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[textualcriticism] Eugenius Bulgaris and the grammatical gender argument re: heavenly witnesses authenticity

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  • Steven Avery
    Hi, Heavenly witnesses - grammatical gender - 1780-1815 One important moment in the debate about the heavenly witnesses occurred with an epistle from Eugenius
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 21, 2013
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      Hi,

      Heavenly witnesses - grammatical gender - 1780-1815

      One important moment in the debate about the heavenly witnesses occurred with an epistle from Eugenius Bulgaris of Cherson (Crimean Peninsula) in 1780. That letter was a discussion of the grammatical gender argument on the heavenly witnesses. 

      This question had come up in various ways in the writings of a number of individuals including Greogory Nazianzen and his doctrinal opponents, Erasmus, perhaps John Mill and in a somewhat unusual way by Johann Albrecht Bengel.  Eugenius tackled the issue far directly and forcefully, and his 1780 epistle was published by Christian Freidich Matthaei in 1782.  The grammatical part of the Matthaei letter was extracted and published by Franz Anton Knittel in 1785 as an Appendix C in his Neue Kritiken . Here are the three principles in the discussion from the years 1780-1815. 

      Eugenius Bulgaris, (1716–1806)
      Christian Freidich Matthaei (1744-1811),
      Franz Anton Knittel (1721-1792)

      As part of our search, research and documentation, first we have the full Eugenius epistle placed in the Matthaei book.  

      ==============================================

      Christian Freidich Matthaei

      S.S. Apostolorum septem epistolae catholicae  (1782)
      Christianus Fridericus Matthaei 
      http://books.google.com/books?id=AjJOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR56
      Eugenius - p. 56-62

      ==============================================
      PICTURE SECTION (all text in pics included as text too)

      This first is the picture of how Matthaei introduced his section and the epistle from Eugenius, which was the bulk of the section.

      p. 55 - Supplementa Animadversionum ad 1 Io V. 7, 8.
                                                                          p. 56-62 Fragmentum Epistolae Evgenii Chersonis et Slabinii Archiepiseopi

      []

      Appendix (C.)
      Extract from the Letter of Eugenius, Archbishop of Cherson, containing some interesting Remarks on 1 John V. 7. published by Professor Matthaei of Moscow, in his Edition of the Seven Catholic Epistles.

      The purport of the Extract is, to shew the authenticity of 1 John V. 7. from the context, from the grammatical structure of the clause itself, and from the scope of the Apostle's argument in his Gospel and First Epistle •  p. 206

      ==============================================

      Franz Anton Knittel

      Next we go to the book by Knittel, the 1785 German is barely available in the USA and afaik is not on the Net:

      Neue Kritiken über den berühmten Spruch: Drey sind, die da zeugen im Himmel, der Vater, das Wort und der heilige Geist; und diese drey sind eins. Eine synodalische Vorlesung. (1785)

      William Alleyn Evanson later translated Knittel to English, so we can see that Knittel had extracted two pages, on the grammatical gender, from the Eugenius letter. The Eugenius letter also touched on Joseph Bryrennius, a specialty study of Eugenius, Philopatris, ECW evidences, doctrinal considerations, likelihood of omission and addition, and more. 

      Sidenote: remember that this was rather a significant issue in the Greek Orthodox circles, since their earlier manuscripts has the verse omitted, although printed editions around 1600 had begun the restoration process.  This is an interesting study in its own right.

      Here is the main Knittel book translated.

      New criticisms on the celebrated text, 1 John V. 7. "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one." A synodical lecture (1785) 
      Franz Anton Knittel, translated  (1829) by William Alleyn Evanson (1786-1857)
      http://books.google.com/books?id=kKsCAAAAQAAJ
      http://archive.org/details/newcriticismson00knitgoog
      http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006573567

      Knittel mentions a bit on p. 87, and then has the appendix with the grammatical extract from Eugenius.
      http://books.google.com/books?id=kKsCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA206
      Appendix

      ==============================================

      Vibrant Debate Period on Eugenius Bulgaris grammatical gender exposition

      This Eugenius Bulgaris analysis was vibrantly referenced, with Eugenius usually clearly named, till about 1830, e.g. in papers by, in generally chronological order from 1805 to 1827:

      George Christian Knapp (1753-1825, writing in Latin)
      Richard Laurence (1760-1838) writing contra Griesbach in general and the Diatribe specifically,
      Frederick Nolan (1784-1864),
      William Hales (1747-1831),
      Thomas Burgess (1756-1837),
      Thomas Turton (1780-1864) writing contra Nolan and Burgess
      William Craig Brownlee (1784-1860).  

