Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Matt 5:42 δανεισασθαι

The insignificant spelling variation δανισασθαι occurs in a some witnesses (including ℵ B D W Δ Σ 33 892 1241 al), and the same spelling occurs in a few largely related witnesses in Luke 6:34, 35 (ℵ B W Ξ 047 157 579 892). Interestingly, the scribe of Vaticanus (B/02) originally wrote -ει- before correcting himself, perhaps indicating the presence of δανεισασθαι in his exemplar. The philologist Lachmann preferred the majority spelling both here and in Luke.

Matt 5:42 διδου

A few early witnesses (ℵ B D W f13 892 pc; Cl) have the aorist imperative δος instead of the present imperative διδου of most witnesses (including E G K L M S U V Δ Θ Π Σ f1 33 1006 1342 1506). While some, as Meyer (111), argue that most manuscripts were corrupted from the parallel of Luke 6:30, which has διδου, such a judgment unjustly discounts other internal considerations, such as: (1) the manuscripts that have δος are largely related, lessening the impact of their testimony; (2) Matthew uses διδωμι with an imperfective kind of action elsewhere (7:11; 13:8; 24:45); (3) the aorist δος may reflect assimilation to the tense of the nearby aorist imperatives στρεψον (5:39) and αφες (5:40); (4) in the NT δος (15 times) is used far more than διδου (2 times), making the latter more likely to be altered into the former than vice versa; and (5) the presence of δος in the famous nearby passage of the Lord's model prayer (6:11) may have influenced some to use it here. For these reasons it would seem imprudent to reject the reading διδου that appears in most witnesses.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Matt 5:39 την δεξιαν σιαγονα

The Greek manuscript tradition is significantly divided between two readings:

(1) την δεξιαν σιαγονα (ℵ W Σ f1 33 892 1241 pm a f [h])
(2) την δεξιαν σου σιαγονα (E G K L M S U V Δ Π Θ f13 565 579 700 1424 pm c g1)

Reading one (1) is printed in the text of Robinson-Pierpont (2005) and Wilbur Pickering; reading two (2) is printed in Hodges-Farstad (1985), the bracketed text of Robinson-Pierpont (1991), and the margin of Robinson-Pierpont (2005). A third reading (3), την δεξιαν σιαγονα σου, preferred by the editors of NA27/UBS4, is only minimally supported (B; Eus), and may reflect a scribal attempt to place the possessive pronoun in its default position. A fourth reading (4), την σιαγονα σου (without δεξιαν), no doubt reflects versional and patristic influence (D k sy-s.c). Transcriptional considerations between readings one (1) and (2) are divided. On the one hand, as Rinck (250) notes, "It appears that σου arose from the following syllable σιαγ. being read twice and therefore it should be rejected. For it is absent from eastern witnesses (and 1. 33), and in western witnesses traces survive where it was either written above the line or in the margin. For a reason later emerged that δεξιαν should be omitted in some Latin documents and that the σου should be transposed to follow σιαγονα.” Maurice Robinson (in private correspondence) also notes that σου could have arisen due to its presence in Matt 5:30, yet likeness of construction could also indicate likeness of authorship, i.e., Matthew for both (cf. η δεξια σου χειρ in 5:30 with την δεξιαν σου σιαγονα in 5:39). Arguing for reading two (2), Bengel (Apparatus, 99) states that σου "easily disappeared before σιαγονα, since it was left out by Luke [6:29]," or "because it could be left out due to the preceding σε" (so Wettstein, 1:309), or, as Griesbach (1:55–6) adds, "especially because the sense remains unharmed without it." Assuming, then, the priority of reading two (2) over readings three (3) and four (4), Griesbach continues, "But those who transposed σου to follow σιαγονα either wished to avoid cacophony or [simply] did it carelessly.” As scribes tended to omit words, especially short ones,  Robinson fairly admits the possibility of the σου dropping out by homoeoarchton error (a scribe skipping from the first letter of σου to the first letter of σιαγονα). Matthäi (76–7), perhaps rightly, argues that the omission of δεξιαν in reading four (4) is related to a perceived difficulty in the phrase and quotes Origen's observation of the improbability of the right cheek being struck first, since most people, being right-handed and thus swinging with their right hand, would not strike the right cheek first but rather the left. And so the omission of δεξιαν removed the apparent difficulty. In the end, either reading one (1), την δεξιαν σιαγονα, or reading two (2), την δεξιαν σου σιαγονα, is to be preferred.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Matt 5:39 ραπισει επι

