Friday, November 25, 2005
More wisdom from the past?
This seems sensible in general, don't you think?
What are the most compelling readings supported by only a single witness?
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Jongkind on Sinaiticus
In TC some of the insurmountable gaps between scholars have to do with a very different appreciation for some of the witnesses to the text of the NT (Codex B, the Majority text, vg, quotations in church fathers etc.). Transcriptional reasoning seems much less problematic, at first glance. The purest form of transcriptional reasoning is done by those who suggest conjectural emendations (cj) to the text.
I have noticed Evangelical scholarship tends to be quite reluctant to allow for cj.
Let me raise a question here: is cj compatible with a high view of Scripture? Personally I cannot see why not. In my article "Paul's Use of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 1-4 and Conjectural Emendation in 4:6." (Analecta Bruxellensia 9 (2004): 102-122) p. 108-115 I have suggested 10 criteria for evaluation of a conjectural emendation. I would appreciate your response. Here they are:
- The emendation does justice to the style or the idiom of the author, or at least more justice than the traditional reading.
- The emendation solves the problem in the text.
- The emendation does not introduce new difficulties or riddles.
- The extant readings are – either directly or indirectly – explicable as corruptions of the emended reading.
- Few early witnesses are available for the passage.
- The reconstruction of the original text has been contested in an early stage.
- The development from the conjectured original of at least one of the extant readings could have taken place in an early stage.
- The emendation requires only a minor intervention.
- Textual critics are not removing or softening elements in the traditional text that offend their logic, culture or ideology.
- The derivation of the traditional reading from the emended one may not require procedures that were not current in the earliest formative stage of the NT text.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Eph 1.1 Up-date
Further Reflection on Ehrman
I'm now a third of the way through his book Misquoting Jesus. He has had to suffer what many an author has experienced, which is to find that the publisher has managed to put the Hebrew on the cover upside down. Fortunately, it is only the background and so it does not stand out too badly. The Hebrew is obviously a Dead Sea Scroll (CD?), but, unusually, nothing is said about the cover design.
I disagree with much of the general picture that Ehrman is painting, in particular the quantity of change that he suggests went on in the text early on (e.g. suggestions that there may have once been versions of John that lacked 1:1-18 or ch. 21). However, there is good coverage of much material. He emphasises the importance of written scripture for early Christians (even if they couldn't all read it) and affirms that 1 Tim. 5:18 does cite Luke 10:7 as scripture (p. 31).
Strangely he seems to think that since Galatians was written to a number of churches Paul must have made multiple copies so that there was no single autograph (pp. 58-60). I find it rather unlikely that the letter carrier would actually carry multiple copies when the letter could be reproduced locally. Do we have any evidence of multiple copies of letters being carried by a single individual?
SBL Final Report
The next paper was by William L. Petersen (Penn State - world expert on the Diatessaron) arguing that Second Clement shows that the text of parts of the NT that it cites were not verbally fixed during the second century.
The third paper, by Thomas J. Kraus, treated 'manuscripts' of the Lord's prayer. Apparently there are a number of texts of this that are not usually listed in manuscript lists: early versions of the Lord's prayer on amulets, pieces of wood, pottery, papyrus, parchment, and even inscribed on stone. These show considerable variety amongst themselves (and are not strict textual witnesses). A number of the texts show some of the Lord's prayer alongside parts of Psalm 90.
I had to leave before Juan Hernández, Jr, spoke on 'Scribal Tendencies in the Apocalypse: Starting the Conversation'.