Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Matt 2:17 υπο

The relatively insignificant alteration of υπο into δια (which also occurs in 3:3) is reflected in a number of manuscripts (ℵ B C D W Z 21 33 71 157 372 399 579 892 1170 1588 it vg sy-p.h). Internal evidence is divided, for, on the one hand, it might be argued (so Griesbach, 1:22) that Matthew's custom was to use δια in reference to prophets in such expressions (1:22; 2:15, 23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 22:31; 24:15; 27:9), while, on the other hand, this very circumstance may have caused some scribes to alter υπο into δια (so Griesbach, who says the reading δια therefore "remains doubtful"; and Fritzsche, 94). While it is known that a minority of scribes altered δια into υπο on other occasions (2:23 [C 472]; 8:17 [517 Chr]; 12:17 [C2 N Π Σ 517 659 954 Chr; 1424 omits δια]; 13:35 [Π]; 21:4 [L Z Γ Δ Θ f13 482 544 700 892 sy-{s}.c]), it is suspicious that the consensus of so many Greek manuscripts, if secondary, would only have made such an alteration here and in 3:3; in other words, if υπο was so common as to cause its introduction by scribes into nearly all the manuscripts both here and in 3:3 (so Rinck, 247), why not elsewhere? Bloomfield (Annotations, 2) argues that δια is "a mere correction for greater exactness" (namely, it was not spoken by but through the prophet), suggested by the constructions previously written (cf. 1:22; 2:5, 15). On the same grounds that led von Soden to accept υπο in Matt 21:4 based on, in our opinion, much slimmer external support than that for υπο both here and in 3:3, the reading υπο cannot easily be dismissed in these two places. Due to the apparent conflict between intrinsic and transcriptional probabilities, one may choose either to leave this variation in "suspense" (so Hort, Introduction, 2) or simply to trust the text that "is found habitually to contain these morally certain or at least strongly preferred readings" (Ibid., 32). Our investigation has led us to believe that the more "habitually" accurate text to be trusted in such situations is none other than the consensus text that is commonly referred to as Byzantine. Consequently, υπο is to be preferred both here and in 3:3.

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