Wednesday, February 22, 2017

John 7:53-8:11 - Why It Was Never a Floating Anecdote

John 7:53-8:11 -
Not a Floating Anecdote
          In this video, I summarize several earlier blog-posts in the course of a brief lecture, explaining why the vague footnotes about John 7:53-8:11s placement after before John 7:37 (in two medieval manuscripts), and before John 7:45 (in three Georgian copies), and after John 21:25 (in family-1), and after Luke 21:38 (in family-13) do not mean that it was the textual equivalent of a butterfly, fluttering from one place to another.
          I recommend watching this video-lecture on a desktop computer, so that you can read the annotations.
          (Note:  six minutes and 54 seconds into the lecture, I said 7:53 where I meant 7:52.)
          The link is .

Friday, February 17, 2017

Envy and Murder in James 4:2

Desiderius Erasmus,
      Previously, we saw that a copyist’s mistake – accidentally skipping forward from one set of letters to an identical, or similar, set of letters – appears to have caused the loss of the word “murders” in Galatians 5:21:  in the course of a list in which several words end with the same letters, φόνοι (murders) was lost in an early transmission-line, having appeared immediately after φθόνοι (envyings). 
          Elsewhere in the New Testament text, the visual similarity between φθόνοι and φόνοι raised a question for a scholar in the early 1500’s – the famous Desiderius Erasmus.  Others have already described the remarkable career of this Roman Catholic scholar and author, whose research fueled the Protestant Reformation.  Let’s look at what he wrote about the second verse of the fourth chapter of the Epistle of James, in the notes he wrote about his printed compilation of the Greek text of the New Testament
          Before we do that, though, let’s get to know this verse.  James – not James the son of Zebedee, but James who was called one of the brothers of Jesus; the James who presided at the church council in Acts 15 – wrote to this effect in 4:2, addressing the problem of covetousness and conflict in the church: 
          “Ye lust, and have not:  ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:  ye fight and war; yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” – KJV (Authorized)
          Here is the verse in more modern terms (from the 1973 New International Version):
           “You want something but don’t get it.  You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.  You quarrel and fight.  You do not have, because you do not ask God.”
          Some folks might consider the 1973 NIV to be an antique, so let’s also consult the text of the new Christian Standard Bible (CSB):
          “You desire and do not have.  You murder and covet and cannot obtain.  You fight and wage war.  You do not have because you do not ask.”
          That is, however, not quite the same meaning that we find in the latest edition of the English Standard Version (ESV), which gives a cause-and-effect structure to the verse’s clauses:
          “You desire and do not have, so you commit murder.  You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.  You do not have because you do not ask.”

