Friday, February 14, 2014

Matt 7:10 εαν ιχθυν αιτηση

As in Matt 7:9 εαν αιτηση, a few manuscripts (with Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, Tischendorf [8th]) omit εαν and use the future indicative αιτησει (ℵ B C L Δ 0281 f1 33. 892 [f1: αιτηση]) in conformity with almost all manuscripts in Luke 11:11 (cf. the evidence presented in Matt 7:10 και)(so Wettstein, 1:340; Griesbach, Commentarius, 1:76; Meyer, 161) or with the same pattern in Luke 11:12 (so Soden, 1:1424). However, most witnesses (followed by Soden, Tischendorf [7th], and Vogels) use the conjunction εαν with either the aorist subjunctive αιτηση (so Soden and Vogels, following E G K M O S U V X Δ Θ Π Φ Ω [Byz] f35 565. 1500. 2224) or the future indicative αιτησει (so Tischendorf [7th], following L N W Σ 047 0211 f13 1424), the form of the latter easily arising from that of the former (cf. Weiss' comment on Matt 7:6 καταπατησωσιν), the change perhaps being exacerbated by the letter Η being easily confused for the letters ΕΙ in uncial script.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Matt 7:10 και

Most witnesses along with Soden and Vogels begin Matt 7:10 with just και (including E G L N O U V W X Δ Θ Σ Φ 047 0211 [Byz] f35 1424), but others (followed by Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, Tischendorf [7th, 8th]) add the conjunction η either before και (ℵ B C K M S Π Ω 0281 f1.13 33. 565. 1500. 2224 pc) or in place of it (892 lat). The addition of η probably arose either from a desire to create symmetry with the preceding question that begins with η (7:9) or from harmonization to Luke 11:12 (so Soden, 2:18) or 11:11 (so Griesbach, Commentarius, 1:76; Meyer, 161), since the conjunction η is present in almost all the manuscripts of Luke 11:11 (ℵ A C D E G H K L M Ρ R S U W Χ Y Γ Δ Θ Λ Π Ψ Ω 0211 [Byz ca. 1650 mss] f1.13.35 33. 565. 892. 1424) and missing in only a few witnesses that also omit the five preceding words there (P45.75 B pc), perhaps from parablepsis error.
     Soden's decision (1:1424) is based on his judgment that the omission of η against the Lukan parallel in the Byzantine (K) text is harder to believe than the double influence from the parallel, namely the adoption of αιτησει and the omission of εαν by the Egyptian (H) and various Palestinian (Hr J Ir?) types from the Egyptian text of Luke 11:12.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Matt 7:9 εαν αιτηση

Most witnesses (along with Soden, Tischendorf [7th ed.], and Vogels) have εαν (or αν) with the aorist subjunctive αιτηση (including E G K M Ν Ο S U V W X Π Σ Φ Ω 0281 [Byz ca. 1500 mss] f1.13.35 33. 565. 892. 2224) or with the future indicative αιτησει (ℵ1 L Δ 047 0211 1424), but at least five witnesses (ℵ* B C Θ 1500), followed by Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Merk, and Tischendorf (8th ed.), both omit εαν and alter the verb to αιτησει either by (a) symmetrical conformation to the tense of the verb that follows (επιδωσει) or (b) harmonization to Luke 11:11 (so Soden, 2:18). Harmonization to Luke may also explain the omission of εστιν in B* L 565. 1424 al here in 7:9.
     In Matt 12:36 where most manuscripts have εαν λαλησωσιν (including E G K [L] M N S U V W X Y Γ Δ Π Ω 0250 [Byz 1540 mss] f1.13.35 565. 892. 1424; [Or]), probably symmetrical conformation to the tense of the following verb (αποδωσουσιν) is similarly to be blamed for the omission of εαν (ℵ B D [Byz 3 mss]) and the change to the future indicative λαλησουσιν (ℵ B C Θ [Byz 32 mss] 33), not incidentally involving the same witnesses as in 7:9.
     For similar alterations in this section by the same class of witnesses cf. Matt 7:6 καταπατησωσιν and Matt 7:10 εαν ιχθυν αιτηση.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Matt 7:6 καταπατησωσιν

