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provenance study

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  • K. Martin Heide
    Hi everyone, I m wondering if anybody yet did a provenance study, that means: with the help of collections such as Repertorium der griechischen Papyri by
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 29, 2005
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      Hi everyone,

      I'm wondering if anybody yet did a provenance study, that means:
      with the help of collections such as "Repertorium der griechischen Papyri" by Aland etc.,
      did put together all the evidence we have of all the uncials of the first millenium AD,
      studied their provenance, so that we virtually could have a "map" of where this and that text
      had been used etc. Of course, much material comes from Egypt, but not all of it.

      Martin
    • bucksburg
      ... with the help of collections such as Repertorium der griechischen Papyri by Aland etc., did put together all the evidence we have of all the uncials of
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 31, 2005
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        "K. Martin Heide" wrote:
        > I'm wondering if anybody yet did a provenance study, that means:
        with the help of collections such as "Repertorium der griechischen
        Papyri" by Aland etc., did put together all the evidence we have of
        all the uncials of the first millenium AD, studied their provenance,
        so that we virtually could have a "map" of where this and that text
        had been used etc. Of course, much material comes from Egypt, but not
        all of it.
        Martin<

        Martin,
        I think that would be great, but it's asking a lot. We seem to do well
        just to agree on the century a manuscript was copied, or when the
        various corrections were added. But to try to find out where a
        manuscript was originally copied, much less how it got to its present
        location, is hopeless for most mss. If they were purchased from an
        antiquities dealer, we can't even be sure where they spent the last
        few hundred years.

        So, if we don't know where, for instance, Vaticanus was before it
        showed up in the Vatican Library, then we aren't going to know who
        corrected it, and where; the best we can do is demonstrate
        paleographically that the corrections must have pre-dated its
        discovery at the Vatican. Whether those corrections were made in
        Alexandria, Sinai, or Constantinople, who can say? Some have
        theorized that Aleph and B were 2 of the 50 copies of the Scripture
        commissioned by Constantine. Certainly the same scribe appears to have
        worked on both mss, certainly they are both very professionally done
        in the original hand, and must have cost a fortune to produce (just a
        photofacsimile of B will set you back some $6800). But really, we have
        no idea where they were made and the thousands of differences between
        the two argue pretty strongly that they were not part of the same
        original publication project.

        I have a burning question that may not be any easier to ask. Let's
        start with Codex Sinaiticus, which reposed for untold centuries in a
        Greek Orthodox monastery. Why, with so many hands correcting Aleph
        over the centuries, did no one ever finish the job? I would think
        that the long ending of Mark would certainly have been one of the
        first things to be added by those Byzantine scribes, but to this day
        that part of the codex is still blank. Same story with Vaticanus,
        which was probably in Byzantine hands until at least the 12th or 13th
        centuries.

        It's rather ironic that the oldest MS we can place in Alexandria–the
        codex which bears its name-–is also the earliest accepted witness to
        the Byzantine text-–including the long ending of Mark. That alone
        should demonstrate the futility of your quest.

        Daniel Buck
      • K. Martin Heide
        bucksburg wrote: ... with the help of collections such as Repertorium der griechischen Papyri by Aland etc., did put together all the evidence we have of all
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 1, 2005
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          bucksburg wrote:


          "K. Martin Heide"  wrote:
          > I'm wondering if anybody yet did a provenance study, that means:
          with the help of collections such as "Repertorium der griechischen
          Papyri" by Aland etc., did put together all the evidence we have of
          all the uncials of the first millenium AD, studied their provenance,
          so that we virtually could have a "map" of where this and that text
          had been used etc. Of course, much material comes from Egypt, but not
          all of it.
          Martin<

          Martin,
          I think that would be great, but it's asking a lot. We seem to do well
          just to agree on the century a manuscript was copied, or when the
          various corrections were added. But to try to find out where a
          manuscript was originally copied, much less how it got to its present
          location, is hopeless for most mss. If they were purchased from an
          antiquities dealer, we can't even be sure where they spent the last
          few hundred years.

          So, if we don't know where, for instance, Vaticanus was before it
          showed up in the Vatican Library, then we aren't going to know who
          corrected it, and where; the best we can do is demonstrate
          paleographically that the corrections must have pre-dated its
          discovery at the Vatican. Whether those corrections were made in
          Alexandria, Sinai, or Constantinople, who can say?  Some have
          theorized that Aleph and B were 2 of the 50 copies of the Scripture
          commissioned by Constantine. Certainly the same scribe appears to have
          worked on both mss, certainly they are both very professionally done
          in the original hand, and must have cost a fortune to produce (just a
          photofacsimile of B will set you back some $6800). But really, we have
          no idea where they were made and the thousands of differences between
          the two argue pretty strongly that they were not part of the same
          original publication project.

