Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Error in NA28 apparatus (Phil 1.23)

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I should say at the outset that finding errors in NA28 is rewarding because they are so few and far between, and because you are pitting your wits against the best in the business. Finding errors in NA28  is a sport based on a fundamental level of respect in the colleagues who have over the years made the NA into the gold standard in our field. It is also a challenge because many things that look at first sight like errors turn out not to be errors, but rather misunderstandings on the part of the challenger.

So with this brief introduction I shall note an error I spotted today following a great Logos seminar on page 170 (fol. 87R) of P46 [there is a problem already hidden there for the inquisitive, but I won’t say any more on that right now].

At Phil 1.23 NA28 notes that the word EIS is omitted before the articular infinitive TO ANALUSAI in P46c D F G. You wouldn’t be at all sure about the reading of P46* on this basis - a first guess might be that P46* did read EIS and a corrector has marked it for deletion - but you wouldn’t know anything except that there was some complexity in the manuscript here. [Incidentally, you might also wonder why DFG are agreeing with P46c but not (by definition) P46* - which could also be interesting if it really happened.] To figure out what was going on with P46 here you’d have to consult a good image.

But when you did consult a good image you would realise that the entry in NA28 is an error, at least the little “c” is an error. There is no correction to the text of P46 at this point:


I offer this small post as a homage to NA28 with a hope that this might be corrected in future editions (NA27 correctly noted P46 D F G as witnesses to the omission).

18 comments :

  1. It appears to me that the scribe originally had omitted εχων by homoioarcton of ε^ε and wrote εις. The -ις then was crossed out and εχων written in its place -- but without reinserting the εις once εχων had been written. If so, NA28 is not really in error per se, but probably should have noted the original omission of εχων as well as the correction omitting εις.

    (Note that Comfort/Barrett considered the error to have been εν, of which the -ν was crossed out and εχων then written without εις; but I think my scenario is more to the point).

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  2. Thanks Maurice, I do think that if there is an explanation for writing P46c then it would come from thinking that the problems with the previous word are carried over in some form in the absence of EIS. But the INTF transcripts don't support your reading of the evidence as an explanation.
    I don't see any evidence of -ις. It looks to me (with e.g. Royse) that it was initially εν χω (probably with overbar) - in other words the scribe had a christological reflex (up to this point he has written it 47 times) - and then caught himself and corrected in scribendo by crossing through the first ν, scraping off the overbar, and writing another ν at the end of the word.

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    1. Peter, I agree with your interpretation of the evidence (see also my note and the apparatus in “NT auf Papyrus” (ANTF 22, 1994, p.99)). I took a note for a correction in the next printing of NA28.

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    2. Peter Head: "I don’t see any evidence of -ις."

      Let me suggest examining εις in Php 1.25, 4 lines down on the page, which shows characters similar enough to demonstrate how an original εις easily could have been altered into εν as a later correction.

      In addition, the scribe's standard abbreviation for εν χριστω is generally εν χρω and not εν χω (Php 1.13,26; 2.5; 3.3; 4.19,21; though there is one exception in this epistle at Php 2.1).

      It also would be peculiar -- had an original εν χω been written -- that such would be corrected to εχων while leaving out the necessary εις preceding the infinitive.

      I still tend to prefer the basics stated in my scenario.

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    3. Thanks Maurice,
      I can imagine how it could happen. I'm just not seeing it happen in this instance.
      Hope you are doing well.

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  3. Peter, don`t you think, sending an e-mail to the INTF or to one of the editors of the NA to discuss your issue, wouldn`t have been a wiser decision then this self-congratulation-post here?!

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    1. No that would be daft. Does the flea address the elephant?

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    2. Isn`t the right "place" to post something like that (providing that the "flea" does not want to inform the "elephant" the classical way) the NTVMR (http://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/en)?!

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    3. No, I don't think there is only one "right" place to put such an important piece of information.

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  4. Anonymous - I don't know if you've ever been to INTF, but I had the privilege of working there once, and never have I met a more open and welcoming group of people. Whenever I was in the vicinity, for example, they carried on even their own conversations in English, just so that I wouldn't feel excluded! I can't speak for them, but if there is a discussion to be had about the apparatus of Phil 1:23, I'm reasonably sure that INTF would happily welcome any and all interested scholars to participate openly. They didn't strike me at all as the types who would want to carry on these things privately through the back channels, just so they could save face. In other words, I think your concerns are misplaced.

    Now, Peter Head on the other hand, I've met him too, and he's definitely in this simply to be self-congratulatory. I mean, you should have seen him when he won the wildcard spot in olympic speedwalking....

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    1. Thanks Ryan, I appreciate it. All that training was in view last week when I went for a walk around Oxford - in search of NT manuscripts - with Tommy Wasserman and had to keep waiting for him to catch up.

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  5. Ryan - I did not want to question INTFs hospitality nor their openness nor their language skills and of course not their entitled status as the "producer of the the gold standard" (NA). Of course they will always welcome questionable issues and might even change them - if necessary - in the NA-apparatus.
    But what feels a little uncomfortable for me is that the original and first posting on that topic has been made here. I guess (at least I had hoped), that such themes were not "shout out" in such a public platform. Many of those people reading the blog are not to much familiar with the ETC-topics and might get the impression, that (even) the worldwide accepted "gold standard" is "worng" - what we definately do not want, right?

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  6. I think you should have a t-shirt printed "I found an error in N28".

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    1. ...and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

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    2. “I found an error in N28” [N | NA]

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    3. Careful, Peter H.; pointing out this sort of mistake might get one banned from certain forums, whatever pretense of openness and fairness they may flaunt.

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    4. Oh get you drafted in reviewing future revisions of NA28 minutiae

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