Saturday, December 31, 2011

Matt 5:48 εν τοις ουρανοις

Although Matthew could have written and elsewhere did write either, it seems that some witnesses reflect a conformation to the exact expression that appears in 6:14, 26, 32, and thus the longer εν τοις ουρανοις of most manuscripts (including [D*] E2 K M S Δ Θ Π Ω 35 118 565 579 700 1006 it; Tert Cl Cl-hom) yielded to the more concise ουρανιος in some (ℵ B Dc [E*] L U W Z Σ f1.13 28 33 892 1241 al a f ff1 l vg). Griesbach (1:59) demurs, arguing that the longer expression "was easily transferred to this place either from 5:45 or from the [verse] immediately following." A possible objection to Griesbach is that the expressions in those locations are different: του πατρος υμων του εν [τοις] ουρανοις (5:45) is in the genitive case and τω πατρι υμων τω εν τοις ουρανοις (6:1) is in the dative, with the result that about half of the words of either actually differ from the consensus reading of 5:48. If conformation occurred, it might rather have happened in the opposite direction, namely, toward the exact wording that appears repeatedly in chapter 6: ο πατηρ υμων ο ουρανιος (6:14, 26, 32). Such also could have motivated the addition of ο ουρανιος after ο πατηρ υμων in 6:8 (28 892c 1424) and 6:15 (M 35). Furthermore, it seems intuitive that the more colloquial "your heavenly Father" might be preferred by scribes over the wordier "your father who is in heaven," and perhaps for this reason Fritzsche (253) says that ο ουρανιος "smells of being a gloss." The same alteration of εν τοις ουρανοις into ουρανιος occurs in Matt 7:11 (M [1424]), 16:17 (f13 565 579), and 23:9 (ℵ B L 0107 f13 33 892 pc). It is also natural that in 18:35 a number of witnesses (ℵ B C2 D K L 33 565 579 892 1241 1424 al) should reflect a preference for the more common ουρανιος over the less common επουρανιος, as also happens twice in 1 Cor 15:48 (in D* F G).

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