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Re: [textualcriticism] Acts of Pilate and the Right-Hand Thief

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  • sarban
    ... From: James Snapp, Jr. To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 9:26 PM Subject: [textualcriticism] Acts of Pilate and the
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 1, 2008
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      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 9:26 PM
      Subject: [textualcriticism] Acts of Pilate and the Right-Hand Thief

      The "Acts of Pilate" seems to be the only patristic work in which the
      repentant thief is specifically called the one on the right side. In
      the second-century "Apology of Aristides," Conybeare noticed the
      following passage:

      "And now I beseech you all, friends of the Christian race, to be
      instructed by the faith of the right-hand thief and to agree with him.
      Despise the left-hand one and his associates. For he helf aloof from
      the voice of the crucified one, and has not in common with him the
      ancient, right-handed, and beautifully equipped mansion; but has
      withdrawn himself to the left hand, and stations himself there.
      Concerning each of these robbers the expositions are near at hand for
      you, and are constantly paraphrased and read aloud in the priestly
      books (Latin: et recognoscuntur in sacerdotalibus litteris)."

      Dear James


      The problem here is that this passage appears to come not from the Apology of Aristides but from "De Latrone" or the "Homily on the Penitent Thief"  a work attributed to Aristides the Apologist but found only in Armenian.

      "De Latrone" has been little studied but IIUC it is thought not to be an authentic work of the 2nd century Aristides but instead to date from the 5th century.

      http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Apology_of_Aristides

       

      Andrew Criddle

    • George F Somsel
      This is contained in a canonical gospel, Lk 23.39 ff.  The only point lacking is the position of the thief relative to Jesus.  There it speaks of
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 1, 2008
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        This is contained in a canonical gospel, Lk 23.39 ff.  The only point lacking is the position of the thief relative to Jesus.  There it speaks of Εἷς [hEIS] and ὁ ἕτερος [hO hETEROS].  I'm sure that some tradition would have grown up around the pericope which would eventually result in the "good" thief being placed on the right side.  Thus the "Acts of Pilate" would reflect a tradition based on Lk.  This would be similar to the tradition in the Middle Ages that the rich man in the parable was named "Dives"

         

        Lazar and Dives lyveden diversly,
        And divers gerdon hadden they therby.

        Chaucer, Canterbury Tales -- The Summoner's Tale

         

         


        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: "James Snapp, Jr." <voxverax@...>
        To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 4:26:32 PM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] Acts of Pilate and the Right-Hand Thief

        The "Acts of Pilate" is an especially interesting text; it contains
        many snippets from the NT, and many more indirect usages of NT
        passages. But what stage of transmission- history is reflected in these
        snippets and derivations? A fourth-century text? A medieval text? A
        second-century text?

        The date of "Acts of Pilate" is usually thought to be somewhere in the
        early/mid=300' s; it was written (the theory goes) as a reaction against
        another composition, a spurious account of the report of Pilate,
        disseminated in the days of Eusebius by non-Christians. Justin Martyr
        and Tertullian both refer to the official reports filed by Pilate --
        but these references are thought to be based on these writers'
        assumption that Pilate must have filed such a report, rather than on
        their contact with the "Acts of Pilate."

        F.C. Conybeare drew readers' attention to a statement in a hard-to-find
        composition called the "Acts of Polyeurtes," "embedded in a homily of
        about A.D. 363," in which a character named Nearchus, the friend of
        Polyeurtes, says, "Thou may remember yet another incident . . . and
        this is from the history of the Lord: think thou of the thief who was
        crucified on the right-hand side; what did he say to the thief who was
        crucified on the left, and who reviled the Lord?" Conybeare observes
        that the phrase "The history of the Lord" aligns well with the usual
        title of "Acts of Pilate" -- hUPOMNHMATA TOU KURIOU IHSOU CRISTOU
        PACQENTA EPI PONTIOU PILATOU.

        In "Acts of Pilate" -- at least in the "B" form of the text -- we find
        the following:

        "In the same manner also, the robber crucified on His left hand said to
        Him: 'If thou art the Son of God, come down and save both thyself and
        us.' His name was Gistas. And he that was crucified on the right,
        Dysmas by name, reproved that robber, saying: 'O wretched and miserable
        man, dost thou not fear God? We suffer the due punishment of what we
        have done; but this man has done no evil at all.' And turning to Jesus,
        he says to Him: 'Lord, when Thou shalt reign do not forget me. And He
        said to him: Today, I tell thee truth, I shall have thee in paradise
        with me.'"

        I don't think this is a slam-dunk indication that the writer knew the
        Acts of Pilate, since the description that the good thief was on Jesus'
        right hand is not mentioned in the "A" form of the text, and since this
        is something which could easily be inferred on the grounds that the
        good thief simply *must* be on Jesus' right hand rather than His left
        (being one of the sheep, of course). On the other hand, though, it
        seems adequate: there is little reason why a mid-4th-century author
        would refer to "the history of the Lord" as a means of referring to the
        canonical Gospels, and the "A" text may have had a superfluous detail
        pruned at this point. Surely "Acts of Pilate" deserves to be the
        leading suspect, when we ask what text the author of Acts of Polyeurtes
        was referring to.

        So if the author of "Acts of Polyeurtes" referred to the contents
        of "Acts of Pilate" in 363, then "Acts of Pilate" had to be written at
        some earlier date.

