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Re: Should Caesarean be Antiochian?

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  • james_snapp_jr
    I ll try to take a closer look at that soon, but first -- Why is 2427 included in this analysis? It is a forgery. Yours in Christ, James Snapp, Jr.
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 18 4:41 AM
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      I'll try to take a closer look at that soon, but first --

      Why is 2427 included in this analysis? It is a forgery.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • james_snapp_jr
      T. Finney, Regarding what you said about the ideas that inclusion of the Armenian and Georgian would fit better if this cluster were associated with the
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 18 5:42 AM
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        T. Finney,

        Regarding what you said about the ideas that "inclusion of the Armenian and Georgian would fit better if this cluster were associated with the ancient church and patriarchate of Antioch" and that "geographical proximity would seem to make the ancient text of Antioch a more likely exemplar for the Armenian translation than a text from further south." --

        Those Armenians traveled a lot. The first Armenian translation of the Gospels was achieved c. 411, but when Armenian scholars returned from the Council of Ephesus, having visited Constantinople in the course of their travels, and having obtained (what they considered to be) authentic exemplars from Constantinople, they used those exemplars as the basis of a systematic revision of the Armenian version. Some Armenians even visited Alexandria and studied Greek there in order to become more adept at translating it.

        All this might old news, but it may be worthwhile to review some features of the Armenian and Old Georgian texts of the Gospels. (I'm relying here on material from something I wrote a while ago on the Old Georgian Gospels, and this isn't my specialty, so bear in mind that it may need some adjustment.) The Armenian text has at least two two ancient strata: One which can be viewed only in glimpses, descending from the initial translation-work (which may have been from a Syriac text, conceivably the Diatessaron was involved), and one which is attested in the readings in the Armenian Text which agree with f-1, found in early ("early" as in, relative to the rest of the Armenian MSS) copies. There's a third early text-tradition, too, echoed by Matenadaran 2374 (= Etchmiadzin 229).

        The Old Georgian version's text is also diverse. It is often claimed that the oldest Old Georgian MS of the Gospels is the Adysh Codex, which was produced in 897. Another widely circulated claim is that the next-oldest Old Georgian MSS of the Gospels are the Opiza MS (produced in 913), the Dzruci MS (936), the Parhal MS (973), Ms. Sinai Georg. 47 (977), the Tbeth MS (995), and the Gospels of Bert'ay (900's). But all these MSS are younger than some Old Georgian fragments which are written in a form of Georgian called "han-meti." The han-meti (or khan-meti) fragments are called "han-meti" because they use the prefix-character "han," which was later considered superfluous ("meti"). Another group of fragments uses the prefix "hae," which, likewise, was later considered superfluous, and this second group is therefore called the hae-meti MSS.

        In Metzger's Early Versions of the NT, it's stated that the han-prefix began to fall into disuse in the 500's (or, a footnote qualifies, the 600's), so "It is necessary to date the han-meti texts in the sixth century" (p. 185). But this is not necessary; the texts could be older – small fragments have been assigned dates in the 400's – or younger – a han-meti lectionary containing Galatians 4:14-18 has been assigned a date in the 600's. Metzger mentioned that 18 han-meti fragments of the Gospels, Romans, and Galatians, and 23 hae-meti fragments of the Gospels, were collected and re-edited by Joseph Molitor in 1956. The contents of additional han-meti fragments of the Synoptic Gospels were published in 1971-73 by J. Neville Birdsall.

        Besides the syntax-distinction between the han-meti, hae-meti, and the rest, three distinctions exist among the Georgian MSS in regard to their scripts: the asomt`avruli (or, mrglovani, or, mtavruli) script may be considered a sort of uncial lettering, which was popular until the end of the 900's, and continued to be used in some inscriptions afterwards. The hutsuri (also called khutsuri) script is a sort of minuscule lettering, used from the 1000's onward. The medieval mhedruli lettering is the basis for modern Georgian lettering, and the earliest dated MS using mhedruli lettering is dated to A.D. 1245, though some earlier examples exist.



        The Old Georgian version of the Gospels has the potential to shed light on a text that was extant in the early 400's. Bruce Metzger, in his two-paragraph treatment of the Old Georgian version in Text of the New Testament, pp. 83-84 (3rd ed.), gives no sign of confidence about its ancestry, but the Estonian researcher Arthur Vööbus has presented clear evidence that the Old Georgian version of the Gospels was translated from Armenian: "On the basis of a great number, and for a variety, of reasons, involving more than one group of facts, when each in itself would be sufficient to prove the case, it follows beyond doubt that the Old Georgian version was derived from an Armenian base" (p. 190, Early Versions of the New Testament: Manuscript Studies, 1954).

