Saturday, October 9, 2010

Matt 1:19 παραδειγματισαι

Three related witnesses (ℵ1 B Z) and one secondary witness (f1) have δειγματισαι while all the rest have παραδειγματισαι. Suggesting that alliteration between -δειγ- and the preceding δικαιος may have played a role in the omission of the prepositional prefix παρα, Bengel (Apparatus, 92) states that hasty scribes often omitted the conjoined preposition and gave the simple form of a verb, a circumstance Kühnöl (13) says is well-known and happens a hundred times over. Both Wettstein (1:233) and Griesbach (1:16) agree that παραδειγματισαι carried a worse connotation than δειγματισαι, and hence (so Wettstein) some ancient critics preferred the less harsh word since Mary was of such great excellence that even the thought of Joseph doing something harsher to her might have caused some to lessen their high view of her (or him). It matters little if the meanings of the two words are not really different (so Fritzsche), only that ancient scribes and critics thought they were different (leading one to correct the harsher word to the less harsh), and supporting this fact are many fathers and two scholia that Matthäi (34) quotes and says are "very ancient" and "without question" were assembled from Origen. Griesbach is more balanced but argues that while either reading may be seen as a gloss, in such cases one may more safely rest assured in the reading that is more numerous among the old and weighty witnesses (in this case including at least ℵ* E N P W Σ), and for this reason he says that παραδειγματισαι must be preferred. Fritzsche (41) likewise agrees that παραδειγματισαι is original on internal and external grounds, but rightly cautions against the notion that scribes universally changed the complex form of the verb into the simple form, suggesting instead that scribes would often prefer whichever form of the verb was more common to them, be it the simple or the complex form. Therefore, based on substantial external support for the complex form, παραδειγματισαι should be considered original, especially since the origin of the simple form is accounted for by internal and transcriptional reasons and its support is notably non-diverse.

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