Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mark 14:19

Mark 14:19 (Trad. Text)


They began to be sorrowful,
and to say to him
one by one, "Not I?"
and yet another, "Not I?"

INCLUDE LINE:    D, Θ, f1, 700, Byz (Majority of all MSS),
it(a, d, f, ff2, i, k, q), Sy-Hmg, arm, geo, Or, Gre, Bois, Trgmg

(eimi/kai) A, 28 267 517 892 954 1071 1424 1675 pc2 (+kurie/rabbi) A, 267
(subst. just [kai] o allos) c, 579

OMIT: א , B (this time with an umlaut!),
C, L, P, W, Δ, ψ 828(~f13), 1342, 2786, al125, Latin(aur, l, vg), Syr, Cop

Lacuna: 33, B: umlaut! (p. 1299 B, line 28) eis mhti egw, o` de. eipen

Again one will look in vain for any documentation in the UBS Greek text, or even a footnote mentioning the omission in modern versions.

This bit of superfluous Markan wordiness was bound to be excised by a trigger-happy Diothores ('overseer/corrector') at some point.
You knew no Alexandrian Editor would let this stand for long. It would just go against every editing impulse he spent his whole life mastering. And how could textual critics and modern versions do otherwise?

Yet no sensible copyist could have created this alleged 'insertion'. We would also have to account for this reading dominating the Byzantine tradition (Majority of MSS). To be a mere gloss, it would require five consecutive improbabilities:

(1) We have to imagine that some copyist or commentator added this highly unlikely line in the margin, which adds nothing to the narrative or dialogue at all, except clumsy wordiness. Since there is no theological motive, it must be sheer stupidity.

(2) Yet another equally and incredibly stupid copyist would be required to turn it from the margin of one manuscript into the very text of another.

(3) The 'bloated' manuscript would have to be chosen by copyists to be a winning master-copy. Which means its text (and representatives) ought to reflect the Byzantine text-type, not the Alexandrian.

(4) Both it and most subsequent copies must have passed multiple examinations for such common errors by correctors and public readers, even in places like Alexandria, Antioch and Caesaria.

(5) These 'bloated' copies must have been the exemplars of choice for the entire Byzantine text-type, resulting in a 2,000 to 1 preponderance of the reading in the majority of subsequent MSS.

Yet viewed as original to Mark, it reflects just exactly his expected wordy style, which constantly includes superfluous and often incidental details that all subsequent editors (including Luke and Matthew) occasionally feel compelled to eliminate for the purpose of efficient story-telling and good grammar.

Even Weiland Willker comments wryly in his exhaustive online textcritical commentary:

"The omission could be due to haplography: mh,ti evgw, - mh,ti evgw,. This is
probably true at least in part, note the 125 Byzantine MSS!

The longer text is rather awkward, since the "saying to him one after another"
includes already the 'allos' and allows no continuation (Hoskier: "very pleonastic
clause", "absolutely Mark-like"). Perhaps this was the reason for the omission?
On the other hand the words could have been added as an intensification or
enhancement (so Güting TC Mark, 2005, p. 657).

The reading of A, f13 et al. is a (partial) harmonization to Mt (note the 'rabbi', by
A). The reading of 579 makes good sense. "Is it me or another one?"

Note that both Mt and Lk have eimi against Mk (Minor Agreement).

Rating: 1? (NA probably wrong)

External Rating: - (indecisive)
(after weighting the witnesses)"

- W. Willker, online comm.

To this we can only add that the words "could also be an original intensification or enhancement" (ala' Guting), with Mark intending to point an accusing dramatic finger at Peter or more likely, Judas.

But if even textual critics cannot decide whether the line is original or not, why delete it at all?

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