Friday, April 17, 2009

Lionel North's article on negatives and NTTC (with an addendum on Beza and Mk 16:2)

A few months ago, I could (not) suppress a smile when I read that something had gone wrong with the so-called ‘Advance Access’ (dated 11 Feb. 2009): ’The originally published version of this paper was incorrect. A corrected version will be uploaded soon.’ Anyhow, the final version is available now:
James Lionel North, ‘"Thou Shalt Commit Adultery" (EXOD. 20:14, AV 1631): A First Survey of Alteration Involving Negatives in the Transmission of the Greek New Testament and of Early Church Responses to it’, in JTS 60 (2009), pp. 22-69 (doi:10.1093/jts/fln150).
The article explores an intriguing class of text-critical cases, namely those in which a negative is involved, not only by it being added or omitted, but through more complicated processes as well. Besides extensive discussion of texts such as 1 Cor 15:51, the article contains 13 pages of lists which exemplify the possibilities.

Addendum on Beza and Mark 16:2

By his own admission, Lionel North mentions ‘very few modern conjectures’ (p. 47 n. 42). It could be interesting to analyse the fifty or so examples of these I find in my files. The author does mention a harmonistic conjecture by Beza on Mk 16:2 (p. 25), which for some reason I did not discuss in my monograph on Erasmus and Beza as conjectural critics, even though I still have extensive notes on it. As there are two aspects of Lionel North’s discussion I do not quite understand, let me first introduce Beza’s conjecture itself.

In order to reconcile Mark’s account of the women visiting Jesus’ grave with the other gospels, Beza proposes to read οὐκέτι ἀνατεἰλαντος (‘when the sun had not yet risen’) in Mk 16:2. The conjecture is already found in the 1556 annotations (and retained in later editions), but never adopted in the Greek text or in Beza’s Latin translation. In his 1582 annotations, Beza mentions the reading of Codex Bezae (ἀνατέλλοντος - ‘when the sun was rising’). He notes the nuance in meaning, but still feels the same problem. For those who regard his conjectural emendation as too ‘dangerous’, he now offers a different explanation: the women set out before sunrise (thus Matthew, Luke, and John are correct), but arrived after it (which is what Mark tells us).

Lionel North asks why Beza chose οὐκέτι for his conjecture, and not the simple οὐ(κ). He wonders whether Beza knew the reading ἔτι from Robertus Stephanus’ edition of Eusebius and his famous 1550 NT edition. The answer is affirmative, as can be seen from the same 1556 annotation a few words of which are cited in the article itself; Beza writes: ‘Germanae autem lectionis vestigia adhuc supererant in tertio codice in quo scriptum erat ἔτι ἀνατείλαντος; quo modo etiam citatur hic locus ab Eusebio ...’ (‘the traces of the true reading still remain in the third book (manuscript), in which is written ἔτι ἀνατείλαντος; in the same way this place is cited by Eusebius ...’). Thus the two links are certain. With the ‘tertius codex’, Beza refers to min. 4, found in Stephanus’ 1550 edition under siglum γ΄. Therefore, Lionel North’s doubt is unnecessary, though Beza probably did not use the 1550 edition directly, but had access to one of its sources, the book of collations that had been used for the composition of its (small) marginal apparatus.

What I also do not understand is how Lionel North can connect the note in the 1560 Geneva Bible (‘Or, not risen.’ - not yet found in Whittingham’s 1557 New Testament) to a 1569 (!) edition of Ticonius's Regulae (p. 25 n. 7). It is far easier to assume that the marginal note resumes in a very succinct way Beza’s conjectural solution, as the link between the Geneva New Testament and Beza's edition is well established in other cases.