Friday, October 8, 2010

Matt 1:10 Αμων Αμων

Although some manuscripts have Αμως (ℵ B C [D in Luke] Δ Θ f1 33 205 pc it vg-mss sa bo) instead of Αμων, both the age and broad provenance of the Αμων reading is confirmed not only by the oldest extant Old Latin manuscript (a/3, 4th cent.) and the two Old Syriac witnesses (sy-s.c, 4th and 5th cent., respectively) but also by one of the oldest existing Coptic manuscripts for this passage (mae-1, ca. 400), not to mention the origin of the mainstream Latin and Syriac versions and the large consensus of around 1500 Greek manuscripts. Both Wettstein (1:229) and Griesbach (1:11) agree that scribes would have been more likely to change Αμων to Αμως since Amos the prophet was more familiar to them than Amon the king. As Metzger (2) and Weiss (20) note, a minority of scribes occasionally and "erroneously" (so Metzger) wrote the more familiar Αμως instead of Αμων (2 Kgs 21:18–19, 23–25; 1 Chr 3:14; 2 Chr 33:20–25). That Amos was more familiar to scribes than Amon is further settled by the apparent fact that scribes never wrote Αμων instead of Αμως. Whitney (1:56) additionally suggests that some scribes may have erroneously thought that the Amon of Matthew corresponded to the Amos of Luke 3:25 and then consequently altered the Matthean account to resolve the apparent contradiction. Metzger's surmise that Matthew may have used genealogical lists that contained the erroneous spelling instead of the OT itself fails to answer the literary objection that the author of Matthew still would have discriminated the difference. Lagrange (5) speaks to this, as does James A. Borland ("Re-examining New Testament Textual-Critical Principles and Practices Used to Negate Inerrancy," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 25:4 [1982]: 499–506), who says, "It is difficult to believe that Matthew, no doubt an educated literary Jewish writer, was incapable of distinguishing between the Hebrew אסא and אסף or between the even more distinguishable אמון and עמוס" (p. 503); thus the error was more likely scribal than authorial. And so on both external and internal grounds Αμων is to be preferred. Cf. also the comment on Matt 1:7–8, and Luke 3:32, where it is not suitable to suggest that all 1600+ Greek manuscripts except three (p4 ℵ* B) reflect an attempt to correct Σαλα to Σαλμων, but rather that a few manuscripts departed from the original, either by following the Old Syriac (which also has Σαλα at Matt 1:4–5) or a common intermediary, by assimilation to Luke 3:35 where Σαλα is certain, by an attempt to correct what could have been perceived to have been an egregious error by Luke in referring to King Solomon there (cp. Σαλμων with Σολομων), etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment