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Codex Bezae: Gospel of Mark and Marginal Notes

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  • George Young
    Dear List: I find that certain manuscripts capture more of my attention than others, and certainly Codex Bezae is one of them. A while back I was reading
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 3, 2006
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      Dear List:

      I find that certain manuscripts capture more of my
      attention than others, and certainly Codex Bezae is
      one of them. A while back I was reading through this
      extraordinary manuscript and I was perplexed by the
      marginal notes, particularly those at the bottom of
      the pages to the Gospel of Mark. For instance, at the
      very beginning of the gospel, the marginal note at the
      bottom reads something like this:

      "The interpretation sent away with contention."

      ***You can view the opening page here:

      http://alpha.reltech.org:8083/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/U5?seq=565

      These rather negative comments continue throughout the
      Gospel. What do other list members think of these
      comments? I'm interested in the speculations' of
      others regarding this anonymous editor? Why do you
      suppose he struggles with the Gospel of Mark so much?
      Also, do any list members know of a full translation
      of these comments online?

      Sincerely,

      Webber Young.



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    • James Snapp, Jr.
      George Young, The features in Codex Bezae that you described do not reflect the struggles of an anonymous editor. They are sortes sanctorum notations -- the
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 3, 2006
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        George Young,

        The features in Codex Bezae that you described do not reflect the
        struggles of an anonymous editor. They are "sortes sanctorum"
        notations -- the ancient equivalent of the Magic Eightball. For a
        description of their purpose, consult the fourth edition of Metzger's
        "The Text of the New Testament," pp. 266-267 (in the Appendix).

        In other news: I did a little bit of facsimile-checking on Mark
        4:11. In D, DEDOTAI ends a line and GNWNAI begins the following
        line. In B, DEDOTAI ends a line, too.

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
        www.curtisvillechristian.org/BasicTC.html
      • mr.scrivener
        ... Metzger s ... On this basis, it would be a simple haplography error on the part of the archetype of B, not a doctrinal excision. But doesn t that strain
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 3, 2006
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          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "James Snapp, Jr."
          <voxverax@...> wrote:
          >
          > George Young,
          >
          > The features in Codex Bezae that you described do not reflect the
          > struggles of an anonymous editor. They are "sortes sanctorum"
          > notations -- the ancient equivalent of the Magic Eightball. For a
          > description of their purpose, consult the fourth edition of
          Metzger's
          > "The Text of the New Testament," pp. 266-267 (in the Appendix).
          >
          > In other news: I did a little bit of facsimile-checking on Mark
          > 4:11. In D, DEDOTAI ends a line and GNWNAI begins the following
          > line. In B, DEDOTAI ends a line, too.
          >
          > Yours in Christ,
          >
          > James Snapp, Jr.
          > www.curtisvillechristian.org/BasicTC.html
          >
          On this basis, it would be a simple haplography error on the part of
          the archetype of B, not a doctrinal excision. But doesn't that
          strain credibility, or is it a case of an opportunistic omission,
          retained because of its convenience?

          just thinking,

          Eeyore
        • George Young
          Dear James Snapp: Thank you for your suggestions regarding Bezae and its marginal notes. My understanding of sortes sanctorum, however, does not really jive
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 3, 2006
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            Dear James Snapp:

            Thank you for your suggestions regarding Bezae and its
            marginal notes. My understanding of "sortes
            sanctorum," however, does not really jive with that
            expounded by Metzger, and the marginal notes in Bezae
            seem to be of a different dimension altogether (at
            least from the "traditional" practice of the same).
            But it doesn't surprise me that Metzger would offer up
            that sort of explanation, if for no other reason than
            to pass-off these notes as basically the meaningless
            ramblings of a Kook. What is interesting is that
            these notations are most prevalent in the Gospel of
            Mark on both the Latin and Greek text (at least this
            was my impression having looked-over the entire
            manuscript), and that the *style* and *content* is
            very odd, and, still more, we might ask: "Whom is his
            audience?" and "Of whom does he write about?" One
            might continue, "When does he write?" "Is this writer
            a convert?" "Is he of Greek or Roamn descent?" And
            "Why the Gospel of [the] Mark?" and so forth...


            Sincerely,

            Webber Young.




            > In other news: I did a little bit of
            > facsimile-checking on Mark
            > 4:11. In D, DEDOTAI ends a line and GNWNAI begins
            > the following
            > line. In B, DEDOTAI ends a line, too.
            >
            > Yours in Christ,
            >
            > James Snapp, Jr.
            > www.curtisvillechristian.org/BasicTC.html



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          • Michael Marlowe
            ... I find this interesting, and I have never seen it discussed before. If someone has the time for it, I would like to learn how the sortes sanctorum notes
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 3, 2006
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              George Young wrote:

              > My understanding of "sortes sanctorum," however,
              > does not really jive with that expounded by Metzger,
              > and the marginal notes in Bezae seem to be of a
              > different dimension altogether (at least from the
              > "traditional" practice of the same).

              I find this interesting, and I have never seen it discussed before. If
              someone has the time for it, I would like to learn how the "sortes
              sanctorum" notes were used, with maybe an example or two.

              Michael Marlowe
            • James Snapp, Jr.
              Michael Marlowe, Although one could get the impression from Metzger s comments in pp. 266-267 of TOTNT (3th ed. -- I typed 4th earlier; oops) that Metzger
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 3, 2006
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                Michael Marlowe,

                Although one could get the impression from Metzger's comments in pp.
                266-267 of TOTNT (3th ed. -- I typed "4th" earlier; oops) that
                Metzger discovered that the "hermeneiai" are divination-notes, by
                1901 Rendel Harris had written a book titled "The Annotators of Codex
                Bezae (With Some Notes on Sortes Sanctorum)," so it would seem that
                BMM wasn't the first to discern what they were. Also, Scrivener
                listed the notations somewhere, I think.

                I'm not sure how the Sortes Sanctorum were used -- possibly a person
                would simply open the codex to a page at random and read the
                notation. Metzger suggests that "A number would be selected, perhaps
                by throwing dice, and then the pages of the Gospel codex would be
                turned until the sentence that corresponded to the number was
                found."

                It's not clear to me why only 69 notations appear in D, only on the
                pages containing Mark 1:1-10:22. Maybe they were copied from the
                margins of an exemplar which only contained Mark. Perhaps Harris'
                book (which is available on CD from SolaScripturaPublishing) could
                provide some more information.

                In other news: in Mark 4:11 ...
                Peshitta supports GNWNAI.
                1241 reads DEDWTAI TA MUSTHRIA. (No GNWNAI.)
                1342 reads LEGEI instead of ELEGEN, and -- this is interesting -- TO
                MUSTHRION DEDOTAI GNWNAI. (Word-order agreeing with the Alexandrian
                word-order, but with GNWNAI.)

                Can somebody consult T&T (or other resources) for info about the
                versional evidence at Mark 4:11?

                Yours in Christ,

                James Snapp, Jr.
                Curtisville Christian Church
                Indiana (USA)
                www.curtisvillechristian.org/TextHistory.html
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