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The Garima Gospels; the Ethiopic Version and the early Byzantine text.

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  • tom630965
    Last November there was a conference in Oxford on Ethiopia and the Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: The Garima Gospels in context . I didn t go (maybe
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 7, 2014
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      Last November there was a conference in Oxford on "Ethiopia and the
      Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: The Garima Gospels in context".
      I didn't go (maybe some on this message list did); but I understand it
      provided a forum for reporting the results of the latest carbon datings
      for the Garima Gospels; and for exploring the implications of these
      results in terms of Ethiopia in Late Antiquity.

      the conference programme is here:

      http://www.ethiopianheritagefund.org/Ethiopia%20and%20the%20Mediterranea\
      n%20World%20in%20Late%20Antiquity-%20bausi%20review.pdf

      and a resume of the conference proceedings is here:

      http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/121872/garima_c\
      onference_oxford.pdf

      List members will likely recall the surprise occasioned by the original
      carbon dates reported a few years ago; a couple of detached fragments
      from illustrated leaves in one of the two Garima Gospel books were
      tested, and indicated a possible sixth century date for manuscripts
      formerly tending to be ascribed to the eleventh century or later.
      Problem was, no one was quite sure which of the manuscripts the
      detached fragments may have come from; or whether perhaps the
      illustrated leaves might have been older than the written text. The new
      carbon dates - done on text and illustrated leaves - and extracted under
      proper controls, propose a likely fifth century date for the manuscript
      Garima 2, and a likely sixth century date for Garima 1.

      Much of the rest of the conference appears to have responded to this
      redating in demonstrating that, on iconographic, palaeographic and
      historical grounds, a fifth/sixth century date for the Garima Gospels
      makes a great deal more sense than any later dating might have done.
      Moreover, list members may well be aware of the revision by Curt Niccum
      to the Zuurmond's article on the Ethiopian Version for the recent
      second edition of Ehrman and Holmes "The Text of the New Testament in
      Contemporary Research"; which also acknowledges that the prime
      manuscript witnesses for the Ethiopic Version of the Gospels must now be
      considered much older than was formerly thought. Niccum suggests that
      the work of creating an Ethiopic Version of the New Testament ought now
      to be considered to have been mostly completed before the end of the
      fourth century - not just due to the carbon dates for the Garima
      Gospels, but also to other evidence tending to redate the Ethiopic
      translation into an earlier period; and also to suggest that the
      translation may have accumulated over an extended period from mid
      century onwards, with the Gospels earlier.

      But I cannot see on the programme any discussion of possible textual
      implications; even though these are hinted at in the conference
      prospectus by Jacques Mercier:

      "The two Garima Gospels contain 400 pages of text each, which makes them
      unique testimonies of the Aksumite Ethiopic language, until now only
      attested by a few inscriptions on coins or stelae. The texts of the two
      books are quite different from each other, showing that the translation
      on which they are based had already been revised at the time of their
      copying. Thus, their early date suggests that the Ethiopian Gospel
      translation may be older than commonly believed. Their texts deserve
      extensive analysis, which should extend beyond the Ethiopic and Greek
      versions of the Bible."

      But what might be the textual implications?

      - If the Ethiopic translation is fourth century, then may it be assumed
      that the fifth century Garima 2 preserves it with little disturbance?

      - How different is 'quite different'. Garima 1 and Garima 2 are classed
      together by Zuurmond as his Versio Antiqua; but does Mercier's note
      suggest differences such that a substantially earlier common source text
      should be inferred?

      - Zuurmond classifies the Ethiopic Version as "early Byzantine"; if it
      is substantially fourth century, and well preserved in the Garima
      Gospels; ought we perhaps to regard the Ethiopic text as an
      increasingly important Byzantine versional witness - on a par with, or
      ahead of, the Peshitta? And might this then push the emergence of the
      Byzantine text itself rather earlier than heretofore assumed?

