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[textualcriticism] the Westcott & Hort legacy examined

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  • Steven Avery
    Hi, Subject changed from: Re: [textualcriticism] How Old Is the Harklensis Group s Text? Mike Holmes ... Zuntz, ...have demonstrated the fundamental flaw in
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2013

      Subject changed from: Re: [textualcriticism] How Old Is the Harklensis Group's Text?

      Mike Holmes
      > other "influential textual critics"--in particular, G.
      Zuntz, ...have demonstrated the fundamental flaw in Hort's argument, and have long since abandoned his hypothesis re the textual history of the NT.

      Steven Avery
      If the influential textual critics who have abandoned Hortian theory in fundamental points have no discernible effect on the Critical Text ...
      are they really influential?

      If a textual critic trips in a forest, and stubs their toe, and nobody hears them, did they make a sound?

      Westcott & Hort at 125 (& Zuntz at 60): Their Legacies & Our Challenges (2006, 2010)
      Michael W. Holmes - Bethel University

      A very interesting paper.  Thanks.
      Lots of good stuff in there.

      The Byzantine text contains some few original elements for which no, or almost no, ancient evidence survives." (Zuntz) p. 13

      A very important point.
      However, if you then said (substituting Byzantine for Western) that :

      (2) The term "Byzantine" ought to be applied to variants attested only by Byzatine witnesses. (p. 13)

      There would be very few Byzantine variants, and the variants would have to be considered in a far more favorable light, they could not be dismissed as Byzantine.  In fact, "distinctly Syrian" (the Hortian term) variants are close to non-existent, since any early ECW support would lose the category.  This phrase was a Hortian ploy, which we discussed separately here a while back.


      And I do wonder about one major omission, the breaking off of the minimal evidence of one textline (Alexandrian) into two lines, yet you never mention that as one of the Hortian methods.

      e.g in Romans 14:21

      Romans 14:21
      It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine,
      nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth,
      or is offended, or is made weak.

      (An interesting variant, Westcott-Hort leave Vaticanus, as they do on the Western non-interpolations, otherwise it is very rare, but the abbreviated  text is always a Hortian weak spot.)

      You call Vaticanus an Alexandrian witness, yet Hort called Vaticanus part of the neutral group (granted, this goes against his "correcting" a Vaticanus addition as here, since neutral in Hortian-speak implies perfect, Hort was never particularly consistent).

      The root of the problem is that they simply fabricated a phantom textline, a concept of no merit, and then it became easier to discuss the evidence as stronger from the Neutral and/or Alexandrian textlines.  Two lines are better than one.  Yet your paper blithely (excuse me for being a smidgen critical on this point) allows the two lines to co-exist, making it sound as if they are distinct entities, without ever pointing out the game.


      "Byzantine Imperial text"

      On p.14 you use this phrase, an Alandian abomination, as if it comes from Zuntz.
      If Zuntz never used the phrase it should be put as part of his analysis.


      Mike Holmes
      "intrinsic merits and intellectual brilliance"

      What are those merits?
      Where do you see brilliance ? :-)


      Steven Avery
      Bayside, NY

      James Snapp, Jr.
       .....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.

      Mike Holmes
      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. 

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