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Re: Bernhard Weiss - a misunderstanding

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  • malcolm robertson
    Dear David, Let s take John 10:29 as an example. As Countach has pointed out the NA27 editors opted for the reading of Codex Vaticanus B 03 against all other
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 17, 2005
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      Dear David,
       
      Let's take John 10:29 as an example.  As Countach has pointed out the NA27 editors opted for the reading of Codex Vaticanus B 03 against all other witnesses based on the 'neutral' text type characteristics that this codex usually exemplifies.  This would be the weight consideration of the external evidence as usually offered by codex Vaticanus.  The problem is that the context is speaking about two persons - God the Father and Jesus the Son (vss 28-30).  B 03 reads ...hO DEDWKEN MOI PANTWN MEIZON ESTIN....  The problem from an instrinsic probability standpoint is would John have used the neuter relative pronoun to reference God the Father?  A Greek Platonic philosopher would have had no qualms at all here. The introduction of hO...MEIZON in B may have been a subconscious error of the mind of the scribe who may have previously just copied a pagan philosophical treatise where such a reference would not have been a problem.
       
      However, P66 pc reads ...hOS [D]EDWKEN [MOI] MEIZWN PANTWN ESTIN....which is more in line with the personhood(s) within the biblical Godhead and which is reflected in the relationship of the Father and His Son.  This relationship is abundantly represented by John throughout his writings.
       
      I think this example indicates both the *reasoned* aspect as well as the weighting of the textual evidence that is so necessary in text critical studies.  This balance was both understood and exercised rather well by Bernhard Weiss.
       
      Cordially in Christ,
       
      Malcolm
       
      ______________________________
       
      I have to wonder where the line is. One thing that bothers me is, we are told
      that those who give weight to "external evidence" do so on the basis of the
      "best" manuscripts, and the description given of how Weiss used only certain
      uncials seems to fall into this category. Yet, how do we know which mss are
      the "best"? It's determined by somebody's categories of internal-evidence
      evaluation. So ultimately, I see no real difference between internal and
      external considerations, since the latter are based squarely on the former.
      In the end, eclecticism always comes back to somebody's evalutaion of what
      scribes, authors or whoever "most likely" wrote. So it seems to me that
      "external evidence" is a construct at best, nonexistent at worst. This
      appears to be a big problem for TC, but at present I have no idea what the
      solution is.

      --
      Dave Washburn
      http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
      Reality is what refuses to go away when
      you stop believing in it.




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    • Dave Washburn
      Ron, I m afraid this doesn t follow. I didn t say external evidence is non-existent, I said there s a serious problem with how it s determined. What passes
      Message 2 of 22 , Jun 17, 2005
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        Ron,
        I'm afraid this doesn't follow. I didn't say "external evidence is
        non-existent," I said there's a serious problem with how it's determined.
        What passes for "external evidence" in most all eclectic systems I've seen is
        nothing more than "these mss. appear internally to be better, therefore they
        are the better mss. and are to be considered so when applying external
        considerations." This is circular reasoning.

        I also don't see how you get from that to the idea that, if there is no
        "external evidence" then "there would be no internal evidence to consider."
        The only way this might be accurate (and your dog analogy) would be if I had
        said that there is no real external evidence because there are no
        manuscripts. But we both know better :-) So I'm afraid you have a big
        non-sequitur here. Obviously, the material evidence exists. The question
        is, how do we determine what's good and what's not? Ultimately, even in the
        reasoned eclectic approach, everything comes back to what the critic thinks
        is a "better" set of readings thus defining a "better" manuscript. And as I
        said before, I really don't know what to do about it. But using a caricature
        to define the problem out of existence doesn't seem to be the solution...

