Thursday, December 9, 2010

John 10:12-13 - (h.a.)

John 10:12-13 (traditional text)

ο μισθωτος δε  και ουκ
ων ποιμην ου ουκ εισιν
τα προβατα ιδια θεωρει
τον  λυκον  ερχομενον
και  αφιησιν  τα προ-
βατα  και φευγει και ο
λυκος αρπαζει αυτα και
σκορπιζει  τα προβατα

ο'δε μισθωτος  φευγει
οτι μισθωτος εστιν και
ου μελει αυτω περι των

"But the hireling, and not
the shepherd, whose sheep
are not his own, sees the
wolf coming,
and abandons the sheep,
and he flees; and the
wolf captures these, and
and scatters the sheep.

But the  hireling will flee,
since he is a hireling, and
does not care about the


A(corr), X, Δ ψ, 0141, f13, 22(marg), 157, 565, 700, 1071, 1424,
Byz, Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS)
Lat, Sy-P, Sy-H, goth, [Trgmg]

P45, P66, P75, א, A*, B, D, L, W, Θ, 0211, f1, 22*, 33,

579, 1241, al, L253, d, e, Sy-S, Sy-Pal, Co, aeth, arm

W: further omits οτι μισθωτος εστιν, C: lacuna, B: no umlaut

All 3 main Greek Critical Texts Omit  the text: (WH, N, UBS2)

All Modern versions RETAIN THE TEXT (ASV NAS NIV RSV NEB NBV etc.).

Here is perhaps a wonderful example, because not only is the External Evidence (textual features) overwhelming in favour of a simple Haplography error, but the Internal Evidence is also overwhelming in favour of the fuller text.

In fact, the evidence is so strong for an accidental omission, that not a single 'modern' version has dared to omit the line! It seems that dozens of committees of editors and Bible critics had to confess over and over again that dropping the line made the whole parable/analogy absurd.

Why? Because then the last half of the verse, which talks of the Wolf, runs straight into " - because he is a hireling", making the Hireling and the Wolf the very same person, and making the story of the hireling fleeing from the wolf nonsensical and ridiculous.

Believe it or not, Westcott/Hort adopted the omission, insisting on mechanically following the textual evidence no matter how foolish, in search of the ever-retreating mirage of the 'Neutral Text'. Nestle, and UBS-2 blindly follow, believing (perhaps rightly) that this 'agreement in error' proves an earlier ancestor for Aleph/B.

Yet by the 1950s, thank God, somebody began to strongly suspect that this 'ancient ancestor' of Aleph/B was not the original text after all, but an all-too-human copy of the Gospels no better executed or preserved than any other manuscript, version, or ancient quotation of the text.

But what to do? Instead of taking a long hard second look at the dozens of omissions of whole and half-verses, of phrases and clauses, they had been busy deleting from the Holy Bible, the editors did what we can expect all cowards to do: Say nothing, and quietly ignore the "assured results" of Textual Criticism in this case, and hope that nobody noticed the embarrassing gaffe utterly entrenched in the Alexandrian Text.

Note that even the normally slavish Codex W simply couldn't stand the Alexandrian text as he found it, and decided to solve the problem his own way, by again deleting yet another half-line, to cover the awkward connection where the text came together after the first boo-boo.

But what should the editors of 'modern' versions have learned from this embarrassing episode? They should have recognised the dubious quality of these 'ancient' witnesses, and downgraded their authority. They should have learned to put more trust in the thousands of early Christians who wisely abandoned such poor copies of Holy Scripture in favour of better ones, and who independantly preserved the Traditional Text for us.

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