Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

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Barry Hofstetter
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Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:35 pm

Jonathan Robie recently posted on B-Greek, and I thought I would repost it here, knowing that we have some real accent mavens...

**********

I was reading Matthew 5:23 a few days ago and was surprised that it said this:
Matt 5:23 wrote:κἀκεῖ μνησθῇς ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἔχει τί κατὰ σοῦ.
So I sent this to Dirk as a typo, and here is his response (shared with permission):
Dirk Jongkind wrote:The accent is intentional. Turns out that the 'grammatical rule' we have been taught of accented τις is interrogative and unaccented indefinite is rather unknown to the manuscripts. After all, what do you do when you want to accent the indefinite (and the option is there in this particular case)? Pete Williams has spent many an hour trawling through image pages to see where one is warranted.
So what do you think? Where did this rule come from, and is THGNT right in discarding it? If it's time to change the way we teach this, what exactly should we teach? Is this something that other people have noted and discussed about the THGNT?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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jeidsath
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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by jeidsath » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:35 pm

Here is Iliad A.144 from Venetus A:

Image

As you can see, τις appears to be treated as enclitic there.

But I imagine that Jongkind means Biblical manuscripts only? If he wants to ignore non-Biblical manuscripts and the statements of the grammarians, he can, but all that he is going to come up with is the version of Greek that was pronounced in later centuries. Like ignoring the Patristic quotations, this is a fairly perverse dedication to the manuscripts, in my opinion. Not including accents in his edition might have been a better choice.
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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by jeidsath » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:22 pm

On "accenting the indefinite," see Chandler 943 on editors that write a grave here.
See Kühner, G. G. 1. 269; Herod. π. ε. μ. 1143; Charax, 1151. Τευ, like του and τῷ for τινός and τινί, is enclitic, as ἀλλ᾽ οὔ τευ οἶδα: οὔτε σοὶ οὔ τέ τῳ ἄλλῳ, Herod. π. ε. μ. 1143; Arc. 142. 2; S. V. Φ. 252: αἰετοῦ οἴματ᾽ἔχων μέλανος τοῦ θηρητῆρος· Ἀρίσταρχος μέλανός του· ἀγνοεῖ δὲ ὅτι ὁ ποιητὴς τῷ ἐγκλιτικῷ ΤΟΥ οὐ χρῆται. ἄμεινον οὖν ἄρθρον αὐτὸ ἐκδέχεσθαι. There can, I think, be very little doubt that many of these modern accents are wrong: ὁ τὶς ἄνθρωπος for any individual man, and all similar combinations, ought to be written ὅ τις ἄνθρωπος. The modern device of writing τὶς with a grave accent finds no warrant among the old grammarians, and, even if ὁ τίς is found in a manuscript of the ninth or tenth century, it is probable that it only represents the pronunciation of the scribe's age, not that of Apollonius or Herodian.
I've bolded his last sentence.
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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by mwh » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:28 pm

I think it’s rather silly. The difference between enclitic τι and interrogative τί is both well founded and well established. The ancient grammarians discussed enclitics extensively, as have modern linguists. To overturn the stated rule on the grounds that it is “rather unknown [?!] to the manuscripts” is ill-informed and irresponsible. (And do the manuscripts give τί here in any case?)

If an editor insists on giving τι an accent here, he might at least treat it as orthotone (τὶ) rather than interrogative.
(Or if he wants to be ruled by manuscript practice, why not go the whole hog and print the text without any accents at all, as in the earliest manuscripts?)

[independently of jeidsath]

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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by Jonathan Robie » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:23 pm

There's a pointer from the B-Greek thread to here, here's a pointer back to the original B-Greek thread where this started:

http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... =11&t=4321

I have done my best to add the information Peter Williams gave to support his view, and will continue to post any additional information he sends me. I'm very interested in hearing from all sides on this.

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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:26 pm

http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blog ... inite.html

I'm not at all convinced that we should be doing this, based on the broader considerations already mentioned, but there are manuscripts which do write an acute accent. See also:

http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... 230#p29230

Which have manuscript images of the text in question.
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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by jeidsath » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:42 pm

It's pleasant to see such cross-board collegiality, and hopefully it can continue.

Codex Vaticanus, labelled GA 03 in the other post, I believe, was re-inked in the tenth or eleventh century. That is also when the accents were added. So it is not an early witness.

The stress-based accent of the ninth-century Greek of many of our manuscripts does not perfectly map onto the accent of earlier centuries. For the ninth-century speaker, for example, the difference between circumflex and accute was orthographical only. But the example of Babrius in the 2nd century A.D. shows that Greeks of his place and period distinguished circumflex from acute in pronunciation.
...relatively recent artificial rules...modern teaching of Greek...
But it is hardly a modern teaching tendency! The ancient grammarians presumably know more about how their Greek was written or pronounced than the scribes of the ninth century.

