Thursday, January 23, 2014

Matt 6:28 αυξανει ... κοπια ... νηθει

Although the three verbs in most witnesses (E G K L M N S U V W Γ Δ Π Σ Φ Ω 0211 0233 0281 [Byz ca. 1500 mss] f13 565. 892. 1424; Bas), followed by Vogels, are in the singular number and in harmony with the parallel in Luke 12:27 and in general Koine style, a few witnesses (ℵ1 B f1 33; Ath) alter the grammatical number of the verbs from singular to plural (i.e., αυξανουσιν ... κοπιωσιν ... νηθουσιν) either by assimilation to 6:26 (where also a neuter plural subject is used) or by conformation to the influential Latin version, where plural subjects always take plural verbs.
     In Matt 6:26, 28, and 32 the subjects are neuter plural, which usually but not always take third person singular verbs. In most witnesses we find:
  1. 6:26 τα πετεινα ... σπειρουσιν ... θεριζουσιν ... συναγουσιν
  2. 6:28 τα κρινα ... αυξανει ... κοπια ... νηθει
  3. 6:32 τα εθνη ... επιζητει
However, in basically the same few related witnesses it seems that the grammatical number of the verbs in the second and third examples are assimilated toward those in the first:
  1. 6:26 τα πετεινα ... σπειρουσιν ... θεριζουσιν ... συναγουσιν
  2. 6:28 τα κρινα ... αυξανουσιν ... κοπιωσιν ... νηθουσιν (ℵ1 B [Θ] f1 33; Ath)
  3. 6:32 τα εθνη ... επιζητουσιν (ℵ B Θ f1.13 33)
     While conformation to 6:26 is the likeliest explanation behind the readings in the minority of witnesses, cross-contamination from the early and influential Latin version (especially a bilingual Greek-Latin manuscript from the 2d century) might also explain the alterations. Such is almost certainly the cause of alteration in the following places involving Codex Bezae (D/05) in Matthew:
  • 10:29 - πωλειται VS. πωλουνται (D)
  • 13:4 - ηλθεν VS. ηλθον (D L Z al)
  • 13:8 - εδιδου VS. εδιδουν (D)
  • 13:40 - συλλεγεται  ... (κατα)καιεται VS. συνλεγονται ... κατακαιονται (D)
  • 15:27 - εσθιει VS. εσθιουσιν (D)
There are also a few places in Matthew where it seems certain that some witnesses alter the singular verb (with a neuter plural subject) to the plural, including:
  • 10:2 - εστιν VS. εισιν (L al)
  • 13:7 - επεσεν VS. επεσαν (33)
  • 13:8 - επεσεν VS. επεσαν (33; 247: επεσον)
  • 15:18 - εξερχεται VS. εξερχονται (F M al)
Further, below are some of the disputed places in Matthew where most witnesses have the singular verb (with a neuter plural subject) but a minority have the plural:
  • 13:16 - ακουει (E F G K L S U V W Y Γ Δ Π Φ Ω [Byz] 565)
         VS. ακουουσιν (ℵ B C D M N O X Θ Σ f1.[13] 33 1424 al)

  • 19:13 - προσηνεχθη (E F G H Ivid K M S U V W Y Γ Δ Θ Π Φ Ω 078vid f1.13 [Byz] 565) 
         VS. προσηνεχθησαν (ℵ B C D L Nvid Σ 33. 1424

  • 25:32 - συναχθησεται (A E F H M S V W Y Γ Δ Φ Ω f1 [Byz] 892. 1424)
         VS. συναχθησονται (ℵ B D G K L U Θ Π Σ f13 al)

  • 26:31 - διασκορπισθησεται (p37vid D E F G H2 K S U V W Y Γ Δ Π Φ Ω f1 [Byz] 565. 1424)
         VS. διασκορπισθησονται (p53vid ℵ A B C G H* I L M Σ f13 33 al)

  • 27:52 - ηγερθη (A C E F H K M S U W Y Γ Δ Π Σ Φ Ω [Byz] 565. 1424)
         VS. ηγερθησαν (ℵ B D G L Θ f1.13 33 al)
     The same phenomenon of scribal conformation to a nearby usage may be observed in Matt 27:52, where some witnesses conform the number of the first verb with a neuter plural subject to that of the second and where some conform that of the second to that of the first, but where, again, the majority of all witnesses is seen to allow the two non-conformed verbal forms to remain side by side:
  • 27:52 ανεωχθησαν ... ηγερθη ([C3] E F H K M S U Γ Δ Σ Φ Ω [Byz] 565. 1424)
  • 27:52 ανεωχθησαν ... ηγερθησαν (ℵ[2] B D G [L] Θ f[1].13 [33] pc)
  • 27:52 ανεωχθη ... ηγερθη (A C* W Y Π pc)
The situation in Matt 27:52 seems to confirm the observation regarding the majority of manuscripts in 6:26, 28, and 32 above, namely, that they have refrained from conforming the verbal number used by the author. In addition, cross-contamination from the plural forms used in an early Greek-Latin bilingual archetype may also be involved in the alterations seen in Matt 10:29; 13:4, 8, 16, 40; 15:27; 19:13; 25:32; 27:52. For these reasons the less-conformed type of text attested in most documents in Matt 6:28 and 32 should not be rejected.

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