Re: Future subjunctive
- On Mon, 29 Jan 1996, Maurice Robinson wrote:
> The problem I see with the above approach is that KAUQHSOMAI/KAUQHSWMAI isKAUXHSWMAI may have been the more difficult reading when Paul wrote, but
> 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.
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.
>But in fact, this is exactly what happens in numerous instances in the ms
> 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
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
> A major problem with modern eclecticism (whether reasoned or rigorous) isI assume Maurice means that eclectics fail to "take into account" the
> 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.
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 corruptPerhaps so, but it seems nevertheless to be the case, both here and in
> 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.
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 --In light of the previous discussion, I would answer as follows. (1) The
> 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.
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.
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