RE: [textualcriticism] Re: Initial and Archetype (A few questions to Dr. Ehrman from a layman)
- Good questions. When authors entitle their books, they do not say that these books are "according to" X. The phrase "according to X" is a descriptive title added by a later editor to indicate who, in his opinion, the book came from. The way authors indicate their identity in antiquity is by explicitly identifying themselves, "Paul, and apostle of Jesus Christ, to the saints...." or "I Thomas, the Philosopher.".... or "and then I, Simon Peter, and my brother Andrew...." That is, they name themselves and write an introductoin, or conclusion, in the first person. That is not what you get in the Gospels. They have no indications of authors and are not written in the first person by named people. That's why it is a fact, rather than an opinion, that they are anonymous. Only later did Christian tradition ascribe authorial names to them.Hope this helps.-- Bart Ehrman
Bart D. EhrmanJames A. Gray ProfessorDepartment of Religious StudiesUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jay Rogers
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 2:28 PM
Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Initial and Archetype (A few questions to Dr. Ehrman from a layman)
A few questions to Dr. Ehrman from a layman concerning the following
> * Unrelated, more or less, to this list: it is not"speculative" to
> say that the NT Gospels were written anonymously; sofar as I know,
it is a
> *fact* that they were written anonymously(none of them tells us
I post these questions understanding that you have written and spoken
on these issues exhaustively. If these questions are too austere for
you, I won't be offended if you ignore them.
Why is it a "fact" that the autographs of the NT Gospels were
Is there a single early manuscript or fragment that we know
conclusively to be untitled or anonymous lacking either a
superscription or subscription?
If we do not have autographs, why would we assume that the autograph
did not have a title and an author?
Why would an early Christian church leader (presumably a Jew) write a
document with purported authority that did not include this
External vs. internal evidence aside, isn't it unusual for any author
to identify himself by anything other than the traditional "title"
--- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, "Bart Ehrman" <behrman@... >
> * On "original" and "archetype." Is it only
> who think that the archetype is original? Ifso, why would a
> persuasion lead to a historicalconclusion? But moreover, I don't
> understand what evidence is, or couldbe, cited to show that we
> the originals. The very earliestcopies we have are notoriously
> error-prone. Are we to think that thecopies made earlier than our
> copies were error-free? Surelythe surviving early copies were
> earlier copies which,like them, were filled with mistakes. So on
> grounds would oneargue that the original was never changed? Or
that if it
> waschanged, only later (not earlier) manuscripts attest it?
>historical logic? If professional scribes of later times made lots
> mistakes, are we to think that the non-professionals of theearliest stages
> some how were so highly accurate that they neverchanged anything --
> decades (in some cases centuries) beforeour earliest copies?
>point out that my
> * On evangelicals vs. Ehrman. I should
> not at all on the fringe: they appear tobe the view of the most
> publishing scholars in the world(Parker, Epp, the Muenster
> doesn't make them right, butit also means that these are not some
> views of one critic.I, in fact, am more inclined to talk about a
> concept of anoriginal than most.
> * Unrelated, more or less, to this list: it
not "speculative" to
> say that the NT Gospels were writtenanonymously; so far as I know,
it is a
> *fact* that they were writtenanonymously (none of them tells us
> that's what ananonymous writing *is* -- a book whose author doesn't
> disclose his orher name). Whether or not we know their names from
> sources oron other grounds is a different question.
> Best to all,
> -- Bart Ehrman
> Bart D. Ehrman
> James A. Gray
> Department of Religious StudiesCarolina at Chapel Hill
> University of North
>textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com
>[mailto:textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Eddie Mishoe
> Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 8:19AM
>Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Initial and Archetype
>agree with Ehrman
> The vast majority of evangelical scholars do not
> assumptions about the differences betweenthe Original and
>work by Dr. Thomas showing no literary
> Add to this the pioneering
> interdependence among thesynopitc gospel writers, where he
> "Based on observationalfacts regarding all fifty-eight sections of
> triple-tradition, this studyhas found that only sixteen percent of
> words in thosesections
> are identical in all three Gospels. That is far fewer thanwould
> identical if the writers had engaged in copying fromone another or
> functioned as copyistsGospels. That in itself is sufficient to conclude
> of each other's
> workedindependently of each other's writings."
>agreement! And yet, some still hold today some form
> Only 16 percent
> literaryinterdependence. Read his article; he actually lists all
>'triple-traditions' (places where Matt, Mark, and Luke have the
> And the 16 percent is compared against a very importantbenchmark:
> quotations.quote the same LXX passage, they agree
> When two Gospel writers
closer to 70
> percent. SO, inplaces where we know the gospel writes are quoting
>passage/material, their agreement is around 70 percent. When they
> quoting from the same event in the life of Christ, oddly enough,they agree
> with each other closer to 15 to 20 percent. This huge gapis
> explain.mathematically that the gospel writers were not
> Thomas has shown
> plagiarizing eachothers' work, but I still think they were using
> sources. Eventhough they don't use the same wording in common
> theorder of pericopes seems to imply common sources from which each
>slightly departed. This data also, as far as I can tell, does away
> Marcan priority, or anyone's priority. There is just nomeasurable
> dependence on each other.it is overly speculative to say that the gospels
> Finally, I think
> anonymous. Ifind it near impossible that Matthew, for example,
> gospeland then secretly put it in circulation. I think first
>contemporaries knew that he wrote this gospel. As it was being
> suspect the deliverers were bringing these gospels to importantChristian
> hubs with the statement that "This account of Jesus waswritten by
> Would not someone first ask who wrote this whenbeing handed an
> scroll of such import. I keep arguing thatpeople were the same
- Further investigation of quotations of and allusions to the NT text in 1Clem as provided in the Codex Alexandrinus (A) is welcome. But is to optimistic to consider the job can be finished quickly. Of course it is possible to compare the parallels of the NT text of A with the text in 1Clem as is provided in the text and apparatus of Funk/Bihlmeyer/Schneemelcher´s Die Apostolischen Vaeter, 1970. On pp. 154-157 the quotions and allusions are indexed. But there is more.