        This is significant for two reasons: first, it means that when the Armenian version and the Old Georgian version agree, the weight of their testimony should be regarded as the weight of one transmission-stream, not two independent transmission-streams. Second, it means that when the Armenian version and the Old Georgian disagree, the Old Georgian reading may deserve special attention: in the early 400's, the Armenian text was initially translated from Syriac; then it was revised to align with Greek copies; as additional Greek texts became known, it was adjusted again. The Old Georgian has the potential to reflect any of these three stages of the Armenian text's production, and may testify to the Armenian text as it existed at an early production-stage where the earliest Armenian MSS may testify to the latest stage.

        The character of the Old Georgian version (as opposed to the new Georgian version, descended from the Georgian translation made by Euthymius at Mount Athos in the late 900's, based on Greek MSS) – was unknown to Scrivener in 1861; he mentioned it very briefly in his Plain Introduction, stating that it was also called the Iberian version, that it was assigned to the sixth century, and that the edition of the Georgian Bible published in 1743 was said to be based on MSS "extensively corrupted from the Slavonic." He also claimed, "from F. C. Alter's description of its readings (Ueber Georgianische Literat., 1798) it appears that the present text contains even such plain interpolations as 1 John v. 7."

        The subject remained opaque in 1901, when Eberhard Nestle wrote about it: "This version, called also the Grusinian or Iberian, is thought to have been made from the Greek in the sixth century, though it may also be derived from the Armenian. It contains the pericope adulterae (John vii. 53-viii. 11), but places it immediately after ch. vii. 44, which is the more remarkable, seeing that in the Old Latin Codex b, the passage from vii. 44 onwards has been erased. The Georgian version was first printed at Moscow in 1743." In 1912, C. R. Gregory commented (Text and Canon, p. 407), "We know almost nothing about the Georgian or Grusinian translation. It was printed in 1723 in Moscow." Metzger interacted with Dr. Nestle's remarks about the Old Georgian version's treatment of the Pericope Adulterae in his Textual Commentary, stating that while Sinai MS. Georg. 16 has the disputed passage after John 7:44 (according to J. N. Birdsall), it is lacking in the Adysh MS, the Opiza MS, and the Tbet' MS. Further research by Robert P. Blake has shown that the Old Georgian version of the Gospels, like the Armenian version, has a Caesarean Text.

        According to B. H. Streeter (The Four Gospels, ch. 12), "In the oldest MS. of the Georgian version, which is dated 897, the Gospel ends at xvi. 8. But the "Longer Conclusion" (as the last twelve verses are usually styled) is added as a sort of Appendix to the Four Gospels after the end of John, having apparently been copied from another text." A footnote to this comment reads, "The Adysh Gospels (Phototypic edition), Moscow, 1916. I owe this information to my friend Dr. R. P. Blake." However, Dr. Jost Gippert has informed me that Blake's statement is incorrect, and that the Adysh MS contains Mark 13:34-37 after the end of John, not 16:9-20. (A reliable source, unless there was a typographical error in the reference. Could somebody with access to a facsimile-reproduction of the Adysh MS double-check that to make sure that 8:34-37 or 14:34-37 is not what was meant?)

        There has been some question about the nature of the base-text of the Old Georgian version. F. G. Kenyon stated in 1958 (Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, p. 237) that the Old Georgian version "is almost certainly directly translated from" the Armenian version. The sixth edition of Kirsopp Lake's Text of the New Testament, p. 44, stated more forcefully that the Old Georgian version "was unquestionably translated from the Armenian." Voobus insisted that the Old Georgian version was based on an Armenian base-text, and I don't see how the data provided by Vööbus leaves any room for doubt:

        In Matthew 21:12 and John 2:15, the Greek text reads, "moneychangers," but the Old Georgian text reads, t'eslis mop'ardult'ay, "seed-sellers." This is the result of a misunderstanding of an Armenian term, hatavachar. The opening syllable ("hat") of the Armenian word hatavachar is capable of meaning "part" and "seed."

        In Mark 1:38, the Greek text reads, "Let us go," but the Old Georgian text reads, "Come and let us go," which agrees with the Armenian, "Come, let us go."

        In Mark 4:35, the Greek text reads, "Let us cross over," but the Old Georgian text reads, "Come and let us go over," which agrees with the Armenian, "Come, let us go over."

        In John 5:7, the Greek text reads, "while I am coming," but the Old Georgian text (in the Adysh MS) reads, "as I stagger along," which agrees with the Armenian "as I walk hesitantly." (Codex 69, a leading member of f-13, has EGW DE ASWENWN POREUOMAI at the end of John 5:7.)

