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Re: The Spear Thrust in Matt 27:49 v.l.

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  • feeite_christian
    Thanks, Malcolm for your thoughtful reply. For the sake of sticking to tc issues, I ll avoid replying to your points about the historical realities of
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 3, 2008
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      Thanks, Malcolm for your thoughtful reply.

      For the sake of sticking to tc issues, I'll avoid replying to your
      points about the historical realities of crucifion, all of which were
      instructive, but still leave room for questions and doubt in mind.

      In terms of the secondary witness of translations, yes I agree with
      you to the extent that there are limitations on their value due to
      their being a mere reflection of the original. However, in the case
      of tc issues dealing with a long or shortened texts, a translation is
      as good as a Greek manuscript. In such a case, when there is no
      question at all whether a manuscript of a version attests a shorter
      or longer reading, then the versional manuscript proves that a Greek
      manuscript did indeed exist which had either the shorter or longer
      reading.

      In regard to the specific case of the Middle Egytian Codex Schoyen,
      its date has hitherto only been conjectured without any concrete
      evidence offered in conjunction with the conjecture. Its editor, H-M
      Schenke pronounced it as being vermutlich ("probably, presumably")
      from the first half of the fourth century. I see that the Schoyen
      Collection has recently revised its webpage so that they are no
      longer claiming a 325 date for it, but are affirming Schenke's prior
      assessment of 300-350.

      At any rate, the question is whether the reading in the recently
      emerged Codex Schoyen makes a difference:

      If, as has been argued, the group of longer readings which are
      juxtaposed to the shorter readings otherwise known as the Western Non-
      Interpolations (WN-I) arose out of the same provenance, then the long
      reading of Matt 27:49 (if not original) will have been in existence
      for perhaps as early as 120 AD and no later than 200. These dates
      correspond to the breaking away of the Western Text from its source,
      and to the date of P75 which gives attestation to the shorter
      readings.

      All this is difficult to articulate due to the loaded language of
      Western Non-Interpolations. But what I'm saying is that the spear
      thrust in Matthew (the longer reading), if its origin arises part and
      parcel with all the other longer readings opposing the short
      readings known as the WN-I's, then its appearance in Schoyen doesn't
      really matter since the shorter WN-I readings--as a group--are
      attested in P75.

      On the other hand, there are some things which distinguish the Spear
      Thrust in Matthew from the dynamics of the WN-I's: 1) the short text
      (WN-I's) are all otherwise found only in the last two chapters of
      Luke; 2) the attestation of the short form in Matthew is so much
      stronger, involving not just Western texs, but also Alexandrinus and
      nearly 1600 Byzantine witnesses (of varying degrees), not to mention
      Family One and Family 13, 33 et al.

      Consequently, perhaps there is some basis for rejecting the notion
      that the short form of Matt 27:49 really belongs to the class of
      variants known as the Western Non-Interpolations. If so, then the
      early attestation of the long reading of Schoyen (and Scheide--mae)
      does matter--at least a little, proving that it it had spread through
      some segments of the Coptic speaking world, and had done so
      presumably as early as 250-300, even though it is not extant in
      Sahidic and Bohairic.

      By the way, I'm not sure that any variant gets a D rating from UBS.
      The lowest seems to be C.
    • Tony Zbaraschuk
      ... I am afraid I have to disagree with this point: a longer or a shorter reading in a version may or may not be evidence of the state of the Greek text; it
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 3, 2008
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        On Thu, Apr 03, 2008 at 10:06:56AM -0000, feeite_christian wrote:
        > In terms of the secondary witness of translations, yes I agree with
        > you to the extent that there are limitations on their value due to
        > their being a mere reflection of the original. However, in the case
        > of tc issues dealing with a long or shortened texts, a translation is
        > as good as a Greek manuscript. In such a case, when there is no
        > question at all whether a manuscript of a version attests a shorter
        > or longer reading, then the versional manuscript proves that a Greek
        > manuscript did indeed exist which had either the shorter or longer
        > reading.

        I am afraid I have to disagree with this point: a longer or a shorter
        reading in a version may or may not be evidence of the state of the
        Greek text; it may be a longer or a shorter reading either as a
        result of the translation, or a result of textual corruption in
        that version.

        (I concede that if the same lengthening or shortening shows up in
        multiple versions, the case for that variant coming from the Greek
        is considerably strengthened.)


