Saturday, August 05, 2017

DeVining the NT.VMR in 1947

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Writing in 1947, the Catholic scholar Charles DeVine seems to have foreseen the value of the NT.VMR. The only piece missing from his vision is the internet. No one can anticipate everything, I guess.
True, we have critical editions which cite the main codices, but “to err is and the probability of error becomes greater when but a single text is in question. This prompts the thought, how fine it would be if all the principal codices of the New Testament were gathered in one place and could be compared at leisure and systematically. A vain desire! And yet in this age that has seen such tremendous progress made in the use of all forms of photography and electric facsimile, why should it be altogether beyond the realm of practicality to have codices preserved in microfilm or equivalent facsimile at some Catholic educational centre in America? In connection with an up-to-date filing-system, and with the co-operation of scholars, such an arrangement would be of inestimable benefit. It could also serve as the basis for a new and fully complete, Catholic, critical edition of the text of the New Testament.
From Charles F. DeVine, “The ‘Blood of God’ in Acts 20:28,” CBQ 9, no. 4 (1947): 381–408.

7 comments :

  1. These may be a very basic questions, but in those days, what level of ability did scholars in various places around the world have to access facsimiles of codices, as well as transcriptions and collations, beyond just the critical editions DeVine mentions?

    And what did the editors of the critical editions themselves do to get all their information? Travel all over Europe collating manuscripts themselves? Did they mainly regurgitate the information contained in older critical editions?

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    1. To get the answer, go read "The Text of the New Testament" by Kurt and Barbara Aland.

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    2. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've done that more than once and still don't recall the answer. Which pages?

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    4. I do find this helpful sentence on p. 22:
      “From Nestle 21 to Nestle 23 the control base progressively expanded (and with the same results), never relying on secondary sources for the additional evidence--using only originals (by microfilm of photocopy).”

      I think that probably covers the situation only slightly later than the time of DeVine’s article. Apparently Nestle himself did rely entirely on previous critical editions for his data before that. But in addition to microfilms and photocopies, I’m curious what secondary sources Aland alludes to were available to scholars aside from just critical editions.

      Over the 200 years leading up to that, scholars had carefully collated many manuscripts I'm sure, and they must have had some way of sharing that exhaustive data.

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  2. There are plenty of published collations and editions that aren't critical editions of the Greek NT. For example, Tischendorf's Monumenta Sacra Inedita volumes, Scrivener's edition of Codex Bezae, the Oxyrhynchus volumes, etc. For the purple Gospel codices, Cronin (N 022), Omont (O 023), von Gebhardt (Σ 042) and Batiffol (Φ 043) all published editions of individual manuscripts.

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    1. To this one may add Hoskier's extensive collations of Revelation. Also, by then all the Chester Beatty Papyri had been published in transcription and facsimile editions.

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