Luke 4:44

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bluefalcon, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    -------------------
    Quote by Ziggy under another thread:
    "I would like to throw my Baptist donut into the coffee here, however, and bring up the case of Lk 4:44, where the leading Alexandrian witnesses (p75 Aleph B Q 579 892 (W) (1424)) and our critical texts and translations based thereupon (ESV, NRSV, NIV, NASV, JB, etc.) read the problematic geographic text, "And he was preaching in the synagogues of *Judea*" -- yet the context *demands* the correct reading to be that which is found in *all* other MSS, i.e. "Galilee" (cf. Lk 4:14, 17, 31, 42, 5:1 etc. which clearly demonstrate the geographical anomaly). Any attempt to heremeneutically defend the "Judea" reading has to invoke some travel gymnastics that conflict with parallel Synoptic accounts as well as with the internal context of Luke's own gospel."
    ------------------

    Is this a true geographical blunder on Luke's part, or can it be explained away? It certainly does appear out of place.

    Oh, Ziggy, I thought you'd like to know: The standard version in China (HE HE BEN) that is based on the TR of course reads "Galilee," but there is a new version in use in Hong Kong, the New Chinese Version, that reads YOUTAI, or "Judah," at Lk. 4:44. But this version is far from making inroads here, as the government strictly prohibits all Bibles but the HE HE BEN it sanctions.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  2. Craigbythesea

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    I. Howard Marshall writes in his 928 page exegetical commentary on Luke:

    ". . . Judea here means Palestine as a whole including Galilee. . . ."

    Joseph A. Fitzmyer writes in his 1642 page exegetical commentary on Luke:

    “But ‘Judea’ is to be retained as the lectio difficilior. However, it should most probably not be understood as the specific area of Palestine (in contrast to Galilee), but rather in the comprehensive sense of all the country of the Jews, a sense that it sometimes has elsewhere (1:5; 6:17; 7:17, 23:5, Acts 10:37).

    John Martin Creed writes in his commentary on the Greek text of Luke:

    “Lk. Uses [Judea] for Palestine, cf. (i. 5; vi. 17; vii. 17, xxiii. 5, Acts x. 37; but also in the narrower sense, i. 65, ii. 4, iii. 1, v. 17, xxi. 21.”

    Norval Geldenhuys writes in his commentary on Luke:

    “Probably Judea (so R.V. margin) is the correct reading here: it is to be understood in the wider sense, as equivalent to “Palestine.” (cf. i. 5).

    Edwin W. Rice writes in his commentary (1898) on Luke:

    “It is a curious fact that the Sinaitic, Vatican and some other MSS. read here “of Judea” instead “of Galilee.” But “Galilee” seems to be the most natural and fitting reading in this connection. Indeed, the other reading appears so unnatural, and so like an erroneous one, that although several critical editors had adopted it, the Revisers of 1881 declined to follow it, though they put it in the margin. It seems quite foreign to the course of Luke’s narrative here to introduce a reference to the Judean ministry of Jesus.”

    A. R. C. Leaney writes in his commentary on Luke:

    Judea. The reading of a strong batch of witnesses; it should be retained, being unlikely to have been introduced by a scribe. It reflects the indifference to exact geography of the gospel, and clearly embraces what we should now call Palestine; Luke abandons the Marcan topography (cf. Mark ii. 1 and Luke v. 17), and that which his narrative implies bears little relation to the actual geography of his scenes.

    Frederic Louis Godet writes in his commentary on Luke as translated into English (1887):

    “The absurd reading tee's Ioudai'as, which is found in the six principal Alex., should be a caution to blind partisans of this text.”

    Alfred Plummer writes in his commentary (I.C.C. Series, 1922) on Luke:

    “It seems probable that the reading [Judea, + textual citations] is the original one, which has been corrected to [Galilee, + textual citations] on account of its difficulty. But, as in i. 5 and vii. 17, Judea may here mean the whole country of the Jews, Palestine. Lk. Often uses [Judea] in this sense (xxiii. 5; Acts ii. 9, x. 37,xi. 1, 29, xxvi. 20; comp. Gal. i. 22). Classic writer use the term in much the same way. Strabo means by it all the region from Lebanon southwards.”

