Evangelical Textual Criticism

Friday, May 01, 2009

Who said this?

One of our favourite pastimes to celebrate the start of the month: the who-said-what quiz on a remarkable quote.

I don't think the following quotes are 'googleable' (they all come from the same page), which serves to demonstrate that not all interesting and surprising knowledge has been digitised. So, who said this, and was/is this scholar right?

"Therewith it is implied that the textual criticism of the New Testament cannot be carried out by statistical methods. (...) None but commensurable entities can be reduced to figures, and no two variants are strictly commensurable. (...) What is the sum total of, say, an egg plus a grape plus a unicorn?"

10 comments:

  1. Sadly it is googleable. I found it in less than a minute.

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  2. Interestingly, on the same page s/he says that there must be far more variants than there are words in the NT.

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  3. What does "therewith" actually mean? The OED offers the following:
    1. Against that (or those); in opposition to that; in return for that. Obs.

    2. With that (or those) as accompaniment, adjunct, etc.; together or in company with that (and in allied senses of with).

    b. In addition to that; besides, withal.
    c. With that (word, act, or occurrence); that being said or done; thereat, thereupon, forthwith.

    3. With that as instrument; by means of that.

    b. With that as cause or occasion; on account of or because of that; in consequence of that.

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  4. Shame on me, I even cannot use Google properly these days. I think he was wrong though in this quote. If you express what you are counting (say how many edible items do I have?) the sum total of an egg plus a grape plus a unicorn is two.

    And since someone is using the Oxford English Dictionary: What does Metzger, Commentary, 2nd edition, p. 446 mean with 'In general, the earlier letters read indubiably ιησου χριστου, while those written later (with the exception of Titus) just as indubiably read χριστου ιησου'.

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  5. Typo or error I think for:
    indubitably: "Beyond the possibility of doubt; unquestionably; without any doubt." (OED)

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  6. "If you express what you are counting (say how many edible items do I have?) the sum total of an egg plus a grape plus a unicorn is two."

    Mmmmm … unicorn.

    Unicorn meat is delicious; it does taste a little like chicken.

    Thus the sum is three.

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  7. Ok Peter, I'm dying to have you school me in your searching methodology, because apparently my own google-fu is failing. Nevermind less than a minute, I couldn't find it at all!

    First I searched for the phrase "the sum total of, say, an egg plus a grape plus a unicorn?" thinking it would be the most memorable and quotable. Searching for it as an exact phrase, i.e. in quotation marks, produced no results except for this blog post. Searching for it without quotes produced many more results, but none of them (at least not in the first 5 or 10 pages I looked at) were the quote from the OP.

    So then I tried the same search at Yahoo, and that was even worse since an exact phrase search at yahoo wouldn't even turn up this blog entry.

    Then I had a great idea: Peter is in the UK, I thought, so he's probably using google.uk and perhaps he is getting a local result? So I went to google.uk and repeated the same search, but again nothing.

    So then I did all three steps again for the opening phrase "Therewith it is implied that the textual criticism of the New Testament cannot be carried out by statistical methods" and when that equally failed, I tried "None but commensurable entities can be reduced to figures." None of my searches produced any results, so pray tell, how did you do it?

    Inquiring minds are dying to know.

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  8. Hint: try searching in Google Books rather than Google proper....

    There you will find for certain that the quote appears in Kyoung Shik Min, Die Früheste Überlieferung des Matthäusevangeliums, (DeGruyter, 2005) -- but of course that is not the answer actually sought.

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  9. Ah, thanks Maurice, that did it.

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