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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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