          I have a burning question that may not be any easier to ask. Let's
          start with Codex Sinaiticus, which reposed for untold centuries in a
          Greek Orthodox monastery. Why, with so many hands correcting Aleph
          over the centuries, did no one ever finish the job?  I would think
          that the long ending of Mark would certainly have been one of the
          first things to be added by those Byzantine scribes, but to this day
          that part of the codex is still blank. Same story with Vaticanus,
          which was probably in Byzantine hands until at least the 12th or 13th
          centuries.

          It's rather ironic that the oldest MS we can place in Alexandria–the
          codex which bears its name-–is also the earliest accepted witness to
          the Byzantine text-–including the long ending of Mark.  That alone
          should demonstrate the futility of your quest.

          Daniel Buck





          Thank You!

          I have some other proposals for the two, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus:
          Skeat („The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine“ in: JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625) thought, both were made for Constantine; though well argued, it may be they were only in shape similar to those which Constantine actually received from Eusebius, but in their text form early Byzantine (Brooks, James A.: The New Testament Text of Gregory of Nyssa , Atlanta 1991, p. 267 ).


          Let's look at copies of the Old Testament:
          As it seems, and Tov has brought this point recently up again ("A Qumran Origin for the Masada Non-Biblical texts?", DSD 7(2000), p.57-73), there seems to have been a sort of reference copy kept in the temple - or at least, in Jerusalem, which, at the time of the first century, must have been the (proto) masoretic text. A reference copy for what? For the everyday bibles which were in use all over the place,
          like the Qumran scroll Isaiah (1Q Isa) and others, often labelled "vulgar", which have a smoothed orthography, syntax, etc.  and are somewhat more "user-friendly" , etc. Everyday-Bibles were allowed to render the text more freely, whereas the reference-copies should stick closely to the text which was thought to be close to the original. Only a certain amount of divergence, of course, was allowed.

          Now, can we apply that to the New Testament? Thousands and thousands of copies left the scriptoria in the fourth century, after Constantine raised Christianity to the state religion. The text of these copies became more and more smoothed: first the gospels, becoming "Byzantine" already in the 4/5th century, then the epistles, which became "Byzantine" only in the later centuries, etc. Some copies like the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus seem to have been used not so much in church service than for ... what? They may have served as reference copies for hundreds of years.

          Similar, the minuscule 1739 seems to have been made for the same purpose.

          Of course, these are proposals and suggestions; but perhaps some have thought already in these veins, or can add and/or criticize ...


          Martin

        • bucksburg
          ... Skeat („The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine in: JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625) thought, both were made for Constantine; though well
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 1, 2005
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            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "K. Martin Heide"
            <martin.heide@a...> wrote:
            > I have some other proposals for the two, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus:
            Skeat („The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine" in:
            JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625) thought, both were made for Constantine;
            though well argued, it may be they were only in shape similar to those
            which Constantine actually received from Eusebius, but in their text
            form early Byzantine (Brooks, James A.: The New Testament Text of
            Gregory of Nyssa , Atlanta 1991, p. 267 ).<

            Aleph and B are Early Byzantine? Says who--Hort?

            I guess I haven't learned as much as I thought I had.

            Daniel
          • K. Martin Heide
            ... Skeat (The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine in: JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625) thought, both were made for Constantine; though well
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 1, 2005
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              bucksburg wrote:


              --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "K. Martin Heide"
              <martin.heide@a...> wrote:
              > I have some other proposals for the two, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus:
              Skeat („The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine" in:
              JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625) thought, both were made for Constantine;

              though well argued, it may be they were only in shape similar to those which Constantine actually received from Eusebius, but that the text of those books which Constantine ordered and received respectively was early Byzantine (Brooks, James A.: The New Testament Text of
              Gregory of Nyssa , Atlanta 1991, p. 267 ).<

              Aleph and B are Early Byzantine? Says who--Hort?

              I guess I haven't learned as much as I thought I had.

              Daniel


              No, sorry, not that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are early Byzantine (that was a misprint of mine),
              but that those copies which Constantine ordered and received were not in their text
              (of the type of) Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, but early Byzantine (see correction above).

              Martin
            • malcolm robertson
              Dear Martin, Actually Skeat in his excellent essay The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine in:JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625 points out
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 2, 2005
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                Dear Martin,
                 
                Actually Skeat in his excellent essay "The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine" in:JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625" points out explicitly that Westcott and Hort thought Aleph and B both had their origin further West from Caesarea.
                 
