Thursday, December 9, 2010

John 3:13 - (h.a.)

John 3:13 (traditional text)

...και ουδεις
αναβεβηκεν εις τον
ουρανον ει μη ο εκ
του ουρανου καταβας
ο υιος του ανθρωπου

ο ων εν τω ουρανω

"...And no one has ascended
up to heaven, if not the One
coming down out of heaven,
the Son of Man;

the One in heaven."

A/A(corr), K Δ Θ Π ψ 050 (063) f1 f13, 28 565 700 892 1009 1071 1079 1195 1216 1230 1242 1253 1344 1365 1546 1646 2148 2174

Byz, Maj (Majority of all continuous MSS),

Lect, l -184 211 (s,m),883 1579 (m), it-a/aur/b/c/f/ff2/j/l/q/r1, vg, Syr-P/H/Pal?, Cop-Bo(mss), Arm Geo, Diatess., Hippolytus Novatian, Origen-Lat, Dionysius Eustathius Jacob-Nisibus Aphraates Hilary Lucifer Basil Amphilochius Didymus Epiphanius Chrysostom Nonnus Cyril Theodoret (0141, 80, Syr-S)

OMIT: P-66/75 א, B L W-supp, 083 086 0113 33 1010 1241 Cop-Sa/Bo(mss)/Ach2/fay, Aeth, Diattess.-(arm)/v, Origen-Lat.mss, Apollinaris, (Didymus, Cyril)

Here is a case where giving credence to an omission which is in fact a Haplography error becomes ludicrous: Virtually every early father and writer that can be checked cites the full verse. Two fathers appear influenced by Caesarean editors in a couple of copies. Thus as well as overwhelming manuscript support, we have overwhelming patristic support in favour of including the line as original, to say nothing of the obvious 'internal' criteria, the physical requirements for homoioarchton (accidental omission from similar beginning of line/phrase).

As expected, Westcott/Hort follow Aleph/B, Nestle and UBS follow Hort, and half the 'modern' translations follow UBS. The comedy of errors forms a long chain of unbroken dumbness. Surprisingly, the American Standard Version (ASV) and New English Bible (NEB) manage to drag their heads out of the sand long enough to avoid this re-introduction of an ancient error. P66/75 show the blunder to be very ancient, but once again generated by the usual suspects, clumsy Alexandrian editors interfering with the text.

Although once the line was lost in some copies, it is possible to see a theological motive for leaving it out (among Arians, or those who deny the pre-existance doctrine of Christ), but why look for conspiracies, when stupid explains so much? Occam's Razor can be sensibly applied here.

Look in vain for sensible or enlightening footnotes in modern versions.

4th Century Editing

Of course the initial booboo doesn't fully explain the course of its repetition.
F.H.A. Scrivener is most enlightening on the subsequent history of this obvious blunder:

19. John 3:13 Westcott & Hort remove from the text to the margin the weighty and doubtless difficult, but on that account only the more certainly genuine, words ο ων εν τω ουρανω. Tischendorf rejected them (as indeed does Prof. Milligan) in his Synopsis Evangelica (1864), but afterwards repented of his decision.

The authorities for omission are א, B L (which read [also] read μονογενης θεος ['onlyborn god'] in Jn 1:18), Tb [6th cent.], MS 33 among the MSS. CDF are defective here: buth the clause is contained in AEGHKMSUVΓΔΛΠ, and in all cursives save one, A* and one Evalngelistarium (44) omitting .

No versions [translations] can be cited against the clause except one MS of the Bohairic: it appears in everyone else, including the the Latin, the four Syriac, the Ethiopic, Georgian and the Armenian.

There is really no Patristic evidence to set up against it, for it amounts to nothing that the words are not found in the Armenian versions of Ephraem's Exposition of Tatian's Harmony (see Vol. I p.59 note 2); that Eusebius

might have cited them twice but did not; that Cyril of Alexandria, who alleges them once, passed over them once; that Origen also (in the Latin xlat.) neglected them once, inasmuch as he quotes them twice [!], once very expressly. Hippolytus [220 A.D.] is the prime witness in their behalf, for he draws the theological inference from the passage (αποσταλεις ινα δειξη αυτον επι γης οντα ειναι και εν ουρανω), wherein he is followed in two places by Hilary and by Epiphanius. To these add Dionysius of Alexandria [3rd cent.], Novatian [3rd], Aphraates the Persian, Didymus [4th], Lucifer, Athanasius, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, John of Damascus (3x), Cyril of Alex., Chrystostom & Theodoret (4x each);

- Indeed as Dean John Burgon has shown, 1 more than 50 passages from 38 ecclesiastical writers; and we then have a consensus of versions and writers from every part of the Christian world, joining Codex A and the later MSS in convicting א, B L &c., or the common sources from which they were derived, of the deliberate suppression of one of the most mysterious, yet one of the most glorious, glimpses afforded to us in Scripture of the nature of the Saviour, on the side of His proper Divinity."

1. The Revision Revised, p. 133. Also Miller's Textual Guide, App. VI.
-F.H.A. Scrivener, Plain Introduction, (4th Ed.,1889 Ed. Miller) Vol. 2, Ch 12: Examples pg 360 fwd

No comments:

Post a Comment