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Re: [textualcriticism] Mark 1:1 "son of God" Sinaiticus corrector "a" = Scriptorium?

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  • Tommy Wasserman
    Joe Wallack, I will not here discuss your criterion of direction of change at length although I may just say that I don t understand how the direction of
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 28, 2013
      Joe Wallack,

      I will not here discuss your criterion of "direction of change" at length although I may just say that I don't understand how the direction of change (corrections) in some MSS can be interpreted as strong evidence for the short reading. In fact, in my article I point out that the presence of corrections in a number of Byzantine MSS, the exemplars of which most likely had the long reading, can be interpreted as evidence that scribes could make an omission, even in the first verse of the book (and I provide evidence of unique omissions of nomina sacra in book openings as well).

      Now to the question of Sinaiticus. As you know, practically no other MS has been so thoroughly examined as this MS. We have excellent digital images and new transcriptions on the website, where you also have explanations. You can refer to:

      The correction in Mark 1:1 is attributed to S1 which belongs to the production stage. My point was that it belongs to that earliest layer of corrections, and I said that this work was likely done before the codex left the scriptorium. Be that as it may, this correction, according to those who have examined the whole MS, belong to the same period that the codex was produced; the evidence for the long reading in Sinaiticus is as ancient (and sides with Vaticanus which in my view is even more weighty). A more interesting question then is whether the correction was made after the same exemplar, or if a different Vorlage was used. If a mistake was made – and we do not know for sure – then the witnesses would loose its weight. 

      It would be interesting to know then how this scribe handles nomina sacra in general by looking at the singular readings. Incidentally I had some data in an old e-mail in which I corresponded with someone else about these issues last year referring to Dirk Jongkind's excellent study.

      On p. 208 [Jongkind] there is a discussion of a scribal leap backward by scribe A "triggered by the letters ΤΩΝ ΤΟΥ ΘΥ"(nomen sacrum). On p. 211 I see that the scribe copied a nomen sacrum which did not exist. On p. 217 I note an omission of ΔΙΑ ΙΗCΟΥ ΧΡΙCΤΟΥ (likely nomina sacra). I see a longer omission on p. 218 which may well have ended with a nomen sacrum. In the table on p. 237 there is an omission of ΙΗΣΟΥΝ and another of Ο ΙΗCΟΥC  and probably both involved  nomina sacra.

      If we just consider this sample in Luke we see that there are 21 singular readings which are either omissions or additions. These are detailed on p. 237f where I can see that 19 are omissions (just two additions) and two of them probably of Jesus name! That makes 10% which must be an incredibly high figure considering the ratio of nomina sacra out of the total of words. Now this is just a sample of 12 chapters in Luke. I did not include the verba minora (another nine omissions) but the figure is still high. I cannot see that the presence of nomina sacra prevented the scibe from doing omissions and leaps.

      Best wishes,

      Tommy Wasserman

      27 feb 2013 kl. 19.00 skrev joewallack:


      First a general comment on the issue of edits/"corrections" in Textual Criticism. The related criterion is Direction of Change. This is the key question in Textual Criticism, which way did the change likely go. All criteria try to answer this question, usually with indirect evidence. Edits/"Corrections" on the other hand provides direct evidence of Direction of Change. Thus it is potentially the most important category of evidence.

      For Mark 1:1 the direct evidence of change is:




      All of the above are direct evidence of change to Long. I am not aware of any direct evidence of change to Short. Thus the Direction of Change criterion is excellent evidence for Short. I would not want to try to argue for Long knowing that my best (earliest & Greekest) individual piece of evidence for Long was a change!

      Specifically here though I want to ask the Forum what exactly is the evidence that the edit of Sinaiticus Mark 1:1 to "son of God" was made at the production Scriptorium?

      Sinaiticus Mark 1:1 Edit

      Looking at Wikipedia:

      "The first corrections were done by several scribes before the manuscript left the scriptorium.[58] Readings which they introduced are designated by the siglum אa.[75]"

      [75] =
      Metzger, Bruce M.; Ehrman, Bart D. (2005), The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 66-67

      The book reference does say that Scriptorium changes are referred to as "a" but it also says that "a" refers to all contemporary changes.

      Professor Wasserman, in his outstanding article,
      The "Son of God" was in the Beginning (Mark 1:1), writes:

      "Such a correction was most likely done before the manuscript left the scriptorium.122"

      122 = "
      122 See Bruce Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration (3rd rev. edn.; Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 15, 46. "

      Page 15 does not give any directly related evidence. On page 46 Metzger does describe Scriptorium changes as "a" but as he elsewhere has indicated "a" is a broader category of contemporary, including Scriptorium, he probably did not intend to limit "a" to Scriptorium on page 46. So I see no specific argument that Mark 1:1 "son of God" Sinaiticus corrector "a" = Scriptorium.

      In Professor Jongkind's treatise Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus I see no mention of the offending Mark 1:1 issue. Regrettably

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