Thursday, July 2, 2015

Matt 8:2 ελθων

The compound verb προσελθών is supported by a wide variety of Greek witnesses (ℵ B E M N Δ Θ Σ Ω 0211 f1.13 565. 892) and many editors (Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf [7th, 8th], Vogels), while the simple form ἐλθών appears in similarly early and most later witnesses (C K L S U V W X Zvid Γ Π 047 Byz f35 33. 461. 1500. 2224). The compound προσελθών is generally supported on the ground that the prepositional prefix προσ- dropped out by homoeoteleuton error due to the final syllable of the preceding word λεπρος (so, e.g., Meyer, 174; Alford, 1:77).
     Wettstein (1:347) however prefers ἐλθών, suggesting that the compound form's origin owes to "the preceding word's final syllable [i.e. λεπρός] having been repeated." After echoing Wettstein, Griesbach (1:84) concedes, "But yet we must confess that it might also have been that προς either disappeared by accident after λεπρος or was intentionally deleted in order to avoid the cacophony of προς recurring three times among three contiguous words: λεπρος προσελθων προσεκυνησε. . . . Consequently [reasons] are not lacking which may be brought forward to vindicate the reading προσελθων." Nevertheless, Griesbach shows his primary reliance on external evidence, concluding, "But we still prefer ελθων, since most of the more excellent manuscripts," at least in his estimation at the time, "uphold it."
     Fritzsche (305) reacts, "I am in no way persuaded in place of ελθων to concede as much weight to the reading προσελθων as Griesbach assigns to it . . . . For almost nothing is more frequent when two words were arranged together—the one simple, the other equipped with a prefix—than that scribes indeed shared the small prefix in turn with the other word as a rule . . . . Neither does προσελθων possess any excellence from the line of thought, but the words προσελθων ... προσεκυνει rather take on a good deal of sluggishness." Bloomfield (Annotations, 7) thinks προσελθών seems like "a mere correction of somewhat homely Greek," noting that the "simple verb has elsewhere been converted into the compound by critics for the sake of imparting more of definiteness to the sense," and citing Matt 2:21 (ἦλθεν to εἰσῆλθεν); 9:18; 14:25; Mark 5:14; and Luke 8:51.
     Although Matthew uses the compound προσέρχομαι with προσκυνέω elsewhere (20:20; 28:9), whenever using this particular construction (i.e., an adverbial participial introducing the finite form of προσκυνέω), Matthew prefers the simple ἔρχομαι over the compound προσέρχομαι. Interestingly, also in these places some witnesses show a proneness to assimilate the simple form to the compound form perhaps in connection with the prefix used in the following finite verb προσκυνέω (cf. Fritzsche's identical assertion above):

2:8 ἐλθὼν προσκυνήσω
9:18 ἐλθὼν (ℵ B F G L U f13: προσελθών) προσεκύνει
14:33 ἐλθόντες (Θ f13 1424: προσελθόντες; ℵ B C N Σ f1 892: OM. ἐλθόντες/προσελθόντες) προσεκύνησαν
15:25 ἐλθοῦσα (Δ: προσελθοῦσα; S V: ἀπελθοῦσα) προσεκύνει/προσεκύνησεν

     Although the two probabilities explaining the gain or loss of προσ- are conflicting, in view of (1) Matthew's apparent style when using this particular construction, (2) the seeming fact that in three of the four examples above (NA27/28 accept ἐλθών in 9:18) some scribes were guilty of expanding the simple form to the compound form with προσ- probably due to the following προσκυνέω, and (3) the possibility that unintentional duplication of the final syllable of λεπρός in 8:2 could have contributed to the larger number and variety of witnesses exhibiting the compound form, it is best not to overlook the simple ἐλθών supported by most manuscripts in Matt 8:2.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Matt 8:1 καταβαντι δε αυτω