        On Friday 17 June 2005 12:48, Minton, Ron wrote:
        > Holmes is definitely reasoned, not through-going. But every person has
        > to consider internal information to a certain degree.
        >
        > If external evidence is non-existent as Dave W. suggested, there would
        > be no internal evidence to consider. It would be like describing your
        > breed of dogs even though dogs don't exist :-)
        >
        > Ron Minton
        >
        > ________________________________
        >
        > From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of malcolm robertson
        > Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 6:42 PM
        > To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Bernhard Weiss - a misunderstanding
        >
        >
        >
        > Dear David,
        >
        >
        >
        > The distiction is a very real one and cannot be at all minimized. The
        > reasoned ecletic TCer will circumspectly consider both the objective
        > textual evidence as well as the internal probability of authorial intent
        > and style before making a textual determination. Each variable in the
        > assessment is given equal weight. The through-going eclectic -
        > irrespective of any other consideration - will make himself the final
        > arbitor in which reading is to be preferred. It is like saying, "Well
        > you said this and I understood what you said but I took it another way
        > so that is what you meant (or at least should have)." The autonomous
        > through-going electic knows better than the author or the evidence. The
        > gulf between Bernhard Weiss (reasoned ecletic) and lets say Bart Ehrman
        > or Michael Holmes (through-going ecletics) is as great as that between
        > Lazarus and Dives.
        >
        >
        >
        > Cordially in Christ,
        >
        >
        >
        > Malcolm
        >
        >
        >
        > ____________________________________
        >
        > On Thursday 16 June 2005 09:34, Wieland Willker wrote:
        > > Clay Bartholomew wrote:
        > > > I didn't get the impression that Metzger was beating up on
        > > > B.Weiss but I don't have Ehrman's 4th ed. so cannot
        > > > comment on it.
        > >
        > > No, he is not beating him up, but he + now Ehrman are representing him
        >
        > as
        >
        > > a rigorous eclecticist, which he isn't. If ever the term "reasoned"
        >
        > has a
        >
        > > place, it is with B. Weiss.
        >
        > What precisely do you see as the difference between the two?
        >
        > --
        > Dave Washburn
        > http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur <http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur>
        > Reality is what refuses to go away when
        > you stop believing in it.
        >
        >
        >
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      • Countach
        ... I couldn t quite follow this, I think the verse numbers are wrong or something. ... Ok, I can see the argument for saying that the NA27 reading here is not
        Message 3 of 22 , Jun 18, 2005
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          malcolm robertson wrote:

          > When the external evidence makes absolutely no sense within the
          > context such as 1 Th 2:7 against a preponderance of textual witnesses,
          > the *reasoned* ecletic will make an intelligent *contraire* decision
          > based on various factors - theological, linguistic, style, etc. The
          > fact that the *APOSTOLH* was not meant to be a norm for practice by
          > all believers is abundantly attested elsewhere in the NT. The use of
          > TUPOUS (in this verse) is invariably misleading. The sense is however
          > properly understood elsewhere ( 1 Th 1:7; 2 Th 3:9; 1 Tim 4:12; Tit
          > 2:7; 1 P 5:3). This determination is based *in light of* and not *in
          > spite of* the existing evidence. The genuineness of NHPIOI in vs 8 is
          > affirmed by the use of TROPOS in vs 9. Doubtless 1 Th 2:7 is one of
          > the more difficult texts in the NT - being very nigh to taking the
          > next step - i.e textual emendation (which in this case is uncalled for
          > in light of the external evidence).

          I couldn't quite follow this, I think the verse numbers are wrong or
          something.

          >
          > I think Jn 10:29 is best explained on the text critical principle of
          > *which reading best explains the origin of the others* - esp. since
          > there is such slight textual variation in word form and order among
          > the textual witnesses.


          Ok, I can see the argument for saying that the NA27 reading here is not
          "thoroughgoing eclectic", because it is based on transcriptional
          probabilities rather than contextual probability, which I would think is
          the hallmark of thoroughgoing ecelecticism.

