Thursday, October 28, 2010

Matt 3:10 δε και

     A few manuscripts (ℵ B C Ds M W Δ 0233 f1 700 pc co) omit και after δε either by accident or because it was considered redundant. Erasmus (2:19) notes the και is "not an idle conjunction, for it indicates with an increase in force that imminent danger approaches." Wettstein (1:265) follows Erasmus, and Griesbach (1:24–5), noting the same motivation behind the omission of και in Codex Bezae (D/05) at the parallel passage of Luke 3:9, says it was omitted because it appeared superfluous and that scribes failed to understand its force. Such especially applies to the versions, which in turn could have influenced the omission in some Greek copies. Fritzsche (131–2) rightly cautions that just because ηδη δε και was common among Greek writers does not mean that the και would have been spared from tampering had it for some reason been deemed unsuitable, and that at first glance δε pertains to the entire sentence to focus and multiply its greater intensity, and thus the και was thought unnecessary; yet the και indicates that the ax was even brought near to the trees, which, as Kühnöl (70) who says και was wrongly omitted notes, frequently refer to mankind in Scripture (Ps 1:3; Matt 7:17–19; John 15:1; Rom 11:17, etc.). Bloomfield (Annotations, 2–3) notes that the harshness of the construction lowers the possibility that και was introduced from harmonization to Luke 3:9, and that it was removed because it was thought to overload the construction, as was the και that is omitted in some manuscripts in Luke 5:35 (ℵ C F L M Θ f1.13 [and many late minuscules], etc.). Matthew is not unaccustomed to using δε και at the beginning of clauses (10:18 [versus Mark 13:9 and Luke 21:12]; 10:30 [versus Luke 12:7]; 18:17; 24:49 [versus Luke 12:45, which has τε και]; 25:22, 24 [versus Luke 19:18, 20], etc.). Moreover, examples may be multiplied where scribes, and especially the originators of the versions, opted to omit either δε or και when encountering the δε και combination (Matt 25:22 [δε omitted by ℵ B pc sa]; 26:35 [δε omitted by ℵ B C D L 067vid 0281 33 70 al lat sy mae bo-mss]; 27:41 [δε omitted by B K Θ f1.13 33 565 700 al lat sy-[s].p bo-pt; δε και omitted by ℵ A L W pc bo-pt]; Mark 14:31 [δε omitted by B f1 579 pc a c k sa-mss bo-ms]; Luke 6:6 [και omitted by ℵ B L X f1.13 33 pc it co sy-s.c]; 18:1 [και omitted by ℵ B L f13 pc a b c q co], etc.). See also Scholz (1:clxv), who similarly argues against the Alexandrian tampering of the intrinsically Lukan construction verb + δε και. Thus both internal and external evidence firmly support the authenticity of και. Cf. also the note on Matt 1:22 regarding scribal propensity toward omission over addition.

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