        The "Acts of Pilate" seems to be the only patristic work in which the
        repentant thief is specifically called the one on the right side. In
        the second-century "Apology of Aristides," Conybeare noticed the
        following passage:

        "And now I beseech you all, friends of the Christian race, to be
        instructed by the faith of the right-hand thief and to agree with him.
        Despise the left-hand one and his associates. For he helf aloof from
        the voice of the crucified one, and has not in common with him the
        ancient, right-handed, and beautifully equipped mansion; but has
        withdrawn himself to the left hand, and stations himself there.
        Concerning each of these robbers the expositions are near at hand for
        you, and are constantly paraphrased and read aloud in the priestly
        books (Latin: et recognoscuntur in sacerdotalibus litteris)."

        So Aristides, c. 170, (a) refers to the repentant thief as the right-
        hand thief, thus sharing this feature with "Acts of Pilate" form B, and
        (b) states that available compositions tell more about those thieves.

        What are those compositions? "Acts of Pilate" tells about the
        thieves. I don't know of any other composition that does so.

        Aristides could be referring to texts that are no longer extant. But
        maybe he was referring to "Acts of Pilate" (without the Preface and
        without the "Descent into Hades" portion, which are accretions). In
        which case, the earliest form of "Acts of Pilate" would tend to
        display, in its NT-snippets and derivations, a second-century text
        rather than a fourth-century text. (And Tertullian's statement about
        Pilate's report would thus probably be based on his contact with "Acts
        of Pilate.")

        Any thoughts?

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
        Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
        Tipton, Indiana (USA)
        www.curtisvillechri stian.org/ TCGoals.html

        .


      • James Snapp, Jr.
        Dear Andrew: Thanks for that significant detail. What date -- considering the things already mentioned, and the discrepancy regarding the site of the ascension
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 2, 2008
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          Dear Andrew:

          Thanks for that significant detail.

          What date -- considering the things already mentioned, and the
          discrepancy regarding the site of the ascension (Mt. Mamlich in
          Galilee, vs. Mt. Olivet near Jerusalem) -- would you assign to Form A
          of "Acts of Pilate"?

          And what is the composition-date of the "Descent into Hades" addition?

          Yours in Christ,

          James Snapp, Jr.
        • Daniel Buck
          ... wrote: Hardly. Dives is a direct quote
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 3, 2008
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            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...>
            wrote:
            <<This would be similar to the tradition in the Middle Ages that the
            rich man in the parable was named "Dives">>

            Hardly. "Dives" is a direct quote from the Vulgate of Luke 16:19.

            "Homo quidam erat dives. . ."


            Daniel Buck
          • sarban
            ... From: James Snapp, Jr. To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, June 02, 2008 8:23 PM Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Acts of Pilate and the
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 4, 2008
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              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Monday, June 02, 2008 8:23 PM
              Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Acts of Pilate and the Right-Hand Thief


              What date -- considering the things already mentioned, and the
              discrepancy regarding the site of the ascension (Mt. Mamlich in
              Galilee, vs. Mt. Olivet near Jerusalem) -- would you assign to Form A
              of "Acts of Pilate"?

              And what is the composition- date of the "Descent into Hades" addition?

              Dear James

              I would tentatively date both form A of the "Acts of Pilate" and the "Descent into Hades" in the 4th century  (form B is later I'm not sure how much.)

              However I regard the Acts and Descent as originally separate texts which were only combined centuries later.

               

              Andrew Criddle

            • Daniel B. Wallace
              Hey tc-ers, Does anyone know about the kinds of ink that were used in majuscule MSS? I ve been looking at some palimpsests and other faint texts and the
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 4, 2008
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                Hey tc-ers,

                Does anyone know about the kinds of ink that were used in majuscule MSS? I've been looking at some palimpsests and other faint texts and the rubrications tend to be bolder, last longer than the brown ink used for the text. I wondered if anyone knew why that was the case. I've even found one or two palimpsests in which the scribe seemed unable to scrape off the red lettering but was successful in getting rid of the brown.

                As for Eusebian Canons, does anyone have statistics on how many majuscule Gospels MSS, beginning with Sinaiticus (thus, mid-fourth century), have the Eusebian Canons and how many lack them? I suspect there may be an article on this subject somewhere.

                Thanks for your help.

                Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
                Executive Director
                Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts
                www.csntm.org
              • George F Somsel
                I m well aware of that fact which is precisely why I mentioned it.  Just as the Latin dives was transformed into a name, so also it has been previously
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 4, 2008
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                  I'm well aware of that fact which is precisely why I mentioned it.  Just as the Latin dives was transformed into a name, so also it has been previously admitted that the obvious reason that the "good" theif would be placed on the right hand of Christ was
                   
                  33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

                  The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Mt 25:33). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
                   
                  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: Daniel Buck <bucksburg@...>
                  To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 1:17:15 PM
                  Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Acts of Pilate and the Right-Hand Thief

                  --- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@.. .>
                  wrote:
                  <<This would be similar to the tradition in the Middle Ages that the
                  rich man in the parable was named "Dives">>

                  Hardly. "Dives" is a direct quote from the Vulgate of Luke 16:19.

                  "Homo quidam erat dives. . ."

                  Daniel Buck

                  .


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