Friday, July 11, 2014

Codex Fuldensis and the mulieres taceant passage

Still in Vienna after a wonderful SBL conference, I started looking into some loose ends. One of those came up after Alesja Lavrinovica’s presentation on “First Corinthians 14:33b and Its Implications for the Text-Critical Problem of 14:34-35.” The importance of such research is obvious: the passage of Paul silencing the women is exegetically and text-critically problematic, and many have proposed that it is actually not by Paul.

Alesja looked (and still does so) into the paragraphing of the manuscripts and asked whether this aspect can shed any light on the textual problem. In the discussion almost inevitably the double dots in Codex Vaticanus were mentioned (more on those at another occasion), as well as the role of the so-called Codex Fuldensis.

Afterwards we wondered whether the latter manuscript had been digitized and put available online. A quick search turned up a 2006 posting by one of my ETC friends, but even the comments there do not really bring you further than a helpful reference to Ernst Ranke’s 1868 edition. Which is: Ernst Ranke (ed.), Codex Fuldensis. Novum Testamentum Latine interprete Hieronymo ex manuscripto Victoris Capuani edidit, prolegomenis introduxit, commentariis adornavit ... (Marburg etc.: Elwert, 1868). It is available as a Google Book, and can be most conveniently consulted at (with 1 Cor 14:33-36 here on p. 226).

It should be mentioned in passing that “Codex Fuldensis” ("Fulda book”) is just as myopic a term as “Codex Vaticanus”, for such designations only make sense within the narrow context of New Testament manuscript scholarship. Surely the Vatican Library has more books than just one, and so does the Hochschul- und Landesbibliothek Fulda (formerly Hessischen Landesbibliothek Fulda, but anyway abbreviated as HLF). A library shelf mark is needed, and that is “100 Bonifatianus 1” (also known as the “Victor-Codex”).

And that concludes the prelude to a happy result, as it turns out the HLF already put more than a hundred manuscripts online, among which the one we were looking for. A link to a DFG viewer can also be found there, but PDF aficionados will still be a bit disappointed. Important as well is Regina Hausmann’s description in Die Handschriften der Hessischen Landesbibliothek Fulda. The link provided on the HLF page brings you to a wrong page of vol. 1 (Die theologischen Handschriften der Hessischen Landesbibliothek Fulda bis zum Jahr 1600); the correct pages are 3-7. In practice the description is essential if you want to find your way around in the 1015 available images of the manuscript (“thou shalt provide an index”).

Alesja and others will surely want to see the page with 1 Cor 14:33-36; according to Hausmann's description the text of 1 Corinthians is found on ff. 226r-251r; so here is f. 246v with 1 Cor 14:27-37:

And a closer look at the bottom of the page:

The remarkable feature here is that this note at the bottom contains (what is now commonly referred to as) verses 36-40 (“an a vobis ... secundum ordinem fiant”), to be placed before verse 34 (“mulieres in ecclesiis taceant ...”), even while the manuscript already contained the same passage as part of the main text and at its common location after verse 35.

I happily leave the interpretation of this state of affairs to others. Let it just be said that according to me every proposal to omit verses 34-35, alone or together with verse 33b and/or verse 36 is a conjectural emendation, somewhere between interesting and plausible, but still a conjectural emendation, no more and no less, irrespective of any text-critical signals such as transpositions, notes and dots.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review of Richard Simon, Critical History of the Text of the New Testament (Andrew Hunwick)

Readers of this blog may not be aware of my interest in French New Testament scholarship. Yet it is there, and it made me delve into Andrew Hunwick’s 2013 translation of Richard Simon’s 1689 (!) Histoire critique du texte du Nouveau Testament:

The result was a 16-page review that has just been published in the current issue (2014) of TC. A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism.

Admittedly the review is not for the faint of heart, and it is not very positive. Yet that is just how it sometimes has to be.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review of Wettlaufer, No Longer Written

Readers of this blog may be aware of my interest in (New Testament) conjectural emendation. So it was a pleasure to read and review Ryan Wettlaufer’s monograph on conjectural emendation and the epistle of James:

You can check out my 7-page review in the current issue (2014) of TC. A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism. There are some other new reviews that you will probably want to see.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Did Beza make a conjecture on Luke 2:14?

