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Re: The End of Mark in Vaticanus

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  • Dr. Dale M. Wheeler
    Jim Snapp II wrote: ... Jim: I thought it might be helpful for all to see the actual quote. Schaff s whole quote is (which addresses both mss and
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 26, 2005
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      Jim Snapp II wrote:

      <snip>
      Dr. Wallace claimed, "Both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus have blank leaves
      at the end of books early on (e.g., take a look at the end of Acts in
      Sinaiticus--an entire blank leaf: Should we conclude that there was
      originally an Acts 29 from this??)" -- but I do not think that is
      true in the case of B. 

      At http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/hcc1/htm/i.XII.81.htm one may find a
      thorough discussion of this question.   Schaff cites Ezra Abbott's
      observation that in B, "There are two blank columns at the end of
      Nehemiah, and a blank column and a half at the end of Tobit."  I
      reason that if B had more blank spaces than this, then Ezra Abbott
      would have mentioned it.  It's within the realm of possibility that
      he missed something, but I feel justified in asking for a list of the
      other blank pages in Vaticanus.    

      Why are there two blank columns at the end of Nehemiah, and a blank
      column and a half at the end of Tobit?  Because that is where
      copyists completed the texts assigned to them.  A close examination
      of the MS will show that a change of handwriting immediately
      following those blank spaces, and that when the text resumes, it
      starts a fresh and separate page.  Meanwhile, we observe no such
      handwriting-change between the end of Mark and the beginning of
      Luke.  Also, the Gospel of Mark ends and the Gospel of Luke begins,
      on opposite sides of the same page.  I think.  Would anyone care to
      verify or unverify these points?

      I feel safe in saying that throughout Codex Vaticanus, no blank
      columns are intentionally inserted except at the end of the Gospel of
      Mark.  The spaces at the end of Nehemiah and Tobit are just leftover
      space.  But nowhere in the codex does a scribe ever leave a blank
      column between one book that he transcribes and the next book that he
      transcribes -- except at the end of Mark.  So I don't know how one
      can honestly say that B has blank leaves at the end of books early on
      (unless one is thus referring to the leftover spaces after Ezra and
      Tobit, in which case why not just say "after Ezra and after Tobit"),
      or how one can deny that the copyist of B probably had a pretty
      strong suspicion that there ought to be some more text after Mark
      16:8. 

      <snip>

      Jim:

      I thought it might be helpful for all to see the actual quote.

      Schaff's whole quote is (which addresses both mss and gives the list):

      1. The section is wanting altogether in the two oldest and most valuable uncial manuscripts, the Sinaitic ( ) and the Vatican (B). The latter, it is true, after ending the Gospel with Mark 16:8 and the subscription kata mapkon, leaves the remaining third column blank, which is sufficient space for the twelve verses. Much account is made of this fact by Drs. Burgon and Scrivener; but in the same MS. I find, on examination of the facsimile edition, blank spaces from a few lines up to two-thirds and three-fourths of a column, at the end of Matthew, John, Acts, 1 Pet. (fol. 200), 1 John (fol. 208), Jude (fol. 210), Rom. (fol. 227), Eph. (fol. 262), Col. (fol. 272). In the Old Testament of B, as Dr. Abbot has first noted (in 1872), there are two blank columns at the end of Nehemiah, and a blank column and a half at the end of Tobit. In any case the omission indicates an objection of the copyist of B to the section, or its absence in the earlier manuscript he used.
      I add the following private note from Dr. Abbot:, "In the Alexandrian MS. a column and a third are left blank at the end of Mark, half a page at the end of John, and a whole page at the end of the Pauline Epistles. (Contrast the ending of Matthew and Acts.) In the Old Testament, note especially in this MS. Leviticus, Isaiah, and the Ep. of Jeremiah, at the end of each of which half a page or more is left blank; contrast Jeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations. There are similar blanks at the end of Ruth, 2 Samuel, and Daniel, but the last leaf of those books ends a quaternion or quire in the MS. In the Sinaitic MS. more than two columns with the whole following page are left blank at the end of the Pauline Epistles, though the two next leaves belong to the same quaternion; so at the end of the Acts a column and two-thirds with the whole of the following page; and at the end of Barnabas a column and a half. These examples show that the matter in question depended largely on the whim of the copyist; and that we can not infer with confidence that the scribe of B knew of any other ending of the Gospel."

