Sunday, January 4, 2015

Matt 7:24 ομοιωσω αυτον

The reading ὁμοιωθήσεται is contained in some witnesses (ℵ B Z Θ Φ 0281 f1.13 33. 892 al ff1 l vg sy-p sa mae; Or Did) and preferred by Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf (8th), and Vogels, but ὁμοιώσω αὐτόν is well represented (C E G K L M S U V W X Δ Π Σ Ω 047. 0211 Byz f35 565. 1424. 1500. 2224 h k q sy-c.h bo goth; Cyp), was preferred by Tischendorf (7th), and has internal criteria strongly in its favor.
     Metzger (TCGNT [2d ed.], 17) reasons that "the passive verb . . . is more likely to have been altered to the active form . . . than vice versa, especially if the copyist recalled the Lukan form of the saying," but this internal argument is unconvincing for several reasons:
     First, the expression in Luke 6:47 (ὑποδείξω ὑμῖν τίνι ἐστὶν ὅμοιος· ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ . . .) is entirely different from the simple ὁμοιώσω αὐτον ἀνδρί seen here, both in the verb, the syntax, and the additional words used.
     Second, ὁμοιωθήσεται harmonizes precisely with the wording two verses later in 7:26, and for this reason was rejected by Mill (Prolegomena, §889), Bengel (Apparatus, 111), Wettstein (1:345), Alford (1:74), etc.
     Third, the nominative absolute construction of πᾶς οὖν ὅστις . . . , if the consensus reading is original, is less common and would have been more perturbing to a scribe than the same nominative clause acting as the subject of the passive verb, were the minority reading original, just as occurs without any disturbance in the Greek and Latin manuscripts in 7:26. Thus Fritzsche (299) comments, "The reading ὁμοιωθήσεται, as is written in v. 26, was without doubt advanced by those who either did not understand [linguistically] or had too little tolerance for the joining together of πᾶς ὅστις ἀκούει [with ὁμοιώσω αὐτόν]." Kühnöl (223) offers a similar comment: "πᾶς οὖν ὅστις, whoever therefore, in Hebrew אֲשֶׁר, in Greek ὃς ἄν, was placed in the absolute case [or construction] after the manner of the Hebrews, and accordingly ὁμοιωθήσεται should not, along with some, be repeated from v. 26 in place of ὁμοιώσω." Cf. also Meyer, 161.
     Fourth, Bloomfield (GNT, 1:55) mentions that Matthew's usage of ὁμοιώσω is confirmed in 11:16, that ὁμοιωθήσεται seems to be a conformation to 7:26 by a critic or else the gloss of a scholiast, and that, paraphrasing the note of bishop John Jebb, "the distinction here between ὁμοιώσω and ὁμοιωθήσ[εται] was studiously designed; for when the fruitful hearer is to be characterized, our Lord himself institutes the comparison: when the foolish and unprofitable hearer, it is otherwise managed; the comparison is then matter of common fame—he shall be likened to, as though he were unworthy of Christ's own personal attention."
     Fifth, Zahn (321) calls ὁμοιώσω αὐτόν "the more widespread reading and earlier verifiable [reading] among the Latins as well as the Syriac" and comments: "Whereas ὁμοιώσω in v. 26 is completely unattested in Greek and Latin biblical manuscripts, and in the same place is judged to be assimilation to v. 24 in the Coptic and a few Latin citations (Cyprian, Test. 3.96; Lucifer, De Athanasio 5: similem aestimabo), ὁμοιωθήσεται in v. 24  seems to be assimilation to v. 26 (ℵ B Z Φ f13 and a few minuscules, Sahidic, Armenian, Syraic-Palestinian & margin of -Harclean, the younger Latins a b c Vulgate), and ὁμοιώσω on the other hand original (C E G Δ Π Σ, Syriac-Curetonian, -Peshitta, & -Harclean, the oldest Latin k, Cyprian, Lucifer, Hilary, Coptic, Gothic)."
     Lastly, Cyprian's support for the consensus reading counters Origen, whose citation of 7:24 in De principiis 3.1.6 is itself guilty of harmonization to 7:26 in another respect:
Origen, De principiis 3.1.6: [7:24] ὁ ἀκούων μου τοὺς λόγους τούτους καὶ ποιῶν αὐτοὺς ὁμοιωθήσεται ἀνδρὶ φρονίμῳ, ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν . . . [7:26] δὲ ἀκούων καὶ μὴ ποιῶν ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνδρὶ μωρῷ, ὅστις ᾠκοδόμησεν . . . .
Here Origen himself harmonizes Matthew's wording of 7:24 (ὅστις ἀκούει . . . ποιεῖ) to that of 7:26 (ὁ ἀκούων . . . ποιῶν), and thus there is little reason to doubt that by the same method Origin, or the manuscripts on which he depended and other manuscripts since, could have come to read ὁμοιωθήσεται in Matt 7:24.

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