        Tony Zbaraschuk

        --
        The power of any data-capture tool is its ability to exclude
        extraneous information, not its power to capture relevant information.
        --Steven den Beste
      • mjriii2003
        Mr. Leonard, 1. The Gospel narrative is an historical/theological one. We don t meet one without the other. The dichotomy between history and theological
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 3, 2008
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          Mr. Leonard,

          1. The Gospel narrative is an historical/theological one. We don't
          meet one without the other. The dichotomy between history and
          theological interpretation/significance made by Stephen Pennells who
          has St John allegedly redacting the piercing/spear thrust into an
          ahistorical post-mortem theological explanation is based upon his own
          presuppositional predelections which are wholly contrary to the
          nature and scope of the NT corpus as a whole and St John in
          particular.

          2. The "lifting up" significance in St John is contradicted by any
          interpretive attempt to make Christ's crucifixion a death as a result
          of any other means than just that - crucifixion. The spear thrust
          was not the death blow.

          3. Doubtless Jesus was in control of events in that throughout the
          Gospel narratives indications are given that He himself is fully
          conscious of His mission's purpose. In short and to borrow a phrase
          from St Mark, KAQWS GEGRAPTAI 1:1.

          4. I don't view the motifs as you have presented them of Mr.
          Pennells as very strong in any respect.

          Malcolm
          __________________


          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "feeite_christian"
          <jmleonardfamily@...> wrote:
          >
          > We should also note that there is some argument for assuming that
          the
          > spear thrust in Matthew is original and that John would have had
          > theological reasons for altering its position in his narrative flow.
          >
          > This argument is made by Stephen Pennells who notes that John
          redacts
          > his account of the crucifixion to portray Jesus as in full control
          of
          > his situation, in keeping with the theology that it is Jesus who
          lays
          > down his life, and no one can take it from him. Pennells cites
          various
          > redactional elements in John vis-a-vis the other gospels to portray
          > Jesus as in control of events; for example, the mocking of Jesus is
          > muted in John.
          >
          > This being the case, then the spear thrust--which seems to end
          Jesus'
          > life in the longer reading of Matt 27:49--would need to be moved to
          a
          > post-mortem position. Accordingly, the displacement in John would
          1)
          > remove Jesus' seemingly reactionary and out of control scream; 2)
          allow
          > Jesus to control the timing of his death; and 3) affirm the
          Johannine
          > theology of the necessity of death by being lifted up on a cross
          (and
          > not by spearing).
          >
        • mjriii2003
          Mr. Leonard, 1. Since in St Matthew the varia lectio at 27:49 cannot reasonably interpret ALLOS as another/different (soldier) and the fact that no layman
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 3, 2008
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            Mr. Leonard,

            1. Since in St Matthew the varia lectio at 27:49 cannot reasonably
            interpret ALLOS as another/different (soldier) and the fact that no
            layman would have been permitted to bring his own spear to this
            crucifixion coupled with the high improbability that a layman took
            one from a Roman soldier, the historical discontinuity that this
            harmonization evidences within St Matthew's narrative is a glaring
            mark of its spuriousness.

            2. The value of this particular Coptic manuscript remains a
            secondary source since we possess Greek witnesses to this variam
            lectionem.

            3. The rating of D is in fact found in the UBS. It refers and is
            reflected in those readings that don't even gain a hearing in the
            apparatus. I used to use the UBS 3rd when I used to use the NA26,
            but now I use the NA27 and various other GNT editions. The D rating
            for this reading is my own.

            4. I speak fluent German and English and have no problem
            understanding you. Neither are my mother tongue.

            5. I have had a one time competence in but Coptic and Syriac, but
            nowadays seldom use either, hense my referring you to Mr. Head.

            6. Finally, I would caution you and Mr. Pennells to consider more
            seriously the place of historical research in text-critical matters.