          I used to accept the NA27 reasoning for the NA27 reading based on
          Metzger's stated reasons. However, after much thought I came to the
          conclusion that the NA27 reading simply doesn't make sense in the
          context. So basically, here I am being a thoroughgoing eclectic for this
          verse and accepting the reading with 99% of the manuscript support, and
          I'm opposing the "reasoned eclectic" position, which is based on
          transcriptional probabilities which has one only manuscript in support.
          It seems to me that transcriptional probabilities is something that
          belongs in the thoroughgoing eclectic realm, because it is something
          that provides reasons for ignoring the weight of external evidence, just
          like exegetical probabilities.
        • Countach
          ... I d be curious to know how Ehrman could escape the title of thoroughgoing eclectic . If he escapes, who doesn t?
          Message 4 of 22 , Jun 18, 2005
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            Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

            > Based on how the terms are actually used in the field,
            > neither Ehrman nor Holmes are "th[o]rough-going ele[c]tics."
            > If anything,


            I'd be curious to know how Ehrman could escape the title of
            "thoroughgoing eclectic". If he escapes, who doesn't?
          • Dave Washburn
            ... Sorry, but the problem once again is that this evaluation of B is not external at all, and that neutral text thing, a term that both Hort s critics and
            Message 5 of 22 , Jun 18, 2005
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              On Friday 17 June 2005 14:01, malcolm robertson wrote:
              > Dear David,
              >
              > Let's take John 10:29 as an example. As Countach has pointed out the NA27
              > editors opted for the reading of Codex Vaticanus B 03 against all other
              > witnesses based on the 'neutral' text type characteristics that this codex
              > usually exemplifies. This would be the weight consideration of the
              > external evidence as usually offered by codex Vaticanus.

              Sorry, but the problem once again is that this evaluation of B is not
              "external" at all, and that "neutral" text thing, a term that both Hort's
              critics and his fans have debunked several times as a "question-begging
              nomenclature," is based entirely on internal considerations. We often hear
              that "witnesses must be weighed, not counted." But that points up the whole
              problem, does it not? The real question is, how do we decide how much a
              witness weighs? There really isn't any objective way that I can see. We're
              still stuck in circular reasoning.

              > The problem is
              > that the context is speaking about two persons - God the Father and Jesus
              > the Son (vss 28-30). B 03 reads ...hO DEDWKEN MOI PANTWN MEIZON ESTIN....
              > The problem from an instrinsic probability standpoint is would John have
              > used the neuter relative pronoun to reference God the Father? A Greek
              > Platonic philosopher would have had no qualms at all here. The introduction
              > of hO...MEIZON in B may have been a subconscious error of the mind of the
              > scribe who may have previously just copied a pagan philosophical treatise
              > where such a reference would not have been a problem.
              >
              > However, P66 pc reads ...hOS [D]EDWKEN [MOI] MEIZWN PANTWN ESTIN....which
              > is more in line with the personhood(s) within the biblical Godhead and
              > which is reflected in the relationship of the Father and His Son. This
              > relationship is abundantly represented by John throughout his writings.
              >
              > I think this example indicates both the *reasoned* aspect as well as the
              > weighting of the textual evidence that is so necessary in text critical
              > studies. This balance was both understood and exercised rather well by
              > Bernhard Weiss.

              Um, everything you just said is based wholly on intrinsic probability, and
              especially intrinsic theological probability, which only seems to prove my
              point. There's no real "balance" between internal and external evidence,
              because the question of what is good or bad external evidence is determined
              by purely internal means. This is exactly what I've been saying.

              > Cordially in Christ,
              >
              > Malcolm
              >
              > ______________________________
              >
              > I have to wonder where the line is. One thing that bothers me is, we are
              > told that those who give weight to "external evidence" do so on the basis
              > of the "best" manuscripts, and the description given of how Weiss used only
              > certain uncials seems to fall into this category. Yet, how do we know which
              > mss are the "best"? It's determined by somebody's categories of
              > internal-evidence evaluation. So ultimately, I see no real difference
              > between internal and external considerations, since the latter are based
              > squarely on the former. In the end, eclecticism always comes back to
              > somebody's evalutaion of what scribes, authors or whoever "most likely"
              > wrote. So it seems to me that "external evidence" is a construct at best,
              > nonexistent at worst. This appears to be a big problem for TC, but at
              > present I have no idea what the solution is.
              >
              > --
              > Dave Washburn
              > http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
              > Reality is what refuses to go away when
              > you stop believing in it.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ---------------------------------
              > Yahoo! Sports
              > Rekindle the Rivalries. Sign up for Fantasy Football

