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Realistic textual criticism

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  • mydogregae01
    Traditionally, since the early 1800s, and codified via Westcott and Hort, the theory that the Byzantine text-type is a later recension and that the earlier
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 23, 2008
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      Traditionally, since the early 1800s, and codified via Westcott and
      Hort, the theory that the Byzantine text-type is a later recension
      and that the "earlier" Egyptian text-type is therefore superior, has
      been and is the most popular theory today.

      This current theory is very prevalent in current TC of the NT. Despite
      the evidence from TC itself that the Byzantine text-type itself may
      indeed be the oldest [via application of the basic techniques of
      textual criticism]. Since it [the Byz. text-type] did not originate in
      Egypt, but in the North (Syria/Cappadocia), no early papyri survive.

      Now I am not trying to promote the theory that the Byzantine text-type
      is the oldest or the best, nor do I declare the theory that the
      Egyptian text-type is the oldest or the best.

      What I am complaining about is the one-sided view (theory) which is so
      prevalent in today's research. Folks who believe the Egyptian
      text-type to be the oldest or best, promote their theory as IF IT WERE
      THE ONLY ONE. This is an injustice to our field of study. Or am I the
      only one who senses this?

      Take a typical example, look how this narrow-mindedness is infecting
      the next generation of upcoming scholars:

      Note this quote: [from a master's thesis upon Codex 2464]
      ...................

      "The high level of agreement with the Majority Text and the Textus
      Receptus is expected due to the ninth century dating of the manuscript."



      Harmless? but numerous 9th century MSS are not of the Byzantine
      text-type. What is the point?? Most 9th century MSS are of the
      Byzantine text-type, true. But what if the manuscript was dated in the
      5th century, and it was Byzantine (as are numerous Syriac MSS.) Thus a
      misleading germ seems present, but the next quote confirms this
      suspicion.


      From the same thesis:.....................

      "Codex 2464 is a Byzantine-era text that has a high degree of
      agreement with the Byzantine texttype but is also greatly influenced
      by the Alexandrian texttype. Therefore, based on the sample data, and
      the strength of agreement with Alexandrian witnesses, Codex 2464
      belongs in the category of a Secondary Alexandrian manuscript."
      -----[WHAT??]-----


      Note the word "THEREFORE". His statistical evidence overwhelmingly
      dictates that the base text-type is Byzantine, the few Egyptian
      agreements are not remnants of an earlier text (or exemplar) but are
      rather later intrusions. At least this should be acknowledged as a
      possibility. Yes?? The thesis is a fine piece of work, but his
      conclusion is far too narrow and misses some valid probabilities, that
      the Byzantine text-type may actually be older than the Egyptian! I
      mean no NT epistles were addressed to the "Church in Egypt", Egypt at
      some later date received some type of copies from the North.

      The above quotes are simply samples, many other institutions proclaim
      the same singular theory. The paper does not make its case, its
      conclusion is not substantiated. Why leave out the possibility that
      2464 is a manuscript of the Byzantine text-type WITH LATER
      ALEXANDRIAN INTRUSIONS???

      Is the mentor (or the thesis writer) certain that the text of 2464
      was first Egyptian, with later Byzantine intrusions?? Or have they
      got it backwards?? Whichever theory is true, BOTH should be presented
      and or considered. Does this not seem reasonable??

      Perhaps the young man's mentor cannot free him/herself from the
      one theory he/she seems to promote. But now the next generation is
      not given the whole story, they receive only one side of the
      equation. If they are convinced that one or the other theory is
      correct, then verify such a claim. Yet all too often they are not
      even aware that their theory is just that, a theory; especially if
      they have been consistently taught that. Their educational program
      keeps them inside a nice neat box, complete with peer support.

      As if I have not enough to do.

      sincerely,
      Mr. Gary S. Dykes
    • George F Somsel
      There is a certain amount of truth to what you say, but there is also much true in regard to the preference for the Alexandrian text type. While climatic
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 24, 2008
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        There is a certain amount of truth to what you say, but there is also much true in regard to the preference for the Alexandrian text type.  While climatic conditions militate against the preservation of texts in the moister climates, it seems strange that, if the Byz text type were actually older, one wouldn't find more evidence of this in the areas where the Alexandrian text type has been found.  One might expect that, since the Alexandrian text was indigenous to that area, it would predominate, but I would expect to find some evidence of the Byz text as well.  What percentage should normally be expected is uncertain, but there should be some evidence.  The fact that there is so little evidence of peculiarly Byz type readings seems to indicate that it was a later development.  Then there is the question of the geographical distribution of variant readings (understanding this to include ALL of the variations of a particular text).  A correct reading should not be confined to one area.
         
        george
        gfsomsel

        … search for truth, hear truth,
        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
        defend the truth till death.