At Luke 2:14, van Manen1 records a conjecture by Beza, according to which the words ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας are to be omitted.
   As I happen to know my Beza, I am almost sure he would never propose such a thing. And indeed, in his annotated New Testament editions, he discusses some variant readings on Luke 2:14, but there is no trace of a conjecture, in none of the five editions. So there must be an error somewhere, something “lost in transmission”.
   Perhaps a small warning to the benevolent reader is in order at this moment: what follows will be a bit technical (and will even contain some untranslated Latin); my simple aim however is to illustrate what can go wrong in the transmission of conjectural emendations, and what it takes–sometimes–to untie the knot.
   My standard procedure in such cases is to check the sources, and then the sources’ sources, and so on. In due course, almost invariably the case will become clear, albeit almost as invariably with some surprising elements.

In this case, van Manen’s source—which he usually deals with rather uncritically—is Bowyer’s collection of New Testament conjectures in its fourth and last edition of 1812, edited by John Nichols.2 And there indeed (p. 191) it is:
Beza takes the words ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας to be an interpolation; which has been refuted by Jac. Hase, Bibl. Brem. Fasc. V, p. 713.
Thus at least in this case, van Manen is not to blame for the error; at most he should have thought twice about the likelihood of such an emendation.
   But what is the value of Nichols’s note? As it occurs only in the 1812 edition, and contains an—incomplete—reference to a German journal (the Bibliotheca Bremensis—see below), it is most likely taken from the additions Schulz made to his German translation of Bowyer’s second edition of 1772.3 And there indeed (p. 123) it is:
Beza hält die Worte ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας für eine Glosse, welches Jac. Hase, Biblioth. Fasc. V, S. 713 f. widerlegt hat.
As you see: the same conjecture and the same source. Nichols be thanked for adding “Brem.”, though he omits “f.” after the page number.
   So the next step is to look up this “refutation” by Jakob Hase (1691-1723), professor of Philosophy at the Bremen gymnasium and brother of the more famous Theodor Hase (sons of Cornelius Hase), and who contributed some articles to the Bibliotheca Bremensis (also known as the Bibliotheca historico-philologico-theologica).