        In Matthew 14:1 ~ the Greek text reads, "Herod the tetrarch," but the Old Georgian text reads, "Herodes C'ororodsa," which is a nonsense-reading which arose when the translator erroneously interpreted the Armenian word "c'orrord" (which was meant to mean "quarter-ruler") as if it were part of Herod's proper name.

        It is often claimed that the oldest Old Georgian MS of the Gospels is the Adysh Codex, which was produced in 897. Another widely circulated claim is that the next-oldest Old Georgian MSS of the Gospels are the Opiza MS (produced in 913), the Dzruci MS (936), the Parhal MS (973), Ms. Sinai Georg. 47 (977), the Tbeth MS (995), and the Gospels of Bert'ay (900's). But all these MSS are younger than some Old Georgian fragments which are written in a form of Georgian called "han-meti." The han-meti (or khan-meti) fragments are called "han-meti" because they use the prefix-character "han," which was later considered superfluous ("meti"). Another group of fragments uses the prefix "hae," which, likewise, was later considered superfluous, and this second group is therefore called the hae-meti MSS.

        Metzger, in his Early Versions of the NT, states that the han-prefix began to fall into disuse in the 500's (or, he qualifies in a footnote, the 600's), so "It is necessary to date the han-meti texts in the sixth century" (p. 185). But this is not necessary; the texts could be older – small fragments have been assigned dates in the 400's – or younger – a han-meti lectionary containing Galatians 4:14-18 has been assigned a date in the 600's. Metzger mentioned that 18 han-meti fragments of the Gospels, Romans, and Galatians, and 23 hae-meti fragments of the Gospels, were collected and re-edited by Joseph Molitor in 1956. The contents of additional han-meti fragments of the Synoptic Gospels were published in 1971-73 by J. Neville Birdsall.

        Besides the syntax-distinction between the han-meti, hae-meti, and the rest, three distinctions exist among the Georgian MSS in regard to their scripts: the asomt`avruli (or, mrglovani, or, mtavruli) script may be considered a sort of uncial lettering, which was popular until the end of the 900's, and continued to be used in some inscriptions afterwards. The hutsuri (also called khutsuri) script is a sort of minuscule lettering, used from the 1000's onward. The medieval mhedruli lettering is the basis for modern Georgian lettering, and the earliest dated MS using mhedruli lettering is dated to A.D. 1245, though some earlier examples exist.

        (At http://bpg.sytes.net/shavlego/gallery/mtavruli-rigi1.htm the development of the mtavruli lettering from the 400's to the 1000's is shown in a table based on Ilia Abuladze's Examples of Georgian Scripture. At http://bpg.sytes.net/shavlego/gallery/khutsuri-rigi1.htm another table shows the development of hutsuri lettering from the 800's to the 1600's.)

        It would be an oversimplification to assume that variants in Old Georgian MSS displaying early syntax and early lettering-forms must be older than contending variants found in MSS displaying later syntax and later lettering-forms. The hae-meti texts from the 700's display a text which may have been descended from the text contained in the Adysh MS, even though the Adysh MS is younger. And the Opiza MS, though it occasionally appears to show signs of being brought up to date via the replacement of archaic terms, contains an annotation which claims that it was copied from an exemplar that was "faultless with regard to the text." Vööbus (Early Versions, p. 198) offered a concise description of how things stand: "While some of the han-meti palimpsest fragments can be associated with the Adysh manuscript, others go together with the group of younger and amended recensions." As evidence of this, Vööbus made a side-by-side presentation of Galatians 6:14-18 from a han-meti lectionary, from Ms. Sinai Georg. 37 (from the 900's), and from the Georgian Vulgate, showing that the contents of the han-meti text (from the 500's or 600's) bore a closer resemblance to the Georgian Vulgate than the text in Ms. Sinai Georg. 37 did. He concluded that therefore the text in the han-meti MSS had undergone some textual adjustments.

        However, more than one scenario can account for this evidence. The same scanty evidence may show, instead, that the base-texts of the Georgian Vulgate and the han-meti lectionary are older than the base-text of Ms. Sinai Georg. 37, and that the text of Ms. Sinai Georg. 37 has been conformed to some outside influence. Or, the han-meti texts may represent one ancient transmission-line (used at one Georgian monastery), while the Adysh MS represents another ancient transmission-line (used at another Georgian monastery some distance away). One thing is certain: the production-date of an Old Georgian MS cannot be used as a measure of the date of the text it contains.