      ******************************************************************
      Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
      Prof., Biblical Languages/Bible      Multnomah Bible College
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    • malcolm robertson
      Jim Snapp wrote: I feel safe in saying that throughout Codex Vaticanus, no blank columns are intentionally inserted except at the end of the Gospel of Mark.
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 26, 2005
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        Jim Snapp wrote:
         
        "I feel safe in saying that throughout Codex Vaticanus, no blank
        columns are intentionally inserted except at the end of the Gospel of Mark. The spaces at the end of Nehemiah and Tobit are just leftover space. But nowhere in the codex does a scribe ever leave a blank column between one book that he transcribes and the next book that he transcribes -- except at the end of Mark."
         
        It simply is not so. Compare the evidence below which I posted in part at another site.  I'm not trying to be exhaustive.
         
        Take a look. The evidence speaks for itself:

        Codex B (Vaticanus) (4th cent)

        This codex is in three columns per leaf. It has 42 lines per column (but see below).

        Examples:

        http://www.moses.uklinux.net/pdf/Codex-Vaticanus-NT.pdf

        There is a gap which begins in the second column of this leaf measuring 11 lines
        and continues the entire length of the third column (42 lines) sepearating the
        ending of Mark (vs 8) from the beginning of Luke's Gospel.
        http://alpha.reltech.org:8083/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/U3Tisch?seq=117

        There is a gap in column two of this leaf of 32 lines separating the ending of
        Matthew and the beginning of Mark.
        http://alpha.reltech.org:8083/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/U3Tisch?seq=91

        There is a gap in column one of this leaf of 36 lines separating the ending of
        John's Gospel from the beginning of Acts.
        http://alpha.reltech.org:8083/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/U3Tisch?seq=196

        There is a gap in column three of this leaf of 39 lines separating the end of
        Acts from the beginning of James which begins in the first column of the next
        leaf.
        http://alpha.reltech.org:8083/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/U3Tisch?seq=239

        At this next point this Codex loses it's column format. There is a small gap
        between the ending of James and the beginning of 1 Peter. The gap contains the
        words 'of James' and directly beneath 'of Peter.'
        http://alpha.reltech.org:8083/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/U3Tisch?seq=244

        Note: Codex Vaticanus ends at Heb 9:13 and lacks 1 & 2 Timothy and Revelation.
         
        Cordially in Christ,
         
        Malcolm



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      • Daniel Buck
        Daniel B. Wallace wrote:
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 26, 2005
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          "Daniel B. Wallace" wrote:
          <<It might also be noted that the scribe of Vaticanus did NOT leave
          room for 16.9-20, as is commonly supposed. The room left on the leaf
          is insufficient for such. >>

          I beg to differ, unless you can be a whole lot more specific. I just
          looked at the linked facsimles, and, as noted, there is just enough
          room at the bottom of the column for the 33 words in the short
          ending. But there IS another blank column before Luke commences.

          The long ending, which takes up 6 times the space in a PRINTED
          edition, has only about 90% of the room it needs in the rest of
          column #2 and all of column #3, if we leave out the "KATA MARKON"
          postscript--which would be necessary even to fit in the short ending
          at the bottom of the column.

          If 90% wasn't quite enough space for a corrector to feel confident
          in starting to insert the missing ending, it was certainly enough
          for the scribe's estimation of the space needed. Why start Luke one
          whole column later if you don't absolutely have to?

          And by leaving out the spaces between words--as B does--that 90% in
          a printed edition would come pretty close to 100% in the MS itself.

          Daniel Buck
        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... As he explained in his prolegomena (pp. VIII-X), Tischendorf wasn t given enough time to transcribe all the formal features of all the pages of Vaticanus.
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 26, 2005
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            malcolm robertson <mjriii2003@...> wrote:
            >At this next point this Codex loses it's column format. There is a small gap
            >between the ending of James and the beginning of 1 Peter. The gap contains the
            >words 'of James' and directly beneath 'of Peter.'

            As he explained in his prolegomena (pp. VIII-X), Tischendorf wasn't
            given enough time to transcribe all the formal features of all the
            pages of Vaticanus. The inference that "this Codex loses it's [sic]
            column format" is therefore precarious and, in fact, mistaken.

