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Re: [textualcriticism] pericope de adultera and stemmatics

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  • Kevin P. Edgecomb
    ... The translation I provide at the link noted above is that of the 1929 translation of R. Hugh Connolly (Clarendon Press), which, according to his
    Message 1 of 60 , Dec 10, 2004
      At 11:49 AM 12/10/2004 +0000, Andrew Criddle wrote:
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Wieland Willker" <willker@...-bremen.de>
      > Regarding the Didascalia Apostolorum: How certain can we be that what we
      > have is really 3rd CE? If it turns out that content and date are
      > correct, then the Didascalia is the earliest evidence for the PA.

      The text of the Disacalia is online here
      At face value it was clearly written for a church facing persecution
      and hence before the Peace of the Church under Constantine.

      The translation I provide at the link noted above is that of the 1929 translation of R. Hugh Connolly (Clarendon Press), which, according to his introduction, represents the completely preserved Syriac tradition, found entire in Codex Sangermanensis (MS Syr 62 of the Bib. Nationale, 8th or 9th cent.; relatively whole, with omissions noted in the margin, so the text is complete), Codex Harrisianus (dated 1036; first found by Rendel Harris and first edited by the extraordinary Mrs. Dunlop Gibson [someone should make a movie about her and her sister!] in 1903, collated with Cod. San. mentioned above; rather a shortened edition of the Apostolic Constitutions than a copy; various superior readings are occasionally, however, found in this ms which help to correct Cod. San.), Codex Borgianus (Borg. Sir. 148 of the Vatican Library, roughly 13th cent; agrees remarkably with Cod. San.), Codex Cantabrigensis (MS 2023 of the Cambridge University Library, 13th cent.; agrees predominantly with Cod. San. and Cod. Borg., but "in not a few cases" sides with Cod. Harr.; Connolly found it to contribute little to the reconstruction of the Syriac text. Connolly also includes in the book, on pages facing the translation of the Syriac, Latin fragments.  I have not included these on the website (yet), finding a translation of the full text more important as there was none to be found online.  As to the date of the Syriac version, Connolly says, "The character of the translation marks it as early, and there appears to be nothing in the Syriac itself that would require a date later than the time of Aphraates (fl. 337-45)" (p. xvii).

      On the date of the original Greek Didascalia itself, Connolly states, "The Didascalia is recognized on all hands as being a work of the third century, though opinion differs as to whether it is to be assigned to the first or the second half of the century" (p. xxvi).  Dating of the Didascalia has been based on internal evidence and its later usage by the editor of the Apostolic Constitutions. As I mentioned, I will sometime soon have added Connolly's entire introduction and the Latin fragments to my website, where you will all be able to read about it there.

      Theoretically then, on the analogy of the Apostolic Constitutions
      much of the material found in the Didascalia could go back to a
      third century church order which has entirely perished and which
      did not contain any reference to the pericope, while the Didascalia
      is a moderate revision of this church order in the early 4th century
      which among other things added the reference to the pericope.

      This is somewhat confused. As stated above, the Didascalia, as is generally recognized, itself dates to the 3rd cent., thus its elements would be earlier (like the complete inclusion of the Prayer of Manasseh, typically dated to Second Temple times, and attributed to a Jewish source). The text of the Didascalia comprises books 1-6 of the Apostolic Constitutions, with various additions.  Book 7 of the AC is primarily the well-known Didache (late 1st-early 2d cent.), also with additions, Book 8 is primarily the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome, (roughly 215 AD).  Various prayers in books 7 and 8 are identified as "Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers" (see Fiensy and Darnell in Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 2, pp. 671-697, following earlier suggestions).  The so-called "Apostolic Canons" and the canons of sundry councils are also included in book 8.

      Marcel Metzger's excellent edition of the Apostolic Constitutions (Sources Chretiennes vols. 320, 329, 336) dates the compilation roughly to 380 AD, due to, among other things, certain aspects of the theology of the AC's editor leaning toward "Macedonian" or "Pneumatomachian" ideas concerning the Holy Spirit, which thus show a lack of knowledge of the canons of the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople of 380-381, which condemned such opinions as heresy. He concludes that the compilation would have been roughly around the time of the Council, "perhaps a little earlier, but certainly not too much later"  (vol. 1/320, pp. 58-60).  Metzger also considers the compiler/editor/author of the AC to be none other than the very author of a certain Commentary on Job (written roughly 360) and the interpolator of the long recension of the Letters of Ignatius (which interpolation he dates to after the AC) (p. 60). (Characteristically, the editor of the AC used the same technique as in the Letters of Ignatius, inserting blocks of text into the shorter originals before him, so that the only trick is in puzzling out where they begin and end in those places where we lack the shorter originals, as in the ending of the Didache.)  The place of origin of the writing is certainly Antioch on the Orontes in Syria, as is conclusively proved by the use of Syro-Macedonian month names, and the context requiring a large and wealthy Hellenized/Romanized city (p. 55-57).

      The manuscript tradition is much fuller for the AC, comprising four families, with a nifty stemma on p. 78, and with the manuscripts described in detail pp 66-74.  Metzger used a set of Latin fragments from the 6th century, and 18 Greek manuscripts ranging from fragments to nearly whole, which all date from the 8th to the 17th/18th cents.  The entire text is represented by the various manuscripts, so reconstruction appears to have been relatively simple, and is reliable.

      Other versions of the Apostolic Constitutions' constituent parts (the Didache, the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, and the Didascalia) exist in Latin, Ethiopic, Coptic, Arabic, and Armenian versions, and perhaps a few others I'm forgetting.  Dom Gregory Dix (Alban Press, 1992) and Bernard Botte (Sources Chretiennes 11bis) provide excellent editions of the Apostolic Traditions. Niederwimmer in the Hermeneia series provides a lengthy commentary on the Didache and its versions, and the Didascalia is, as noted above dealt with by Connolly , and the Syriac text and another translation by Arthur Voobus in the Corpus Christianorum Orientalium (which I haven't read).  I'm uncertain, though I seem to remember, that the SC series also includes the Didascalia, but their website is currently down, so I can't check.  I've not read that edition either, though that would be a nice one to have, especially as Connolly dates to 1929 and it would be nice to have more modern textual input as well.

      I hope you all find this useful.  Church orders are a hobby of mine, so the chance to provide some detailed information to this list was refreshingly welcome! One of my on again, off again, projects is a translation of the Apostolic Constitutions for my website for the benefit of readers (the only full English translation now still being that of the 17th/18th century William Whiston, Isaac Newton's successor at Cambridge!), with the various sources noted.  Someday soon, God willing....

      My regards,
      Kevin P. Edgecomb
      Berkeley, California
    • Daniel
      Malcomb wrote:
      Message 60 of 60 , Oct 15 3:53 AM
        Malcomb wrote:
        << One final note, the pericope presupposes that the Jews of Jesus'
        ministry on earth had the authority to kill. This [is refuted]
        elsewhere in the Gospel narrative.>>

        There are a couple of problems with this assertion.

        1) The text specifically says that this was a setup by the Scribes
        and/or Pharisees. It should have been a lose/lose proposition for
        Jesus: if he said "stone her," he would be in trouble with the Romans
        for instigating a lynching, as alluded to in 18:31. If he said "free
        her," he would be seen as "soft on crime" and loose popular support.
        They did not, of course, forsee the third option, which made them out
        to be the losers instead. But no authority under ROMAN law to execute
        was ever claimed; only under MOSAIC law.

        2) Lynchings by stoning did in fact occur during that era, as seen by
        the examples of Stephen in Acts 7 and James in the History of

        Daniel Buck
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