The question is to investigate the assimilation or harmonization in A of the text of Clemens with the NT text in the mind of the scribe. Otherwise: are the NT quotations of 1Clem in A from 95 AD or perhaps changed by the scribe(s) of A in the 5th century.
First of all we need to know more about the scribes of A. According to Kenyon there are five: two of the OT and three of the NT. According to Milne and Skeat: two of the OT and one of the NT. 1Clem and 2Clem are written by the scribe of the second part of the OT. (Kenyon/Adams, Der text der griechischen Bibel, 1961, pp. 41, 64; Kenyon/Adams, Our Bible an the ancient manuscripts, 1958, pp. 121, 199)
Determination of the harmonizing or assimilating activities in A, especially by the scribe of 1Clem, will be served by comparison of the NT quotations in 2Clem (145 AD), but also the quotations in the NT of OT texts (LXX) as provided in A should be involved in the investigation. Already a lot is done in the field of NT quotations of the LXX text in general. E.g., see: Michel, Der Brief an die Hebraeer, 1975 (Meyer's Komm.), pp. 151-158.(By the way on A: pp. 156-157, bibliography on pp. 157-158.)
Funk/Bihlmeyer, p. XI mentions: The New Testament in the Apostlic Fathers by a Committee of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology, Oxford 1905. That work, also referred to by Vogels, Handbuch der neutestamentlichen Textkritik, 1923, p. 153, is I suppose a 'must' for the scholar who want to investigate the NT quotations of 1Clem in A.
Teunis van Lopik
Leidschendam, the Netherlands
--- In email@example.com, "Jay Rogers" <jrogers@...> wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "James Snapp, Jr."
> <voxverax@> wrote:
> > "It also seems plain to me that even a layman with a very limited
> > knowledge of Greek . . . can compare the "majority text" of Greek NT
> with these citations and determine how the NT of 90-115 compares to the
> documentary evidence we have between 115 and 325."
> > Yes; observing the text in what Burkitt called the "dark age of the
> NT" -- the period from the writing of the NT books to the
> production-dates of the earliest substantial MSS and substantial
> quotations (the kind of thorough quotation one finds in a commentary, as
> opposed to by-the-way citations) -- could yield a useful comparison of
> the Majority Text, the "Western" Text, and the "Alexandrian" Text to the
> earliest-perceptible text. To make the comparison more substantial you
> might want to include more second-century witnesses.
> > Yours in Christ,
> > James Snapp, Jr.
> On the question: Have the quotations of the NT in the earliest patristic
> manuscripts been systematically compared to the earliest NT manuscripts
> The several objections are valid as anyone with even a cursory knowledge
> of the church fathers can attest:
> 1. That the church fathers were sometimes paraphrasing "off-the-cuff."
> 2. That scribal errors entered into those manuscripts as well.
> However, the existence of these variants among the church fathers seems
> to indicate that few (if any) sought to correct their habit of
> paraphrasing by bringing the text into line with a direct quote. Even
> so, this could be useful if the correction was made early on.
> In other words, the existence of a variant by a patristic witness not
> found in any NT manuscript, in and of itself, ought to give some idea of
> the integrity of the extant texts of the church fathers.
> 3. The patristic manuscript evidence is not early enough.
> Codex Alexandrinus contains 1 Clement. That is fairly early -- 5th
> century. Who has compared the NT quotes (and allusions) in 1 Clement to
> the actual NT text in Alexandrinus?
> This seems the place to start. It wouldn't take too long to compare.
> Then where to go from there?
> 1. Compare patristic data from the same codices that also contain the
> 2. Compare the earliest patristic manuscript evidence with closest
> copies from the same time period.
> 3. Compare the earliest patristic manuscripts with the earliest NT
> 4. Compare the future "critical edition" of the church fathers' quotes
> with the most recent critical edition of the NT.
> 5. And any combination of the above.
> None of the above methods is without inherent problems as noted, but it
> would give a consensus of some kind. From there several things could be
> 1. How closely the church fathers agree with either the TR and the
> "Majority Text."
> 2. Which manuscript tradition the church fathers most reflect.
> 3. Which individual manuscripts are supported by which quotations by
> which church fathers.
> 4. Which church fathers support which manuscript family tradition.
> 5. What are some regional generalizations -- that is, would Ignatius and
> Clement of Alexandria be more inclined toward an Alexandrian reading
> while Clement of Rome and Justin be more inclined toward a western
> reading, etc.
> This last idea seems useful in tracking when and where the text families
> branched off. I am of the persuasion (without having done any real TC
> myself) that the western text might have a lot more integrity in light
> of patristic quotations due to the sheer fact that the Alexandrian
> family had a "climate advantage" to preserve older fragments and
> manuscripts. I am just using common sense here, the data might
> contradict me. But from what I have read, some seem to think the Western
> tradition is bolstered by the church fathers.
> Obviously with the paraphrased material, there is going to be great
> discontinuity, but even with the textual variants in the patristic
> material (original and scribal) there might be some idiosyncratic things
> that jump out that textual critics were not aware of before.
> Criticize these ideas please. Am I putting this in the right order of
> priority? Has this already been done?