            Stephen Carlson




            --
            Stephen C. Carlson,
            mailto:scarlson@...
            "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
          • voxverax
            Dr. Wheeler: Thanks for posting the text from the CCEL site. Consider the following: ... but in the same MS. I find, on examination of the facsimile edition,
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 26, 2005
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              Dr. Wheeler:

              Thanks for posting the text from the CCEL site. Consider the
              following:

              "... but in the same MS. I find, on examination of the facsimile
              edition, blank spaces from a few lines up to two-thirds and
              three-fourths of a column, at the end of Matthew, John, Acts, 1 Pet.
              (fol. 200), 1 John (fol. 208), Jude (fol. 210), Rom. (fol. 227), Eph.
              (fol. 262), Col. (fol. 272)."

              True, but irrelevant. No one is claiming that there's anything
              unusual about blank space that appears in a column where the text of
              the book has ended further up the column.

              "In the Old Testament of B, as Dr. Abbot has first noted (in 1872),
              there are two blank columns at the end of Nehemiah, and a blank
              column and a half at the end of Tobit."

              Yup. The ends of copyists' assigned texts.

              "In any case the omission indicates an objection of the copyist of B
              to the section, or its absence in the earlier manuscript he used."

              Or maybe the copyist's knowledge of two endings.

              "I add the following private note from Dr. Abbot:, "In the
              Alexandrian MS. a column and a third are left blank at the end of
              Mark, half a page at the end of John, and a whole page at the end of
              the Pauline Epistles. (Contrast the ending of Matthew and Acts.)"

              This is not a description of Codex Vaticanus. Codex Vaticanus does
              not have "half a page" blank at the end of John. John ends in the
              first column of a page (with six lines of text, followed by a
              decorative line and "kata Iwnanhn"), and the book of Acts begins at
              the top of the second column. Abbot seems to have been describing
              Codex Alexandrinus here.

              "In the Old Testament, note especially in this MS. Leviticus, Isaiah,
              and the Ep. of Jeremiah, at the end of each of which half a page or
              more is left blank; contrast Jeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations. There
              are similar blanks at the end of Ruth, 2 Samuel, and Daniel, but the
              last leaf of those books ends a quaternion or quire in the MS."

              It was nice of Dr. Abbot to share these observations about Codex
              Alexandrinus, but they are still observations about A, not B. And
              when he proceeds to mention gaps in Aleph, he's still describing
              features that are not featured of B.

              The examples that he cites to "show that the matter in question
              depended largely on the whim of the copyist" do nothing of the sort,
              and in a way they do the opposite: B's consistent avoidance of such
              gaps between books makes the gap at the end of Mark stand out in
              bolder relief. It would be silly of me to say that since copyists
              Ted, Ed, and Fred like to put spaces between books, this shows that
              copyist Bernard also likes to intentionally put spaces between books
              -- especially if I can hold up a codex made by Bernard in which he
              has avoided putting spaces between books (other than the space after
              Mark). But that seems to be the essence of the case that Abbot was
              trying to make.

              Yours in Christ,

              Jim Snapp II
              Curtisville Christian Church
              Indiana (USA)
            • voxverax
              Dear Malcolm R.: I said, Nowhere in the codex does a scribe ever leave a blank column between one book that he transcribes and the next book that he
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 26, 2005
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                Dear Malcolm R.:

                I said, "Nowhere in the codex does a scribe ever leave a blank column
                between one book that he transcribes and the next book that he
                transcribes -- except at the end of Mark."

                You said, "It simply is not so." Let's taste the pudding.

                The first example you offered, showing the end of the Gospel of John
                and the beginning of the book of Acts, does not display a blank
                column. So much for that.

                The second example you offered is the blank space at the end of Mark!

                The third example you offered, showing the end of the Gospel of
                Matthew and the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, does not display a
                blank column. The second column has nine lines of text from the end
                of Matthew. The text of Mark begins at the top of the third column.
                So much for that.

                And, in the last example, that "small gap between the ending of James
                and the beginning of 1 Peter" is, well, a small gap. There's nothing
                unusual about it; it's the sort of gap one usually finds in B in the
                space left in a column underneath the end of a book. This is, again,
                not a blank column. (Also, I don't know what you mean by the
                statement that "The gap contains the words 'of James' and directly
                beneath 'of Peter.'" It looks to me like "Jacobou" is the
                subscription and "kata Petron A'" is written high above the opening
                lines of First Peter -- an unexceptional arrangement in B).

                As you said, the evidence speaks for itself.

                Yours in Christ,

                Jim Snapp II
                Curtisville Christian Church
                Indiana (USA)
              • malcolm robertson
                Stephen Carson wrote: As he explained in his prolegomena (pp. VIII-X), Tischendorf wasn t given enough time to transcribe all the formal features of all the
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 27, 2005
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                  Stephen Carson wrote:
                   
                  "As he explained in his prolegomena (pp. VIII-X), Tischendorf wasn't
                  given enough time to transcribe all the formal features of all the
                  pages of Vaticanus. The inference that "this Codex loses it's [sic]
                  column format" is therefore precarious and, in fact, mistaken."