Hase’s article itself is not immediately found, for Schulz’s reference only mentions the issue (“fasciculum”) but strangely enough omits a far more essential piece of information: the volume (“classis”).
   In the end—journals do not have eternal life after all—it turns out to be the following: “De glossematibus quorundam locorum Novi Testamenti quae textui, causa explicationis adscripta, hinc in ipsum verborum ordinem intrusa esse existimantur, dissertatio”, BibBrem 1.5 (1718), pp. 687-738. And indeed, on p. 713 and following Jacob Hase discusses Luke 2:2. He mentions some exegetical difficulties, and a way out, but that is only the introduction; then on p. 714 he writes:
Sed quod huc maxime facit, disco ex Clar. Hombergii ad h. l. annotationibus eundem Bezam ad Marc. IX. 43. et 45. haec notasse: ultima illa verba ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία a paraphraste quodam in margine posita ad explicationem primum, postea in textum irrepsisse. Unde et hunc locum inter illos merito retulimus, qui glossematum postulati sunt.
So that would be the source: Beza’s annotation on Mark 9. Well, I know those notes, and there is nothing on Luke 2 there, let alone Luke 2:14. There is just a note on Mark 9:43, where Beza suggests that the words εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ ἄσβεστον may be such an interpolation from the margin.4
   Hase discovered this as well, and notes that he cannot locate the citation in the 1594 edition of Beza’s annotations. He therefore speculates that it may be found in an earlier edition:
Sed, fateor, me in mea editione annotationum Bezae, quae Genevae A. M D XCIV. prodierunt, haec istic locorum non reperisse, imo ne vestigium quidem, neque vel in notis ad hunc ipsum textum. Oportet itaque quo haec legantur in prioribus Bezae editionibus, quas saepius per δευτέρας φροντίδας edidit castigatiores incomparabilis Theologus.
The point is well made, for Beza indeed did a lot of revisions over the years. But the conjecture does not occur in earlier editions.
   To get closer to the solution, Hombergk zu Vach, referred to by Hase, and in particular his New Testament annotations5 will have to be consulted (the sources’s sources). Hase gives no further reference, but the work happens to be well known and even conveniently organised in the order of the New Testament texts. And indeed, on p. 122, Hombergk writes on Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ etc.:
Varia excogitata sunt a Viris Doctis, quo vel excusarent hiulcum illud, vel ἀσύνδετον huius versus partem aptarent reliquis verbis. Quorum pleraque videri possunt apud Bezam in Annotationibus, et alios. Nobis quidem haec locutio et defectus copulae in hoc loco non admodum insolens videtur; Unde etiam eo devenire nolumus, ut dicamus, ultima illa verba ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία, a paraphraste quodam in margine posita ad explicationem primum, postea in textum irrepsisse. Licet praeeuntem habemus Bezam, magnae auctoritatis virum ad Marc. 9. vers. 43. 45. Et alibi saepius. ...
So here it all starts, but what does this note mean? Well, it does not mean that Beza made the conjecture; nor even that Hombergk made it in Bezan vein; no, it means that Hombergk did not want to make this conjecture, though he could point to Beza’s example for other texts such as Mark 9:43. Thus: there is no Bezan conjecture on Luke 2:14, and even no conjecture at all. However one may speculate that Hombergk’s presentation betrays a fair amount of dissimulatio; in that case the conjecture is brought in the open while Hombergk himself cannot be accused of temerity. The only reason for it, by the way, would be the problematic asyndeton in ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας.

In any case, the connection with Beza is established. The first to misunderstand Hombergk is Hase, who read Hombergk as if he cites Beza’s opinion on Luke 2:14 from his notes on Mark 9, and hence a Bezan conjecture, instead of giving an example of a critic sometimes assuming interpolations such as one might perhaps assume for Luke 2:14. Hase’s article is then picked up by Schulz, and the way he does so illustrates a typical disadvantage of such collections: important pieces of information are omitted, such as the link with Hombergk, the reference to Beza’s opinion on Mark 9:43, and also Hase’s doubt. And finally, via Bowyer’s 1812 edition, it all boils down to a short note in van Manen’s collection:
ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία is later ingevoegd. Beza. B.
ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία is a later addition. Beza. B[owyer].
Quod non. One down, many to go.

[1]      Willem Christiaan van Manen, Conjecturaal-kritiek toegepast op den tekst van de Schriften des Nieuwen Testaments (Teyler’s Verhandelingen 9.1; Haarlem: Bohn, 1880), p. 192.
[2]      William Bowyer, Critical Conjectures and Observations on the New Testament, Collected from Various Authors, as well in regard to Words as Pointing: With the Reasons on which both are founded … The Fourth Edition, Enlarged and Corrected (London: Nichols, 41812).
[3]      William Bowyer and Johann Christoph Friedrich Schulz, Konjekturen über das Neue Testament, zuerst gesammelt von Wilhelm Bowyer. Aus dem Englischen der zwoten Ausgabe übersetzt und durchaus mit Zusätzen und Berichtigungen bereichert von Johann Christoph Friedrich Schulz (Leipzig: Weygandsche Buchhandlung, 1774).
[4]      From the 1582 edition onward; Beza refers to the Peshitta for the omission.
[5]      The title is Parerga sacra, Utrecht: Vande Water 1712.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wizanburgensis Revisited

Back in 2008, when a TC discussion list was still functioning much in the way the NTTC Facebook page nowadays does, I answered a question on a “Codex Wizanburgensis”, brought forward as alleged Greek manuscript support for the infamous “Johannine Comma”.