From the linked blog entry:
Furthermore there was a major shift in pronunciation, including the function of the accents, during the Hellenistic period—the majority of the classical texts lie on the opposite side of that divide from the New Testament, which means that the scribal tradition is much more likely to be accurate for the New Testament than for the classical texts that West is referring to.
This view needs more evidence than just hand-waving. It's a complicated subject, with evidence on both sides. Hardly cut and dried.
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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by Jonathan Robie » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:08 pm

jeidsath wrote:It's pleasant to see such cross-board collegiality, and hopefully it can continue.
Me too. I'm glad Barry posted this here. I assume it's better to let both threads proceed in parallel, assuming people can read both boards, rather than trying to replicate everything in both places.

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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by mwh » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:21 am

OK so some medieval manuscripts sometimes put an acute accent on indefinite τις τι. None of the ancient manuscripts do (that’s if the accents in the Vaticanus are medieval additions, as they certainly look to be), and the practice would have shocked the hellenistic scholars who invented written accents and discussed their application. It’s a purely medieval quirk. It’s fanciful (as jeidsath pointed out) to imagine that medieval accentuation reflects even contemporary prosodic reality, and to assert that the conventional rules are “relatively recent” and “artificial” is simply false.

That should be the end of it, though I know it probably won’t be. I’m happy for Textkit posts to be shared, but I support Jonathan Robie’s proposal to avoid duplication of B-Greek discussion here. As he points out, we can go to B-Greek if we want that.

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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by Jonathan Robie » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:02 pm

mwh wrote:That should be the end of it, though I know it probably won’t be. I’m happy for Textkit posts to be shared, but I support Jonathan Robie’s proposal to avoid duplication of B-Greek discussion here. As he points out, we can go to B-Greek if we want that.
That's actually not what I proposed, I said instead of trying to duplicate discussion in both places we could let the threads evolve independently. But I was mostly asking the question - I'm mostly just looking for the best way to carry the discussion on.

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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by Jonathan Robie » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:05 pm

jeidsath wrote:Here is Iliad A.144 from Venetus A:

Image

As you can see, τις appears to be treated as enclitic there.
Is that manuscript 10th century or so?[/quote]

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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by Jonathan Robie » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:08 pm

jeidsath wrote:The stress-based accent of the ninth-century Greek of many of our manuscripts does not perfectly map onto the accent of earlier centuries. For the ninth-century speaker, for example, the difference between circumflex and accute was orthographical only. But the example of Babrius in the 2nd century A.D. shows that Greeks of his place and period distinguished circumflex from acute in pronunciation.
...relatively recent artificial rules...modern teaching of Greek...
Hmmm, so it's likely that the pronunciation of the language changed by the time of the manuscripts we are looking at, which all seem to be 10th century or later? Is there solid evidence from earlier manuscripts or writings of earlier grammarians that directly address this point?

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Re: Matt 5:23 THGNT Accent Question

Post by jeidsath » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:25 pm

Johannes Charax and Herodian both give a fairly clear description of enclitics. They do not describe anything like an exception for accented indefinite τι, and certainly not an indefinite τι that retains the acute. Looking at THGNT, the second of these practices is very frequent among the medieval manuscripts, making this a bizarre omission from Charax and Herodian and the scholia, even if our medieval scribes have mistaken τί and τὶ.

The most likely explanation of the current state of the manuscripts is a medieval scribe with no special learning of grammarians of earlier centuries, doing his best to accent the manuscripts according to the speech of his own time and place. For the Bible, this may have occurred for the very first time when the practice of accenting every word began to become popular. There is certainly no ancient Aristarchus for the Bible, as there is with the Iliad, and no unbroken tradition of commentary on accent to look to.

The argument, in fact made explicitly in the blog section that I quoted, comes down to the idea that the speech patterns of the ninth century, recorded by the manuscripts, are a better guide for the New Testament than the speech patterns of the second century (and earlier), recorded by the grammarians and some scholarly material like the Venetian Codex of the Iliad or the Ambrosian scholia on the Odyssey.

The fact that our texts of Herodian come from "two manuscripts probably postdating Erasmus," as stated in the other thread, is hardly an argument. Charax and Herodian are fairly consistent. The Venetian Codex and the Homeric scholia follow the same practice. The idea that Herodian is all some sort of medieval interpolation is extremely unlikely.

But perhaps we've come to the heart of the argument: in Biblical studies, manuscripts have a higher value as evidence than anything else. This is almost defensible (but ultimately not) in the other thread where we discuss the unical evidence against the Patristic quotations of John 6:4. But the accents in our manuscripts are on infinitely more slippery ground.
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