Re:G 5,21 & "murder" (FONOI)
- Metzger's commentary notes that the addition of phonoi parallels the "phthonou, phonou" of Rom 1,29. This means the pair was not difficult, since it wasn't cut down in Romans. Further, the majority text is by definition the text scribes had less difficulty with, as long as there are no other paraphrases or transpositions to flag the passage as unusual.The internal sense shows an emphasis on subjective lapses more prominent, where we might excuse our own feelings (even porneia, as unapproved marital union), whereas there is no need to defend a condemnation of murder--and Paul is being defensive here, as he is being guarded in Romans. But Paul may be in the same mind as when he wrote Romans. (Those who look past the James - Paul opposition on Abraham's righteousness like to put it in the 2Cor-to-Rom period.)There is no doctrinal difficulty in condemning murder (who wouldn't?), which means the deletion can't be deliberate. But clearly, on short lines, the parablepsis skip could mean an early standard text spread an accidental error.We are not here in the same precision of text types as in the Gospels, and B and p46 are suspect for not doing their homework especially when they agree with the Western DFG in a doubtful passage. 1739 seems to know the West and nonByz variants he chooses from (he chose West here). Western doesn't mean exotic here like in Acts (D Bezae), but often means a good popular reading like Byz.The next series of virtues in verse 22 shows Old Latin is expansive here (as a child, I learned the list with longanimitas (patientia), mansuetudo (modestia), continentia (castitas) expanding the list from 9 to 12). This is the counterpart to a list people systematized, so West is suspect. The Vulgate here is not Jerome but a cleanup of the Old Latin (by Pelagius?) whenever they were sure it was inconsistent with the known (a.d. 380-ish) Greek. Further, the Coptic agreement with the omission is Sahidic, generally earlier sources than the Bohairic, which knows so much Byz influence (in the Gospels for sure; I assume here, too).Old Latin/Syriac agreement is to be expected, which means the Western text is early.When you're down to two early readings, before the text types, weighting the manuscripts is less important: They knew then what we know now. The considerations to be weighed, then, are likely borrowing from the parallel, the improbability of deletion, the penchant for a fuller text, and the need for the author to use or avoid it.Which did Paul write? is the question.Peter F.X. Gibson
I appreciate your thorough analysis.
In R 1,29, however, the Alexandrian MS 81 (11th c.), which the Alands
categorize as "at least category II," does in fact omit FONOU, if I
read von Soden correctly here. In the same verse, A/02 omits DOLOU
after the transposition of FONOU ERIDOS, making h.t. error in both
cases the likely cause. Also in R 1,29, there is the omission of
PONHRIA by K (and 1912 acc. to von Soden?), and PONHRIA PLEONEXIA by
1836, again, acc. to von Soden(?). Here is also a famous case for
conflation by Byz in reading both PORNEIA (Ds* G [P]) and PONHRIA,
but even here I'm sure M. Robinson would vigorously defend PORNEIA on
grounds of h.t. error exemplified by similar scribal habits in the
Back to G 5,21: you are very clear that the issue revolves around the
"likely borrowing from the parallel, the improbability of deletion,
the penchant for a fuller text."
I have a basic question: Can the h.t. habits of a scribe (or
scribes) in any century (especially late centuries) be used to argue
against the reading of the three oldest MSS we have for G 5,21? If
so, under what guidelines?