Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Pen, Print, and Pixels - Day 2

Daniel Buck

Daniel Buck reports on two of the sessions he attended on Day Two of the conference:

(1)  Holger Strutwolf:  The ECM of Mark

             This latest fascicle of the Editio Critica Maior is being produced in two forms simultaneously:  the online edition on the website, and the printed edition in three volumes. [Daniel Buck:  I took a look at them, and they seem to all be German/English diglots, with the English either in alternate paragraphs or alternate columns, marked either way with a solid line along the left margin.]  The process began with Text und Textwert, compiled by Aland.  1,754 MSS were known and available for Mark:  the majority are stable and uniform, so most of them were left out of consideration as redundant.  In TuT of Mark, there were 196 test passages for which all MSS on the list were photographed and compared.      

            These 196 were all cases where the reading of the majority differed from the NA text. 1,566 of the 1,754 MSS agreed with each other 90% or more.  Scholars determined which MSS were the most reliable representatives of the majority text and used them, about 100 total. Then they transcribed in full all 188 of the remaining MSS of Mark and 15 papyri, so 219 MSS altogether formed the database for the apparatus.

            All 219 selected MSS are compared to each other by percentage of shared reading in the 196 (or less, in case of damaged MSS) test passages.  Holger threw up a bunch of percentage-comparisons.[Daniel Buck:  I noticed that 2427, the long-discredited “Ancient Mark,” was only 79.3% same as Vaticanus.]  All this data is available on the Münster website, generated by computer manipulation of the entered transcriptions. There are also links to patristic citations, in the original language, in context! That alone represents a big accomplishment. You can also click through to the lexical definition of any word cited in the apparatus, and bring up line-by-line transcriptions. There is even hope in the near future to make ECM interactive.

            Holger then talked about CBGM.  He talked about pre-genealogical coherence, genealogical coherence, and stemmatic coherence (regarding which see Wasserman & Gurry’s “A New Approach to Textual Criticism: An Introduction to the CBGM”).  It seems that stemmatic coherence is rarely used, and never as the primary step.

            Textual flow diagrams connect every MS with its potential ancestors at every variant unit. For example, he showed flow from the texts found in 35 to 18 to 042. Visualization of variations hints at locations where changes took place.     


Holger Strutwolf
            Then came a very interesting section where he explained how the use of CBGM overturned the WH/SBL omission (and NA bracketing) of υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ in Mark 1:1.  In NA27, the majority text was not really considered to be a candidate for the original text, it was dismissed as an anti-adoptistic corruption.  But in view of Σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός already being in v. 11, there seemed no reason to add it to v. 1.  Also in favor of the shorter reading, it has been observed that jumps of the eye at the beginning of a MS are very improbable. And it’s been claimed that because it’s a nomina sacrum, homoeoteleuton would be unlikely.  

            Setting the CBGM’s Connectivity Level at 5 will show up to 5 ancestors.  If less than 5, it goes to other lines, with most likely at the top. CBGM showed the shorter reading, f, to have arisen five times independently in all the witnesses for it!  Because all five are way under 90% alike, all must have independently lost the a reading, υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ.       

            CBGM is thus able to falsify the arguments of Bart Ehrman regarding this variant-unit.  So, now it turns out that the jump of the eye even can happen in nomina sacra (as attested by it happening in very late MSS – a good reason to study them!).  In the stemma of 1:1, it was assumed that all five other ECM variants stemmed directly from the a reading, either by addition or omission.  But there is a problem. The flow diagram doesn’t show that 03 and 019 both had descent from 01.  Here, apparently, is where stemmatic coherence was brought in to show the individual steps.

            Another such case is at Matthew 3:11, units 18-26.  Here the majority reading is very classical Greek. A 03 has a koine form; it was common to use neuter plural as real plural.  This exemplifies a movement to standardize the majority text, but it entered in a chaotic network of ways. The Atticistic reading won out, but the copyists were used to koine Greek and kept changing it back.  So the flow diagram actually goes from A to Byz and back!  Text diagrams are not to be misused:  inconsistencies may show movement back to the original reading, not from it directly!  It is a tool that must be subject to methodological, historical, and even theological considerations!


Q:  Given that so many MSS were lost, would the results change, with more coherence, could they be added?

Strutwolf:  Yes, especially in the case of old MSS, of which we have very few.  But we have many newer MSS with texts.  We could fill out the coherence between the old MSS much better if the missing links were available.  Thus in many MSS there is a mixture of old and young readings with no surviving ancestors to show the sources of this co-mingling.

Next:  Kathleen Maxwell presents Decorative Systems in Byzantine Manuscripts.


Matthew M. Rose said...

"And it’s been claimed that because it’s a nomina sacra, homoeoteleuton would be unlikely."

"So, now it turns out that the jump of the eye even can happen in nomina sacra..."

I'm not sure how anyone could ever have thought otherwise. NS omissions due to HT are exceedingly numerous within the manuscript tradition.

Daniel Buck said...

Until CSNTM opened up a whole world of evidence to us, textual critics tended to not be all that familiar with the manuscript tradition.

Matthew M. Rose said...

Hi Daniel, CSNTM is certainly a wonderful tool, but I'm not sure I follow/understand your point (?).