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Omission, Addition, or Edition? Three Majority Text pluses in Luke 21:14

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  • bucksburg
    Luke 21:4 contains three textual variants, none of which rate very high on the list of interesting variants. But I think it s important to any textual theory
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 18, 2011
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      Luke 21:4 contains three textual variants, none of which rate very high on the list of interesting variants. But I think it's important to any textual theory to account for the way the Byzantine text reads at these three variants (all of them pluses).


      "For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." --KJV
      "For they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."  --NASB
      "All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." --NIV

      The least unknown of these would be  Ï„οῦ Î¸ÎµÎ¿á¿¦ TOU _QU_ at the end of the first clause. Those who dispute it's originality haven't come up with any good reason why it should have been added here; the clause reads quite sensibly without it  But, as it turns out, this is actually a good argument for inclusion: the passage reads rather awkwardly with it, making it the harder reading and likely to be deleted by the smoothing tendency of a scribe. Once deleted, its absence would hardly be felt.

      On the other hand, there are those who advocate that TOU _QU_ was added to EIS TA DWMA as a remote harmonization to the phrase TA DWMA TOU QEOU in Leviticus 21. This seems quite a stretch, especially since the context there was sacrifices (EIS never even being used), and in Luke 21 it was the Temple Treasury. Of interest is the following in Against Heresies  Book IV:

      And for this reason they (the Jews) had indeed the tithes of their goods consecrated to Him, but those who have received liberty set aside all their possessions for the Lord's purposes, bestowing joyfully and freely not the less valuable portions of their property, since they have the hope of better things [hereafter]; as that poor widow acted who cast all her living into the treasury of God.[240]


      It's rather apparent to me that Irenaeus ought to be listed in support of the Majority reading. Apparently later scribes misunderstood the meaning of DWMA TOU QEOU as a term for the offering box itself, and took it to refer to the gifts put in it. Since 'the gifts of God' didn't make sense to that interpretation, they simply dropped TOU QEOU and interpreted the verse as the NIV does, reading EIS as if it were EN.  Perhaps someone can comment on the grammar here. 

      Moving on to the other two variants, they may reflect on the first--but I'll need some input from Greek scholars to evaluate. Simply, the Byzantine text (precisely represented throughout this verse by Codex Alexandrinus), reads  á¼…παντες APANTES for Ï€Î¬Î½Ï„ες PANTES and and á¼…παντα APANTA for Ï€Î¬Î½Ï„α PANTA (all).  I haven't seen any explanation for how this change may have come about, in either direction. As far as the external evidence, some mss desert the Alexandrian reading at one or the other--usually, but not always, both. The versional evidence, which lines up rather strongly behind the Byz reading of TOU QEOU, is probably of no help here.
       
      So, I offer up this verse for more research and further discussion. Irenaeus' quote should to be looked at in Greek, to see if the Byz text reflects his exact usage for the three variants. If so, then the three variants would appear to stand or fall together, and we need to come up with transmission theori(es) to adequately account for the evidence.

      One more thing. Codex A is not known for lining up so precisely with the Majority Text on such minutiae.  The theory that A's Gospels exemplar was an Alexandrian text, incompletely corrected to a Byzantine manuscript, doesn't appear to fit here.  What the textual evidence for this verse appears to support is more of a proto-Byzantine text, which, at least for this verse in its entirety, was eventually copied into the majority of mss.

      Daniel Buck
    • George F Somsel
      Daniel,   It would be helpful if you would set your coding in your email to send and receive in unicode or, if you already have it so set, it would be helpful
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 19, 2011
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        Daniel,
         
        It would be helpful if you would set your coding in your email to send and receive in unicode or, if you already have it so set, it would be helpful if you would re-enter any non-unicode text in unicode or it would be helpful if you would simply transcribe it to beta code.  I can't possibly make out your post.
         
        george
        gfsomsel

        … search for truth, hear truth,
        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
        defend the truth till death.


        - Jan Hus
        _________
        From: bucksburg <bucksburg@...>
        To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 8:59 PM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] Omission, Addition, or Edition? Three Majority Text pluses in Luke 21:14

         
        Luke 21:4 contains three textual variants, none of which rate very high on the list of interesting variants. But I think it's important to any textual theory to account for the way the Byzantine text reads at these three variants (all of them pluses).


        "For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." --KJV
        "For they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on."  --NASB
        "All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." --NIV
        The least unknown of these would be  Ï„οῦ Î¸ÎµÎ¿á¿¦ TOU _QU_ at the end of the first clause. Those who dispute it's originality haven't come up with any good reason why it should have been added here; the clause reads quite sensibly without it  But, as it turns out, this is actually a good argument for inclusion: the passage reads rather awkwardly with it, making it the harder reading and likely to be deleted by the smoothing tendency of a scribe. Once deleted, its absence would hardly be felt.

