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Re: [textualcriticism] Geography fallacy again (Luke 2:25?)

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  • Stephen Goranson
    Wieland, on TC-List some time ago, I think, you commented on the Jerusalem inscription (on the so-called Tomb of Absalom) of or related to Luke 2:25 something
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 5, 2005
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      Wieland, on TC-List some time ago, I think, you commented on the Jerusalem
      inscription (on the so-called Tomb of Absalom) of or related to Luke 2:25
      something to the effect that it may have some interesting relation with mss
      geographically associated with the area. Do you now regard that as an
      uninteresting or unproductive question?

      best
      Stephen Goranson
    • Wieland Willker
      ... In this interesting inscription we have the textual variant EUSEBHS for EULABHS. We find this variant also in several MSS which have a link to Jerusalem.
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 5, 2005
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        Stephen Goranson wrote:
        > Wieland, on TC-List some time ago, I think, you commented on
        > the Jerusalem inscription (on the so-called Tomb of Absalom)
        > of or related to Luke 2:25 something to the effect that it may
        > have some interesting relation with mss geographically
        > associated with the area. Do you now regard that as an
        > uninteresting or unproductive question?


        In this interesting inscription we have the textual variant EUSEBHS for EULABHS. We find this variant also in several MSS which have a link to Jerusalem. Two have the so called Jerusalem colophon (565, 1071).
        No, this is an interesting question. But I don't really understand your question. If there IS a geographical connection, ok, but for most MSS we don't have such a geographical assignment.

        Best wishes
        Wieland
        <><
        ------------------------------------------------
        Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
        mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
        Textcritical commentary:
        http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
      • malcolm robertson
        Dear Wieland, A former professor of mine once said that if Metzger s The Text of the New Testament: It s Transmission, Corruption ans Restoration were ever
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 5, 2005
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          Dear Wieland,
           
          A former professor of mine once said that if Metzger's The Text of the New Testament: It's Transmission, Corruption ans Restoration were ever edited by another it would be ruined.  The errors that you have pointed out are the kinds of errors one would expect from first year seminary students.  I'm so sorry but this is totally unacceptable.  Metzger was such a circumspect and conscientious scholar; a trait that is definitely lacking with this pupil.
           
          Cordially in Christ,
           
          Malcolm
           
          _________________________
           
           
           
          In Metzger's TC book, Ehrman has added a new chapter called "The Rise and
          Development of the NT text types". In the sub-chapter "The Alexandrian text" he
          makes two assumptions, which are not clear at all.

          1. the good text of P75 et al. is the result of the "conscientious control" by
          "Christian scholars of Alexandria". This, I think is a myth. At least we don't
          know. Ehrman's own Ph.D. student K. Haines-Eitzen has made it probable that the
          early papyri were not the scholarly product of learned scriptoria but rather
          private creations.

          2. He assumes that Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus have been written in
          Alexandria. Again there is no decisive evidence for this.

          He really seems to think that "Alexandrian text" means a text created in
          Alexandria. P66 and P75 have probably not been written in Alexandria. But we
          just don't know this.

          Ehrman: "In light of the striking similarities in text between the 4th CE B and
          the early 3rd CE P75, it is clear that the Christian scholars of Alexandria
          worked assiduously to preserve an accurate form of text."

          This, IMHO, is more wishful thinking than corroborated by evidence. This chapter
          paints an anachronistic picture created by Hort and Zuntz, but I am not sure if
          it is really true.
          Which "Christian scholars"? Not even Origen was really interested in preserving
          a pure line of the NT text. At least there is no evidence for this.

          I call it geography fallacy when "texttype" designations and real geography is
          mixed. E.g. let's say a certain reading is supported by 01,B, 33, 579, 892. Then
          calling this is a local phenomenon of Egypt is falling into the geography
          fallacy. All these MSS are of the "Alexandrian" **texttype**, but we don't know
          where these MSS have been written.

          Best wishes
          Wieland
          <><
          ------------------------------------------------
          Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
          mailto:
          willker@...
          http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
          Textcritical commentary:
          http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html



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        • K. Martin Heide
          Wieland Willker wrote: In Metzger s TC book, Ehrman has added a new chapter called The Rise and Development of the NT text types . In the sub-chapter The
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 5, 2005
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            Wieland Willker wrote:
            In Metzger's TC book, Ehrman has added a new chapter called "The Rise and Development of the NT text types". In the sub-chapter "The Alexandrian text" he makes two assumptions, which are not clear at all. 
            
