Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Byzantine to Alexandrian correction?

Daniel Buck asks the following question:

"Maurice Robinson's textual theory holds that the Byzantine text best represents the Original Text of the NT, and that all other text-types are corruptions thereof. Many MSS show evidence of being corrected by a scribe who for whatever reason gave up his project partway through the corpus. Are all of these Alexandrian-to-Byzantine corrections, or, as would be expected if the Alexandrian text-type reigned supreme at some time and place in the history of textual transmission, do some MSS show evidence of an interrupted Byzantine-to-Alexandrian correction process?"

8 Comments:

maurice a robinson said...

The corrections found in P66 clearly cut both ways. I'm not sure in this case whether there was any "interruption" in the correction process, but there certainly are Alex-to-Byz and Byz-to-Alex types of correction in that MS.

Nor do I think, given the amount of "mixture" demonstrated among early MSS, that the presence or absence of some "interrupted" correction process necessarily will indicate a more "pure" texttype-related exemplar form of the text in the latter portions of any particular MS.

Daniel Buck said...

In other words, it's not necessarily possible to distinguish a block-mixed mss compiled from exemplars of diverse text-types, from a mss whose exemplar was incompletely corrected to a different text-type?

Eric Rowe said...

How is the bit about a corrector stopping partway through the corpus germane to the real question here? I like the main point about expecting to see Byzantine to Alexandrian corrections. But I think I'm missing part of the logic.

Also, as I understand it, the Byzantine text dominates the minuscules, the production of which occured at places in history where the Byzantine text types already did reign supreme. The Byzantine manuscripts that would have been corrected to read like the reigning Alexandrian text (supposing such existed) would have been uncials that are now lost, having been replaced by their more economical minuscule descendants.

maurice a robinson said...

Buck: In other words, it's not necessarily possible to distinguish a block-mixed mss compiled from exemplars of diverse text-types, from a mss whose exemplar was incompletely corrected to a different text-type?

From my experience, it seems that those MSS that can be divided into "blocks" more than likely were simply copied from different exemplars for each block. Those exemplars retained their own textual identity, and corrections to such were generally sporadic. So I would say, yes, one can distinguish block-mixed MSS from those which have undergone even extensive correction.

The problem when attempting to blame block mixture upon a supposed discontinued correction process is that correction -- wherever it occurred -- seems never to have been thorough within a given portion of text; i.e., such that it would eliiminate in future copies all or nearly all traces of the original form of the text that had been corrected.

One example: Some 30+ years ago, under Kenneth W. Clark's direction, I collated a minuscule MS at Duke using Wisse's Lukan test chapters (1, 10, and 20). Those chapters in that MS originally contained a number of readings of f13 type. Yet the corrector had erased those particular readings, often so severely that I had to reconstruct the original erased text on the basis of space remaining beyond the inserted correction (most replacments were of the more usual Kx type).

In any case, within those test chapters, that MS did not originally contain all of the f13 readings prior to correction; rather, it was already "mixed" in nature. The scattered f13 readings nevertheless appeared in chs. 1, 10, and 20, with no semblance of either block mixture or a previous corrector simply having left off from his task. But in this MS itself there was correction, and it was sporadic, and it was spread throughout the MS. The one thought I took away from this experience was this: here was an apparently "inherited" MS whose corrector really despised f13-type readings.

Daniel R. Buck said...

ER:
"How is the bit about a corrector stopping partway through the corpus germane to the real question here?"

Upon further investigation of manuscripts--getting beyond the test-passage process--it turns out that a bewildering number of manuscripts, amongst them the earliest ones, don't stay in a single-text type for very long. This makes the job of even defining text-types all the harder.

What would seem to simplify things would be to find a manuscript that was--or its exemplar was--corrected from one text-type to another. If the correction in the exemplar was complete, this erases all the evidence of the original text-type. If, on the other hand, the corrector gave up the job partway through, the remainder of the manuscript would retain the original readings--thus my interest in interrupted corrections.

Let's consider 565 for a moment. In Luke, it apparently starts out Byzantine but changes over to Alexandrian around 3:33 (with a correction at 2:38). Is there any way to tell whether this is due to block-mixing, or correction to an Alexandrian standard?

Mike Holmes said...

A comment re P66: in the estimation of Fee, neither the MS from which it was copied nor the MS by which it was corrected can be aligned with either the Alexandrian or Byzantine textual traditions. At the risk of using the term anachronistically, both MSS were "mixed" texts--perhaps the term Tov uses, "non-aligned," would be better. So P66 is an outstanding example of a text copied from one MS and corrected against another; both the source MS and the MS used for correction exemplify texts in use in the late 2nd c--but they don't align with either the Byz or Alex traditions.

Eric Rowe said...

"So P66 is an outstanding example of a text copied from one MS and corrected against another; both the source MS and the MS used for correction exemplify texts in use in the late 2nd c--but they don't align with either the Byz or Alex traditions."

Aside from P75, are there ANY extant 2nd century mss that align with either the Alex or Byz traditions? For that matter, are there any 3rd century ones?

Daniel R. Buck said...

Getting back to the orginal question, Bob Waltz reports:

"630 is a peculiarly mixed text. . . In Romans-Galatians, it also goes with family 1739, again weakly, with the rate of Byzantine mixture increasing as one goes along. From Ephesians on, it is almost purely Byzantine. (The text in Paul may be the result of block mixture; I suspect, however, that 630 is the descendent of a manuscript which was Byzantine in Paul but was corrected toward family 1739 by a copyist who became less and less attentive and finally gave up. This corrected manuscript gave rise to 630 and 2200.)"

Aside from the implicit assumption that 'family 1739' had been collated in a form available to a 14th-century scribe, are there other uncalled for assumptions in this analysis of the evidence?