          The NIV, CSB, and ESV are all translating the same Greek text of verse 2, which is, without punctuation:  Ἐπιθυμεῖτε καὶ οὐκ ἔχετε φονεύετε καὶ ζηλοῦτε καὶ οὐ δύνασθε ἐπιτυχεῖν μάχεσθε καὶ πολεμεῖτε οὐκ ἔχετε διὰ τὸ μὴ αἰτεῖσθαι ὑμᾶς.
          That is also how the words appear in the Byzantine Text, in the NA/UBS text, and in the family-35 text compiled by Wilbur Pickering.  The Textus Receptus, the KJV’s base-text, has a minority reading:  it includes δέ in the last part of the verse, between ἔχετε and διὰ; this is represented by “yet” in the KJV.  
Erasmus' Annotations on James 4:1-4
        The text that Erasmus preferred, however, diverged from that in a far more significant way.  Erasmus was hesitant to accept the word φονεύετε (“You kill”, or “You commit murder”).  Although that was the reading in the Greek manuscripts he had encountered, in his annotations on the General Epistles, he wrote, “I do not see how this word ‘you kill’ makes sense here.  Perhaps there was written φθονεῖτε and ζηλοῦτε, that is, ‘you are jealous and you seek, and cannot obtain’, and so [I conclude that] a sleeping scribe wrote φονεύετε instead of φθονεῖτε; especially since there follows ‘the spirit desires jealously’ [verse 5].”
          Jan Krans described and translated that statement from Erasmus, and provided Erasmus’ Latin text of it, in his interesting book, Beyond What Is Written:  Erasmus and Beza as Conjectural Critics ofthe New Testament (© 2006 Kononklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands).  Dr. Krans also reported that during the Reformation-period, Erasmus’ theory was very widely accepted.  Although the first edition of Erasmus’ Greek New Testament, the 1516 Novum Instrumentum, read φονεύετε (you kill), in the second edition (1519), Erasmus placed φθονεῖτε (you are envious) in the text.
James 4:1ff., from a 1558
edition of Erasmus'
Greek and Latin text.
          Because Martin Luther used the second edition of Erasmus’ compilation as the basis for his 1522 German translation, Luther’s translation of James 4:2a accordingly says, “Ihr seid begierig, und erlanget’s damit nicht; ihr hasset und neidet, und gewinnet damit nichts; ihr streitet und krieget.” 
          For the third edition, and thereafter, Erasmus re-adopted the extant text, and φονεύετε was printed.  Nevertheless, in his own Latin translation that was printed alongside the Greek text, the word “invidetis” (“You are envious”) was retained instead of the Vulgate’s term “occiditis.”
          John Calvin accepted Erasmus’ idea; Krans reports that Calvin wrote as follows:  “While some manuscripts have φονεύετε, I do not doubt that φθονεῖτε must be read, as I have rendered, for the verb ‘to kill’ can in no way be applied to the context.”  (The statement, in Latin, is in Ioannis Calvino Opera Quae Supersunt Omnia, Volume 33, part 415, edited by Baum, Cunitz, and Reuss.)           
          Thus it is no surprise to find that in the 1557 Geneva Bible, James 4:2 read as follows:  “Ye luste, and haue not :  ye enuie, and have indignation, and can not obtayne :  ye fight and warre, and gayne not, because ye aske not.”  [Emphasis added.  Bear in mind that “v” and “u” were fairly interchangeable in the old font; “ye envy” is what is meant.]           
James 3:18-4:2 in
Tyndale's 1534 version.
Before the Geneva Bible, William Tyndale made his English translation of the New Testament in 1526, based on the second edition of Erasmus’ compilation.  Tyndale’s English text thus reflected Erasmus’ theory about the wording in James 4:2:  “Ye lust and have not / ye enuie and haue indignation / and cannot come by yt.”
          In 1582, a group of Roman Catholic scholars translated the Rheims New Testament (named after the city in France where it was made), based on the Vulgate.  They used part of the introduction to their work to explain why it was based on the Vulgate instead of on a Greek base-text.  In the course of that introduction, one of the things they pointed out was that the Vulgate generally agreed with the Greek manuscripts, and that at this particular point – James 4:2 – it did so better than the Greek compilations used by their Protestant adversaries.  “Beza,” they stated (referring to the Protestant scholar Theodore Beza, who issued multiple editions of Greek and Latin compilations in the second half of the 1500’s), “correcteth the Greeke text also as false.”  Beza’s Greek text retained φονεύετε but his Latin text, like Erasmus’ Latin version, read “invidetis” instead of “occiditis.”
Erasmus' conjecture, noted in
the apparatus of Eberhard Nestle's
1901 Novum Testamentum Graece.
Did the translators of the KJV adopt φονεύετε due to a desire to maintain strict adherence to the Greek text?  Could the introduction to the Rheims New Testament have spurred them in some way to reject Erasmus’ conjecture?  It is pointless to speculate.  The KJV’s English text in James 4:2 clearly corresponds to φονεύετε, and so has every major English translation since then.  The dismay that elicited Erasmus’ theory – the idea that the Christians to whom James wrote were killing each other – has tended to lose ground to an understanding that James, at this point, did not intend to be taken altogether literally.  
          All Greek manuscripts of James that have been discovered since Erasmus’ time have supported φονεύετε (except for a note in the margin of minuscule 918; this note was probably made by someone in the 1500’s who read Erasmus’ second edition and jotted down the variant from the printed text).  Nevertheless, for many years, Novum Testamentum Graece, the compilation-series begun by Eberhard Nestle, included a note mentioning Erasmus’ proposal that James 4:2 might have originally read φθονεῖτε instead of φονεύετε.  In the recent 28th edition, however, this longstanding custom was abandoned; no  conjectural emendations were included in the new apparatus.  (This is rather ironic, since the editors of the 28th edition demonstrated their willingness to put a theoretical Greek variant into the text, doing so at Second Peter 3:10.)  However, if an ancient Greek manuscript of the Epistle of James should ever happen to be discovered that read φθονεῖτε in 4:2, some translators might consider putting it in the text, or at least adding a footnote to mention it.  
          A closing note:  all this should remind us that φθόνοι and φόνοι are similar not only in their letters but in their essence; envy is close to murder.  Let each believer desire to receive whatever it is that God desires for him to receive, and no more nor less than that.  With that resolve to trust the wisdom of God, each of us may find joy in the gifts God has prepared for him, and each will rejoice with those who rejoice in what God has prepared for them.   

