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RE: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 5:1 "Gerasenes"

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  • schmuel
    Hi, Wieland First: Origen is difficult to judge since he does not assign his readings to a specific Gospel. The same is true for Eusebius Onomasticon. Steven
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 20, 2012
      Hi,

      Wieland
      First:  Origen is difficult to judge since he does not assign his readings to a specific Gospel. The same is true for Eusebius' Onomasticon.

      Steven
      True.  However they give us insight to both the actual geography and the difficulty of understanding from those at a distance and the existing manuscript situation.

      Wieland
      My very tentative argumentation goes like this:
      Basically, on external grounds, we have a tie in all three
      Gospels between two readings:
      Mt: Gadara versus Gergesa
      Mk: Gerasa versus Gergesa
      Lk:  Gerasa versus Gergesa

      Steven
      There are actually 4 verses involved (2 in Luke) and the three in Luke and Mark can be seen as one unit,  with similar evidences and the same basic account.
      The Matthew summary is sensible, as Gerasa is mostly only Latin there, although it is not chopped liver textually.

      Let us take one verse:

      Mark 5:1  (AV)
      And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

      Gadarenes   - Greek (most uncials and Byz) and Syriac evidence strongly favor, some ECW
      Gerasenes   - Couple of Alexandrian ms and good Latin support (note: harmonization on Gerasa in the Latin mss) some ECW
      Gergesenes  - Some Greek, good on ECW, strong on versional

      On straight external grounds, all three are well represented.

      Wieland
      Now I boldly rule out Gerasa, as being geographically impossible (60 km away from the lake) and I don't think that any of the evangelists wrote this.

      Steven
      Agreed. And it even has a very strong lectio difficilior plus, as it would be the name similar to Gergesa that would be well-known everywhere.

      Wieland
      This then would give us Gergesa in Mk and Lk. What Mt read I have only a weak argument. Since the wrong Gerasa is not found in the Greek tradition of Mt, it is probable that Mt did not read Gergesa originally, from which Gerasa could have been derived by an error. So we are left with Gadara for Mt.

      Steven
      This is too simplistic. Matthew's Gerasene support is weak, virtually no Greek, mostly Latin, however there are strong harmonization considerations to go with difficilior.  The Latin line settled on a Gerasene in all the verses (much like the Syriac settled on the Gadarenes).  Harmonization to manuscripts that had Gerasa in Luke and Mark takes care of your concern. Granted, you said it was a weak argument :) .

      Wieland
      This would be in agreement with Epiphanius. And possibly also Origen, if we assign his majority reading to Mt, which is not improbable since Mt is the first and most important
      Gospel.  At least we can conclude that the incident happened "in the area of Gadara", perhaps near a little village called Gergesa.

      Steven
      Actually, I believe there were two distinct incidents.  There are about a dozen differences (including geographical), 3 or 4 quite major, between the Luke and Mark account compared to the Matthew account.  I do have a separate study on this and probably some references that have previously seen this as two separate incidents.  

      Note that the theories that Gadara and Gergesa are somehow the same area have great difficulties.  They normally are given with a hand-wave and a high-five, but really have no geographical/historical base.  There simply is the whole Hippo region in the way, going on the basic identification of the Gadarene port on the south of the Sea of Galilee and the Gergesa region being the cliffs across the sea from Tiberias.

      Wieland
      Mt read Gergesa in his copy of Mk, but changed it to the more general, better known "in the area of Gadara". Luke kept Gergesa. 

      Steven
      Since I believe Luke was written to the high priest Theophilus in 41 AD, I see it as highly unlikely that he copied another Gospel.  You are working with a Markan priority presupposition.

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery

    • joewallack
      ... JW: Origen. Commentary on John Book VI 24. THE NAME OF THE PLACE WHERE JOHN BAPTIZED IS
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 24, 2012
        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Wieland Willker" <wie@...> wrote:
        >
        > First:
        > Origen is difficult to judge since he does not assign his
        > readings to a specific Gospel.