        On the other hand, there are those who advocate that TOU _QU_ was added to EIS TA DWMA as a remote harmonization to the phrase TA DWMA TOU QEOU in Leviticus 21. This seems quite a stretch, especially since the context there was sacrifices (EIS never even being used), and in Luke 21 it was the Temple Treasury. Of interest is the following in Against Heresies  Book IV:

        And for this reason they (the Jews) had indeed the tithes of their goods consecrated to Him, but those who have received liberty set aside all their possessions for the Lord's purposes, bestowing joyfully and freely not the less valuable portions of their property, since they have the hope of better things [hereafter]; as that poor widow acted who cast all her living into the treasury of God.[240]


        It's rather apparent to me that Irenaeus ought to be listed in support of the Majority reading. Apparently later scribes misunderstood the meaning of DWMA TOU QEOU as a term for the offering box itself, and took it to refer to the gifts put in it. Since 'the gifts of God' didn't make sense to that interpretation, they simply dropped TOU QEOU and interpreted the verse as the NIV does, reading EIS as if it were EN.  Perhaps someone can comment on the grammar here. 

        Moving on to the other two variants, they may reflect on the first--but I'll need some input from Greek scholars to evaluate. Simply, the Byzantine text (precisely represented throughout this verse by Codex Alexandrinus), reads  á¼…παντες APANTES for Ï€Î¬Î½Ï„ες PANTES and and á¼…παντα APANTA for Ï€Î¬Î½Ï„α PANTA (all).  I haven't seen any explanation for how this change may have come about, in either direction. As far as the external evidence, some mss desert the Alexandrian reading at one or the other--usually, but not always, both. The versional evidence, which lines up rather strongly behind the Byz reading of TOU QEOU, is probably of no help here.
         
        So, I offer up this verse for more research and further discussion. Irenaeus' quote should to be looked at in Greek, to see if the Byz text reflects his exact usage for the three variants. If so, then the three variants would appear to stand or fall together, and we need to come up with transmission theori(es) to adequately account for the evidence.

        One more thing. Codex A is not known for lining up so precisely with the Majority Text on such minutiae.  The theory that A's Gospels exemplar was an Alexandrian text, incompletely corrected to a Byzantine manuscript, doesn't appear to fit here.  What the textual evidence for this verse appears to support is more of a proto-Byzantine text, which, at least for this verse in its entirety, was eventually copied into the majority of mss.

        Daniel Buck


      • John McChesney-Young
        On Sat, Nov 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM, George F Somsel ... As it happens, I had opened the original message on my Android phone and the Greek
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 20, 2011
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          On Sat, Nov 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...>
          wrote in part:

          > Daniel,
          >
          > It would be helpful if you would set your coding in your email to send and receive in unicode ...<or some alternative>...

          As it happens, I had opened the original message on my Android phone
          and the Greek was made up of nonsense characters there as well. There
          have been periodic discussions over the years on the B-Greek list (now
          message board) about how to communicate Greek successfully via email
          and although adoption of Unicode-savvy browsers and email clients has
          arguably reached the point that Unicode will work for enough people
          that it's an acceptable way to include Greek in messages,
          unfortunately the increasing use of mobile devices means that we've
          lost ground in practical terms.

          (In practice of course it wouldn't have been hard to track down the
          variants in the passages in question in print or ebooks, but that
          defeats the purpose of including Greek in the first place.)

          George's suggestion of Beta Code has the advantage of wide use (e.g.,
          by the TLG) and since it depends only on 7-bit ASCII, universal
          compatibility. For a brief key and links to fuller documentation, see:

          http://www.tlg.uci.edu/encoding/

          John

          --
          John McChesney-Young ** Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
          JMcCYoung~at~gmail.com ** http://twitter.com/jmccyoung **
          http://jmccyoung.blogspot.com/
        • bucksburg
          I didn t send this as an email; I posted it on the yahoo website for two reasons: 1) To avoid sending the message as a Reply on another thread; 2) To see if
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 21, 2011
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            I didn't send this as an email; I posted it on the yahoo website for two reasons:
            1) To avoid sending the message as a Reply on another thread;
            2) To see if using the Rich Text option would allow the Greek to come through (it didn't)

            I could add a third reason:

            3) In order to actually generate a response (I was hoping for something more substantive though)

            I transliterated all the variants I cited, and gave two translations in English of the entire verse with the relevant variants highlighted to show how the base texts differ. All of that came through just fine. But if all that isn't enough, I will re-send the post as an email, which will allow the Greek to show as Greek rather than unicode characters.

            Let me know how far I have to break it down to make it comprehensible. to Greek scholars.

