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Re: [textualcriticism] Mark 1:41 - Defending "Filled with Compassion"

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  • Bart Ehrman
    Dan, I m glad for the (almost) support. But in my view, if an angry Jesus is the *same* as a compassionate Jesus, there s little reason to do text criticism
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 8, 2006
      Dan,

      I'm glad for the (almost) support. But in my view, if an angry Jesus
      is the *same* as a compassionate Jesus, there's little reason to do text
      criticism on the verse!

      Best,

      -- Bart



      On Sat, 7 Jan 2006, Daniel B. Wallace wrote:

      > If I may weigh in here:
      >
      > I think Bart makes some excellent points about Mark 1.41. I don't recall if he cited the doctoral dissertationn done at Baylor, defending the same reading (by Proctor, I believe). But one has to wonder why the Western text would create such a reading: there is no unintentional reason that one can muster for it, and D is not prone to speak of Jesus' anger elsewhere in singular readings (see Yoder's concordance). As the textual critic for the NET NT, I'm almost ready to adopt this reading. I appreciate some of the points that were made in defense of the compassionate reading, too. And I don't agree with Bart about the significance of this reading (in terms of almost giving us a different Jesus than we had before). One of my students just wrote a term paper on the passage. I will be posting it on csntm.org in the next couple of weeks (along with hundreds of images, new collations, etc.). I hope to hear from more of you on this text!
      >
      > Respectfully,
      >
      > Daniel B. Wallace
      > Executive Director,
      > Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
      > www.csntm.org
      >
      > ----- Start Original Message -----
      > From: Bart Ehrman <behrman@...>
      > To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Mark 1:41 - Defending "Filled with Compassion"
      >
      >> I think you make a good point. But on what grounds can we decide
      >> that D is a bad manuscript, if not the internal evaluation of its readings
      >> (in comparsion with the internal evaluation of the readings of other
      >> manuscripts)? I don't think we can dispense with internal criteria and
      >> simply count Alexandrian noses.
      >>
      >> Moreover, in most instances D does *not* stand alone. It represents a
      >> *type* of text -- unless you think that the Latin witnesses in this
      >> instance (and others like it) are directly dependent on D.
      >>
      >> I think Hort had a much better approach to D. It represented a faulty
      >> but very early stream of the tradition, which in some (unusual and rare)
      >> instances may be a closer approximation of the original than B.
      >>
      >> -- Bart Ehrman
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> On Sat, 7 Jan 2006, Michael Marlowe wrote:
      >>
      >>> Jim Snapp wrote:
      >>>
      >>>> ... it seems a lot more probable than the competing
      >>>> proposal that "orgistheis" was thoroughly replaced
      >>>> (not just omitted so as to harmonize with Matthew 8:2 and
      >>>> and Luke 5:12, except in the case of Old Latin b and
      >>>> four Byz. mss) by "splagchnistheis" in all channels
      >>>> of transmission, leaving that shining example of pristine,
      >>>> disciplined copyist-work, the text of D, as its sole
      >>>> Greek (or, more precisely, Greek-Latin, rather) support.
      >>>
      >>> I have never understood why such odd readings from manuscripts like D and k
      >>> are adopted by some critics, when so many of the other readings in these
      >>> western witnesses can only be attributed to the "noise" introduced by the
      >>> sheer incompetence of the scribes or translators. The idea that we would
      >>> should prefer a singular reading in D if we can't come up with a really
      >>> convincing explanation of how it arose seems .. well, it's a very
      >>> questionable way to proceed, to say the least. Think of the results it would
      >>> yield if this were made into a principle and applied consistently. We need
      >>> to keep away from this kind of unreasoned eclecticism, and we need to
      >>> remember that D is simply a bad manuscript.
      >>>
      >>> Michael
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> Yahoo! Groups Links
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      > ----- End Original Message -----
      >
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    • sarban
      ... From: Daniel B. Wallace To: Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 9:56 PM Subject: Re:
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 8, 2006
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Daniel B. Wallace" <csntm@...>
        To: <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 9:56 PM
        Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Mark 1:41 - Defending "Filled with
        Compassion"


        > If I may weigh in here:
        >
        > I think Bart makes some excellent points about Mark 1.41. I don't recall
        > if he cited the doctoral dissertationn done at Baylor, defending the same
        > reading (by Proctor, I believe). But one has to wonder why the Western
        > text would create such a reading: there is no unintentional reason that
        > one can muster for it, and D is not prone to speak of Jesus' anger
        > elsewhere in singular readings (see Yoder's concordance). As the textual
        > critic for the NET NT, I'm almost ready to adopt this reading.

        IMHO the reading 'angry' is probably original.

        However there is a possible unintentional origin given by Metzger
        in his textual commentary.

        Ephraem Syrus knows this reading which is presumably that of
        Tatian's Diatessaron. It would be possible to argue that the other
        witnesses for 'angry' (D and the Old Latin) are dependent directly
        or indirectly on a reading in Syriac/Aramaic. (Either Tatianic or
        pre-Tatianic.)

