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Open Letter to Craig A. Evans

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  • james_snapp_jr
    Dear Dr. Craig A. Evans, As far as I can tell, there s not a single manuscript of Mark 16 in existence in which text-critical symbols accompany verses 9-20.
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 3 4:56 PM
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      Dear Dr. Craig A. Evans,

      As far as I can tell, there's not a single manuscript of Mark 16 in existence in which text-critical symbols accompany verses 9-20. There are 14 that have annotations about the passage -- and those annotations tend to affirm the legitimacy of the passage rather than encourage its rejection (contrary to the impression one gets from Metzger's vague description).

      Which manuscripts, exactly, did you have in mind when you wrote,
      "Many of the older manuscripts have asterisks and obeli marking off the Long or Short Endings as spurious or at least doubtful"?

      Also, which manuscripts, exactly, did you have in mind when you wrote,
      "Later copies contain vv. 9-20, but they are marked off with asterisks or obelisks, warning readers and copyists that these twelve verses are doubtful"?

      Dr. Evans, if you cannot present images of manuscripts which fit the descriptions you have given, then how long will it be before your commentaries are corrected? Would you take immediate steps to ensure that your statements are withdrawn? Or, if you cannot present any such images, do you intend to allow your writings to spread false statements anyway?

      Also, what is the basis for your statement that the last 12 verses of Mark "were added at least two centuries after Mark began to circulate"? Figuring that the Gospel of Mark began to circulate in the 60's, such a statement would require that Mark 16:9-20 was not added to Mark until the mid-200's. How do you dispose of the evidence from Justin, Tatian, and Irenaeus (and, according to Robert Stein, Epistula Apostolorum) in the 100's?

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • George F Somsel
      I find your open letter exceedingly objectionable.  In it you by implication accuse Craig Evans of lying regarding the facts.  You should retract
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 4 8:51 AM
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        I find your "open letter" exceedingly objectionable.  In it you by implication accuse Craig Evans of lying regarding the facts.  You should retract immediately.
         
        While I will grant that Irenaeus contains a passage referencing the LE of Mark (although I would attribute it to the addition of the Latin translator of a later period), where do you find any support in Justin or Tatian?
         
        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: james_snapp_jr <voxverax@...>
        To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, March 3, 2012 5:56 PM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] Open Letter to Craig A. Evans

         
        Dear Dr. Craig A. Evans,

        As far as I can tell, there's not a single manuscript of Mark 16 in existence in which text-critical symbols accompany verses 9-20. There are 14 that have annotations about the passage -- and those annotations tend to affirm the legitimacy of the passage rather than encourage its rejection (contrary to the impression one gets from Metzger's vague description).

        Which manuscripts, exactly, did you have in mind when you wrote,
        "Many of the older manuscripts have asterisks and obeli marking off the Long or Short Endings as spurious or at least doubtful"?

        Also, which manuscripts, exactly, did you have in mind when you wrote,
        "Later copies contain vv. 9-20, but they are marked off with asterisks or obelisks, warning readers and copyists that these twelve verses are doubtful"?

        Dr. Evans, if you cannot present images of manuscripts which fit the descriptions you have given, then how long will it be before your commentaries are corrected? Would you take immediate steps to ensure that your statements are withdrawn? Or, if you cannot present any such images, do you intend to allow your writings to spread false statements anyway?

        Also, what is the basis for your statement that the last 12 verses of Mark "were added at least two centuries after Mark began to circulate"? Figuring that the Gospel of Mark began to circulate in the 60's, such a statement would require that Mark 16:9-20 was not added to Mark until the mid-200's. How do you dispose of the evidence from Justin, Tatian, and Irenaeus (and, according to Robert Stein, Epistula Apostolorum) in the 100's?

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.



      • james_snapp_jr
        George, And I find Dr. Evans promotion of false statements objectionable. That s why I m objecting to them. But I have not called them lies. They are false
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 4 5:49 PM
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          George,

          And I find Dr. Evans' promotion of false statements objectionable. That's why I'm objecting to them. But I have not called them lies. They are false statements, and they do not reflect well upon the quality of his research. It looks very much like Dr. Evans has simply attempted to rephrase Metzger's comments, and distorted them in the process. But one can conduct shoddy, sloppy, negligent, appallingly shallow research, and still be very sincere about it. So, while Dr. Evans' statements have the same effects as lies, it is entirely possible that they are not lies in the sense that they are not deliberately misleading statements. Only if he knowingly continues to spread those false statements, after being shown that they are false, would he be obviously lying.