      - Zuurmond notes that, especially in John, the text of the Ethiopic
      Versio antiqua found in the Garima gospels tends to differ from the
      later Majority Text. "In about half my sample cases, Eth goes against
      the Ethiopic equivalent of the Greek Majority Text" (often following
      P66). But is this text thereby non-Byzantine; or should we rather
      envisage a Byzantine Text of the fourth century or earlier, that looked
      very different from what later became the Majority Text?

      Underlying this is the question; when the scribes who produced the
      earliest surviing witnesses to the Byzantine text were working, what did
      their source texts look like? As I understand it, Hort supposed that
      these source manuscripts (or their predecessors) would have looked
      mainly Alexandrian or Western; those proposing Byzantine priority
      suppose that these source manuscripts would have looked like the
      Majority text. But might they have looked like the Greek Vorlage for
      the Ethiopian Version?
    • tom630965
      links dont seem to function try again http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/121872/garima_conference_oxford.pdf
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 8, 2014
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        links dont seem to function

        try again

        http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/121872/garima_conference_oxford.pdf

        http://www.ethiopianheritagefund.org/Ethiopia%20and%20the%20Mediterranean%20World%20in%20Late%20Antiquity-%20bausi%20review.pdf

        http://ethiopianheritagefund.org/completed.html

        hope these work better

        regards

        Tom Hennell



        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "tom630965" wrote:
        >
        > Last November there was a conference in Oxford on "Ethiopia and the
        > Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity: The Garima Gospels in context".
        > I didn't go (maybe some on this message list did); but I understand it
        > provided a forum for reporting the results of the latest carbon datings
        > for the Garima Gospels; and for exploring the implications of these
        > results in terms of Ethiopia in Late Antiquity.
        >
        > the conference programme is here:
        >
        > http://www.ethiopianheritagefund.org/Ethiopia%20and%20the%20Mediterranea\
        > n%20World%20in%20Late%20Antiquity-%20bausi%20review.pdf
        >
        > and a resume of the conference proceedings is here:
        >
        > http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/121872/garima_c\
        > onference_oxford.pdf
        >
        > List members will likely recall the surprise occasioned by the original
        > carbon dates reported a few years ago; a couple of detached fragments
        > from illustrated leaves in one of the two Garima Gospel books were
        > tested, and indicated a possible sixth century date for manuscripts
        > formerly tending to be ascribed to the eleventh century or later.
        > Problem was, no one was quite sure which of the manuscripts the
        > detached fragments may have come from; or whether perhaps the
        > illustrated leaves might have been older than the written text. The new
        > carbon dates - done on text and illustrated leaves - and extracted under
        > proper controls, propose a likely fifth century date for the manuscript
        > Garima 2, and a likely sixth century date for Garima 1.
        >

      • yennifmit
        Hi Tom, The Ethiopic (eth) is placed close to the junction of major branches of the tradition for the Gospel of Mark when UBS4 apparatus data is analysed using
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 9, 2014
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          Hi Tom,


          The Ethiopic (eth) is placed close to the junction of major branches of the tradition for the Gospel of Mark when UBS4 apparatus data is analysed using a technique called neighbour-joining (NJ):


          http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Mark-UBS4.15.SMD.png


          I think we should be looking at texts near this junction (e.g. eth, syr-p, 33, 700 for Mark) when seeking the closest surviving witnesses to the initial text of Mark.


          The Ethiopic is also in the central part of NJ trees for the other Gospels, though less so for Luke:


          http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Matt-UBS2.15.SMD.png

          http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Luke-UBS2.15.SMD.png

          http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/John-UBS2.15.SMD.png


          These three are based on the UBS2 apparatus and go back to tables of percentage agreement compiled by Maurice Robinson.


          If the junction of major branches of an NJ tree is the right place to look for the initial text then current editions of all stripes miss the mark.


