Tuesday, February 21, 2006

0220 at Romans 5.1

Last week during a class on textual criticism we discussed EXOMEN/EXWMEN in Romans 5.1. There are a number of interesting features about this variant (beyond the obvious question):
a) In the appendix in the back of NA27 (Editionum differentiae) it emerges that every other editor cited (Tisch, W&H, von Soden, Vogels, Merk and Bover) prefered the NA27 marginal reading EXWMEN.
b) The NA27 apparatus adjusts the witness of 1739 (cf. NA26) distinguishing between the original text - reading EXWMEN, and a corrector 1739C which reads EXOMEN.
c) The manuscript evidence is firmly on the side of the subjunctive: best representatives of diverse text-types (01 A B C D K L 1739) and early versions lat bo. Only later revisions and 'worse' manuscripts support EXOMEN.
d) EXCEPT for 0220, with its rather suspicious 'vid'. Which it turns out is due to a rather sad hole in the manuscript:

In the third line of this picture you can see the last few letters of the word EIRHNHN, followed by a clear epsilon and then a hole! Traces are visible which may be read as EXO. The rest of the word appears at the start of the next line (for complete picture see here). It seems that the trace above the hole is the decisive one, since an omega wouldn't have any ink there.

e) So, without this manuscript the external evidence would be most compelling in support of EXWMEN here at Romans 5.1. But with this new evidence - the earliest manuscript in the apparatus at this point - P46 being deficient here - it can be seen that EXOMEN is not only a secondary reading. [0220 has only just been fully published: Papyrologica Florentina, vol. XXXV. Rosario Pintaudi: Papyri Graecae Schøyen. Firenze, Edizioni Gonnelli, 2005 (Manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection V: Greek papyri, vol. I), pp. 65-71. non vidi]

f) It is an interesting illustration of the way in which text-critical decisions can hinge on rather detailed considerations of the witnesses of particular manuscripts (as well as the need to always check "vid"s). Once the external evidence has been considered we can then turn to other (internal) considerations.

30 Comments:

P J Williams said...

Thanks. And just how sure are we that εχωμεν is a subjunctive, rather than an indicative spelled with omega? Isn't this what Moir argues in the Metzger Festschrift?

Daniel Buck said...

This is a very interesting variant, if only for how it's handled in the various English versions.
NKJV, which always separates readings into N-U and M-Text, surprisingly says at this variant that "another ancient reading is [exwmen]." This very similar to the wording of most textual notes in the NASB, which has here "some ancient mss read [exwmen]." The NIV departs from its usual textual note formula to simply offer the subjunctive mood (apparently--it comes out in English as a first person plural imperative) as an alternate translation throughout v. 1-3 for this verb and the one for 'rejoice'--which alternate is also mentioned in the NASB for the same two instances of 'rejoice'.

Anonymous said...

What is the generally accepted date for 0220?
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

According to the list of mss. in the back of NA27, 0220 dates to the third century.

Anonymous said...

With the external evidence being what it is, one would expect the UBS Committee to have choosen exwmen without thinking twice. Does anyone have their Textual Commentary handy? (Mine is at home). What do they cite as the deciding factor in favor of exomen?

Mike Holmes said...

"a majority of the Committee judged that internal evidence must here take precedence" (Metzger, in the UBS comm, on behalf of the committee). The comment by PJ Williams reveals why, in this specific case, the external evidence is indecisive: given the problematic omicron/omega interchange, whatever it was that Tertius actually wrote on the page is not a reliable guide to the grammatical form he was thinking as he wrote. In this instance, it is internal considerations that are nearly universally decisive--even for such stalwarts of external evidence as the UBS committee and GD Fee himself. For further details see the discussion in the Festschrift for Fee (Romans & the People of God), pp. 188-90.

P J Williams said...

Thanks, Mike. In fact, my vote would be for εχωμεν understood as an indicative. It seems to me to be the reading that best explains the other.

P J Williams said...

An interesting research topic would be to look at all omicron vs. omega variants, especially those that could be used to distinguish subjunctive and indicative. Can anything be made of cases like Hebrews 12:28, where the list of witnesses for the omega and omicron forms varies for the two affected verbs?

Peter M. Head said...

