Monday, January 19, 2015

Matt 7:28 συνετελεσεν

The simple ἐτέλεσεν (ℵ B C W Zvid Γ Σ f1.13 33. 565. 892. 1424. 1500) is received by Bover, Lachmann, Merk, Tischendorf (7th, 8th), and Vogels, but most Greek witnesses have the compound συνετέλεσεν (E K L M S U V X Δ Θ Π Ω 047 0211 f35 Byz 2224), which Greeven and Soden prefer, probably rightly, for two reasons:
     1. Assimilation. While it is true that συντελέω occurs nowhere else in Matthew, Griesbach (1:83) submits to a basic canon of textual criticism: "In some manuscripts and Fathers ἐτέλεσεν crept into the place of συνετέλεσεν from similar passages. For wherever else this phrase occurs, ἐτέλεσεν is had consistently. Cf. Matt 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1. We do therefore retain the terminology less used."
     2. Transcriptional error. Another but less likely explanation is found in Meyer (161): "But how easily might the syllable συν drop out between ΟΤΕ ΕΤΕ!"
     Origen's quotation of Matt 7:28 as ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς λόγους in his comment on Matt 19:1 (Comm. Matt. 14.14) demonstrates how naturally the other instances of the phrase were known and compared, increasing the scribal temptation to assimilate the one deviating term (i.e. συνετέλεσεν) to the one used everywhere else (i.e. ἐτέλεσεν).
     Finally, if συνετέλεσεν is original, it may reflect another of Matthew's intentional references to the wording of Deuteronomy (e.g., Deut 31:1, 24; 32:45), similar to Jesus' going up the mountain (Matt 5:1; cf. Exod 19:3; 34:4) and coming down the mountain (Matt 8:1; cf. Exod 19:14; 34:29).

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