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7604Re: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 1:1 "the son of God" - Jerome Witness

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  • Tommy Wasserman
    Nov 10, 2012

      This will be my last message on this topic for now and I realize that I will hardly be able to persuade you; Mark 1:1 will probably remain one of the "1001 errors in the Christian bible" – the website I just realized that someone with the name "jwallack" maintains (I assume it is you), where readers are told, "Origen, Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Victorinus all quote Mark 1:1 without 'son of God” (http://1001errors.com/files/Err140-146.html). In my opinion, this reference to Irenaeus is misleading, for the reasons I have already pointed out.

      You speak of my criteria as "informal, undeveloped, etc." For my part I use criteria as established by the leading scholars in the field, and I will refer to them again one last time.

      Gordon D. Fee, “The Use of Greek Patristic Citations in New Testament Textual Criticism,” ANRW 26.1 (1992) 256-8 observes that a high degree of certainty of a patristic citation exists in the following four instances:

      a. When in his discussion the Father makes a point of the very words used by a biblical author;

      b. When in a commentary or homily the discussion confirms the wording of a citation;

      c. When the Father actually cites a known variation to his own text;

      d. When in a commentary, homily, or polemical treatise, the Father repeats the text in the same way again and again.

      I have argued that a/b and d are applicable in Mark 1:1, and in this case, the Latin text of Irenaeus should be given great weight because we are not talking about an isolated phrase which could have been adapted after some Latin Gospel text, but we have two distinct passages where Irenaeus is making a specific point where the citations must make sense and are surrounded by other citations of significance. And the Latin version of Irenaeus work is happily, "literal to a fault" to use Johannes Quasten's words.

      You asked:

      "Do you still doubt that Latin Irenaeus evidence weighs less than Greek Irenaeus evidence?"

      Again it sounds as if you think there is Greek evidence for the shorter reading, which there is not (Peter Head depended on Harvey's Cambridge edition of Irenaeus from 1867 when he wrote is article – I asked him about that last year. I must also remind the readers of this list that there is no extant Greek manuscript of Adversus Haeresis in the passage we discuss. The Greek evidence is indirect, and, as I have pointed out, even that text has "The Beginning of the Gospel" with neither "Jesus Christ" nor "Son of God". And, in addition, in that context Irenaeus compares
      the evangelists (discussing how Gospels begin) to the four creatures in Rev. 4:7. He refers to Mark as the flying eagle and the focus is on the prophetic reference in Mark 1:2, demonstrating how the evangelist, as the eagle, spoke inspired by the prophetic Spirit from on high. There was a reason to omit (which is paralleled by other fathers who abbreviates Gospel incipits including Mark 1:1).

      In relation to a criterion applicable to the particular passage in Irenaeus where he simply has "The Beginning of the Gospel" , Carroll Osburn discusses "Accurate Citation With Partial Omission" stating: "If an otherwise accurate citation has a partial omission that is not known to occur elsewhere in the manuscript tradition, the omission should be considered as a patristic solecism and the accurate portion accepted as the Father’s text" (Carroll D. Osburn, "Method in Identifying Patristic Citations in NT Textual Criticism," Novum Testamentum 47.4 [2005]: 325).

      Incidentally, one of Osburn's example (p. 326) is an omission by Irenaeus in 1 Cor 10:5, which Bart Ehrman,  The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 89, has identified as an orthodox omission:

      "Similarly, an argument has been made for an “orthodox omission” of ὁ θεός  at 1 Cor. 10:5 by Irenaeus. However, the supposed “omission”
      occurs at the end of the quotation and cannot be used as textual evidence. Following a lengthy and verbatim citation of 1 Cor. 10:1-12 with ὁ θεός in the text of v. 5, Irenaeus, Adv. haer. 4.27.4, refers to v. 5, saying, ὥσπερ ἐκεῖ ἐν τοῖς πλείοσιν αὐτῶν τοῖς ἁμαρτήσασιν οὐκ εὐδοκήσεν ὁ θεός. Later at 4.36.6, Irenaeus refers to v. 5 saying, οὐκ ἐν τοῖς πλείοσιν αὐτῶν εὐδοκήσεν, without ὁ θεός. However, this cannot be an orthodox 'omission' of ὁ θεός created to make Christ the subject of εὐδοκήσεν, because in the context of 4.36.5, Irenaeus is making the specific point of denoting God Himself as the judge. He says, 'There is one King and Lord, the Father of all,' who, when those invited did not obey Him, 'sent forth His armies and destroyed them.' Continuing his emphasis, he says in 4.36.6, 'the very same King who gathered from all quarters the faithful to the marriage of
      His Son . . . [also] orders that man to be cast into outer darkness who has not on a wedding garment.' Irenaeus then says, 'For as in the
      former covenant, with many of them He was not well pleased, so also is it the case here.' He continues, 'It is not, then, one god who judges and another Father who calls us . . . but it is one and the same God, the Father of our Lord.' The subject of εὐδοκήσεν in
      v. 5 is clearly not Χριστός, but ὁ θεός of the context. Obviously, Irenaeus, Adv. haer. 4.36.6, cannot be cited in support of an 'omission'
      of ὁ θεός."