Some witnesses (ℵ2 B C Nvid W [Z] Θ f1.[13] 33. 892) and editors (Bover, Greeven, [Lachmann], Merk, Soden, Vogels) prefer the more standard genitive absolute construction καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ, but most Greek manuscripts and Tischendorf (7th, 8th) retain the less common and perhaps to some less polished καταβάντι δὲ αὐτῷ in the dative case (ℵ* E K L M S U [V] X Γ [Δ] Π Σ Ω 047 0211 Byz f35 461. 565. 1424. 1500. 2224).
     Wettstein (1:346) thinks the change to the genitive occurred "so that αὐτῷ might not appear twice in the same phrase," a sentiment Griesbach (1:83–4) affirms, adding that V/031 omitted the first αὐτῷ for the same reason, and concludes, "That the text was intentionally altered is clear from this, that in verse 5, for the same recurring reason, the same variety of reading is also discovered in nearly the same manuscripts." Kühnöl (226) calls the pronoun αὐτῷ after the verb ἠκολούθησαν redundant but in accordance with the style of the Hebrews and not unknown to pure Greek writers, and agrees that the genitive alteration arose "in order to avoid repetition of the pronoun αὐτῷ."
     Fritzsche (304–5) calls the genitive "a wrong correction by one who faltered at the double occurrence of the dative, and about this there can be very little doubt for this very reason, that also elsewhere (see comments below on Matt 8:5, 28, Mark 5:2, and above on Matt 4:16) such places were wrongly handled in order to remove this stumbling block." For evidence of the same corrective phenomenon, Bloomfield (Annotations, 7) adds Matt 9:27, "where some copies substitute the genitive; others, as B D, remove the second αὐτῷ." Meyer (174) rejects καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ as "a mere correction, like the similarly attested εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ" in 8:5.
     The scribal agitation at the grammatical construction generally seems to have been remedied by (1) altering the dative construction to a genitive absolute, (2) omitting the following "superfluous" dative pronoun, or (3) altering the dative construction to a finite verbal form.

(1) Altering the dative construction to a genitive absolute:
Matt 8:5 εἰσελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ... προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ
     VS. εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ... προσηλθεν αὐτῷ (ℵ B C* Z f1.13 33)
Matt 8:28 ἐλθόντι αὐτῷ ... ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ
     VS. ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ ... ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ ([ℵ] B C Θ f1.13 33vid)
Matt 9:28 ἐλθόντι δὲ ... προσῆλθον αὐτῷ
     VS. ἐλθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ... προσῆλθον αὐτῷ (700)
Matt 21:23 ἐλθόντι αὐτῷ ... προσῆλθον αὐτῷ
     VS. ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ ... προσῆλθον αὐτῷ (ℵ B C D L Θ f1.13 33)
Mark 5:2 ἐξελθόντι αὐτῷ ... ἀπήντησεν αὐτῷ
     VS. ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ... ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ (ℵ B C L Δ Θ f1.13 565)
(2) Omitting or altering the following "superfluous" dative pronoun
Matt 8:23 ἐμβάντι αὐτῷ ... ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ
     VS. ἐμβάντι αὐτῷ ... ἠκολούθησαν (ΟΜ. αὐτῷ) (565)
Matt 9:27 παράγοντι ... τῷ Ἰησοῦ ... ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ
     VS. παράγοντι ... τῷ Ἰησοῦ ... ἠκολούθησαν (ΟΜ. αὐτῷ) (B D 892)
Luke 8:27 ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ... ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ
     VS. ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ... ὑπήντησεν (ΟΜ. αὐτῷ) (p75 ℵ B E W Ψ Ξ f1 33)
(3) Altering the dative construction to a finite verbal form
Matt 9:28 ἐλθόντι δὲ ... προσῆλθον αὐτῷ
     VS. καὶ ἔρχεται ... καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ (D)
Luke 8:27 ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ... ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ
     VS. καὶ ἐξῆλθον ... καὶ ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ  (D)
     That all of the questionable cases either occur in Matthew or conceivably derive from Matthean material (Mark 5:2 and Luke 8:27 parallel Matt 8:28) suggests a Matthean stylistic option that scribes frowned upon and variously sought to change to a more standard construction. Otherwise, a great number of scribes not only altered the more common form to a less common one, but also were remarkably selective in doing so. Hence no internal rule of textual criticism can admit the priority of the genitive construction to the dative one, and furthermore the internal rule only suggests the external excellence of those manuscripts that retain the less common (i.e. harder) readings both in Matt 8:1 and in the other examples cited above.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Matt 7:29 γραμματεις

