Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When a correction is perhaps not a correction

Today I hit two places where the CNTTS apparatus claims that a manuscript has a correction, but where I had severe doubts in both cases. Not that I disagreed that the 'extra' words were written in between the lines, but not every interlinear addition is a correction.

The first is in minuscule 424, now helpfully accessible on the VMR (image of relevant page here).
The CNTTS apparatus gives for Galatians 3:19 μεσιτου] μωαεως 424cor. When I look at the actual image I think I can see μωσεως written above μεσιτου rather than μωαεως, which would save the addition from being nonsense. But is this really intended to be a correction? First of all, 424 is a commentary manuscript with lots of interesting things going on and with lots of scholarly material (explanation of the Hebrew names and other things I haven't had time to have a look at). It is not uncommon in such manuscripts to gloss certain words, and 'Moses' might be just such an explanatory gloss. There are two other glosses nearby. At 3:18 we find εχαριστο above κεχαρισται; and at 3:19 επηγγειλατο above επηγγελται, and according to Swanson this is both times the reading of minuscules 6 and 1739. Still, within 424 it is possible that we are dealing with a gloss that has made it into the main text of these manuscripts.

The second case was Galatians 4:18 where the CNTTS database has this: τεκνα] τεκνα θεου 1739cor (image here). Again the 'correction' in the shape of a nomen sacrum is there, but again, something different may be going on.

This time I suspect that it has to do with the start of the lectionary reading.
This is the main text of 1739 ὑμεῖς δέ, ἀδελφοί, κατὰ Ἰσαὰκ ἐπαγγελίας τέκνα ἐστέ. However, the start of the lectionary reading is indicated at κατα.

With our little addition we would get a perfect reasonable start for a lection. Κατὰ Ἰσαὰκ ἐπαγγελίας τέκνα θεοῦ ἐστέ.
I am not sure at all about this one, and would welcome anyone (preferably with some knowledge of lections) to shoot this idea down.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A note on a spelling issue in Philippians 4.3


There are three spellings in the manuscripts:  
  • suzuge: P16 (suz[uge); )* B D1 E P Y (gnhsie kai suzuge) 075; and (with the word order: suzuge gnhsie): K L 049 056 0142 0150 0151;  
  • sunzuge: P46 )2[=ca] A D*.c [text for Tregelles, Tischendorf, Westcott & Hort; Nestle 1st & 2nd ed.]; 
  • sunzugai: F G 
(evidence from Tischendorf and Wachtel & Witte, Das Neue Testament auf Papyrus. II Die Paulinischen Briefe Teil 2, 120). 

It is now customary to regard suzuge – with the assimilation of a n to the following consonant - as the original spelling (so NA27&28); and sunzuge  - involving the removal of such assimilation so as to make clear the force of the sun- compound – as characteristic of tendencies within the NT manuscript tradition (see BDF §19; cited approvingly by e.g. Reumann, Philippians, 608; the early Nestle editions printed sunzuge which was changed at some point [before the 25th edition] to suzuge – on the other hand Moulton, Grammar vol. 2, 104f is more cautious, based partly on Westcott & Hort: ‘the best MSS usually concur in retaining sun and e0n unchanged before p, y, b, f, k, g, x, z, s, l, m’, ‘Appendix 2. Notes on Orthography’, NTOG, 156); the F G reading would on this view be a phonetic variation from the non-assimilated spelling. An update to Gregory, Prolegomena, 73-76 (and more generally) in light of the NT papyri would be a desideratum, noting especially Moulton’s comment: ‘How far the oldest uncials in this matter represent the autographs must be left an open question.’, p. 105).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scrivener 1859

The pursuits of Scriptural criticism are so quiet, so laborious, that they can have few charms for the votary of fame, or the courtier of preferment: they always have been, perhaps they always must be, the choice employment mainly of those, who, feeling conscious (it may be) of having but one talent committed to their keeping, seek nothing so earnestly as TO USE THAT ONE TALENT WELL.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ephesians 6.21 in Sinaiticus and NA28


Eph 6.21 in the NA28 has probably one of the most complex things ever seen in an apparatus. Whereas NA27 simply cited Sinaiticus in support of the txt at the word order variant: PANTA GNWRISEI UMIN TUXIKOS; NA28 now has: ALEPH in support of the same reading, but qualified with: ‘(*.2a).1.2b’. This, while entirely accurate, is possibly over-kill - offering four different slices of the history of the manuscript all ostensibly in support of the same variant; but the situation is interesting.