For the sake of argument I'm going to opt for EXWMEN as a hortatory subjunctive being the original reading.
a) This fits the external evidence, with the indicative emerging secondarily.
b) It doesn't require the invention of new categories (e.g. EXWMEN as misspelt indicative).
c) It actually fits what Metzger in his commentary suggests: that Tertius wrote EXWMEN. By the way, on this point Mike wrote: 'whatever it was that Tertius actually wrote on the page is not a reliable guide to the grammatical form he was thinking as he wrote'. This may be, but what Tertius wrote on the page is the original text of Romans. That is what I am after.
d) The reading of this as a hortatory subjunctive is the harder reading and the reading which explains the other.

C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

After studying the larger image, it seems that the trace for the second letter of EXOMEN isn't in a good position for a Chi. The spacing seems to be off. It is too close to the epsilon if it is the bar leaning to the right which it appears to be.

clay

Peter M. Head said...

I.A. Moir, 'Orthography and Theology: The Omicron-Omega Interchange in Romans 5:1 and Elsewhere' in New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis. Essays i Honour of Bruce M. Metzger (eds E.J. Epp & G.D. Fee; Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), 179-183.

Surprisingly enough Moir only uses Rom 5.1 to introduce the issue and never returns to offer any judgement on this variant. He does report some research he did on OMEN and WMEN endings in the Greek NT which suggested a range of spelling variations and he posed the question whether 'a writer or scribe could not produce and -O- and still intend the form to be read as a subjunctive or vice-versa with W' (p. 181).

Peter M. Head said...

Mike wrote:
'In this instance, it is internal considerations that are nearly universally decisive--even for such stalwarts of external evidence as the UBS committee and GD Fee himself. For further details see the discussion in the Festschrift for Fee (Romans & the People of God), pp. 188-90.'

The article is his own: M.W. Holmes, 'Reasoned Eclecticism and the Text of Romans', in Romans and the People of God: Essays in Honor of Gordon D. Fee on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday (eds S.K. Soderlund & N.T. Wright; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 187-202.

But this article reports Fee as remaining 'a stalwart of external evidence' in supporting EXWMEN in Romans 5.1 [God's Empowering Presence, 495]. One part of Fee's argument is to make the point that the supposed internal 'evidence' is generally simply the scholar's imagining of what Paul should have written.

Peter M. Head said...

Clay,

Thanks for the note. I agree it looks a little odd. A fundamental problem is that this photo seems to have been taken before flattening/conservation/mounting of the piece. And there is a deep fold converging on this hole. See the line above and the upright of the kappa is not visible, but is presumably hidden by the fold. The implication of this is that there is a bit more space available than is actually visible.
Although the chis are often quite large and spread out the line below shows a fairly small and tight/narrow chi towards the end of the line. So I am basically reading the epsilon as decorated with a blob at the end of the middle horizontal; then a fairly tight/narrow chi of which only the upper right hand diagonal is visible.
But it would be helpful to see a photo after flattening (may be in the ed. prin. which I referred to); and a photo with better resolution (the one of the web page pixilates straight away on zooming); and a look at the real thing with a magnifying glass is probably the best of all.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this is Mike Holmes, using "anonymous" because of login difficulties:

Peter Head wrote,
"But this article reports Fee as remaining 'a stalwart of external evidence' in supporting EXWMEN in Romans 5.1 [God's Empowering Presence, 495]. One part of Fee's argument is to make the point that the supposed internal 'evidence' is generally simply the scholar's imagining of what Paul should have written." But one goal of my article was to analyze which line of evidence was in fact most decisive in these kind of instances, and my argument is that even for such "external evidence" stalwarts as Gordon, an analysis on the various lines of argumentation suggests that the decisive factor in fact came down to *internal* considerations, claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Cf. Gordon's own appeal to "let Paul be Paul"!

On another point, Peter's point about seeking the reading of the autograph is well said; the UBS committee, Fee, and even myself in the article cited all in fact end up restoring what each of us thinks Paul actually intended--we have slipped right past the question of what Tertius actually wrote to what we think Paul intended. An easy mistake to make (I made it, even after having written about the need to be clear about what our goal is). Peter's point is to be noted.

Ulrich Schmid said...

