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Re: Alexandrian Editing and the Gospel of Matthew

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  • Jay Rogers
    This is an interesting hypothesis. Sicne I am new to textual criticism and not a scholar, I had only read recently about Hoskier s 1914 Codex B and Its
    Message 1 of 9 , May 15 5:54 AM
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      This is an interesting hypothesis. Sicne I am new to textual criticism and not a scholar, I had only read recently about Hoskier's 1914 "Codex B and Its Allies."

      Although this is not your hypothesis, I was wondering:

      Does Hoskier's hypothesis have a good following among today's scholars?

      I have not read the book, but there is an electronic copy available here:

      http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hoskier/codexb1.toc.html

      (This is to part one. Part two has the text.)

      There was a textual critic who died a few years ago, Dr. John Henry Ludlum, who is known mainly for his criticism of the Marcan priority hypothesis, who cited Hoskier in a lecture. This is what he said:

      Several years ago there was a time, when for about the period of a year, I had been asking different friends to keep an open mind towards the possibility that Mark had written in Latin. My reason for doing this was that I had read hundreds, probably thousands, of the variant textual readings in Mark. What could be the key, I asked, that would explain these readings in some natural and easy way? The character of the variant readings in Mark appeared so like the nature of those in Matthew that I suspected they might have some explanation similar to that which I suggested possible in the case of Matthew.

      That is to say, I kept my mind open and urged others to do the same to the possible explanation that the different Greek manuscript texts of Mark, far from being corruptions from one original Greek Gospel, might easily prove to be independently made translations from a Latin original in the case of our second Gospel.

      After reaching such a standpoint, then, but not before, I discovered that whenever language is mentioned regarding Mark it is always said to have been written in Latin. A bit later still a good friend and I were together in a library. He was skimming through a learned volume, and ran on quite a long argument in favor of the Latin original for Mark. Three chapters were given over to stating textual data and analyzing it in order to show the likelihood of a Latin original for Mark. The book is Codex B and Its Allies by H. C. Hoskier, London, Bernard Quaritch, 1914, 2v. The three chapters are the fourth, fifth and sixth. The fourth chapter is titled: "Concerning the Latin Version of St. Mark." I would copy the entire first page, page 126, into this footnote, if it were not aside from our main purpose to do so. The fifth chapter is titled: "Two or More Greek Recensions of St. Mark." It is described in the table of contents as follows: "Selected examples of varieties of readings and renderings throughout the Gospel." Chapter six is titled: "Concerning the Latin base of St. Mark."

      I know this is off the topic of the post, but I just wanted to find out if there are any TC scholars view give this idea, and Hoskier's book in general, as having credibility.

      His view in a nutshell is that Mark was written in Latin and then in Greek, the Latin copy circulated in Italy and Latin west Africa. The Greek copy was circulated in the rest of the world. Then as the Latin copy made its way east to Alexandria, it was translated into Greek. Thus there are two separate Greek archetypes for the Gospel of Mark. I don't know enough about the procee of TC to know how one would go about looking for proof of this, but it is an interesting and elegant theory in that it could explain some of the most difficult to explain textual variants.

      I also think the idea that the Gospels could have been translated very early into different languages and retranslated back into Greek here and there deserves some merit. This is how missionaries handle texts used in evangelism today. For instance, a translation of a work originally written in Greek (for example, the Nicene Creed) or Latin (Calvin's Institutes) might be ignored by a house church translator in China in favor of English because this is the only language he or she knows in which the text is available.

      Let's rewind to the first or second century and suppose an Egyptian translator had only a Latin copy of Mark and wished to translate into a local dialect. And then let's say that local dialect was translated to Greek. You see, the possibilites are endless.

      I think it is reasonable to assume that the earliest evangelists would use whatever was at their disposal to see that texts were available in their own languages.