        JW:
        Origen. Commentary on John Book VI 

        "24. THE NAME OF THE PLACE WHERE JOHN BAPTIZED IS NOT BETHANY, AS IN MOST COPIES, BUT BETHABARA. PROOF OF THIS. SIMILARLY "GERGESA" SHOULD BE READ FOR"GERASA," IN THE STORY OF THE SWINE. ATTENTION IS TO BE PAID TO THE PROPER NAMES IN SCRIPTURE, WHICH ARE OFTEN WRITTEN INACCURATELY, AND ARE OF IMPORTANCE FOR INTERPRETATION."

        Is this Chapter heading Origen's? The Judaizing Masorah type language, ""GERGESA" SHOULD BE READ FOR"GERASA,"" is evidence that it is. If it is than Origen is clearly referring to the Canonical Gospels ("Scripture"). If it is not than the author clearly thinks that Origen is.

        "Thus we see that he who aims at a complete understanding of the Holy Scriptures must not neglect the careful examination of the proper names in it. In the matter of proper names the Greek copies are often incorrect, and in the Gospels one might be misled by their authority. The transaction about the swine, which were driven down a steep place by the demons and drowned in the sea, is said to have taken place in the country of the Gerasenes. Now, Gerasa is a town of Arabia, and has near it neither sea nor lake. And the Evangelists would not have made a statement so obviously and demonstrably false; for they were men who informed themselves carefully of all matters connected with Judaea. But in a few copies we have found, "into the country of the Gadarenes;"

        It's clear that Origen is referring to the Canonical Gospels. The logical implication is that per Origen the dominant Gospel reading in all Gospels was "Gerasenes". Origen's Gadarenes comment coordinates with the subsequent evidence that "Matthew" has Manuscript support for it. I'm getting ahead here but what's interesting for me is not what this says about "Mark". All categories of evidence support "Gerasenes" as likely original to "Mark". Not interesting. What is interesting is that Origen is also evidence that "Gerasenes" was original to "Matthew". This suggests that some of the corrections we see in "Matthew" were not a result of the author but of the Editors. Again, this coordinates with the observation that "Matthew" was the favored early Gospel.


        >The same is true for
        > Eusebius' Onomasticon.

        Same for Eusebius:

        Eusebius of Caesarea, Onomasticon (1971) Translation. pp. 1-75. CONCERNING THE PLACE NAMES IN SACRED SCRIPTURE.

        "Gergasei (Gergasi).304 Located on the Jordan near the city of the Galaad (City of Transjordan near tribe Mt.Galaad) which the tribe of Manasse received. It is said to be Gerash the famous city of Arabia. Some affirm it to be Gadara. But the Gospel mentions the Gerassenes (Gergessenes)."

        The clear implication is that per Eusebius the dominant reading in all Gospels was "Gerasenes". Which again coordinates with Origen.

        > My very tentative argumentation goes like this:
        > Basically, on external grounds, we have a tie in all three
        > Gospels between two readings:
        > Mt: Gadara versus Gergesa
        > Mk: Gerasa versus Gergesa
        > Lk: Gerasa versus Gergesa

        I do not think your conclusion is supported by the External because of the Patristic category above. Also, if you put Authority in the External, Authority also favors "Gerasenes" for "Mark". In addition, I would add a Scribal category. Not much meat there, but what there is is pretty choice. Sinaiticus has been edited from "Gerasenes" to "Gergesenes" with Origen/Eusebius providing the fuel. Your related transcription exercise is secondary as we have primary evidence of change to away from "Gerasenes". The Scribal category has the key attribute of Direction. Which way is the text moving.

        > Now I boldly rule out Gerasa, as being geographically
        > impossible (60 km away from the lake) and I don't think that
        > any of the evangelists wrote this.
        > This then would give us Gergesa in Mk and Lk.

        So the only reason you reject "Gerasenes" as original to "Mark" is because you think it would be an error. That is a type of Internal evidence but the related question is who was more likely to make the error, the author or Editors? Generally, authors are more likely to make errors than Editors. There is also the more basic question of whether it is an error. Error is normally defined as significant distance between intent and result. We can not be sure of what "Mark's" intent was. You are assuming it was to be historically accurate. Related to this, "Gerasenes" is not that bad of an error. It's not like the author wrote "Albuqueque". There is a context of which side of the Sea and Gerasa was the biggest city on the Decapolis side and Decapolis is invoked at the end of the story.

        > since Mt is the first and most important
        > Gospel.

