Friday, February 12, 2010

Luke 23.34 in NA27

The other day in class we were looking at Luke 23 and a student mentioned that v34a was not present in all the manuscripts. Good for her, I thought - even first years need to get their heads into such issues. Then I took a look at my NA27 and found the apparatus a little confusing, I think because it uses the term txt in the apparatus for witnesses supporting the reading of v34a, BUT this is not really the txt because it is enclosed in double square brackets - meaning that the editors DO NOT think it is the text of Luke. The NA27 txt is to omit the half verse.

I had a quick look at some other double square bracketed passages (Luke 22.43f; John 7.53-8.11; Mark 16.9-20) and these are treated quite differently, and a little more clearly. The double square brackets themselves form the link to the apparatus (in Luke 23.34 it is the little square); and then we are given the witnesses which don't have the passage and those which do (none are designated as txt).

I suppose Luke 23.34 may have been treated a little differently because it is only half a verse; but my modest recommendation would be that this is revised in NA28 so that txt is not used in such a confusing way.

Someone with a computerised-thingy could probably identify all the double square brackets in NA27 and see whether Luke 23.34 is alone in this treatment.


  1. I agree that this is not optimal.
    AFAIK there are no other double square brackets in the NT.

  2. Klaus Wachtel2/12/2010 2:29 pm

    Thank you and your student for the note, Peter, we will bring the apparatus at Lk 23:34 into accordance with the other passages with double square brackets.

  3. Interesting Peter. You should write something about Luke 1-2 some time. The discussion last week after professor Judith Lieu's paper on Marcion and the Gospels was significant.
    Do we have any credible evidence that Luke 1-2 was part of the Gospel before Marcion?

  4. Thanks for that Klaus. That would be great. We have helped improve the New Testament.

  5. Frederik,


    There are plenty of things I should write about some time. Probably I should start with the things that are already overdue.

  6. re Judith Lieu's presentation: perhaps someone who attended could offer a brief summary of the paper?

  7. What's really interesting about txt in the second half of the verse is that it rejects the reading of p75 ‭א B C D L, without so much as a bracket. This goes all the way back to Westcott-Hort.

  8. Mike, I made some comments about the lecture on my blog: on the 3rd of February. I'll try to expand it further tomorrow.

  9. Mike, the basic argument (if I understand professor Lieu correctly) is that she doubts whether Marcion received a Gospel of Luke which included i.e. Luke 1-2. She believes there was probably an "anonymous" gospel going around which was quite different from the canonical gospel we have today. Chapters 1-2 were probably added later to counter Marcion. Other important sections she referred to included 5:33-39; 9:53-56; 10.22 and 24:38-39.

    Peter Williams made some important remarks afterwards - I did not plot it down - maybe he could help us out?

  10. (Pete Williams, using his wife's account)

    My main point is that D and allies present potential evidence re the presence of chs 1-2 in Luke. D has a similar pattern of deviations from other mss in chs 1-2 and in 3-24. Therefore I would assume that these deviations developed (or 'were developing') when chs 1-24 are together. I think some of these deviations may be reasonably early.

    However, I also think that there is a huge thematic unity to Luke 1-24 and the view that we have Luke 3-24 separate from 1-2 doesn't really seem to do justice to that.

  11. > D has a similar pattern of
    > deviations from other mss in chs
    > 1-2 and in 3-24.

    This remains to be shown.
    There may be one or two "Western" readings in ch. 1-2, but not the amount we know from the other chapters.

  12. I suppose what I mean is that the types of variations you would see looking at D in the NA27 apparatus at 1:13, 19, 21, 26, 27, 29, 38, 47, 48, etc. do not appear to show a different pattern from the sort variants you see elsewhere in Luke. D is sometimes solo, sometimes with a few other witnesses. Now, of course, I can't prove that the variants in chs 1-2 have the same origin as those in 3-24. They may come from a period rather than a single moment. However, it is most natural to suppose that they come from a time when the 24 chapters were together. To suppose that variants arose in pre-D of chs 3-24 and then that preD3-24 was then combined with chs 1-2, which then developed a similar pattern of variants to preD3-24 is unnatural. Of course, there are other scenarios, but my point is that the origin of the textual profile of D is relevant to the question of when chs 1-2 were in Luke.

  13. > looking at D in the NA27
    > apparatus at 1:13, 19, 21, 26, 27,
    > 29, 38, 47, 48, etc.

    Ok, those I would book under "idiosyncrasies of D" but not under "Western variants". Only from ch. 3 on the Western text (D + Old Latin) constantly reads against the traditional text in its typical way.

  14. What about 1:63/64, 1:66, 2:4/5 or 2:9?

  15. Not impressive.
    That is nothing compared to what is going on from ch. 3 on.

    This topic should be analyzed in detail. Is there a characteristic Western text of Lk 1-2? It is always to a certain extent subjective, but I think it is clear that there's a qualitative and quantitative difference between 1-2 and 3-24.
    The question is why?
    Has it to do with Marcion? It could equally well be the other way round: That Marcion used a Western text.
    What is clear to me is that ch. 1-2 are from Luke. They have many Lukanisms, in words and style.

  16. So how would the patterns in ch. 4 differ from those in ch. 2? What makes the patterns in chs 1-2 'nothing' by comparison?

  17. My impression is that the variants get "stronger" and more. But I don't have quantitative data. Perhaps I am wrong, it is only my impression. If one wants to base anything on this, as some do, one needs quantitative data.

  18. Any volunteers to give us quantitative data?

    I think that one could get a very quick approximation on this by finding the number of relevant variants per page of NA27 in chs 1-2 and in a few select chapters thereafter. We could also count number of words in the variant which D attests (or in the case of minuses, omits). Of course there are some sections which have more significant variants, e.g. genealogy in Lk. 3, but if there are chapters in 3-24 which have patterns similar to chs. 1-2, then clearly it doesn't help to say that the variants in chs. 1-2 might have a different origin from those in 3-24.

  19. Though I don't have quantitative data at hand, I would suspect there are differences in the amount and quality of variants from Lk 1-2 and 3-5 to use more appropriate samples for comparison.

    The major reason for the difference, I would guess, is the fact that Lk 1-2 is Sondergut whereas 3-5 is double and triple tradition. Since the text of Codex Bezae and some Old Latin witnesses that usually form the so-called Westen text complexion have a significant share of what can be dubbed harmonistic readings, we must end up with different figures.

    It would be good to calculate passages according to double triple and Sondergut status rather than Lk 1-2 against 3-24 IMO.

  20. Good point, Ulrich. This only reinforces my impression that the D variants in chs 1-2 did not arise at a different time.

  21. Peter,
    Thank you! Great discussion.

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  23. RE: Luke 1-2.

    P4 seems a little to close to the time of Marcion to support the theory that Luke 1-2 was added later to counter Marcion.

    It's possible to make the time line work, but you have to assume a very aggressive program of copying and distribution. Something that looks quite unlikely within the capabilities of the church at that time.


  24. > Lk 1-2 is Sondergut

    Yes, that is possibly a reason.

    > It would be good to calculate
    > passages according to double
    > triple and Sondergut status
    > rather than Lk 1-2 against 3-24

    I am wondering if this has not already been done by someone?

  25. >I agree that this is not optimal.
    >AFAIK there are no other double
    >square brackets in the NT.

    well, i have doublecheked and found double brackets in:
    1. Mr.16:9
    2. Mr.16:10
    3. Lk.22:42
    4. Lk.23:34
    5. Jn.7:53