        - Jan Hus
        _________


        ----- Original Message ----
        From: mydogregae01 <garyandgale@...>
        To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2008 12:48:42 PM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] Realistic textual criticism

        Traditionally, since the early 1800s, and codified via Westcott and
        Hort, the theory that the Byzantine text-type is a later recension
        and that the "earlier" Egyptian text-type is therefore superior, has
        been and is the most popular theory today.

        This current theory is very prevalent in current TC of the NT. Despite
        the evidence from TC itself that the Byzantine text-type itself may
        indeed be the oldest [via application of the basic techniques of
        textual criticism]. Since it [the Byz. text-type] did not originate in
        Egypt, but in the North (Syria/Cappadocia) , no early papyri survive.

        Now I am not trying to promote the theory that the Byzantine text-type
        is the oldest or the best, nor do I declare the theory that the
        Egyptian text-type is the oldest or the best.

        What I am complaining about is the one-sided view (theory) which is so
        prevalent in today's research. Folks who believe the Egyptian
        text-type to be the oldest or best, promote their theory as IF IT WERE
        THE ONLY ONE. This is an injustice to our field of study. Or am I the
        only one who senses this?

        Take a typical example, look how this narrow-mindedness is infecting
        the next generation of upcoming scholars:

        Note this quote: [from a master's thesis upon Codex 2464]
        ............ .......

        "The high level of agreement with the Majority Text and the Textus
        Receptus is expected due to the ninth century dating of the manuscript."



        Harmless? but numerous 9th century MSS are not of the Byzantine
        text-type. What is the point?? Most 9th century MSS are of the
        Byzantine text-type, true. But what if the manuscript was dated in the
        5th century, and it was Byzantine (as are numerous Syriac MSS.) Thus a
        misleading germ seems present, but the next quote confirms this
        suspicion.

        From the same thesis:..... ......... .......

        "Codex 2464 is a Byzantine-era text that has a high degree of
        agreement with the Byzantine texttype but is also greatly influenced
        by the Alexandrian texttype. Therefore, based on the sample data, and
        the strength of agreement with Alexandrian witnesses, Codex 2464
        belongs in the category of a Secondary Alexandrian manuscript."
        -----[WHAT?? ]-----

        Note the word "THEREFORE". His statistical evidence overwhelmingly
        dictates that the base text-type is Byzantine, the few Egyptian
        agreements are not remnants of an earlier text (or exemplar) but are
        rather later intrusions. At least this should be acknowledged as a
        possibility. Yes?? The thesis is a fine piece of work, but his
        conclusion is far too narrow and misses some valid probabilities, that
        the Byzantine text-type may actually be older than the Egyptian! I
        mean no NT epistles were addressed to the "Church in Egypt", Egypt at
        some later date received some type of copies from the North.

        The above quotes are simply samples, many other institutions proclaim
        the same singular theory. The paper does not make its case, its
        conclusion is not substantiated. Why leave out the possibility that
        2464 is a manuscript of the Byzantine text-type WITH LATER
        ALEXANDRIAN INTRUSIONS?? ?

        Is the mentor (or the thesis writer) certain that the text of 2464
        was first Egyptian, with later Byzantine intrusions?? Or have they
        got it backwards?? Whichever theory is true, BOTH should be presented
        and or considered. Does this not seem reasonable??

        Perhaps the young man's mentor cannot free him/herself from the
        one theory he/she seems to promote. But now the next generation is
        not given the whole story, they receive only one side of the
        equation. If they are convinced that one or the other theory is
        correct, then verify such a claim. Yet all too often they are not
        even aware that their theory is just that, a theory; especially if
        they have been consistently taught that. Their educational program
        keeps them inside a nice neat box, complete with peer support.