                  You are correct. I confounded the facsimile of Vaticanus with Tischendorf's transcription. Nevertheless, I still feel in light of the external textual evidence and the thesis' that are being attempted here that Daniel Wallace's informed observation holds true: "..it is a myth to suppose that Vaticanus' scribe knew of Mark 16.9-20 and left room for it...."

                  Although I am unable to check the OT portions of this codex the blank spaces - irrespective of the number of scribes - are non supportive for the thesis that vss 9-20 could/would/should be incorporated later.

                  Cordially in Christ,

                  Malcolm




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                • voxverax
                  Daniel Buck, I hope I may field the question about Dr. Wallace s statement that The room left on the leaf is insufficient for such. The blank space at the
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 27, 2005
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                    Daniel Buck,

                    I hope I may field the question about Dr. Wallace's statement that
                    "The room left on the leaf is insufficient for such."

                    The blank space at the bottom of the second column (in which 16:8
                    concludes) is just right for the inclusion of the Short Ending, if
                    one starts writing right after GAR. One might ask, "If the Short
                    Ending were adopted, where would the subscription KATA MARKON go?"
                    but the answer is easy: if the Short Ending were adopted, the
                    finisher of the MS would probably stretch the lettering (in the same
                    way that the lettering in the final verses of Mark are stretched in
                    Aleph's cancel-sheet) so that at least a few letters of the Short
                    Ending would appear at the top of column three. Thus the codex's
                    consistent non-use of blank columns between books would be
                    sustained.

                    Another possibility is that the copyist could place the subscription
                    in the lower margin, as is done in B in the case of another NT-book's
                    subscription. But the first option's a lot more likely.

                    As for the Long Ending, see my earlier comments and the replica at
                    www.waynecoc.org/Vaticanus.html . (Feel free to copy the image.)
                    Using a standard text (or something very close to a standard text),
                    and the usual size and spacing of the letters, one would reach the
                    end of the last column about four lines before reaching the end of
                    Mark 16:20. (But I would like to try this out with the text of L
                    sometime to see if it makes any difference.)

                    DB: "Why start Luke one whole column later if you don't absolutely
                    have to?"

                    Indeed; why would B's copyist do this? Or to put it another way:
                    why did the copyist deviate, at the end of Mark, from the no-blank-
                    columns format that is used throughout the NT and throughout the
                    entire codex except for those two gaps in the OT that unavoidably
                    occurred where copyists finished their assigned texts? Considering
                    that B's Alexandrian relatives (L, Psi, 579, etc.) have the Short
                    Ending and the Long Ending, I think it is very reasonable to conclude
                    that the Long Ending had something to do with it, and possibly the
                    Short Ending also.

                    Yours in Christ,

                    Jim Snapp II
                    Curtisville Christian Church
                    Indiana (USA)
                  • Peter Head
                    Is this really going anywhere? Some points: a) I personally find it really difficult to know for sure what is signified or implied by a blank space. Even
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 28, 2005
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                      Is this really going anywhere?

                      Some points:
                      a) I personally find it really difficult to know for sure what is signified
                      or implied by a blank space. Even though I like extrapolating from
                      not-enough-evidence as much as most people.

                      b) But I personally tire of people repeating third-hand comments. What is
                      needed is a proper study of the scribal behaviour exhibited in Vaticanus.

                      c) Of course it is possible that a fourth-century scribe interested in the
                      text of Mark would be aware of the long-ending (Irenaeus quotes from it as
                      the end of Mark; Jerome and Eusebius both discuss the problem explicitly).
                      No one doubts that there were fourth century manuscripts of Mark which
                      contained the Long Ending. Quite possibly (with Lachmann) the LE was
                      predominant in the fourth-century text of Mark. Many scholars think that by
                      the time of Vaticanus the Long Ending had been in circulation for 200 years
                      (accepting for the sake of argument that LE was known to Justin -
                      admittedly the evidence for this is slim). It is not a great stretch to
                      imagine that the scribe of Vaticanus could have known of the LE. More than
                      likely he did. Certainly the information would have been available to the
                      curious/informed. But so what?

                      d) I understand that LE-advocates are attempting to qualify the witness of
                      Vaticanus to the short text, but I fail to follow the logic of it. Even if
                      (for the sake of argument) we allow that the scribe knew the LE and that he
                      left space (approximately enough) for the LE; he chose to provide only the
                      short text. So even on this view presumably the short text was in his
                      exemplar, he thought about putting in the LE and decided against it.

                      e) So what step am I missing in the LE-advocacy case?

                      f) Just to remind you: I personally find it really difficult to know for
                      sure what is signified or implied by a blank space.