Some witnesses (ℵ* B W Σ pc) have the more vivid present tense with a different preposition (ραπιζει εις) instead of the future ραπισει with επι as in most witnesses (including D L Θ f1.13 892 1006 1506 mae1 bo). The variations ραπισει/ραπιζει and επι/εις could have arisen through attempted repair of a common transcriptional error, namely, the scribe skipping the six letters after "ραπι" due to the identical letters that make up the end of επι. Meyer's suggestion (110) that the future ραπισει is a conformation to 5:41 is unlikely, since it is at least equally possible that a scribe merely wanted to enliven the expression, conform the tense to previous usage (5:29, 30, 32, 36), or both. Furthermore, the preposition εις would have garnered sympathy over επι due to the following accusative case, when the genitive case following ραπιζω + επι was rather to be expected as in classical usage (cf. Bloomfield, GNT, 1:37). Not unsurprisingly, a few manuscripts (ℵ* D W Θ 700 892 2542 pc) also read εις instead of επι in the parallel passage of Luke 6:29. There is altogether little reason to abandon the reading of most witnesses which likely reflects intentional authorial conformity within the paragraph, namely, οστις σε ραπισει . . . οστις σε αγγαρευσει . . . . Cf. also the notes on Matt 4:5 ιστησιν and Matt 4:9 λεγει.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Matt 5:36 μιαν τριχα λευκην η μελαιναν ποιησαι

The word order found in most manuscripts (including E K M S U V Δ Π Σ 1006 1506 sy-p.h) contributed to the many existing variations of this phrase, either through (1) scribal desire to bring the complementary infinitive closer to the verb, (2) editorial attempt to polish the expression, (3) imperfect correction of an initial homoeoteleuton error from δυνασαι to ποιησαι, which resulted in a text without μιαν τριχα λευκην η μελαιναν ποιησαι, (4) attempted repair of a conjecture, or (5) a combination of these factors. As this pericope is unique to Matthew, there was no standard to which scribes could turn for help, and consequently the following variations appear:

(1) μιαν τριχα λευκην ποιησαι η μελαιναν (ℵ B W Θ 33 892 1342 pc lat) [ℵ*: τριχαν]
(2) μιαν τριχα λευκην ποιησαι μελαιναν (L pc; Chr) [L: τριχαν]
(3) μιαν τριχα ποιησαι λευκην η μελαιναν (0250 f13 700 h)
(4) ποιησαι τριχα μιαν λευκην η μελαιναν (D f1 205 k; Cl Cyp GrN Aug) [D*: ποιειν; f1 205: μιαν τριχαν]

Fritzsche (240–41) thinks reading #2 arose from someone trying to remove a perceived absurdity, namely, that no one would ever even want to make or produce a white hair, which is a sign of age, and so the expression "you cannot make a white hair black" arose. Incidentally, Kühnöl (159) mentions an expositor (Wakefield) who actually conjectures this reading, but with a different word order (μιαν τριχα λευκην μελαιναν ποιησαι). Still the reading (or conjecture) is old as confirmed by Codex L/019 and Chrysostom, but, not surprisingly, it also created another difficulty, namely, that people can make a white hair black through dye. Thus Bloomfield (GNT, 1:36) considers reading #1 "a vain alteration proceeding from the polishing school of Critics . . . for the sake of removing a difficulty," and indeed the reading is a more classical construction, making it, all things being equal, less likely to be original.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Matt 5:32 μοιχασθαι