          Best,


          Tim Finney


        • TOM HENNELL
          Tim Thats fascinating, many thanks When you refer to eth in the Gospels, is this a former published Ethiopic text, or the recent Versio Antiqua text of
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 9, 2014
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            Tim

            Thats fascinating, many thanks

            When you refer to 'eth' in the Gospels, is this a former published Ethiopic text, or the recent Versio Antiqua text of Rochus Zuurmond and Michael Wechsler?  These latter have taken the Garima 1 text as their primary witness - backed up by Garima 2 for lacunae and unreadable passages; and, from the accounts in Zuurmond and Niccum it would seem that they find the Versio Antiqua text in Mark to be very close to W in its early chapters, and 'early Byzantine' in the rest of the book.

            The point being that published Ethiopic New Testaments;e.g  Rome 1548 and BFBS 1826 are a far from the Versio Antiqua; the Roman edition largely reproducing a single 13th/14th century manuscript, the BFBS edition being an eclectic text with many elements corrected towards the Greek Majority and Western text on the basis of the Arabic version.

            Does this make a difference to your results?

            Tom Hennell
            Manchester


            From: "tjf@..." <tjf@...>
            To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, 9 February 2014, 15:06
            Subject: [textualcriticism] RE: The Garima Gospels; the Ethiopic Version and the early Byzantine text.

             
            Hi Tom,

            The Ethiopic (eth) is placed close to the junction of major branches of the tradition for the Gospel of Mark when UBS4 apparatus data is analysed using a technique called neighbour-joining (NJ):

            http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Mark-UBS4.15.SMD.png

            I think we should be looking at texts near this junction (e.g. eth, syr-p, 33, 700 for Mark) when seeking the closest surviving witnesses to the initial text of Mark.

            The Ethiopic is also in the central part of NJ trees for the other Gospels, though less so for Luke:

            http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Matt-UBS2.15.SMD.png
            http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Luke-UBS2.15.SMD.png
            http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/John-UBS2.15.SMD.png

            These three are based on the UBS2 apparatus and go back to tables of percentage agreement compiled by Maurice Robinson.

            If the junction of major branches of an NJ tree is the right place to look for the initial text then current editions of all stripes miss the mark.

            Best,

            Tim Finney



          • TOM HENNELL
            Tim Further to the points below. I have checked the references in Zuurmond s 2001 critical edition of Ethiopic Matthew; and at that time there appear to have
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 10, 2014
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              Tim

              Further to the points below.

              I have checked the references in Zuurmond's 2001 critical edition of Ethiopic Matthew; and at that time there appear to have been three Ethiopic texts collated with the UBS apparatus.

              - eth(ro) is the editio princeps of 1548.  It largely copies a 14th century manuscript that Zuurmond classifies B in Matthew and Ac in the other four Gospels - meaning that the text of Matthew was heavily corrected to a more literal rendering (using an Arabic version as guide; but otherwise there are relatively infreqeunet changes in the other three Gospels.

              - eth(pp) the Pell Platt edition of 1826, of which Zuurmond says that it is even more useless for text-critical purposes than the Roman edition.  Platt appears to have selected those Ethiopic texts that fitted best with his presuppositioned prefernce  for the Textus Receptus.

              - eth(ms) A manuscript witness now in Paris, and dating from 14th century.  Zuurmond classfies its text as Ab; clearly descended from the Vesio Antiqua, but with many accumulated tranlational 'corrections'; most often by adding and expanding texts to correspond better to Greek (or Coptic)  

              The conclusion, I think, is that none of these collated texts is much good as a representative of the early Ethiopic tests. 
              regards

              Tom Hennell
              MANCHESTER.



              From: TOM HENNELL <tom.hennell@...>
              To: "textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com" <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Monday, 10 February 2014, 1:53
              Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] RE: The Garima Gospels; the Ethiopic Version and the early Byzantine text.