Scripture quotations marked “ESV” are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The 1973 NIV is Copyright © 1973 by New York Bible Society International, published by The Zondervan Corporation.
Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers.  Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Envy and Murder in Galatians 5

          A famous list is found in the fifth chapter of the book of Galatians, in verses 22-23:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  These nine qualities are introduced as the fruit of the Spirit.  Just a few verses earlier, a very different list is provided.  Just as the Spirit-led life produces Christ-like virtues, a life centered on selfish desires produces bad fruit of various kinds – and those vices are listed in verses 19-21:  the works of the flesh.           
          When Paul wrote this, how many items did he include in that list of vices?  A comparison of the ESV and the MLV (Modern Literal Version) shows that the MLV’s list is slightly longer:  
          “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, unbridled-lusts, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, selfish ambitions, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelings and things similar to these.”  
          Adultery and murders are included in the MLV’s list, but neither one is in the ESV’s list.  This is due to a difference in the Greek compilations that were used for each version:  the MLV’s base-text, the Byzantine Text – which represents the vast majority of Greek manuscripts – includes them both in the list (as does the Textus Receptus, the base-text of the KJV, NKJV, and MEV).  The Nestle-Aland/UBS compilation has neither.  
          However, it would be incorrect to think that the ancient witnesses fall into just two groups, in which one group has both words, and the other one has neither.  It would be easy to get that impression if we only looked at Greek manuscripts, but the patristic evidence suggests something more complicated.  
          In the early Latin translation of Book 5 of Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, chapter 11, Irenaeus quoted this list with “adultery” but without “murders” – “Manifesta autem sunt opera carnis, quae sunt:  adulteria, fornicationes, immunditia, luxuria, idololatria, veneficia, inimicitiae, contentiones, zeli, irae, aemulationes, animositates, irritationes, dissensiones, haereses, invidiae, [here one would expect “homicidia,] ebrietates, comissationes, et hic similia.”  Eighteen vices are named in this list.
          Jerome wrote his Commentary on Galatians in 386 (about 200 years after Irenaeus wrote), but Jerome frequently consulted (and borrowed from) earlier sources, including the commentaries of Origen (fl. 230-250) and Eusebius of Emesa (a student of the more famous Eusebius of Caesarea, earlier in the 300’s).  Jerome commented in detail about the list of vices in Galatians 5:19-21.  His list, containing 15 vices, was as follows:  fornication, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, discord, jealousy, rage, quarrels, dissensions, heresies, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.
          After commenting in some detail about these vices, he wrote, “In Latinis codicibus adulterium quoque et impudicitia et homicidia in hoc catalogi uitiorum scripta referuntur.  Sed sciendum non plus quam quindecim carnis opera nominata, de quibus et disseruimus.”  That is:  “In the Latin codices, adultery and immodesty and murder are written in this list of vices.  But we understand that no more than 15 works of the flesh are named, and I have covered them above.”  
          Thus, although Latin manuscripts known to Jerome included adultery, immodesty (impudicitia), and murder in the list, Jerome did not include them.  It would appear that either the Latin translation of Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book 5, has been conformed to an early Latin text that contained an expansion (the inclusion of “adultery” at the beginning of the list), or else the translation is accurate, in which case Irenaeus had access to a form of the Greek text which Jerome did not.  
          When considering whether copyists, in verse 19 and in verse 21, were likely to enlarge the list, or to shrink it, we should first be aware of the phenomenon known as colometric formatting.  In some manuscripts, when the copyists encountered lists of names or other quantities which tended to begin or end in similar ways, they stopped aligning the right edge of the text-column, and used a verse-like format instead.  
          In some manuscripts, the entire text is written in sense-lines, like poetic verse (each measure is called a cola).  (The stichoi-count in such manuscripts was not intended to represent the total number of lines, but of 16-syllable clusters, or something like that.)  As a result, much of the space in the right half of the column or columns of text is empty.  There are not very many such manuscripts, probably because this format wasted so much space.  The format was used more frequently in the genealogies (in Matthew 1 and Luke 3), in the Beatitudes, and in lists such as this one in Galatians 5.       
Galatians 5:19
in Codex Claromontanus (06)
          Let’s take a look at one of the few surviving manuscripts in which the entire text is written in colometric format:  Codex Claromontanus, from the mid-400’s.   In Codex Claromontanus, in Galatians 5, sometimes a line is occupied by just one, two, or three words.  In the text of Galatians 5:19 in Codex Claromontanus, the term “adultery” (μοιχια, usually spelled μοιχεία) appears on the same line as the preceding words.  This format could elicit the loss of the word, if a scriptorium-master, after reading aloud to the copyists, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are” jumped to the first indented item.  In two minuscule manuscripts that have a somewhat special text of the Pauline Epistles, 330 and 2400, μοιχεία was initially omitted but was re-inserted after ἀκαθαρσία (uncleanness) as the third item in the list, as if such a mistake was made, but was almost immediately detected.                     
Galatians 5:19b-21
in Codex Claromontanus (06)
          The colometric format had the advantage of making lists easy to read, if one could follow along with one’s finger or with a bookmark.  On the other hand, if a copyist skipped a line – which could easily happen, when several terms in a list ended in the same combination of letters – it would be difficult to detect, since the text of a list, though shorter, would still make sense.          
          In Codex Sinaiticus (ﬡ, Aleph), most of the text of Galatians is written in neat columns, but here in Galatians 5:19-21, the copyist resorted to a colometric format, giving each vice its own line of text. 
          The copyist of Codex Vaticanus (B) was less generous with his use of parchment, and wrote in the entire column, but he conveyed that in his exemplar, the text of the list in Galatians 5:19-21 was written in a colometric format, by adding distinct dots and spaces between the words. 
Galatians 5:20-21a in Latin
in Codex Claromontanus (VL 75).
          A comparison of Codex  and Codex Claromontanus, separated by about a century, suggests that in an ancient ancestor-manuscript, the text was written colometrically, and μοιχια was written to the right of ατινα εστιν (μοιχια was not written by the copyist of , but the word was added there by a later corrector), and in which, in verse 21, the word φθόνοι (envies, or envyings) was followed on the next line by the very similar word φόνοι (murders) – the second word being lost early in a transmission-line in Egypt, but preserved in Codex Claromontanus (in Greek and in Latin – homicidiae appears on the opposite page where the passage is written in Latin), thanks perhaps to a cautious copyist’s observation that it would be a good idea to write both words on a single line to avoid an accidental loss.          

