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More About Sinaiticus' Scribes (resent)

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  • James Snapp, Jr.
    Dear George Young: Repeating your statement that K. Lake did not state definitively that Scribe D exists will not make it true. I have already provided the
    Message 1 of 2 , May 6, 2006
      Dear George Young:

      Repeating your statement that K. Lake did not state definitively that
      Scribe D exists will not make it true. I have already provided the
      explicit quotation in which he affirmed the distinct existence of
      Scribe D as a point beyond reasonable doubt. Whatever his thoughts
      were about the extent of Scribe D's work, they constitute a separate
      question (i.e., wondering how many corrections Scribe D made, and
      wondering if it was Scribe A or Scribe D who made a particular group
      of corrections, is not the same as wondering if Scribe D existed).

      GY: "No, they are the same hand."

      No they're not, and I have already directed you to the evidence that
      proves that they are not: the rate of characters-per-column in the
      cancel-sheet, the different treatments of the nomina sacra, D's use
      of the diple-mark, itacistic differences, and so forth. You have not
      addressed any of these points, except to say that the rate of
      characters-per-column varies elsewhere in Sinaiticus. More about
      that shortly.

      GY: . . . "In any case, so-called "Scribe D" is just what the letter
      means "a door," i.e., "a way out" of a conundrum."

      Ah. So although Lake firmly affirmed the existence of Scribe D and
      referred to him repeatedly as someone separate from Scribe A, that
      doesn't count, because Lake was writing in a code cleverly disguised
      as a vestige of Tischendorf's nomenclature. It all becomes clear now.

      GY: "Here in this one instance we have the Sacred Name spelled out
      for us. Why only here and not elsewhere?"

      I already told you: because here, the diorthotes had a unique motive
      to extend a text which would normally occupy less than one column so
      as to make it occupy two columns.

      GY: . . . There is a problem: (1) The postulation of Scribe D is not
      demonstrable from the paleographical analysis of the script. In fact,
      its doubtful to say the least."

      It is demonstrable, George. I am confident that you can prove it to
      yourself if you take the time to make an honest investigation: look
      at where the diple-mark is frequently used vs. where it is only
      rarely used. Look at where the same words occur but are presented
      with an extra E or I or with only one N. Look at where the number of
      words treated as nomina sacra is increased, and where it is less.
      Look at where the Eusebian Canons are, and where they aren't (in the
      cancel-sheets in Matthew). Then draw the logical conclusion.

      GY: "If Scribe D was trying to fill space, why place TON NAZARHNON
      in the margins? Why not include it in the main text? Your argument is
      contradictory, and not only here but elsewhere as well."

      In no way is this contradictory; I already told you why TON NAZARHNON
      is missing from the text: the diorthotes (or his exemplar)
      accidentally skipped it.

      GY: "The modern textual critic can only disregard the ancient
      textual apparatus to his own peril."

      This feature in Mark 16:6 isn't an apparatus. It's a correction,
      plain and simple. The phrase "TON NAZARHNON" was accidentally
      skipped, and someone later noticed its absence and inserted it in the
      margin. The same feature is present elsewhere in Sinaiticus, for
      instance at Matthew 10:39 and at the end of 17:20 and in 19:20; in
      each case it fulfills the same purpose. The case of Matthew 17:20 is
      particularly instructive because there, the text in the margin
      consists of a long phrase -- a.k.a. 17:21 -- which is not in
      Vaticanus. In 19:20 the phrase "ek neothtos mou" is in the margin;
      this, too, is not in Vaticanus.

      The NA-27 apparatus, btw, identifies the margin-note at Matthew 19:20
      as having been made in about the seventh century. (The apparatus
      itself has the Aleph-letter accompanied by a superscripted "2" and
      this is explained on p. 48 of the English Introduction as a means of
      identifying a group of correctors "ca. 7th century.")

      GY: "The variation in the number of characters per column is not
      enough to support the notion of a canceled sheet. We see this
      phenomenon elsewhere in Sinaiticus."

      Where? Please provide a few examples in Sinaiticus where we see
      three columns side-by-side, each with less than 610 letters (as we do
      in columns 7, 8, and 9 in the cancel-sheet), and a few examples in
      which we see three columns side-by-side, each with more than 680
      letters (as we do in columns 13, 14, and 15 in the cancel-sheet).

      GY: "The Scribal Obelus at Mark 16:6 indicates that TON NAZARHNON is
      worthy of *censure*and *removal* from the main text, which is
      precisely why it is in the margins!"

      No; it simply means that a corrector used the ./. symbol to show what
      material should be inserted where.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
      Curtisville Christian Church
      Indiana (USA)
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