Due to the widespread understanding, regardless whether correct or not, that the verb μοιχαομαι was to be used for a man and μοιχευομαι (passive voice) for a woman, it is not surprising that some scribes, influenced by patristic comments or a desire for atticistic purity, altered μοιχασθαι into μοιχευθηναι (as reflected in ℵ B D W Θ f1.13 22. 33. 157. 660. 892; Cl Or Chr Theoph). The original μοιχασθαι is nevertheless preserved in most manuscripts (including E K L M S U V Δ Π Σ Ω [Byz ca. 1450 mss] 565. 579. 700. 1006. 1241. 1342. 1424. 1506; Bas). Wettstein (1:303) explains the alteration first by pointing to Theodoret and other passages where the passive verb is used for an adulteress and then by citing Thomas Magister, who cites the critical canon that "the man μοιχαται, but the woman μοιχευεται" (μοιχαται ο ανηρ, μοιχευεται δε η γυνη). "But," reasons Tischendorf (8th ed., 1:21), "this is not such a distinction that we think the evangelist neglected more than copyists, to whom μοιχασθαι, which without doubt was used in the same sense, could have seemed more suitable to be put down in conformation with μοιχαται (both here and in 19:9)." Yet, as Bloomfield (GNT, 1:36–7) states, if Mark could have neglected the distinction (cf. Mark 10:12), why not Matthew? Griesbach (1:54) provides a good summary: "μοιχασθαι is to be preferred over μοιχευθηναι. The latter was substituted in place of the former to satisfy the precepts of the grammarians, who wish to use μοιχευειν and μοιχασθαι with regard to husbands, but μοιχευεσθαι with regard to wives, and to clarify that the verb in this place should be taken in the passive sense. Hence also in 19:9 some [i.e. B C* N f1 ff1 bo] wrote ποιει αυτην μοιχευθηναι instead of μοιχαται, and already Clement of Alexandria in that very place by reason of explanation added the following to the words μοιχαται αυτην: τουτ εστιν, αναγκαζει μοιχευθηναι ["that is, he causes her to commit adultery"]. Therefore it is not at all remarkable that Origen also exhibits μοιχευθηναι in our passage.” Similarly, Meyer (303) calls μοιχευθηναι a "gloss (to be seduced to adultery) to distinguish it from μοιχαται, which follows." Hence the consensus reading should be retained.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Matt 5:32 ος αν απολυση

Influenced by the beginning of the identical formulation of words in 5:22, 28 (i.e., εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο . . .), the expression ος αν απολυση not surprisingly was altered into the more emphatic πας ο απολυων as reflected in many manuscripts (ℵ B K L M W Θ Δ Π Σ f1.13 33 157 565 700 892 1241 al c f ff1 g2 l m vg sy-p; Or-pt). The original ος αν απολυση is found in most Greek witnesses (including D E G S U V [0250] 346 579 1006 [0250: οστις αν απολυση]), the oldest and more significant Old Latins (a/3, 4th cent.; b/4, 5th cent.; h/12, 5th cent.; k/1, 400), the Old Syriac (sy-s, 400; sy-c, 5th cent.), the Bohairic, and is corroborated by a citation of Origen in the third century. The harmonization of most witnesses here to Matt 19:9, as Michael Holmes suggests ("The Text of the Matthean Divorce Passages: A Comment on the Appeal to Harmonization in Textual Decisions," Journal of Biblical Literature 109:4 [1990]: 651–64 [specifically, 659]), seems less likely than the reasons adduced below on the ground of its further distance from the present passage and that the many other discrepancies between the two passages appear completely untouched (i.e., accidental harmonization of just these words to a more remote passage than those adduced below seems less likely, while intentional harmonization of just these words is hard to imagine).
     On the origin of the minority reading, Wettstein (1:303), Kühnöl (153), and Bloomfield (GNT, 1:36) call it a harmonization from Luke 16:18, while Griesbach (1:53–4), Fritzsche (236), and Meyer (110) mention (in addition) assimilation to 5:22, 28 as the cause. No doubt the latter of these explanations is most likely. Griesbach rightly notes that the majority reading is "not free from the appearance" that it "was repeated from the preceding sentence," but it nevertheless should be preferred, since it seems that "Matthew deliberately used the same words that he had used in the preceding verse. Πας ο απολυων, which could have been more pleasing to some as it is more emphatic, was imported to this place from 5:22 and 5:28 or from Luke 16:18.” Fritzsche simply says that πας ο απολυων "smells like a gloss, for which verses 22 and 28 gave opportunity." Therefore, although the result of internal considerations is somewhat conflicting, it seems best in this case to follow those many manuscripts that have preserved the better text on a more habitual basis, and thus ος αν απολυση is preferable.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Matt 5:31 οτι

