Friday, March 18, 2016

A slightly different wording

As happy owner of a first edition of Metzger's The Text of the New Testament (1964), I sometimes come across text-critical phenomena in the book itself.

A few years ago, at the ETC blog, Tommy already mentioned the beautiful error "electric" for "eclectic," in "Its text … is curiously electric, …" (p. 103).

Today I spotted another intriguing error, on p. 193: "The assimilation of the wording of one passage to the slightly different wording form in a parallel passage, …"

Obviously "form" is wrong here (though English is a strange language), but what is the correct reading? I must be a lousy conjectural critic, for I guessed "wording found in." After all, what did compositors not do?

The true reading emerged in the second edition (1968): "wording in," simply omitting "form." So "form" must have been a gloss on "wording," that should never have been part of the text. In conclusion, the 1964 sentence offers an nice example of conflation.

1 comment:

Stephen Carlson said...

Nice. I have another hypothesis, which I hope can better explain the "form". In my typing at least, it is a very common typo for "from", and "the slightly different wording from a parallel passage" makes good sense. It seems plausible to me that "from" could be typoed as "form" and corrected in the proofs with a different preposition "in" (possibly to avoid interference with "to" earlier in the sentence), but the typesetter erroneously left in the incorrect "form". The second edition implements the proof-correction fully with the removal of the incorrect "form".