Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The evidence in Hebrews 2:9

I've just been combing through Daniel Wallace's excellent review of Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus. One thing that struck me was the question of the evidence for χωρις θεου in Hebrews 2:9. In Wallace's footnote 36 he says:

'Ehrman says the reading “occurs in only two documents of the tenth century” (Misquoting Jesus, 145), by which he means only two Greek documents, 0243 (0121b) and 1739txt. These manuscripts are closely related and probably represent a common archetype. It is also found in 424cvid (thus, apparently a later correction in an eleventh century minuscule) as well as vgms syrpmss Origengr (vr), lat MSSaccording to Origen Theodore Nestorians according to Ps-Oecumenius Theodoret 1/2; lem Ambrose MSSaccording to Jerome Vigilius Fulgentius. Ehrman does note some of the patristic evidence, underscoring an important argument, viz., “Origen tells us that this was the reading of the majority of manuscripts in his own day” (ibid.)'

It is also claimed in Ehrman's Orthodox Corruption (p. 146) and in Metzger's Textual Commentary (2nd edn; p. 594) that Peshitta manuscripts support this reading. I'm wondering why Wallace, Ehrman and Metzger agree that this is the Peshitta's reading. In Barbara Aland and Andreas Juckel, Das Neue Testament in syrischer Überlieferung, II. Die Paulinischen Briefe, Teil 3: 1./2. Thessalonicherbrief, 1./2. Timotheusbrief, Titusbrief, Philemonbrief und Hebräerbrief (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2002, pp. 262-264) there is no record of any Peshitta ms with this reading.

There are, however, readings of Severus of Antioch, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Babai the Great that appear to support 'without God'.

18 Comments:

Dave Black said...

This is a bit off-topic, but I should like to remind everyone that no less a Hebrews scholar then F. F. Bruce defended the reading "apart from God" in an essay that appeared in the Greenlee Festschrift ("Textual Problems in the Epistle to the Hebrews," Scribes and Scripture: New Testament Essays in Honor of J. Harold Greenlee [ed. D. A. Black; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992] pp. 27-39). Bruce cites several fathers in favor of the reading "apart from God," including Theodore, Theodoret, Anastasius of Sinai, Ps.-Oecumenius, Theophylact, Fulgentius, and Vigilius.

maurice a robinson said...

PJW: I'm wondering why Wallace, Ehrman and Metzger agree that this is the Peshitta's reading.

Gwilliam's Peshitta (1919) does not support the reading CWRIS, but has "by grace" (btivotah).

However, the 1986 "Bible Society in Israel" transliteration into Hebrew characters of what is claimed to be the Peshitta (with Hebrew parallel translation) reads hu ger satar min 'elaha', which appears to reflect CWRIS (the Hebrew translation has ki hu' bnifrad min ha-elohim, which also clearly reflects CWRIS).

The manuscript basis for this 1986 text, however, remains questionable, so far as I understand the situtation.

Martin said...

The reading gained first support, it seems, by Bernard Weiss, and was propagated especially by Adolf v. Harnack in his "Studien zur Geschichte des Neuen Testamentes und der alten Kirche I", Berlin 1933, p. 236ff.

See also Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, p. 34 & 74.

It seems, though, some were mislead claiming a Syrian reading for xwris.

P J Williams said...

[Mike Holmes is having difficulty logging in and so asked me to post this for him. PJW]

The citation of "Peshitta mss" in support of the reading χωρις θεου may go back to Zuntz (Text of the Epistles, 34), who claims that the reading is in “one manuscript of the Vulgate (G) and in several of the Peshitta.”

Re the MS support for this reading, it is worth keeping in mind that the Vorlage of 1739* preserves (kata esp. Zuntz) a text nearly contemporaneous with that of p46.

Mike Holmes

P J Williams said...

My apologies for misleading people somewhat and gratitude to Prof. Robinson for pointing me to an edition that reads otherwise.

