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.


  1. According to various printed Apostolos Lectionary editions (1855, 1861, 1882, 1908), the opening words of Gal 4:28 are rearranged for liturgical smoothness into ADELFOI, HMEIS KATA ISAAK EPAGGELIAS TEKNA ESMEN (without an added Q[eo]U or what appears to be Q[e]W).

    In contrast, however, the bottom rubric of the relevant page in MS 1739 cites the incipit (somewhat peculiarly in terms of word order) as ADELFOI, UMEIS KAT EPAGGELIAS ISAAK TEKNA Q[eo]U ESTE.

    Regarding the added MWSEWS in MS 424, this gloss seems to derive from the commentary, beginning with the fifth line from the bottom, where Moses as mediator is discussed.

    I presume these data should help.

  2. Thanks Maurice. It is sort of hard to avoid Moses in any commentary on this verse, but it means that the case for a clarifying gloss remains undiminished. I had failed to read the rubric in 1739, which makes the case for a lectionary addition stronger, though on different terms than I suggested earlier.

  3. Dirk,

    I have a current edition of the Apostolos which also reads the same as Maurice relayed to you so the reading is firm in both the earlier Venetian Apostolos editions and in the AD Press revision.

    In Christ,

    Paul Anderson

  4. In my work on Jude I noted similar things in 424; I interpreted what was going on in the MS differently from the ECM (see pp. 231-32 in my dissertation).

  5. Thanks for the interaction with our apparatus. We have made the change to μωσεως and it will appear in the next update, along with many changes that we catch. When we do batch edits on our apparatus it is easy for us to miss some of these things. So, if you catch something, please let us know. We are working hard to make sure the apparatus continues to get better every day.

    As for 424, we started looking at what is going on with the text between the lines. It is very curious that the other two glosses on that page above the line do appear in other manuscripts, such as 1739 and 1881. In Gal 4:14, we have another example where υμων is placed above μου (image here), and has support from a handful of MSS. Is this another instance of a gloss making its way into the text instead of a correction?

    We don't really know what to make of all this. If these are glosses, do you all think it would be prudent to mark them as such in our apparatus? We are very intrigued by this (in a good way!) and would certainly consider it.

  6. It just goes to show that nothing can replace interaction with the primary sources of Textual Criticism, the manuscripts themselves.

  7. I just notice that the ECM has the following on 424 in 1 Pet 3:18. The interlinear addition υπερ ημων to περι αμαρτιων επαθεν is marked as 424Z, where the Z stands for 'an additional reading, interlinear or marginal, which is clearly neither a correction (C) nor an alternative reading (A).'

    Clarity (as in the cited 'clearly') in this particular instance is a gift that has not been given to me, but I am glad for those who have.

  8. There is even more going on. The blue inlay in English has the version of the explanation of 'Z' as cited. But the German in the 'begleitende Materialen' of James has the more correct 'jedoch nicht eindeutig als Alternativlesart (A) oder Korrektur (C) zu erkennen ist.' The phrase 'nicht eindeutig' should not have been translated as 'clearly neither ...', but as 'not clearly ...'.

    I can live with this. The interlinear υπερ ημων in 424 is not clearly a correction, but it is not 'clearly not a correction'.