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3485Re: [textualcriticism] lectionary mss relation to majority text

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  • Steve Puluka
    Dec 26, 2007
      On Dec 26, 2007, at 7:25 AM, James Miller wrote:

      > Thanks for your reply, Steve. You say:
      > --- Steve Puluka <steve@...> wrote:
      >> Basically correct, that the format is what makes a
      >> lectionary.
      > But then you seem to controvert this statement by
      > saying:
      >> Lectionaries are frequently continuous text
      >> witnesses, just with a
      >> sub-set of books.
      > Let's get down to some particulars. Maybe then the
      > statements will not seem in opposition to one another.

      I'll try to be more clear. The books that are designed to be read
      and used as lectionaries in Church can be seen by their format as
      prepared. They will sometimes have supplemental material that the
      reader would need, like the Psalms used for Antiphons, Prokeimenon
      and Alleluia. They will be marked for readings.

      In terms of the Biblical text itself continuous reading lectionaries
      are the older format. I don't have direct experience with the
      ancient examples to cite chapter and verse. But here is a printed
      version of a continuous reading lectionary in Church Slavonic showing
      how this continuous format works.


      This page opens Acts of the Apostles. At the bottom of the page we
      see the notation that this is the reading for both Easter Sunday and
      Ascension Thursday both start at verse one and continues to the next
      page marker in read for the end of this reading at verse nine for
      Easter, by the two large words in the middle of the page (end of
      Pascha (Easter)). The next red words show where the reading ends on
      Ascension (End Ascension) which also starts from verse 1.

      Then we skip till the middle of verse 12 where the red asterisk is
      and start of Easter Monday's reading. So we keep going to the next
      page verse 17 where we are told to skip verses picking up at the next
      start marker in verse 21 and continuing to the end marker at the
      bottom of this page.

      Thus the Bright Monday reading (Monday after Easter) runs Acts
      1:12-17 & 21-26 but the whole text of Acts is here.

      From the combination of contents, organization and these markings
      one can identify that a codex was designed to be used as a lectionary.

      I learned in my liturgy classes that early Greek lectionaries
      followed this same basic format of marked continuous readings. This
      is where we Slavs learned how to assemble a lectionary. Slavs being
      very conservative kept up this format until very recent publications
      (i.e. the last 100 years, recent in Orthodox liturgical terms).

      The Greeks began using the excerpted format arranged in liturgical
      use order much earlier. But I don't know the timing of this
      unfortunately. In this layout the section is simply headed by the
      liturgical day of the reading and ends with the next heading.
      Omitted verses are then not included and the books are assembled in
      liturgical order, not in book order.

      In the above example you see we have Acts of the Apostles from 1:1
      on. But the reading for both Pascha and Ascension Thursday forty
      days later are both here on the same page and simply marked not

      If you look at the table of contents you can see it contains a subset
      of biblical books needed and supplemental material that the reader
      needs to have handy.


      Here the books are listed but are not in "biblical" order. We start
      with Acts of the Apostles, then all the universal epistles followed
      by the letters attributed to Paul. Also note there are no Old
      Testament books. This is strictly the "Apostle", the new testament
      letters and Acts only.

      Other material is also included, for example following the letters of
      Paul are sections that contain the Psalms used as reading
      introductions called Prokiemenon for the various seasons. These the
      reader is responsible for chanting the verses.


      Hopefully, that is a little clearer. Sorry I couldn't find on-line
      examples in Greek.

      > Just to be clear about my own stance on this question,
      > I certainly see some sense in calling continuous-text
      > witnesses that show clear indications of liturgical
      > use "lectionaries." But the present inquiry does not
      > aim to investigate or establish my understanding of
      > lectionaries in relation to other groups of NT mss.
      > Rather, I am attempting to understand how mainstream
      > text criticism understands lectionaries in relation to
      > other groups of NT mss.

      My understanding is the they currently simply ignore lectionary
      witnesses when trying to classify text types. There is a basic
      assumption that lectionary witnesses are automatically late and the
      copyist is not as faithful as the "normal" biblical text witnesses.
      Metzger listed lectionary text type study and classification as one
      of the great needs for the field.

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