      Tell me if you accept any of these criteria which I have described, and what criteria you yourself use in your evaluation of patristic evidence.

      Tommy Wasserman

      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Tommy Wasserman <tommy.wasserman@...> wrote:
      > I hope we can now agree that:
      > (a) there is positive evidence that Irenaeus knew the long reading – and the Latin evidence to Irenaeus' text carries great weight since in the context he makes a point that Jesus is the Son of God:
      > Irenaeus, Haer. 3.10.5: Quapropter et Marcus, interpres et sectator Petri, initium evangelicae conscriptionis fecit sic: "Initium evangelii Iesu Christi filii Dei, quemadmodum scriptum est in Prophetis . . . rectas facite semilas ante Deum nostrum", manifeste intium evangelii esse dicens sanctorum prophetarum voces, et eum quem ipsi dominum et Deum confessi sunt hunc patrem domini nostri Iesu Christi praemonstrans . . . Latin text edited by Norbert Brox, Irenäus von Lyon: Adversus Haereses III/Gegen die Häresien III (Fontes Christiani 8/3; Freiburg im Breisgau : Herder, 1995), 93–94 (in this edition Haer. 3.10.6).
      > Haer. 3.16.3: . . . filius Dei
      hominis filius factus, ut per eum adoptionem percipiamus, portante homine et capiente et complectente filium Dei. Propter hoc et Marcus ait: "Initium evangelii Iesu Christi filii Dei quemadmodum scriptum est in prophetis", unum et eundem sciens filium Dei Jesum Christum . . . (ibid., 190).
      > (I should add that in the context of 3.10.5, Irenaeus cites Rom 1:1-4 and Gal 4:4-5.)
      > (b) there is no evidence that Irenaeus knew the short reading.
      > Do you still doubt that Irenaeus did not know the long reading?

      "Doubt" here reminds me too much of the classic response of Bill Murray in Stripes when he is asked by the Army if he has ever been convicted of a felony. "Convicted? No.". Of course I doubt that Irenaeus referred to the Long. The better word here is "discount". How much do I discount the extant? You accept the extant and it becomes a cornerstone of your argument for. Not only do you apply no discount, you actually give it a premium as also helping to establish the earliest evidence of abbreviating. On the other side Professor Head has doubt (presumably grave) and exorcises Irenaeus from conclusion influence.

      complaint here to all is that I see informal, undeveloped methodologies by all which lack sufficient criteria and relative weighting of criteria. The remaining risk here for Irenaeus' Latin is not the Reconstruction risk, it is the Transmission risk. Who here has formally considered this? Someone, anyone, Bhueltter?

      Specifically here, we have two main Latin manuscripts. I believe one has had the Chapter Headings (which are generally thought to be unoriginal) bleed into the text. Not inspiring confidence. Other than that I believe differences in entire sections are rare? Than there's the Armenian for Books IV and V which does differ from the Latin by entire sections. Obviously subsequent Patristic preferred Latin Irenaeus to Greek Irenaeus. Most would agree that Greek Patristic witness to Irenaeus here does tend to show an older text than the Latin text and the offending verse here, "prophets/prophet Isaiah", is an example.

      Going general, most would agree that for Patristics in general, where there is extant Greek and Latin, there are examples of section differences. So, how much do we discount Latin Irenaeus here?

      Do you still doubt that Latin Irenaeus evidence weighs less than Greek Irenaeus evidence?


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