            Malcolm
            ______________

            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "feeite_christian"
            <jmleonardfamily@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks, Malcolm for your thoughtful reply.
            >
            > For the sake of sticking to tc issues, I'll avoid replying to your
            > points about the historical realities of crucifion, all of which
            were
            > instructive, but still leave room for questions and doubt in mind.
            >
            > In terms of the secondary witness of translations, yes I agree with
            > you to the extent that there are limitations on their value due to
            > their being a mere reflection of the original. However, in the
            case
            > of tc issues dealing with a long or shortened texts, a translation
            is
            > as good as a Greek manuscript. In such a case, when there is no
            > question at all whether a manuscript of a version attests a shorter
            > or longer reading, then the versional manuscript proves that a
            Greek
            > manuscript did indeed exist which had either the shorter or longer
            > reading.
            >
            > In regard to the specific case of the Middle Egytian Codex Schoyen,
            > its date has hitherto only been conjectured without any concrete
            > evidence offered in conjunction with the conjecture. Its editor, H-
            M
            > Schenke pronounced it as being vermutlich ("probably, presumably")
            > from the first half of the fourth century. I see that the Schoyen
            > Collection has recently revised its webpage so that they are no
            > longer claiming a 325 date for it, but are affirming Schenke's
            prior
            > assessment of 300-350.
            >
            > At any rate, the question is whether the reading in the recently
            > emerged Codex Schoyen makes a difference:
            >
            > If, as has been argued, the group of longer readings which are
            > juxtaposed to the shorter readings otherwise known as the Western
            Non-
            > Interpolations (WN-I) arose out of the same provenance, then the
            long
            > reading of Matt 27:49 (if not original) will have been in existence
            > for perhaps as early as 120 AD and no later than 200. These dates
            > correspond to the breaking away of the Western Text from its
            source,
            > and to the date of P75 which gives attestation to the shorter
            > readings.
            >
            > All this is difficult to articulate due to the loaded language of
            > Western Non-Interpolations. But what I'm saying is that the spear
            > thrust in Matthew (the longer reading), if its origin arises part
            and
            > parcel with all the other longer readings opposing the short
            > readings known as the WN-I's, then its appearance in Schoyen
            doesn't
            > really matter since the shorter WN-I readings--as a group--are
            > attested in P75.
            >
            > On the other hand, there are some things which distinguish the
            Spear
            > Thrust in Matthew from the dynamics of the WN-I's: 1) the short
            text
            > (WN-I's) are all otherwise found only in the last two chapters of
            > Luke; 2) the attestation of the short form in Matthew is so much
            > stronger, involving not just Western texs, but also Alexandrinus
            and
            > nearly 1600 Byzantine witnesses (of varying degrees), not to
            mention
            > Family One and Family 13, 33 et al.
            >
            > Consequently, perhaps there is some basis for rejecting the notion
            > that the short form of Matt 27:49 really belongs to the class of
            > variants known as the Western Non-Interpolations. If so, then the
            > early attestation of the long reading of Schoyen (and Scheide--mae)
            > does matter--at least a little, proving that it it had spread
            through
            > some segments of the Coptic speaking world, and had done so
            > presumably as early as 250-300, even though it is not extant in
            > Sahidic and Bohairic.
            >
            > By the way, I'm not sure that any variant gets a D rating from
            UBS.
            > The lowest seems to be C.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "mjriii2003"
            > <mjriii2003@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Mr. Leonard,
            > >
            > > 1. According to M. Hengel in his book about Crucifixion, the
            > > suffocation of the condemned was part and parcel to the means of
            > > death imposed. The ability to detect whether an individual
            > > was "breathing" would be dependant upon the stage of his
            > execution.
            > > The latter stages of his excruciating agony would be barely (if
            at
            > > all detectable). In fact, one's state of consciousness in the
            > latter
            > > stages would be highly unlikely. This is why Jesus' cry with a
            > loud
            > > voice before He gave up the spirit (died/expired) is noteworthy
            and
            > > unusual. Finally, in light of what we do know of the abuse and
            > > torture that Jesus endured and at this late stage in His
            > condemnation
            > > and execution, it is even more unlikely that benumbed senses
            would
            > > even register a jab as you understand it.
            > >
            > > 2. The value of any translation is secondary. It is not a
            primary
            > > document and it's importance is limited. The Coptic manuscript
            is
            > > mid fourth century. My Coptic knowledge is now limited and
            unused
            > as
            > > well as my knowledge of Syriac. Perhaps Peter Head could aid you
            > in
            > > this respect further.
            > >
            > > 3. Within the context of Matthew, the ALLOS can not be construed
            > as
            > > a Roman soldier and the idea that the soldiers guarding the
            > condemned
            > > would permit the audience to interfer is highly unlikely and
            wholly
            > > contrary to their purpose in the first place. Remember,
            permission
            > > had to be sought to remove the bodies before the start of the
            > Sabbath
            > > observance.
            > >
            > > 4. I don't share you view that a spear would be so unwieldy in
            the
            > > hands of a Roman soldier.
            > >
            > > 5. I still think UBS rating should be a D and the double
            brackets
            > i
            > > W-H indicate spuriousness.
            > >
            > > Malcolm
            > > ___________
            > >
            > > --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "feeite_christian"
            > > <jmleonardfamily@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Thanks Malcolm. Just a few points of clarification.
            > > >
            > > > The spear thrust may have been more of an exploratory jab
            either
            > to
            > > > see if a victim were still alive or to prompt him to say
            further
            > > > bemusing comments. In fact, Codex Schoyen uses a second verb
            > which
            > > > may indeed suggest as much. If so, then the jab--from the
            point
            > of
            > > a
            > > > long unwieldy spear which could hardly be used with pinpoint
            > > accuracy
            > > > or sensitivity--may have pentrated further than the intention.
            > > This
            > > > would allow the notion that the spear thrust was not designed
            to
            > > > hasten death. In terms of historical reality, I would think
            that
            > a
            > > > crucified person's breathing or lack thereof could hardly be
            > > > mistaken; in the tortured manner of his hanging, it should have
            > > been
            > > > obvious whether he was still breathing. This being the case, a
            > jab
            > > > could have served to prompt him to consciousness or to say
            other
            > > > bemusing comments. All this said, I'm not sure if this
            > information
            > > > actually advances the text critical issue.
            > > >
            > > > In regard to the comment about inept harmonization:
            > > >
            > > > > I view the pre-mortem piercing in St. Matthew as an
            > ahistorical,
            > > > > inept attempt at harmonization. An ALLOS (presumeably a Jew -