      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "James Snapp, Jr." <voxverax@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dr. Wasserman,
      >
      > Here's a little more data -- not close to comprehensive, but some folks may find it suggestive. If eight conflations are enough to form a satisfying demonstration that the Byzantine Text is late and derivative, then the following data should at least open the door wide to the theory of early Alexandrian editing, even if it is not enough to walk in and tour the place, so to speak.
      >
      > Let's sift through the earliest recoverable form of the Alexandrian Text of the Gospel of Matthew and look for signs of editing. The text I'll use for this investigation = the text of Codex B. I am using B's text (instead of a test-tube sub-archetype) for two reasons. First, Codex B's text is preferable because some critics have claimed (or strongly implied) that the text of Codex B is a purer representative of the Alexandrian Text than any other manuscript – even P75, which may be assigned a date in the early 200's. I figure that if it's really that good, there's no reason to adulterate it by involving weaker witnesses. Second, useful data about B's text is ready and accessible, in Hoskier's 1914 "Codex B and Its Allies." I'm not presently concerned with Hoskier's book's big ideas; I'm just recruiting his data into the service of a different theory.
      >
      > Let me present that theory in positive terms: in the mid-second century, an intelligent editor in Egypt wanted to create a base-text of the Gospels that would serve as the base-text for a translation into Sahidic. So he collected the Gospels-MSS that he had handy – a few copies of the individual books, and copies of all four Gospels – and carefully compared them, producing as the result a critical edition of the local text, with some benign-seeming adaptations to better facilitate rendering into Sahidic.
      >
      > Some traces of editing for the purpose of creating a base-text for translation into Sahidic might be seen among the following variants in the text of B.
      >
      > Matthew 1:12-13
      > B: GENNA
      > (versus EGENNHSEN)
      >
      > 1:25
      > B omits OU
      >
      > 2:13
      > B (with Sah): KAT ONAR EFANH (cf. 1:20)
      > (versus FAINETAI KAT' ONAR)
      >
      > 5:10, 11
      > B: ENEKA
      > (versus ENEKEN)
      >
      > 5:28: last word
      > B: EAUTOU
      > (versus AUTOU)
      >
      > 6:21
      > B: EKEI ESTAI H KARDIA
      > (versus EKEI ESTAI KAI H KARDIA)
      >
      > 7:8
      > B: ANOIGETAI
      > (versus ANOIGHSETAI) (Cf. Lk. 11:10)
      >
      > 7:17
      > B: KARPOUS POIEI KALOUS
      > (versus KARPOUS KALOUS POIEI)
      >
      > 7:18
      > B: ENEGKEIN and POIEIN (cf. Lk. 6:43)
      >
      > 8:7
      > B (and Sah): omits KAI
      >
      > 9:6
      > B: EGEIRE
      > (versus EGERQEIS)
      >
      > 9:18
      > Where Aleph has "ARCWN PROSELQWN" and C D have "ARCWN EISWLQWN" and N and W and Sigma have "ARCWN EISELQON," B covers all the bases with "ARCWN EIS PROSELQWN."
      >
      > Matthew 10:3
      > B: KAI QADDAIOS
      > (omitting what may have seemed a superfluous translation-note; cf. D)
      >
      > 10:7
      > B omits OTI
      >
      > 10:16
      > B: EIS MESON
      >
      > 10:23
      > B omits TOU before ISRAHL
      >
      > 10:37
      > Omitted by B – h.t.?
      >
      > 11:15
      > B omits AKOUEIN
      >
      > 12:1
      > B: SABBATOIS
      > (versus SABBASIN)
      > 12:22
      > B reworks the entire first phrase.
      >
      > 13:35
      > B omits KOSMOU
      >
      > 14:2 (cf. Mk. 6:14)
      > B omits DIA TOUTO (h.t.? cf. Mk. 6:14)
      >
      > 14:5 (cf. Mt. 21:46)
      > B: EPEI (versus OTI)
      >
      > 14:24
      > B (and Sah): STADIOUS POLLOUS APO THS GHS APEICEN BASANIZOMENON
      > (versus MESON THS QALASSHS HN BASANIZOMENON)
      >
      > 15:11
      > B: ERCOMENON
      > (versus EISERCOMENON or EISPOREUOMENON)
      >
      > 16:12
      > B transposes, producing "TWN SADDOUKAIWN KAI FARISAIWN"
      >
      > 17:4
      > B transposes, producing "SKHNAS TREIS"
      >
      > 17:16
      > B: HDUNASQHSAN
      > (versus HDUNANTO, EDUNHQHSAN, and HDUNHQHSAN)
      >