        As if I have not enough to do.

        sincerely,
        Mr. Gary S. Dykes



        Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
      • Daniel Buck
        ... that area, it would predominate, but I would expect to find some evidence of the Byz text as well. What percentage should normally be expected is
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 24, 2008
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          George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
          >> One might expect that, since the Alexandrian text was indigenous to
          that area, it would predominate, but I would expect to find some
          evidence of the Byz text as well. What percentage should normally be
          expected is uncertain, but there should be some evidence. The fact
          that there is so little evidence of peculiarly Byz type readings seems
          to indicate that it was a later development. <<

          An interesting point, George, but with one major problem. What Westcott
          & Hort defined as purely Byz readings were readings with no early
          support. Thus when p46 was found to contain such readings, they could
          no longer be defined as purely Byzantine, since they now had early
          support. So there will, of course, never be found any purely Byz
          readings in Egypt or anywhere else since no sooner are they discovered
          but they cease to exist as such.

          Daniel Buck
        • Schmuel
          Hi Folks, Thanks for an interesting post, Gary. I have a little question for you about this thesis about Codex 2464, the important secondary Alexandrian MS
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 24, 2008
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            Hi Folks,

               Thanks for an interesting post, Gary.

                I have a little question for you about this thesis about Codex 2464,
            the "important secondary Alexandrian MS" putting aside your excellent
            points about intrusions and other issues. (And I would add my own sort
            of reverse be-wonder-ment that evidences for Alexandrian MSS becomes
            so scanty that even a little bit of agreement in a substantially Byzantine
            text then make the MSS important to the Alexandrian theorists.)

                Now here is the question.  There are hundreds of Alexandrian readings that
            are virtually unsupported elsewhere, that are essentially orphans, which 2464
            could agree.  So how many of those uniquely Alexandrian readings (eg. in Sinaiticus
            and Vaticanus and little else) are in 2464.  And what percent of them are in 2464 ?
            And perhaps a few examples ? 

                And, in the big picture, are many or most of the Codex 2064 Alexandrian agreements
            just as well, or better,  explained by other factors.  eg. the Vulgate text (which is midway
            between Alex and Byz and would offer many agreement possibilities) could easily be the
            source of many apparently Alexandrian readings in a Greek MSS.  How much effort was
            put into sounding out the alternatives before classification ?

                The two parts of my question are related, in an attempt to get a better picture
            of a singular MSS.  Thanks.

            Shalom,
            Steven Avery


            At 3/23/2008,

            Traditionally, since the early 1800s, and codified via Westcott and
            Hort,  the theory that the Byzantine text-type is a later recension
            and that the "earlier" Egyptian text-type is therefore superior, has
            been  and is the most popular theory today.  

            This current theory is very prevalent in current TC of the NT. Despite
            the evidence from TC itself that the Byzantine text-type itself may
            indeed be the oldest [via application of the basic techniques of
            textual criticism]. Since it [the Byz. text-type] did not originate in
            Egypt, but in the North (Syria/Cappadocia), no early papyri surviv
            sincerely ..

             (snip)


            Mr. Gary S. Dykes
          • Jovial
            At least PART of the reason we have older MSS for the Alexandrian than the Byzantine is that Greek quit being used in Egypt and no one saw as much a need to
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 24, 2008
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              At least PART of the reason we have older MSS for the Alexandrian than the Byzantine is that Greek quit being used in Egypt and no one saw as much a need to replace older ones with newer ones - they didn't get used as much.    Most text types are more regional than time-dependent, and your best evidence is the quantity of those that go against the grain - how many "western" found in the East, vice versa, etc.  And Early Church quotations, where there was less motive the change anything.
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Monday, March 24, 2008 7:00 AM
              Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Realistic textual criticism

              There is a certain amount of truth to what you say, but there is also much true in regard to the preference for the Alexandrian text type.  While climatic conditions militate against the preservation of texts in the moister climates, it seems strange that, if the Byz text type were actually older, one wouldn't find more evidence of this in the areas where the Alexandrian text type has been found.  One might expect that, since the Alexandrian text was indigenous to that area, it would predominate, but I would expect to find some evidence of the Byz text as well.  What percentage should normally be expected is uncertain, but there should be some evidence.  The fact that there is so little evidence of peculiarly Byz type readings seems to indicate that it was a later development.  Then there is the question of the geographical distribution of variant readings (understanding this to include ALL of the variations of a particular text).  A correct reading should not be confined to one area.
               
              george
              gfsomsel

              … search for truth, hear truth,
              learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
              defend the truth till death.


