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The Comma Johanneum and a Latin MS in New York

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  • james_snapp_jr
    In the 1916 and 1917 issues of Bibliotheca Sacra, E.S. Buchanan has a couple of articles that describe readings in Codex Huntingtonianus, a Latin MS in the
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 15, 2010
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      In the 1916 and 1917 issues of Bibliotheca Sacra, E.S. Buchanan has a couple of articles that describe readings in Codex Huntingtonianus, a Latin MS in the museum of the Hispanic Society in New York City. In the 1916 article "More Light from the Western Text," Buchanan states, "The MS. is not older in its copying than the thirteenth century; but its text goes back to the same ancient source from which the Codex Bezae and the Fleury Palimpsest (both fifth-century documents) are derived."

      I'm not sure whatever happened to Codex Huntingtonianus, which -- I think (I just started looking into this particular codex) -- also came to be called the Tarragona Palimpsest, since it was in Tarragona, Spain, before finding its way to NYC. After reading Buchanan's introduction to "The Oldest Text of the Gospels," it sort of looks like somehow Buchanan had a greatly exaggerated idea of its importance, and claimed that its text challenged the usual text of the Gospels and Acts. Its owner, Archer Milton Huntington, therefore became concerned that publication of the text of the MS might be harmful to religion, and basically locked up the MS! Are the extracts in these two issues of Bibliotheca Sacra all that is available, or did Gryson, Fischer & Co. obtain the full text?

      (In NTTS VIII, Metzger mentions this Latin MS in a footnote on p. 68 (in "70 or 72 Disciples?"), and almost mockingly mentions Buchanan's claim to have been able to read it at the top of a skyscraper; Metzger also states that Buchanan's edition of its text was "suppressed.")

      Anyway, in this Latin MS, Buchanan states that in John 10:30, it says, "Ego et pater et spiritus sanctus unum sumus" -- "I and the Father and the Holy Spirit are one." Now, other extracts show that the Gospels-text is saturated with interpolated references to the Holy Spirit. So this could be just one of oodles of curious but insignificant singular readings.

      On the other hand, what if "I and the Father and the Holy Spirit are one" in John 10:30 is genuinely an ancient Old Latin variant? Theoretically, this could have something to do with the creation of the CJ: maybe Cyprian's comment that is sometimes interpreted as a reference to the CJ was, instead, elicited by Cyprian's recollection of an expanded form of John 10:30.

      On the /other/ other hand, maybe the expanded form of John 10:30 in the Huntington Latin MS is based on the scribe's recollection of the expanded form of I Jn. 5:7.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • bucksburg
      ... Not likely. Cyprian quoted the CJ as these three are one which is an OL reading (hi tres unum sunt) of the canonical 5:8. ... I think not. The Scribe was
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 16, 2010
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        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "james_snapp_jr" wrote:
        >> On the other hand, what if "I and the Father and the Holy Spirit are one" in John 10:30 is genuinely an ancient Old Latin variant? Theoretically, this could have something to do with the creation of the CJ: maybe Cyprian's comment that is sometimes interpreted as a reference to the CJ was, instead, elicited by Cyprian's recollection of an expanded form of John 10:30.<<

        Not likely. Cyprian quoted the CJ as "these three are one" which is an OL reading (hi tres unum sunt) of the canonical 5:8.

        >> On the /other/ other hand, maybe the expanded form of John 10:30 in the Huntington Latin MS is based on the scribe's recollection of the expanded form of I Jn. 5:7. <<

        I think not. The Scribe was obviously trinitarian, and needed not further encouragement once he started interpolating 'and the Holy Spirit" everywhere he could.

        Daniel Buck
      • sarban
        ... From: james_snapp_jr To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 4:35 PM Subject: [textualcriticism] The Comma Johanneum and a
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 17, 2010
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          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 4:35 PM
          Subject: [textualcriticism] The Comma Johanneum and a Latin MS in New York

           

          In the 1916 and 1917 issues of Bibliotheca Sacra, E.S. Buchanan has a couple of articles that describe readings in Codex Huntingtonianus, a Latin MS in the museum of the Hispanic Society in New York City. In the 1916 article "More Light from the Western Text," Buchanan states, "The MS. is not older in its copying than the thirteenth century; but its text goes back to the same ancient source from which the Codex Bezae and the Fleury Palimpsest (both fifth-century documents) are derived."

          I'm not sure whatever happened to Codex Huntingtonianus, which -- I think (I just started looking into this particular codex) -- also came to be called the Tarragona Palimpsest, since it was in Tarragona, Spain, before finding its way to NYC. After reading Buchanan's introduction to "The Oldest Text of the Gospels," it sort of looks like somehow Buchanan had a greatly exaggerated idea of its importance, and claimed that its text challenged the usual text of the Gospels and Acts. Its owner, Archer Milton Huntington, therefore became concerned that publication of the text of the MS might be harmful to religion, and basically locked up the MS! Are the extracts in these two issues of Bibliotheca Sacra all that is available, or did Gryson, Fischer & Co. obtain the full text?

          Hi James

          Read Metzger "Early Versions of the New Testament" pages 311-312 for the bizarre story.

          Basically, the underwriting in this manuscript (a Latin Missal) which Buchanan edited and which he regarded as a distinctive text of the Gospels and Acts is widely regarded as non-existent. 

          Andrew Criddle   

        • james_snapp_jr
          Andrew Criddle, Thanks. That s a bizarre story alright. If Buchanan s transcriptions of Luke, John, and Acts, saturated with random variations, all came
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 17, 2010
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            Andrew Criddle,

            Thanks. That's a bizarre story alright. If Buchanan's transcriptions of Luke, John, and Acts, saturated with random variations, all came purely from his imagination, that would be psychologically fascinating.

            I'm not quite as quick as Metzger, though, to dismiss Buchanan's claims altogether. Looking through the materials about it that I've managed to access so far, it looks like Lake, Lowe (= Loew), and Sanders affirmed that they didn't see any underwriting, but Buchanan similarly affirms that he himself didn't see any underwriting at first, until he saw the pages in special lighting -- from the attic of the Hispanic Society Building in NYC (which must be the skyscraper to which Metzger referred). In one of the articles in "The Oldest Text of the Gospels," there's a claim that J. Rendel Harris confirmed that the codex is a palimpsest.

            I've heard of lettering so faint that it could only be seen at a certain time of day. It doesn't seem entirely inconceivable that the Huntington Codex might have underwriting that is easier to see at higher altitudes than at low altitudes (although I don't know why such a thing would ever be the case). Even if there is just a 1 in 1,000 chance that the elaborate text presented by Buchanan was not the product of his imagination, it might be a good idea to take a look at the Huntington Codex under ultraviolet light or x-rays, or at the location where Buchanan claimed to see letters.

            Yours in Christ,

            James Snapp, Jr.
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