      > 17:25
      > B: ELQONTA
      > (versus EISELQONTA)
      > (note: Aleph is "corrected" via deletion of EIS)
      >
      > 18:12
      > B and Sahidic adds PROBATA after ENENHKONTA ENNEA
      >
      > 18:21
      > B: POSAKIS AMARTHSEI O ADELFOS MOU EIS EME
      > (versus POSAKIS AMARTHSEI EIS EME O ADELFOS MOU)
      > (Sah also transposes)
      >
      > 18:27
      > B and Sah-MSS: TOU DOULOU
      > (versus TOU DOULOU EKEINOU)
      >
      > 18:28
      > B: O DOULOS
      > (versus O DOULOS EKEINOS)
      >
      > 19:4
      > B and Sah: KTISAS
      > (versus POIHSAS)
      >
      > 19:11
      > B omits TOUTON (h.t.? – TON LOGON TOUTON)
      >
      > 19:16 – Time out for something interesting here:
      > B: SCW
      > f-1, f-13: ECW
      > Aleph, L, 892: KLHRONOMHSW
      > It nearly looks like a copyist faced competing exemplars with SCW and ECW, declared a tie, and resolved things by importing KLHRONOMHSW from Mk. 10:17 or Lk. 18:18. Time in.
      >
      > 19:17
      > B (and D): THREI
      > (versus THRHSON)
      >
      > 19:18
      > B: EFH
      > (versus EIPEN)
      >
      > 19:22
      > B adds TOUTON
      >
      > 19:22
      > B: CRHMATA
      > (versus KTHMATA)
      >
      > 20:14
      > B: EGW instead of DE
      >
      > 20:17
      > B: MELLWN DE ANABAINEIN
      > (versus KAI ANABAINWN)
      >
      > 20:34
      > B (and Coptic): AUTWN TWN OMMATWN
      > (versus TWN OFQALMWN AUTWN and TWN OFQALMWN AUTOU)
      >
      >
      > 24:1
      > B: EK TOU IEROU EPOREUETO
      > (versus APO TOU IEROU EPOREUETO)
      >
      > 25:38
      > Where D has EN TAIS HMERAIS EKEINAIS PRO TOU KATAKL.
      > and Aleph et al have EN TAIS HMERAIS TAIS PRO TOU KATAKL.
      > and L 892 have EN TAIS HMERAIS TOU KATAKL.,
      > B has EN TAIS HMERAIS EKEINAIS TAIS PRO TOU KATAKL.
      >
      > 26:4
      > B omits KAI APOKTEINWSIN (h.t.?)
      >
      > 26:56
      > B: OI MAQHTAI AUTOU PANTES
      > (versus OI MAQHTAI PANTES)
      >
      > 27:6
      > B: KORBAN (h.t.?)
      > (versus KORBANAN)
      >
      > 27:13
      > D: TOSA
      > Aleph et al: POSA
      > B: OSA (intended to be completed interlinearly later?)
      >
      > 27:33
      > B: EIS TON TOPON TON (cf. Lk. 23:33)
      > (versus EIS TOPON)
      >
      > 27:46
      > B L: EBOHSEN (cf. Mk. 15:34)
      > (versus ANEBOHSEN)
      >
      > 27:46
      > B (and Sah): ELWEI ELWEI
      >
      > 27:46
      > B and Sah: SABAKTANEI
      >
      > 27:54
      > B, D, Sah: UIOS QEOU HN OUTOS
      > (versus QEOU UIOS HN OUTOS)
      >
      > 28:14
      > B D 892 Sah: UPO instead of EPI
      >
      > 28:18
      > B D 892 Copt: EPI THS GHS
      > Aleph et al: EPI GHS
      >
      > As a supplement, here is some data from Ernest C. Colwell's "Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament," Chapter 5: "Genealogical Method: Its Achievements and Its Limitations." (Originally published in Journal of Biblical Literature, LXVI (1847), pp. 109-133.)
      >
      > Colwell writes: "Codex Vaticanus lacks the conflate readings of the "Syrian text," but it has conflate readings of its own." In a footnote, he offers some support for his claim:
      >
      > At Mark 1:28,
      > EUQUS is read by A D Gamma Delta Pi Sigma Phi E F G H K M S U V Y Omega 22 157 1071 1241 al.pler. f g-2 l Vulgate Syriac-Pesh Syriac-Hi
      > PANTAXOU is read by W 579 b e q Georgia-1 Ethiopic.
      > EUQUS PANTACOU is omitted by Aleph* Theta Fam-1 28 33 349 474 517 565 700 c ff Sinaitic-Syriac Coptic-Bohairic Georgian-2 Armenian
      >
      > Where is the reading EUQHS PANTACOU?
      > In B C L Fam-13 543 837 892
      >
      > And at Mark 1:40,
      > OTI is read by Aleph A Gamma Delta Pi Phi 090 E F G H K M S U V Y Omega Minusc. Pler. A Sinaitic-Syriac Pesh(aliq.) Syriac-Harklean Coptic-Bohairic(aliq.) Geo-1;
      > KURIE is read by C L W Theta Sigma 579 700 892 c e ff Vulgate (plur.);
      > OTI is omitted by D 238 b f g-1,2 l Vulgate (plur. Et WW) Pesh (Plur.) Augustine;
      >
      > Where is _KE_ OTI? In B.
      >
      > Cumulatively, does all this – and this is just a beginning – seem at least a little bit suggestive of early Alexandrian editing?
      >
      > Yours in Christ,
      >
      > James Snapp, Jr.
      >

