Harmonization Triggers

Dirk Jongkind reflects on harmonization triggers, especially in the Pauline corpus. In part, he suggests,

Apparently there is something in tightly argued prose that puts it in less danger of textual change than simple narrative, especially narrative with synoptic parallels. Yet even within the Pauline corpus the same phenomena are present that you can find in the Gospels. Ephesians and Colossians contain sufficient parallel material to allow for cross-contamination, and the same happens with Galatians and Romans.

For the balance of Jongkind’s comments, see his original post on Tyndale House’s Greek New Testament blog. See also the cross-post and further discussion on Evangelical Textual Criticism. For more information on Tyndale’s Greek Testament project, see also Tyndale House GNT and the in-post related links.

Phillips on a textual relative of the Leningrad Codex

The latest issue of the Tyndale Bulletin carries Kim Phillips’s essay, “A New Codex from the Scribe behind the Leningrad Codex: L17.” According to the abstract,

Samuel b. Jacob was the scribe responsible for the production of the so-called Leningrad Codex (Firkowich B19a), currently our earliest complete Masoretic Bible codex. This article demonstrates that another codex from the Firkowich Collection, containing the Former Prophets only, is also the work of Samuel b. Jacob, despite the lack of a colophon to this effect. The argument is based on a combination of eleven textual and para-textual features shared between these two manuscripts, and other manuscripts known to have been produced by the same scribe.

Phillips acknowledges that definitively linking the scribes of L and L17 isn’t entirely possible. But, he helpfully marshals several different lines of evidence to suggest the strong possibility of this connection.

For the essay’s full text and related links, see the Tyndale Bulletin website. See also PaleoJudaica. HT: Peter Williams.

Sinaiticus’s B scribe(s)

On Academia.edu, Dan Batovici has posted an uncorrected proof of his essay “Two B Scribes in Codex Sinaiticus?” BASP 54 (2017). According to the abstract,

The history of scribal hand identification in Codex Sinaiticus is a fairly complicated one. The most recent identification, splitting the work of Tischendorf’s scribe B in B1 and B2, was attempted by Amy Myshrall in a 2015 contribution, as a result of the work on the Codex Sinaiticus digitizing project completed in 2009. This article will assess the argument proposed by Amy Myshrall for distinguishing the two new scribes, and it argues that there is not enough reason to adopt the newly proposed distinction.

HT: Peter Gurry

Wallace, “Medieval manuscripts”

ETS logoIn its first 2017 issue (currently behind the society membership paywall), the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society has a version of Daniel Wallace’s presidential address from the 2016 annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting: “Medieval Manuscripts and Modern Evangelicals: Lessons from the Past, Guidance for the Future” (5–34). Per the abstract, the essay focuses on

paratextual and codicological material in medieval Greek NT manuscripts … that have been largely neglected by evangelicals. Five such features are touched on in this article: (1) the growing canon consciousness and emergence of the codex and their interrelationship; (2) subscriptions (scribal notes at the end of NT books, often reflecting very early traditions) and colophons (blessing, supplication, or mild complaint by a scribe at the end of his codex); (3) the significant but essentially ignored role of female scribes through the centuries; (4) the part that paratextual features in these MSS played in helping scribes to memorize scripture; and (5) the visual priority given to Scripture over tradition in MSS with commentaries.

The article has a substantial and interesting discussion of each of these points, as well as some helpful additional discussion and bibliography in several of the footnotes.

TNT updates

The two latest posts on the Tyndale New Testament blog contain some interesting further comments about the edition and its preparation.

The edition was based on Tregelles’s text because

by starting from Tregelles we go back beyond Westcott-Hort and their influential and lucid textual theories, but not as far back as the Textus Receptus. We could have opted for the text of Lachmann too, but I think that Tregelles is more explicit, and certainly more accessible, in justifying his methodology and theoretical approach. Another reason is that Tregelles is the most recent critical text that was not included in the triad of texts used to create Nestle’s first edition (Westcott-Hort; Tischendorf 8th; Weymouth [in itself the result of a comparison of editions]) or fourth (Weymouth replaced with Weiss).

The next entry discusses text(s) and the relationships among works, editions, and manuscripts. The post comments, in part,

Most people who think for a moment about the text and the various forms in which it appears, solve the question the same way as Plato did. Different manuscripts with their slightly different wording, and even different translations of the text in a wild variety of languages, all constitute different instances of the same text.

This same dynamic often functions unconsciously too when congregants in a church setting might “open their Bibles,” agree that they are all looking at “the Bible,” and yet have different versions like the ESV, NIV, or NRSV of the “same text” among them.

For these posts’ full comments, see The First Step: Digitising Tregelles and The Text of the New Testament, of an Edition, and of a Manuscript on the TNT blog.

Tyndale House GNT

Tyndale House Greek New Testament coverThe Tyndale House Greek New Testament is set to be released with Crossway on 15 November 2017, just in time for SBL. The text is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

According to the volume’s blurb, the principal editors, Dirk Jongkind and Peter Williams, have

taken a rigorously philological approach to reevaluating the standard text—reexamining spelling and paragraph decisions as well as allowing more recent discoveries related to scribal habits to inform editorial decisions.

Meanwhile, the principal editors have begun a blog about the edition. According to the blog’s initial post, future posts

will explore what such method means in practice at the hand of examples, and also probe the boundaries of such approach. However, in practice the emphasis on scribal behaviour implies that if, in the past, exegetical and theological arguments have been used to address a particular variant unit, we happily ignore these arguments if there is also a perfectly adequate transcriptional explanation.

HT: Dirk JongkindMike Aubrey