While most witnesses end chapter 7 with just γραμματεῖς (E L M S U V X Γ Π2 Ω 047 Byz f35 565. 1424. 2224 goth), some along with the Latin and Syriac traditions have γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι (C2 W 0211 33 lat sy), which Lachmann prefers and which may have been pruned either to γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι (C*) or γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν (ℵ B C3 K Δ Θ Π* Σ f1.13 892. 1500 co), the latter adopted by Bover, Greeven, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf (7th, 8th), and Vogels.
     Some claim that the shorter reading preserved in most manuscripts reflects accidental or intentional deletion by harmonization to Mark 1:22 (e.g. Alford, 1:76; Rinck, 252). On the other hand, Matthew himself could have been faithfully depending on Mark here (or Mark on Matthew or on a source common to both). Indeed, the following 16 words from Matt 7:28–29 are identical with Mark 1:22: . . . ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ· ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς.
     Mill (Prolegomena, §736) suggests that the addition of the Pharisees in some manuscripts in Matt 7:29 originated from 5:20, since the Lord had specifically referred to them there alongside the scribes. Regarding the additions of αὐτῶν, of καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, and of both together, Griesbach (1:83) remarks: "All these have sprung from similar passages. Additions of the same kind are also found in Mark 1:22." In addition to Matt 5:20, other similar passages in Matthew that mention the Pharisees together with the scribes include 12:38; 15:1; 23:2, 13, [14], 15, 23, 25, 27, 29. 
     Bengel (Apparatus, 111) suggests that the addition of αὐτῶν owes to harmonization to Luke 5:30, while Bloomfield (Annotations, 7) judges that "internal evidence is rather against than for the word, which, from the state of the internal evidence, was more likely to be brought in, from Lk. v. 30, than to have been put out because not in Mk. i. 22." To what extent or even whether Luke 5:30 is involved in the origin of αὐτῶν cannot be demonstrated; it is not even parallel to Matt 7:29. Perhaps for this reason Kühnöl (226) merely remarks, "Moreover, the words αὐτῶν and καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, which having been added are read in some manuscripts, are glosses."
     Moreover, scribal activity surrounding the αὐτῷ that appears on the next line of text (i.e. Matt 8:1) in most manuscripts could have contributed to the addition of αὐτῶν at the end of 7:29 in some witnesses. For at least one manuscript (Δ) that omits αὐτῷ in 8:1 adds αὐτῶν in 7:29, while others (e.g. ℵ*) that originally had αὐτῷ in 8:1 have it altered to αὐτοῦ later on, but leave the αὐτῷ intact nearby. In this context of correction, an αὐτῷ in the margin of 8:1 or above the line could easily have been assimilated into the text of 7:29 above, especially as the final -ν is often written as a slender and sometimes imperceptible line above the word, and also as αὐτῷ is sometimes wrongly written as αὐτῶν (cf. codex N/022 in 8:15).
     Finally, the dominance of the longer reading γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι in the Latin and Syriac traditions in conjunction with such slim attestation in the Greek tradition suggests that an early and outside influence may have been at work, namely, Tatian's Diatessaron.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Matt 7:28 συνετελεσεν