          GFS: "While I will grant that Irenaeus contains a passage referencing the LE of Mark (although I would attribute it to the addition of the Latin translator of a later period), where do you find any support in Justin or Tatian?"

          First of all, how can you possibly still adhere to such a view about Irenaeus when I have shown in clear terms that it is ludicrous, in light of the nature of the citation and the evidence from 1582 and 72, to attribute the citation in "Against Heresies" 3:10 to anyone other than Irenaeus? Do you have any answer at all to the evidence I gave you about that?

          Secondly, if you simply go to
          http://www.textexcavation.com/jimsnapp.html
          and download the 2012 special edition of "Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20," you will find therein details about the evidence from Justin and Tatian.

          Metzger, in TCGNT, was not certain about the strength of Justin's testimony (in TOTNT, he acknowledges that it is "probable" that Justin knew the passage), but I think that anyone who compares his comments to those of Hort (whose "Notes on Select Readings" were a source of some of Metzger's argumentation regarding Mk. 16:9-20, as well as a source of his very words at some points) will see why: Hort (and Metzger, following Hort's approach) observed that Justin's comment in First Apology ch. 45 emphasizes that the disciples went forth *from Jerusalem* preaching everywhere -- thus fulfilling Psalm 110:1-2, which Justin is allegorically interpreting -- whereas Mk. 16:20 does not explicitly name Jerusalem.

          But Hort, in 1881, had not seen the Arabic Diatessaron. That was not Hort's fault; at that time, it was barely accessible, in a very obscure Armenian translation; Ciasca brought it to light for Western scholars in 1888. When J. Rendel Harris and F. Chase saw it, they immediately realized its implications, when, at the point where Mark 16:20 is used, Luke 24:52-53 is also used. (An English translation of the Diatessaron can easily be found online; the pertinent part is in ch. 55.) The implications are (1) that Justin cited Synoptic Gospels-passages not from the separate Gospels, but from a Synoptics-Harmony, and (2) that Tatian's Diatessaron is based on the framework of Justin's Synoptics-Harmony, into which the text from John has been added. (Again, see the downloadable book for details.) Which implies, in turn, that when Justin draws on the language of Mark 16:20 in First Apology 45, he is also drawing on language from Luke 24:52-53 -- i.e., in Justin's Synoptics-Harmony, the reference to going forth *from Jerusalem* /was/ present. That's why Harris concluded that Hort could take away the question-mark from Justin's name in the list of evidence for Mark 16:9-20. Justin was more than merely aware of the passage; the passage was in the Synoptics-Harmony which Justin used.

          That Synoptics-Harmony, by the way, was also used by Justin when he wrote "Dialogue with Trypho," which is set in the 130's. So unless the extant text of "Dialogue with Trypho" was reworked by Justin after the 130's, his Synoptics-Harmony represents evidence for Mark 16:9-20 that is contemporary with P52 (which is, for the time being, probably the earliest published manuscript of any NT text). In chapter 32 of "Dialogue with Trypho," Justin briefly interprets Psalm 110 in a way similar to the interpretation he expresses in First Apology 45.

          And, in First Apology chapter 50, after quoting from Isaiah 53, Justin states, "After his crucifixion, even those who were acquainted with him all denied and forsook him. But later, when he had risen from the dead, and was seen by them, and they were taught to understand the prophecies in which all of this was foretold," etc. The phrase "And afterwards, when he had risen from the dead and appeared to them" resembles verbiage from Mark 16:14 (a resemblance which is enhanced by the variant "from the dead" that is displayed there in an impressive array of manuscripts, including Codex A).

          As for Tatian, the contents of Mark 16:9-20 are incorporated into the Diatessaron in an important Western witness (Codex Fuldensis) and an important Eastern witness (the Arabic Diatessaron). (The evidence thus meets the requirements of "Petersen's Rule.") In terms of the text, each has been conformed to a large extent to its ancestral text-form: Fuldensis, to the Vulgate, and the Arabic Diatessaron, to the Peshitta. But in terms of their *arrangement* of the text, their treatment of Mark 16:9-20 matches up very well. Given the unlikelihood that they both would independently happen to possess the same arrangement -- especially since the arrangement that they share is one which some readers would naturally consider problematic, inasmuch as it involves a sudden scene-shift from Galilee to Bethany -- this demonstrates that the arrangement of Mark 16:9-20 that they share is an echo of the original Diatessaron.

          I hope this answers your questions. I also hope that Dr. Evans stops spreading false statements in his books.

          Yours in Christ,

          James Snapp, Jr.
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