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How Old Is the Harklensis Group's Text?

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  • Vox Verax
    The Harklensis Group: it s a small collection of manuscripts that contain a text of the General Epistles which has very strong affinities to the base-text of
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 29, 2013
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      The Harklensis Group: it's a small collection of manuscripts that contain a text of the General Epistles which has very strong affinities to the base-text of the Harklean Syriac (produced in 616).

      The four flagship-manuscripts of the Harklensis Group are 1505, 1611, 2138, and 2495.

      In Jude verse 3, these four MSS have ZWHS ("life") where SWTHRIAS should be. They disagree about whether it's your common life, or our common life, but they agree that it's life.

      Evidence of some influence from the early 600's, or later, perhaps? No.

      Codex Sinaiticus' text of Jude verse 3 reads, KOINHS HMWN SWTHRIAS KAI ZWHS. ("Our common salvation and life.") Wasserman commented about this: "A few witnesses, including the nucleus HK group, replace SWTHRIAS with ZWHS (1505 1611 2138 S:HPh), whereas a few important MSS attest a conflation, THS KOINHS HMWN SWTHRIAS KAI ZWHS (01 044 2627Z). The attestation of ZWHS by 01 shows that the substitution is early."

      So: just how old is the text of the Harklensis Group? Remember how Hort tried to show that the Alexandrian Text, as a whole, pre-dates the Byzantine Text, on the basis of eight variants? Dr. Daniel Wallace has summarized part of Hort's theory this way: "The Byzantine text was shown to depend on two earlier traditions, the Alexandrian and Western, in several places. The early editors of the Byzantine text combined (or conflated) the wording of the Alexandrian and Western traditions on occasion, while nowhere could it be shown that the Alexandrian combined Western and Byzantine readings or that the Western combined readings of the Alexandrian and Byzantine."

      Now, I disagree with Dr. Wallace's claim; a brief look at the reading of B in Colossians 1:12 show that he has overstated his case (and a thorough look at Pickering's collection of conflations and quasi-conflations has the same effect). But today I am only mentioning it to show that it was on the basis of conflations that some influential textual critics -- including, it seems, Dr. Wallace -- have thought that Hort demonstrated, via "the conflation argument," that Byz was secondary.

      If "the conflation argument" shows that Byz is secondary to Alex (I say this with the accent on "If") then why doesn't the existence of this conflation in Jude verse 3 likewise demonstrate that the Harklensis Group's text of the General Epistles pre-dates the text of Codex Sinaiticus?

      And to follow-up: if the HG's text of Jude verse 3 pre-dates the text of Jude verse 3 found in Aleph, then what can be concluded about the age-order of the Byzantine text of Jude 3 if the shorter reading (without HMWN or UMWN) here is regarded as original, and the texts with HMWN (at different places) or UMWN are regarded as secondary, supplemented texts in which a word was added to make Jude's expression slightly more precise?

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • Stephen Carlson
      ... In my study of the text of Galatians, there is indeed a discernible Harklensis group, though 2138 is not a member it (it is a good Byzantine witness). The
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 29, 2013
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        On Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 8:28 AM, Vox Verax <james.snapp@...> wrote:

        The Harklensis Group: it's a small collection of manuscripts that contain a text of the General Epistles which has very strong affinities to the base-text of the Harklean Syriac (produced in 616).

        The four flagship-manuscripts of the Harklensis Group are 1505, 1611, 2138, and 2495.

        So: just how old is the text of the Harklensis Group?

        In my study of the text of Galatians, there is indeed a discernible Harklensis group, though 2138 is not a member it (it is a good Byzantine witness).  The Harklensis group itself is not Byzantine, but it is fairly closely related to it.  Only John Chrysostom's text of Galatians for his commentary is more closely related to the group than the Byzantine branch.  Indeed, their common ancestor is the sister of the Byzantine branch.  I estimate that the Galatian ancestor of the Harklensis Group arose between Chrysostom and Harkel, or roughly between the 5th and 7th centuries.

        How this relates to the Harklensis Group in the Catholic Epistles, I offer no opinion.

        Stephen
        --
        Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
        Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
      • Mike Holmes
        James wrote: I am only mentioning it to show that it was on the basis of conflations that some influential textual critics -- including, it seems, Dr. Wallace
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 29, 2013
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          James wrote: "I am only mentioning it to show that it was on the basis of conflations that some influential textual critics -- including, it seems, Dr. Wallace -- have thought that Hort demonstrated, via "the conflation argument," that Byz was secondary."

          Yes, correct, and other "influential textual critics"--in particular, G. Zuntz, in his 1946 Schweich Lectures, published in 1953 as The Text of the Epistles--have demonstrated the fundamental flaw in Hort's argument, and have long since abandoned his hypothesis re the textual history of the NT. See further, e.g., http://michaelwholmes.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/holmes-2006-sbl-revised-paper-2010-edition-24-nov.pdf for an overview comparing the textual histories of Hort (for whom only the Byz tradition conflates), Zuntz, and M. Robinson (for whom the Byz tradition never conflates).

          If some contemporary textual critics wish to continue to ride a dead horse, that doesn't mean the rest of us have to continue to beat it.

          thanks,
          Mike Holmes

          On Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 2:28 AM, Vox Verax <james.snapp@...> wrote:
           

          The Harklensis Group: it's a small collection of manuscripts that contain a text of the General Epistles which has very strong affinities to the base-text of the Harklean Syriac (produced in 616).

          The four flagship-manuscripts of the Harklensis Group are 1505, 1611, 2138, and 2495.