Anonymus (Mike Holmes):
"On another point, Peter's point about seeking the reading of the autograph is well said; the UBS committee, Fee, and even myself in the article cited all in fact end up restoring what each of us thinks Paul actually intended--we have slipped right past the question of what Tertius actually wrote to what we think Paul intended. An easy mistake to make (I made it, even after having written about the need to be clear about what our goal is). Peter's point is to be noted."

Just to give us some more headache: In my analysis of the ending of Romans the earliest strata of our extant textual tradition do not hark back to Tertius, but to two different editions of Paul's letters. The resulting tradition leaves us with more or less corrupted and conflated versions of Romans (see my Marcion und sein Apostolos, deGruyter 1995, 284sq).

Thus, what Tertius actually wrote in Rom 5,1 is mere guesswork. In the case under discussion we are on saver ground as long as we restore what Paul might have intended.

Anonymous said...

Here's Wallace's take:
http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1159

He believes Tertius wrote down the wrong thing but that Paul corrected it before sending the letter out. Some copyists didn't realize that the correction was the author's.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who accepts exomen, would you have considered that reading if the testimony of 0220 were completely absent here? That is, was 0220's witness here necessary or decisive in adopting exomen as the original reading?

Daniel Buck said...

"For anyone who accepts exomen, would you have considered that reading [without] 0220?"

Speaking for Hodges-Farstad & Pierpont-Robinson, a Byzantine Priorist accepts exomen on the basis of its majority in the Byz corpus alone.

Dave Black said...

FYI, I've copied this posting and given it to my textual criticism students for them to work through this weekend, along with Wallace's essay. On my blog I've also linked to a statement by A. T. Robertson:

"This is the correct text beyond a doubt, the present active subjunctive, not ecomen (present active indicative) of the Textus Receptus which even the American Standard Bible accepts. It is curious how perverse many real scholars have been on this word and phrase here."

It should be a fun discussion when class resumes next Tuesday.

P J Williams said...

Ulrich, Obviously I need to read your book on Marcion (but this won't be till I've finished your Unum ex Quattuor!). The issue you raise of multiple editions of Romans is clearly a major one that will require consideration and a fair bit of study on my part (esp. as you may have noticed my doctrinal bias towards a single original text). I tend to think of the distinctives of F and G in Romans as representing secondary trends.

As I won't get to read your arguments for a wee while, I wonder if you could treat us to a precis of your historical reconstruction. Thanks.

maurice a robinson said...

I wasn't going to get into this discussion, but Daniel Buck presumed to be "Speaking for Hodges-Farstad & Pierpont-Robinson", which is not the case.

Buck wrote, "a Byzantine Priorist accepts exomen on the basis of its majority in the Byz corpus alone."

Indeed, R-P 2005 read ECOMEN in their main text; however, there is also a marginal notation that declares ECWMEN to be a near-equal Byzantine variant at a point of external division.

Rather than R-P accepting ECOMEN "on the basis of its majority", the case is quite the opposite. If one should consult Text und Textwert in loc., he will see ECWMEN supported by 258+4 MSS (44%) and ECOMEN by 338+2 MSS (56%). Such a total places the variant options in a category "too close to call on the basis of external evidence".

Fact: the R-P 2005 main text decision favoring the indicative in this location was based almost exclusively on internal considerations, and this in a manner quite parallel to that noted by Metzger in his Textual Commentary:

"Since in this passage it appears that Paul is not exhorting but stating facts ... , only the indicative is consonant with the apostle's argument."

R and P indeed do concur with this portion of Metzger's assessment, though not necessarily with his additional speculations regarding Tertius.

Anonymous said...

----
"For anyone who accepts exomen, would you have considered that reading [without] 0220?"

Speaking for Hodges-Farstad & Pierpont-Robinson, a Byzantine Priorist accepts exomen on the basis of its majority in the Byz corpus alone.
----

Hi Daniel,
You've come very close to what I had in mind when I posed the question. Without the witness of 0220, the exomen reading would likely be dismissed by many more textual critics as late and secondary. And the witness of 0220 would be unhelpful/absent here were the hole in the manuscript just a wee bit bigger. So the difference between an "obviously" late reading and an A rating of genuineness in the Textual Commentary is very minute indeed. Given the sparseness of evidence from early centuries, I wonder how many more readings are being inaccurately dismissed as late and secondary in similar cases.

