Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Matt 6:21 υμων . . . υμων

A few related witnesses and others (ℵ B 1. 372. 1582 lat co; Bas) twice have the singular personal pronoun σου instead of the plural υμων, as in the general consensus (including E G K L M S U V W Γ Δ Θ Π Σ Φ Ω 0233 [Byz 1500+ mss] f1.13 33. 565. 1424 f sy bo-pt goth). Griesbach (Commentarius, 74) advocates the minority reading since "υμων could have crept in from the parallel passage of Luke 12:34 and also could have been pleasing to scribes because Jesus in vv. 19 and 20, to which this verse is attached, had addressed the listeners in the plural number. However, in Matthew the singular often displaces the plural, and vice versa."
     But Bengel (Apparatus, 110) judges that the singular entered from the following verse, and further explains (Gnomon, 195–6): "The objects which are mentioned in ver. 22, 23 (consequentia) are in the singular, those which are mentioned in ver. 19, 20 (antecedentia), with which this verse is connected, are in the plural number. The plural therefore must stand in this verse. The singular, 'thesaurus tuus,' 'thy treasure,' easily crept into the Latin Vulgate, and was convenient to the Greeks for ascetic discourses." Wettstein (1:330) rejects the minority reading because in his judgment the witnesses for it are "not very reliable." Bloomfield (GNT, 48) says that σου "was doubtless an alteration to adapt the word better to the singular σου at the next verse; the purblind Critics failing to see that the plural υμων is as suitable to a general injunction as the singular σου is to a particular illustration, which is made such for effect's sake. Thus at v. 24 the plural form is resumed, when the language of injunction is resumed."
     The saying assumes a wide variety of forms in the church fathers:

θησαυρος . . . νους του ανθρωπου (Justin)
νους τινος . . . θησαυρος αυτου (Clement of Alexandria)
νους του ανθρωπου . . . θησαυρος αυτου (Clement of Alexandria)
θησαυρος . . . καρδια (Origen [2x]; Gregory of Nyssa; Catena in Acts; Pseudo-Macarius [2x])
θησαυρος εκαστου . . . καρδια (Origen)
θησαυρος του ανθρωπου . . . καρδια αυτου (John Chrysostom [7x]; Catena in Matthew)
θησαυρος σου . . . καρδια σου (Eusebius; Ephrem; Basil of Caesarea; Evagrius Ponticus; Catena in Luke; Pseudo-Macarius [2x])
θησαυρος σου . . . καρδια (Basil of Caesarea [2x])
θησαυρος . . . καρδια σου (Didymus; John Chrysostom; Pseudo-Macarius)
θησαυρος υμων . . . καρδια υμων (Ephrem, John of Damascus)
θησαυρος . . . καρδια υμων (Photius)

Hans Dieter Betz (The Sermon on the Mount [ed. Adela Y. Collins; Hermeneia 54; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995], 437) notes the possibility that an older proverb has been purposefully deplatonized in Matt 6:21, which Justin and Clement have replatonized. Text-critically, an original plural υμων with the singular θησαυρος and καρδια could have provoked natural alterations, such as (1) a change to the third person singular (Justin, Clement, Origen, John Chrysostom), (2) the elimination of the plural pronoun (Origen, Gregory of Nyssa), (3) a change to conform the number of the pronoun to the number of the noun (Eusebius, Ephrem, Basil of Caesarea, Evagrius Ponticus). If Betz' hunch is correct and the saying in the tradition upon which Matt 6:21 hangs had singular genitival nouns/prounouns, this also might explain the wide diversity away from the plural. Additionally, one might argue a common Caesarean origin behind those few witnesses that read soυ (ℵ B 1. 372. 1582) and certain fathers who do so (Eusebius, Basil, Evagrius), although alteration to the second person pronoun for homiletical reasons could also have been in effect.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Matt 6:18 κρυπτω . . . κρυπτω

