Saturday, November 26, 2005

1 Peter 1:1

I asked a while ago about the title to 1 Peter. It's time now to start going through the text.

The first variant in NA27 is the addition of και, but the Peshitta does not support this variant as claimed. The Peshitta necessarily introduces 'and' in rendering certain types of appositional construction.

The second variant allegedly omits και. Can Augustine (in Latin) really be cited for such a detail?

To what extent is there a genetic connection between the various witnesses cited for each variant in verse 1?


  1. Some more information from the ECM: Three minuscules omits that και, 876, 1409T (the word is supplied as addition/correction) and 1832.

    As you know, the Latin fathers are not cited at all in the ECM. However, the OL apparently supports the inclusion (και καππαδοκιας και ασιας και βιθυνιας).

  2. Has anyone ever done a study of the use of the word 'and' (et, ac, atque, -que, etc.) in the Old Latin? If not, how can we be sure what it reads? It there is a higher incidence of deviance from known Greek texts with respect to this conjunction than there is in other aspects of translation then it is likely that the deviance is due to translation technique. I did a chapter in my PhD on 'and' in Syriac and would highly recommend someone to do something similar for Latin!

  3. PJW: when you say that the Peshitta doesn't support the addition of και, what you mean is that the Greek Vorlage of the Peshitta cannot be determined at this point (whether or not the Vorlage had και the Syriac would turn out the same). But it is still interesting to know that the Syriac is equally compatible with 01* as the rest of the witnessing tradition.
    What we need is a textual commentary on each of the versions.

  4. I think in general 1.1 is pretty secure. There are interesting variants around the end of the list of addressees: one could certainly imagine reasons for omitting Bithynia (with B*) [to do either with h.a. or connected with Acts 16.7], whereas it is difficult to imagine scribes adding "and Bithynia" to the address. Although generally the same considerations apply to the omission/minus of Asia (with 01* 048 etc.), perhaps in this case one could imagine scribes adding this in because of its importance in early Christianity (Asian scribes?).
    I would think accidental omission is most likely (just had a look at Sinaiticus and there are multiple opportunities for this confusion here); that all five provinces are needed for a circular delivery route (C. Hemer); that there is good evidence for 'Asia'.
    I doubt if there has ever been a different text printed for 1 Peter 1.1 and I wouldn't advocate changing that. I think I would place the variants on the addressees in the apparatus on the following grounds:
    a) important individual manuscripts involved;
    b) different variants around the same text could be interrelated;
    c) it is possible to mount an argument in support of the originality of one of these;
    d) it is important in relation to the destination (and canonical function) of the letter.

  5. I meant that the Vorlage of the Peshitta cannot be known with certainty, though I suspect that the Peshitta read the opposite of what it's cited for.

    I also suspect that the omission of και was accidental, perhaps related to the preceding κια in Cappadocia.

  6. Alright, so I am so not an academic, PhD student, or even well informed - just an ordinary layperson currently working through 1 Peter for my own personal study.

    Peter Head said: "...that all five provinces are needed for a circular delivery route (C. Hemer)"

    My understanding is that there is no 'circular route' - meaning that there are no known ancient Roman roads that would allow 'delivery' in a circular route following the order of the provinces listed and even if there were, why does one have to presume circular (and a complete circle!), in order, one copy only.

    I am also thinking that it was quite common for ancient letters/books to be circulated amongst groups other than those to whom they were addressed and again maybe not one copy, doing the rounds, but perhaps several, nodal (one of the essays in Bauckham's The Gospel for All Christians - Loveday? I don't have my copy here - speaks of the same, and of course we have reference to the 'letter swapping' with Laodicea in Col 4:16).

    So while I understand - given what I know of textual criticism (fits on the stamp) - that it is more likely for say, Bythinia to get dropped I somehow wouldn't be surprised nor perturbed if it was added.

    And in the bigger scheme of things - e.g. content of the letter - how much would an 'and' or a Bythinia matter (or don't such considerations come into play when establishing a text?)

    Oh and dumb question. I have a UBS4 and obviously this variant is not are you guys using NA27 or...just so I can follow along (and promise not to say too much).


  7. I'll let PMH answer about the 'circular' route. In general if NT textual critics had to be stuck on an island with one edition of the NT it would be Nestle-Aland 27th edn. On our better days we refer to other editions, e.g. the Editio Critica Maior produced in Muenster, which has now produced editions of the major Catholic Epistles, or the edition of Luke produced by the International Greek New Testament Project. On yet better days we refer to facsimiles or editions of manuscripts and on our best days to the manuscripts themselves.