Evangelical Textual Criticism

Monday, January 15, 2007

Western Text Quiz

If the family of Greek textual groups has as ugly, red-headed stepchild, the Western text would have to be it. The better-known Alexandrian and Imperial Byzantine textforms are widely discussed and accepted as useful terms to categorize individual manuscripts. Attitudes toward and evaluations of the Western text vary. Working against the Western test is the fact that it is only evidenced by one Greek manuscript (D/05, Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis). In its favour, supposed agreements in Latin, Syriac and perhaps other early translations argue that the sole Greek text is the representative of an entire lost tradition. I have been reading Albertus Frederik Johannes Klijn’s A Survey into the Western Text of the Gospels and Acts (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1970), and have produced some questions. Please answer only one each per diem! Answered questions are blue.

1. In 1562, Theodore Beza was presented with the Greek-Latin manuscript which would bear his name. Where was the text of the Gospels and Acts (Cantabrigiensis) before it came to Beza?

2. How many columns does D/05 have per page.

3. Only one of the texts in Bezae is complete. Which is it?

4. Who adopted Bengel’s system of textual families and added the Western text as a third group in 1767?

5. J. D. Michaelis and Hermann Freiherr von Soden thought what ancient Christian figure was responsible for the harmonizations in the Western text?

6. What scholar argued that the Western text had a greater familiarity with Anatolian and Palestinian topography? This familiarity did not extend to Europe. (Hint: He graduated from and taught at Aberdeen.)

7. In the Western text, the gospels come in what order?

8. Translate and/or identify the authorship:
τὸ δὲ β ἐστι τό ἐν Ἰταλίᾳ ὑπό τῶν ἡμετέρων ἀντιβληθὲν φίλων

9. Translate and/or identify the authorship:
ea vel non omnino fuisse Graecae originis, sed tota, quanta quanta, traduisti de Latinis; vel saltem recensita et emendata fuisse variis sui patribus, ad Latinam versionem.

10. Codex Bezae contains remnants of what epistle?

11. Recently, the Latin text of Cantabrigiensis has been deceitfully used in what pop-culture phenomenon?

Online Transcription of Codex Bezae

35 comments:

  1. Excellent quiz.

    #10. 3 John [ending only, in Latin, precedes book of Acts]
    http://alpha.reltech.org/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/U5?seq=693

    Raises interesting question about what else was once there, since Quire ennumeration suggests 67 leaves between gospels and Acts. Seems a bit of a mystery: not enough room for standard collection (?).

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  2. Great Quiz.
    2. One column per page.
    Metzger's Manuscripts of the Greek Bible has this answer and others.

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  3. 4. Johann Semler in 1767 in his book "Apparatus ad Liberalem Novi Testamenti Interpretationem. Illustrationis exempla multa ex epistola ad Romanos petita sunt"

    John Ward

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  4. Re 4. Two questions about Semler:
    a) which two passages did Semler treat in his Masters thesis (1750)?b) who used to lodge with Semler in Halle?

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  5. Is midnight GMT the beginning of the next day for purposes of this quiz?

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  6. I have an another question about the Western Text, but of a rather different nature. Why is it that, whereas this text is widely rejected as not original, it is widely accepted at Mark 1:41, οργισθεις rather than σπλαγχνισθεις? That is, apparently most recent commentators, although not the Nestle-Aland and UBS text, prefer here a reading which is found only in the Western Text. This matter came up recently here, where I argued in a comment that it was wrong to follow the Western Text reading at this one point while rejecting it almost everywhere else. But is my argument sound?

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  7. All right I'll do the easy one.

    #7 Matthew, John, Luke, Mark (then missing pages, 3 John, Acts)

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  8. Just when I was about to get cocky and take a guess that the answer to #3 is Acts, I decided to check the handy chart in Aland & Aland and discovered that it's actually Luke.

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  9. 1. Monastery of S. Irenaeus at Lyons


    John Ward

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  10. #9 definitely says patribus not partibus, right?

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  11. Peter Kirk, This is an important question, so I'll raise the topic on the main blog in the hope of getting a fuller response.

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  12. ER: No hard and fast rules on the posting... you are fine.

    PJW: I checked and the spelling patribus is correct. Thanks for asking, though. The author of this quote, I believe, is also to be thanked for the Latin phrase lectio difficilior potior.

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  13. Re "1. In 1562, Theodore Bezae was presented with the Greek-Latin manuscript which would bear his name. Where was the text of the Gospels and Acts (Cantabrigiensis) before it came to Bezae?"

    Typos here: Theodore Beza. Not genitive.

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  14. PH, I just put that there to test you. It was part of the quiz... Yeah, right. Thanks for the correction : )

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  15. Do I have to explain the connection?