The simple ἐτέλεσεν (ℵ B C W Zvid Γ Σ f1.13 33. 565. 892. 1424. 1500) is received by Bover, Lachmann, Merk, Tischendorf (7th, 8th), and Vogels, but most Greek witnesses have the compound συνετέλεσεν (E K L M S U V X Δ Θ Π Ω 047 0211 f35 Byz 2224), which Greeven and Soden prefer, probably rightly, for two reasons:
     1. Assimilation. While it is true that συντελέω occurs nowhere else in Matthew, Griesbach (1:83) submits to a basic canon of textual criticism: "In some manuscripts and Fathers ἐτέλεσεν crept into the place of συνετέλεσεν from similar passages. For wherever else this phrase occurs, ἐτέλεσεν is had consistently. Cf. Matt 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1. We do therefore retain the terminology less used."
     2. Transcriptional error. Another but less likely explanation is found in Meyer (161): "But how easily might the syllable συν drop out between ΟΤΕ ΕΤΕ!"
     Origen's quotation of Matt 7:28 as ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς λόγους in his comment on Matt 19:1 (Comm. Matt. 14.14) demonstrates how naturally the other instances of the phrase were known and compared, increasing the scribal temptation to assimilate the one deviating term (i.e. συνετέλεσεν) to the one used everywhere else (i.e. ἐτέλεσεν).
     Finally, if συνετέλεσεν is original, it may reflect another of Matthew's intentional references to the wording of Deuteronomy (e.g., Deut 31:1, 24; 32:45), similar to Jesus' going up the mountain (Matt 5:1; cf. Exod 19:3; 34:4) and coming down the mountain (Matt 8:1; cf. Exod 19:14; 34:29).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Matt 7:26 την οικιαν αυτου

Influenced by the word order of the preceding μου τοὺς λόγους in 7:24, 26, the common ancestor of certain manuscripts (ℵ B W Z Θ Σ f1 892 pc) both here and in 7:24 reflects αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν, but most scribes resisted the transposition and retain the more common order of τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ (including C E K L M S U V X Γ Δ Π Ω 047 0211 f13.35 Byz 565. 1424. 1500. 2224). Yet the minority reading is followed by Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf (7th, 8th), and Vogels. Cf. the note on Matt 7:24 την οικιαν αυτου for further explanation on this variant, and also Matt 5:20 η δικαιοσυνη υμων for discussion on a similar transpositional variant.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Matt 7:25 προσεπεσον

In this insignificant spelling variation some manuscripts of every text type support the spelling προσέπεσαν (ℵ B C E X Z Δ 047 f1.13 892. 1500. 2224), followed by Bover, Greeven, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf (7th, 8th), Vogels (Lachmann has προσέπαισαν), but most manuscripts contain the regular spelling προσέπεσον (including K L M S U V Π Φ Ω Byz f35. 565). Codex W has προσέκρουσαν, Θ Σ προσέρρηξαν, and 1424 προσέκοψαν.
     By rule προσπίπτω is a second aorist verb due to the stem change from -πιπτ- to -πεσ-, and thus should take the second aorist suffixes (i.e., -ον, -ες, -ε, etc.). But due to the second aorist stem of this word ending in sigma, some scribes apparently assimilated the suffix forms to those of the first aorist (i.e., -σα, -σας, -σε, etc.). Additionally, the idiosyncrasies of certain areas caused the first aorist forms to intrude elsewhere in second aorist verbs, just as, e.g., codex B has ἦλθαν instead of ἦλθον earlier in this verse. Perhaps also the -σαν ending in some witnesses came in consequence of the ending of ἔπνευσαν preceding. On the other hand, if Matthew originally wrote the minority reading προσέπεσαν, the temptation to "correct" it with the regular spelling could have influenced some scribes. Nevertheless, due to the conflicting results of internal criteria, the retention of the reading that appears in that grouping of manuscripts that has proven itself more habitually correct elsewhere does not seem altogether unsatisfactory, and thus προσέπεσον may be retained.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Matt 7:24 την οικιαν αυτου

