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[textualcriticism] Asterius of Amasea - Matthew 17:21 and Mark 1:2

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  • Steven Avery
    Hi, Thanks, James. Good info. It is interesting to see how three different Asterius ECW (early church writers) are referenced. There are other, but they get
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 19 5:41 AM
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      Thanks, James.  Good info.  It is interesting to see how three different Asterius ECW (early church writers) are referenced.  There are other, but they get less note in Christian textual and doctrinal circles.

      Asterius Trio

      1) the Sophist (or Arian), perhaps a pupil of Lucien. Lived at the time of Eusebius. Most frequently referenced in the context of ECW Byzantine Text usage, earlier than Chrysostom. A major Hortian-based discussion usually leads to a huge amount of textual criticism hand-waving and strained and unbalanced analysis -- when comparing the ECW Byzantine with Alexandrian usage using an uneven measure.
      As for the Sophist writings - "Fragments of his Syntagmation are preserved by Athanasius of Alexandria and Marcellus of Ancyra. His extant works include a commentary on the Psalms, a letter to Eusebius, the Syntagmation, and a few fragments." (Wikipedia)  And it should be noted that determining "text-types" on light and fragmentary evidence, some through other writers, sounds a little dicey.

      2) Amasea, late 4th century, sermons and homilies 
         (as you point out, one writing on Psalms is tugged of war between the two)

      3) Urbanus, because of the Montanist issues that were so significant with Tertullian.  He is noted in the doctrinal battlegrounds.

      Incidentally, this Psalms homily, whoever the author, should be the Asterius to search for the Mark 1:2 reading :

      An additional citation of Mark 1:1—2 appears in a collection of commentaries or homilies on the Psalms, probably written in Palestine or western Syria (Antioch) between 385 and 410 by an otherwise unknown Asterius.1'  (The Son of God was in the Beginning Mark 1:1, Tommy Wasserman, JTS, April, 2011) http://jts.oxfordjournals.org/content/62/1/20.full.pdf?keytype=ref&ijkey=AT2IoWFHZywQb93

      Wasserman leans towards the Amasea authorship, following :

      In Search of Asterius, Studies on the Authorship of the Homilies on the Psalms, 1990
      Wilfrom Kinzig,

      Ast is at times Asterius of Amasea-->"Asterius Amasenus (PG 40, 163-390)"  If so, I am not sure how such an apparatus would handle the Sophist. However it is said by Wasserman that UBS-4 pegged the Sophist on Mark 1:2, so that could be checked. One good convention is Ast.Soph and Ast.Am.

      Now, let's take a minute to try to solve the Matthew 17:21 Asterius (Sophist or Amasea ?) puzzle. 

      Matthew 17:21
      Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

      Mark 9:29
      And he said unto them,
      This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

      The previous conversation was here:

      [textualcriticism] Asterius for Matt 17:21
      Jonathan Borland - Feb 16, 2010
      Steven Avery - Feb 16, 2010
      Jonathan Borland - Feb 16, 2010
      "I am really only interested in whether or not Asterius (any Asterius) cites or alludes to Matt 17:21. I imagine his reference must be somewhere, for why else would UBS4 have cited him? Tischendorf does not cite him, and Burgon never mentions him at this place. Such seems odd unless the work in question is a relatively
      modern discovery. I simply want to know where to go to check, since neither in Matt 17:21 nor in Mark 9:29 does Biblia patristica mention him"

      And we can find here what looks to be the translation of the reference, often quoted in Greek Orthodox circles, without giving the exact source.

      Lessons from the Fathers
      On Fasting
      The strictness of the Quadragesima [the Forty Days] mortifies the passions, extinguishes anger and rage, cools and calms every agitation springing up from gluttony. And just as, in the summer, when the burning heat of the sun spreads over the earth, the northern wind renders a benefaction to those who are scorched by dispersing the sultriness with a tender coolness, so fasting also provides the same, by driving out of bodies the burning which is the result of overeating. ­ Saint Asterius of Amasia.

      And this confirms the forty days as an Asterius topic.

      Aspects Of The Liturgical Year In Cappadocia (325-430)
      Jill Burnett Comings
      (pic.. Asterius of Amaseia provides a few more clues. He calls Lent "the Holy Forty" (Greek) in his homily on the beginning of the "holy fasts."

      However, where is it to see it in Latin, or Greek, or in translation in English ?

      The five sermons put online by Roger Pearse (from the 1904 Galusha Anderson and Edgar Goodspeed book Ancient Sermons for Modern Times, which is fully online http://archive.org/details/ancientsermonsf00astegoog ) does not find anything. A search on q
      uadragesima with Asterius in Latin brings up a number of references, but nothing that stands out to my untrained skimming.

      Maybe in the homilies ?

      Asterius of Amasea, Homilies I-XIV (1970)
      Cornelis Datema

      > James Snapp
      > A 1615 book called "Homiliae," prepared by Philippe Rubens, features the Greek text of Asterius of Amasea's first set of homilies, with an accompanying Latin translation. (It can be downloaded at Google Books.) Datema mentions this book as well as others where the texts of Asterius of Amasea's homilies can be found (before proceeding to present them himself). Datema's book includes the text of all 14 extant homilies by Asterius of Amasea. A large part of Datema's book can be read online, up to the place where Asterius' sixth homily is described as a work about Daniel and Susanna.

      And here is the key 1615 book referenced by James.

      Asterius Amasenus - S. Asterii episcopi Amaseae Homiliae Græcè & Latinè nunc primùm editæ ... (1615)
      Philippe Rubens, Joannes Brantius, Justus Ryckius, Cornelius Galle (sr.), Peter Paul Rubens, Laurentius Beyerlinck

      Maybe something can be found that matches nicely with the Greek Orthodox quotes ?

      Steven Avery
      Bayside, NY

      James Snapp
      Asterius of Amasea (sometimes "Amasia") served as a bishop in Pontus, Asia Minor, from about 375 to about 405. He is the author of the sermons that are found in the book "Ancient Sermons for Modern Times" which was translated in 1904 by Galusha Anderson and Edgar Goodspeed.

      These sermons cover the following subjects: (1) The Rich Man and Lazarus (2) The Unjust Steward (3) Against Covetousness (4) On the Festival of the Calends, and (5) On Divorce.

      Roger Pearse describes these sermons and lists some additional resources about Asterius of Amasea at
      http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/asterius_00_eintro.htm . He also shares the full contents of "Ancient Sermons for Modern Times," which was very obscure in 2003 but is now available to download as a PDF at Google Books and at Archive.
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