Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Article and Reviews in TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism

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One new article by John Granger Cook and a number of new reviews have appeared in the current issue of TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 20 (2015).

More to come soon!

New article

John Granger Cook, Julian’s Contra Galilaeos and Cyril’s Contra Iulianum: Two Witnesses to the Short Ending of Mark
Abstract: A Syriac MS (British Museum Add. 17214, fol. 65a–65b) preserves an excerpt from Julian’s Contra Galilaeos and Cyril’s response (the Contra Iulianum), which indicates that both authors either did not know the longer ending of Mark (16:9–20) or regarded it as spurious. The evidence has apparently been overlooked in studies of the longer ending of Mark. If the argument is sound, then Julian should be added to the apparatus criticus of Mark as a witness to the short ending (16:8). Cyril should be reevaluated as a patristic father who probably knew MSS that omitted the longer ending, but, unlike Jerome and Eusebius, did not assert that fact about the MSS in the surviving text.

New reviews

W. Andrew Smith, A Study of the Gospels in Codex Alexandrinus: Codicology, Palaeography, and Scribal Habits (Thomas J. Kraus, reviewer)

Lincoln H. Blumell, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (Malcolm Choat, reviewer)

8 comments :

  1. Cook's main thesis seems pretty thin: Julian used Mark 16:8 to posit a contradiction with Matthew 28:8. Cyril responded without using Mk. 16:9-20. And that's about it. Two arguments from silence. (And it's not a deafening silence at all. The deafening silence is Julian's failure to mention that the text of Mark stops abruptly without a post-resurrection appearance of Christ.

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  2. Again, just to supply details: What Cook's extrapolating from (in the part about Julius and Cyril) is Cyril's statement that Julius "wrote against the holy Evangelists that they contradict each other in these (cases): For—said they—Mary Magdalene and the other Mary—(so) in Matthew — came to the tomb, in the evening on the Sabbath, when the first of the week began to dawn. However, in Mark, they after it dawned and the sun had risen. And — in Matthew — they saw an angel, but in Mark a young man. And in Matthew they went away and reported to the disciples about the resurrection of the Messiah; in Mark, however, they kept silence and did not tell anything to anyone. By means of these he brings charges against the Scriptures of the Saints, and says that they oppose each other."

    These examples listed by Cyril are merely samples. Take in hand the translation of "Against the Galileans" at http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/julian_apostate_galileans_1_text.htm and it is clear that there was much more to what Julian wrote. Inasmuch as Cyril was simply offering *samples,* I do not see how anything except agenda-driven determination can account for Cook's attempt to misrepresent this reference to *samples* as if they reflect the full contents of the manuscripts of Mark used by Julian, or by Cyril.


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    1. Reverend Snapp, I have good news and bad news for you here. First the bad news. The article says that Cyril wrote:

      ""Mark, however, as I mentioned, “in the morning immediately after the sun came up, with
      aromatic spices,” says, “the women came and saw a young man and heard that the Messiah had risen and that they should go and tell his brothers that he had gone before them to Galilee.”
      ...[Syriac]

      His next and final statement (in the MS) is decisive:

      "[Mark] did not say that the Messiah appeared to them, nor that they said anything to the
      disciples; for [gyr = γάρ] they told no one anything.""

      Note that this is an editorial comment by Cyril about 16:8 and not just a quotation/summary. This is as clear as Patristics gets regarding evidence for 16:8.

      Per the article it than gets even worse (for you):

      "Since he does not challenge Nestorius’s reference to Mark 16:20
      (to be discussed below), it is difficult to believe that he did not know the L.E. The
      conclu-sion, however, is nearly inescapable: Cyril’s neglect of the L.E. in controversy
      with Julian and in his commentary on John indicate that he had serious doubts about
      the authenticity of the text."

      The article goes 180 on you and gives Cyril's testimony broader weight because he is aware of the LE. His failure to invoke it is evidence that he did not think it original. Thus Cyril and Julian are clear witness to 16:8 and should be inventoried as such.

      The good news for you is that the 16:8 position is based on quality and Cyril/Julian do not add much quality here due to it being 4th/5th century Eastern evidence extant in Syriac. If Julian was Western evidence that would be something but the article concludes that Julian's sources were likely Eastern at the time.

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    2. Joe Wallack,

      Here's the full statement -- Cyril of Alex. describing Julian's composition:

      "He wrote against the holy Evangelists that they contradict each other in these (cases): For — said they—Mary Magdalene and the other Mary — (so) in Matthew — came to the tomb, in the evening on the Sabbath, when the first of the week began to dawn. However, in Mark, they after it dawned and the sun had risen. And—in Matthew — they saw an angel, but in Mark a young man. And in Matthew they went away and reported to the disciples about the resurrection of the Messiah; in Mark, however, they kept silence and did not tell anything to anyone. By means of these he brings charges against the Scriptures of the Saints, and says
      that they oppose each other."

      I don't see what your basis is for stating that this any of this is some sort "editorial comment" from Cyril. It's all Cyril's sampling of Julian's work. And a sample is exactly that, a *sample* that does not preclude other things being said. This is anything but clear evidence of anything as far as the ending of Mark is concerned.

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  3. When one take a bit more panoramic view of the evidence, is it not clear that Julian recycled quite a lot of material from Porphyry? And that Hierocles did the same? Hierocles utilized Mk. 16:18 to fashion a jibe against the Christians (challenging them to use a poison-drinking contest to settle the question of who should be bishop); if this statement from Hierocles is an echo of Porphyry, then inasmuch as Julian utilized Porphyry then the conclusion that Julian had encountered the use of Mk. 16:18 seems unavoidable.

    The patristic witnesses mentioned by Cook that should be added to the apparatus, istm, are not Julian, and not Cyril, but Hierocles (as quoted by Macarius Magnes), a witness from c. 305, and Macarius Magnes, a witness from c. 410. But those two witnesses clearly support the *inclusion* of Mark 16:9-20, so I doubt that they will ever be added to the UBS apparatus -- though I would be glad to be surprised.

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    1. James,
      So we should not accept an argument from silence as evidence against Mark 16:9-20 but should include evidence for inclusion based on supposition? Hmmm

      Tim

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  4. Archepoimenfollower,
    *Casual* silence is casual silence, and should be treated as such -- not as if it must imply one specific thing when it may imply a multitude of things

    "but should include evidence for inclusion based on supposition?"

    I do not know what that means. But certainly, on the premises that (a) we observe Julian use material from Porphyry, and (b) we also observe Hierocles recycling material from Porphyry in which Mark 16:18 is used, it seems reasonable to conclude that Julian would have encountered Mark 16:18, embedded in Porphyry's writings. Wouldn't you say?

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  5. James,
    It is the surety that you assign to the use of Porphyry that I question. Also the secondary assumption that because two individuals may have quoted from the same author each must have known the whole of that author, does not seem to me, to be any more sure than the silence you criticize. It is not that they are the same, but that neither seems to me to carry greater weight.

    Tim

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