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3472Re: [textualcriticism] lectionary mss relation to majority text

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  • Steve Puluka
    Dec 13, 2007
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      On Dec 12, 2007, at 6:52 PM, James Miller wrote:

      > Some questions about the relation of the majority text
      > (Maj. T. hereafter) to lectionary mss. My reading in
      > Metzger and Aland leads me to believe that the
      > lectionaries are considered to contain a text very
      > close in character to the Maj. T. Have I understood
      > correctly what these authors have written and what is
      > the consensus among NT text critics regarding the Maj.
      > T. text-type and its relation to the lectionaries? If
      > so, I have a few questions in this connection

      Well, this is an oft stated premise. But when looking at what
      remains to be done in NT text criticism one of the major areas cited
      by Metzer is fuller research into how the lectionaries relate to
      other texts. See the final paper in:

      Metzger, Bruce Manning, Eldon Jay Epp, and Gordon D. Fee. New
      Testament textual criticism : its significance for exegesis : essays
      in honour of Bruce M. Metzger. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981.

      > First, an assertion: lectionaries are defined by their
      > form as opposed to their text type. They are
      > contrasted to continuous-text witnesses because their
      > content shows a different ordering with respect to the
      > form of continuous-text witnesses. I.e, the
      > lectionaries have their text arranged according to the
      > annual reading cycle of Byzantine Christianity, while
      > continuous-text witnesses have the text in the order
      > in which it is found in most modernly-published NT's
      > and in which each NT author originally composed his
      > work. Do I have this correct?

      > Additional reading in Metzger and Aland reveals that
      > not all mss. that were used as lectionaries
      > necessarily conform to the textual ordering of the
      > lectionaries as defined above. Metzger and Aland
      > mention, for example, continuous-reading witnesses
      > that have the beginning and ending of lections noted
      > in their margins (by, e.g., insertion of incipit and
      > excipit or words like arxh). One question I have in
      > this regard is as follows: what percentage of the
      > non-lectionary mss. contain such lection indicators?

      Basically correct, that the format is what makes a lectionary. These
      were designed to be used liturgically and read from. This can
      usually be determined by the layout and markings of the book that
      this was the intention.

      Lectionaries are frequently continuous text witnesses, just with a
      sub-set of books. The Slavs still keep this as the basic format.
      But the Greeks moved from a continuous text format to the pericope
      based format over time. In the continuous format the start and end
      of the readings are marked in the text. There are also occasional
      drops marked where during a reading you skip a section of text. The
      margin will also have codings indicating when the reading is taken
      (feast name or number of weeks after Pentecost and day of the week).

      The introductory phrase is less necessary as they are a standard
      formula depending on the book being introduced. But some
      lectionaries will use the abbreviation of the standard introduction
      as the start marker for a reading (Brethren for most letters, Timothy
      my Son letters to Timothy, Thus says the Lord for Prophets).

      In terms of collections there are basically three. Gospels, New
      Testament letters (called the Apostol) and Old Testament collections
      (called prophetologion). The Gospels are usually larger and more
      ornate as these are keep on the Altar and used in processions. These
      are chanted by the deacon from the front of the church. The letters
      are taken by the reader from the middle of the church during the
      Eucharistic liturgy. The Old Testament is taken chiefly at vespers
      also by reader from the midst of the church.

      Steve Puluka
      MLS Theology Duquesne University
      Cantor Holy Ghost Church
      Carpatho-Rusyn tradition
      Mckees Rocks, PA
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