The conjunction οτι following ερρεθη δε came to be missing in a number of witnesses (ℵ B D L f1.13 33 565 700 892 1241 1424 pc lat; Chr) for any of several reasons: (1) scribal error; (2) superfluousness; (3) assimilation to the repeated nearby expression where no οτι follows ερρεθη (5:21, 27, 33, 38, 43). Griesbach (1:53) suggests transcriptional error and, rather significantly, appeals to the number of manuscripts in such cases: "Although the select manuscripts B C D 1. 33 with a few others and Chrysostom omit οτι, I rather prefer to retain it, since, with ος following, it most easily could have escaped the notice of the eyes of one or another scribe. In judging omissions of this kind, where that in broad daylight could have caused scribes to err, we think that some degree of weight ought to be assigned to the number of manuscripts." Bloomfield (GNT, 1:36) remarks that critics "cancelled the word as pleonastic and unnecessary," that "internal evidence is in favour of the word, from the greater probability of its being removed than inserted," and that in such cases "ancient Versions and Fathers are of little weight." Thus the presence of οτι, contained in most manuscripts (including E G K M S U V W Δ Θ Π Σ) and corroborated by reasonable internal evidence, is preferable to the omission. Cf. also the note on Matt 6:5 οτι.

Note: Bloomfield lists a number of passages, such as the following, where οτι is absent in particularly influential witnesses: Matt 9:18 (ℵ D f1.13 33 892 pc lat); 20:12 (ℵ B D 085 f1 1424 pc lat sy-s.c.p); 21:16 (ℵ D 983 1506 pc it vg-mss); 23:36 (P77 ℵ B D L Θ f1.13 205 579 700 892* pc); 26:29 (P45 ℵ B D Z Θ f1.13 33 205 892* al); Mark 1:27 (ℵ B L 33 f1 205 565*), 40 (D lat sy-p); 2:16 (ℵ B Cvid D L W Θ 33 1342 1424 2542 pc latt sa bo); 5:23 (D f13 a c e sy-p); 6:16 (ℵ B D L Θ f1 33 205 565 700 892 1342 pc latt sy-s.p), 18 (D 892 pc lat); 7:6 (ℵ B L Δ Θ 33 579 1342 pc sy-s.p); 8:24 (D W Θ f1.13 205 565 700 1424 2542 al latt co); 12:6 (L W Δ 1 33 788 892* al it), 29 (D W Θ f1 205 565 700 788 2542 al it sy-s); Luke 7:22 (ℵ B L W Θ Ξ Ψ f1.13 205 579 700 892 1342 1424 2542 pc it bo); 19:46 (ℵ B L Θ f1.13 892 2542 pc c l co); John 4:42 (B Ws pc b f r1 sy-c; Ir-lat); 7:31 (ℵ B D L T U X Δ f1 33 lat sy-c.p); 8:33 (f1 al b c ff2 l vg); 9:23 (D L a c e l); 13:33 (P66 ℵ* D W 579 1241 pc lat); 18:6 (ℵ A B D L N W Θ Ψ 0250 f1 33 565 al latt), etc.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Matt 5:30 βληθη εις γεενναν

