This is the last paper summarized in this first NTTC session on Saturday. A paper by Michael Theophilos was announced in the program book, but that paper had been registered twice by accident (dittography?), so it was presented in a different session.
Philip B. Payne, "'Umlauts' Matching the Original Ink of Codex Vaticanus: Do They Mark the Location of Textual Variants?"
Payne began by advertising the facsimile which costs "just $5990" or something like it. (Payne's company, Linguist Software, is a retailer of this edition.)
As many of you know by now, Canart/Payne have earlier identified eleven places where the Umlauts in Codex Vaticanus have the apricot-colored original ink. The news is that the number of such Umlauts have increased with 40 new places! So now we have 51 instances. Another thing Payne wanted to demonstrate was that the scribe who penned them had the goal of systematically going through the codex to compare to another/other MSS. Payne presented some statistical counts which showed a very, very high "chi-square value" (statistics is not my thing, but Stephen Carlson helped me get that right in the comments section). Apparently, Payne had been checking all places against Nestle-Aland to find out if there was variation at those places where Umlauts exist, in order to calculate what the chances are that this reflects textual variation. The problems with this particular procedure (using Nestle-Aland 27) came up in the questions session.
Another important observation related to the "mirror impression umlauts" (see Wieland Willker's description here: http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vaticanus/umlauts.html#imp). These imprints show that the Umlauts were added *after* the text was written, and when there was already a "provisional binding" (so that the wet ink would make a mirror on the opposite page).
Payne made some points in order to prove that their were multiple exemplars for the Umlauts:
(a)Some Umlauts did not affect a mirror-Umlaut (even on the same page where there are such imprints). Therefore they were probably written at another stage, and, that the scribe compared the MS to multiple exemplars several times.
(b) Multiple exemplars also explains how the Umlauts seem to reflect so many different strands. Not one MS can account for all the variants.
(c) It also explains why some pages have more Umlauts than other (there is a page in Romans with a very high number). Perhaps the exemplars then were papyrus exemplars with just Romans ...
Payne thinks this also points to an early date; While the MS was in the scriptorium the scribe(s) had access to many other MSS to compare with ... The more time that elapsed from the writing of the MS, the less likely that new Umlauts would have been added. No other MS has been shown to contain Umlauts indicating textual variants, according to Payne.
Further, he made the suggestion that Umlauts be added in critical apparatuses. Swanson has begun to add Umlaut-data. (I pointed out to him afterwards that I included the information in my own edition of Jude, although only in the textual commentary).
Then Payne went on to some Umlauts in particularly discussed places, namely the PA (John 7:53-8:11) and the passage in 1 Cor 14 (about women). According to Payne, the presence of an Umlaut on the page where the PA is omitted is the earliest evidence for its existence at this location (earlier than Jerome). Payne thinks the evidence is important for its antiquity. Concerning the passage in 1 Cor 14, about the silence of women, the MS includes the verse, but, according to Payne, is the earliest evidence that it was omitted in another MS. [Hence, this evidence can be appealed to by those who suspect the passage is a later addition and/or do not like the passage.]
In sum, Payne proposed that his observations have four key implications:
1) the scribe was aware of variation, and thought that they were important
2) he or she wanted to preserve the most original text
3) the Umlauts provide windows into the text (even for passages where papyri has not survived. Twenty of the fifty-one original-ink Umlauts occur where no variants occur in the papyri.
4) the high proportion of Umlauts where there are known variation (the statistics) proves that the variants have survived in our extant MSS to a very high degree [my remark: it points to the tenacity of the textual tradition.]
5) this proves that the most ancient text has been preserved
Q: "What makes NA27 an appropriate standard to compare with? There are 25 Umlauts in James in Vaticanus. It is 540 lines of text. The NA apparatus has 220 places of variation, more than every third line has variation. If I switch to the Editio Critica Maior in James, it has 761 places of variation, not a single line without variation. If my son marked lines, he would have a very good chance to hit a line where there is variation [100% implied]."
Answer: "It is the variants with significance that matters (and that is what is in the NA), not the minor variants... Payne thought Schmid's calculation was a confirmation (I didn't quite understand why).
Q: "Was there a companion collection where the reader could check the alternative reading?"
A: No, I don't think so. The scribe was a professional calligrapher working in a scriptorium (perhaps the best calligraphy of all extant MSS). There must have been many MSS, especially in a scriptorium in Alexandria. Anyone could compare with MSS in the Scriptorium. A companion volume was not necessary and there are no indications of chapter and verse numbers to facilitate such a use."
Q: Jongkind questioned the reference of the Umlaut in 1 Cor 14:34-35, and suggested that it may refer to the known transposition there (vv. 34-35 follows after 14:40 in D F G and other Western witnesses), it need not indicate an omission of the whole.
A: Payne thinks it is not about transposition, then it would have two sets of Umaluts, but Dirk then asked if there are other examples of this. Payne has not checked. Payne thinks that if it refers to a transposition, the Umlaut would be at v. 40 (since only one Umlaut was used). Or he/she would have added two Umlauts.
Q: "Was it the original scribe who added the Umlauts?"
A: Payne thinks there are some reasons to believe so: It is generally agreed that it has preserved a very good text. We know that in the case of Luke of John (P75) it is ancient. The quality of Vaticanus' text suggests that the scribe copied ancient exemplars or those that had the reputation of being very good texts. It is this type of person that would take time and trouble to do this kind of examination (i.e., to add Umlauts in comparison to multiple exemplars).
Q: "But could they not have been added by someone else, who thought there should be another variant?"
A: Payne answers that then the actual readings would probably be indicated in the margins, but if it was the scribe it would suffice with just the Umlauts.
Q (from a papyrologist): "What is an 'Umlaut'? Why do you use this term?"
A: Payne explained what an Umlaut referred to (textual variation), and that he had coined the term because it referred to a unique sign and therefore not known until recently in papyrology, and because of its convenience without having to make longer explanations like "two dots placed next to each other..." since most will know what an Umlaut usually stands for, i.e., the two dots places over o in some alphabets like the German and Swedish).
My own concluding comment (made in retrospect): I think the statistics Payne referred to, and the method of comparing with Nestle-Aland was unconvincing. Otherwise the paper was good, some of the subsequent answers to questions a bit speculative. The case of 1 Cor 14:34-35 is ambiguous, more data is required. Moreover it would be important to check for Umlauts without MS support (and here we should compare with all available data). A high degree of Umlauts where there is no known variation would probably imply an early date (more likely for the textual data to have been lost).
Update: I have updated the text slightly thanks to Stephen Carlson (see comment). I should also add that it was unfortunate for the presentation that Payne did not show images. That would have been most helpful in this case, especially for those who were unfamiliar with Umlauts, but also in order to see the nature of the ink, the imprints, the position of the Umlauts, etc.