Saturday, November 13, 2010

Matt 4:3 αυτω ο πειραζων ειπεν

     Some manuscripts have αυτω ο πειραζων και ειπεν αυτω (D a b c g h sy-s.c) and others ο πειραζων ειπεν αυτω (p101vid ℵ B W f1.13 33 205 700 892vid al aur ff1 l vg sy-p mae1 bo). Griesbach (1:33–4) defends the consensus reading and describes the genealogy of the variations in this way: first the reading of Bezae (D) and some Old Latin manuscripts arose from scribes adding αυτω after ειπεν, "as happens 600 times elsewhere," but the double αυτω recurring on the same line struck some poorly, and so, second, some naturally omitted the first αυτω and retained only the second, giving rise to the reading in Sinaiticus (ℵ), Vaticanus (B), and others; "and so out of the received reading the origin of all the others is most easily explained" (1:34). Griesbach also cautions that the extra αυτω in similar places in Matthew was added either just after the προσελθων or just after the ειπεν. Bloomfield (GNT, 1:22) argues that "internal evidence is rather in favour of the position after προσ[ελθων] as being the less likely to come from the polishing school of the Alexandrian critics," and that the received reading is "most agreeable to the evangelist's simple phraseology" (Annotations, 3).
     Matthew's usual pattern is to use προσελθων/προσελθοντες absolutely, i.e., without the goal of motion specified (cf. 8:19, 25; 9:20; 13:10, 27; 14:12; 15:12, 23; 16:1; 17:7 [Byz]; 25:20, 22, 24; 26:50, 60, 73; 28:2, 9, 18). Also in 8:2 and 9:18, where the participle varies in the MSS between ελθων and προσελθων, it is in either case absolute. Verses where the goal of motion is indicated after προσελθων/προσελθοντες (by a dative pronoun or articular noun) include 17:19, 21:28, 30; 26:49; 27:58. In 4:3 and 18:21 the Byz MSS indicate the goal but Alexandrian MSS do not; in 19:16 the reverse occurs. As the absolute use of προσελθων was much more common, the likelihood for scribes to have preferred προσελθων without αυτω is increased. Of the various constructions of clauses that contain προσελθων/προσελθοντες in Matthew, the most common is participle—noun phrase/subject—verb—dative pronoun (5x: 8:19; 13:10, 27; 15:12; 28:18). The pattern participle—dative pronoun—noun phrase/subject—verb only occurs twice (4:3 and 18:21), and in both cases it is more likely that the Alexandrian text alters it to the more common pattern than the reverse. In 19:16, however, as in 8:2 and 9:18, the pattern is different in that the subject comes before the participle along with the emphatic ιδου. This appears to require the main verb to follow the participle according to Matthew's usage. (The entire substance of this paragraph is Tony Pope's.)
     Furthermore, as in, e.g., 4:4, Matthew need not always include an indirect object after verbs of speaking, yet it is not unreasonable to suggest that the frequency of occurrence of αυτω after verbs of speaking (as, e.g., in 4:6, 7, 9, 10) could have prompted the transposition in a minority of manuscripts. Also important is the theoretical observation laid out by Griesbach that the consensus reflects the original, the Western reading came second, and the Alexandrian reading came third and is dependent on the earlier Western corruption.

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