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Re: those "particularly scrupulous" Alexandrian scribes

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  • rslocc
    ... [Rslocc...Did not Colwell find that some Byzantine readings were corrected to Alexandrian readings in the early papyri?] ... [This is not a scientific
    Message 1 of 37 , Nov 27 6:14 PM
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      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "joewallack" <joewallack@...> wrote:
      > JW:
      > All the qualitative reasons to prefer the Alexandrian Text-Type are
      > usually not listed in related arguments because there is no longer any
      > significant modern authority for the LE. [This is near slander.] My related discussion is here:
      > http://www.freeratio.org/showpost.php?p=6995633&postcount=83
      > The reasons to switch to AT&T (Alexandrian Text-Type) are:
      > 1) Oldest extant text type

      [Rslocc...Did not Colwell find that some Byzantine readings were corrected to Alexandrian readings in the early papyri?]
      > 2) Favored by Textual Critics

      [This is not a scientific argument. Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, Mill, Poole, Bengel, Hug, Scrivener, Wordsworth, Burgon, Miller, Malan, Salmon, Cook, Hodges & Farstad, Pickering, Robinson, Wallace and many others refused the Alexandrian text type and it's variant readings.(Naturally some more or less than others.)]
      > 3) Agreement with even earlier fragments

      [This is worded to vague and therefore cannot be considered as a legitimate argument without some qualification.]
      > 4) Text is generally shorter (forgery is more likely to be an addition than subtraction)

      ["forgery" is not the main perpetrator of corruption. Accident is! The Alexandrian Text Type is shorter for two reasons.
      #1 Homoeoteleuton, Homoeoarcton, errors are rampant.(Numbering in the hundreds I may add.)
      #2 Abridgment of the text.(Which was done for the same reason any work is abridged, namely brevity and compactness.)
      With this said, "Bevior Lectio..." is not a universally accepted rule of textual criticism, mainly because it cannot discern between OMISSIONS and INTERPOLATIONS for the very nature of the rule must accept all omissions as the correct reading. Often in the face of overwhelming external evidence and hom.tel. or hom.arc. possibilities internally.]
      > 5) Extant editing to other text types

      [ This implies that the "editors" lacked trust in the Alexandrian text type? Even so, if and when an Alexandrian reading is changed to a Byz.(etc.) reading by a corrector, how (pray tell) does this lend support to the Text Type that such and such corrector refused? When a Ms. reads one way originally and then someone on down the line "corrects" the reading it does not add support to the original reading, it weakens it because conflicting testimony never strengthens the reliability a witness.]
      > 6) Tend to agree with early Patristics

      [If you mean Clement and Origen, then please by all means say it. Without qualifying "Tend" and "early" this argument is futile. The truth of the matter is (far and wide), that the Alexandrian Text is seen to be in constant conflict with the overall testimony of the early (II -V cent.)Eccl. fathers. Any working knowledge of the critical apparatus will reveal this to the unbiased observer.]
      > 7) Supported by difficult reading principle

      [This is a theory not a principle.]

      > 8) The 3 great textual critics of the early Church, Origen, Eusebius and
      > Jerome, were all near the Alexandrian text-type.

      [This is not a correct statement. Jerome and his Vulgate are much nearer the common Byzantine text overall. Eusebius and Origen (obviously) are closer, but your statement as it stands, safely applies only to Origen.]
      > 9) Alexandria had a reputation for Scribal quality (Ehrman).

      [So why so much HA HT and the like?]
      > > Joseph
      [I understand that your comments are concerning Mark 16:8-20, but you applied them across the board and therefore so have I when disputing your points. I have no intention of offending you in any way and I pray I have not, I simple disagree with your conclusions.-M.M.R.]
    • james_snapp_jr
      Dear Joe: Regarding the attempt to illustrate scribal tendencies by examining Matthew s use of Mark: as I said already, this is not a legitimate comparison,
      Message 37 of 37 , Jan 1, 2012
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        Dear Joe:

        Regarding the attempt to illustrate scribal tendencies by examining Matthew's use of Mark: as I said already, this is not a legitimate comparison, because Matthew was an author, consciously using Marcan material as source-material; Matthew was not operating as a copyist. This should be obvious.

        cJW: "Where intent is limited to copying, I would agree that omission is more likely than addition."

        Great; we agree. (I'd say /generally/ more likely -- the ratios are not overwhelmingly one-sided. And I'd say that one of the very points where scribes got into trouble was when they veered from their strict duty to duplicate the contents of their exemplars. But /generally,/ yes.)

        JW: "Regarding "Matthew" tending to shorten "Mark's" stories, I hear that but I don't see it."

        That's because you've just looked in Mark chapter 1. And even there, you've overlooked places where Matthew moved Marcan material to other parts of his account (instead of conveniently keeping it all in sequence).

        Try the presentation at http://www.textexcavation.com/synopticlistedinventory.html , which will allow you to see out-of-sequence parallels, as well as verbal similarities in the Greek text -- things that you just can't do at the Five Gospels comparison-site you mentioned. Select 10 or 12 places throughout Matthew where Matthew's account is paralleled in Mark, and see whether it is Matthew or Mark who has more words within that episode.

        Here are a few episodes to consider:
        The Healing of a Leper: http://www.textexcavation.com/synhealleper.html
        The Healing of a Paralytic: http://www.textexcavation.com/synhealparalytic.html
        The Gadarene Demoniac: http://www.textexcavation.com/synexorcismgadarene.html

        Of course three other episodes could be cherry-picked that would show the opposite results. But if you go all the way through the parallels between Matthew and Mark, and look at the word-counts (which are listed at the site, episode-by-episode), you will see that although Matthew's episode is sometimes longer (especially when he adds material from another source), usually the longer episode is in Mark. Which implies that when Matthew is using Marcan material, Matthew is usually condensing Marcan material, even though he sometimes supplements the material he has condensed. This should be indisputable, since it is a simple matter of counting words.

        JW: "Is this directly relevant to Scribal editing of source texts? Yes it is."

        No; it isn't. Writing a book using source-materials is a different task than reproducing an already-written text.

        Getting back to Mark 16:9-20 --

        JW: "Since "Matthew" is longer than "Mark" anyway you look at it and preferred, the tendency would be to edit "Mark", the shorter text, to "Matthew", the longer text, and therefore addition here would be more likely than subtraction."

        And thus the tendency would be not to make just any addition, but an addition that looks like what we see in Matthew: an ending in which the frightened women are met by Jesus, and recover their resolve to report to the disciples, who believe the women and therefore proceed to Galilee. But that's not what we have in Mark 16:9-20, is it. We have, instead, a sudden restart in 16:9, followed by scenes in or near Jerusalem, even though this creative editor/composer you posit (or, rather, Kelhoffer posited) had the means, motive, and opportunity to use Matthew to create a harmonious and smoothly-transitioning conclusion. Do you really not see the difficulty?

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
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