        If so Ethra(ch)am 'he had pity' could have been unintentionally confused
        with Ethra'em 'he was enraged'.

        Andrew Criddle
      • Michael Marlowe
        ... It seems to me that your approach to D is far more eclectic than Hort s approach to it. Michael
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 8, 2006
          Bart Ehrman wrote:

          > I think Hort had a much better approach to D.

          It seems to me that your approach to D is far more eclectic than Hort's
          approach to it.

          Michael
        • Michael Marlowe
          ... This is what I was complaining about earlier, the idea that we must have a clear and probable explanation for readings in D before they can be set aside. I
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 8, 2006
            Daniel Wallace wrote:

            > But one has to wonder why the Western text
            > would create such a reading: there is no
            > unintentional reason that one can muster for it ..

            This is what I was complaining about earlier, the idea that we must have a
            clear and probable explanation for readings in D before they can be set
            aside. I think that's unreasonable in view of the obvious inferiority of D
            as a witness to the original text. In this MS we have the accumulated
            results of several generations of "western" incompetence, and who can really
            give an adequate explanation for all of its problems now? It does not
            deserve such weight that we should demand to know the cause of all its
            divergent readings before discounting them. As Hort said, "knowledge of
            documents should precede final judgment upon readings." In other words, our
            opinion of a manuscript's readings ought to be colored by our knowledge
            about its general character. I think the independent value of D is
            comparatively low. Its value is chiefly in confirming from a distance the
            readings attested in other early streams of transmission. This is true even
            if it be taken as a representative of a whole stream of "western" MSS,
            because the "western" witnesses are not to be trusted when they stand alone.
            As a group they are not equal to the "Alexandrian" witnesses. Some of them
            have evidently come through the hands of people who had little interest in
            preserving the original form of the text, either in Greek or in Latin. In
            view of this treatment of the text in the West, it seems unreasonable to put
            forth some reading in D/d (with perhaps a smattering of other Latin MSS) as
            the original reading, against all the other witnesses, simply because one
            cannot readily account for the D reading by some habitual tendency of
            scribes.

            If an explanation for ORGISQEIS in Mark 1:41 is thought to be necessary, I
            think Metzger is probably on the right track when he guesses that it was
            "suggested by EMBRIMHSAMENOS of ver. 43" (Textual Commentary, p. 77). The
            details of how it actually came to replace SPLAGCNISQEIS in D or its
            ancestors are not terribly hard to imagine. Perhaps someone wrote ORGISQEIS
            (or its Latin equivalent) in the margin close by EMBRIMHSAMENOS (or by its
            Latin equivalent) as a homiletic note pointing out that the word in the
            Greek indicates that Jesus was angry. Then a copyist might have incorporated
            the note into the text, at the most suitable place for it. Stranger things
            have happened in D. Perhaps someone boldly introduced the variant on a whim.
            But however it came about, I would point out that ORGISQEIS also seems to be
            a *harmonization to the immediate context that relieves a difficulty.*
            Instead of Jesus being compassionate and then suddenly scolding the man for
            no apparent reason, he is just annoyed at being pursued or interrupted at
            the time (the context indicates that the wanted to leave off the healing and
            get out to do some preaching). Other specific explanations could be found,
            starting from Metzger's idea; but again, I don't see the need for it. The
            other early evidence decisively favors SPLAGCNISQEIS, and D cannot outweigh
            it.

            Michael
          • voxverax
            Dr. Wallace & Dr. Ehrman ~ There *is* an unintentional reason that one can muster for the creation of orgistheis -- I mentioned it in post #1502:
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 8, 2006
              Dr. Wallace & Dr. Ehrman ~

              There *is* an unintentional reason that one can muster for the
              creation of "orgistheis" -- I mentioned it in post #1502:
              miscorrection by a copyist who had first encountered the passage in
              Latin, and had understood the Latin term (one that could mean "moved
              with anger" or "moved with pity") to mean "angry."

              DW: "I don't agree with Bart about the significance of this reading
              (in terms of almost giving us a different Jesus than we had before)."

              I don't think the adoption of "orgistheis" would spark a rewrite of
              Mark's Christology either -- especially since one could say that
              Jesus was angry with the leper for breaking Mosaic regulations by
              entering a synagogue (but healed him nevertheless, thus forebearing
              with the leper's desperate disobedience but tempering this by
              instructing the leper to keep Moses' commandments about what to do
              next). But that still doesn't make its claim to originality as
              strong as the case for "splagchnistheis."

              BDE: "Moreover, in most instances D does *not* stand alone. It
              represents a *type* of text -- unless you think that the Latin
              witnesses in this instance (and others like it) are directly
              dependent on D."

              The Old Latin witnesses a (c. 360), d (c. 500?), ff2 (400's), and r1
              (600's)? No; d seems to have been greatly influenced by D but not
              the other three. But I would like to know exactly what Latin word is
              contained in those three witnesses. Is it a term which is capable of
              a double-meaning? If not, nothing changes. But if so, then I think
              this would further support the explanation that "orgistheis" is a
              miscorrection elicited by a misinterpretation of a Latin text.