Had I looked more carefully at the introduction to Aland and Juckel (pp. 19, 39) I would have seen a more detailed discussion of the variant. It appears that str mn 'apart from' was in the first hands of P2 (Ms Sin. syr. 5, 6th century) and P12 (BL Add. 14,479; AD 533/34). The editors conclude: 'Aus Raumgründen muß P2* str mn gelesen haben (Zeilenbruch zwischen diesen beiden Wörtern)' and 'Aus Raumgründen muß P12* str mn gelesen haben'(p. 19).

Peter M. Head said...

There's no reason to doubt that 'apart from God' is the original text is there?

Peter M. Head said...

424cvid is the sort of thing I'd like to check, but realise I can't. Pictures of 424 - now there is a project worth doing.

Peter M. Head said...

Thanks Dave for the bibliog on the article by FFB. Sensible man.

P J Williams said...

PMH: 'There's no reason to doubt that "apart from God" is the original text is there?'

Only mss.

Daniel R. Buck said...

'Aus Raumgründen muß P2* str mn gelesen haben (Zeilenbruch zwischen diesen beiden Wörtern)' and 'Aus Raumgründen muß P12* str mn gelesen haben'(p. 19).

Machine Translation:

“Due to space considerations P2* must have read str mn (line break between these two words)”
and
“Due to space considerations P12* must have read str mn” (p. 19).

P J Williams said...

Wow, machines can translate after all.

Daniel R. Buck said...

OK I admit, it had some help.

But I was participating only as a linguist, not as someone who knows any German.

Ich nacht Deutsch enough to get any help in that department.

Peter M. Head said...

PMH said: 'There's no reason to doubt that "apart from God" is the original text is there?'

PJW said: 'Only mss.'

PMH says: yeh, that is what I thought. Internal logic and transcriptional probabilities pretty much stacked on the XWRIS side then.

P J Williams said...

Peter, 'probabilities' don't allow you to conclude 'there's no reason to doubt'. The truth is that either reading can easily be explained from the other, even though some people judge 'probability' to rest on one side.

We also need to have a comprehensive account of the distribution of readings.

Peter M. Head said...

Well, while we are waiting for the monograph on the readings and the publication of photos of 424cvid, we can prefer the more difficult reading and majority text reading: 'apart from God'.

maurice a robinson said...

PMH: while we are waiting ...we can prefer the more difficult reading and majority text reading: 'apart from God'.

Only the "majority" of the now-lost MSS claimed by Origen -- at least within his limited regional perspective.

Of course, today we have no evidence supporting such a "majority", and this perhaps might call Origen's claim into question. Why, for example, should one assume that his statement transcended his localized regional knowledge?

Daniel R. Buck said...

I have to give Origen credit: He didn't always need to 'find' majority support for his position. For instance, in reading 'bethabara' in John 1:28, he preceded Hort by 16 centuries in rejecting the majority reading in favor of one that made sense to him.

Steven Avery said...

Hi,

One problem with Ehrman and Wallace on this variant is that the statement that:

"Origen tells us that this was the reading of the majority of manuscripts of his own day."

Is simply false, even a deception.

You can see the actual comments of Origen in the Amy Donaldson paper, and you can see a good discussion of this in the Diglotting blog of Kevin Brown:

How Did Jesus Die: χαριτι θεου or χωρις θεου?
June 23, 2011
http://diglotting.com/2011/06/23/how-did-jesus-die-%CF%87%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%84%CE%B9-%CE%B8%CE%B5%CE%BF%CF%85-or-%CF%87%CF%89%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%82-%CE%B8%CE%B5%CE%BF%CF%85/

Since this is an ultra-minority variant in Greek, Latin, Syriac and versions, and the mind-reading of the scribes evidences are malleable to your textual preference, the misstating of the Origen evidence is key to the "without God" attempted apologetic, and needs correction.

Steven Avery