B's Deliberate Blank Space and Why It Is There
- Dear Dr. Wallace:
First, hearty congratulations on the exciting MS-discoveries in Greece.
Second: I wasn't asking for a repetition of your theory, but for a defense. I re-read the thread, and the idea that the scribe of B put a blank column after Mk. 16:8 to replicate blank space after Mark in an exemplar in which the Gospels closed with Mark still seems as utterly groundless as it was the first time. The details about the mechanisms that elicited the blank spaces in the OT-portion of B remove whatever momentum for such a theory they might have been imagined to provide.
I hope you will have time to answer some questions:
(1) Why would an exemplar with a remarkably pure Alexandrian text have the Gospels in the "Western" order? What MSS with a strongly Alexandrian text would you point to as evidence that such MSS existed in the early 300's with the Gospels in an order in which Mark appeared last?
(2) If the scribe of B was using an exemplar of the four Gospels, why would he regard blank space at the end of it as anything unusual, instead of seeing it as the same sort of blank space that is likely to appear after the end of any MS' text?
(3) If the scribe of B was using an exemplar that had the four Gospels followed by Acts, then if he *had* somehow interpreted filler-space after Mark as a feature worth replicating, why wouldn't he place the filler-space between the end of the Gospels and the beginning of Acts, instead of between Mark and Luke?
(4) Why would a copyist who did not replicate his exemplar's book-order replicate a blank space in his exemplar by moving it from a space *after* the Gospels to a place *between* Mark and Luke?
(5) Iirc, in Codex L there is a blank space after John 7:52, but the blank space is not large enough to contain the PA. Do you think the scribe might have been replicating some leftover space, maybe at the end of the first volume of a two-volume copy of John, rather than indicating an awareness of a textual variant?
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.
- --- In email@example.com, "James Snapp, Jr." wrote:
> In Codex L there is a blank space after John 7:52, but the blank space is not large enough to contain the PA. Do you think the scribe might have been replicating some leftover space, maybe at the end of the first volume of a two-volume copy of John, rather than indicating an awareness of a textual variant?<When we study the topic of blank spaces deliberately left in a ms, we keep coming back to the PA. W has an unusual blank space between John and Luke that may have been left for the PA--or might it be a relic of W's exemplar in which the gospels ended at John?
Delta is an intersting study in blank spaces. Delta's scribe left a blank space for a variant reading that s/he:
1) Later appears to have filled in from another exemplar (Mark 9:29);
2) Never did end up filling in (Mark 10:19);
3) Remembered was supposed to be there only after writing the rest of the line omitting it(PA).
At John 7:52, Delta reads, on the fifth line of page 348:
EGEIRETAI. PALIN. OUN.AUTOIS O _IS_.ELALHSEN LEGWN.
But then the scribe stops before even reaching the margin, lines out all but the first word, and, leaving the entire rest of the page blank (with an asterisk at the front of the last line), starts back up at the top of page 349 with:
PALIN.OUN AUTOIS O _IS_.ELALHSEN LEGWN.EGW.EIMI.TO.FWS.
(with an obelus taking the place of the second EST above ELALHSEN!)
Another explanation, I suppose, is that Delta's scribe had heard of the PA's existence at the end of a book of the gospels, and was therefore replicating the corpus-ending blank space in that hypothetical exemplar.