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3498Re: [textualcriticism] calling all text critics!: how to identify a lectionary ms.?

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  • James Miller
    Jan 2, 2008
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      Several days have passed since I made this query
      regarding a matter very fundamental to modern NT text
      criticism. After all, aren't something like 50% of all
      extant NT mss. classified as lectionaries? Surely
      someone on this list can provide some response--at the
      least something like "you really need to address
      authorityX regarding this question." I see, for
      example, that Peter Head, who subscribes to this list,
      has a web page on lectionaries. Can you offer any sort
      of information in response to my query, Peter? Anyone
      else?

      Thank you,
      James

      --- James Miller <jamtata@...> wrote:

      > I recently began a thread raising the question of
      > the
      > relation of lectionary mss. to the Majority Text. As
      > frequently happens, I've discovered that, for that
      > discussion to proceed, some preliminary questions
      > have
      > to be resolved. Chief among those questions is the
      > following: what, exactly, for text critics,
      > identifies
      > a ms. as a lectionary ms.?
      >
      > Within this thread, I would like to ask in
      > particular
      > whether mss. are classed as lectionaries purely on
      > the
      > basis of their form. In other words, some mss.
      > containing the text of the NT do not have their text
      > arranged in the order of the NT's found on most
      > modern
      > bookshelves--the order in which, incidentally, it
      > seems likely the NT authors originally composed
      > these
      > works. Rather, in the mss. in question, the text is
      > ordered according to the way the text is to be read
      > out at public worship services during the course of
      > the liturgical year.
      >
      > There might be additional indications that a given
      > ms.
      > is a lectionary ms., such as the presence of
      > seemingly
      > extraneous text; incipits and/or excipits for each
      > lesson, liturgical directives or verses from other
      > parts of the Bible that were sung as hymns in
      > connection with the reading. But for now I want to
      > disregard those indicators and focus exclusively on
      > the form or ordering of the text contained in the
      > mss.
      >
      > It seems clear that the mss. with this non-original
      > ordering were lectionaries, i.e., they were books
      > produced to aid in reading the biblical text at
      > public
      > worship services. My question regards the role the
      > ordering of the text plays in text critics's
      > classification of these mss. as lectionaries.
      >
      > Clearly this ordering plays a role in the
      > classification of a ms. as a lectionary. I doubt any
      > text critic, coming across such a ms., would be
      > disinclined to consider it a lectionary and to group
      > it among other mss. having the same form. But my
      > question is whether the ordering of the text is the
      > sole criterion upon which text critics classify a
      > ms.
      > as a lectionary?
      >
      > To put the question conversely. There do seem to be
      > mss. that have the text of the Gospels or Epistles
      > in
      > the order found in most modern Bibles, but that, at
      > the same time, were clearly read from at public
      > worship services (e.g., as indicated by the presence
      > of incipits and excipits written in the margins).
      > Could such a ms., despite the order of its text, be
      > classed by text critics as a lectionary ms.? Are
      > there
      > any such mss. included by text critics who have
      > assigned sigla to NT mss., among the group with the
      > italicized letter "l" (abbreviation for
      > "lectionary")
      > preceding the ms. number? Or do all those with the
      > "l"
      > prepended have their text arranged according to the
      > progression of an annual liturgical cycle?
      >
      > To provide some basis for any discussion that may
      > arise from this thread, I provide the following link
      > that contains information about the lectionaries:
      >
      http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/Lectionary.html
      > . In that article, it is stated that: "Copying a
      > lectionary from a continuous text is difficult. One
      > is
      > forced to constantly skip around in the document.
      > This
      > does not mean that lectionaries are never copied in
      > this way; the existence of the Ferrar Lectionary
      > (l547), which has a text associated with f13,
      > demonstrates this point. But it is reasonable to
      > assume that the large majority of lectionaries were
      > copied from other lectionaries, and only
      > occasionally
      > compared with continuous-text manuscripts."
      >
      > The presumption in this quotation regarding form
      > seems
      > to be that lectionary mss. are identified by the
      > form
      > or ordering of their text. The author contrasts the
      > lectionaries in a sort of generic way with
      > continuous-text witnesses. Has this author
      > accurately
      > represented the views of text critics in implying
      > that
      > lectionary mss. are identified by the ordering of
      > the
      > text they contain, which contrasts with the ordering
      > of continuous-text witnesses, or not?
      >
      > C'mon text critics. Get over your holiday hangovers
      > and offer some input here! :)
      >
      > Thanks,
      > James
      >
      >
      >
      >
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