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Characteristics of Lectionaries - for James Miller

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  • James Snapp, Jr.
    Dear James Miller: We have run out of eggnog, so I ll take a minute or two and reply to your questions about lectionaries. JM: What, exactly, for text
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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      Dear James Miller:

      We have run out of eggnog, so I'll take a minute or two and reply to
      your questions about lectionaries.

      JM: "What, exactly, for text critics, identifies a ms. as a
      lectionary ms.?"

      Its arrangement of the text into lections -- readings assigned to be
      read on a particular day, or special occasion, in the church-calendar.

      JM: "I would like to ask in particular whether mss. are classed as
      lectionaries purely on the basis of their form."

      Then I will act as if you asked! Yes; they are, if by "form" you
      mean the arrangement of the lections. And you did.

      JM: "My question regards the role the ordering of the text plays in
      text critics's classification of these mss. as lectionaries."

      A very important, definitive role.

      JM: "But my question is whether the ordering of the text is the sole
      criterion upon which text critics classify a ms. as a lectionary?"

      No. Suppose we encounter a fragment which contains only a few
      verses, all from a single pericope. We might initially assume that
      it is from a continuous-text MS. But there might be some feature in
      the text, or some graphic on the page, that cries, "I am from a
      lectionary!".

      JM: "To put the question conversely. There do seem to be mss. that
      have the text of the Gospels or Epistles in the order found in most
      modern Bibles, but that, at the same time, were clearly read from at
      public worship services (e.g., as indicated by the presence of
      incipits and excipits written in the margins). Could such a ms.,
      despite the order of its text, be classed by text critics as a
      lectionary ms.?"

      No, ordinarily. But suppose someone made an unusual lectionary -- a
      lectionary for just one or two particular days of the week. And
      suppose that such a lectionary was then mutilated, so that only part
      of it survived. Portions of such a lectionary (say, a chunk of Luke
      or Acts) might not look very different from a continuous-text MS of
      the same portion of text.

      JM: "Are there any such mss. included by text critics who have
      assigned sigla to NT mss., among the group with the italicized
      letter "l" (abbreviation for "lectionary") preceding the ms. number?

      None come to mind.

      JM: "Do all those with the "l" prepended have their text arranged
      according to the progression of an annual liturgical cycle?"

      Yes -- though not necessarily the same liturgical cycle, and not
      necessarily a complete liturgical cycle.

      JM: . . . "Has this author accurately represented the views of text
      critics in implying that lectionary mss. are identified by the
      ordering of the text they contain, which contrasts with the ordering
      of continuous-text witnesses, or not?"

      Yes; he has. But theoretically, a few pages from a Weekend-
      Lectionary, free of ornamentation and rubrics, might look like a few
      pages from a continuous-text MS.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
      Curtisville Christian Church
      Tipton, Indiana (USA)
      www.curtisvillechristian.org/KataMarkon.html
    • James Snapp, Jr.
      JM, I just remembered an exception: a Latin witness, Liber Comicus, is a lectionary; nevertheless it was assigned the letter t (the same way that Codex
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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        JM,

        I just remembered an exception: a Latin witness, "Liber Comicus," is a
        lectionary; nevertheless it was assigned the letter "t" (the same way
        that Codex Vercellensis = "a" and Bobbiensis = "k"). Briefly looking
        over the "Codices Graeci et Latini" list in NA-27, it looks like Old
        Latin "r" and maybe some others fit this description also.

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
        Curtisville Christian Church
        Tipton, Indiana (USA)
        www.curtisvillechristian.org/KataMarkon.html
      • Peter M. Head
        ... Basically yes. ... Peter M. Head, PhD Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament Tyndale House 36 Selwyn Gardens Cambridge CB3 9BA 01223 566601
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 4, 2008
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          At 21:50 03/01/2008, you wrote:
          >Thank you for your response, Peter. By "basically yes"
          >I'm assuming you mean that, basically yes, mss. are
          >classified by text critics as lectionaries solely on
          >the basis of the form of the their text (which is
          >arranged according to the way the text was to be read
          >at public worship during the course of the liturgical
          >year as opposed to the order in which the text was
          >originally composed). This would make the answer to
          >the converse question basically no. That is to say,
          >continuous-text mss., regardless of whether they
          >contain indications that the ms. was used as a
          >lectionary (e.g., they may contain extraneous text
          >like incipits/excipits, hymns, or liturgical
          >directives), are not classed as lectionaries by text
          >critics. Members of the first group would have the
          >letter "l" (for "lectionary") prepended to their
          >classification numbers while the latter group would
          >not have the "l" prepended. Have I understood
          >correctly?