        The text of the important minuscule 6 is consistent with that hypothesis:  written without colometric formatting, it contains μοιχεία in verse 19, and both φθόνοι and φόνοι in verse 21.      
          In minuscule 1739, μοιχεία is not in the text but is added in the margin; 1739 has both φθόνοι and φόνοι in verse 21.            
The passage in minuscule 6.
          Generally, the Greek manuscripts with an Egyptian line of descent do not have  “adultery” (though we cannot be sure about Papyrus 46; damage has claimed its text from Galatians 5:17b-20a), and almost all others do.  
        Occasionally, the accumulation of so many words with similar endings got the better of a copyist:  in minuscules 614 and 2412, for example, after the copyist wrote ερις, ζηλοι, θυμοι, in verse 20, his line of sight jumped forward to the –οι before μέθαι in verse 21, thus skipping all the words in between.  (The mistake apparently was never caught by a proof-reader, even though minuscule 2412 was equipped for lection-reading.)
Minuscule 2412's copyist
skipped some text.

          Moving to versional evidence:  the inclusion of “adultery” at the beginning of the list in verse 19 is not supported by the Peshitta, but envy and murder are both listed in verse 21.  And, as Jerome mentioned, the Old Latin includes adultery and murder.  Detailed information about the versional evidence in verse 19 is not easy to come by (UBS-4 did not even acknowledge the existence of this variant-unit!), but if the UBS-4 apparatus is to be trusted, then the Vulgate, the Harklean Syriac, the Bohairic, Armenian, and Ethiopic versions all support the longer reading in verse 21.  The Old Georgian version is divided, but the Georgian evidence for the shorter reading is so late, and is such a branch of a branch, that I suspect that it may display a relatively late omission rather than echo its ancestral text, as seems to be the case in some Greek lectionaries. 
          We already covered some patristic evidence, but there are a few other early writers whose comments on this passage are particularly notable.  
          Clement of Alexandria, in Book 4, chapter 8 of Stromata, quoted the list, without “adultery,” and without “murder.”  
          John Chrysostom (c. 400), in his Fifth Homily on Galatians, used a text with “adultery” at the beginning of the list.
          Epiphanius, who was a bishop of Salamis on the island of Cyprus in the late 300’s, wrote an immense composition opposing various heresies, called the Panarion, and in Book 42 of this work, Epiphanius’ target is the second-century heretic Marcion and his followers.  Marcion, according to Epiphanius, not only butchered the Gospel of Luke, but also made numerous alterations even to the ten Epistles of Paul that he accepted – and Epiphanius even cites numerous detailed examples, as if he himself has sifted through a copy of Marcion’s text.  
          Galatians 5:19-21 is among the passages listed by Epiphanius as having been altered by Marcion; Epiphanius states in Panarion, Book 42, part 11:8, that Marcion’s list ran as follows:  “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these:  adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, factions, envyings, drunkenness, carousings.”  Notably, adultery is present, and murder is absent.       
          This list is repeated in part 12:3 of the same book.  Some researchers have noted a slight difference in the two quotations; in at least one manuscript of Epiphanius, “murder” is present and not “envy.”  However, that may be a mere mistake by a copyist of Panarion.  It seems doubtful that Epiphanius would present two different versions of the same citation from Marcion’s text without making a note about the difference.                
          The reading of Galatians 5:19-21 with “adultery,” and without “murders,” is thus associated with Marcion – either as a feature of the text that he found and adopted, or which he initiated, for whatever reason.  It is unlikely that Marcion, whose opponents one and all accused him of fornication early in life, and who later practiced celibacy, would invent the addition of “adultery.”  In addition, in the course of his retort against the long-dead Marcion, Epiphanius stated, “How can the holy Mary not inherit the kingdom of heaven, flesh and all, when she did not commit fornication or uncleanness or adultery or do any of the intolerable deeds of the flesh, but remained undefiled?”  This indicates that “adultery” was also included in Epiphanius’ own text of Galatians 5:19.            