      There is likely more, especially in Latin and German.

      ==============================================

      Modern Silence on the Greek Language Expert

      Eugenius Bulgaris - Biography

      Let's not forget the actual Greek skill level of this scholar. 
      The Wikipedia article is good, I will only include a little, one other article even discusses his tonal skills.

      Eugenios Voulgaris or Boulgaris (...1716–1806) was a Bulgarian, prominent Greek Orthodox educator, and bishop of Kherson (in Ukraine). Writing copiously on theology, philosophy and the sciences, he disseminated western European thought throughout the Greek and eastern Christian world, and was a leading
      contributor to the Modern Greek Enlightenment.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenios_Voulgaris
      Orthodox WIki
      http://orthodoxwiki.org/Eugenios_Voulgaris

      Neohellenica: An Introduction to Modern Greek in the Form of Dialogue (1892) p. 315-322
      Michael Constantinides
      http://books.google.com/books?id=9-MXAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA319
      http://www.archive.org/details/neohellenicaintr00consiala
      Eugenius Bulgaris (1716-1806)

      ==============================================

      After the 1830s,

      Eugenius, in relationship to this grammatical gender argument, is essentially forgotten in the textual literature

      And is not even referenced by the better writers like Raymond Edward Brown (1928-1998), who is the standard for fairer inclusion of references.  This is true even though the grammatical gender argument has received a reasonable amount of attention, of mixed quality and depth, by scholars with some background, like Thomas Strouse, Ian Howard Marshall, and Daniel Wallace, in the last decades.  (Please note: I am putting aside some recent polemic referencing on the net that is of very poor quality.)

      Eduard Riggenbach (1861-1927) mentions Eugenius in the context of Joseph Bryennius and then what looks like a rather vague general reference, depending on your heavy font German capabilities.

      Das Comma Johanneum ein nachgelassenes Werk (1928)
      Eduard Riggenbach.
      http://www.archive.org/stream/MN41946ucmf_6#page/n21/mode/2up

      A little bit earlier, August Bludau (1862-1930) would be expected to have a discussion, perhaps secondary source usage in his The "Comma Johanneum" in the Writings of English Critics of the Eighteenth Century (1922) although the English references to Eugenius on grammatical gender start in the 19th century. Or maybe in one of Bludau's many writings on the verse which have not been translated from the German.  However, nothing stands out as a likely hit.

      On other issues, especially Richard Porson (1759-1808) referencing the Philopatris and Joseph Bryennius evidences, Eugenius Bulgaris is referenced before 1790. However Richard Porson managed to miss or ignore the grammatical part, even though Porson had an especially insolent manner (MCDT - Master of the Cheap Debating Trick) of offering up lesser evidences on a hot plate platter in writing contra George Travis.  Note, though, that the grammatical gender element is the single major emphasis and contribution of Eugenius. It is a reasonable conjecture that the omission by Porson of the main point from Eugenius was deliberate, since the book is in his library list and referenced for two lesser items.

      Modern Times

      Perhaps in recent years Klaus Wachtel or K. Martin Heide or others who have written on the Comma Johanneum have referenced the grammatical gender argument with Eugenius Bulgaris ?

      Since Eugenis Bulgaris was the central figure, I really would like to focus on his role.  We find that although he was the primary scholar historically crafting this argument, with unimpeachable bona fides, he is barely referenced in the literature at all, after about 1830.  

      ==================================================

      Eugenius Bulgaris Gramamtical Gender Section 

      Eugenius in Matthaei in Knittel in Evanson (1829)
      http://archive.org/stream/newcriticismsonc00knitrich#page/206/mode/2up (picture)
      http://books.google.com/books?id=kKsCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA206
      Original Matthaei edition (1780)
      http://books.google.com/books?id=AjJOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR56
      []

      There has been one translation attempt at Latindiscussion.org. 

      Since it was only partial, and only worked with the Latin, I will leave that be for now, plus it could be a diversion from the request simply to know historical references to Euguenius.

      ==================================================

      Heavenly WItnesses - Comma Johanneum - 1 John 5:7
      Requested Focus -

      since threads like this have a tendency to go a little wild, and then have to be closed for reading equanimity :-), I am going to make a request to keep the focus only on (1) (2) below, and optionally (3), and not on (4) and (5) (working as a funnel).

