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non-lectionary lectionaries

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  • James Miller
    We seem to have established that all mss. officially classed by text critics as lectionaries are distinguished by the ordering of the text they contain. That
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2008
      We seem to have established that all mss. officially
      classed by text critics as lectionaries are
      distinguished by the ordering of the text they
      contain. That ordering follows the dictates of an
      annual liturgical reading schedule. One is likely to
      find in a lectionary ms. the text of any given NT work
      in an order that differs from that in which the work
      was originally composed.

      What we have, then, so far as textual ordering is
      concerned, is essentially 2 classes of mss.: 1)
      continuous-text mss., i.e., mss. that have the text of
      NT works in the order in which the works were
      originally composed; and 2) lectionary mss., i.e.,
      mss. that contain NT works but with the text of those
      works rearranged (to greater or lesser degrees) to
      suit the needs of a liturgical cycle in which the
      texts were to be read at public worship throughout the
      course of a year.

      I have little direct exposure to any NT mss., having
      looked only at a few photo facsimiles such as those of
      S and A and some of the miniscules at the CSNTM site.
      I have no experience whatever working or communicating
      with the scholars who actually examine and catalog
      mss. I therefore consider provisional the conclusion
      that only mss. with their text arranged to suit the
      needs of a liturgical reading cycle are included among
      those mss. classified by text critics as lectionaries.
      This seems the best course of action absent the
      possibility of inspecting the mss. (or faithful
      reproductions of them) or having some form of direct
      interaction with those doing the classification. It
      also should be stressed that the broad division of
      mss. into the two classes (1. continuous-text and 2.
      lectionary mss.) seems to be the assumption on which
      various authorities in the field proceed.

      So, given that this twofold division is being
      provisionally accepted, a further question arises. Of
      those mss. in the first class, i.e., continuous-text
      mss., what percentage contain indications that they
      were used as lectionaries? E.g., how many, rather than
      having the text of the works they contain rearranged
      according to a liturgical reading cycle, have markings
      in them of a liturgical nature? How many have ARXH and
      TELOS or incipit/excipits in the margins, or even
      written into the text itself? I'm not really even
      asking for precise figures for now. Something like
      "50/50" or "the majority" or "just a few" would
      suffice.

      Can anyone on-list speak to this query? Can anyone
      recommend some resource where I might read about this?
      Any opinions on whether it will be possible to go
      beyond vague generalizations about it?

      Thanks,
      James


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