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Re: Future subjunctive

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  • James R. Adair
    ... KAUXHSWMAI may have been the more difficult reading when Paul wrote, but with the frenzy toward martyrdom that swept over the church from the late (?)
    Message 1 of 1714 , Jan 30, 1996
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      On Mon, 29 Jan 1996, Maurice Robinson wrote:

      > 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.
      >

      KAUXHSWMAI may have been the more difficult reading when Paul wrote, but
      with the frenzy toward martyrdom that swept over the church from the late
      (?) second through the early fourth centuries, KAUQHSOMAI would not have
      been considered difficult at all to copyists--it might even have been
      favored on theological grounds. As for the reading KAUQHSWMAI, I have my
      doubts that many scribes found it all that difficult. True, it's not
      "good" Greek, but so many mss, particularly later ones, exhibit similar
      shifts in spelling, that the fact that it appears in the majority of mss
      does not seem very remarkable.

      >
      > 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
      > exemplar.

      But in fact, this is exactly what happens in numerous instances in the ms
      tradition: a change in one ms, which happens to be one that is copied
      frequently, is perpetuated throughout the tradition, while the original
      reading in other, less copied, mss is reduced to a minority. Ms traditions
      subjected to frequent copying leave themselves open to more scribal
      changes, intentional or unintentional, than less frequently copied
      traditions.

      > 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.

      I assume Maurice means that eclectics fail to "take into account" the
      problems of the history of the text :-). I agree, this is a serious
      problem, and one that must be addressed if better critical editions are
      to be created.

      > 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.

      Perhaps so, but it seems nevertheless to be the case, both here and in
      numerous other instances. Westcott and Hort identified more than 70
      passages in which they believed "primitive corruption" occurred and
      obliterated the original reading from the ms tradition. What NT text
      critics should learn from this situation is that they are not nearly as
      close to the "original text" as some would claim.

      > 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.

      In light of the previous discussion, I would answer as follows. (1) The
      scribes in the Byzantine tradition (for the most part) probably did _not_
      know that the reading KAUQHSWMAI was grammatically questionable; (2) the
      glorification of martyrdom belies the claim that the majority reading was
      contextually problematic; (3) the scribes did not know that alternate
      readings existed, and if they had know, they would have naturally assumed
      that their own tradition was correct.

      Jimmy Adair
      Manager of Information Technology Services, Scholars Press
      and
      Managing Editor of TELA, the Scholars Press World Wide Web Site
      ---------------> http://scholar.cc.emory.edu <-----------------
    • 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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