Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tommy Wasserman on Mark 1:1 - homoeoteleuton

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Tommy Wasserman has examined Mark 1:1 closely, and comes to the conclusion that it is a probable omission due to homoeoteleuton.

In the picture above, one can see an early corrector re-inserting the lost words "Son of God" (in Nomina Sacra abbreviation) above the line.
Wasserman believes this is the earliest layer of correction, and hence contemporary with the manuscript itself, probably before it left the scriptorium. (This manuscript has many corrections, including the replacement of several whole folios by an overseer, which must have happened before it left the scriptorium also, because the Euse. Canons are missing from some replacement pages, but present on others.)

The Evangelical TC Blog has linked to his audio lecture below:

Tommy's excellent presentation on the text of Mark 1.1 is now available in audio via the CSCO website (where it is also described as argued persuasively):

Tommy Wasserman, ‘The “Son of God” was in the Beginning,’ lecture (44min)
Wasserman, Question and Answer, (28min)
 In his analysis, Tommy Wasserman notes that there are either 6 genitive endings of words in a row, or else 4 Nomina Sacra, creating an easy situation for error.  In his opinion, the argument that omissions are unlikely in the very beginning of a book is outweighed by both the textual evidence and the intrinsic evidence regarding Mark's style and purpose.