        I believe your meaning is that "Matthew" is placed first in the Canon and was the favored early Gospel. As I explained above, this supports the first change away from "Gerasenes" being in "Matthew" as it had the most early Patristic interest.
         
        > At least we can conclude that the incident happened "in the
        > area of Gadara", perhaps near a little village called
        > Gergesa.

        We can be certain that there was no such incident because that would have been Impossible. When I get to the Internal evidence here I'll demonstrate that even if you do not consider the Impossible/Improbable "Mark's" related story tests high for Fictional Criteria. This reduces the supposed objection that "Mark" would not intentionally use a fictional "Gerasenes" as the setting.


        Joseph
      • Daniel Buck
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 1, 2012
          <<9. JOHN 1:22.
          "They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?" This speech of the emissaries amounts to the following: We had a surmise what you were and came to learn if it was so, but now we know that you are not that. It remains for us, therefore. to hear your account of yourself, so that we may report your answer to those who sent us.
          10. OF THE VOICE JOHN THE BAPTISTS IS. >>

          No, the chapter heading is obviously not Origen's. It must predate Stephanus' Textus Receptus, which introduced verses into the NT text.
           
          Daniel Buck

          From: joewallack <joewallack@...>
          To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 12:01 PM
          Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 5:1 "Gerasenes"

           

          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Wieland Willker" <wie@...> wrote:
          >
          > First:
          > Origen is difficult to judge since he does not assign his
          > readings to a specific Gospel.

          JW:
          Origen. Commentary on John Book VI 

          "24. THE NAME OF THE PLACE WHERE JOHN BAPTIZED IS NOT BETHANY, AS IN MOST COPIES, BUT BETHABARA. PROOF OF THIS. SIMILARLY "GERGESA" SHOULD BE READ FOR"GERASA," IN THE STORY OF THE SWINE. ATTENTION IS TO BE PAID TO THE PROPER NAMES IN SCRIPTURE, WHICH ARE OFTEN WRITTEN INACCURATELY, AND ARE OF IMPORTANCE FOR INTERPRETATION."

          Is this Chapter heading Origen's? The Judaizing Masorah type language, ""GERGESA" SHOULD BE READ FOR"GERASA,"" is evidence that it is. If it is than Origen is clearly referring to the Canonical Gospels ("Scripture"). If it is not than the author clearly thinks that Origen is.

          "Thus we see that he who aims at a complete understanding of the Holy Scriptures must not neglect the careful examination of the proper names in it. In the matter of proper names the Greek copies are often incorrect, and in the Gospels one might be misled by their authority. The transaction about the swine, which were driven down a steep place by the demons and drowned in the sea, is said to have taken place in the country of the Gerasenes. Now, Gerasa is a town of Arabia, and has near it neither sea nor lake. And the Evangelists would not have made a statement so obviously and demonstrably false; for they were men who informed themselves carefully of all matters connected with Judaea. But in a few copies we have found, "into the country of the Gadarenes;"

          It's clear that Origen is referring to the Canonical Gospels. The logical implication is that per Origen the dominant Gospel reading in all Gospels was "Gerasenes". Origen's Gadarenes comment coordinates with the subsequent evidence that "Matthew" has Manuscript support for it. I'm getting ahead here but what's interesting for me is not what this says about "Mark". All categories of evidence support "Gerasenes" as likely original to "Mark". Not interesting. What is interesting is that Origen is also evidence that "Gerasenes" was original to "Matthew". This suggests that some of the corrections we see in "Matthew" were not a result of the author but of the Editors. Again, this coordinates with the observation that "Matthew" was the favored early Gospel.


          >The same is true for
          > Eusebius' Onomasticon.

          Same for Eusebius:

          Eusebius of Caesarea, Onomasticon (1971) Translation. pp. 1-75. CONCERNING THE PLACE NAMES IN SACRED SCRIPTURE.

          "Gergasei (Gergasi).304 Located on the Jordan near the city of the Galaad (City of Transjordan near tribe Mt.Galaad) which the tribe of Manasse received. It is said to be Gerash the famous city of Arabia. Some affirm it to be Gadara. But the Gospel mentions the Gerassenes (Gergessenes)."

