Thursday, January 25, 2007

Questions about the Caesarean text

In a comment to the previous posting Dave Mowers asked some questions that are certainly worth posing here:

"I am working on a project idea for Amy [Anderson] that is fairly open-ended, possibly about the "Caesarean text type"/texts physically connected with the city of Caesarea in the book of John. I had a couple of questions about this that I was hoping one of you could help with.
First, what is the state of current "Caesarean" scholarship? Is this idea generally not accepted by mainstream text critics?
Second, if there is a case to be made for a Caesarean text type, what manuscripts would be associated with it in the book of John?"


Anonymous said...

The Caesarian text-type is advocated by B.H. Streeter. Aland, while recognizing its possible existence, found in short that its indenification was extermely difficult to grasp. Of course, Origin who came to Caesaria from Alexandria may reflect a Caesarian text-type, but his critical textual endeavors complicate this issue. Also Jerome notes unspecified editiors who may have been responsible for the origin of the Caesarian text-type. His remarks are quite vague.

I incline toward the Greek lettered mss as probable representatives of this text-type, although and once again the mixed nature of these mss makes the indentification of the exact character of this text-type problematic. It should, however, generally speaking be viewed as stemming from the Alexandrian (which stems from the Neutral). Sorry Dr Aland - just had to say that.

Doubtless, Robert Walsh will have something worthwhile to say about this as well.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant Robert Waltz.


Stephen C. Carlson said...

According to a stemma I had prepared for John 4, it looks like witnesses Θ, 565, fam. 1, fam. 13 are related to each other, but each had independently been assimilated to the Byzantine.

Whether you want to call that group "Caesarean" is another question. For me, I'd have to rerun the analysis with Origen or some other localizable witness before I'd go that far.

Eric Rowe said...

This may not be an authoritative enough source for your work, but for a quick reference on which mss belong to which text-type I always Rodney Decker's NT TC Reference chart first:

It's packed with information, and if you trim the margins it fits nicely in your UBS or NA text.

Eric Rowe said...

I wrote a paper in seminary on textual variants in the Gospels related to geography and found that the mss often cited as belonging to the Caesarian text had a fair degree of affinity on the variants I studied.

They also had a tendency to agree with the evidence of historical geography. For example, for the location of the swine miracle, the Caesarian text stood alone in locating it in the land of the Gergesenes in all three synoptics (Mat 8:28; Mark 5:1; and Luke 8:26, 37). The bulk of Alexandrian and Byzantine witnesses read either Gadarenes or Gerasenes in at least one of the Gospels. But of the three locations, Gergesa was relatively unknown, compared to Gadara and Gerasa; and it is also the site that fits the details of the account best on historical-geographical grounds. I won't dare to enter the fray of establishing the existence and provenance of the Caesarian text. But I think evidence of this sort could serve as circumstantial evidence of a Levantine provenance.

Rod Decker, NTResources said...

For what it may be worth, Kenneth I. Brown wrote his dissertation on the Caeserean text at Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake, IN, USA) back in the 1960s. I've not seen it, and it's likely outdated, but he argued for such a text-type. I don't know the exact title or year. Surprisingly, our library doesn't even have a copy, though Brown taught here at the time he did his doctoral work. (He did his ThM at Westminster under Stonehouse.)

FWIW, though he was my mentor in text. crit., and my ThM advisor, I haven't bought that classification. My impression is that this may be a valid text type in the LXX, but I doubt there's enough substantive evidence in the NT to warrant the categorization of "text type."

And BTW, since Eric mentioned my text crit ref chart, be advised that my entire web site is moving to a new server immanently (I'm waiting for a domain transfer just now). The url will always get you to the right location--even if there are a few "hops" in the path for a few weeks.

Rod Decker, NTResources said...

I just tracked down the reference to Brown's diss:
Brown, Kenneth I., "The value of the Caesarean text as an aid in determining between variant readings in the New Testament," Dissertation (Th.D.)--Grace Theological Seminary, 1965.

dmmowers said...