                      Pete




                      Peter M. Head, PhD
                      Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
                      Tyndale House
                      36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
                      566607
                      Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
                      http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
                    • voxverax
                      Dear Dr. Head: Yes, I think this brief discussion is making some progress, even if it is akin to Thomas Edison s progress of finding 2,000 ways not to invent
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 28, 2005
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                        Dear Dr. Head:

                        Yes, I think this brief discussion is making some progress, even if
                        it is akin to Thomas Edison's progress of finding 2,000 ways not to
                        invent a lightbulb.

                        Already, it's been learned that B does not lose its column-format at
                        the end of James. And bystanders may learn via this discussion that
                        the blank space at the end of Mark in B is four lines too short to
                        contain the standard text of 16:9-20 written in the copyist's normal
                        lettering -- a worthwhile amendment of Burgon's claim that the blank
                        space is "abundantly sufficient" to contain those 12 verses. And, I
                        think the point that the prolonged space at the end of Mark in B
                        truly is unique in the MS and is not of the same nature as the blank
                        spaces in the OT after Nehemiah and Tobit, has been demonstrated. If
                        this last point prevents some instructors from misinforming their
                        students that the scribes of Vaticanus left less and less space
                        between books in this MS as they realized that they were running out
                        of space, I'd call that progress.

                        PH: "I personally find it really difficult to know for sure what is
                        signified or implied by a blank space."

                        Me too. I don't think we can discern with 100% certainty what the
                        copyist of B was thinking, but I do think we can very reasonably
                        narrow it down to a few possibilities. And one of those reasonable
                        possibilities is /not/ that the prolonged blank space, including the
                        only non-seam blank column in the codex, was arbitrary. The Short
                        Ending or the Long Ending or both, in either an exemplar or in the
                        copyist's memory, had something to do with this. That is obvious.

                        PH: … "What is needed is a proper study of the scribal behaviour
                        exhibited in Vaticanus."

                        Was Milne & Skeat's study improper or insufficient in some way?

                        PH: … "Quite possibly (with Lachmann) the LE was predominant in the
                        fourth-century text of Mark."

                        Considering its use by Aphraates, the "Gospel of Nicodemus,"
                        Porphyry/Hierocles and Macarius Magnes, Ephrem Syrus, whatever old
                        Greek mss Jerome used as the groundwork for his work on the Vulgate
                        Gospels, Ulfilas, the composer of the Freer Logion, and others, yes.


                        PH: … It is not a great stretch to imagine that the scribe of
                        Vaticanus could have known of the LE. More than likely he did."

                        I agree.

                        PH: "But so what?"

                        So the common statement that "the two earliest Greek manuscripts lack
                        16:9-20" should be balanced by the statement that it is more than
                        likely that the copyist of the earliest manuscript of Mark 16 had
                        encountered the LE in some older copy of Mark. (And by statements
                        such as, "More than a century before the earliest extant MS of Mark
                        16 was made, Irenaeus cited the LE and called it part of Mark's
                        Gospel," but that's tangential to the business about Vaticanus.)

                        PH: … "Even if (for the sake of argument) we allow that the scribe
                        knew the LE and that he left space (approximately enough) for the LE;
                        he chose to provide only the short text. So even on this view
                        presumably the short text was in his exemplar, he thought about
                        putting in the LE and decided against it."

                        That is still saying quite a bit. That seems a llooonnggg way away
                        from the statement that "It is a myth to suppose that Vaticanus'
                        scribe knew of Mark 16.9-20 and left room for it." The scenario you
                        describe is not very different from the following one: the copyist
                        of B considered his exemplar defective, but since he did not have an
                        exemplar which displayed the Long Ending, he decided not to attempt
                        to write down those 12 verses based on his memory of them.

                        And notice the difference in the force of the following statements:
                        (1) Codex Vaticanus, the oldest extant copy of Mark 16, does not
                        include verses 9-20.
                        (2) The copyist of Codex Vaticanus, the oldest extant copy of Mark
                        16, did not include verses 9-20, but it is more than likely that the
                        copyist had encountered these verses in a copy of Mark older than
                        Codex Vaticanus.