          The clear implication is that per Eusebius the dominant reading in all Gospels was "Gerasenes". Which again coordinates with Origen.

          > My very tentative argumentation goes like this:
          > Basically, on external grounds, we have a tie in all three
          > Gospels between two readings:
          > Mt: Gadara versus Gergesa
          > Mk: Gerasa versus Gergesa
          > Lk: Gerasa versus Gergesa

          I do not think your conclusion is supported by the External because of the Patristic category above. Also, if you put Authority in the External, Authority also favors "Gerasenes" for "Mark". In addition, I would add a Scribal category. Not much meat there, but what there is is pretty choice. Sinaiticus has been edited from "Gerasenes" to "Gergesenes" with Origen/Eusebius providing the fuel. Your related transcription exercise is secondary as we have primary evidence of change to away from "Gerasenes". The Scribal category has the key attribute of Direction. Which way is the text moving.

          > Now I boldly rule out Gerasa, as being geographically
          > impossible (60 km away from the lake) and I don't think that
          > any of the evangelists wrote this.
          > This then would give us Gergesa in Mk and Lk.

          So the only reason you reject "Gerasenes" as original to "Mark" is because you think it would be an error. That is a type of Internal evidence but the related question is who was more likely to make the error, the author or Editors? Generally, authors are more likely to make errors than Editors. There is also the more basic question of whether it is an error. Error is normally defined as significant distance between intent and result. We can not be sure of what "Mark's" intent was. You are assuming it was to be historically accurate. Related to this, "Gerasenes" is not that bad of an error. It's not like the author wrote "Albuqueque". There is a context of which side of the Sea and Gerasa was the biggest city on the Decapolis side and Decapolis is invoked at the end of the story.

          > since Mt is the first and most important
          > Gospel.

          I believe your meaning is that "Matthew" is placed first in the Canon and was the favored early Gospel. As I explained above, this supports the first change away from "Gerasenes" being in "Matthew" as it had the most early Patristic interest.
           
          > At least we can conclude that the incident happened "in the
          > area of Gadara", perhaps near a little village called
          > Gergesa.

          We can be certain that there was no such incident because that would have been Impossible. When I get to the Internal evidence here I'll demonstrate that even if you do not consider the Impossible/Improbable "Mark's" related story tests high for Fictional Criteria. This reduces the supposed objection that "Mark" would not intentionally use a fictional "Gerasenes" as the setting.
        • joewallack
          JW: Continuing with my textual criticism of your textual criticism of Mark 5:1: A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels Vol. 1 Matthew BY WIELAND WILLKER
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 2, 2012
            JW:
            Continuing with my textual criticism of your textual criticism of Mark 5:1:

            A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels Vol. 1 Matthew BY WIELAND WILLKER

            For TVU 92 27 NA27 Matthew 8:28 you write:

            "Zahn cannot believe that one of the evangelists really used the well known town Gerasa, which is a two day's journey away from the lake
            ...
            If we follow Zahn and rule out Gerasa completely, what was probably the source that led to it? Transcriptionally Gergeshnw/n is more probable:
            gera shnwn
            gergeshnwn
            gadar hnwn
            So, it is probable that Gergeshnw/n was the original reading in Mk (and Lk). Since the reading Gerasa is not found in the Greek tradition of Mt, it is probable that Mt did not read Gergeshnw/n originally. So we are left with Gadarhnw/n for Mt. Josephus calls the area around Gadara (which is about 10 km from the lake) h` Gadari/tij (Bel. Jud. III 10,10), which belonged to the Dekapolis. So, the incident happened eivj th.n cw,ran tw/n Gadarhnw/n. But the mentioned village cannot be Gadara, which is too far away. There must have been a village called Gergesa. Where was this village? Only in the area of es-Samra hills meet the lake. These are called tulul es-se'alib, "fox-hills". Several ruins can be found there, the highest point is 93 m above the lake. This is the argumentation/speculation of Zahn."

            Your wording is unclear as to the primary reason you are quoting Zahn here. Is it primarily because he is an Authority or because his argument has significant weight? If it's because he is an Authority this does not help your conclusion much as Authority in general is clearly against him. Your last related post makes clear you think his argument has weight. Following are his main assertions and the problems I see with them:

            1) Zahn can not believe that "Mark" wrote "Gerasenes" because it would not fit the physical requirements of the story. As I already mentioned, it's more likely that "Mark" originally wrote it than subsequent scribes who would have had the benefit of hundreds of years of thought on the subject and a more historical based assumption.