It is pretty clear that the original of Sinaiticus [labelled * in NA28] had PANTA U (which was caught as a mistake in the act of writing and dotted or crossed through [labelled 1 in NA28; S1 in SinProj]) then GNWRISEI UMIN. A subsequent corrector [labelled 2a in NA28; Ca in SinProj] added MIN between the lines (correcting the text towards the Maj. text, but leaving the following UMIN in place, resulting in PANTA UMIN GNWRISEI UMIN TUXIKOS). A further corrector [labelled 2b in NA28; CA in SinProj] rubbed out the MIN, and either dotted or crossed through the U.

It seems to me likely that the exemplar of Sinaiticus had the word order GNWRISEI UMIN, if it was otherwise there would have been no reason to stop and self-correct. Thus Sinaiticus shows the type of word order variation originating independently. So Sin* is rightly cited in support of the NA28 reading. Possibly Sin2a really meant to correct the text towards the Maj. reading, and could possibly have been cited on the other side (but within brackets). But probably the simplest solution would have been to leave it as it was in NA27! It is certainly one that will now take a bit of explaining to students.

Monday, May 13, 2013

When can we say that a manuscript 'apparently' supports a reading?

Sometimes there is a certain amount of doubt what a manuscript reads at a particular point. If there is a variant reading and a manuscript has only a few of the letters but these letters fit with one reading and not with the other it is acceptable practice to cite this manuscript with the qualifier videtur ('apparently') in support of the reading that fits. A good example is P70 in Matthew 2:23 where the reading ναζαρα for ναζαρετ is accepted as the apparent reading of P70, even though only the final two letters are visible (I am trusting the transcriptions here). For all we know P70 could have read γαδηρα, but because of Eusebius and the comparable variant at 4:13 there is a good case to be made for ναζαρα in P70. I think that this example is more or less on the edge but fine as it stands.

But what about the following case in James 4:13?
πορευσόμεθα εἰς τήνδε τὴν πόλιν καὶ ποιήσομεν

There is a variant πορευσωμεθα and also ποιησωμεν. Most manuscripts have either twice the indicative or twice the subjunctive, an important few have first the indicative and then the subjunctive. There is none that has first the subjunctive followed by the indicative.

This is what P100 has:

αυρι]ον πορευσ[

As we can see, P100 reads the full ποιησομεν but in the line above we have only -ον πορευσ. I cannot see how anyone could argue for a following omicron over an omega. Still, the NA27/28 ECM1 all have P100 as πορευσομεθα ut videtur.

Is this justified? Yes, there is a case why in light of the following indicative ποιησομεν it is likely that P100 has also the indicative πορευσομεθα here (since there is no other manuscript with the subjunctive first and then the indicative). Or 'No', since this argument is only indirect and not based on any observation of letter shapes.
I am not sure about the correct answer, it just shows that it is important to check videtur whenever possible.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Galatians 2.20b reconsidered

The latest issue of Novum Testamentum has an interesting article:
J. van Nes, '"Faith(fulness) of the Son of God"? Galatians 2:20b Reconsidered' NovT 55 (2013), 127-139.

In this article van Nes argues for the P46 reading: EN PISTEI ZW TOU QEOU KAI XRISTOU and argues that these are both objective genitives ('I live by faith in God and Christ') which suggests that other Pauline pistis Christou references are also likely objective genitives.

This of course is not news to readers of this blog, since I argued for this reading in 2006 (here, with, as usual, some helpful discussion in the comments) [and the blog posting is noted on p. 132 note 17, and also on p. 137 note 38].