Some manuscripts (B C L N W X Θ Σ 047 0211 f13 33 al) and editors (Bover, Greeven, Lachmann, Tischendorf [7th, 8th]) alter the first verb following μηποτε to the future indicative καταπατησουσιν from the aorist subjunctive καταπατησωσιν present in most witnesses (including ℵ E G K M S U V Δ Π Φ Ω 0281 [Byz ca. 1450] f1.35 565. 892. 1424. 1500. 2224; Cl), which Merk, Soden, and Vogels follow. Although in Hellenistic Greek the future indicative may follow μηποτε, Matthew's own style elsewhere is to use the aorist subjunctive (4:6; 5:25; 13:15, 29; 15:32; [25:9]; 27:64). Also in many of those places, as here in 7:6, there is a preference in some manuscripts for the future indicative:
  • 5:25 - μηποτε ... παραδωσει ... βληθησει (D* al) VS. παραδω ... βληθηση
  • 13:29 - μηποτε ... εκριζωσετε (Γ) VS. εκριζωσητε
  • 25:9 - μηποτε ... αρκεσει (D 28. 33 al) VS. αρκεση
  • 27:64 - μηποτε ... κλεψουσιν ... ειπωσιν (ℵ) VS. κλεψωσιν ... ειπωσιν
     Weiss (66) follows most witnesses here with the following explanation: "As hardly anyone at all holds that μηποτε κλεψουσιν και ειπωσιν (ℵ) in Matt 27:64 is possible, since the aorist subjunctive can well turn into the future but not vice versa, so in 7:6 one should hardly write καταπατησουσιν (Tsch Blj) with B C L X instead of –σωσιν."
     Another possible cause for the rise of the minority reading is assimilation to the future indicative pattern in the preceding verses (κριθησεσθε, μετρηθησεται [7:2]; ερεις [7:4]; διαβλεψεις [7:5]). Cf. also the similar nearby emendations emanating from Matt 7:9 αιτηση and Matt 7:10 εαν ιχθυν αιτηση.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Matt 7:5 την δοκον εκ του οφθαλμου σου

Apparently only four largely related Greek manuscripts (ℵ B C 0281), influenced by the order of the words in 7:3, transpose την δοκον from before the prepositional phrase εκ του οφθαλμου σου to the more emphatic position following it. However, most witnesses, followed by Greeven, preserve the more common word order (E G K L M N S U V W X Δ Θ Π Σ Φ Ω 047 0211 0233 [Byz ca. 1520 mss] f1.13.35 33. 565. 892. 1424. 1500. 2224 latt sy-h; Ir-lat Chr).
     Many editors (Bover, Lachmann, Merk, Soden, Tischendorf [7th, 8th], Vogels) follow the minority  of manuscripts on the ground that all the others assimilated to the order in 7:5b or the parallel passage in Luke 6:42 (so, e.g., Alford, 1:70; Soden, 2:17). For this reason alone Soden (1:1448) remarks that the minority reading might even be the reading of the Jerusalem-Egyptian-Byzantine archetype!
     Alternatively, it seems much more likely that four related manuscripts should share a common ancestor that had the transposition, the origin of which was caused by (a) assimilation to the order of words in 7:3 (εν τω σω οφθαλμω δοκον), (b) a desire to emphasize the object δοκον, or (c) an initial accidental omission of την δοκον by homoeoteleuton error (ον...ον) which the scribe repaired by adding the skipped words after copying the prepositional phrase without doing harm either to the sense or to the beauty of the exemplar. It is hardly necessary to point out that the order εν τω οφθαλμω σου δοκον also appears in Luke 6:42, although accidental or intentional assimilation by the few related manuscripts to the nearer preceding order in 7:3 seems more likely than to the same in Luke.
     In short, due to the conflicting claims of internal evidence, the question is whether just four manuscripts of one type harmonized the text or whether all other manuscripts of all types did so. If the former scenario is not more likely, judgment on this variation may be held in suspense until the character of the few manuscripts in question might be ascertained from the examination of all other variations where a judgment is more certain.