            2) He does not consider "Gerasenes" as a possible transcription ancestor because of 1) so his only transcription candidate for "Gadarenes" is "Gergesenes". Close, but so is "Gerasenes". And again, the transcription exercise is secondary as we have superior evidence (Sinaiticus and Patristic) that "Gerasenes" is the ancestor. Also, Gadarenes can be better explained as editing for a position closer to the Sea.

            3) He says "Gerasenes" is not in the Greek tradition of "Matthew" but Origen/Eusebius not only indicate it was but are evidence that it was the dominant Greek text.

            To summarize how I see the External Categories and my related objections to your commentary:

            1) Manuscript = I see the quality as favoring "Gerasenes". I also observe the related dividing of the Manuscripts here as a pattern with the "Gerasenes" team usually on the winning Textual Criticism side. Your observation?

            2) Patristic = Clearly favors "Gerasenes". You seem to be dismissing Origen/Eusebius because they do not say "Mark" rather than just discounting. Why?

            3) Scribal = Clearly favors "Gerasenes". Sinaticus' correction is unreMarkable to you?

            4) Authority = Clearly favors "Gerasenes". I find the attention you give to Zahn inconsistent with the position of Authority here in general. I assume you accept that Authority says "Gerasenes". Why no weight?

            Note that all of the above coordinate. In Origen/Eusebius' time the text was "Gerasenes". Origen famously objects to "Gerasenes" as not fitting and proposes "Gergesenes" with no Manuscript support. Subsequent Editors accept Origen and change from "Gerasenes". In summary you are rejecting this known explanation and instead selecting an inferior one which is unknown.

            I'll cover the Internal evidence next.


            Joseph















             
          • George F Somsel
            All of this speculation regarding the reference to the location was to a known locality.  If, as seems likely, the physical location was not well known to the
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 2, 2012
              All of this speculation regarding the reference to the location was to a known locality.  If, as seems likely, the physical location was not well known to the author, the author may have supplied any location name which became known to him.  The actual location of the site is somewhat immaterial.
               
              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: joewallack <joewallack@...>
              To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Friday, March 2, 2012 11:07 AM
              Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 5:1 "Gerasenes"

               

              JW:
              Continuing with my textual criticism of your textual criticism of Mark 5:1:

              A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels Vol. 1 Matthew BY WIELAND WILLKER

              For TVU 92 27 NA27 Matthew 8:28 you write:

              "Zahn cannot believe that one of the evangelists really used the well known town Gerasa, which is a two day's journey away from the lake
              ...
              If we follow Zahn and rule out Gerasa completely, what was probably the source that led to it? Transcriptionally Gergeshnw/n is more probable:
              gera shnwn
              gergeshnwn
              gadar hnwn
              So, it is probable that Gergeshnw/n was the original reading in Mk (and Lk). Since the reading Gerasa is not found in the Greek tradition of Mt, it is probable that Mt did not read Gergeshnw/n originally. So we are left with Gadarhnw/n for Mt. Josephus calls the area around Gadara (which is about 10 km from the lake) h` Gadari/tij (Bel. Jud. III 10,10), which belonged to the Dekapolis. So, the incident happened eivj th.n cw,ran tw/n Gadarhnw/n. But the mentioned village cannot be Gadara, which is too far away. There must have been a village called Gergesa. Where was this village? Only in the area of es-Samra hills meet the lake. These are called tulul es-se'alib, "fox-hills". Several ruins can be found there, the highest point is 93 m above the lake. This is the argumentation/speculation of Zahn."

              Your wording is unclear as to the primary reason you are quoting Zahn here. Is it primarily because he is an Authority or because his argument has significant weight? If it's because he is an Authority this does not help your conclusion much as Authority in general is clearly against him. Your last related post makes clear you think his argument has weight. Following are his main assertions and the problems I see with them:

              1) Zahn can not believe that "Mark" wrote "Gerasenes" because it would not fit the physical requirements of the story. As I already mentioned, it's more likely that "Mark" originally wrote it than subsequent scribes who would have had the benefit of hundreds of years of thought on the subject and a more historical based assumption.