            1. the good text of P75 et al. is the result of the "conscientious control" by "Christian scholars of Alexandria". This, I think is a myth. At least we don't know. Ehrman's own Ph.D. student K. Haines-Eitzen has made it probable that the early papyri were not the scholarly product of learned scriptoria but rather private creations. 
            
            2. He assumes that Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus have been written in Alexandria. Again there is no decisive evidence for this. 
            
            He really seems to think that "Alexandrian text" means a text created in Alexandria. P66 and P75 have probably not been written in Alexandria. But we just don't know this. 
            
            Ehrman: "In light of the striking similarities in text between the 4th CE B and the early 3rd CE P75, it is clear that the Christian scholars of Alexandria worked assiduously to preserve an accurate form of text."
            
            This, IMHO, is more wishful thinking than corroborated by evidence. This chapter paints an anachronistic picture created by Hort and Zuntz, but I am not sure if it is really true. 
            Which "Christian scholars"? Not even Origen was really interested in preserving a pure line of the NT text. At least there is no evidence for this. 
            
            I call it geography fallacy when "texttype" designations and real geography is mixed. E.g. let's say a certain reading is supported by 01,B, 33, 579, 892. Then calling this is a local phenomenon of Egypt is falling into the geography fallacy. All these MSS are of the "Alexandrian" **texttype**, but we don't know where these MSS have been written. 
            
            Best wishes
                Wieland
                   <><
              

            Dear Wieland,

            some thoughts in addition to that, and a little caveat:

            In light of the importance of Alexandrinian scholarship (classical texts), the tradition which assigns the emergence of the Septuagint to Alexandria, and Origen's Hexapla, I find it difficult to
            see Ehrman's thesis only in terms of a "Geography fallacy". I agree that we do not know who worked on these texts, and we do not know if they had only come to Egypt or were produced there ...

            Origen could move on two trails (if not on more): We know that even in his commentaries on the
            Old Testament and the Septuagint, he quite often preferred smooth readings etc., even when he knew quite well from his textcritical Hexapla-work that there were better readings ...
            (see Neuschäfer, Bernhard: Origenes als Philologe,  Schweizerische Beiträge zur Altertumswissenschaft Band 18, Basel 1987)

            Last not least, the Coptic version(s) are the only versions which preserved the Alexandrinian texttype (more or less, with minor "western" variations) after the 3/4th century. So, at least in later times the Alexandrinian texttype gets a geographical connection. They certainly did not come to Egypt, but were produced there.

            best wishes, Martin


          • Wieland Willker
            ... Everything you write is correct. I agree with you. It is certainly POSSIBLE that P75 et al. are the result of scholarly activity. But we have no evidence
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 6, 2005
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              Martin wrote:
              > ... Alexandrinian scholarship ... Origen ... Coptic version(s) ...
              > Alexandrinian texttype


              Everything you write is correct. I agree with you.

              It is certainly POSSIBLE that P75 et al. are the result of scholarly activity. But we have no evidence for that.
              It is equally likely, and I personally find it more probable, that P75 is just a faithful copy of a very early ancestor, which was very close to the original. The only scholarly activity I can envision, is that perhaps the initiator of B/03 chose from the available copies a good one, like P75. But perhaps this was just happenstance.

              The Coptic version(s) are of the Alexandrian texttype. Correct. But does that mean that every MS that belongs to the Alexandrian texttype is from Egypt?

              A connected problem is this:
              The Alexandrian texttype is the texttype closest to the original. Therefore any MS that is close to the original will be assigned "Alexandrian". But then, what does this help? Does that mean that we find MSS close to the original only in Egypt? Certainly not.
              I wrote in my commentary: "Overall it appears to me that the concept of "texttypes" is disintegrating today. It is not really helpful. It does not really help in deciding textcritical matters nor is it helpful in explaining the history of the text. I think the labels like "Alexandrian" or "Caesarean" will remain, used as textcritical jargon, but texttypes as well defined entities will be difficult to sustain."

              PS: I agree with Scott Charlesworth.
              Regarding Metzger's 4th, one can note a certain "rush" in producing the new entries and Ehrman admitted this. But he has an open ear ...

              Best wishes
              Wieland
              <><
              ------------------------------------------------
              Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
              mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
              http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
              Textcritical commentary:
              http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
            • Frederick
              ... What makes you say that?
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 6, 2005
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                <willker@c...> wrote:
                >Not even Origen was really interested in preserving a pure line of
                >the NT text.

                What makes you say that?
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