      5) Authenticity, Inauthenticity, Copyist error, forgery

      4) manuscripts and Internal evidences


      3) grammatical gender argument

      2) contribution of Eugenius Bulgaris

      1) recognition of Eugenius Bulgaris in the literature

      ==================================================

      Please do not go far afield just to make a point, or a rah-rah or a harumph, please .... only go afield if you have something especially vibrant and new to share.  I am hoping to keep the focus on Eugenius Bulgaris and grammatical gender. This is new ground for the recent years revival of interest in the historical debate on :

      1 John 5:7-8 
      For there are three that bear record in heaven,
      the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
      and these three are one.

      Thanks.

      Steven Avery
      Bayside, NY
    • Daniel Buck
      There s a blog devoted to this subject, but apparently it fizzled after a single post. http://the1780letterofeugenius.blogspot.com/ Eugenius Bulgaris
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 21, 2013
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        There's a blog devoted to this subject, but apparently it fizzled after a single post.
        http://the1780letterofeugenius.blogspot.com/
        Eugenius Bulgaris (1716-1806), the Archbishop of Cherson , a man highly credentialed in the Greek language and an ardent advocate of the Johannine Comma, says this in a letter that he wrote in 1780 (the language in bold print is selectively quoted out of context by Frederick Nolan [1784-1864] in footnote 193 on page 257 in his 1815 book, An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate).
         
        The Latin translation is wooden enough to heat my house even on a day like this.

        Daniel Buck
        From: Steven Avery <stevenavery@...>

        Vibrant Debate Period on Eugenius Bulgaris grammatical gender exposition

        This Eugenius Bulgaris analysis was vibrantly referenced, with Eugenius usually clearly named, till about 1830, e.g. in papers by, in generally chronological order from 1805 to 1827:

        George Christian Knapp (1753-1825, writing in Latin)
        Richard Laurence (1760-1838) writing contra Griesbach in general and the Diatribe specifically,
        Frederick Nolan (1784-1864),
        William Hales (1747-1831),
        Thomas Burgess (1756-1837),
        Thomas Turton (1780-1864) writing contra Nolan and Burgess
        William Craig Brownlee (1784-1860).  

        There is likely more, especially in Latin and German.

        ==============================================

        Modern Silence on the Greek Language Expert

        Eugenius Bulgaris - Biography

        Let's not forget the actual Greek skill level of this scholar. 
        The Wikipedia article is good, I will only include a little, one other article even discusses his tonal skills.

        Eugenios Voulgaris or Boulgaris (...1716–1806) was a Bulgarian, prominent Greek Orthodox educator, and bishop of Kherson (in Ukraine). Writing copiously on theology, philosophy and the sciences, he disseminated western European thought throughout the Greek and eastern Christian world, and was a leading
        contributor to the Modern Greek Enlightenment.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenios_Voulgaris
        Orthodox WIki
        http://orthodoxwiki.org/Eugenios_Voulgaris

        Neohellenica: An Introduction to Modern Greek in the Form of Dialogue (1892) p. 315-322
        Michael Constantinides
        http://books.google.com/books?id=9-MXAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA319
        http://www.archive.org/details/neohellenicaintr00consiala
        Eugenius Bulgaris (1716-1806)

        ==============================================

        After the 1830s,

        Eugenius, in relationship to this grammatical gender argument, is essentially forgotten in the textual literature


        ==================================================

        Heavenly WItnesses - Comma Johanneum - 1 John 5:7
        Requested Focus -

        since threads like this have a tendency to go a little wild, and then have to be closed for reading equanimity :-), I am going to make a request to keep the focus only on (1) (2) below, and optionally (3), and not on (4) and (5) (working as a funnel).

        5) Authenticity, Inauthenticity, Copyist error, forgery

        4) manuscripts and Internal evidences


        3) grammatical gender argument

        2) contribution of Eugenius Bulgaris

        1) recognition of Eugenius Bulgaris in the literature

        ==================================================

        Please do not go far afield just to make a point, or a rah-rah or a harumph, please .... only go afield if you have something especially vibrant and new to share.  I am hoping to keep the focus on Eugenius Bulgaris and grammatical gender. This is new ground for the recent years revival of interest in the historical debate on :

        1 John 5:7-8 
        For there are three that bear record in heaven,
        the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
        and these three are one.

        Thanks.

        Steven Avery
        Bayside, NY

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