Saturday, October 30, 2010

Matt 3:16 και βαπτισθεις

     A small contingent of manuscripts (ℵ B C* f13 892 pc) alters και βαπτισθεις ο Ιησους into βαπτισθεις δε ο Ιησους reflecting assimilation to the wording of the prior verse, namely, αποκριθεις δε ο Ιησους (3:15). It is far more likely that the very near context would have influenced a change in 10 or so manuscripts out of more than 1600 than that remote and verbally dissimilar parallels would have done so (cf. και εβαπτισθη [Mark 1:9]; και Ιησου βαπτισθεντος [Luke 3:21]). Bloomfield (Annotations, 3) argues that intrinsic probability favors και βαπτισθεις since it is more Hellenistic and founded on the Hebrew idiom, to which he suggests comparing Rom 4:3 and James 2:23 with Gen 15:6 (LXX). According to an email correspondence from Tony Pope, who cites chapter 5 of Stephen Levinsohn, Discourse Features of New Testament Greek (2d ed.; Dallas: SIL International, 2000), a distinctive discourse feature of NT Greek is that δε is used to mark a significant development in the narrative, whereas και is often used at the beginning of the discourse to set the scene for the first significant event or at the end for its conclusion. Pope suggests that a scribe or editor, aware of this feature, could have altered the meaning of an episode or the relationship between episodes through the interchange of δε and και. If και in 3:16 is original, Pope sees it as furnishing "a setting or lead-in for the surprising event of 16b" (και ιδου . . .) and cites 9:19 as a possible similar case. Nevertheless, even if internal evidence is inconclusive, the breadth and diversity of the external support for και βαπτισθεις are superior.


Note the following two constructions in Matthew:
και + partciple + ο Ιησους (20x)
8:14; 9:2, 4, 9, 19, 23; 11:4; 14:13, 14; 15:21, 29; 16:17; 17:7; 18:2; 20:17, 32; 22:1; 24:1, 4; 28:18

partciple + δε + ο Ιησους (16x)
3:15; 4:12; 8:10, 18; 12:25; 16:8, 13; 17:17; 19:26; 20:22, 34; 21:21, 24; 22:18, 29; 26:10

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