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Re: [textualcriticism] Sinaiticus' Scribes and TA DAIMONIA

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  • George Young
    Dear Mr. Scrivener: The use of the Asterisk and Obelus in Sinaiticus seems to me to touch on several larger issues. Let me begin my reply with a quote from
    Message 1 of 3 , May 13, 2006
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      Dear Mr. Scrivener:

      The use of the Asterisk and Obelus in Sinaiticus seems
      to me to touch on several larger issues. Let me begin
      my reply with a quote from H.B. Swete (Intro to the OT
      in Greek):

      "Here the genius of Origen found an ally in the system
      of critical signs which had its origin
      among the older scholars of Alexandria, dating almost
      from the century which produced the earlier
      books of the LXX. The Añéóôañ÷åéá ónìáôá took their
      name from the prince of Alexandrian grammarians,
      Aristarchus, who flourished in the reign of Philopator
      (222—205 B.C.), and they appear to have been first
      employed in connexion with his great edition of Homer.
      Origen selected two of these signs known as the obelus
      and the asterisk, and *adapted* them to the use of his
      edition of the Septuagint. In the Homeric poems, as
      edited by Aristarchus, the obelus marked passages
      the critic wished to censure, while the asterisk was
      affixed to those which seemed to him to be
      worthy of special attention... As employed by Origen
      in the fifth column of the Hexapla, the obelus was
      prefixed to words or lines which were wanting in the
      Hebrew, and therefore, from Origen's point of view, of
      doubtful authority, whilst the asterisk called
      attention to words or lines wanting in the LXX., but
      present in the Hebrew. The close of the context to
      which the obelus or asterisk was intended to apply was
      marked by another sign known as the metobelus. When
      the passage exceeded the length of a single
      line, the asterisk or obelus was repeated at the
      beginning of each subsequent line until the metobelus
      was reached." (p.70)

      Now, the second example to which you refer (taken from
      Mark 16:6) we see a Metobelus. However, if you look
      at the uses of the Metobelus in Sinaiticus (both OT
      and NT), its use seems more in line with the ancient
      use of the OBELUS more than the Metobelus. In other
      words, the sign of the Metobelus appears to have taken
      on a similar meaning as the Obelus. The text to which
      the Metobelus signals in the margins is always in the
      margins. Furthermore, if incorporated into the main
      text, in many instances (taken verbatum) it creates a
      syntactical "Jam." In other words, a later scribe
      would have to "smooth out" the syntax to make it work.

      In Sinaiticus we also have marginal notes cramd
      alongside the main text. This does appear to me to be
      an "addition" to the main text. There is no critical
      sign placed beside such "notes," hence, they are
      intended to be viewed as either an "addition" or as a

      Still more, I know from my own thinking pattern that
      the tendency is to view all these marginal notes as
      "additions." That is, after all, as history makes
      plain, what happened. But my suspicion is that these
      early scribes were not so naieve. They too would have
      known that the tendency is "to add" and then "add so
      more" and then "add some more." So, I suppose that
      what I am proposing is that the scribes of Sinaiticus
      also removed, or perhaps did as we do: write variants
      in the margins. Why should they be any less
      innovative than ourselves? As for the timing of the
      marginal notes, I think that probably they would have
      written one sheet at a time, and then made the
      marginal notes.


      Webber Young.

      --- Ben Davidson <mr.scrivener@...> wrote:

      > Dear Mr. Young:
      > I have taken a good look at your examples posted
      > on geocities, and I am puzzled by your second
      > example:
      > Quote:
      > "
      > In this second example taken from Mark
      > 16:6, the Metobelus is used in the classic sense of
      > indicating a reading worthy of censure or removal.
      > Take notice that the words "TON NAZAPHNON" are
      > placed beside the Metobelus in the MARGINS. A
      > corresponding Metobelus is written in the main text
      > indicating the place from which it was removed.
      > It seems you have completely reversed the normal
      > use and meaning of the obelisk here, and presumably
      > the majority of times it appears in Sinaiticus and
      > Vaticanus. Surely the original scribe has
      > inadvertently dropped a few words or a phrase/clause
      > in all these cases (from homoeoteleuton or simple
      > fatigue), and either himself (as first corrector) or
      > some other proof-reader has caught the slip and
      > restored the omission in the margin, - the easiest
      > way to fix such blunders.
      > In this as in most other cases, the 'classic
      > sense' is rather indicating a reading worth noting
      > and replacing in the body of the next copy of the
      > text. You can't possibly mean that the scribes would
      > normally consciously excise a phrase or clause
      > during their copying, then carefully place it in the
      > margin to look like a correction or gloss, WHILE
      > they are in the process of the 'first pass' or main
      > text?!?
      > And even if this were the case in a small number
      > of manuscripts deliberately 'edited' by some master
      > 'readings' collector like an Origen or a Eusebius,
      > surely in all other cases and manuscripts the
      > majority of such examples would indicate an
      > accidental omission, and an attempted restoration by
      > the proof-reader!...
      > Just pondering your example,
      > Eeyore
      > George Young <webber_young@...> wrote:
      > Dear TC List/James Snapp:
      > For your convenience, ...
      > http://www.geocities.com/biblical.scholars/
      > These images show the use of the Asterisk and Obelus
      > /
      > Metobelus (Sinaiticus), as well as the Umlauts
      > (Vaticanus).
      > Sincerely, Webber Young.
      > ---------------------------------
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      > PC-to-Phone call rates.


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