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Re: Did B really drop eremos due to harmonization?

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  • feeite_christian
    Dr. Peter Head says some things about P77 s support in this passage. He rejects the conclusion of P77 s editors, claiming instead that P77 supports the
    Message 1 of 33 , Dec 2, 2005
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      Dr. Peter Head says some things about P77's support in this
      passage. He rejects the conclusion of P77's editors, claiming
      instead that P77 supports the shorter reading.

      Further, he profiles P77 as being close to Sinaiticus. Both of
      these conclusions seem important to me.

      First P77 is one of the three oldest fragments of Matthew, dating to
      about 200.

      Second, if P77 is close to Aleph, and since the two apparently
      disagree on this reading, then Aleph's support value is split.

      This is important. If Aleph had not sided with the rest of the
      tradition, but had stood with B and L, would we reconsider the
      decision, especially in light of intrinsic probabilities? Yes,
      probably.

      But now, we see that the text behind Aleph has one of its
      representatives (P77) supporting the shorter reading, while its
      other representative (Aleph) supports the longer reading. One or
      the other was corrupted. While not conclusive, I think it
      instructive that P77 is the older representative of the text behind
      Aleph (by 150 years), and that perhaps the dynamics of corruption
      would suggest that P77 is the purer representative of the two mss on
      this reading.

      Jim Leonard
      Southwest Pennsylvania


      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "feeite_christian"
      <jmleonardfamily@m...> wrote:
      >
      > How do we explain that B L ff2 Syrus Sinaiticus and some
      miscellaneous
      > Coptic mss do not have ermos (desolate) in the famously climactic
      > pronouncement "Your house is left to you desolate" (Matt 23:38)?
      In
      > contrast, the rest of the ms tradition (Alexandrian, Western,
      > Caesarean, Byz) includes eremos.
      >
      > Metzger and others claim that B dropped it intentionally as being
      > superflous. Less carefully, others have pointed out Luke's
      omission
      > of eremos (13:35), and have suggested that the text behind B was
      > harmonized to the shorter reading of Luke or to Jer 12:7 LXX.
      >
      > These explanations are unsatisfying. Of all the mss, B is best
      known
      > for not harmonizing and for reflecting a relatively pure text
      (i.e.,
      > less subject to the vices of scribal freedom).
      >
      > If B's omission is explained through harmonization to Luke, there
      is a
      > three-fold difficulty. First, B is not prone to harmonization.
      > Second, B would be harmonizing Matthew to Luke, rather than the
      normal
      > direction of Luke to Matthew. Third, B would be harmonizing by
      > omission. By themselves, every one of these three may be
      surprising,
      > but in regard to Matt 23:38, we are asked to believe all three at
      the
      > same time.
      >
      > B omitting eremos as superfluous also strikes me as difficult.
      > Certainly God abandoning the Temple would result in its being
      eremos.
      > But eremos, if original, really is the punch line of the
      > pronouncement. Further, in the shadows of the ruins of the
      Temple,
      > how could a scribe resist the opportunity to show the fulfillment
      of
      > Jesus' pronouncement? Also, the word really isn't lexically
      > superflous, since it brings in something of the nuance of
      destruction.
      >
      > Perhaps B omitted in as a stylistic improvement. But scribes in
      > general, and B in particular, normally don't improve style by
      > omission, especially if the word being omitted is rhetorically
      > important. Besides, if stylistic improvement was the goal, the
      scribe
      > could have harmonized to Jer 22:5 which has the felicitous eis
      > eromosin.
      >
      > NA25 preferred the reading of B, along with Weiss, while WH put it
      in
      > brackets. I think the rest of our critical editions include
      eremos in
      > deference to the overwhelming and disparate mss which include it.
      >
      > P77 has been cited as supporting the reading of eremos, but Peter
      > Head's own analysis led him to conclude that P77 omitted it.
      >
      > If we decide that B is right, then we have to ratchet up B's
      > reputation several notches, since so many other mss got it wrong.
      >
      > I have two questions regarding scribal tendencies in B. Can
      anyone
      > cite examples of B harmonizing to Luke or to LXX, or of
      harmonizing by
      > omission.
      >
      >
      > Thanks,
      > Jim Leonard
      >
    • James M. Leonard
      The editor of mae-2 has concluded that it represents a text from a primitive Hebrew version of Matthew. Interestingly, George Howard makes similar claims
      Message 33 of 33 , Dec 19, 2005
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        The editor of mae-2 has concluded that it represents a text from a
        primitive Hebrew version of Matthew. Interestingly, George Howard
        makes similar claims about Shem Tob's 14th century Hebrew Matthew.
        Neither claim seems to be convincing anyone, despite especially
        tenacious efforts by Howard.

        I wonder if Howard is analyzing mae-2 to find any commonality with
        his Shem Tob :)

        But otherwise, mae-2 seems to be an important ms, in that it is
        purported to be the oldest extant ms in any language to much of
        Matthew's gospel.



        Jim Leonard
        Southwestern Pennsylvania




        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "feeite_christian"
        <jmleonardfamily@m...> wrote:
        >
        > Just read with interest the article herein on the relatively new
        > Coptic ms of Matthew: mae-2.
        >
        > mae-1 supports the inclusion of eremos, and so we would expect, I
        > think, that mae-2 would as well. However, this is one of the
        variants
        > which is not catalogued in the overview article. Would someone
        kindly
        > let me know?
        >
        >
        >
        > Jim Leonard
        > Southwestern Pennsylvania
        >
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