Some manuscripts (ℵ B f1 33 205 892 pc [lat] sy-c [mae1] bo) alter the word order and the verb to read εις γεενναν απελθη against the reading of most manuscripts (including E G K [L] M S U V W Γ Δ Θ Π Σ 0233 f13 f vg-ms sy-p.h sa [L: βληθησει εις την γεεναν]). Matthäi (72–3), commenting on 5:29, blames the the widespread influence of Origen for the alteration of βληθη into απελθη, which is represented there in D/05, the Old Latin (a b c d g1 h), the Old Syriac (sy-s.c), and the Bohairic (bo). These same versions also in 5:30 form the major support for απελθη, which is in only two Greek manuscripts from before the ninth century (ℵ B). From this situation it is at least possible, as many early Western and Alexandrian manuscripts were bilingual, that the alteration toward απελθη in Greek in both 5:29 and in 5:30 occurred due to versional cross-contamination. Also in this connection is Codex Bobiensis (k/1), an early and influential Old Latin manuscript with strong and sometimes unique affinities with ℵ B, which has no verb at all for rendering βληθη/απελθη in either verse, a circumstance that could have prompted the introduction of a verb other than the original in any descending copies and then in those that depended on them. Alternatively, Wettstein (1:302), Griesbach (1:52–3), Fritzsche (235), Kühnöl (152), and Bloomfield (GNT, 35) all consider απελθη to be an alteration derived from Mark 9:43, where that word fits well to the context but is "less suitable" (so Griesbach) and "thoroughly inept" (so Fritzsche) at this place in Matthew, perhaps due to the subject (το σωμα). Fritzsche also suggests a solution involving error of the eye (or one should say more likely of the ear while a scribe copied by dictation), namely, that the last syllable of γεενναν before βληθη caused confusion and resulted in αβληθη, which was immediately altered by conjecture to απελθη. This solution requires the earlier transposition of words, perhaps from 3:10 or 7:19. Another passage that could have suggested απελθη is 25:46. Yet Whitney (1:66) reasons that απελθη was "originally an endeavor to avoid the harsher word βληθη," and rightly cautions that internally the dissimilarity of βληθη in 5:29 and απελθη in 5:30 should carry no weight in the decision, since Jesus' "discourses, parables, and conversations generally are distinguished for the sameness of the phraseology in which identical thoughts are expressed," noting elsewhere (1:150) Jesus' fondness for lack of variety of expression, one example being ηκουσατε οτι ερρεθη (5:21, 27, 33, 38, 43). In the end, versional influence or harmonization to Mark 9:43 seem the most likely explanations for prompting the editorial alteration.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Matt 5:25 σε παραδω

In most manuscripts the words σε παραδω occur twice, but the second occurrence (after κριτης) is missing in a few manuscripts (p64vid ℵ B 0275 f1.13 205 892 pc k). Mill (12) notes that the expression was omitted because it was superfluous, and Meyer (110) that it was passed over as unnecessary "because its emphasis was mistaken." Whitney (1:66) likewise reasons that the words "appear to have been omitted with a view to freeing the sentence from a seemingly unnecessary repetition." Metzger (13) calls on the pre-Caesarean witnesses (f1.13), the Old Latin k, and the Latin translation of Irenaeus to try to argue against "the absence of the words as due to literary refinement." Yet f1.13 are merely secondary witnesses, the translator of k was certainly not immune to such motivations to omit text, and the support of Irenaeus is imaginary for reasons mentioned below. The following is the pertinent Latin text of Irenaeus (Adversus haereses 1.25.4) accompanied by my own retroversion into Greek:

cum es cum adversario tuo in via, da operam ut libereris ab eo,
ως ει μετα του αντιδικου σου εν τη οδω, δος εργασιαν απηλλαχθαι απ αυτου,

ne forte te det iudici et iudex ministro et mittat te in carcerem.
μηποτε σε δω προς τον κριτην, και ο κριτης τω υπηρετη και βαλει σε εις φυλακην.

