Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sleepy Scribes and Clever Critics

Novum Testamentum 57/1 (the first issue of 2015) has just been made available. It sports an article by our team (with Bart Kamphuis as its main author), which may help you see how we approach the study of New Testament conjectures here in Amsterdam. “Sleepy Scribes and Clever Critics. A Classification of Conjectures on the Text of the New Testament” (NovTest 57 (2015), 72-90) provides sophisticated tools for the analysis and evaluation of conjectures. Or if the abstract does the talking:
This article presents a classification of conjectures on the text of the New Testament. It focusses on the types of arguments used by conjectural critics. The argumentation for a conjecture basically comprises (1) the perception of a problem (or problems) in the transmitted text and (2) the suggestion of a cause (or causes) for the supposed scribal change. Type (or types) of perceived problems and of supposed causes are classified, and illustrated with a range of important conjectures.
Congratulations to Bart for this important step in his dissertation project and pour le plaisir de se voir imprimé.
Critical reactions are welcome, of course. In any case we hope the classification offered here will prove to be useful for many studiosi.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Luke-Acts between Text and Margin

The latest issue of Amsterdamse Cahiers has been released, a special issue on Luke-Acts (in Dutch). Masterfully edited by Nico Riemersma. Authors include Adelbert Denaux, Huub Welzen, Albert Hogeterp, Bart Koet, Barend Drewes, Joke Brinkhof, Nico Riemersma, Sijbolt Noorda, Martinus C. de Boer and others. Most contributors are members of the “Lukaswerkplaats,” a colloquium of Lukan specialists from the Netherlands and Belgium. My own contribution is entitled: “Tussen tekst en marge: op- en aanmerkingen bij het marginale annotatie-apparaat van Nestle-Aland 28 aan de hand van Handelingen 2:1-4,” ACEBT 29 (2014): 89-99 (includes English summaries).

Arie W. Zwiep, “Between Text and Margin: Some Comments on the Outer Marginal Annotations of Nestle-Aland 28 at Acts 2:1-4”

The inner and outer margins of the Novum Testamentum Graece (‘Nestle-Aland’) often seem to escape critical attention by its users. Especially the criteria for in- and exclusion of textual references have not been very specific in earlier editions. In Nestle-Aland 28, published in 2012, the criteria have been established anew and the textual references in the outer margins revised accordingly. A comparison of the 27th and 28th editions of Nestle-Aland reveals a number of changes, omissions, additions, new insights and so on. In this article, the textual references in the outer margins of NA28 of Acts 2:1-4 are compared with those in earlier editions, analysed and evaluated. Conclusions are drawn with regard to its usefulness and a few suggestions made for future revisions.

Friday, September 05, 2014

The Numbering of Tischendorf's Editions

Tischendorf’s best known edition is his “editio octava critica maior”, his “eighth edition”, this time both “critical” and “maior”. But why is it called the eighth? It turns out Tischendorf numbered his editions in a slightly confusing way. For instance, in 1859 all of a sudden he called his new edition the seventh, even if there is no edition that on its title page states that it is the sixth. Moreover there seems to be a sort of numbering going on in his 1849 edition, when it is called the “second Leipzig edition.” So what is going on?

The veil is lifted by Gregory, in the third volume of the editio octava, p. 21:
Legentium intererit cognoscere quomodo Tischendorfius editiones suas numeraverit: i. 1841 Lipsiae; — ii. iii. 1842 Parisiis; — iv. 1849 Lipsiae; — v. 1850. 1862. 1873. 1876. 1878. 1879. 1880. Lipsiae: Tauchnitz; — vi. 1854. 1855. 1857. 1858. 1861. 1864. 1867. 1870. 1873. 1875. 1877. 1878. 1880. 1881 (Triglotta et academica) Lipsiae: Mendelssohn; — vii. 1859 mai. et min.; — viii. 1869—1872 mai. et min. [ix. 1873 Lipsiae: Brockhaus.]
In my rendering:
Readers may be interested to know how Tischendorf numbered his own editions: i. 1841 Leipzig; — ii. iii. 1842 Paris; — iv. 1849 Leipzig; — v. 1850. 1862. 1873. 1876. 1878. 1879. 1880. Leipzig: Tauchnitz; — vi. 1854. 1855. 1857. 1858. 1861. 1864. 1867. 1870. 1873. 1875. 1877. 1878. 1880. 1881 (triglot and academic editions) Leipzig: Mendelssohn; — vii. 1859 maior and minor; — viii. 1869—1872 maior and minor [ix. 1873 Leipzig: Brockhaus.]
So let me elaborate that information with the full titles (though only taking the first of each series):
11841: Novum Testamentum Graece. Textum ad fidem antiquorum testium recensuit brevem apparatum una cum variis lectionibus Elzeviriorum, Knappii, Scholzii, Lachmanni subiunxit argumenta et locos parallelos indicavit commentationem isagogicam notatis propriis lectionibus edd. Stephanicae tertiae atque Millianae, Matthaeianae, Griesbachianae praemisit ... (Leipzig: Köhler). [*b3661]
21842 (with Jean Nicolas Jager): Η Καινη Διαθηκη. Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine. In antiquis testibus textum versionis vulgatae Latinae indagavit lectionesque variantes Stephani et Griesbachii notavit ... (Paris: Didot). [b1555]
31842: Novum Testamentum Graece. Ad antiquos testes recensuit, lectionesque variantes Elzeviriorum Stephani Griesbachii notavit ... (Paris: Didot). [b3659]
41849: Novum Testamentum Graece. Ad antiquos testes recensuit, apparatum criticum multis modis auctum et correctum apposuit, commentationem isagogicam praemisit ... (Leipzig: Winter). [b2879] Called “Editio Lipsiensis secunda” on the title page.
51850: Η Καινη Διαθηκη. Novum Testamentum Graece (Leipzig: Tauchnitz). [b3730]
61854: Novum Testamentum triglottum Graece Latine Germanice. Graecum textum addito lectionum variarum delectu recensuit Latinum Hieronymi notata Clementina lectione ex auctoritate codicum restituit Germanicum ad pristinam Lutheranae editionis veritatem revocavit … (Leipzig: Avenarius and Mendelssohn). [b3731]
71859 (maior): Novum Testamentum Graece. Ad antiquos testes denuo recensuit, apparatum criticum omni studio perfectum apposuit, commentationem isagogicam praetexuit ... Editio septima [critica maior] (Leipzig: Winter). 2 volumes. [b2731] [b2732]
71859 (minor): Novum Testamentum Graece. Ad antiquos testes denuo recensuit cumque apparatu critico et prolegomenis edidit ... Editio septima critica minor (Leipzig: Winter). [b3735]
81869/1872 (maior): Novum Testamentum Graece. Ad antiquissimos testes denuo recensuit, apparatum criticum omni studio perfectum apposuit, commentationem isagogicam praetexuit ... Editio octava critica maior (Leipzig: Giesecke & Devrient). 2 volumes [b1814] [b1815]
81872 (minor): Novum Testamentum Graece: Ad antiquissimos testes denuo recensuit delectuque critico ac prolegomenis instruxit … Editio critica minor ex VIII maiore desumpta (Leipzig: Mendelssohn).
91873: Η Καινη Διαθηκη. Novum Testamentum Graece. Ad editionem suam VIII. criticam maiorem conformavit, lectionibusque Sinaiticis et Vaticanis item Elzevirianis instruxit ... (Leipzig: Brockhaus). [b3736]
There is actually a third volume to the eighth major edition, namely the Prolegomena (three volumes; Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1884-1894; put together by Gregory), from which the citation above is taken.

