In the comments to an earlier post on 0220 and Romans 5.1, Ulrich Schmid (after Pete Williams’ prompting) posted a summary of his view of the textual history of Romans. Considering Ulrich’s request for comments and the importance of the topic I’ve just lifted his comments up to the main blog (with his permission of course!). Note that this material has previously been tucked away in his Marcion und sein Apostolos: Rekonstruktion und historische Einordnung der marcionitischen Paulusbriefausgabe [ANTTF 25; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1995], 284ff.
So, now in Ulrich’s own words:
In my view, the textual history of the letter of Romans is best explained by assuming two major editions of Paul's letters with different versions of Romans that later on produced the conflated versions we now have.
The one edition had the core version Rom 1,1-16,23 (full version), the other one Rom 1,1-14,23 (abridged version). Rom 16,24 and 16,25-27 are secondary endings, the former to Rom 16,23 and the latter to Rom 14,23 (with no 15,1sq, of course). Thus, the abridged version acquired and distributed the doxology (16,25-27).
To me that scenario proves to be the most elegant solution to explaining especially the various positions of the doxology.
The evidence for the abridged version hardly needs to be rehearsed (cf. Gamble, The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans, 1977). Scholars differ, however, on the questions (a) how the abridged version came to influence the textual history of Romans so profoundly, and (b) what was the reason for the abridged version.
Gamble says about the abridged version: "such forms must have had an earlier existence and continued for a long time to affect the textual tradition which even now preserves their traces" (Textual History, 121), to which I fully agree. However, I don't buy his point that the abridged version "emerged prior to the Corpus as a whole, during the period when this letter circulated independently" (ibid.). To my mind, an abridged version of Romans as an individually circulating entity hardly carries enough "weight" to impose itself to an editor, who is confronted with two (or more) versions of Romans. After all, the abridged version looks conspicuously incomplete and in itself not very appealing. It seems far more likely to assume that the abridged version once was part of an ancient and venerated edition of (a number of) Paul' letters.
There is undisputable evidence that the abridged version once was part of an ancient edition of Paul's letters, namely the edition that is associated with Marcion (Origen, Commentary on Romans 10,43). It is, however, virtually certain that Marcion was not responsible for the abridged version, i.e. he simply took it over as part of the 10-letter-edition he has used and edited for the purpose of his church. Why is this "virtually certain", despite the claims of such eminent scholars like, e.g., Kurt Aland and Eduard Lohse that it was Marcion who excised the last two chapters of Romans?
Tertullian repeatedly observes that Marcion's version of the letter to the Romans lacks considerable parts of the text (e.g., in chapters 2, 8 and 9-11). The fact that none of these omissions has left any trace in the textual history of Romans is the most glaring evidence AGAINST Marcion's edited version as being responsible for the severe impact of the abridged version. Thus, Marcion's edition inherited the abridged version, it did not start it!
There is more evidence that an ancient 10-letter-edition circulated outside marcionite circles and more could be said about what caused the abridged version. But I should pause here not the least because I never had any reaction to my last point (against Marcion's edited version as being responsible for the abridged version of Romans). Comments are welcome, especially on the validity of this last point.