Ah man, a topic on a GNT TC question and I’m late to the party? As someone who tags the images online at the CSNTM
as well as the INTF
(plus a huge interest in Biblical TC), hopefully I can offer some relevant remarks.
jeidsath wrote:It's also surprising to me that an insertion, not widely present in the 2nd century, could have made it into all of our surviving texts.
This would lead one to conclude it was more prevalent in 2nd century copies of John than the patristic remarks may indicate. Another such example is John 1:13, where Tertullian says most copies read “who was
born not of blood” as opposed to the corruption of the Valentinians’ “who were
born not of blood” (ὃς ... ἐγεννήθη / οἰ ... ἐγεννήθησαν). Problem is all of our Greek copies of John read the plural, along with all the rest of the versions, bar one solitary Old latin witness (b, aka Codex Veronensis
). See Bart Ehrman’s comments in The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture
, pp. 69-70. Usually, a patristic assertion with no other manuscript support is not usually given much credence if few other manuscripts agree. For John 1:13, our earliest papyri (𝔓66 and 𝔓75) both read the plural, and both roughly date to the time Tertullian was writing (both dated 3rd century CE by most papyrologists, though Philip Comfort would date 𝔓66 early to the mid second century CE, so before both Irenaeus and Tertullian). For a supposed “Gnostic” corruption to have spread so far and so quickly to have been present in our earliest copies, would lead one to conclude here the patristic citation and assertion to the contrary are in fact in error.
jeidsath wrote:I had assumed that there wasn't anything useful in Patristic quotations, since apparatuses never mentioned anything interesting. Maybe that was a bad assumption to make.
Depends on the context of “useful”. For determining the original text (or more common in modern TC, the “earliest attainable text”)? Probably not. Can’t remember who it was exactly, but a scholar in the 18th/19th century sought to make a critical GNT based on patristic citations, but somewhat fell flat. The general unreliableness of the manuscripts containing patristic works (due to copyists either making their own mistakes, or altering the citations to fit the more common one prevalent at the time of the copyist and their location), and their later date than actual copies of the NT was too big a hurdle to overcome at the time. It may be possible now. See for instance The Text of the Fourth Gospel in the Writings of Origen
(Gordon Fee & Bart Ehrman), and The Text of the Apostolos in Athanasius of Alexandria
(Gerald J. Donker). Whether these are reflective of the original/earliest attainable text, or just of the manuscripts available to the patristic author in question, will likely be debated for years to come.
jeidsath wrote:NA 28 removes even that, I'm afraid. But some searching on the web confirms that NA 27 gives the same as you quote, originally 472, but 1634 in the update.
One of my major grievances with the NA28 is the decision to remove pc
(pauci/a few) and al
(alii/others). The removal I feel gives the impression the witnesses cited are the only
witnesses to the variant; however, this is apparently why the NA28 removes both, which to me makes little sense. I’m thinking 472 was no longer cited as omitting the verse, as it doesn’t actually omit it, but places an obelisk at the start of the verse. See page 184 of the manuscript online at the Lambeth Palace Library
, right hand page about half-way down. The obelisk is easily seen.
Paul Derouda wrote:Here we apparently we have evidence that the church fathers had a different text, and, as Timothée and mwh point out, we have manuscripts that don't have the whole verse at all – which might mean that we're dealing with an interpolation within an interpolation.
As it stands only 1 manuscript appears to have omitted it completely (min. 1634), with only one pointing out its possible inauthenticity (min. 472). See 1634 at the INTF, with the omission seen on page 204 verso
. As this omission appears to have come at a time where the copyist has indicated the start of a new section, one wonders whether this was merely done by accident, rather than due to a reflection of an earlier exemplar. As I know of no study on min. 1634, whether it has other such omissions we don’t yet know. It could be this happens a few times throughout all four Gospels; just this one was noticed due to its peculiarity, and possibly due to supporting the idea that Origen didn’t know of the passage (as per Hort, Notes
p. 77). Evidently, I don’t think the evidence of either the manuscripts or patristic authors indicates that the entire verse was missing, but possibly only τὸ Πάσχα. See further on this below.
jeidsath wrote:On the other hand, I don't see any way to say that ἦν δὲ ἐγγὺς ἡ ἑορτὴ τῶν Ἰουδαίων couldn't have been John himself. The manuscript evidence against it seems late, and perhaps the verse dropped out as a mechanical mistake? I imagine that someone would have to know more about the characteristics of 472 and 1634 (and whatever others are meant by "pc") to make a determination.
Astute observation. I was unable to find any other manuscript which omitted the verse entirely (von Soden also makes no other mention than 472 or 1634 – vol 4. p. 412), so pc
in the NA Apparatus will be a reference to 472 in this case. As noted above, 472 doesn’t omit it, but obelisks it.
jeidsath wrote:It also opens up a chronology difference between John and the synoptics. However, is that something that John would have cared very much about? Perhaps not, given the chronology of his Passion account.
No, likely not (also assuming he knew of the other Gospels at any point is up to debate. Though Eusebius (IIRC) makes mention of John knowing the synoptics, this isn’t exactly reliable proof he did). Also the synoptics themselves aren’t entirely worried about chronology either.