Matt 7:4 απο

While most Greek manuscripts (including E G K L M S U V W X Δ Θ Π Φ Ω 047 0211 [Byz ca. 1490 mss] f35 565. 892. 1500. 2224) retain the preposition απο, which Greeven, Soden, Tischendorf (7th ed.), and Vogels approve, a few (ℵ B N Σ f1.13 33. 1424), followed by Bover, Lachmann, Merk, and Tischendorf (8th ed.), alter απο to εκ either by accommodation to the preposition of the preceding compound verb εκβαλω, by assimilation to the same expression in 7:5, or because the expression with εκ seemed more customary than with απο.
     Alford (1:70) and Soden (2:17) indicate that εκ arose from assimilation to 7:5, and Meyer (161) similarly notes, "With εκβαλω and ver. 5 before them, the copyists involuntarily wrote the εκ." Weiss (101–2) concurs, "But then all the newer [copies] resisted the mechanical assimilation of εκβαλω—εκ in Matt 7:4 (ℵ B), which anyway arose on account of the εκβ. εκ of v. 5 being so near, and similarly with the εξελθων εκ in 24:1 (B), where it is rather overlooked that the απο τ. ιερου does not at all belong to this verb, but rather to επορευετο, which is also why C X Maj. place it after the [verb]."
     Fritzsche (288) explains the origin of εκ but also the reason for απο thus: "The reading εκ has no power to stand randomly in the place of the common απο. And in fact εκ either came here from vs. 5 or απο was altered into the more common εκ by a scribe on account of its being less customary. But the difference is this, that εκ signifies that something has fastened to another thing out of which it is now moving, απο that something has been in a nearby thing from which it is now being separated." Also instructive is Cook's observation (64–5): "The word εκ is physically correct, but απο is better as referring to the intention. . . . In v. 5, εκ is generally adopted. The intention has been marked sufficiently by the old reading in the preceding clause; the act itself is now distinctly described."
     As compelling internal arguments corroborate the preponderance of external witnesses, there is little doubt that απο should be retained in the text.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Matt 6:34 τα

A good number of manuscripts (and most modern editors of the Greek NT) omit the article τα before εαυτης (ℵ B G L S W Ω 0211 [Byz ca. 150 mss] 892. 2224* co), either by accident or, more likely, because it seemed either superfluous or even slightly obnoxious to the meaning. Most manuscripts, however, retain the article (including E K M N U Δ Π Σ Φ 0233 [Byz ca. 1350 mss] f1.13 33. 1424. 2224c sy-h).
     Mill (Prolegomena, § 1192) rejects the article with the simple words, "τα εαυτης is more elegant, not more genuine," while Griesbach (Commentarius, 1:75–6) is the best exponent for omitting the article: "Instead of τα εαυτης old and good manuscripts have εαυτης, and it seems that this reading should be preferred, inasmuch as it is harder, less usual, and so situated that the origin of all the others may easily be derived from it. Certainly, by reason of clarification, εαυτης was altered into εαυτη (17. 485; cf. 6:25), into περι εαυτης ([Δ]; Chrysostom; cf. 6:28 and Luke 12:26), into εαυτην (700; cf. Phil 4:6), and into τα εαυτης (cf. 1 Cor 7:32, 33, 34). If τα εαυτης, which should not have appeared obscure or ambiguous to anyone, had been written originally, scarcely should anyone have thought about altering the text."
     Griesbach's analysis provokes two considerations. First, it overlooks the tendency of scribes to omit material, both short words for no apparent reason and also longer stretches of text either by haplography or for no apparent reason (accidental "leaps" forward). Cf. the literature cited in the note on Matt 1:22 του. Second, Griesbach's analysis overlooks the fact that some people (e.g., Erasmus, below) do in fact see no difference between the expression with or without the article. That is, if both τα εαυτης and just εαυτης were thought to mean simply "itself" (so Erasmus, 2:36), then the article τα may have been thought unnecessary and for this reason omitted by some. Bloomfield (1:50–51), while conceding that internal evidence is against the presence of τα, since "an expression is not to be brought in which is quite contrary to propriety of language," he nevertheless judges that the τα could have been omitted by hesitant critics who balked at the idea of a "complete action being ascribed to a thing, as discharging the business and consulting for cares of the day." In other words, the proverb sounded better and less odd in the form of "Tomorrow will take care of itself" rather than "Tomorrow will take care of its own things/possessions." Thus most of the various readings mentioned by Griesbach (to which may be added το εαυτης [Θ 565] and αυτης [B L]) may be seen as alterations away from the idea of the day possessing things to worry about or take care of and toward the proverbial day taking care of itself.
     That the proverb existed very early without the article is demonstrated, e.g., by the apocryphal 3d-century Acta Thomae 28 (Maximilian Bonnet, Acta apostolorum apocrypha, [2 vols. in 4 parts; Lipsiae: Hermannum Mendelssohn, 1891–1903] 2.2:144). It also seems that the proverb circulated without the entire clause in question, i.e., as μη (ουν) μεριμνατε (-νησητε) περι της αυριον· αρκετον γαρ τη ημερα η κακια αυτης  (cf. Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus 1.5 [PG 8:269B]; Chrysostom, Homliae in Matthaeum 22 [PG 57:303]). Because Matt 6:34 is without parallel in the Synoptics, if the entire clause happened to go missing in an early exemplar (either by intentional pruning, by accident, or by following some fathers), later attempts to restore the clause (from other Greek manuscripts, versions, or, more precarious still, other fathers) could have contributed to some of the confusion observed in the manuscript tradition.