              Tim

              Thats fascinating, many thanks

              When you refer to 'eth' in the Gospels, is this a former published Ethiopic text, or the recent Versio Antiqua text of Rochus Zuurmond and Michael Wechsler?  These latter have taken the Garima 1 text as their primary witness - backed up by Garima 2 for lacunae and unreadable passages; and, from the accounts in Zuurmond and Niccum it would seem that they find the Versio Antiqua text in Mark to be very close to W in its early chapters, and 'early Byzantine' in the rest of the book.

              The point being that published Ethiopic New Testaments;e.g  Rome 1548 and BFBS 1826 are a far from the Versio Antiqua; the Roman edition largely reproducing a single 13th/14th century manuscript, the BFBS edition being an eclectic text with many elements corrected towards the Greek Majority and Western text on the basis of the Arabic version.

              Does this make a difference to your results?

              Tom Hennell
              Manchester


              From: "tjf@..." <tjf@...>
              To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, 9 February 2014, 15:06
              Subject: [textualcriticism] RE: The Garima Gospels; the Ethiopic Version and the early Byzantine text.

               
              Hi Tom,

              The Ethiopic (eth) is placed close to the junction of major branches of the tradition for the Gospel of Mark when UBS4 apparatus data is analysed using a technique called neighbour-joining (NJ):

              http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Mark-UBS4.15.SMD.png

              I think we should be looking at texts near this junction (e.g. eth, syr-p, 33, 700 for Mark) when seeking the closest surviving witnesses to the initial text of Mark.

              The Ethiopic is also in the central part of NJ trees for the other Gospels, though less so for Luke:

              http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Matt-UBS2.15.SMD.png
              http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/Luke-UBS2.15.SMD.png
              http://www.tfinney.net/Views/pheno/NJ/John-UBS2.15.SMD.png

              These three are based on the UBS2 apparatus and go back to tables of percentage agreement compiled by Maurice Robinson.

              If the junction of major branches of an NJ tree is the right place to look for the initial text then current editions of all stripes miss the mark.

              Best,

              Tim Finney





            • yennifmit
              Hi Tom, The NJ diagram for Mark is based on UBS Greek New Testament 4th ed which says eth is agreement of 1548 Roman ed, Pell-Platt (also based on Roman ed.),
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 11, 2014
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                Hi Tom,


                The NJ diagram for Mark is based on UBS Greek New Testament 4th ed which says eth is agreement of 1548 Roman ed, Pell-Platt (also based on Roman ed.), TH (Takla Haymanot), and Paris Ms. Eth. n. 32 (Matt 1-10 only). So, no, it's not the Garima text.


                I don't know how far UBS4 eth is from the Garima mss. Here is a ranked list of distances from UBS4 eth to other witnesses for the first quarter (roughly) of Mark:


                cop-sa (0.318*); 1424 (0.357*); it-l (0.357*); Lect (0.360*); syr-h (0.417*); 1292 (0.423*); vg (0.423*); 597 (0.448*); 1342 (0.448*); 1505 (0.448*); it-aur (0.448*); it-f (0.448*); syr-p (0.458*); 1241 (0.464*); 09 (0.481*); 02 (0.483*); f-1 (0.483*); 565 (0.483*); Byz (0.500*); 011 (0.500*); 013 (0.500*); f-13 (0.517*); 180 (0.517*); 205 (0.517*); 07 (0.517*); 042 (0.517*); 579 (0.519*); 038 (0.536*); 1010 (0.536*); slav (0.542*); 03 (0.552*); 700 (0.552*); 1006 (0.552*); 1071 (0.552*); 01 (0.571*); 019 (0.571*); 2427 (0.571*); arm (0.577*); 157 (0.583*); UBS (0.586*); 032 (0.586*); 28 (0.586*); 33 (0.586*); 892 (0.586*); geo (0.619*); 037 (0.621*); 1243 (0.621*); 04 (0.636*); it-r-1 (0.643*); it-c (0.655); it-e (0.667*); it-q (0.692); it-d (0.786); it-ff-2 (0.786); it-a (0.800); it-b (0.828); 05 (0.929)


                (* = not statistically significant given the number of places compared.)