Daniel Buck said...

I guess I should have said, "Based on the reading in the texts of H-F and P-R" and let the facts speak for themselves. But I am very glad that Robinson himself was thus promted to give details far beyond what I had access to.

The canard of "Counting Noses" is of course a sore point with Byz Priorists, and it's a groundless charge to make anyway if only minority of the mss have even been collated. But T&TW's ~600 mss total sounds like it may pretty well cover every mss of Romans that has been cataloged.

Speaking of A ratings, I seem to recall that the NA/UBS text editors lent a rather high level of credence to 02's column-break omission of HMAS, even throwing out 01's testimony for retaining it.

Peter M. Head said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

I had a look at Dan Wallace's discussion which a previous commenter pointed to.
He's checked out 0220 and seems to read it the same way as us (me/).
He is highly speculative about Tertius and corrections to the original text. Wow. This goes way too far beyond the evidence for me. (Of course, there isn't any evidence!)

It raised some more questions!
Is it correct to think that there was no pronunciation difference between OMEGA and omicron?
How can the indicative get an A rating in UBS if the committee itself was divided?

Martin said...

I wonder if not KAUXWMEQA in V 2 could be understood as a strong hortatory subjunctive as well.

Consequently, Verse 1 may have been adapted to an understanding like that (early assimilation of thought).
Or, both verses should be understood in the strong hortatory subj.
The facts are stated with participles ("being justified ... knowing that tribulation works endurance..."), what Paul wants the Romans to do is expressed in hortat. subjunctives: "let us live in peace ... let us boast".

But perhaps that's too much fabricated.

Ulrich Schmid said...

P.J.Williams
"As I won't get to read your arguments for a wee while, I wonder if you could treat us to a precis of your historical reconstruction. Thanks."

I wonder whether I should publish it seperately - preferably in English - because it tends to remain buried in my thesis.

In my view, the textual history of the letter of Romans is best explained by assuming two major editions of Paul's letters with different versions of Romans that lateron produced the conflated versions we now have.

The one edition had the core version Rom 1,1-16,23 (full version), the other one Rom 1,1-14,23 (abridged version). Rom 16,24 and 16,25-27 are secondary endings, the former to Rom 16,23 and the latter to Rom 14,23 (with no 15,1sq, of course). Thus, the abridged version acquired and distributed the doxology (16,25-27).

To me that scenario proves to be the most elegant solution to explaining especially the various positions of the doxology.

The evidence for the abridged version hardly needs to be rehearsed (cf. Gamble, The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans, 1977). Scholars differ, however, on the questions (a) how the abridged version came to influence the textual history of Romans so profoundly, and (b) what was the reason for the abridged version.

Gamble says about the abridged version: "such forms must have had an earlier existence and continued for a long time to affect the textual tradition which even now preserves their traces" (Textual History, 121), to which I fully agree. However, I don't buy his point that the abridged version "emerged prior to the Corpus as a whole, during the period when this letter circulated independently" (ibid.). To my mind, an abridged version of Romans as an individually circulating entity hardly carries enough "weight" to impose itself to an editor, who is confronted with two (or more) versions of Romans. After all, the abridged version looks conspiciously incomplete and in itself not very appealing. It seems far more likely to assume that the abridged version once was part of an ancient and venerated edition of (a number of) Paul' letters.

There is undisputable evidence that the abridged version once was part of an ancient edition of Paul's letters, namely the edition that is associated with Marcion (Origen, Commentary on Romans 10,43). It is, however, virtually certain that Marcion was not responsible for the abridged version, i.e. he simply took it over as part of the 10-letter-edition he has used and edited for the purpose of his church. Why is this "virtually certain", despite the claims of such eminent scholars like, e.g., Kurt Aland and Eduard Lohse that it was Marcion who excised the last two chapters of Romans?

Tertullian repeatedly observes that Marcion's version of the letter to the Romans lacks considerable parts of the text (e.g., in chapters 2, 8 and 9-11). The fact that none of these omissions has left any trace in the textual history of Romans is the most glaring evidence AGAINST Marcion's edited version as being responsible for the severe impact of the abridged version. Thus, Marcion's edition inherited the abridged version, it did not start it!