    H. A. W. Meyer writes in his commentary on Luke as translated into English (1883):

    “The evidence for this difficult reading is preponderant. The copyists would readily alter it to [of Galilee]. Godet naïvely says, ‘The absurd reading tee's Ioudai'as, which is found in the six principal Alex., should be a caution to blind partisans of this text.’ But the presence of such a reading seems rather to attest the accuracy of these authorities.
    Weiss ed. Mey. Accepts the above reading, and explains the term as referring to the entire Jewish country in general (so i. 5, vii. 17). ‘Luke probably gives here a general sketch of our Lord’s first circuit in Galilee, and includes also the journey to Jerusalem mentioned in John v., which took place not very long afterward (or before, according to some). It is characteristic of Luke to sum up or anticipate thus.’ (Inter. Rev. Comm. Luke, p. 73. The verse forms a separate paragraph in the R.V.”

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    If I were a scribe and came across this old reading (Judea) I would probably tend to change it to Galilee - looking at the small picture, instead of the large.

    So I can certainly see why they would have made such an alteration . . and then have that change repeated a thousand times as copies of copies of copies flooded later Byzantium.
     
  4. Bluefalcon

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    The evidence in this problem is a little complex. If one prefers the "Judea" reading, he needs to explain how the "Galilee" reading is found in the entire Latin tradition that covers a wide geographical area and the origin of which (i.e. Old Latin) is traceable to the 2nd century. Part of the Coptic tradition (Bohairic) in Egypt also reads "Galilee", as does the generally Byzantine Syriac Peshitta and the margin of Harkel's edition from 7th century Egypt. The Greek evidence for "Galilee" is also widely distributed with witnesses from all over the Greek-speaking and non-Greek-speaking world, as well as all the texttypes (cf. A D Theta Psi 33 and the multitude of all Greek manuscripts). How did an erroneous reading become so widespread, especially if "Judea" is so perfectly acceptable in the context, as so many commentators have mentioned?

    The evidence for "Judea", however, is not so widespread, with basically all its witnesses and all of the Versions for it strongly connected to the region of Egypt. One might reason that if the reading "Judea" was inserted relatively late and in just one area that it would (1) not produce as many descendents as the already multitudinous descendents of the original reading, and (2) that it would not spread as widely geographically as the original reading that had already gained a foothold by the natural copying and propagation of biblical manuscripts.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  5. Ziggy

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    On the other hand (and apparently expressed by *no* commentator), is the less convoluted explanation: a monkish scribe copying in Egypt could easily blunder and write "Judea" even if "Galilee" lay in his original exemplar. Why? Because Judea was the familiar Roman province bordering his own geographical location (and those same Egyptian scribes of the MSS involved here also make various geographical blunders elsewhere).

    The problem remains that a forced "Judean tour" at this point in Luke's gospel remains not only extremely difficult, but in contradiction to what appears in the parallel location in other gospels (cf. Mt 4:23; Mk 1:39).

    It seems to me that all those commentators who claim "Judea" was being used by Luke for "Palestine in general" are clutching at interpretative straws, solely to defend a predetermined favored reading that they know *cannot* be original *if* "Judea" actually means what the term implies.

    From the list given by Creed, *none* of the claimed references to "Judea" = "Palestine" can be shown in reality to indicate such (some of which in context clearly differentiate between Galilee as a point of origin, and Judea as the current location). And even if so, then Luke becomes a very sloppy and flip-flopping historian, quite in contrast to his extreme precision in passages such as Lk 3:1-2.

    The only reason I suspect anyone attempts to defend "Judea" here is because they simply accept the modern critical text or implicitily trust the favored group of predominantly Alexandrian MSS. I would rather stand with Godet on this matter: "The absurd reading THS IOUDAIAS, which is found in the six principal Alex. [MSS], should be a caution to blind partisans of this text"; this is particularly the case when one finds all other MSS and texttypes as well as most ancient versions standing in opposition to such.