    • James Snapp, Jr.
      Eddie Mishoe: EM: P75 may be assigned a date in the mid to late second century. Maybe we could split the difference and say that P75 was produced around
      Message 2 of 9 , May 15 6:51 AM
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        Eddie Mishoe:

        EM: "P75 may be assigned a date in the mid to late second century."

        Maybe we could split the difference and say that P75 was produced around 200.

        EM: "Have you personally collated B against P75?"

        No.

        EM: . . . "There is very little difference in these two mss, practically none."

        E. C. Colwell made some statements about P75 in an essay called "Method in Evaluating Scribal Habits," which was chapter 8 in his book "Studies in Methodology in Textual Criticism of the NT." --

        He counted 257 singular readings in P75 (not including itacisms).
        Removing nonsense-readings, Colwell found 190 sensible singular readings in P75. He also found 18 parableptic errors: 16 cases of skipping material and 2 cases of repeating material.

        Some of P75's unusual readings:

        UMIN instead of UMWN (Lk. 11:39)
        "shepherd" instead of "door" (Jn. 10:7)
        "my" added (Jn. 6:57)
        "strength" (ISCUN) instead of "fish" (ICQUN) (Lk. 11:11)
        an out-of-place overline (_PNEI_) (Jn. 3:8)
        the rich man's name (Lk. 16:19) [This isn't altogether unique anymore]
        Jesus responds to the questioner rather than the crowd (Lk. 8:21)
        the legion is referred to in the singular (Lk. 8:32)
        Jesus is a greater *person* than Jonah (Lk. 11:32)

        EM: "I'm not sure where you read that P75 is not as Alexandrian as B."

        Off the top of my head, I think it was either Fee or Porter or both who gave that impression. (A consultation of Fee's "Myth" essay might magnify that thought, but I don't have it handy.) And, according to a statement in an essay by Birdsall (in "Bible as Book: Transmission of the Greek Text"), Martini stated -- in the preface to the B-replica -- that Codex B and the Codex Sinaiticus are the "best representatives" of their text-type. Iiuc, the picture being painted is, essentially, that the text of Codex B is not a descendant of, but rather a sibling of, the text of P75. A slightly older and stronger sibling.

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
      • Jonathan C. Borland
        Dear List, I notice J. J. Griesbach has a classic comment on Matt 2:13 (Commentarius Criticus in Textum Graecum Novi Testamenti [2 vols.; Jena: J. C. G.
        Message 3 of 9 , May 16 9:31 PM
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          Dear List,

          I notice J. J. Griesbach has a classic comment on Matt 2:13
          (Commentarius Criticus in Textum Graecum Novi Testamenti [2 vols.;
          Jena: J. C. G. Goepferdt, 1798], 1:21-2):

          "Several codices with the inverse order read KAT ONAR FAINETAI or
          EFANH. Wettstein supposed that the series of words were deliberately
          altered to harmonize our passage more precisely with 2:19 and 1:20.
          Truly some of the codices which have KAT ONAR FAINETAI at this place
          (of course B and 157) also at 2:19 retreat from the common order and
          have FAINETAI KAT ONAR. And so we assert that this variant came about
          not by design but by accident."

          And so Griesbach rejected on internal grounds what is now rather
          strong Alexandrian support of Matt 2:19 in favor of the Byzantine word
          order (KAT ONAR FAINETAI). Interesting? I'll say!

          Jonathan C. Borland


          ---------------- Latin text below -----------------

          Plures codices inverso ordine legunt KAT ONAR FAINETAI seu EFANH.
          Wetstenius vocabulorum seriem consulto mutatam fuisse suspicatus est,
          ut locus noster exactius consentiret cum comm. 19. et cap. 1, 20.
          Verum nonnulli e codicibus, qui h. l. KAT ONAR FAINETAI exhibent,
          (scil. B et 157) etiam comm. 19. ab ordine vulgari recedunt et
          FAINETAI KAT ONAR habent. Itaque non consilio sed casu enatam fuisse
          autumamus hanc lectionis varietatem.


          --------------------------------------------------------


          On May 13, 2009, at 8:23 PM, James Snapp, Jr. wrote:

          > 2:13
          > B (with Sah): KAT ONAR EFANH (cf. 1:20)
          > (versus FAINETAI KAT' ONAR)
        • yennifmit
          Dear Jay, It is interesting to note that very few papyri of Mark have been recovered from Egypt. Best, Tim Finney
          Message 4 of 9 , May 18 7:38 PM
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            Dear Jay,

            It is interesting to note that very few papyri of Mark have been recovered from Egypt.

            Best,

            Tim Finney

            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Jay Rogers" <jrogers@...> wrote:

            >
            > His view in a nutshell is that Mark was written in Latin and then in
            > Greek, the Latin copy circulated in Italy and Latin west Africa. The
            > Greek copy was circulated in the rest of the world. Then as the Latin
            > copy made its way east to Alexandria, it was translated into Greek.
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