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Suggesting the omission τὸ πάσχα John 6:4 is ignoring the obvious: the manuscripts. In New Testament textual criticism decisions are made based on evidence. Fanciful emendation is anathema.
I would agree mostly with the above. Some conjectural emendations are given some traction, such as J. R. Harris’ suggestion that John 11:25 should omit καὶ ἡ ζωή; however even here Harris’ suggestion was based due to its omission in the Syriac Sinaiticus, so it wasn’t entirely without manuscript evidence. This was given even more credence in the 1930’s when 𝔓45 turned up, which supported both the Syriac Sinaiticus and Harris by not having καὶ ἡ ζωή in John 11:25.
A further example to be drawn from John 11:25: there are 6 patristic authors who don’t cite it as having Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἀνάστασις καὶ ἡ ζωή, but rather Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ζωή καὶ ἡ ἀνάστασις, thus swapping around both ἡ ἀνάστασις and ἡ ζωή. These are Amphilochius of Iconium, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, Didymus the Blind, Ephrem of Syria, and Severian of Gabala. Amphilochius of Iconium, John Chrysostom and Didymus the Blind quote it this way twice, giving 9 citations of John 11:25 with this word order. Who exactly though has suggested to amend the text of John to this word order? None, as far as I’m aware. There is no manuscript evidence other than patristic for this sequence, hence why it has largely been ignored. See a list of citations of John 11:25 in patristic authors at the ITSEE website provided by the University of Birmingham, England, UK
jeidsath wrote:Also, it's 250 years between the originals and the great unicals, and sometimes thousands of miles between the where the NT books were written and where the unicals were copied, and perhaps some evidence of important text recension events affecting what we have now.
See my comments above concerning 𝔓66 and 𝔓75. Both of these manuscripts (dated the same way the uncials are) are assigned dates in the 3rd century, and early for P66 in the mid 2nd century, and both contain John 6:4 as the traditional wording. As the prevailing date usually given for when the GoJ was written is 95 CE, we either have this verse appearing within 65 years, or just over 100 years since the autograph. As noted, there is only one
manuscript which omits the verse in its entirety, and that comes from the 14th century CE. The earliest manuscript attests the authenticity of the verse, with no variant. No manuscript omits τὸ Πάσχα. Interestingly though, min. 543 omits ἡ ἑορτὴ, but not the previous τὸ Πάσχα (see the page online at the CSNTM, 2nd column, lines 5-7
). There’s a likelihood this is an assimilation to John 2:13, but again I know of no study of min. 543 which could give us any insight as to how often the copyist assimilated the passages. There’s therefore more manuscript evidence for the omission of ἡ ἑορτὴ than there is for the omission of τὸ Πάσχα.
This therefore leads to answer this final thing:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:The reading is missing from a number of 2-3 century writers who quote the text, which suggests that the early transmission history of the text may have been more complicated than the current manuscript evidence indicates.
I’m not sure if jeidsath’s comments have been misunderstood, or Hort’s have, but no early patristic author ever
quotes John 6:4 as omitting τὸ Πάσχα, or even omitting the verse entirely. That some patristic authors didn’t have τὸ Πάσχα or didn’t know of John 6:4 is a subjective assumption based on what they mention in other places. This isn’t really evidence for the omission of τὸ Πάσχα or of the entire verse, and what would’ve been a “more obvious argument” (as per Hort on Origen) is just as subjective, and trying to guess at what patristic authors “would have” written if they knew of something isn’t something we can judge. One can see the list of patristic citations of John 6:4 from the UoB’s ITSEE
, and one will be quick to notice even the adaptations note the presence of τὸ Πάσχα, and even a manuscript lemma which agrees with the reading of min. 543 in omitting ἡ ἑορτὴ
. Therefore, there is neither manuscript nor
patristic evidence for either the entire omission of John 6:4, or of τὸ Πάσχα from within the text.
I’ll quote from C. K. Barrett’s The Gospel According to St. John
concerning this verse, and the comments of Hort:
C. K. Barrett wrote:The authenticity of [τὸ Πάσχα] was suspected by Hort, though the are contained in all MSS. And VSS. And the only evidence against them is patristic… [However t]he objection cannot be sustained. The omission of the words by some of the Fathers and by Hort, rests upon a view of the structure and intention of the gospel which cannot be maintained; the Passover is mentioned here not for chronological but for theological reasons. It is true that this is the second Passover in John, and that only one is mentioned in the synoptics; it is true also that it is impossible to spread out the events of chapters 3-5 over the space of a year. The interesting observations of Abrahams do not justify the Johannine dating; ‘everything points …. To a date soon after the Passover’; but John says that the Passover ‘was near’, that is, had not yet come. He mentions the Passover primarily because, as will appear, some of the acts and words of this chapter have a eucharistic significance, and the eucharist, like the last supper, must be understood in the context of the Jewish Passover.
To return to jeidsath’s original question: why it isn’t in Georg Luck’s Conjectural Emendations article? Good question, and I have absolutely no idea. Jan Krans has a chapter on Conjectural Emendation and the Text of the New Testament
which may make mention of it.
jeidsath wrote:I have 64 more obelized verses from W&H, and I can and will post threads on every one of them
I’m all up for that! Do a topic for each and every verse in the NT where we can discuss the numerous textual variants contained within each one – I’ll be fine with that