Of the 26 Latin words and 30 Greek words, only one may be said to belong to Matthew alone, viz. ministro (= υπηρετη), but even this word is within the semantic domain of Luke's πρακτωρ and could have merely been introduced by the interpreter who was remembering Matthew. The entire first line is only from Luke, and in the second line the subject of det is omitted as in Luke, and et mittat te in carcerem is also from Luke. Thus the entire citation probably proceeds from Luke. Besides, while indeed fathers may be used to show the presence of text, they can rarely be used to prove the omission of text for the simple reason that they often omitted text themselves, often for the same reason as the few manuscripts in question here. A perfect example is Clement, who in Stromata 4.95 has γεγραπται γαρ μη ποτε παραδω σε τω κριτη ο κριτης δε τω υπηρετη της αρχης του διαβολου. Now if Clement omitted the subject ο αντιδικος because it was superfluous, how can any honest critic be certain that he did not also do the same with the second σε παραδω for the same reason? And so the seemingly superfluous expression is supported not only by the overwhelming preponderance of Greek witnesses (including D E K L M S U V W Γ Δ Θ Π Σ 33), but also by all the other Old Latin witnesses including Vercellensis (a/3)––contemporary with ℵ B––and four others of the fifth century (b/4 d/5 ff2/8 h/12), the Old Syriac, Peshitta, and all of the Coptic versions.

Matt 5:25 εν τη οδω μετ αυτου

Although the phrase is transposed to read μετ αυτου εν τη οδω in a number of witnesses (ℵ B D L W 0275 f1.13 33 205 892 pc it sy-s.c.p sa-mss bo-pt; Did), the word order of most witnesses (including E K M S U V Γ Δ Θ Π Σ 0233 f ff1 g2 k vg sy-h sa-mss mae1) is corroborated by  Clement of Alexandria in the third century (Stromata 4.95). Bloomfield (Annotations, 5) calls the transposition an apparent "correction of position such as was likely enough to occur to Alexandrian critics." The transposition in the versions may be due to idiomatic usage, and once entrenched in enough Old Latin, Old Syriac, and even Coptic manuscripts, the regard for those better-understood languages in bilingual manuscripts of the earliest centuries would naturally have led to alterations in some of their Greek counterparts and then in their descendents in turn. Hence the endurance of this transposition, which easily could have occurred independently in Greek copies regardless, would have been strengthened. Still the preponderance of the consensus reading, now extant in nearly 1600 Greek manuscripts and supported by the diversity of major representatives from every text-type, could hardly be diminished. Moreover, were the transposition as reflected in the few Greek manuscripts original, there is no good reason why nearly all the Greek copies would have militated against it.

For Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 4.95, cf. Wilhelm Dindorf, Clementis Alexandrini opera (4 vols.; Oxonii: Clarendoniano, 1869) 2:371.

Note: Carpocrates of the second century (as cited by Epiphanius, Panarion 27.5.3 [Karl Holl, Epiphanius {2 vols.; Die griechische christliche Schriftsteller der ersten drei Jahrhunderte 25, 31; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1915, 1922} 1:306]) indeed has "ισθι ευνοων τω αντιδικω σου εν ω ει εν τη οδω μετ αυτου," yet after this he has elements that are more Lukan, such as "και δος εργασιαν απηλλαχθαι απ αυτου" and "και ο υπηρετης βαλη σε εις φυλακην." Nevertheless, the precision of the former definitely aligns with the corresponding Byzantine form of Matt 5:25.