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  • Wieland Willker
    Wachtel, Klaus: Kinds of variants in the manuscript tradition of the Greek New Testament in: Studies in Stemmatology II, ed. by P. van Reenen, A. den
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 10, 2005
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      Wachtel, Klaus:
      "Kinds of variants in the manuscript tradition of the Greek New
      Testament"
      in: Studies in Stemmatology II, ed. by P. van Reenen, A. den Hollander
      and M. van Mulken, Amsterdam 2004, 87-98.

      In this article Wachtel wants to promote the "stages development" of the
      Byz text. I have two comments on this:

      1. Regarding the stages view:
      We have to keep in mind that an almost fully-fledged Byz text of the
      Gospels was into existence in the 4th CE (compare codex A or W). There
      is not much time for stages.
      Wachtel comes to his conclusion from an analysis of the Catholic
      letters, where things are somewhat different than in the Gospels. One
      must be careful here not to carry over the results to the complete NT.

      2. Regarding a "new interest in the Byz text":
      Wachtel writes: "we find that pure Byz MSS come closer to the 'original
      text' than many older documents and their descendants."
      I think this is an exaggeration. There are perhaps a few in the Gospels,
      like codex D, Theta or f13, but "many"?

      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      ------------------------------------------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      Textcritical commentary:
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
    • K. Martin Heide
      Wieland Willker wrote: Wachtel, Klaus: Kinds of variants in the manuscript tradition of the Greek New Testament in: Studies in Stemmatology II, ed. by P. van
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 10, 2005
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        Wieland Willker wrote:
        Wachtel, Klaus:
        "Kinds of variants in the manuscript tradition of the Greek New
        Testament"
        in: Studies in Stemmatology II, ed. by P. van Reenen, A. den Hollander
        and M. van Mulken, Amsterdam 2004, 87-98.
        
        In this article Wachtel wants to promote the "stages development" of the
        Byz text. I have two comments on this:
        
        1. Regarding the stages view:
        We have to keep in mind that an almost fully-fledged Byz text of the
        Gospels was into existence in the 4th CE (compare codex A or W). There
        is not much time for stages.
        Wachtel comes to his conclusion from an analysis of the Catholic
        letters, where things are somewhat different than in the Gospels. One
        must be careful here not to carry over the results to the complete NT.
        
        2. Regarding a "new interest in the Byz text":
        Wachtel writes: "we find that pure Byz MSS come closer to the 'original
        text' than many older documents and their descendants."
        I think this is an exaggeration. There are perhaps a few in the Gospels,
        like codex D, Theta or f13, but "many"?
        
        Best wishes
            Wieland
               <><
          
        The stages development-theory, however, fits nicely into the evidence from the church fathers
        (cf. the new insights gathered by Osburn, The Text of the Apostolos in Epihphanius of Salamis;
        Racine, The Text of Matthew in the Writings of Basil of Caesarea, both volumes published 2004 in the SBL series,
        and 

        Nielsen, Sylvia: Euseb von Cäsarea und das Neue Testament. Methoden und Kriterien zur Verwendung von Kirchenväterzitaten innerhalb der neutestamentlichen Textforschung, Regensburg 2003.)


        Additionally, Codex W has the majority text only in part, etc. Wachtel's stages-theory does not exclude larger steps which
        might be processed by scribes during the first decades of the 4th century etc. ("Entwicklungssprünge", in: Der Byzantinische Text der kathol. Briefe, p. 183)



        Best wishes,  MHeide

      • Wieland Willker
        ... What I mean is that Wachtel seems to think that the Byz text developed without thoughtful recensions. His argument is that Byz variants also appear in
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 10, 2005
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          K. Martin Heide wrote:
          > Additionally, Codex W has the majority text only in
          > part, Wachtel's stages-theory does not exclude
          > larger steps which might be processed by scribes
          > during the first decades of the 4th century etc.


          What I mean is that Wachtel seems to think that the Byz text developed
          without thoughtful recensions. His argument is that Byz variants also
          appear in other texttpes. But there the appearance is much more
          sporadic. I doubt that such accidental or casual variation can lead
          within one century to the full-fledged form represented e.g. in W (Mt,
          Mk 8-16).
          I am not sure but still think it more likely that SOME FORM OF RECENSION
          more likely explains the evidence in the Gospels. What exactly this
          recension was I am not sure, but for a Darvinistic development is not
          enough time IMHO.
          Of course one question is where to draw the line between thoughtful
          recension and accidental variation. Perhaps we will meet somewhere in
          the middle.

          Best wishes
          Wieland
          <><
          ------------------------------------------------
          Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
          mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
          http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
          Textcritical commentary:
          http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
        • K. Martin Heide
          Wieland Willker wrote: ... What I mean is that Wachtel seems to think that the Byz text developed without thoughtful recensions. His argument is that Byz
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 10, 2005
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            Wieland Willker wrote:
            K. Martin Heide wrote:
             > Additionally, Codex W has the majority text only in
             > part, Wachtel's stages-theory does not exclude
             > larger steps which might be processed by scribes
             > during the first decades of the 4th century etc.
            
            
            What I mean is that Wachtel seems to think that the Byz text developed
            without thoughtful recensions. His argument is that Byz variants also
            appear in other texttpes. But there the appearance is much more
            sporadic. I doubt that such accidental or casual variation can lead
            within one century to the full-fledged form represented e.g. in W (Mt,
            Mk 8-16).
            I am not sure but still think it more likely that SOME FORM OF RECENSION
            more likely explains the evidence in the Gospels. What exactly this
            recension was I am not sure, but for a Darvinistic development is not
            enough time IMHO.
            Of course one question is where to draw the line between thoughtful
            recension and accidental variation. Perhaps we will meet somewhere in
            the middle.
            
            Best wishes
                Wieland
                   <><
              
            I agree in part. I don't think there was a "not thoughtful, Darwinistic" development. It was thoughtful.
            Very interesting in this regard is what Tov says about the devlopments of variants at Qumran, that
            literary compositions in the biblical environment (commentaries, Targumim, apocrypha, citations) served as a ressource
            for acceptable variants.

            During / after the changes allowed by Constantine,
            new bibles were ordered and copied by thousands (cf. the letter of Const. to Eusebius), and a more smooth and readable,
            user-friendly bible was produced for the spread of Christianity. Known variants which helped to understand the bible
            (early church-father citations, commentaries, parallels in the gospels...) seem to have been allowed to a certain extent,
            but controlled (not at random).


            (Tov, “The Nature & Background of Harmonizations in Biblical Manuscripts”, JSOT 31(1985), S.16ff)



            Best wishes, MH
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