Bad use of internal principles by modern Greek editors

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Bluefalcon, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. Bluefalcon

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    Oct 20, 2004
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    Mk 2:16 - Jesus "eats and drinks" or just "eats" with tax collectors

    (Greek attestation):

    esqiei B D W 2427 pc it
    esqiete Theta
    esqiete kai pinete G 565. 700. 1241. 1424 pc
    esqiei kai pinei P88 A f1 33 Byz c q sy sa-ms
    esqiei kai pinei o didaskalos umwn L Delta f13 pc vg co
    esqiei kai o didaskalos umwn Aleph aur
    o didaskalos umwn esqiei kai pinei C
    o didaskalos hmwn esqiei kai pinei 579

    The rule, "prefer the shorter reading," is applied too strictly here, and thus the NA27 editors chose "esqiei" (eats) as original. But the Byzantine reading is demonstrably the one that gave rise to all the others! The Byzantine "esqiei kai pinei" (eats and drinks) was possibly shortened to esqiei by h.t. error (scribe skipping from EIKAI - EIKAI, the latter KAI beginning v. 17, thus skipping "kai pinete" altogether). As noted by NA27, the reading "esqiete kai pinete" is due to harmonization to Luke, and "esqiete" is a lone h.t. error (scribe skipping from ETEKAI - ETEKAI) stemming from the aforementioned "esqiete kai pinete" harmonization. What remains are four clearly secondary variations of a single ancient harmonization "o didaskalos umwn" (your master) to the original Byzantine reading, reflecting harmonization to Matthew's text. And for that matter, the two readings omitting "pinei" (drinks) in Mark suspiciously reflect Matthew's text, which does not include "pinei", and may both also be considered harmonizations to Matthew's text, and more likely tertiary readings to the secondary ones including "o didaskalos umwn" (your master). Notice how slim and sporadically attested all of the readings are besides the Byzantine, which includes hundreds of non-near-related manuscripts.

    And so one may see how the rigid use of one internal canon ("prefer the shorter reading") is to the neglect of several others (e.g., "reject the reading caused by probable transcriptional error", "prefer the reading that best explains all the others", "reject the harmonistic reading", etc.), and also to the neglect of the more substantially widespread external evidence including the only Egyptian papyrus fragment (P88) for the text, which happens to read with the Byzantines here! And so we see that in Mark it is fairly certain that Jesus not only ate but also drank with the tax collectors!

    I am, however, open to debate on this textual variant if anyone is willing to discuss it in an intelligent manner.

    Cheers, Bluefalcon

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