Reflections on Payne's "The Originality of Text-Critical Symbols in c.Vaticanus"
- 1) The definition of a 'correction' needs to be nailed down. NA27
doesn't list as corrections places where the overwriter left some
letters unreinforced for textual reasons (several examples are
given). Closely related questions have been raised by Willker
regarding Delta's scribe going back over the ms with a different
colour of ink. Any changes evidently made to the ms after the first
pass, IMO, should be considered corrections. How closely this is
followed varies from Tischendorf to NA27 to Swanson.
2) Only 9 of the 11 unreinforced umlauts in B can be identified with
a specific textual variant. That appears to mean that upwards of 18%
of all significant variants known to B's scribe are now extinct.
There are implications to that that I won't go into in a post
called 'Reflections.' Nine of the eleven umlauts are located where
they would be likely overlooked by the reinforcer, but Payne doesn't
say if these are the same nine. If they are, it would seem to
indicate that the reinforcer played textual critic with the textual
notes, not just the text*. That would bear looking into, IMO.
3) The scribe of B obviously had access to a well-stocked textual
library. This pretty much falsifies my earlier stated hypothesis that
B was compiled from fragmentary papyri. I'm still holding on to the
hypothesis, however, that the umlauts all refer to variants between B
and Syriac mss, but I'm not sure how this could be disproven.
4) Payne never comes out and identifies the 'umlauts' in B as unique,
although he does seem to be saying that no other ms uses only this
sigla to mark doubtful passages. Others use a "dots with other pen
strokes" in the margin and/or in the text. There are interesting
implications to this. Hand-edition CA's seem to be extremely
selective in their recording of these marks of doubt. IMO, if such
sigla are worth mentioning at all, they should be mentioned
uniformly, for omissions (where we see several umlauts) as well as
5) Payne briefly mentions bar-umlauts, which, he writes elsewhere,
have not yet been fully studied. They mostly (25/35) seem to mark
omissions in B, such as the PA in John 7-8. Could it be that scholars
are reluctant to pursue this implication to its natural conclusion?
6) Every serious textual critic knows about the long blank space
after Mark 16:8, but I hadn't been aware of many other blank spaces
that mark omissions in B.
6) I commend Payne for taking the risk of mentioning the sigla (3
dots) marking the omission of the Johannine Comma. If Vaticanus'
scribe had access to ms containing it, his library was expansive
indeed, which would seem to indicate that no mss with what Hort
called "uniquely Byzantine readings" had yet reached his library,
other than those reflected in the umlauts.
*Payne wrote elsewhere, "It is possible that the original Vaticanus
scribe put in these umlauts based on variant readings he saw in a
manuscript of 1 Cor but that the later scribe who reinforced the ink
line by line, having no knowledge of variants in these lines, chose
not to reinforce them. The paucity of textual variants in lines with
faded umlauts in 1 Cor contrasts sharply with the uniform presence of
NA26 variants with faded bar umlauts whether reversed or not. This
added to their distinctive written form, higher ratio of NA26
variants, and the low correlation of the bar umlauts with NA26 and
UBS3 paragraph breaks, indicate that the bar umlaut is a separate
siglum from the umlaut."
Well, this is getting longer than I expected, so that's all for now.