This is what I wrote then, on 10 September 2008:

[begin self-plagiarism]
In any case, this ‘Wizanburgensis’ is not a Greek manuscript, but a Latin Vulgate manuscript. No Gregory-Aland number therefore

The (mis)information floating around on the internet derives (indirectly) from Lachmann’s edition of the Greek and Latin NT, with Buttmann, 2 vols., Berlin 1842 and 1850. In the second volume, on pp. 240-241, the reading of a codex named Wizanburgensis 99 is given as adding after ‘spiritus et aqua et sanguis, et tres unum sunt’ the words ‘sicut et in caelum tres sunt, pater verbum et spiritus, et tres unum sunt’. The reading is followed by the attestation ‘Wizanburgensis 99 saeculi octavi’.

It is indeed typical for TR/KJV-defenders to have access to such information only indirectly, and to turn it on its head by making it into Greek attestation of the comma.

The situation is even worse. See for instance how Düsterdieck uses the exact wording of the reading to underline the secondary nature of the comma (Die drei johanneischen Briefe II-1, 1854, p. 354; for the entire discussion see pp. 347-357!):

Erwägt man nun die eigenthümlichen Variationen des Hauptgedankens in allen diesen Stellen [various Latin sources from the fifth century onwards], in welchen ein angeblich johanneischer Satz wiedergegeben werden soll, bedenkt man ferner, daß in manchen Handschriften bei den ächten Worten V. 7. 8 sich Randglossen finden, wie [...], bedenkt man ferner, daß die himmlischen Zeugen in einigen lateinischen Handschriften hinter den irdischen Zeugen aufgeführt werden, und daß ein Codex der Vulgata (Cod. Wizanburgensis 99, aus dem 8. Jahrhundert, bei Lachmann) den Zusatz mit einem ‘sicut et’ einfügt (‘quia tres sunt, qui testimonium dant, spiritus et aqua et sanguis, et tres unum sunt, sicut et in caelum tres sunt, pater, verbum et spiritus, et tres unum sunt): so wird man nicht zweifeln, daß das Einschiebsel ein bloßes Interpretament sei, dessen Eindringen in den Text man deutlich verfolgen kann. Wie verrätherisch [not so much ‘treacherous’, but rather ‘revealing’] ist in dieser Hinsicht z. B. der von Lachmann angeführte Codex der Vulgata, welcher das ´sicut et in caelum’ bietet, ohne zuvor den Zusatz ‘in terra’ gemacht zu haben!

These Germans really knew how to write long sentences! But the idea is clear. One may wonder, however, which manuscript it really is, and why Lachmann cites it only for this place.

Some further research (hear hear) establishes that the manuscript is nr. 99 of the Weissenburg collection in the Herzog August library in Wolfenbüttel (‘Codex Guelferbytanus 99 Weissenburgensis’). In the seventeenth century, the HAB acquired a large part of the library of the Weissenburg monastery. Cod. Guelf. 99. Weiss. is the so-called ‘Weissenburg Augustine’, containing homilies by Augustine, in which also the Catholic Epistles, the Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, and some other works are found (see Hans Butzmann, Die Weissenburger Handschriften ..., 1964, pp. 283-287).

Butzmann refers for the text to F.A. Ebert, Zur Handschriftenkunde, p. 186. That turns out to be Friedrich Adolph Ebert, Zur Handschriftenkunde. Erstes Bändchen, Leipzig, 1825, where Ebert mentions on p. 185 that people always want to look up 1 John 5:7-8 (and 1 Tim 3:16) in old manuscripts, and then, after mentioning two Latin manuscripts in which the comma is not found, he writes on p. 186:

Dagegen lautet sie in einem Pergamentcodex des 8. Jahrhunderts (Weissenb. 99. Bl. 117b) so: Hic est, qui venit per aquam et sanguinem Jesus Christus, non in aqua solum, sed in aqua et in sanguine. Et spiritus est ventus, quia tres sunt, qui testimonium dant, spiritus et aqua et sanguis, et tres unum sunt, sicut etiam in coelum (sic) tres sunt, pater, verbum et spirits, et tres unum sunt. Si testimonium hominum accipimus u.s.w.