                        In statement #1, the reader only sees one of the lines of descent
                        that are indicated in the format of B. In statement #2 one sees two
                        lines of descent.

                        PH: "So what step am I missing in the LE-advocacy case?"

                        Lemme briefly review my idea of LE-advocacy, and then perhaps the
                        impact of the stuff about Vaticanus will be felt.

                        I think that Mark died in the course of writing 16:8. There is no
                        lost ending out there waiting to be unearthed. But /before the
                        Gospel of Mark was published,/ Mark's associates attached the LE to
                        conclude the book. They didn't compose, but attached the LE, which
                        Mark had either written previously, or approved and used, as a
                        freestanding text about the post-resurrection appearances of Christ
                        in Jerusalem. (I don't buy the idea that the Long Ending is a
                        pastiche dependent upon the Gospels and Acts for a minute.) (At this
                        point Mark's survivors might have made various editorial touches,
                        some of which begat some "Minor Agreements," but that's another
                        discussion.)

                        At some point after the Gospel of Mark (1:1-16:20) was published,
                        someone who knew that 16:9-20 had been attached as a sort of patch
                        decided that another text had greater appeal and greater authority
                        and simply interlocked better with 16:8. This other text provided
                        the expected meeting with Peter in Galilee. This other text was John
                        21, which may have circulated as "floating" text before being re-
                        worked and incorporated into (or onto) the Gospel of John. (That
                        would explain, at least, the resumption of the narrative after the
                        ending-like end of John 20.) This person figured that the patch
                        (i.e., the LE) was superfluous (reasoning, perhaps, that Mark had
                        obviously wanted to describe things in Galilee as John 21 does, not
                        Jerusalem as the LE does), and initiated a tradition of turning from
                        the end of Mark 16:8 to John 21 when reading the Gospel of Mark. As
                        a result of this treatment, the LE was dropped from the text of Mark
                        in the locale where this was done.

                        But a little later, a copy from which the LE had been dropped fell
                        into the hands of someone who was not familiar with the Gospel of
                        Mark or with the above-described approach, and this person composed
                        the Short Ending.

                        And a little later, in the same locale -- without mixture from other
                        local texts involved (at least, not to the extent that the equation
                        is affected) -- people exchanging or comparing copies of Mark realize
                        that some copies have the Long Ending, some have the Abrupt Ending,
                        and some have the Short Ending.

                        All this could easily have happened before 250.

                        Now then: suppose that the copyist of B faced some exemplars of Mark
                        with the Short Ending, some with the Long Ending, and some ending at
                        the end of 16:8. If the copyist accepted the Jump-to-John-21
                        approach, then he would naturally end the text at 16:8. But if he
                        had no idea why the exemplars display what they display, he may have
                        wanted to let the eventual owner of the MS sort out this problem.
                        (This becomes more probable if one imagines that the eventual owner,
                        or at least the final proof-reader, of the MS was thought to be
                        skilled at sorting out this sort of problem. Say, someone like
                        Eusebius.) What would be the best way to do this? By writing out
                        notes about the contents of the disagreeing exemplars? That would be
                        a nuisance to correct. The clever solution would be to leave space
                        in which any one of the three adoptable endings could be added -- the
                        Abrupt Ending, easily; the Short Ending, also easily, and the Long
                        Ending, with skill.

                        So, while B is often treated as if it agrees with the cancel-sheet of
                        Aleph, its format may indicate that its copyists faced the same
                        scenario that the scribes of L and Psi faced.

                        Or, the main NT copyist of B may have had some exemplars with the
                        Abrupt Ending, and some exemplars with the Short Ending, and no
                        exemplars with the Long Ending. Unsure of what to do, he may have
                        decided to make a non-decision by stopping at the end of 16:8 but
                        leaving room for the Short Ending (expecting that if it were added,
                        its text would be extended into the top of the third column).

                        (On this theory, if the scribe who copied the NT in B is the same
                        person as the scribe who made the cancel-sheets in Sinaiticus, the
                        treatment in B reflects his indecision in his younger days, and the
                        treatment in Aleph may reflect his eventual firm rejection of the
                        Short Ending, which may have been displayed on Aleph's original page
                        at the end of Mark (though the cancel-sheet there seems to have been
                        required mainly to fix a large omission in Luke.)

