Re: [textualcriticism] Re: Eph 5.30 addition
- On Apr 25, 2009, at 2:42 AM, George F Somsel wrote:
> No matter how much internal evidence may be claimed for the longer----------------------------------
> reading here, it will never suffice to overcome the overwhelming
> evidence that the earliest MSS and the versions lack this.
First, are not the Old Latin and Syriac early? Is not the evidence of
Irenaeus early? Doesn't the combined evidence of *every* version but
two from Africa (Coptic and Ethiopian) and almost every Father from
every age indicate a source common to all? The same might be said for
most of the Greek MSS and all the Latin MSS but one.
Second, should we not be surprised that perhaps a single reader or
copyist might have been displeased at the words in question, namely,
that the members of the body of Christ were *of* his flesh and bones?
Certainly the possibility of discomfort at such words goes all the way
back to the time of Jesus himself!
Third, if the words were inserted by an interpolator from the LXX of
Gen. 2:23 (TOUTO OSTOUN EK TWN OSTEWN MOU, KAI SARX EK THS SARKOS
MOU), wouldn't the original interpolator without a doubt have copied
the parallel passage a bit more accurately?
Fourth, as Bengel suggested, though in my view less likely, the eye of
some early scribe (by homeooteleuton) could have leapt from the first
AUTOU of 5:30 to the third AUTOU of the verse, omitting the words in
between (EK THS SARKOS AUTOU KAI EK TWN OSTEWN AUTOU). Furthermore, as
A.C. Clark (The Descent of Manuscripts [Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1918], vii) noted 90 years ago, it is "unlikely that an interpolator
would have been so cunning as to conceal his inventions by a device
intended to show that their omission was palaeographically possible,"
and, "The first duty of the critic was to prune the text . . . ."
Fifth, the sheer lack of provenance of the omission is telling and
probably indicative of a later origin leading to a localized reading
that rather failed to propagate itself not only in the Greek
manuscripts but also in the versions and the fathers.
Sixth, the words are extremely appropriate and even integral to the
passage on internal grounds and sound critical exegesis. See esp. J.G.
Reiche (Commentarius Criticus in N.T. [vol. 2; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck
and Ruprecht, 1859], 186-8).
Jonathan C. Borland