                The remarks of Hieronymus given below (coupled with other considerations that I will not mention here) may have been the reason why both Westcott and Hort thought the provenance for these two codices was other than Caesarea and should not be considered as earmarked for Constantinople.  Doubtless, however, one of the characteristics of those fifty codices that Eusebius had produced and sent to Constantine definitely lacked vss 9-20 in the last chapter of Mark's Gospel.
                 
                Hieronymus, epist. CXX, in reply to Hedibia's question (there is a problem with his reply or least how he conceived Hedibia's question, i.e. how he understood Hedibia's question referentially as either referring to vss 1,2 or vss 9,10 in Mark's Gospel) explicitly identifies a certain textual characteristic that has it's provenance in Greece - but not exclusively.  Thus he remarks:
                 
                ...hujus quaestionis duplex solutio est; aut enim non recipimus Marci testimonium, quod in raris fertur Evangeliis, omnibus Graeciae libris pene hoc capitulum in fine non habentibus, praesertim cum diversa atque contraria Evangelistis caeteris narrare videatur...
                 
                In addition Gregory of Nyssa, de resurrect. comments:
                 
                ...en tois akribesterois to kata Markon euaggelion mexri tou, ephobounto gar, exei to telos.
                 
                In addition Johannes Martianaeus has pointed out that :
                 
                Nunc e contrario codices Mss. qui ad nos usque devenerunt Graeci, et Latini plerique omnes, sed et veteres translationes habent Patres quoque impendio rarissimi sunt. Victor Antiochenus, et Anonymus Tolosanus in Catena in Marcum, qui capitulum istud, sive duodecim a nono postremos versus ignorent.
                 
                The text-type of Aleph and B as representatives of the 'Neutral' type is well known.  What Eusebius sent to Constantine were similar in text-type, but hardy equate to an exact identification with Aleph and B.
                 
                The fact that Eusebius, Hieronymus and Gregory of Nyssa all demonstrate knowledge of this characteristic that marks the 'Neutral' text-type and it's wide spread of possible provenances,
                illustrates adequately the difficulty of pinpointing a particular provenance.  While Epp's remarks may be appropriate, i.e. more work needs to be done with regards to provenances of mss, the uncertainty of attaining any certainty remains for now only a close approximation with the vast majority of manuscripts other than those found in Egypt.
                 
                Cordially in Christ,
                 
                Malcolm
                 
                 
                 
                 


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              • K. Martin Heide
                malcolm robertson wrote: Dear Martin, Actually Skeat in his excellent essay The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine in:JThS 50 (1999), pp.
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 5, 2005
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                  malcolm robertson wrote:
                  Dear Martin,
                   
                  Actually Skeat in his excellent essay " The Codex Sinaiticus, The Codex Vaticanus and Constantine" in:JThS 50 (1999), pp. 583-625" points out explicitly that Westcott and Hort thought Aleph and B both had their origin further West from Caesarea.
                   
                  The remarks of Hieronymus given below (coupled with other considerations that I will not mention here) may have been the reason why both Westcott and Hort thought the provenance for these two codices was other than Caesarea and should not be considered as earmarked for Constantinople.  Doubtless, however, one of the characteristics of those fifty codices that Eusebius had produced and sent to Constantine definitely lacked vss 9-20 in the last chapter of Mark's Gospel.
                   
                  The text-type of Aleph and B as representatives of the 'Neutral' type is well known.  What Eusebius sent to Constantine were similar in text-type, but hardy equate to an exact identification with Aleph and B.
                   
                  The fact that Eusebius, Hieronymus and Gregory of Nyssa all demonstrate knowledge of this characteristic that marks the 'Neutral' text-type and it's wide spread of possible provenances,
                  illustrates adequately the difficulty of pinpointing a particular provenance.  While Epp's remarks may be appropriate, i.e. more work needs to be done with regards to provenances of mss, the uncertainty of attaining any certainty remains for now only a close approximation with the vast majority of manuscripts other than those found in Egypt.
                   
                  Cordially in Christ,
                   
                  Malcolm





                  Dear Malcolm,

                  thank you very much for your detailed answer. In the face of Eusebius' letter to Marinus, where he more or less,
                  regarding the end of Mark, tells us to take it this or that way (short ot long ending; see "The Witness of Eusebius’ ad Marinum and Other Christian Writings to Text-Critical Debates concerning the Original Conclusion to Mark’s Gospel1", by James A. Kelhoffer, ZNW 92), it is interesting that he may have provided bibles with the short ending of Mark. Although he, of course, seems to have preferred the shorter ending, too, and said, it is known from the "older" mss, etc.

                  MH


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