              --
              Dave Washburn
              http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
              Reality is what refuses to go away when
              you stop believing in it.
            • sarban
              ... From: Countach To: Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2005 3:22 PM Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Re:
              Message 6 of 22 , Jun 18, 2005
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Countach" <yahoo@...>
                To: <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2005 3:22 PM
                Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Re: Bernhard Weiss - a misunderstanding


                > Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                >
                > > Based on how the terms are actually used in the field,
                > > neither Ehrman nor Holmes are "th[o]rough-going ele[c]tics."
                > > If anything,
                >
                >
                > I'd be curious to know how Ehrman could escape the title of
                > "thoroughgoing eclectic". If he escapes, who doesn't?
                >
                G D Kilpatrick.

                See p 178 of the 3rd edition of Metzger's 'The Text of the New
                Testament' for examples of some of Kilpatrick's more drastically
                eclectic textual decisions.

                (I don't know which page this is on in later editions.)

                Andrew Criddle
              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... G. D. Kilpatrick and J. Keith Elliott. Thoroughgoing eclectic is not term of abuse; it has a specific meaning, which basically is to give internal
                Message 7 of 22 , Jun 18, 2005
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                  At 12:22 AM 6/19/2005 +1000, Countach wrote:
                  >Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                  >
                  >> Based on how the terms are actually used in the field,
                  >> neither Ehrman nor Holmes are "th[o]rough-going ele[c]tics."
                  >> If anything,
                  >
                  >I'd be curious to know how Ehrman could escape the title of
                  >"thoroughgoing eclectic". If he escapes, who doesn't?

                  G. D. Kilpatrick and J. Keith Elliott. "Thoroughgoing eclectic"
                  is not term of abuse; it has a specific meaning, which basically
                  is to give internal evidence, especially the author's style, much
                  greater weight than the external.

                  Ehrman, on the other hand, tends to expand the set of external
                  evidence (mainly Western and early patristic) to be looked at,
                  but mostly he's known for applying textual criticism to answer
                  more questions about early Christianity than "what was the
                  original text." I'd say he's more of a historian who knows how
                  to use textual criticism than a textual critic who knows how
                  to use history. The difference lies in the kinds of questions
                  they are trying to answer.

                  Stephen Carlson


                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                  Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                  "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                • Stephen C. Carlson
                  ... If you are counting manuscripts ( 99% of the manuscript support ), then you are not any kind of an eclectic. Manuscripts are to be weighed, not counted.
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jun 18, 2005
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                    At 12:21 AM 6/19/2005 +1000, Countach wrote:
                    >I used to accept the NA27 reasoning for the NA27 reading based on
                    >Metzger's stated reasons. However, after much thought I came to the
                    >conclusion that the NA27 reading simply doesn't make sense in the
                    >context. So basically, here I am being a thoroughgoing eclectic for this
                    >verse and accepting the reading with 99% of the manuscript support, and
                    >I'm opposing the "reasoned eclectic" position, which is based on
                    >transcriptional probabilities which has one only manuscript in support.
                    >It seems to me that transcriptional probabilities is something that
                    >belongs in the thoroughgoing eclectic realm, because it is something
                    >that provides reasons for ignoring the weight of external evidence, just
                    >like exegetical probabilities.

                    If you are counting manuscripts ("99% of the manuscript support"), then
                    you are not any kind of an eclectic. Manuscripts are to be weighed, not
                    counted. (Even counting assigns weights to manuscripts--they are all the
                    same!)

                    Stephen Carlson
                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                    Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                    "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
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