        An interesting feature in the Adysh MS (the earliest essentially complete Old Georgian MS of the Gospels, produced in 897) illustrates this point. According to Metzger (Early Versions, p. 187), Akaki Shanidze discerned that in the Adysh MS, the text of Luke 3:9-15:7 and Luke 17:25-23:2 is different, in terminology and grammar, from the rest of the Gospels. In addition, the text of Lk. 3:9-15:7 and 17:25-23:2 in the Adysh MS resembles the text found in the Dzruci MS (produced in 936) and the Parhal MS (made in 973). This indicates that the person who made the Adysh MS followed one exemplar /except at these points in Luke,/ where probably his exemplar was missing pages. At these places in Luke, he abandoned his main exemplar, and used a different exemplar, which had textual affinities to the Dzruci MS and the Parhal MS. The thing to see here is that although the Dzruci MS and the Parhal MS were produced later than the Adysh MS, their text-form must be as early as the Adysh MS, inasmuch as the producer of the Adysh MS had access to a manuscript which contained it.

        Finally, we should notice that where the Old Georgian version agrees with the Old Syriac, particularly when they form a distinct minority, the Old Georgian version probably echoes the Syriac base-text which was (probably) the foundation of the earliest Armenian version made by Mesrop (c. 410). Another factor to consider is the effect of oral traditions descended from the Syriac which was used in Georgia before the Old Georgian alphabet was developed. Georgia existed as a Christian nation for decades, following the evangelistic work of Saint Nino in the 300's, without a Georgian alphabet. (See http://www.georgianweb.com/religion/stnino.html for details, including an English presentation of the report of Rufinus (c. 403) about St. Nino and the conversion of the king of Georgia.) It would be surprising if the earliest copyists of the Old Georgian Scriptures prevented the liturgy, formulas, famous passages, etc. from those days from having any impact upon the text.

        Somewhere in there is the reason why the Armenian text of the Gospels (and the Old Georgian text that was translated from that Armenian text) -- at least, the strata emanating from the revision that commenced after 430, based on the copies that the Armenian travelers took from Constantinople -- is Caesarean, not Byzantine.

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
      • yennifmit
        Hi James, 2427 is included because it is in the UBS4 apparatus. Removing it won t make much difference to the locations of the other witnesses in the
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 18 5:05 PM
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          Hi James,

          2427 is included because it is in the UBS4 apparatus. Removing it won't make much difference to the locations of the other witnesses in the dendrograms or maps.

          Best,

          Tim Finney

          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "james_snapp_jr" <voxverax@...> wrote:
          >
          > I'll try to take a closer look at that soon, but first --
          >
          > Why is 2427 included in this analysis? It is a forgery.
          >
          > Yours in Christ,
          >
          > James Snapp, Jr.
          >
        • yennifmit
          Hi James, Sorry for the belated reply. I m wondering why texts such as the Armenian are associated with Caesarea when they could be associated with the text
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 27 3:41 AM
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            Hi James,

            Sorry for the belated reply. I'm wondering why texts such as the Armenian are associated with Caesarea when they could be associated with the text and church of Antioch. By the way, I do not equate the text of Antioch with the Byzantine standard text. The Byzantine standard text may well have taken over large parts of the (4th century?) text of Antioch but the two are not necessarily the same.

            Best,

            Tim Finney

            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "james_snapp_jr" <voxverax@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Somewhere in there is the reason why the Armenian text of the Gospels (and the Old Georgian text that was translated from that Armenian text) -- at least, the strata emanating from the revision that commenced after 430, based on the copies that the Armenian travelers took from Constantinople -- is Caesarean, not Byzantine.
            >
          • james_snapp_jr
            Tim Finney, The book you want to read for this information is The Bible in the Armenian Tradition by Vrej Nersessian (2001). The short answer is that (1) the
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 28 2:20 PM
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              Tim Finney,

              The book you want to read for this information is "The Bible in the Armenian Tradition" by Vrej Nersessian (2001).

              The short answer is that (1) the Armenians didn't have an alphabet until the 400's; (2) Syriac was the main language used in Armenian churches until the 400's, (3) the Syriac Diatessaron was being displaced at about the same time that the Armenian version was being made and revised, and -- especially -- (4) when Armenian scholars returned from a whirlwind pilgrimage that managed to include a stop at the Council of Ephesus and a visit to Constantinople, they brought with them highly-esteemed Greek copies from Constantinople, and it was upon the basis of these copies (with a strongly Caesarean text of the Gospels -- maybe one of the 50 Eusebian Bibles, containing some corrections and notes as effects of a century of use at Constantinople) that the Armenian Version was thoroughly revised in the 430's.

              The earlier use of Syriac in the Armenian churches still had a strong effect; it is because of the influence of early Syriac usage that the Armenian canon includes Third Corinthians; Diatessaronic readings infiltrated the text due to the entrenched Syriac usage to which (some) Armenians had grown accustomed. But those echoes of the Syriac text that was used before the revision of the Armenian text do not define the character of the Armenian Text; they are like 100 dolphins swimming in a school of 10,000 herring.

              Yours in Christ,

              James Snapp, Jr.
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