              2) He does not consider "Gerasenes" as a possible transcription ancestor because of 1) so his only transcription candidate for "Gadarenes" is "Gergesenes". Close, but so is "Gerasenes". And again, the transcription exercise is secondary as we have superior evidence (Sinaiticus and Patristic) that "Gerasenes" is the ancestor. Also, Gadarenes can be better explained as editing for a position closer to the Sea.

              3) He says "Gerasenes" is not in the Greek tradition of "Matthew" but Origen/Eusebius not only indicate it was but are evidence that it was the dominant Greek text.

              To summarize how I see the External Categories and my related objections to your commentary:

              1) Manuscript = I see the quality as favoring "Gerasenes". I also observe the related dividing of the Manuscripts here as a pattern with the "Gerasenes" team usually on the winning Textual Criticism side. Your observation?

              2) Patristic = Clearly favors "Gerasenes". You seem to be dismissing Origen/Eusebius because they do not say "Mark" rather than just discounting. Why?

              3) Scribal = Clearly favors "Gerasenes". Sinaticus' correction is unreMarkable to you?

              4) Authority = Clearly favors "Gerasenes". I find the attention you give to Zahn inconsistent with the position of Authority here in general. I assume you accept that Authority says "Gerasenes". Why no weight?

              Note that all of the above coordinate. In Origen/Eusebius' time the text was "Gerasenes". Origen famously objects to "Gerasenes" as not fitting and proposes "Gergesenes" with no Manuscript support. Subsequent Editors accept Origen and change from "Gerasenes". In summary you are rejecting this known explanation and instead selecting an inferior one which is unknown.

              I'll cover the Internal evidence next.


              Joseph















               


            • schmuel
              Hi Folks, Matthew 8:28 (AV) And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of
              Message 6 of 14 , Mar 2, 2012
                Hi Folks,

                Matthew 8:28 (AV)
                And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes,
                there met him two possessed with devils,
                coming out of the tombs,
                exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

                Wieland Willker expounding on Theodor Zahn
                " Since the reading Gerasa is not found in the Greek tradition of Mt, it is probable that Mt did not read Gergeshnw/n originally."

                Steven
                Here we have the famous evidence from silence expanded into the silence of a non-corruption, a very thin reed :) .

                Wieland
                So we are left with Gadarhnw/n for Mt. Josephus calls the area around Gadara (which is about 10 km from the lake) h` Gadari/tij (Bel. Jud. III 10,10), which belonged to the Dekapolis.

                Steven
                This Gadarenes--Decapolis connection is very important. 
                Here is where Decapolis is mentioned, in Mark, not in Matthew. 

                Mark 5:20  (AV)
                And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

                With the Gergesenes region as Kursi, across from Tiberias, that is not a Decapolis region, as it is above Hippo. Thus, allowing that the Gospel writers were well informed, the Decapolis reference is one of many that supports the Received Text - Greek Majority text reading, Gadarenes, matching Decapolis, for Mark and Luke, Gergesenes for Mattthew.  (Putting aside the attempt to place Kursi with Samra.)

                Wieland
                So, the incident happened eivj th.n cw,ran tw/n Gadarhnw/n.
                But the mentioned village cannot be Gadara, which is too far away.

                Matthew 8:33
                And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city,
                and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.

                Luke 8:27
                And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man,
                which had devils long time, and ware no clothes,
                neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

                Steven
                You can not read too much into this, as evidence for or against. The city could have been the few mile trek up the hills (walking distances was far more common in those days, as we see in the Bible) or there could have been a Gadarene port village on the lake, your other alternative.

                Wieland
                There must have been a village called Gergesa. Where was this village? Only in the area of es-Samra hills meet the lake. 

                Steven
                There is an etymological difficulty here.
                If you claim Samra was somehow Gergesa, then it becomes the region of the Samra, not just a village.

                Wieland
                These are called tulul es-se'alib, "fox-hills". Several ruins can be found there, the highest point is 93 m above the lake. This is the argumentation/speculation of Zahn."

                Steven
                This is a bit stale, as incomplete info, as the Kursi identification is more common today for Gergesenes, across from Tiberias. While I disagree with Franz on some elements, this is the basic factual info about Gergesa, he simply mentions the two possibilities. 