This information may well be have been Lachmann’s source (perhaps indirectly so). Note however the difference between ‘sicut et’ (Lachmann etc.) and ‘sicut etiam’ (Ebert); note also the peculiar reading ‘ventus’ instead of ‘veritas’.

Anyway, the case is solved, with shelve mark and folio number. Let no one from now on cite this codex as early Greek attestation for the comma. It provides no more than an interesting part of the rather wild Latin-only transmission of the gloss.

Finally: a nice image of the manuscript can be found online, though not f. 117v, at the site of the Herzog August Bibliothek.
[end self-plagiarism]

The same misinformation is still floating around, as shown by a quick Google search on “Wizanburgensis” (one might add “-Otfridi -Otfridus” to filter out some noise on Otfrid of Weissenburg). I even came across a site (no, I will not give a link) where someone, referred to my posting, demands to see the page before believing my point. Am I reminded of John 20:25 here? No, I am not. In any case, I can now satisfy the curious and the incredulous alike with the closest approximation of the real thing: an online image.

The link above to an image does not work anymore, due to the short half-life of Internet hyperlinks, but it turns out that the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel has now put many complete manuscripts online, including our very “Cod. Guelf. 99 Weiss.

So here is f. 117v, and here are for the sake of truth and scholarship the few lines (ll. 9-11) with the Comma:

Et spiritus est veritas   quia tres sunt   qui testimonium dant
spiritus et aqua et sanguis. et tres unum sunt. Sicut etiam in
caelum tres sunt   pater. verbum. et spiritus. et tres unum sunt
For “spiritus” the “nomen sacrum” “sps” is used. The image also explains the strange reading given by Ebert: he understandably misread “veritas” as “ventus”. It also explains the difference in reading “et” (Lachmann) or “etiam” (Ebert), for the manuscript every now and then uses the ampersand for “et”, which is therefore the correct reading. BTW, I no longer think that Ebert, in one way or another, was Lachmann’s source.

Will this proof be enough to close the “Wizanburgensis” chapter? I hope so, in all my naïveté. But of course there is no end in the making of conspiracy theories. We will see.

[Update 28 April 2014]
The likely origin of the “Wizanburgensis” error can be found in Robert Lewis Dabney, “The Doctrinal Various Readings of the New Testament Greek,” in The Southern Presbyterian Review 22 (1871), pp. 191-234; on p. 225, Dabney writes:
... it is clearly admitted that, for the genuineness of the seventh verse, there is very little authority from Greek MSS. It has, thus far, been found in only two of the many hundreds which have been collated—the Montfort MS. in the University Library of Dublin, which is supposed by some to be of little authority, because suspected of having been conformed to the Latin; and in the Codex Wizanburgensis, which Lachmann reckons of the eighth century.
The article was reprinted in Robert Lewis Dabney, Discussions. Vol. I. Theological and Evangelical (ed. Clement Read Vaughan; Richmond, Va.: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1890), pp. 350-390; there the quote is found on p. 381.

Dabney was probably the one who misread Lachmann, and any appeal to a Greek “Codex Wizanburgensis” with the Comma goes back to his article.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SBL International Meeting 2014 in Vienna Call for Papers (Closing February 11th [was: 5th])

Update 4 February 2014: it was just brought to my attention that the deadline for submissions has been extended to 11 February.

Are you interested in Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Greek New Testament and other Jewish and/or Christian literature from Antiquity? Why then not submit a paper to the Section "Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)" for the coming SBL International Meeting in Vienna (6-10 July 2014)? You will have to do that in the coming days, however, for the deadline is approaching rapidly.

Here is the call for papers:
Papers concentrating on any aspect of textual criticism are welcome, in particular practical work with manuscripts. Examples of topics include: papyrological insights, scribal habits, preservation techniques, technical developments, computer-assisted tools, the production of critical editions, evaluation of patristic and versional evidence, discussion of particular passages, social historical studies, new projects, systematic-theological problems, teaching text-criticism in an academic setting, etc.
Submissions, also to other sections, typically pass through the SBL site. Hope to see you in Vienna!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Turning Point for Mark 16:9-20

This year’s December edition of Schrift, which has just been released, is entirely devoted to the Gospel of Mark. The one article they offer as a free download, entitled “Hoe ‘Want ze waren bang’ het slot van Markus werd” (“How ‘For they were afraid’ became Mark’s ending”), is about the history of textcritical scholarship on Mark’s ending.