                That is, UBS4 eth is not close to W in Mark's early chapters. Given what you say Zuurmond and Niccum say, UBS4 eth would seem not to be like the Garima mss.


                As for eth in the NJ trees for Matt, Luke, John which I pointed to, it is the UBS2 version of Eth. Unfortunately I don't have UBS2 so don't know exactly what that eth means.


                Best,


                Tim F.

              • tom630965
                Thanks Tim I have checked again with Zuurmond s introduction to his 2001 edition of Matthew; and he is wholly dismissive of all the UBS database eth texts,
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 11, 2014
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                  Thanks Tim

                  I have checked again with Zuurmond's introduction to his 2001 edition of Matthew; and he is wholly dismissive of all the UBS database 'eth' texts, other than the collation of the Paris manuscript (which he had himself supplied to UBS for the whole of Matthew, although they only used 10 chapters). The Takla Hymanot he states as being a modern edition; whose text-base has apparently never been published.

                  I have not been able to track down Wechsler's counterpart 2005 edition of John; but I gather that he included an appendix of suggested readings from Garima 1 and 2 for the consideration of UBS/NA. From the comments of reviewers, this might have been considered a tad presumptuous of him (given that in 2005 the Garima Gospels were still dated as 11th century at the earliest). But now they have a secure 5th/6th century date, maybe more attention ought to be given to his list?

                  thanks again

                  Tom Hennell
                  Manchester


                  --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, <tjf@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Tom,
                  >
                  >
                  > The NJ diagram for Mark is based on UBS Greek New Testament 4th ed which says eth is agreement of 1548 Roman ed, Pell-Platt (also based on Roman ed.), TH (Takla Haymanot), and Paris Ms. Eth. n. 32 (Matt 1-10 only). So, no, it's not the Garima text.
                  >
                  >
                  > I don't know how far UBS4 eth is from the Garima mss. Here is a ranked list of distances from UBS4 eth to other witnesses for the first quarter (roughly) of Mark:
                  >
                  >
                  > cop-sa (0.318*); 1424 (0.357*); it-l (0.357*); Lect (0.360*); syr-h (0.417*); 1292 (0.423*); vg (0.423*); 597 (0.448*); 1342 (0.448*); 1505 (0.448*); it-aur (0.448*); it-f (0.448*); syr-p (0.458*); 1241 (0.464*); 09 (0.481*); 02 (0.483*); f-1 (0.483*); 565 (0.483*); Byz (0.500*); 011 (0.500*); 013 (0.500*); f-13 (0.517*); 180 (0.517*); 205 (0.517*); 07 (0.517*); 042 (0.517*); 579 (0.519*); 038 (0.536*); 1010 (0.536*); slav (0.542*); 03 (0.552*); 700 (0.552*); 1006 (0.552*); 1071 (0.552*); 01 (0.571*); 019 (0.571*); 2427 (0.571*); arm (0.577*); 157 (0.583*); UBS (0.586*); 032 (0.586*); 28 (0.586*); 33 (0.586*); 892 (0.586*); geo (0.619*); 037 (0.621*); 1243 (0.621*); 04 (0.636*); it-r-1 (0.643*); it-c (0.655); it-e (0.667*); it-q (0.692); it-d (0.786); it-ff-2 (0.786); it-a (0.800); it-b (0.828); 05 (0.929)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > (* = not statistically significant given the number of places compared.)
                  >
                  >
                  > That is, UBS4 eth is not close to W in Mark's early chapters. Given what you say Zuurmond and Niccum say, UBS4 eth would seem not to be like the Garima mss.
                  >
                  >
                  > As for eth in the NJ trees for Matt, Luke, John which I pointed to, it is the UBS2 version of Eth. Unfortunately I don't have UBS2 so don't know exactly what that eth means.
                  >
                  >
                  > Best,
                  >
                  >
                  > Tim F.
                  >
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