The list of the works of the flesh
in minuscule 604.
        So, although a few early manuscripts support a form of Galatians 5:19-21 without “adultery” and without “murders,” and this form of the Greek text was also known to Clement and Jerome, these two non-inclusions are accounted for by natural scribal accidents – misreading an exemplar with colometrically arranged text, in the first case, and simple parablepsis (jumping from one set of letters to a recurrence of the same (or similar) letters further along in the text) in the other.  Both “adultery” and “murders” belong in the text.

          There is another passage with an interesting history involving the similarity of the Greek words for envy and murder which I wanted to mention today, but it will have to wait for another time.  In the meantime, whether you accept the complete form of the list of vices, or the shorter one, let us acknowledge that the Scriptures elsewhere oppose both adultery and murder.  And, for those who would like to look into the text of Galatians more closely, I commend to you two online resources:  Stephen Carlson’s dissertation, and a new compilation of Galatians by Robert Waltz, whose Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism was recently updated and expanded.         
          May we all avoid the works of the flesh, and instead bear the fruit of the Spirit!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Michael J. Kruger and the Ending of Mark

          I appreciate a lot of Dr. Michael J. Kruger’s work, but his recent lecture on the ending of Mark contained so many inaccuracies, and ignored so much of the evidence, that I felt compelled to respond.  Here, therefore, is my counter-lecture.
          I encourage you to watch it  its just 17 and a half minutes long  on a desktop computer, to ensure that the annotations will be visible.
         The URL is .

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Codex Regius (019) - The Manuscript-King of France

The first page of Mark
in Codex L.
          Many of the manuscripts currently in the National Library of France – the Bibliothèque nationale de France – were once part of the royal library.  It is for this reason that Codex L (019), a Gospels-manuscript from the 700’s, is known as Codex Regius – the royal book.  A strong case can be made that Codex L is the most important New Testament manuscript in France.  Its text and its history are both highly interesting.
          Although it is sometimes claimed that the scholars of the 1500’s only had access to relatively young and unimportant manuscripts, that is not the case.  Codex L is a very important manuscript of venerable age, and its readings were cited by Stephanus in the notes of his 1551 Greek New Testament; it was identified as witness ηʹ, that is, #8.  This manuscript has long been recognized by the compilers of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece as a member of the elite group of “Consistently cited witnesses of the first order” for all four Gospels – one of only eight uncial manuscripts that share this status.  Its uncial text is written in two columns per page, with many initials decorated in red, green, and blue.    
          In the Gospel of Matthew, L’s text initially looks like nothing very unusual; for the first 17 chapters, it is essentially Byzantine.  Around Matthew 17:26, however, its character abruptly becomes Alexandrian, as if, somewhere in its ancestry, a copyist began to conform an Alexandrian manuscript to the text of a Byzantine exemplar, but gave up at this point.  This makes its agreements with the Byzantine Text in the remaining portion of the text (agreements such as the inclusion of Luke 22:43-44 and John 5:4) all the more weighty.  (For more information see Robert Waltz’s description of the codex at the newly updated Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism.)  
The Alexandrian
addition in Matthew 27:49.
          Codex L features a distinctly Alexandrian reading at Matthew 27:49 that states that Jesus was pierced with a spear before He died.  This reading, also supported by Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, has been consistently ignored by the annotators of most modern English translations, even though it has far more Greek support than the famous abrupt ending of Mark.  In the ESV and CSB, there is no mention of this variant.  It is no wonder that so many evangelicals consider it is a good idea to prefer the Alexandrian Text over the Byzantine Text, and regard Vaticanus and Sinaiticus as superior manuscripts, when they are kept in the dark about errant passages such as this one embedded in the Alexandrian Text.             Codex L also agrees with À and B by lacking the story about the adulteress after John 7:52.  However, there is more to the picture:  after John 7:52, the copyists of Codex L left “memorial space” in the manuscript, signifying that although their master-copy did not contain the absent passage, the copyists recollected its presence in another manuscript, or in other manuscripts.  (Someone later drew a doodle in part of the blank space.)
          Codex L represents two opposite testimonies regarding John 7:53-8:11 – on one hand, its main exemplar apparently did not have these verses; on the other hand, the copyists clearly knew the passage and wanted future readers to know that they knew.  (Alas; we cannot know whether or not Codex L contained the pericope adulterae at the end of the Gospel of John.  Codex L’s last extant page ends in John 21:15.)
The blank space in Codex L
between John 7:52 and 8:12.
          Codex L’s most famous feature involves the ending of the Gospel of Mark.  Codex L’s scribes inserted a row of “>” marks below the first column of a page, where Mark 16:8 ends (with the letters το γαρ on the final line, which happens to be a feature shared by À and B).  At the top of the next column, a framed note says, Φερετε που και ταυτα, that is, accounting for an itacism in the first word, “Some have this too.”  This is followed by the paragraph known as the Shorter Ending.  Here is the exact text of the Shorter Ending as it appears in Codex L, line by line:

Πάντα δὲ τα παρη / γγελμενα τοῖς / περι τον πετρον / συντομως ἐξη /
γγιλαν – Μετα / δὲ ταῦτα καὶ αὐτος / ο ΙΣ, ἀπο ἀνατολης / και ἀχρι δυσεως / ἐξαπεστιλεν δι / ἀυτων το ϊερον / καὶ ἀφθαρτον κη / ρυγμα – της αἰω / 
νιου σωτηριας – .

