Monday, October 11, 2010

Matt 1:22 του

As in Matt 2:15, a number of witnesses (ℵ B C D W Z Δ 071 f1.13 33 892vid pc), but still relatively few, omit the article του before κυριου. Consistent with the notion of editorial tampering due to the identical omission in similar witnesses in 2:15, Wettstein (1:238) suggests that scribes omitted it because they thought the expression υπο του κυριου δια του προφητου would flow more smoothly without it. It is also possible that scribes assimilated the phrase to the common usage of the OT or even nearby passages 1:20, 24; 2:13, 19, etc., where the article is missing. But NT authors and speakers need not to have held to this custom absolutely (cf., e.g., 9:38; Luke 1:6, 9; Acts 4:26 [from Psalm 2:2]). Griesbach (1:16), while calling the omission of the article here and in 2:15 "very old," similarly argues that scribes removed it so that the article would not occur twice on the same line; he furthermore reasons that there is "no probable reason why it should have been carried into all the remaining manuscripts in both places," and that "it is well-known that in general unlearned scribes, being too little accustomed to the genius and idioms of the Greek language, were more prone to omit than rashly to add the article."
     Recent studies on scribal habits soundly corroborate Griesbach's judgment, and thus the presence of the article as reflected in the vast consensus of all manuscripts is to be retained. Cf. James R. Royse, "Scribal Habits in the Transmission of New Testament Texts," in The Critical Study of Sacred Texts, ed. Wendy D. O'Flaherty (Berkeley: Graduate Theological Union, 1979), 139–61; idem, "Scribal Tendencies in the Transmission of the Text of the New Testament," in The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis (ed. Bart D. Ehrman and Michael W. Holmes; Studies and Documents 46; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 239–52; idem, Scribal Habits in Early Greek New Testament Papyri (Leiden: Brill, 2008); Peter M. Head, "Some Observations on Early Papyri of the Synoptic Gospels, Especially Concerning the 'Scribal Habits,'" Biblica 71 (1990): 240–47; idem, "The Habits of New Testament Copyists: Singular Readings in the Early Fragmentary Papyri of John," Biblica 85 (2004): 399–408; and Kyoung Shik Min, Die früheste Überlieferung des Matthäusevangeliums (Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung 34; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2005), who says, "What is customary with the old papyri, and also remarkable, is that omissions are more than twice as likely to be found than additions" (97).

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