Thursday, February 6, 2014

Matt 6:34 τα

A good number of manuscripts (and most modern editors of the Greek NT) omit the article τα before εαυτης (ℵ B G L S W Ω 0211 [Byz ca. 150 mss] 892. 2224* co), either by accident or, more likely, because it seemed either superfluous or even slightly obnoxious to the meaning. Most manuscripts, however, retain the article (including E K M N U Δ Π Σ Φ 0233 [Byz ca. 1350 mss] f1.13 33. 1424. 2224c sy-h).
     Mill (Prolegomena, § 1192) rejects the article with the simple words, "τα εαυτης is more elegant, not more genuine," while Griesbach (Commentarius, 1:75–6) is the best exponent for omitting the article: "Instead of τα εαυτης old and good manuscripts have εαυτης, and it seems that this reading should be preferred, inasmuch as it is harder, less usual, and so situated that the origin of all the others may easily be derived from it. Certainly, by reason of clarification, εαυτης was altered into εαυτη (17. 485; cf. 6:25), into περι εαυτης ([Δ]; Chrysostom; cf. 6:28 and Luke 12:26), into εαυτην (700; cf. Phil 4:6), and into τα εαυτης (cf. 1 Cor 7:32, 33, 34). If τα εαυτης, which should not have appeared obscure or ambiguous to anyone, had been written originally, scarcely should anyone have thought about altering the text."
     Griesbach's analysis provokes two considerations. First, it overlooks the tendency of scribes to omit material, both short words for no apparent reason and also longer stretches of text either by haplography or for no apparent reason (accidental "leaps" forward). Cf. the literature cited in the note on Matt 1:22 του. Second, Griesbach's analysis overlooks the fact that some people (e.g., Erasmus, below) do in fact see no difference between the expression with or without the article. That is, if both τα εαυτης and just εαυτης were thought to mean simply "itself" (so Erasmus, 2:36), then the article τα may have been thought unnecessary and for this reason omitted by some. Bloomfield (1:50–51), while conceding that internal evidence is against the presence of τα, since "an expression is not to be brought in which is quite contrary to propriety of language," he nevertheless judges that the τα could have been omitted by hesitant critics who balked at the idea of a "complete action being ascribed to a thing, as discharging the business and consulting for cares of the day." In other words, the proverb sounded better and less odd in the form of "Tomorrow will take care of itself" rather than "Tomorrow will take care of its own things/possessions." Thus most of the various readings mentioned by Griesbach (to which may be added το εαυτης [Θ 565] and αυτης [B L]) may be seen as alterations away from the idea of the day possessing things to worry about or take care of and toward the proverbial day taking care of itself.
     That the proverb existed very early without the article is demonstrated, e.g., by the apocryphal 3d-century Acta Thomae 28 (Maximilian Bonnet, Acta apostolorum apocrypha, [2 vols. in 4 parts; Lipsiae: Hermannum Mendelssohn, 1891–1903] 2.2:144). It also seems that the proverb circulated without the entire clause in question, i.e., as μη (ουν) μεριμνατε (-νησητε) περι της αυριον· αρκετον γαρ τη ημερα η κακια αυτης  (cf. Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus 1.5 [PG 8:269B]; Chrysostom, Homliae in Matthaeum 22 [PG 57:303]). Because Matt 6:34 is without parallel in the Synoptics, if the entire clause happened to go missing in an early exemplar (either by intentional pruning, by accident, or by following some fathers), later attempts to restore the clause (from other Greek manuscripts, versions, or, more precarious still, other fathers) could have contributed to some of the confusion observed in the manuscript tradition.

No comments:

Post a Comment