Evangelical Textual Criticism

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A conflationary reading in P16vid at Philippians 4.7

According to NA27 at Phil 4.7 P16 reads: KAI TA NOHMATA KAI TA SWMATA UMWN (ET: 'And the peace of God, which surpasses all thought, will keep your hearts and minds and your bodies in Christ Jesus').

Firstly I think based on the following (admittedly not very high quality) picture of P16, that although the vid is fair enough, the reading is pretty secure:



ln 2: TA N?OUN FR?[OU]RHSEI TAS K?[ARDIAS U

ln 3: M[W]N? KAI T?[A N]OHMATA K[AI TA SWMA

Ln 4: TA UMWN [EN] XW? IU

The interesting thing here is that the evidence for the conflationary reading in P16 (III/IV) is the earliest evidence for the variant which has SWMATA instead of NOHMATA (i.e. F G a d MVict Pel). P16 proves in this case that much later bilingual and Latin witnesses can preserve readings which originated as early Greek variants.

I reckon that someone must have collected examples like this in a study entitled 'Conflationary Readings in the Papyri of the Greek New Testament and their implications for textual transmission'. But I may have imagined this article. Anyone got any words of wisdom?

6 comments:

  1. Allow me to tidy up the transcription a bit, before commenting:

    At Phil 4.7 P16 reads (vid):
    KAI TA NOHMATA KAI TA SWMATA UMWN
    and the minds and the bodies of you
    (And the peace of God, which surpasses all thought, will keep your hearts, minds, and bodies in Christ Jesus).

    actual transcription:

    TA N?OUN FR?[OU]RHSEI TAS K?[ARDIAS U]
    M[W]N? KAI T?[A N]OHMATA K[AI TA SWMA]
    TA UMWN [EN] XW? IU

    or, filling in the illegible letters:

    PANTA NOUN FROURHSEI TAS KARDIAS
    UMWN KAI TA NOHMATA *KAI TA SWMATA*
    UMWN EN XW IU

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  2. This vid does not seem very secure to me.
    First of all, not knowing anything else, one would suspect a dittography here of KAI TA NOHMATA. But SWMATA seems to fit, so we fit it.

    But if it is a conflation, it's not a smooth one. UMWN KA TA SWMATA would fit the symmetry. Could the K actually be a U?

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  3. Good point Daniel, I may have been hasty. One would even suspect that this reading of P16 was already influenced by the knowledge of the later variant. To what extent then is it actually evidence for that variant? If it all comes down to a length calculation between NOHMA]TA and SWMA]TA there is perhaps not much in it (especially since the margin is not extant so it would be tricky to be sure how strictly justified it was). One could ask whether P16 elsewhere has a tendency to dittography I suppose.
    As far as I can tell from a poor quality photo the K you were asking about is there.
    Thanks. More to ponder.

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  4. I wonder if Col 3:15 had anything to do with the introduction of SWMATA.

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  5. P16 is probably too small to develop a pattern of dittography.

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  6. And I agree that it does look like a K rather than U unless that portion of the papyrus is really twisted. It would be great to have a better photo.

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