There is more evidence that an ancient 10-letter-edition circulated outside marcionite circles and more could be said about what caused the abridged version. But I should pause here not the least because I never had any reaction to my last point (against Marcion's edited version as being responsible for the abridged version of Romans). Comments are welcome, especially on the validity of this last point.

P J Williams said...

Ulrich, Thanks for this.

Tony Pope said...

This comment added 8.8.06:
On Rom. 5:1, I have been troubled by the fact that whereas 0220 is cited as "vid" supporting the omicron reading, Fee made no mention of the codex in his GEP. So your discussion of the "vid" was helpful indeed. In the comments nobody mentioned the book by Caragounis, "The Development of Greek and the New Testament", 2004, No. 167 in the WUNT series. In the latter part of the book there is some treatment of specific passages where the textual variants depend on the omicron-omega interchange and other similar variations.
Caragounis is evidently impatient with Western scholars who he thinks hugely underestimate orthographic variation due to pronunciation developments in
late Greek. (Perhaps somewhat unjustly, as one is familiar enough with the interchange between the 1st and 2nd person plural possessives, but it is
wider than that.) I noted that Rom. 5:1 is discussed on pp. 541-43, but his whole approach is interesting, particularly (in my view) with regard to 1 Cor. 13:3.
Tony Pope

Anonymous said...

Peter M. Head wrote:
Is it correct to think that there was no pronunciation difference between OMEGA and omicron?

I think it would be useful to know at what times Greek pronunciation changed in what sounds, so that we know at what times dictation audio ambiguity was possibly a factor, and which times it was not.

According to socrates.berkeley.edu, the Classical period omicron was a short o like in the German word Gott, and the omega was more closed-mouthed, like in saw, that is, you start with a drop-jawed a or short o sound, but then end it with an actual English "w" sound, like you are starting to close your lips to a smaller circle, but still the while keeping the inside of your mouth/jaw open like before. http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ancgreek/pronunchtml/omegaU.html and this site agrees about Classical difference: http://www.biblicalgreek.org/links/pronunciation.php#History But this latter site also gives the pronunciations in Biblical times, that is, the Septuagint and the New Testament times. Then the Omega was like an English long o. So, according to this page, there would definitely have been a significant difference in sound between the two vowels in NT times. But, in Byzantine times, and Modern, less difference. At what point was a more Byzantine pronunciation used?

But, on the contrary, Dr. Randall Buth in the following PDF says that in Koine Greek, Omicron and Omega were pronounced identically:
http://biblicalulpan.org/PDF%20Files/PRONSYS1_US.pdf

This PDF seems very appropriate for the discussion of textual variants, because he treats historical examples of EI for I, I for EI, O for W, and W for O (I can tell you there are a lot of examples of these EI-I and O-W variants in Revelation.)

But, observe the disagreement about pronunciations in the different times. I have always wanted more definitive information about how ancient Greek was pronounced. I recently decided to begin collecting sources and opinions on the pronunciation of ancient Greek, as a side-project. I began by searching the Internet for references to an audiotape I had heard in college in the 1980s. I hope some reader here can help me identify the author of that tape. It was of a Professor in Cambridge University (not sure of Cambridge; could have been Oxford) and I think his last name was Stanford (90% sure his name was Stanford). He had a British accent. He was reading out loud some classical Greek works, in accordance with his theories on how classical Greek was pronounced.

On the tape he briefly stated some of the ways by which he came to know the pronunciation. One way was from Greek poems that contained passages that mimicked known species of birds or frogs, which same species we can listen to today. So we can know how those Greek letters were pronounced by comparing them to those bird calls. (onomatopoiea)

Does anyone know about this Professor Stanford? And where to find that tape or an article by him containing the same material?

David Robert Palmer

Tom Shepherd said...

In regard to knowing pronunciation from bird and animal sounds, it is actually more complicated than simply these sounds because different cultures will mimic the sounds in different ways. A rooster is a good example, here we cockle-doodle-doo (a really bad onomatopoeia if you ask me). But in Malawi, Africa where I was a missionary they say cockolileco, which I think does a better job. But both groups are listening to a rooster.