                        So, with that unique blank space at the end of Mark in B in the
                        equation, things add up quite a bit differently than the simple
                        statement, "B does not contain 16:9-20" would imply. I sum up
                        carefully: B does not contain the LE or the SE, but the format of B
                        supports the theory that the copyist of B had encountered the Long
                        Ending, or the Short Ending, or both, and opposes the theory that the
                        copyist of B had only encountered the Abrupt Ending.

                        And -- though this is tangential -- the possibility is brought to
                        light that B and Aleph agree (sort of) at the end of Mark because
                        they were made to agree by a single copyist who, when he participated
                        in the production of B, knew the Abrupt Ending and the Short Ending
                        and was not sure what to do, and who, when he later supervised the
                        production of Aleph, had arrived at a position against the inclusion
                        of the Short Ending (possibly simultaneously embracing the Jump-to-
                        John-21 approach), and when he happened to get the opportunity to
                        accordingly correct the manuscript he was supervising, he did.

                        Yours in Christ,

                        Jim Snapp II
                        Curtisville Christian Church
                        Indiana (USA)
                      • Peter Head
                        Dear Jim, ... Milne & Skeat s study is fine in every way. It is insufficient in this connection since it is about Codex Sinaiticus! (to be sure the four page
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 29, 2005
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                          Dear Jim,

                          Just a couple of comments:


                          >PH: … "What is needed is a proper study of the scribal behaviour
                          >exhibited in Vaticanus."
                          >
                          >Was Milne & Skeat's study improper or insufficient in some way?

                          Milne & Skeat's study is fine in every way. It is insufficient in this
                          connection since it is about Codex Sinaiticus! (to be sure the four page
                          appendix on Vaticanus is useful).


                          >PH: "But so what?"
                          >
                          >So the common statement that "the two earliest Greek manuscripts lack
                          >16:9-20" should be balanced by the statement that it is more than
                          >likely that the copyist of the earliest manuscript of Mark 16 had
                          >encountered the LE in some older copy of Mark. (And by statements
                          >such as, "More than a century before the earliest extant MS of Mark
                          >16 was made, Irenaeus cited the LE and called it part of Mark's
                          >Gospel," but that's tangential to the business about Vaticanus.)

                          The common statement remains true. The balancing statement is a judgement
                          about probabilities and to use 'older' here is unclear (if he knew LE from
                          a MS then that MS would be older that B; but not older -necessarily - than
                          B's exemplar).



                          >PH: … "Even if (for the sake of argument) we allow that the scribe
                          >knew the LE and that he left space (approximately enough) for the LE;
                          >he chose to provide only the short text. So even on this view
                          >presumably the short text was in his exemplar, he thought about
                          >putting in the LE and decided against it."
                          >
                          >That is still saying quite a bit. That seems a llooonnggg way away
                          >from the statement that "It is a myth to suppose that Vaticanus'
                          >scribe knew of Mark 16.9-20 and left room for it." The scenario you
                          >describe is not very different from the following one: the copyist
                          >of B considered his exemplar defective, but since he did not have an
                          >exemplar which displayed the Long Ending, he decided not to attempt
                          >to write down those 12 verses based on his memory of them.

                          I wasn't describing a scenario, but adopting one for the sake of argument.
                          I don't know what the blank column signifies/implies as I am not an expert
                          in interpreting blank spaces. I find blank spaces difficult to interpret.

                          But I think I now have an answer to the question I was posing about
                          LE-advocacy and the step I was missing: ' the copyist of B considered his
                          exemplar defective'. That makes some sense (within the LE-advocacy
                          framework): scribe knows a LE Mark; he is transcribing an exemplar without
                          LE, scribe realises there is a problem, leaves some space etc. One problem
                          with this would be why he never returned to fill the blank space [Perhaps
                          like Mark before him he died before he could get round to it].



                          >Lemme briefly review my idea of LE-advocacy, and then perhaps the
                          >impact of the stuff about Vaticanus will be felt.
                          >
                          >I think that Mark died in the course of writing 16:8.

                          EFOBOUNTO GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR ........

                          (sorry, couldn't resist)

                          OK, thanks for the discussion so far. I'm not sure it would be profitable
                          for me to get into the rest of it right now. I think I have gained a better
                          sense of the LE advocacy position on Vaticanus.


                          Pete


                          >

                          Peter M. Head, PhD
                          Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
                          Tyndale House
                          36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
                          566607
                          Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
                          http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
                        • Peter Head
                          IN CANADA! http://www.twu.ca/news/view-specific.aspx?newsID=396 Other than the initial folly and the over-blown PR claims there is some news here re the
                          Message 12 of 18 , Apr 29, 2005
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                            IN CANADA!