    Those maps in the backs of our Bibles don't show a first-century demarcation between Judea and Galilee for no reason.
     
  6. Craigbythesea

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    Although I have not personally discussed this with the scholars whose works I have quoted, I believe that that they did not express the view that you have laid before us because it is seriously flawed.

    Even if one scribe coping a manuscript of Luke’s gospel did happen to write in the word “Judea” just because it was somewhere in the back of his mind, other scribes copying his manuscript would have said to themselves, “No way, Jose!” and written in Galilee. One of the basic tenets of textual criticism is that, all other factors being equal, a more difficult reading is more likely to be the correct reading than a less difficult reading, and as has been well expressed by Godet and Dr. Bob, Judea is the more difficult reading.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Ziggy

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    Craig: "One of the basic tenets of textual criticism is that, all other factors being equal, a more difficult reading is more likely to be the correct reading than a less difficult reading, and [ ... ] Judea is the more difficult reading.

    And I quoted Metzger's Textual Commentary re: Lk 6:1 where he flip-flops and claims that just because a reading is difficult does not mean that it should be adopted for that reason. In reality, the *only* reason anyone is arguing *for* the more difficult "Judea" in Lk 4:44 (or *against* the "more difficult" DEUTEROPRWTW in Lk 6:1) is because certain favored MSS happen to read first one way then another.

    And if a "difficult" reading is the one most liable to be altered by "later scribes" (i.e. the Byzantine contingent), then *why* did such scribes *not* attempt to resolve the clearly "more difficult" reading of "Jeremiah" in Mt 27:9? Instead, only a small number of scribes there changed the text to the "easier" and "more correct" reading "Zechariah". It is hard to claim that the later scribes were bent on "correcting" perceived errors when such does not occur in the most obvious instances.

    Rather, in Mt 27:9, the original text of Matthew read "Jeremiah," and the scribes were loath to correct even what may have appeared to them as a blatant "error", one far more perceptible and of greater historic and matter-of-accuracy significance than the less-perceptible "Judea" reading in Lk 4:44.
     
  8. Bluefalcon

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    Precisely the point, Ziggy!

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  9. Craigbythesea

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    I do not see a flip-flop here. You sometimes sound more like a republican politician :D than a fair and objective scholar of New Testament exegesis.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. gb93433

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    Where did you quote Metzger? I have his commentary right in front of me. He doesn't seem to write what you indicate.

    He mentioned it happened through a transcriptional blunder. I don't see any flip flop in what I read that he wrote. Where is the problem in what he wrote?
     
  11. Ziggy

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    gb: "Where did you quote Metzger? I have his commentary right in front of me. He doesn't seem to write what you indicate."

    Metzger, Textual Commentary, in loc. Lk 6:1 compared with the same, in loc. Lk 4:44. The words are there: the "difficult reading" criterion flip-flops (and his "explanation" to justify the supposed "transcriptional blunder" in Lk 6:1 is so absurd as to be laughable -- but I don't think you want to discuss that point, nor his discussion on the Judean Kings Amos and Asaph in Mt 1:7,10).

    Let me put it another way: "Judea" in Lk 4:44 *I* claim to be a transcriptional blunder in the Alexandrian archetype based upon the accidental localized subsitution of the name of a neighboring (and more familiar) locale. This blunder was then reflected in the later Coptic Version as well as a small number of later Egyptian MSS against all other witnesses of all other texttypes. Now if *my* name were Metzger, you'd probably buy that explanation. Instead, you get "Ziggy sez..." and assume the worst. [​IMG]

    CBS: "...republican politician..."?

    I'm not even registered Republican.... :eek:
     
  12. Craigbythesea

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    Who should I believe? An old friend at Princeton or an anonymous dude on a message board? [​IMG]

    No, seriously, neither Bruce's credentials nor your lack of them (an anonymous dude) should be allowed to persuade me one way or the other. Both of your views stand on their own merit. However, I do believe that you are a bit more trigger-happy than was Bruce.
     
