Monday, November 22, 2010

Matt 4:16 ειδεν φως μεγα

Indicative of the atticistic alterations found elsewhere in the same major witnesses (cf., e.g., Matt 3:4 αυτου ην and Matt 4:9 ταυτα παντα σοι), a few witnesses alter the word order to φως ειδεν μεγα in an attempt to improve the style (ℵ B C W Σ f1.13 33 892 1241 it vg-pt; Or-pt Eus Chr Cyr). The normal Koine word order is intrinsically characteristic of Matthew's style, and the many more noticeable verbal dissimilarities of the passage with the LXX make harmonization to the word order there highly unlikely. The alteration was no doubt encouraged by a critical and poetic attempt to align the position of φως here with the position of φως later in the verse (φως ειδεν μεγα . . . φως ανετειλεν αυτοις). Furthermore, the word order found in most witnesses is early and diverse (D E K L M P S U V Γ Δ k vg-pt; Hipp Or-pt).

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