Very few witnesses (ℵ B [D] f1 pc) twice have κρυφαιω instead of κρυπτω, as in most (including E G K L M S U V W Γ Δ Θ Π Σ Φ Ω 0233 0250 [Byz 1500+ mss] f13 33. 565. 892. 1424). Griesbach's explanation (Commentarius, 1:73–4) is classic: "Κρυφαιω should not at all be spurned. For this form of the word is not used in the New Testament, but it occurs several times among the Greek translators of the Old Testament. The Westerns, less meticulous in these things, preserved the rarer form; the Alexandrians along with the Byzantines substituted the more familiar [form], which in this very chapter had preceeded four times in vss. 4 and 6 and, having implanted itself in the memory of scribes, began to adhere to this place." Von Soden (1:1014) similarly explains, "As the difference from 6:4, 6 was hard to understand for a scribe, who was much more inclined toward assimilation, so the agreement of ℵ-B with documents completely unrelated to this archetype necessitates the admission of κρυφαιω into a respected class, thus in H [=Egyptian] or I [Jerusalem]."
     The reason for hesitation in accepting the rarer κρυφαιω is primarily methodological but also based on the corresponding internal consideration that the κρυπτ- form is demonstrably Matthean (5:14; 6:4 [twice], 6 [twice]; 10:26; 11:25; 13:33, 35, 44 [twice]; 25:18, 25; Mark's sole instance is in 4:22), whereas the κρυφ- form is otherwise unattested in Matthew (but does occur in Mark, also in 4:22). To quote Hort (2:34–5 [§43]):
[T]he difference between isolated judgements and combined judgements is vital. In the one case any misapprehension of the immediate evidence . . . tells in full force upon the solitary process by which one reading is selected from the rest for adoption, and there is no room for rectification. In the other case the selection is suggested by the result of a large generalisation about the documents . . . [and] rests on too broad a foundation of provisional judgements, at once confirming and correcting each other, to be materially weakened by the chance or probability that some few of them are individually unsound."
     Robinson and Pierpont state the same principle in the preface to their edition (viii): "Byzantine-priority theory does not operate on an eclectic variant-by-variant basis. Rather, it continually investigates the position of all variant units within the history of transmission" (emphasis mine). It is this principle that prevents scholars, e.g., from receiving the rarer φαγεσθε in 1 Cor 10:27, even though it is the earliest attested reading (cf. p46) and appears in distinction to the otherwised harmonized εσθιετε, which appears in 10:25 and 28.
     Consequently, the reason for κρυφαιω's rise in a few witnesses of Matthew, just as for p46's φαγεσθε in 1 Cor 10:27, is necessarily speculative. Matthäi (91) remarks, "Perhaps κρυφαιω was obtained from Origen, whose commentary unfortunately is not extant at this place." Fritzsche (274), on the other hand, greatly wonders whether κρυπτω might not have been "rashly refined into κρυφαιω by those who had referred to God as 'the hidden God' [occulto Deo] from a wrong interpretation of κρυπτω." And in fact Eusebius (Demonstratio evangelica 5.4.4–15 [GCS 9/3:224–6]) abandons the LXX rendering of מסתתר in Is 45:15 as και ουκ ηδειμεν ("and we did not know [him]") in favor of the translations of Aquila (αποκρυπτομενος), Theodotion (κρυφαιος), and Symmachus (κρυφαιος), saying that "very wonderfully does [Isaiah] call Christ the 'Hidden God,'" and using this text to argue for the eternal existence and godhead of Jesus. But neither do Eusebius' interpretation nor Western theology's important Deus Absconditus concept (which is more about absence than blessing) fit very well internally at this place in Matthew.
     On the other hand, the introduction of the synonym κρυφαιω may have been simply an early editorial preference to escape the repition of κρυπτω (4 times in the previous few verses), or for some other unknown reason. In this regard it is not insignificant that the Alexandrian Cyril (Commentarii in Lucam 22.40 [PG 72:921A]), when citing the model prayer in Matthew 6:6, says "προσευξαι τω Πατρι σου τω εν τω κρυφαιω· και ο Πατηρ σου ο βλεπων εν τω κρυφαιω αποδωσει σοι εν τω φανερω," even though no known manuscripts have κρυφαιω in Matt 6:6 (all have κρυπτω there).
     Finally, we cannot agree that the mere alignment of D and f1 with the archetype of ℵ-B constitutes an outstanding class of evidence. A casual glance at the many coincidences of those witnesses in the first six chapters of Matthew proves that they are not so "completely unrelated" as von Soden claims. Further, it is the combined judgment of the continual sequence of the readings of manuscripts in the manuscript tradition, and not individual and arbitrary judgments without regard to such, that causes the consensus text's κρυπτω to be preferred; that term is also demonstrably more Matthean, while the other is not.