                Note that Franz does not talk of the region of Samra, or even a village, simply that the hill was called Samra at one good, southern (Gadarene) spot.

                The Demoniacs of Gadara
                Gordon Franz
                http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2011/03/07/the-demoniacs-of-gadara.aspx
                The text is clear that this event took place on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Two (maybe three) possible sites have been proposed for the setting of the casting of the demons into the swine. The first possibility, which is now a National Park, is the Byzantine Kursi church on the southern banks of the Wadi Samek. The other possibility is Tel Samra, situated under the campground of Kibbutz Ha�on.

                Stevem
                Now we switch to JW.

                JW:
                 Zahn  ...  does not consider "Gerasenes" as a possible transcription ancestor because of 1) so his only transcription candidate for "Gadarenes" is "Gergesenes".

                Steven
                This is a reasonable point to make against the minority alexandrian reading of Gadarenes in the text of Matthew. Although, harmonization can often supply a missing possible vector of original inclusion. And you can not read too much into scribal mind-reading theories when there are overlapping elements, like the complex dual-language, lectio difficilior, geography knowledge, harmonization and word-similarity considerations.  You can always have a theory for A to Z.)

                JW
                Close, but so is "Gerasenes". And again, the transcription exercise is secondary as we have superior evidence (Sinaiticus and Patristic) that "Gerasenes" is the ancestor.

                Steven
                This is basically the same type of error JW made earlier, the previous post.

                Gerasenes is exceedingly week in Matthew, Sinaiticus supports Gadarenes with correction to Gergesenes. Plus ECW support is weakest of all. So it is hard to fathom what JW is arguing here, perhaps that Gerasenes was the lost Greek "ancestor" of Gadarenes.  However, Gadarenes, if not original in Matthew (and I believe not) is easily explained by harmonization and geographical familiarity as derived from Gergesenes. Thus it does call out for any simplistic transcriptional vector, a concern which is grossly overrated in this verse study.

                JW
                Also, Gadarenes can be better explained as editing for a position closer to the Sea. 

                Steven
                Except that Alexandrian scribes in gnostic lands are not known for familiarity with Israel geography.
                e.g. Sinaiticus talks of Nazareth, a city of Judea, a blunder that is generally hidden from view.

                JW
                3) He says "Gerasenes" is not in the Greek tradition of "Matthew" ....

                Steven
                Which it clearly is not in the extant tradition.
                The discussion of Origen is limited by the simple fact that he does not discuss any particular books of the three synoptic Gospels.

                Shalom,
                Steven Avery
                Queens, NY
              • Wieland Willker
                The manuscript evidence is divided and I consider the case impossible to judge from external evidence. But I agree that the evidence for Gerasa is strong in Mk
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 3, 2012
                  The manuscript evidence is divided and I consider the case
                  impossible to judge from external evidence. But I agree that
                  the evidence for Gerasa is strong in Mk and Lk.
                  You asked: "Sinaticus' correction is unreMarkable to you?"
                  Yes, since it is harmonistic. The corrector changed the
                  reading in all Gospels to Gergesa.

                  Origen seems to have Gerasa as the majority(?) reading, that
                  is true, but he is assigning no specific Gospel to it.
                  Eusebius is mentioning the names in his Onomastikon without
                  assigning a Gospel. What does this help?
                  Epiphanius is assigning the names to each Gospel and he has
                  Gergesa for Mk and Lk and Gadara in Mt, which is in
                  agreement with the analysis of Zahn.

                  I don't mention Zahn, because he is an authority. He is, but
                  this is not important. I think his argumentation is one
                  possible, although tentative explanation. I am very
                  unconfident that it is correct. It is basically possible of
                  course that Mark (and Lk) wrote Gerasa originally. Note
                  Origen! Then, the other names might be attempts to correct
                  the geographical problem.

                  I think that this is overall very difficult to judge. In the
                  end I left the case as "indecisive".


                  Best wishes
                  Wieland
                  <><
                  --------------------------
                  Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                  http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie
                  Textcritical commentary:
                  http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/

                  Please check out the TC forum:
                  http://tcg.iphpbb3.com
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