              - Jan Hus
              _________


              ----- Original Message ----
              From: mydogregae01 <garyandgale@ earthlink. net>
              To: textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2008 12:48:42 PM
              Subject: [textualcriticism] Realistic textual criticism

              Traditionally, since the early 1800s, and codified via Westcott and
              Hort, the theory that the Byzantine text-type is a later recension
              and that the "earlier" Egyptian text-type is therefore superior, has
              been and is the most popular theory today.

              This current theory is very prevalent in current TC of the NT. Despite
              the evidence from TC itself that the Byzantine text-type itself may
              indeed be the oldest [via application of the basic techniques of
              textual criticism]. Since it [the Byz. text-type] did not originate in
              Egypt, but in the North (Syria/Cappadocia) , no early papyri survive.

              Now I am not trying to promote the theory that the Byzantine text-type
              is the oldest or the best, nor do I declare the theory that the
              Egyptian text-type is the oldest or the best.

              What I am complaining about is the one-sided view (theory) which is so
              prevalent in today's research. Folks who believe the Egyptian
              text-type to be the oldest or best, promote their theory as IF IT WERE
              THE ONLY ONE. This is an injustice to our field of study. Or am I the
              only one who senses this?

              Take a typical example, look how this narrow-mindedness is infecting
              the next generation of upcoming scholars:

              Note this quote: [from a master's thesis upon Codex 2464]
              ............ .......

              "The high level of agreement with the Majority Text and the Textus
              Receptus is expected due to the ninth century dating of the manuscript."



              Harmless? but numerous 9th century MSS are not of the Byzantine
              text-type. What is the point?? Most 9th century MSS are of the
              Byzantine text-type, true. But what if the manuscript was dated in the
              5th century, and it was Byzantine (as are numerous Syriac MSS.) Thus a
              misleading germ seems present, but the next quote confirms this
              suspicion.

              From the same thesis:..... ......... .......

              "Codex 2464 is a Byzantine-era text that has a high degree of
              agreement with the Byzantine texttype but is also greatly influenced
              by the Alexandrian texttype. Therefore, based on the sample data, and
              the strength of agreement with Alexandrian witnesses, Codex 2464
              belongs in the category of a Secondary Alexandrian manuscript."
              -----[WHAT?? ]-----

              Note the word "THEREFORE". His statistical evidence overwhelmingly
              dictates that the base text-type is Byzantine, the few Egyptian
              agreements are not remnants of an earlier text (or exemplar) but are
              rather later intrusions. At least this should be acknowledged as a
              possibility. Yes?? The thesis is a fine piece of work, but his
              conclusion is far too narrow and misses some valid probabilities, that
              the Byzantine text-type may actually be older than the Egyptian! I
              mean no NT epistles were addressed to the "Church in Egypt", Egypt at
              some later date received some type of copies from the North.

              The above quotes are simply samples, many other institutions proclaim
              the same singular theory. The paper does not make its case, its
              conclusion is not substantiated. Why leave out the possibility that
              2464 is a manuscript of the Byzantine text-type WITH LATER
              ALEXANDRIAN INTRUSIONS?? ?

              Is the mentor (or the thesis writer) certain that the text of 2464
              was first Egyptian, with later Byzantine intrusions?? Or have they
              got it backwards?? Whichever theory is true, BOTH should be presented
              and or considered. Does this not seem reasonable??

              Perhaps the young man's mentor cannot free him/herself from the
              one theory he/she seems to promote. But now the next generation is
              not given the whole story, they receive only one side of the
              equation. If they are convinced that one or the other theory is
              correct, then verify such a claim. Yet all too often they are not
              even aware that their theory is just that, a theory; especially if
              they have been consistently taught that. Their educational program
              keeps them inside a nice neat box, complete with peer support.

              As if I have not enough to do.

              sincerely,
              Mr. Gary S. Dykes



              Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.

            • A. Dirkzwager
              ... I don t want to interfere in the strife about the preference for the Textus Receptus or the Majority Text. For the moment I only think it is not good to
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 25, 2008
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                >
                I don't want to interfere in the strife about the preference for the
                Textus Receptus or the Majority Text. For the moment I only think it is
                not good to give a quasi automatic preference to Alexandrian witnesses.
                I want to ask a (possibly silly) question.
                In the Revelation everything is else about textual criticism. There is
                no clear Alexandrian text by lack of a certain amount of manuscripts
                that could possibly contain such text.
                I once noticed that the original text of the Sinaiticus is often
                standing alone against the rest of the manuscripts. Does that fact
                reveal a tendency in Egypt to correct the style of the original biblical
                text? And if so, can we conclude that much or a part is the differences
                between the Alexandrian text and the other text types are due to that
                tendency?
                If so, should we reject typical Alexandrian readings that only
                "ameliorate" the text stilistically?
                Or is the situation in the Revelation so different that I am talking
                nonsense?