          Basically yes.


          >I'll be having a look at the article you mention.
          >Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
          >
          >Sincerely,
          >James
          >
          >--- "Peter M. Head" <pmh15@...> wrote:
          >
          > > I think the basic answer is 'yes'. If you want
          > > something to read I
          > > would suggest the essay on lectionaries in Ehrman &
          > > Holmes, The Text
          > > of the NT in Contemporary Research.
          > >
          > > Cheers
          > >
          > > Peter
          > >
          > > At 15:36 02/01/2008, you wrote:
          > > >Several days have passed since I made this query
          > > >regarding a matter very fundamental to modern NT
          > > text
          > > >criticism. After all, aren't something like 50% of
          > > all
          > > >extant NT mss. classified as lectionaries? Surely
          > > >someone on this list can provide some response--at
          > > the
          > > >least something like "you really need to address
          > > >authorityX regarding this question." I see, for
          > > >example, that Peter Head, who subscribes to this
          > > list,
          > > >has a web page on lectionaries. Can you offer any
          > > sort
          > > >of information in response to my query, Peter?
          > > Anyone
          > > >else?
          > > >
          > > >Thank you,
          > > >James
          > > >
          > > >--- James Miller <jamtata@...> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > > I recently began a thread raising the question
          > > of
          > > > > the
          > > > > relation of lectionary mss. to the Majority
          > > Text. As
          > > > > frequently happens, I've discovered that, for
          > > that
          > > > > discussion to proceed, some preliminary
          > > questions
          > > > > have
          > > > > to be resolved. Chief among those questions is
          > > the
          > > > > following: what, exactly, for text critics,
          > > > > identifies
          > > > > a ms. as a lectionary ms.?
          > > > >
          > > > > Within this thread, I would like to ask in
          > > > > particular
          > > > > whether mss. are classed as lectionaries purely
          > > on
          > > > > the
          > > > > basis of their form. In other words, some mss.
          > > > > containing the text of the NT do not have their
          > > text
          > > > > arranged in the order of the NT's found on most
          > > > > modern
          > > > > bookshelves--the order in which, incidentally,
          > > it
          > > > > seems likely the NT authors originally composed
          > > > > these
          > > > > works. Rather, in the mss. in question, the text
          > > is
          > > > > ordered according to the way the text is to be
          > > read
          > > > > out at public worship services during the course
          > > of
          > > > > the liturgical year.
          > > > >
          > > > > There might be additional indications that a
          > > given
          > > > > ms.
          > > > > is a lectionary ms., such as the presence of
          > > > > seemingly
          > > > > extraneous text; incipits and/or excipits for
          > > each
          > > > > lesson, liturgical directives or verses from
          > > other
          > > > > parts of the Bible that were sung as hymns in
          > > > > connection with the reading. But for now I want
          > > to
          > > > > disregard those indicators and focus exclusively
          > > on
          > > > > the form or ordering of the text contained in
          > > the
          > > > > mss.
          > > > >
          > > > > It seems clear that the mss. with this
          > > non-original
          > > > > ordering were lectionaries, i.e., they were
          > > books
          > > > > produced to aid in reading the biblical text at
          > > > > public
          > > > > worship services. My question regards the role
          > > the
          > > > > ordering of the text plays in text critics's
          > > > > classification of these mss. as lectionaries.
          > > > >
          > > > > Clearly this ordering plays a role in the
          > > > > classification of a ms. as a lectionary. I doubt
          > > any
          > > > > text critic, coming across such a ms., would be
          > > > > disinclined to consider it a lectionary and to
          > > group
          > > > > it among other mss. having the same form. But my
          > > > > question is whether the ordering of the text is
          > > the
          > > > > sole criterion upon which text critics classify
          > > a
          > > > > ms.
          > > > > as a lectionary?
          > > > >
          > > > > To put the question conversely. There do seem to
          > > be
          > > > > mss. that have the text of the Gospels or
          > > Epistles
          > > > > in
          > > > > the order found in most modern Bibles, but that,
          > > at
          > > > > the same time, were clearly read from at public