When I agreed to write about Mark’s ending, the first thing I wanted to know, if only for myself, was when scholars started to doubt the authenticity of the last twelve verses. In Kelhoffer’s Miracle and Mission (2000) I found an extensive overview of the history of scholarship on Mark’s ‘Longer Ending’. According to Kelhoffer, critical reflection on the Longer Ending in the age of the printed book started with Birch’s publication of Vaticanus readings at the end of the 18th century. Out of curiosity, however, I moved back into history, from Birch to Wettstein (1751) … Bengel (1734) … Mill (1707) … Simon (1689) … Erasmus (1516)… All these scholars appear to already discuss the problem of Mark’s ending!

Through the ages, New Testament textual critics became increasingly aware of the problem. They encountered several remarks by Church Fathers, as well as all kinds of ‘paratextual’ information in the many New Testament manuscripts they studied. However, none of these manuscripts, no matter how old they seemed to be (such as A, C and D, all dated to the 5th century today), actually had Mark ending at 16:8. Therefore, before the end of the 18th century, no scholar, to my knowledge, ventured to hold Mark’s description of the risen Christ’s appearances to be secondary.

Then came, as mentioned, Andreas Birch, the Danish theologian-philologian, who, from 1781 to 1783, collated dozens of Greek New Testament manuscripts in continental European libraries, mainly those in Italy. Tregelles says about Birch that he “probably did more than any other scholar in the collation of MSS. of the Greek Testament” (Account of the Printed Text, 1854, p. 88). One of the manuscripts Birch examined in the Vatican library was already famous for its presumed age (some held it to belong to the 4th century; this dating is commonly accepted today). Some of its peculiar readings had already been circulating among scholars from Erasmus onwards; Wettstein can refer frequently to the manuscript he labelled ‘B’ because of its age. The most remarkable variant of ‘Codex Vaticanus’, however, had remained hidden from the scholarly community. Birch must have had his finest hour when discovering that in this manuscript, today generally considered to be our best one, Mark ends with ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ—“for they were afraid” (16:8).

Well then, the article is about this story, the accumulation of evidence from Erasmus to Birch, additional evidence after Birch, and the paradigm shift in textcritical theory around 1800 that makes the evidence of a manuscript like Vaticanus so weighty.

A final note. When I handed in the final draft of my article last summer, there was one thing I unfortunately had not been able to check: Birch’s presentation of the Vaticanus evidence in his 1788 Quatuor Evangelia Graece. No Dutch library had this book, and, more importantly, it was not yet available digitally on the internet. did offer the 1801 revision under the title Variae Lectiones ad Textum IV Evangeliorum. Here I did find Birch discussing the absence of Mark 16:9-20 in Vaticanus as the most telling example of the quality of this manuscript. But I wanted to hear him say such a thing in the 1788 edition, looking at the actual pages that can be seen as the turning point in the history of scholarship on Mark’s ending. I spoke about this with my fellow PhD candidate Christian Holmgaerd, who is Danish. A few weeks ago, he came with a big surprise: at his request the Royal Library in Kopenhagen digitized Birch’s 1788 Quatuor Evangelia Graece, in beautiful sharp images, and put it online. This is the title page:

On p. xxi Birch shares his exciting find with the world:

“Now although I believe the things I have put forward above make clear how much value should be assigned to Codex Vaticanus; still, let me provide, out of many observations, one example through which this becomes very clear.
The final pericope of the Gospel of Mark, from 16:9 down to the end of the chapter, is entirely absent in our manuscript, so that below the words ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ the subscription κατὰ μάρκον is placed. …”

Thanks to Christian and Det Kongelige Bibliotek!