              Does anybody have any data to share in this regard? Perhaps within
              the dissertation or that term-paper which were alluded to, or in some
              more readily available source, this possibly significant data-nugget
              can be found.

              Yours in Christ,

              James Snapp, Jr.
              Curtisville Christian Church
              www.curtisvillechristian.org
            • K. Martin Heide
              Michael Marlowe wrote: Daniel Wallace wrote: But one has to wonder why the Western text would create such a reading: there is no unintentional reason that one
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 9, 2006
                Michael Marlowe wrote:
                Daniel Wallace wrote:
                
                  
                But one has to wonder why the Western text
                would create such a reading: there is no
                unintentional reason that one can muster for it ..
                    
                This is what I was complaining about earlier, the idea that we must have a 
                clear and probable explanation for readings in D before they can be set 
                aside. I think that's unreasonable in view of the obvious inferiority of D 
                as a witness to the original text. In this MS we have the accumulated 
                results of several generations of "western" incompetence, and who can really 
                give an adequate explanation for all of its problems now? It does not 
                deserve such weight that we should demand to know the cause of all its 
                divergent readings before discounting them. As Hort said, "knowledge of 
                documents should precede final judgment upon readings." In other words, our 
                opinion of a manuscript's readings ought to be colored by our knowledge 
                about its general character. I think the independent value of D is 
                comparatively low. Its value is chiefly in confirming from a distance the 
                readings attested in other early streams of transmission. This is true even 
                if it be taken as a representative of a whole stream of "western" MSS, 
                because the "western" witnesses are not to be trusted when they stand alone. 
                As a group they are not equal to the "Alexandrian" witnesses. Some of them 
                have evidently come through the hands of people who had little interest in 
                preserving the original form of the text, either in Greek or in Latin. In 
                view of this treatment of the text in the West, it seems unreasonable to put 
                forth some reading in D/d  (with perhaps a smattering of other Latin MSS) as 
                the original reading, against all the other witnesses, simply because one 
                cannot readily account for the D reading by some habitual tendency of 
                scribes.
                
                If an explanation for ORGISQEIS in Mark 1:41 is thought to be necessary, I 
                think Metzger is probably on the right track when he guesses that it was 
                "suggested by EMBRIMHSAMENOS of ver. 43" (Textual Commentary, p. 77). The 
                details of how it actually came to replace SPLAGCNISQEIS in D or its 
                ancestors are not terribly hard to imagine. Perhaps someone wrote ORGISQEIS 
                (or its Latin equivalent) in the margin close by EMBRIMHSAMENOS (or by its 
                Latin equivalent) as a homiletic note pointing out that the word in the 
                Greek indicates that Jesus was angry. Then a copyist might have incorporated 
                the note into the text, at the most suitable place for it. Stranger things 
                have happened in D. Perhaps someone boldly introduced the variant on a whim. 
                But however it came about, I would point out that ORGISQEIS also seems to be 
                a *harmonization to the immediate context that relieves a difficulty.* 
                Instead of Jesus being compassionate and then suddenly scolding the man for 
                no apparent reason, he is just annoyed at being pursued or interrupted at 
                the time (the context indicates that the wanted to leave off the healing and 
                get out to do some preaching). Other specific explanations could be found, 
                starting from Metzger's idea; but again, I don't see the need for it. The 
                other early evidence decisively favors SPLAGCNISQEIS, and D cannot outweigh 
                it.
                
                Michael
                
                
                
                
                  
                We should not regard the Text of D alone, but the whole western tradition:
                As most text-critics correctly assert, we do not have to speak of "the western text" , but of "western texts":
                there is not a small difference between those manuscripts. Every scribe took, so it seems, the western-text-manuscript
                he had already, and added/changed what he thought would be appropriate. That's why the P75-B alignment is so important, because
                it embodies a very "clean" tradition (compared with, let's say, the P48-D alignment in Acts). D is only the endproduct of a scribal tradition,
                which, in addition, is - at least in actual manuscript support - later than the P75etc.-B tradition.

                So, you have to have very, very good arguments (intrinsic probability is not enough! and what about the church fathers?), to prefer the western reading in Mk 1:41. Remember that Rius-Camps & Read-Heimerdinger in their new case for the western text in Acts argue a lot with intrinsic probability, too ...

                All the best,
                Martin
              • Peter Head
                I can t recall that ORGISTHEIS has ever been included in any edition of the Greek NT; but it is practically the majority opinion among commentators on Mark
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 10, 2006
                  I can't recall that ORGISTHEIS has ever been included in any edition of the
                  Greek NT; but it is practically the majority opinion among commentators on
                  Mark (Taylor, Hooker, Lane, Gnilka, Pesch). Preferring this reading is
                  hardly therefore an Ehrmanian idiosyncrasy.

                  Pete



                  Peter M. Head, PhD
                  Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
                  Tyndale House
                  36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
                  566607
                  Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
                  http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
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