          > > > > worship services (e.g., as indicated by the
          > > presence
          > > > > of incipits and excipits written in the
          > > margins).
          > > > > Could such a ms., despite the order of its text,
          > > be
          > > > > classed by text critics as a lectionary ms.? Are
          > > > > there
          > > > > any such mss. included by text critics who have
          > > > > assigned sigla to NT mss., among the group with
          > > the
          > > > > italicized letter "l" (abbreviation for
          > > > > "lectionary")
          > > > > preceding the ms. number? Or do all those with
          > > the
          > > > > "l"
          > > > > prepended have their text arranged according to
          > > the
          > > > > progression of an annual liturgical cycle?
          > > > >
          > > > > To provide some basis for any discussion that
          > > may
          > > > > arise from this thread, I provide the following
          > > link
          > > > > that contains information about the
          > > lectionaries:
          > > > >
          > >
          > >http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/Lectionary.html
          > > > > . In that article, it is stated that: "Copying a
          > > > > lectionary from a continuous text is difficult.
          > > One
          > > > > is
          > > > > forced to constantly skip around in the
          > > document.
          > > > > This
          > > > > does not mean that lectionaries are never copied
          > > in
          > > > > this way; the existence of the Ferrar Lectionary
          > > > > (l547), which has a text associated with f13,
          > > > > demonstrates this point. But it is reasonable to
          > > > > assume that the large majority of lectionaries
          > > were
          > > > > copied from other lectionaries, and only
          > > > > occasionally
          > > > > compared with continuous-text manuscripts."
          > > > >
          > > > > The presumption in this quotation regarding form
          > > > > seems
          > > > > to be that lectionary mss. are identified by the
          > > > > form
          > > > > or ordering of their text. The author contrasts
          > > the
          > > > > lectionaries in a sort of generic way with
          > > > > continuous-text witnesses. Has this author
          > > > > accurately
          > > > > represented the views of text critics in
          > > implying
          > > > > that
          > > > > lectionary mss. are identified by the ordering
          > > of
          > > > > the
          > > > > text they contain, which contrasts with the
          > > ordering
          > > > > of continuous-text witnesses, or not?
          > > > >
          > > > > C'mon text critics. Get over your holiday
          > > hangovers
          > > > > and offer some input here! :)
          > > > >
          > > > > Thanks,
          > > > > James
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > >
          > >___________________________________________________________________
          > _________________
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          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > >
          > >___________________________________________________________________
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          > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
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          > > >
          > >
          > > Peter M. Head, PhD
          > > Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
          > > Tyndale House
          > > 36 Selwyn Gardens
          > > Cambridge CB3 9BA
          > > 01223 566601
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >____________________________________________________________________________________
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          >know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it
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          >
          >
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          >
          >
          >

          Peter M. Head, PhD
          Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
          Tyndale House
          36 Selwyn Gardens
          Cambridge CB3 9BA
          01223 566601
        • Daniel Buck
          ... beginnings and endings of readings
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 8, 2008
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            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, William Warren <WFWarren@...>
            wrote:
            > Many of our continuous text mss have markings (ARCH, TELOS) for the
            beginnings and endings of readings<

            This discussion brings up another interesting question relating to the
            transmission of the NT text:

            What is the chronological textual evidence for the incorporation of
            gospel- and epistle-ending 'amens' into continuous-text mss, and what
            is the correlation, if any, to their presence in lectionaries?

            Daniel
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