Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mt 27:46 Reading 'against the grain'

I would like some information and feedback on questions related to both text and language, mainly for the purposes of bridge material and explanations for beginning students in the language.

(I will use both unicode and an ASCII transliteration below for cross-browser transparency. Some on this blog are probably aware that I use a seven-vowel "Imperial KOINH" pronunciation. My question below does not deal with how the ancients read the texts -- there is widespread agreement among linguists that EI=I in the Imperial period going back to the Hellenistic period -- or as to what should be normative today. The questions deal with modern readers and are as much sociological as theoretical. It seems that the easiest way to find out would be to ask an appropriate audience.)

1. Basically,
how do people with either an Erasmian or a 'reformed' (Sidney Allen-Stephen Daitz) pronunciation read a NT text like

2. Would the approach or readings change if one decided that Matthew wrote ΣΑΒΑΧΘΑΝΕΙ SABAXQANEI?
(The same questions and data apply to Mark 15:34, too, where Sinaiticus joins the chorus of ΣΑΒΑΧΘΑΝΕΙ SABAXQANEI.)

3. Also related, does anyone have knowledge as to how and why UBS/NA have abandoned ΣΑΒΑΧΘΑΝΕΙ SABAXQANEI in favor of ΣΑΒΑΧΘΑΝΙ SABAXQANI?

4. Are people on this list happy with what NA/UBS have done?

3a-4a. An aside: the change of WH Mt 27:46 ΕΛΩΙ ΕΛΩΙ ELWI to ΗΛΙ ΗΛΙ HLI can be explained on normal text-critical grounds (though the spelling ΗΛΕΙ ΗΛΕΙ HLEI should actually get the nod). But returning to the above UBS question, "how was SABAXQANI justified?": the same questions can be raised for WestcottHort HLEIAN in Mt 27:47 or PEILATOS Mt 27:2, 13, 17, kai ta loipa in many a text.

5. Scheduling and commitments prevented me from attending Pete Williams' promising contribution on spelling for NT criticism. Such are the constraints of an SBL. That session would have discussed the other side of this question, the text-critical side.
Any interesting feedback, Pete?

Randall Buth

1 comment

  1. As I pointed out in my paper, a global decision has been made not to accept ει as able to represent /i/. Or to quote Blass-Debrunner-Funk, '...the only possible procedure for an editor of the NT is, of course, to carry through Attic spelling without any regard to the MSS' (p. 13).

    Many other editions make such global decisions, e.g. Souter, BFBS.

    I, of course, disagree with this procedure, esp. as for some terms in John the mss evidence is overwhelming, e.g. ραββει.

    It is particularly anachronistic to apply Attic spelling to representations of Semitic words that would not have been known to those who originally developed Attic spelling.