A small but diverse contingent of manuscripts (ℵ B C W Z Θ Σ f1 33. 892 al), along with Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf (7th, 8th), and Vogels, supports the word order αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν instead of the more common τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ, as appears in most manuscripts (including E G K L M S U V X Δ Π Φ Ω 047. 0211 f13.35 Byz 565. 1424. 1500. 2224).
     Alford (1:75) plausibly reasons that the majority reading reflects "a transposition to more usual order," while Bloomfield (Annotations, 7), after conceding the possibility of Alford's explanation, counters, "but so may the other have been a transposition to a more classical order, such as may be found in very many other passages, . . . and in all of them, with the present, the transp[ositio]n was more likely to attach to a few than to many copies."
     Admittedly, the present textual variation involves merely a word order trifle that does no harm to the sense. Nevertheless, it is notable that no reasoned eclectic editor (to my knowledge) supports or even indicates the critical observation that the order with the preposed personal pronoun (i.e. αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν) in both 7:24 and 7:26 might reflect assimilation to the identically less common and unasailable word order of the expression μου τοὺς λόγους that occurs earlier in both verses.
     A brief investigation indicates that of the roughly 420 times where the genitive of ἐγώ (70x), σύ (120x), or αὐτός (230x) modifies a noun or noun phrase in Matthew, only 20 times (5%) does the pronoun precede the modified word(s) without much doubt:
2:2 αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα
5:39 σου σιαγόνα
6:4 σου ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη
6:17 σου τὴν κεφαλήν
7:24 μου τοὺς λόγους
7:26 μου τοὺς λόγους
8:3 αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα
8:8 μου ὑπὸ τὴν στέγην
9:5 σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι
9:6 σου τὴν κλίνην
9:30 αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί
13:25 αὐτοῦ ὁ ἐχθρός
15:28 σου ἡ πίστις
16:18 μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν
17:15 μου τὸν υἱόν
22:13 αὐτοῦ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας
23:8 ὑμῶν ὁ καθηγητής/διδάσκαλος
26:43 αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί
26:51 αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον
28:9 αὐτοῦ τοὺς πόδας
Only very rarely is the order in the above passages altered to the "more usual order" in any significant witnesses:
5:39 σιαγόνα σου - B D
6:4 ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη σου - D
9.30 οι οφθαλμοι αυτων - D it vg
13.25 ο εχθρος αυτου - pc it vg etc.
16:18 τὴν ἐκκλησίαν μου - D it vg
28.9 τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ - D it vg
Moreover, not including the present case of 7:24, 26, and also 9:2 (which involves a possible omission and assimilation to 9:5), only 6 passages are in dispute. Four involve a change in one direction:
12:13 σου τὴν χεῖρα - ℵ* B L f1 33 pc
23:9 ὑμῶν ὁ πατήρ - ℵ B 0102 33. 892 pc
23.30 αὐτῶν κοινωνοί - B D f1.13 700 pc
27:49 αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευράν - ℵ B C L Γ pc (but Origen: τὴν πλευρὰν αὐτοῦ)
But two involve a change in the opposite direction:
20:33 οἱ ὀφθαλμοί ἡμῶν - ℵ B D L Z 0281vid 33. 892 pc; Or
26:52 τὴν μάχαιράν σου - ℵ B D L 0281vid f1.13 892 1424 pc
In the two places just mentioned, Alford inconsistently rejects the less common word order predominating in the textual tradition (i.e. ἡμῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί in 20:33 and σου τὴν μάχαιραν in 26:52), demonstrating the lack of or at least inconsistent value that may be attached to his explanation for rejecting the consensus reading in 7:24, 26.
     Furthermore, in other places in Matthew the pronoun is found to be preposed in certain witnesses, especially Alexandrian ones, in opposition to the very rule that forms the foundation of internal evidence for rejecting the less common word order in 7:24, 26. In fact, from the following alterations a case might be made that scribes were just as likely to alter the word order in one direction as they were the other:
4.24 αὐτοῦ ἡ ἀκοή - D
18.31 αὐτοῦ οἱ σύνδουλοι - B
20.13 αὐτῶν ἑνί - B
20.34 αὐτῶν τῶν ὀμμάτων - B
22.6 αὐτοῦ τοὺς δούλους - Origen
24.47 αὐτοῦ τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν - K Π
27.29 αὐτοῦ τῇ κεφαλῇ - 33
     For all of the above observations the likeliest explanation for the preposed personal pronoun in a minority of witnesses in both 7:24 and 7:26 remains assimilation to the same word order that occurs just words before both occurrences, i.e. μου τοὺς λόγους. If so, the consensus reading in both passages actually reflects the one less harmonized to the immediate context and therefore the most likely to be original. For why would so many witnesses reflect conscious alteration of the "uncommon" word order of the second expression in both places while leaving the same "uncommon" word order just words before in both places completely untouched? For a similar transpositional variant, see Matt 5:20 η δικαιοσυνη υμων.