            > > not
            > > > a
            > > > > Roman soldier) takes upon himself the prerogative to pierce a
            > > > > condemned criminal in spite of the presence of Roman
            soldiers.
            > A
            > > > pre
            > > > > mortem piercing contradicts the immediate context of waiting
            to
            > > see
            > > > > if Elijah would come and save Him (or perhaps they were
            afraid
            > > that
            > > > > he just might come to do just that and better hurry up and
            kill
            > > > > Him!)
            > > >
            > > > Surely, if the long reading were harmonised, it would have been
            > > done
            > > > with better results. The fact that it produces the most
            obvious
            > > and
            > > > grievous historical incongruity with John would seem to argue
            > > against
            > > > harmonisation.
            > > >
            > > > Let me also clarify the external support. Not only is the long
            > > > reading supported by Aleph and Vaticanus, but also Codex Regius
            > (L)
            > > > which also has an excellent text in Matthew (at least from
            > chapter
            > > 18
            > > > onward), and by C along with a good number of leading fully
            > > Byzantine
            > > > texts. Moreover, the two Coptic manuscripts are not "later"
            > > > manuscripts, but represent some of the very earliest extant
            > > witnesses
            > > > to Matthew's Gospel.
            > > >
            > > > Note also that the UBS4 rating is a B, and that Westcott and
            Hort
            > > > actually included the reading in their text, albeit in double
            > > > brackets.
            > > >
            > > > Thanks.
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • feeite_christian
            No doubt the historical consideration is important, but I m not sure one can simply dismiss this variant reading in Matthew solely on the basis that it
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 5, 2008
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              No doubt the historical consideration is important, but I'm not sure
              one can simply dismiss this variant reading in Matthew solely on the
              basis that it contradicts the narrative sequence presented in John.

              For example, in Luke, the veil rips in anticipation of Jesus' death,
              while in Matthew and Luke, the veil rips consequent to Jesus' death.

              If the contradictory narrative sequence can stand in regard to the
              ripping of the veil, then why can't you also have a different sequence
              in regard to the spear thrust?
            • mjriii2003
              Mr. Leonard, The problem is one of method. You have posed a question and made an assertion. Neither are exegetically based/presented. If you had replied
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 5, 2008
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                Mr. Leonard,

                The problem is one of method. You have posed a question and made an
                assertion. Neither are exegetically based/presented. If you had
                replied with something along the lines of: "Well, in the text of St.
                Matthew the use of PALIN before KRAXAS...", would have been a
                sufficient premise to interpret PALIN here within an historical
                context.

                So let's ask the question anyway. How many times did Jesus PALIN
                KRAXAS - throughout His condemnation? The narrative does not say
                (nor does it attempt to count all of them - whatever the number).
                Now I will pose a question. Do you think it was only twice?

                Even PALIN in St Matthew does not support this varia lectio at 27:49.

                Malcolm

                ____________________


                --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "feeite_christian"
                <jmleonardfamily@...> wrote:
                >
                > No doubt the historical consideration is important, but I'm not
                sure
                > one can simply dismiss this variant reading in Matthew solely on
                the
                > basis that it contradicts the narrative sequence presented in John.
                >
                > For example, in Luke, the veil rips in anticipation of Jesus'
                death,
                > while in Matthew and Luke, the veil rips consequent to Jesus' death.
                >
                > If the contradictory narrative sequence can stand in regard to the
                > ripping of the veil, then why can't you also have a different
                sequence
                > in regard to the spear thrust?
                >
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