Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Matt 6:5 αν

After οπως a minority of witnesses omit the superfluous particle αν (ℵ Β D K L Z Π* Ω f1.13 33 1424 al; Or Chr), but most retain it (including E M S U W Δ Θ Π1 Σ Φ 28 565 700 1241). Griesbach (1:66) writes: "[The particle] αν either arose from the ΦΑΝωσι immediately following or was omitted on account of the word itself, whether by a scribe easily skipping over a particle introduced merely to take up space, it being useless, or through eagerness to avoid cacophony, or because in vs. 2 οπως and in vs. 16 the very same οπως φανωσι appear without αν. Therefore, arguments are not lacking with which αν may be defended." Von Soden (1:1424) similarly judges: "The omission of αν after οπως (cf. 6:2, 16) is secondary, since there is no conceivable reason for K [i.e., the Koine tradition] to have inserted αν only here."
      The construction οπως αν is relatively rare in the NT, being used only four times elsewhere (Luke 2:35; Acts 3:20; 15:17; Rom 3:4), two of which within LXX quotations. In Matt 6:16 only a few manuscripts (Δ pc) add αν after οπως (probably in conformation to 6:5), as similarly happens in 23:35 (ℵ2 C2 Mmg 33 pc). A number of the primary witnesses that omit αν here also omit it elsewhere in Matthew: 5:18 (B*); 5:26 (33 pc); 12:20 (L X pc); 12:50 (D pc); 24:34 (ℵ 1241 pc); 24:43 (D 33 pc). Furthermore, the particle αν is likely original in Matt 6:5 due to its being omitted by some for the following reasons: (1) accident, of which kind this especially characterizes the early period (cf. note on Matt 1:22 του), and aided by the possibility of initial homoeoteleuton error (αν . . . αν, producing οπως ανωσιν), which later was easily corrected by adding Φ in view of 6:2, 16; (2) it was thought superfluous; (3) conformation to 6:2, 16, where it is absent; (4) the rarity of the expression οπως αν (4x in the NT) yielded to the more general usage without αν (more than 50x in the NT); (5) the sound ΑΝΦΑΝ- was thought undesirable (cf. Griesbach above).

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