In Metzger and Ehrman's fourth edition, on p.311, Metzger cites Ayuso and Hurtado in saying that P45, W (in Mk 5.31-16.20), fam. 1, fam. 13, 28, and several lectionaries represent a "pre-Caesarean" text. After some development, these text formed into the "Caesarean" text represented by theta, 565, 700, Origen, Eusebius, and several versions.

Apparently Amphoux connects the pre-Caesarean manuscripts with the city of Antioch, not with Caesarea. Is that an accepted view, or are P45, W (Mk), etc. generally associated with Caesarea?

Thanks for your help thus far.

M. Leary said...

Hurtado wrote a dissertation on Mark and the Caeserean text-type, the introduction to the abridged version of his research in a slim Eerdmans volume is an excellent introduction to the state of scholarship on the Caes. text-type. He simply argues that W and p45 are not witness to a pre-Caeseran text-type.

If you have access to JSTOR, here is a link to a handy review of the book:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mowers, Please be mindful that the dating of W and P45 are seriously being questioned nowadays by no less than U. Schmid of Birmingham.

I personally think P45 and W are more Byzantine in character than Caesarian but that will be the fun of discovering for yourself such traits and making your own determinations.


Timo Flink said...

Malcolm, could your clarify the dating. What does Schmid think?

Tommy Wasserman said...

As for the Caesarean text-type in the Catholic Epistles I will quote from my recent monograph:

Muriel Carder suggested that MS 12423 could be 'Caesarean' in 1 Peter and the Johannine Epistles, because of its high proportion of Alexandrian and 'Western' readings.[footnote 60] However, Kurt Aland strongly opposed Carder and proved that both her method and [new page] results were seriously flawed. [footnote 61] Christian-Bernard Amphoux and Bernard Outtier have developed Carder's suggestion and they see a 'Caesarean' text in 'Family 1739' (primarily in 1739 and about ten other minuscules, including 1243), the text of which is also related to the first Georgian version."

footnote 60: "Muriel M. Carder, 'A Caesarean Text in the Catholic Epistles?,' NTS 16 (1970): 252-70."
footnote 61: "Kurt Aland, 'Bemerkungen zu den gegenwärtigen Möglichkeiten text-kritischer Arbeit aus Anlass einer Untersuchung zum Cäsarea-Text der Katholischen Briefe,' NTS 17 (1970): 1-9. Aland's main objection is that only MSS related to either Origen or Eusebius in critical places could rightfully be labeled 'Caesarean,' and, surprisingly, Carder did not address this question at all (ibid., 4, 7)."

Quoted from The Epistle of Jude: Its Text and Transmission (ConBNT 43; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2006), 14-15.

Christian Askeland said...

My initial feeling is that hypotheses about the Caesarean text seem to center around Mark and P45/W. TW mentioned two manuscripts for the Catholic Epistles. SC mentioned the affinities of Θ, 565, fam. 1, fam. 13 for each other in Jn. 4. Does anyone know of Caesarean witnesses for John's Gospel or other NT texts beyond these? Most of the Gospels in W have been associated with other text types. Even Mark is of a mixed character (see the The Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism article).

Anonymous said...


From what I have been able to gather thus far the main issue is the Schrift/script that both P45 and W exhibit and the problem of their/its realationship within the historical textual transmission of the biblical text. Dr Schmid thinks that the dating of should be moved back even further - to the 6th century or even later. P 45, while dated earlier than W, while exhibiting the same script style as W, has no similar indicators for justifying such an early date either based on the script or the readings.


Stephen C. Carlson said...

My SBL 2004 paper on the Caesarean text in Mark 6:45-8:26 has been available online.

It includes a review of the scholarship on the Caesarean text and suggests that many of what were thought to be leading members of the type (565, Θ, even W) have been contaminated by Beza-like readings.