After Mark 16:8, the Shorter
Ending appears,
preceded and followed
by notes, followed by 16:9.
          Unlike the text of the Shorter Ending found in Codex Ψ (which includes the word εφανε – appeared –  after Jesus’ name), the fragment 099, some Sahidic manuscripts, Bohairic MS Huntington 18, and the Ethiopic version (which support εφανε αυτοις – appeared to them), Codex L does not specify that Jesus appeared to the apostles.  In this respect, although Codex L, as a manuscript, is centuries younger than the fifth-century Old Latin Codex Bobbiensis (which has the reading adparuit, i.e., apparuitappeared), the text of the Shorter Ending in Codex L appears to echo an earlier stage of the Shorter Ending’s existence.
          After the Shorter Ending, a framed note in Codex L says, εστην δε και ταυτα φερομενα μετα το εφοβουντο γαρ – that is, “There is also this, appearing after efobounto gar.”  After this, the first part of verse 9 begins, filling the last two lines of the column; the first line is written in red, with a large initial “A” colored with red and green.  The next two pages contain Mark 16:9b-20, with distinctive variants which confirm what the notes already show:  not only does Codex L display a distinctly Egyptian treatment of the ending of Mark, but the text of verses 9-20 here is in a distinctly Egyptian form, with readings that set it apart from the other text-types. 
         Here are some non-Byzantine readings in Mark 16:9-20 in Codex L:
9 – L reads παρ’; Byz reads ἀφ’.
11 – L reads Εκεινοι; Byz reads Κἀκεινοι.
14 – L omits αυτοις (probably a simple parableptic error); Byz reads αυτοις.
16 – L adds ο before βαπτισθεις; Byz does not.
17 – L reads ακολουθησει ταυτα; Byz reads ταυτα παρακολουθήσει.
17 – L omits καιναις; Byz reads καιναις.
18 – L reads και εν ταις χερσιν; Byz does not.
18 – L reads ἀρωστους; Byz reads ἀρρώστους.
19 – L omits ουν; Byz reads ουν.
19 – L reads ΚΣ ΙΣ (i.e., Lord Jesus); Byz reads Κύριος (i.e., Lord).

Mark 16:9b-17a
          Inasmuch as these readings were not derived from the Byzantine text of verses 9-20, the implication is that they attest to a local form of the text in Egypt.  And inasmuch as the text of the Shorter Ending in Codex L precedes the form attested by Codex Bobiensis (from the early 400’s), we are probably looking at an Egyptian text from the late 300’s on any given page of Mark, Luke, and John in Codex L.  Although, as a manuscript, Codex L is a few centuries later than Codex Sinaiticus, in terms of their texts, Codex L’s text, in general, is only a few decades later than Codex Sinaiticus, where Codex L is free of scribal errors that originated with its copyist.  Codex Regius is truly worthy of royal status among Greek manuscripts of the Gospels.
          Here are some additional details about this manuscript which may come in handy for those who wish to study it further.  (Digital page-views can be accessed at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, and the images of Codex L there have all been conveniently indexed.  A PDF of the manuscript can also be downloaded from the BnF website.)  It is missing a few pages, which contained Matthew 4:22-5:14, Matthew 28:17-20, Mark 10:16-20, Mark 15:2-20, and John 21:15b-25.  Also, some of its pages are bound out of order, so when you look through the digital images, the pages containing John 5:29b-7:34a appear in Matthew, after Matthew 14:8a (and before Matthew 18:10b), and the pages containing Matthew 14:8b-18:10a appear in John, after John 5:29a (and before John 7:34b). 
Mark 16:17b-20,
the subscription,
and the beginning of
the chapter-list
for Luke.
          Codex L has some interesting meta-textual (or para-textual) features, too.  Chapter-lists precede Matthew, Mark (incomplete, due to the loss of a leaf), and Luke, but not John.  The numerals for the Eusebian Sections and Canons appear in the margins, but they contain lots of mistakes, as if the person who added them was not quite sure what he was doing.  The manuscript also contains αρχη (start) and τελος (stop) symbols to signify the beginnings and ends of lections.  Red crosses accompany some lections that were particularly important.  A foot-index (similar, in concept, to individual lines of a line-by-line canon-table) comes and goes.  And, in the upper margins, most of the chapter-titles have survived, written in red.  The scribe frequently added embellishments to capital letters at the beginnings of sections, especially alpha, epsilon, kappa, omicron, and tau.  In a few places, the middle bar of the large initial epsilon is transformed into a forearm; the large initial at the beginning of Luke is a good example of this.
          Finally, one more feature of Codex L may be mentioned:  its division of the text into sentences.  Although Codex L is by no means unique, the correspondence between its sentence-divisions, and our modern verse-divisions, is rather impressive.  On page after page, they square up remarkably well.  It is tempting to think that when Stephanus established our modern-day verse-divisions in the 1550's, it was after a careful consultation of the sentence-divisions in this manuscript at Paris.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

