Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Matt 5:20 η δικαιοσυνη υμων

Almost all earlier and many later manuscripts prepose the pronoun to read υμων η δικαιοσυνη (p64[67]vid ℵ B E K L M S V W Γ Δ Θ Π Ω 047 0211 892 1241 pm; Ju Cl-pt), but many manuscripts (perhaps most according to Tischendorf and Soden) place the pronoun after the subject (including U Σ f1.35 33. 565. 1424 pm latt; Cl-pt Or). Lachmann's departure (1:20) from the earlier manuscripts is remarkable if not accidental. While the reading with the preposed pronoun could have originated due to the order of the words in 5:16 (υμων τα καλα εργα), it is equally likely (if not more so) that this reading could have prompted scribes to place the pronoun after the subject in conformity with its more usual position. The preposing of the pronoun may indicate an emphasis, either by the author himself or secondarily by scribes, on the nature of the listeners' righteousness in contradistinction to that of the scribes and the Pharisees (cf. Bengel, Gnomon, 171–2). Griesbach (1:46) notes that "not a few manuscripts, having changed the order, read υμων η δικαιοσυνη," and further cautions that "rarely can a decisive judgment be rendered due to the great license of scribes in transposing words and the negligence of the majority of learned men who have examined manuscripts in noting discrepancies of this kind." Because (a) the reading with the preposed pronoun has impressive external support as well as perhaps a slight advantage on internal grounds, and (b) the picture of most Byzantine minuscules is not sufficiently clear (cf. Hodges-Farstad's "Mpt" [indicating a Byzantine split] for both readings), it seems best to acknowledge the intrinsic value of both readings until the state of the early minuscules (9th–11th centuries) is better known.

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