So there you have it, but the confusion does not end here. Reuss for instance numbers differently, knowingly going against Tischendorf’s own system (see Bibliotheca, pp. 254-262). 11841 and 31842 are his “Editio Tischendorfii prima”; 21842 (with minor editions also by Didot in 1842, 1847, 1851 and 1859) is the “Editio Tischendorfii latinizans”; 41849, 51850 and 61854 belong to the “Editio Tischendorfii secunda” (with the series mentioned by Gregory, as far as Reuss knew and incorporated them in 1872); 71859 (minor and maior) are the “Editio Tischendorfii tertia”. Tischendorf’s octava would thus have been Reuss’s fourth Tischendorf edition.

Scrivener also numbers differently (Plain Introduction 21874, p. 427 [31883, p. 482]), calling 41849 the fifth and 51850 the sixth. As an interesting aside, Scrivener also mentions that 71859 (maior) and 81869-1872 were issued in parts (from 1856 and 1865 onwards respectively).

Eduard Reuss, Bibliotheca Novi Testamenti Graeci cuius editiones ab initio typographiae ad nostram aetatem impressas quotquot reperiri potuerunt (Braunschweig: Schwetschke, 1872).
Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament for the Use of Biblical Students (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, and co., 21874 and 31883).

* The b numbers refer to the bibliography of the Amsterdam project on New Testament conjectural emendation.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Coding Humanist: Apply Roman and Alphabetic Numbering to PDFs

No New Testament or textual criticism or both this time, just sharing some simple home-brewed javascript actions I use to make my PDF files more accessible.

An important element for my PDFs is page numbering: a typical book has front matter, part of which is not numbered and should in a PDF have "a", "b", ..., and part of which is usually numbered "i", "ii", ... The body matter itself then has the normal decimal numbering. But most PDF files do not come that way, which I find annoying.

In the full version of Acrobat so-called "Actions" can be defined, which can also execute javascript. It took me some time to figure out how it could be done, but the following works, thanks to the setPageLabels method.

The first script applies Roman numbering to the pages preceding the current one:
var myDecimalPage = this.pageNum;
this.setPageLabels(0, ["r", "", 1]);
this.setPageLabels(myDecimalPage, ["D", "", 1]); 
If you want upper case Roman numbering, use "R" instead of "r".

The second script applies alphabetic numbering to the pages preceding the current one; it assumes the PDF already has both Roman and decimal numbering, in that order:
var myRomanPage = this.pageNum;
var i = 0;
while(this.getPageLabel(i) != 1)
myDecimalPage = i;
if (myRomanPage < 10)
    {this.setPageLabels(0, ["a", "", 1]);}
    {this.setPageLabels(0, ["A", "", 1]);}
this.setPageLabels(myRomanPage, ["r", "", 1]);
this.setPageLabels(myDecimalPage, ["D", "", 1]);
This script is a bit more complicated, for two reasons:
1. the setPageLabels method does not allow to specify a page range, but blindly applies the numbering from the first page that is given to the end of the PDF; for that reason, the script first has to find out which page actually has the normal number "1", which is done in the while statement;
2. I like to have lower case alphabetic numbering ("a", "b", ...) for the front matter, but that is not a good idea when lower case roman numbering is used and the front matter has 10 pages or more, because then "i" becomes ambiguous. If you apply different case to the alphabetic numbering and the Roman numbering, the if statement can be simplified.

So if you want to use these scripts, feel free (they are of course ohne Gewähr):
1. create the two actions in Acrobat;
2. go to the page that should have number "1", and apply the first script;
3. go to the page that should have number "i", and apply the second script.

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!