
      origin of KAUQHSOMAI is difficult to account for unless a scribe made the
      mistake that introduced the bogus form KAUQHSWMAI. The latter is clearly
      the middle of this equation.

      >Even were dictation utilized in a scriptorium (which from my own
      >examination of variants and their causes I consider to be the extremely
      >rare case when speaking of NT Greek MSS), an error of hearing between the
      >phonemes Chi and Theta would not be all that likely, since one is a
      >gutteral and the other a labial. Yet even if phonetic confusion occurred,
      >the tendency of a scribe then would be to favor what he in his own mind
      >and hearing THOUGHT was a more common reading over one which would be less
      >common, and especially a concept of giving one's body "to be burned," which
      >would be unique to Paul.

      We have ample examples of confusion of sounds more desparate than this.
      However, the suggestion of an error of hearing was only a suggestion.
      Others have suggested that a scribe would have changed KAUXHSWMAI to
      KAUQHSWMAI because of other difficulties (Metzger, p. 564).

      >More problematic than either of these matters is the supposition that a
      >single scribe creating a more difficult reading by an error or hearing
      >would somehow produce a MS copy which then would become the mother of
      >virtually all subsequent MSS. This hypothesis assumes that no
      >contemporary or later scribe would ever notice the difference, let alone
      >simply correct such an error by cross-comparison with another pre-existing

      You speak as though every scribe or even most scribes knew many other mss.
      Such was not the case. The Alexandrian tradition was hidden from most of
      the scribes for a very long time.

      >A major problem with modern eclecticism (whether reasoned or rigorous) is
      >its failure to ignore the problems of the historical transmission of the
      >text throughout history; this is one such case where attention to the
      >historical possibilities of manuscript transmission weighs heavily in
      >determining a conclusion.
      >That an error producing a "more difficult" reading could so easily corrupt
      >the mass of the MS tradition bodes ill for the certain recovery of the
      >original text by any currently-recognized and responsible principles of NT
      >textual criticism.

      I don't quite understand this assertion. You seem to be saying that the
      flow of mss traditions was an unbroken stream. Such was not the case.
      There were major interruptions in the transmission of the text of the NT,
      the fact that Latin eclipsed much of the tradition in the west, the north
      African and middle Eastern traditions went underground because of the
      Muslim takeover there, the Byzantine traditions eventually flooded into
      Europe in the Crusades and with the fall of Constantinople. Majority text
      people speak as though none of these happened.

      >It is also significant that the Western tradition (D F G, as well as the
      >Old Latin, known to be 2nd century in origin) would have virtually
      >unanimously accepted such an "difficult" erroneous reading and perpetuated
      >it (though changing the apparent subjunctive to an indicative -- another
      >case of moving toward an "easier" reading, but this time grammatically).
      >Yet under such a hypothesis, there still remained MSS of that era (P46)
      >and even two or more centuries later (Aleph A B) which still maintained
      >the supposed "original" reading whereby the "difficult reading" error
      >could easily have been corrected.

      Apparently they did and for an even longer period if the bonehead reading
      were original.

      >Allowing the Byzantine "more difficult" reading of KAUQHSWMAI to be
      >original on the other hand, everything explains itself well. The tendency
      >of some scribes to gravitate to a more usual Pauline expression or
      >"boasting" may have played some part, but also the grammatical issue of
      >the peculiar subjunctive (?) form might on the one hand cause some scribes
      >to alter -SWMAI to -SOMAI, leaving the -Q- intact and other scribes to
      >seize the opportunity of presuming an error in their exemplar, and to
      >correct the text from a -Q- to a -X-, with a grammatically "normal"
      >KAUXHSWMAI (Middle Deponent Subjunctive) in its place -- again a
      >temptation to move to the "easier" reading, both in content and in
      >grammar. From this standpoint, it then is no surprise to find a SMALL
      >minority of scribes reading either KAUXHSWMAI or KAUQHSOMAI as opposed to
      >the 98%+ Byzantine reading of KAUQHSWMAI, which is grammatically and
      >contextually "more difficult", and thus more liable to give rise to the
      >remaining readings.

      I find it very difficult to think that scribes would have corrected
      >The problem comes down to this: WHY -- on what reasonable grounds --
      >should the vast majority of all MSS ever have perpetuated a reading which
      >they knew was grammatically questionable and contextually problematic,
      >assuming that a perfectly good alternative existed in variant readings
      >known and perpetuated in either the Latin or Alexandrian traditions.

      This assumes that the Byzantine scribes knew those mss, which simply was
      not the case. Tischendorf found aleph in 1854. Vaticanus was descovered
      in the Vatican in the 17th century. P46 was discovered in this century.
      Its easy to imagine different scenarios, but the reality is that a reading
      in the vast majority of the ms tradition can be wrong.

      >It hardly seems likely that any alteration to the text of a MS which would
      >produce a grammatically questionable and "more difficult" reading would
      >ever be perpetuated in the vast majority of MSS. If this indeed be the
      >case, the reading in question seems far more likely to be a reflection
      >of the autograph text than any alteration to such.

      For the Byzantine scribes who preferred KAUQHSOMAI, KAUXHSWMAI would have
      been a more "difficult" alternative. If a person gave up one's body, how
      could they "glory" in it.

      The reading KAUQHSWMAI/KAUQHSOMAI would have been very unlikely in the time
      of Paul. (Daniel is most likely not the catelist here.) After Nero used
      Christians to light his games and martyrdom came to be practiced, the
      alteration of the text to include burning is much more likely. It is very
      difficult to reject the reading of P46, aleph, A, B, the "queen" of the
      cursives, the Coptic tradition, Clement Origen and Jerome on such shaky
      ground as you present.

      Carlton L. Winbery
      Prof. Religion
      LA College, Pineville, La
    • Julian Goldberg
      The complete Hebrew Scriptures (Hebrew Bible) or TANAKH (Torah-Law, Neviim-Prophets, Ketuvim-Writings) based on the Masoretic Hebrew text with vowels and
      Message 1714 of 1714 , Feb 4, 1997
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