John 7:53-8:11: Why It Was Moved - Part 4

            At the outset of the fourth and final part of this series about why the pericope adulterae (John 7:53-8:11) is sometimes found in locations besides after John 7:52, let’s review what was observed in the previous parts: 
            ● In two Greek manuscripts (225 and 1128) the pericope adulterae was transferred to a location between John 7:36 and 7:37, so as to render the Pentecost-lection one uninterrupted block of text.  (Similarly, in a few manuscripts, the passage is transferred to a location following 8:12; again the reason for this was to render the Pentecost-lection one continuous block of text.) 
            ● In three Georgian manuscripts, the pericope adulterae was inserted between John 7:44 and 7:45.  This is the result of a medieval Georgian editor’s attempt to add the story into the Georgian text (which, in its earliest form, did not have the passage).  The person who made the insertion was guided by a note (similar to what is found in Greek manuscripts 1 and 1582) which stated that the pericope adulterae had been found in a few copies at the 86th section; the Georgian editor therefore put it at the very beginning of that section (i.e., immediately preceding John 7:45).
            ● In the family-1 cluster of manuscripts, the pericope adulterae was transferred to the end of the Gospel of John, accompanied (in the flagship manuscripts of the group) by an introductory note stating that it was not present in many manuscripts, and had not been commented upon by revered patristic writers of the late 300’s and early 400’s; for that reason, according to the note, it was removed from the place where it had been found in a few copies, in the 86th section of John, following the words “Search and see that a prophet does not arise out of Galilee.”  Yet this motive does not account altogether for the Palestinian Aramaic evidence, which implies that in manuscripts made prior to the creation of the Palestinian Aramaic lectionary, manuscripts existed in which John 8:3-11 (rather than 7:53-8:11) was transferred to the end of John, leaving 7:53-8:2 in the text.  (Notably, 18 Greek manuscripts similarly have 7:53-8:2 in the text, but not 8:3-11.)                    
          The evidence thus consistently supports the view that for every transplantation of the pericope adulterae, there is an explanation which shows that prior to the dislocation, the pericope adulterae followed 7:52 in earlier copies of John.  The more closely we look at the evidence, the more untenable the “floating anecdote” theory of Metzger, Wallace, White, etc. becomes. 
          But what about the small group of manuscripts in which the pericope adulterae appears at the end of Luke 21?  These manuscripts (mainly minuscules 13, 69, 124, 346, 788, and 826) echo a shared ancestor; this is just one of many distinct textual features that they share, setting them apart from the rest of the Greek manuscript-evidence.  Let me share the answer before I offer the evidence for it:  the presence of the pericope adulterae after Luke 21:38 in these manuscripts’ ancestor was an adaptation to the Byzantine lection-cycle, and almost certainly descends from a form of the Gospels-text in which the passage had already been transplanted to the end of John.
          In manuscript 13 (the namesake of the group), the Gospels-text is supplemented by symbols signifying the beginning (αρχη) and end (τελος) of the lections assigned to be read from day to day in the church-services.  For example, the parameters of the Pentecost-lection are thus indicated; an αρχη-symbol accompanies the beginning of John 7:47, and a τελος-symbol accompanies the end of 8:12.
          Manuscript 13 has, as a sort of appendix, an incomplete lectionary-table, stating which Scripture-portions are to be read on which days.  In the portion of the lectionary-table that lists readings for the month of October, the last extant entry is for October 7.  The last line on the page identifies this as the Feast-day of Saints Sergius and Bacchus (whose martyrdom is said to have occurred in the 300’s).  Unfortunately the next page (which would begin by identifying the passage to be read on that day – Sections 250-251 of Luke, that is, Luke 21:12-19) has been lost.  In the text of Luke 21 in minuscule 13, however, we can see the marks signifying where the lector was to begin and end this lection:  an αρχη-symbol appears (between πάντων and επιβαλουσιν) in 21:12, and a τελος-symbol appears at the end of 21:19.
John 7:53 follows Luke 21:38
in this column from minuscule 13
The underlined words have replaced
some of the usual words in 8:2.
          Let’s take a closer look at the text of Luke 21 in minuscule 13.  Verses from this chapter had more than one use in the Byzantine lectionary.  Three blocks of text were extracted from it to form the lection for Carnival Saturday (before Lent).  In addition, portions from this chapter were to be read during the 12th week after Easter. 