                Arie

                A. Dirkzwager
                Hoeselt, Belgium
              • Peter
                There is a special problem with the Apocalypse, and a recurrent problem with preferring the Alexandrian reading, for sure. So, we have to be text-critical. The
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 26, 2008
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                  There is a special problem with the Apocalypse, and a recurrent
                  problem with preferring the Alexandrian reading, for sure. So, we
                  have to be text-critical.
                  The special problem with the Apocalypse is that the Antiochene
                  (Syrians) did not always use it in public readings
                  (anachronistically, "canon"), so we lack one control. And the
                  scholarly text usually comes from Hesychius, but we don't have a
                  Vaticanus (B) reading in Apocalypse. The other scholarly text (no one
                  dares to say Lucian) would be Sinaiticus, but he wouldn't have as
                  much of a Syrian Antioch tradition to help in Apocalypse. Jerome, who
                  was only asked to fix egregious strayings in the Old Latin anyway,
                  probably didn't do the Vulgate Apocalypse--but since we know Jerome
                  did the Gospels and an equal scholar did Paul (Pelagius?), we could
                  suspect a good scholar was allowed to work on revising Apocalypse.
                  The Byzantine politically acceptable text probably didn't have to
                  adapt to the Antiochene wherever they didn't use Apocalypse (though
                  Ephraem commented on it), and there's the added bonus that the early
                  Byzantine witnesses are Byzantine in the Gospels but not elsewhere
                  (which implies the Greek text was standardized in the Gospels first,
                  just like the Vulgate): Alexandrinus and Ephraemi resc. (A, C). The
                  Ethiopian text ends up a kind of remote witness to the Alexandrian
                  scholars we lack, too. An old kind of pre-Origen standard is usually
                  discernable in the agreements of the first translations in Latin,
                  Syriac, Coptic, since there was enough pastoral concern after
                  Montanist and Gnostic forgeries for the bishops to start correcting
                  texts.
                  But what the scholars said--less pastorally, perhaps, but more
                  critically--matters if we want to know what weight they gave the
                  witnesses. And there were Byzantine upheavals, too, that gave birth
                  to text reevaluations whenever you wanted to claim scholarship on
                  your side against some foe; this happened in stages, and we're left
                  guessing. But Philoxenus could be a reaction. And the
                  early "Caesarean" seem to be corrections of Byz in favor of variants
                  known from the Fathers, from local texts, from versions. The
                  later "Caes" have to include the better scholarship that put together
                  critical margins (like 1739) as we find in Harkel--perhaps as late as
                  Photius. We don't have all the resources they had, but we do have
                  their conclusions. If we know their doctrinal preferences as well,
                  they become a powerful controlled witness to reconstructing the
                  original text.
                  Alexandrian, or just "scholarly post-Origen," and "Egyptian"
                  corrections of Alex or Byz are another question and not as crucial in
                  Apocalypse.
                  --Pete

                  --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "A. Dirkzwager"
                  <dirkzwager@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > >
                  > I don't want to interfere in the strife about the preference for
                  the
                  > Textus Receptus or the Majority Text. For the moment I only think
                  it is
                  > not good to give a quasi automatic preference to Alexandrian
                  witnesses.
                  > I want to ask a (possibly silly) question.
                  > In the Revelation everything is else about textual criticism. There
                  is
                  > no clear Alexandrian text by lack of a certain amount of
                  manuscripts
                  > that could possibly contain such text.
                  > I once noticed that the original text of the Sinaiticus is often
                  > standing alone against the rest of the manuscripts. Does that fact
                  > reveal a tendency in Egypt to correct the style of the original
                  biblical
                  > text? And if so, can we conclude that much or a part is the
                  differences
                  > between the Alexandrian text and the other text types are due to
                  that
                  > tendency?
                  > If so, should we reject typical Alexandrian readings that only
                  > "ameliorate" the text stilistically?
                  > Or is the situation in the Revelation so different that I am
                  talking
                  > nonsense?
                  >
                  > Arie
                  >
                  > A. Dirkzwager
                  > Hoeselt, Belgium
                  >
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