  13. Bluefalcon

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    Most accurate, Craig, and thank you! The problem, in my opinion, is that modern scholars have totally dropped the "all factors being equal" qualification, and thus end up with a completely unqualified "rule" of textual criticism, i.e., the harder reading is almost always original! Now, if the evidence is equally distributed among all texttypes and geographical locations and Versions and Fathers, and still there is a question about the veracity of one reading versus another, the "rule" is quite good and useful. But in Lk. 4:44, as in so many other places, such is definitely not the case, and the "rule" is appealed to but without proper qualification.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  14. Craigbythesea

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    And the world is "definitely" flat and the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is "definitely" the KJB. :D

    Scholarslop! :eek:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Ziggy

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    Relating to the other thread on Mt 6:33, but pertinent in the present context:

    Metzger, Textual Commentary in loc Mt 6:33: "The majority of the Committee was impressed by the prevailing usage of Matthew, who almost never employs BASILEA without a modifier....and explained the absence of a modifier [i.e. the phrase "of God"] in several witnesses as due to accidental scribal omission."

    So when reasonable grounds exist to defend a given reading that, for whatever reason, is not accepted by others, such can easily be dismissed as just so much more of the same: scholarslop.....
     
  16. Bluefalcon

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    And the world is "definitely" flat and the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is "definitely" the KJB. :D

    Scholarslop! :eek:

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]Sorry, but I've read craigbythesea's post several times and still don't unterstand! Did I spell something wrong? Do they spell "definitely" differently on the West Coast? I'm perplexed...

    But maybe craigbythesea has his own singular way of spelling it and ALL other people are wrong! HAHA! [​IMG]

    (I certainly am NOT KJVO and would appreciate it if your slanderous posts would cease incorrectly surmising so.)

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  17. Craigbythesea

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    Dear Brother Ziggy,

    You have radically misunderstood my post. The word “scholarslop” was NOT a reference to your knowledge or application of the tenets of textual criticism, but exclusively to Bluefalcon’s scholastically inappropriate use of the word “definite” to describe the degree of certainty of his favored reading of the text.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Bluefalcon

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    Original post by me in context:
    "Now, if the evidence is equally distributed among all texttypes and geographical locations and Versions and Fathers, and still there is a question about the veracity of one reading versus another, the "rule" is quite good and useful. But in Lk. 4:44, as in so many other places, such is definitely not the case, and the "rule" is appealed to but without proper qualification."
    -----------------------
    So where is the evidence for "Judea" equally distributed among all texttypes?
    Where is it equally distributed among geographical province, regarding the Early Versions or Fathers, or MSS from outside Egypt?
    The point is that "Judea" is definitely an extremely localized reading according to the Greek manuscripts and Versions involved.

    I hope we don't need to start parsing sentences on this board.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  19. Craigbythesea

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    Oh, ok, you are a staunch supporter of the Flat Earth Society but you are NOT 100% sold on the divinity of the KJB. [​IMG]

    Hast thou not a sense of humor :D ? Art thou beside thyself :( ? Doth much learning make thee mad at thy dissenters :mad: ?


    Dear [​IMG] Sir:

    In my post above I was drawing a parallel between your inappropriate :eek: use of the word “definite” to describe the degree of certainty of your favored reading of the Greek text and the use of the word “definite” to describe the degree of certainty of the conjectures of some other persons. I was not implying that I believe that you are either a member of the Flat Earth society or that you hold to the divinity of the KJB.

    If you don’t understand this post either, feel free to write it off as being another example of my inability to communicate my ideas to some classes of persons :cool: .

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    Holy cow, man! "Definitely not" was used to describe a fact, namely, that the "Judea" reading at Lk. 4:44 was NOT equally distributed among all texttypes and geographical locations and Versions and Fathers. It appears I really do need to parse my post for you. It was certainly not used to describe the degree of certainty of my favored reading of the Greek text, which sentiment apparently was concocted wholly in your own mind.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     

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