          In Jude verse 3, these four MSS have ZWHS ("life") where SWTHRIAS should be. They disagree about whether it's your common life, or our common life, but they agree that it's life.

          Evidence of some influence from the early 600's, or later, perhaps? No.

          Codex Sinaiticus' text of Jude verse 3 reads, KOINHS HMWN SWTHRIAS KAI ZWHS. ("Our common salvation and life.") Wasserman commented about this: "A few witnesses, including the nucleus HK group, replace SWTHRIAS with ZWHS (1505 1611 2138 S:HPh), whereas a few important MSS attest a conflation, THS KOINHS HMWN SWTHRIAS KAI ZWHS (01 044 2627Z). The attestation of ZWHS by 01 shows that the substitution is early."

          So: just how old is the text of the Harklensis Group? Remember how Hort tried to show that the Alexandrian Text, as a whole, pre-dates the Byzantine Text, on the basis of eight variants? Dr. Daniel Wallace has summarized part of Hort's theory this way: "The Byzantine text was shown to depend on two earlier traditions, the Alexandrian and Western, in several places. The early editors of the Byzantine text combined (or conflated) the wording of the Alexandrian and Western traditions on occasion, while nowhere could it be shown that the Alexandrian combined Western and Byzantine readings or that the Western combined readings of the Alexandrian and Byzantine."

          Now, I disagree with Dr. Wallace's claim; a brief look at the reading of B in Colossians 1:12 show that he has overstated his case (and a thorough look at Pickering's collection of conflations and quasi-conflations has the same effect). But today I am only mentioning it to show that it was on the basis of conflations that some influential textual critics -- including, it seems, Dr. Wallace -- have thought that Hort demonstrated, via "the conflation argument," that Byz was secondary.

          If "the conflation argument" shows that Byz is secondary to Alex (I say this with the accent on "If") then why doesn't the existence of this conflation in Jude verse 3 likewise demonstrate that the Harklensis Group's text of the General Epistles pre-dates the text of Codex Sinaiticus?

          And to follow-up: if the HG's text of Jude verse 3 pre-dates the text of Jude verse 3 found in Aleph, then what can be concluded about the age-order of the Byzantine text of Jude 3 if the shorter reading (without HMWN or UMWN) here is regarded as original, and the texts with HMWN (at different places) or UMWN are regarded as secondary, supplemented texts in which a word was added to make Jude's expression slightly more precise?

          Yours in Christ,

          James Snapp, Jr.


        • yennifmit
          Hi James, Please see below... ... These do seem to be members of the same textual complex in the General Letters. See e.g. the table titled James
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 1, 2013
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            Hi James,

            Please see below...

            --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Vox Verax" <james.snapp@...> wrote:
            >
            > The Harklensis Group: it's a small collection of manuscripts that contain a text of the General Epistles which has very strong affinities to the base-text of the Harklean Syriac (produced in 616).
            >
            > The four flagship-manuscripts of the Harklensis Group are 1505, 1611, 2138, and 2495.

            These do seem to be members of the same textual complex in the General Letters. See e.g. the table titled "James (INTF-General, 8 groups)" at my Views site:

            http://www.tfinney.net/Views/index.xhtml

            MS 2495 is not in the PAM result for the INTF Jude data set so I can't say where it sits for Jude. (It might have been excluded through the vetting process done to keep sampling error tolerable.)

            MSS 1505, 1611, 2138, etc. collocate in CMDS and DC analysis results for the General Letters. See, e.g.,

            http://www.tfinney.net/Views/cmds/Jude-INTF-General.15.SMD.gif

            http://www.tfinney.net/Views/dc/Jude-INTF-General.15.SMD.png

            (These results are based on data generously made available by the INTF.)

            > So: just how old is the text of the Harklensis Group?

            It's hard to say what age the group is as a whole. We can set a "not later than" of 616 due to the repeated agreements with the Harclean Syriac. As for when and where the reading arose, does ZWHS show up in versions such as the Armenian and Georgian? These might serve as a proxy for the Old Syriac, which might date to the second century. My guess is that 1505 etc. were copied by people somehow associated with the miaphysite monastic community of Egypt (hence the relationship with the Harclean), possibly located in Syria, Palestine, or Egypt. (I am convinced that Streeter was right about local texts.)


            > If "the conflation argument" shows that Byz is secondary to Alex (I > say this with the accent on "If") then why doesn't the existence of > this conflation in Jude verse 3 likewise demonstrate that the
            > Harklensis Group's text of the General Epistles pre-dates the text
            > of Codex Sinaiticus?

            This particular reading (ZWHS) could easily predate Aleph. It could also have been a popular reading in the Eastern church when 1505 etc. were copied.

            >
            > And to follow-up: if the HG's text of Jude verse 3 pre-dates the
            > text of Jude verse 3 found in Aleph, then what can be concluded
            > about the age-order of the Byzantine text of Jude 3 if the shorter
            > reading (without HMWN or UMWN) here is regarded as original, and the
            > texts with HMWN (at different places) or UMWN are regarded as
            > secondary, supplemented texts in which a word was added to make
            > Jude's expression slightly more precise?

            When dating groups, one needs to consider the group text as a whole. Each place where the text varies (a variation site) has its own history. However, the same witnesses often appear together in attestation lists across variation sites. So there are group histories as well. The history of a variation site does not necessarily agree with group histories. (Though it often does.) My feeling is that 1505 etc. as a group is later than Aleph, probably to be dated after the Chalcedon split (451). Nevertheless, it may preserve early readings.

            Best,

            Tim Finney
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