Saturday, January 10, 2015

Matt 7:24 την οικιαν αυτου

A small but diverse contingent of manuscripts (ℵ B C W Z Θ Σ f1 33. 892 al), along with Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf (7th, 8th), and Vogels, supports the word order αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν instead of the more common τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ, as appears in most manuscripts (including E G K L M S U V X Δ Π Φ Ω 047. 0211 f13.35 Byz 565. 1424. 1500. 2224).
     Alford (1:75) plausibly reasons that the majority reading reflects "a transposition to more usual order," while Bloomfield (Annotations, 7), after conceding the possibility of Alford's explanation, counters, "but so may the other have been a transposition to a more classical order, such as may be found in very many other passages, . . . and in all of them, with the present, the transp[ositio]n was more likely to attach to a few than to many copies."
     Admittedly, the present textual variation involves merely a word order trifle that does no harm to the sense. Nevertheless, it is notable that no reasoned eclectic editor (to my knowledge) supports or even indicates the critical observation that the order with the preposed personal pronoun (i.e. αὐτοῦ τὴν οἰκίαν) in both 7:24 and 7:26 might reflect assimilation to the identically less common and unasailable word order of the expression μου τοὺς λόγους that occurs earlier in both verses.
     A brief investigation indicates that of the roughly 420 times where the genitive of ἐγώ (70x), σύ (120x), or αὐτός (230x) modifies a noun or noun phrase in Matthew, only 20 times (5%) does the pronoun precede the modified word(s) without much doubt:
2:2 αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα
5:39 σου σιαγόνα
6:4 σου ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη
6:17 σου τὴν κεφαλήν
7:24 μου τοὺς λόγους
7:26 μου τοὺς λόγους
8:3 αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα
8:8 μου ὑπὸ τὴν στέγην
9:5 σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι
9:6 σου τὴν κλίνην
9:30 αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί
13:25 αὐτοῦ ὁ ἐχθρός
15:28 σου ἡ πίστις
16:18 μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν
17:15 μου τὸν υἱόν
22:13 αὐτοῦ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας
23:8 ὑμῶν ὁ καθηγητής/διδάσκαλος
26:43 αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί
26:51 αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτίον
28:9 αὐτοῦ τοὺς πόδας
Only very rarely is the order in the above passages altered to the "more usual order" in any significant witnesses:
5:39 σιαγόνα σου - B D
6:4 ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη σου - D
9.30 οι οφθαλμοι αυτων - D it vg
13.25 ο εχθρος αυτου - pc it vg etc.
16:18 τὴν ἐκκλησίαν μου - D it vg
28.9 τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ - D it vg
Moreover, not including the present case of 7:24, 26, and also 9:2 (which involves a possible omission and assimilation to 9:5), only 6 passages are in dispute. Four involve a change in one direction:
12:13 σου τὴν χεῖρα - ℵ* B L f1 33 pc
23:9 ὑμῶν ὁ πατήρ - ℵ B 0102 33. 892 pc
23.30 αὐτῶν κοινωνοί - B D f1.13 700 pc
27:49 αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευράν - ℵ B C L Γ pc (but Origen: τὴν πλευρὰν αὐτοῦ)
But two involve a change in the opposite direction:
20:33 οἱ ὀφθαλμοί ἡμῶν - ℵ B D L Z 0281vid 33. 892 pc; Or
26:52 τὴν μάχαιράν σου - ℵ B D L 0281vid f1.13 892 1424 pc
In the two places just mentioned, Alford inconsistently rejects the less common word order predominating in the textual tradition (i.e. ἡμῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί in 20:33 and σου τὴν μάχαιραν in 26:52), demonstrating the lack of or at least inconsistent value that may be attached to his explanation for rejecting the consensus reading in 7:24, 26.
     Furthermore, in other places in Matthew the pronoun is found to be preposed in certain witnesses, especially Alexandrian ones, in opposition to the very rule that forms the foundation of internal evidence for rejecting the less common word order in 7:24, 26. In fact, from the following alterations a case might be made that scribes were just as likely to alter the word order in one direction as they were the other:
4.24 αὐτοῦ ἡ ἀκοή - D
18.31 αὐτοῦ οἱ σύνδουλοι - B
20.13 αὐτῶν ἑνί - B
20.34 αὐτῶν τῶν ὀμμάτων - B
22.6 αὐτοῦ τοὺς δούλους - Origen
24.47 αὐτοῦ τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν - K Π
27.29 αὐτοῦ τῇ κεφαλῇ - 33
     For all of the above observations the likeliest explanation for the preposed personal pronoun in a minority of witnesses in both 7:24 and 7:26 remains assimilation to the same word order that occurs just words before both occurrences, i.e. μου τοὺς λόγους. If so, the consensus reading in both passages actually reflects the one less harmonized to the immediate context and therefore the most likely to be original. For why would so many witnesses reflect conscious alteration of the "uncommon" word order of the second expression in both places while leaving the same "uncommon" word order just words before in both places completely untouched? For a similar transpositional variant, see Matt 5:20 η δικαιοσυνη υμων.

1 comment:

  1. Do you have any commentary on: Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14; Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46; Luke 17:36, 23:17; John 5:4; Acts 8:37?