Friday, June 27, 2014

Matt 7:15 δε

Very few witnesses (ℵ B Ω 565. 1424 pc), followed by Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, and Tischendorf (8th), omit δε after προσεχετε, while all others predating the 10th century retain it (including C E G K L M O S U V W X Δ Θ Π Σ Φ 047 0211 0281 Byz f1.13.35 33. 892. 1500. 2224*), which Soden, Tischendorf (7th), and Vogels support. Weiss (159) comments that "omission of δε through scribal error is of course very frequent . . . especially after προσεχετε, as in ℵ D in Luke 21:34, D in Matt 10:17 and 16:11, B D Δ Byz in Matt 6:1, and ℵ B in Matt 7:15, where only Tregelles in brackets retains it." Bloomfield (GNT, 1:53; Annotations, 6), in addition to mentioning that the conjunction was "lost by the carelessness of scribes, who often omit δε," later judges that it was "more probably removed by critics unable to follow up the thread of the connexion . . . , and who, observing its absence from the lectionaries, where from a lectio commencing with this verse the particle could not be used, accordingly expunged it." In addition to mere accident (-ΤΕ followed by ΔΕ) and possible lectionary influence, the omission could also have been facilitated by an early versional diglot that omitted the word, as almost certainly occurs with the omission of the same word after προσεχετε in Matt 10:17 (by D it sy-s sa-mss mae). Although far less likely, it is possible that some manuscripts omit the conjunction by assimilation to Matt 6:1, where δε is missing after προσεχετε in 3 of the 5 pre-10th-century manuscripts that omit it here (i.e., B Ω 565). For literature on the prevalence of omission (especially of smaller words/particles) over addition in the early period, see the note on Matt 1:22 του. See also the note on Matt 6:1 προσεχετε, where reasons are adduced why the δε in that case may not be primary.

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