            Daniel Buck


            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, John McChesney-Young <jmccyoung@...> wrote:
            >
            > On Sat, Nov 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...>
            > wrote in part:
            >
            > > Daniel,
            > >
            > > It would be helpful if you would set your coding in your email to send and receive in unicode ...<or some alternative>...
            >
            > As it happens, I had opened the original message on my Android phone
            > and the Greek was made up of nonsense characters there as well. There
            > have been periodic discussions over the years on the B-Greek list (now
            > message board) about how to communicate Greek successfully via email
            > and although adoption of Unicode-savvy browsers and email clients has
            > arguably reached the point that Unicode will work for enough people
            > that it's an acceptable way to include Greek in messages,
            > unfortunately the increasing use of mobile devices means that we've
            > lost ground in practical terms.
            >
            > (In practice of course it wouldn't have been hard to track down the
            > variants in the passages in question in print or ebooks, but that
            > defeats the purpose of including Greek in the first place.)
            >
            > George's suggestion of Beta Code has the advantage of wide use (e.g.,
            > by the TLG) and since it depends only on 7-bit ASCII, universal
            > compatibility. For a brief key and links to fuller documentation, see:
            >
            > http://www.tlg.uci.edu/encoding/
            >
            > John
            >
            > --
            > John McChesney-Young ** Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
            > JMcCYoung~at~gmail.com ** http://twitter.com/jmccyoung **
            > http://jmccyoung.blogspot.com/
            >
          • Daniel Buck
            From the diaspora of the Cairo Genizah comes a newly identified fragment of the the Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sira, in the original Hebrew. HT to James Snapp.
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 2, 2011
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              From the diaspora of the Cairo Genizah comes a newly identified fragment of the the Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sira, in the original Hebrew. HT to James Snapp.

              http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/Taylor-Schechter/fotm/january-2011/index.html

              The report states that nothing particularly new and exciting comes from this find, as we already have so much of Ben Sira in Hebrew. So whatever I say here will be new only to those who haven't already examined the earlier finds in comparable detail.

              1. The Name of the Book

              For centuries this book has been known as Ecclesiasticus, its title in the English versions. The Greek title, on the other hand, was SOFIA SEIRAC, or, based on information given in the PROLOGOS, SOFIA IHSOUS UIOU SEIRAC,The Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach--the basis for the Vulgate titleLiber Iesu filii Sirach, which has traditionally been partially back-translated into Hebrew as The Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sirach. All this has gone away, however, now that most of the text has been recovered in Hebrew manuscripts from Cairo, Qumran, and Masada. The report and its cited references all now refer to it simply as "Ben Sira," without any 'h' at the end (the Hebrew name terminates in an aleph, thus the alternate transliteration ending in -ah). 


              2. Hypertextual features

              The layout of this new fragment, now identified as part of Ben Sira ms D, is much the same as ms A, with which it overlaps and which is much more intact and legible. Spaces between words, paragraph divisions, and punctuation are all present. But although these mss date to about the 11th or 12th century--a bit later than the oldest mss of the MT--there are no Masoretic features.  The style appears to be much the same as when Ben Sira was first published, with distinct paleographic features at the level of the individual letter and punctuation mark being needed to establish the date.


              3. The identification of SOUFEIR in 7:18

              The first extant line of this fragment reads, . . . Wa AKh ThaLWI BZHB AWFIR, (and a ¿legitimate? brother, for the Gold of Ophir). The Greek expression for that last phrase is EN CRUSIWi SOUFEIR. Now, we already know "Sofir" to be the usual LXX rendition of "Ophir," from all of its uses in the LXX (the Greek spells 'o' and 'i' variously, but rarely leaves off the 's'). But why is this--why did even Ben Sira's grandson, translating in the 14th decade BCE, use this spelling?  There may be some connection to the Coptic name for India, which was reportedly "Sofir." That being the case, Ophir was identified by the Ptolemic Egyptians as equal to what they called Sofir, and thus the name was translated, not merely transliterated, whenever it came up in the Hebrew Scriptures. They appear to have had a problem, though, in the Job and Psalms passages when the name was just one of a string of modifiers for 'gold'--there it was dropped entirely.

              4. The name of the author

              It doesn't pertain to this fragment, but there is a textual question as to the author's name, identified in a colophon at 50:27, to which "The Prayer of Jesus the Son of Sirach" is appended in the Greek edition. Apparently there was a Hebrew copy, owned in the 10th century by Saadia Gaon, which gave a fuller patronym "Shimon, the son of Yeshua, the son of Eleazar, the son of Sira." It would appear that ms B corroborates this identification.

              The Wisdom of Ben Sira is a windfall for textual critics: a book long known only in translation can now be checked with manuscripts of the original, both medieval and ancient. Lost to Christians since ancient times, the Hebrew original was preserved down through the centuries by the Jews, both in the manuscripts themselves and in numerous rabbinical citations. I welcome the discovery of this fragment, if only for drawing our attention once again to this little treasure.
               
              Daniel Buck


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