                            http://www.twu.ca/news/view-specific.aspx?newsID=396

                            Other than the initial folly and the over-blown PR claims there is some
                            news here re the Swanson project. [from http://michaelpahl.blogspot.com/%5d

                            P



                            Peter M. Head, PhD
                            Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
                            Tyndale House
                            36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
                            566607
                            Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
                            http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
                          • voxverax
                            Dear Dr. Head, Just a few quick replies: PH: ... It is insufficient in this connection since it is about Codex Sinaiticus! Ach; sleepy me. Still, taking
                            Message 13 of 18 , May 1 10:08 PM
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                              Dear Dr. Head,

                              Just a few quick replies:

                              PH: ... "It is insufficient in this connection since it is about
                              Codex Sinaiticus!"

                              Ach; sleepy me. Still, taking what Skeat has written (especially
                              about the likelihood that one of the scribes of B is probably the
                              supervisor of Aleph, and his observations in his 1999 essay -- even
                              if the main idea isn't right) and what others have written (not to
                              mention WW's detailed website with the ending-columns of each NT book
                              on display), it looks like the question about the propensity of B's
                              scribes can be answered: setting aside the end of Mark, did the
                              scribes of B intentionally leave a blank column anywhere else? No,
                              except for those two "seams" in the OT. To me this demonstrates a
                              strong tendency not to arbitrarily leave blank columns, which in turn
                              indicates that the blank column at the end of Mark is a deliberate
                              and provoked feature.

                              PH: "The balancing statement is a judgement about probabilities and
                              to use 'older' here is unclear" ...

                              I rephrase: The common statement that "the two earliest Greek
                              manuscripts lack 16:9-20" should be balanced by the statement that
                              the copyist of the earliest manuscript of Mark 16 probably had
                              encountered the LE in some copy of Mark that was older than
                              Vaticanus.

                              PH: ... "One problem with this would be why he never returned to
                              fill the blank space [Perhaps like Mark before him he died before he
                              could get round to it]."

                              Or perhaps he was making the MS for someone else, and figured that
                              the eventual owner would have the means and the desire to complete
                              the text.

                              Yours in Christ,

                              Jim Snapp II
                              Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
                              Indiana, USA
                              www.curtisvillechristian.org
                            • Wieland Willker
                              Marginally relevant: There is a novel by Paul L. Maier called A Skeleton in God s Closet where a sentence is discovered at the end of Vaticanus Mark 16 using
                              Message 14 of 18 , May 1 11:38 PM
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                                Marginally relevant:
                                There is a novel by Paul L. Maier called
                                "A Skeleton in God's Closet"
                                where a sentence is discovered at the end of Vaticanus Mark 16 using UV light. This then, of course, is shaking the foundation of the (catholic) church. Worth reading, good book. The sentence BTW is:
                                O DE TO SWMA IHSOU ANELHMFQH.

                                PS: That this is not simple fiction can be seen from the fact that the name of the pope in this novel is Benedict XVI ! The book is from 1994.
                                :-)

                                Best wishes
                                Wieland
                                <><
                                ------------------------------------------------
                                Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                                mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
                                http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
                                Textcritical commentary:
                                http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
                              • Countach
                                ... I don t see any evidence at all that Jn 20:31 is an ending. v28 discusses Thomas requirement that to see a miracle is to believe. v29 is Jesus response
                                Message 15 of 18 , May 11 9:52 PM
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                                  voxverax wrote:

                                  > This other text was John
                                  > 21, which may have circulated as "floating" text before being re-
                                  > worked and incorporated into (or onto) the Gospel of John. (That
                                  > would explain, at least, the resumption of the narrative after the
                                  > ending-like end of John 20.)


                                  I don't see any evidence at all that Jn 20:31 is an ending. v28
                                  discusses Thomas' requirement that to see a miracle is to believe. v29
                                  is Jesus' response that to believe _without_ seeing a miracle is to be
                                  blessed. v30 continues the miracle theme by saying there are a lot more
                                  miracles not mentioned. v31 says that the book is written to tell of
                                  these miracles so that you may believe. Thus everything from 29-31 is a
                                  necessary exposition of the "doubting Thomas" incident. The fact that no
                                  manuscripts, church fathers, or any other evidence omits Ch 21, means
                                  that this is gratuitous speculation to say that ch 31 is a later addition.
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