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  17. PH: "Do I have to explain the connection?"
    If you want, or people can read Wieland Willker's Webpage on it.

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  18. #8: The source is Robertus Stephanus' 1550 edition (Editio Regia) of the Greek New Testament, the preface in Greek (f. * ii r); in translation: "The second [book] is the one collated in Italy by our friends" ("book" added because the preceding sentence on the Complutensian Polyglot contains the word βιβλίον). The Latin preface (f. * ii v) contains a slightly different sentence: "Secundo, exemplar vetustissimum, in Italia ab amicis collatum" ("as the second a very old copy, collated in Italy by friends"). Stephanus introduces here the sigla used in the marginal apparatus of his 1550 edition. The manuscript indicated as β´ has been identified as Codex Bezae.
    BTW: Stephanus uses keraia to denote Greek numerals.

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  19. Re #6 (which I shall not be able to answer until tomorrow). It is interesting that Colin Hemer had a somewhat similar view, suggesting that ‘the reviser had some knowledge of Asia Minor, as passages touching Lystra, Ephesus, Trogyllium and elsewhere can show’, (The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History (ed C.H. Gempf; WUNT 49; Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1989) 200).

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  20. Re #7. "In the Western text, the gospels come in what order?"

    There is a kind of totalising tendency inherent in this question which could be challenged.
    Some Western witnesses have the gospels in the order: Mt, Jn, Lk, Mk.
    Some Western witnesses have the gospels in the 'normal' order: Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn.
    Some non-Western witnesses have the gospels in the order: Mt, Jn, Lk, Mk.
    Some non-Western witnesses have the gospels in the 'normal' order: Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn.

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  21. The author of #9 taught at Oxford in the second half of the 17th century (see also my previous clue.)
    #6 is better known for his archeological insight into the Acts of the Apostles.

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  22. Peter presumes in an informed sort of way correctly. It is Sir William Ramsey.

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  23. OK Christian, # 9 is John Mill. BTW, I still think his intimated canon lectio difficilior potior is quite useful.

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  24. Ramsay was favourable to the historical information contained at certain points in the Western text; but he regarded it as generally secondary, suggesting ‘the first beginnings of Pauline legend’, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1895; cited from 1903 seventh edition) 26.

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  25. ea vel non omnino fuisse Graecae originis, sed tota, quanta quanta, traduisti de Latinis; vel saltem recensita et emendata fuisse variis sui patribus, ad Latinam versionem.

    Either those things were not atogether of Greek origin, but all, however many, you have derived according to the Latin; or at least [they] were examined and emended by means of various fathers by yourself into a Latin version.

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  26. Note: emend "into a Latin version" to "to the Latin version."

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  27. Anon,

    Very good. I think for sui we want reflexive its.

    "...by its various fathers..."

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  28. #9: I am afraid neither the citation as given nor the translation are very correct; in the Mill-Kuster edition of 1710, § 1282 (p. 134b), we read: "Nempe cum mirifice consenserint ista cum Latinis, contra quam reliqui Graeciae libri, iique optimi, facile ipsis persuasum erat, ea vel non omnino fuisse Graecae Originis, sed tota, quanta quanta, traducta de Latinis; vel saltem recensita et emendata fuisse variis sui partibus, ad Latinam Versionem" (corrected words emphasized). Which I would translate as: "Indeed, as these [Greek books] agreed with the Latin to an amazing degree, against the other Greek books, even the best, they [the learned] were easily convinced that they [these Greek books] were either not at all of Greek origin, but entirely, in all details, translated from the Latin, or at least reviewed and corrected in various parts of it [?] by means of [or: in order to agree with] the Latin translation." Instead of "sui" I would have expected "suorum", but maybe I am missing something.

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  30. Jan,

    I was actually suspect of both of these. traduisti because it was not a standard form of trado and patribus because it was an agent and not a means necessitating the preposition ab. I checked both in the text.
    I think Klijn may have passed us a "Western" reading of Mill's quote, or it may be my error: ) I dropped the book off at the Library yesterday, if someone has a copy on hand please check. The quote is in the first few pages of the first chapter.

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  31. Thanks Jan!

    I think a good lesson or two can be drawn from this, 1) Unlike Bentley, I did not *satisfy myself* with a perview of the entire context of the excerpt. Instead I proceeded with an ad hoc translation. The syntax of the Latin alerted me to the fact of a larger context, but I proceeded anyway. Also the variant patribus/partibus was questioned by P.J. Williams which should have raised another red flag. 2) Anytime one translates using the quite ambiguous *thing(s)* the reference in the use of this word remains undetermined. Not a good signal to understanding the idea(s) conveyed.

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