          We see the effects of this in minuscule 13.  Near the beginning of verse 8, an αρχη-symbol interrupts the text between ειπεν and βλέπετε.  The lector was then instructed at the end of verse 9 to jump ahead (the υπερβαλε symbol appears there).  An αρξου-symbol (meaning, “resume here”) appears in the margin alongside the beginning of verse 21, but this was part of the instructions for the Wednesday of the 12th week after Easter.  On Carnival Saturday, the lector was to jump to the beginning of verse 25 (where we find, in minuscule 13, the abbreviated note “αρξου τ. Σα.,” that is, “Resume here on Saturday”).  The lector was to continue from that point to the end of verse 27, where we find in minuscule 13 another υπερβαλε-symbol.  Jumping to the next αρξου-symbol, the lector was to then read verses 32-36, at the end of which we reach a τελος-symbol.  (In minuscule 13, there is also an αρχη-symbol at the beginning of verse 28 and a τελος-symbol at the end of verse 32; these were intended to signify the beginning and end of the lection for Thursday of the 12th week after Easter.) 
          There are two things to discern from all this:  (1) there is no convenient break in Luke 21 where one could insert a narrative, and (2) bits of Luke 21 before and after the lection for the Feast-day of Sergius and Bacchus were assigned to a prominent Saturday.  The lections for Saturday and Sunday are generally believed to have developed and been standardized (more or less) before the weekday-lections.
           Building on those two points, let us picture a scenario in which a copy of the Gospels which has the pericope adulterae at the end of John has come into the hands of a medieval copyist who wishes to place the passage into the text.  He could insert it in its usual place.  But, knowing that its contents were used annually as a lection for a specific day of the year, he might decide instead that it would be convenient to insert it where it could be easily found in the lectionary-sequence.  In that case, the natural place to insert the pericope adulterae would be at the end of Luke 21. 
One reason for this is that the contents of Luke 21:27-28 loosely square up with the contents of John 8:1-2.  Luke 21:27-28 was so similar to some of the contents of John 8:1-2 that the person who transferred the pericope adulterae to this location altered the text of John 8:2-3 to avoid what appeared to be a superfluous repetition:  after “And early in the morning he came into the temple,” the text of family-13 is και προσήνεγκαν αυτω οι γραμματεις” (“And the scribes presented to him . . .”), where the typical Byzantine text of John 8:2 is significantly longer:  και πας ο λαος ηρχετο και καθίσας εδίδασκεν αυτους· Αγουσιν δε οι γραμματεις (“and all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.  Then brought the scribes . . .”).  Here we have the textual equivalent of the fingerprints, or footsteps, of the editor of family-13’s ancestor-manuscript.
Another reason:  as already mentioned, the lection for October 7 was Luke 21:12-19.  The next feast-day in the Menologion, for October 8, was that of Saint Pelagia – and the text assigned to her feast-day was John 8:3-11.  A natural desire not to interrupt either the Pentecost-lection or the lection for Carnival Saturday was all that was necessary for the copyist of family-13s ancestor-manuscript to insert the passage that contained the lection for October 8 in close proximity to the lection for October 7 (about as close as one could place it without disrupting the narrative and dividing the lection for Carnival Saturday).
It thus becomes clear that the location of the pericope adulterae following Luke 21:28 in the family-13 cluster of manuscripts does not imply that the pericope adulterae was previously unknown to the scribe who made the ancestor-manuscript of these copies; it conveys, rather, that the passage was known as the lection for Saint Pelagia’s feast-day, October 8 – and this is why it was placed near the passage which was read on the preceding day.
  Before concluding, I wish to mention one other case of the displacement of the pericope adulterae:  its treatment in minuscule 1333, in which John 7:52 is followed by 8:12 but John 8:3-11 is found between the end of Luke 24 and the beginning of John 1.  This piece of evidence is sometimes described imprecisely.  In minuscule 1333, John 8:3-11 (not 7:53-8:2) has been written in two columns on the page that follows the page on which the Gospel of Luke ends.  (Thus, no one should imagine that 1333 has the pericope adulterae as part of the text of Luke 24.)  A title identifies the text as a lection from the Gospel of John (εκ του κατα Ιωαννου), and a faint note in the margin states that this lection is to be read on October 8 to honor Saint Pelagia.
Minuscule 1333’s testimony is thus similar to that of manuscripts such as minuscule 1424, in which the pericope adulterae is absent in the text of John but has been added in the margin, with the exceptions that only John 8:3-11 has been added (probably from a lectionary) in this case, and that the person who added these verses in minuscule 1333 did so on a previously blank page between Luke and John instead of in the margin alongside the text of John 7-8.