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CAUSES OF CORRUPTION CHIEFLY INTENTIONAL.
THERE exist not a few corrupt Readings,—and they have imposed largely on many critics,—which, strange to relate, have arisen from nothing else but the proneness of words standing side by side in a sentence to be attracted into a likeness of ending,—whether in respect of grammatical form or of sound; whereby sometimes the sense is made to suffer grievously,—sometimes entirely to disappear. Let this be called the error of Attraction. The phenomena of ‘Assimilation’ are entirely distinct. A somewhat gross instance, which however has imposed on learned critics, is furnished by the Revised Text and Version of St. John vi. 71 and xiii. 26.
‘Judas Iscariot’ is a combination of appellatives with which every Christian ear is even awfully familiar. The expression Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης is found in St. Matt. x. 4 and xxvi. 14: in St. Mark iii. 19 and xiv. 10: in St. Luke vi. 16, and in xxii. 31 with the express statement added that Judas was so ‘surnamed.’ So far happily we are all agreed. St. John’s invariable practice is to designate the traitor, whom he names four times, as ‘Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon;’—jealous doubtless for the honour of his 124brother Apostle, ‘Jude (Ἰούδας) the brother of James227227 St. Luke vi. 16; Acts i. 13; St. Jude 1.’: and resolved that there shall be no mistake about the traitor’s identity. Who does not at once recall the Evangelist’s striking parenthesis in St. John xiv. 22,—‘Judas (not Iscariot)’? Accordingly, in St. John xiii. 2 the Revisers present us with ‘Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son’: and even in St. John xii. 4 they are content to read ‘Judas Iscariot.’
But in the two places of St. John’s Gospel which remain to be noticed, viz. vi. 71 and xiii. 26, instead of ‘Judas Iscariot the son of Simon,’ the Revisers require us henceforth to read, ‘Judas the son of Simon Iscariot.’ And why? Only, I answer, because—in place of Ἰούδαν Σίμωνος ἸσκαριώΤΗΝ (in vi. 71) and Ἰούδᾳ Σίμωνος ἸσκαριώΤΗ (in xiii. 26)—a little handful of copies substitute on both occasions ἸσκαριώΤΟΥ. Need I go on? Nothing else has evidently happened but that, through the oscitancy of some very early scribe, the ἸσκαριώΤΗΝ, ἸσκαριώΤΗ, have been attracted into concord with the immediately preceding genitive ΣΙμωΝΟC . . . So transparent a blunder would have scarcely deserved a passing remark at our hands had it been suffered to remain,—where such bêtises are the rule and not the exception,—viz. in the columns of Codexes B and א. But strange to say, not only have the Revisers adopted this corrupt reading in the two passages already mentioned, but they have not let so much as a hint fall that any alteration whatsoever has been made by them in the inspired Text.
Another and a far graver case of ‘Attraction’ is found in Acts xx. 24. St. Paul, in his address to the elders of Ephesus, refers to the discouragements he has had to encounter. ‘But none of these things move me,’ he grandly exclaims, ‘neither count I my life dear unto myself, so 125that I might finish my course with joy.’ The Greek for this begins ἀλλ᾽ οὐδενὸς λόγον ποιοῦμαι where some second or third century copyist (misled by the preceding genitive) in place of λόγοΝ writes λόγοΥ with what calamitous consequence, has been found largely explained elsewhere228228 Above, pp. 28-31.. Happily, the error survives only in Codd. B and C: and their character is already known by the readers of this book and the Companion Volume. So much has been elsewhere offered on this subject that I shall say no more about it here: but proceed to present my reader with another and more famous instance of attraction.
St. Paul in a certain place (2 Cor. iii. 3) tells the Corinthians, in allusion to the language of Exodus xxxi. 12, xxxiv. 1, that they are an epistle not written on ‘stony tables (ἐν πλαξὶ λιθίναις),’ but on ‘fleshy tables of the heart (ἐν πλαξὶν καρδίας σαρκίναις).’ The one proper proof that this is what St. Paul actually wrote, is not only (1) That the Copies largely preponderate in favour of so exhibiting the place: but (2) That the Versions, with the single exception of ‘that abject slave of manuscripts the Philoxenian [or Harkleian] Syriac,’ are all on the same side: and lastly (3) That the Fathers are as nearly as possible unanimous. Let the evidence for καρδίας (unknown to Tischendorf and the rest) be produced in detail:—
In the fourth century, the Dialogus231231 Ap. Orig. i. 866 a,—interesting and emphatic testimony.,—Didymus232232 Cord. Cat. in Ps. i. 272.,—Basil233233 i. 161 e. Cord. Cat. in Ps. i. 844.,—Gregory Nyss.234234 i. 683 (οὐκ ἐν πλαξὶ λιθίναις . . . ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τῷ τῆς καρδίας πυξίῳ).,—Marcus the Monk235235 Galland. viii. 40 b.,—Chrysostom 126in two places236236 vii. 2: x. 475.,—Nilus237237 i. 29.,—the Vulgate,—and the Gothic versions.
In the fifth century, Cyril238238 i. 8: 504: v2. 65. (Aubert prints καρδίας σαρκίνης. The published Concilia (iii. 240) exhibits καρδίας σαρκίναις. Pusey, finding in one of his MSS. ἀλλ᾽ ἐν πλαξὶ καρδίαις λιθίναις (sic), prints καρδίαις σαρκίναις.) Ap. Mai, iii. 89, 90.,—Isidorus239239 299.,—Theodoret240240 iii. 302., —the Armenian—and the Ethiopic versions.
In the eighth century, J. Damascene242242 ii. 129. . . . Besides, of the Latins, Hilary243243 344.,—Ambrose244244 i. 762: ii. 668, 1380.,—Optatus245245 Galland. v. 505.,—Jerome246246 vi. 609.,—Tichonius247247 Galland. viii. 742 dis.,—Augustine thirteen times248248 i. 672: ii. 49: iii1. 472, 560: iv. 1302: v. 743-4: viii. 311: x. 98, 101, 104, 107, 110.,—Fulgentius249249 Galland. xi. 248., and others250250 Ps.-Ambrose, ii. 176. . . . If this be not overwhelming evidence, may I be told what is251251 Yet strange to say, Tischendorf claims the support of Didymus and Theodoret for καρδίαις, on the ground that in the course of their expository remarks they contrast καρδίαι σαρκίναι (or λογικαί) with πλάκες λίθιναι: as if it were not the word πλαξί which alone occasions difficulty. Again, Tischendorf enumerates Cod. E (Paul) among his authorities. Had he then forgotten that E is ‘nothing better than a transcript of Cod. D (Claromontanus), made by some ignorant person’? that ‘the Greek is manifestly worthless, and that it should long since have been removed from the list of authorities’? (Scrivener’s Introd., 4th edit., i. 177. See also Traditional Text, p. 65, and note. Tischendorf is frequently inaccurate in his references to the Fathers.]?
But then it so happens that—attracted by the two datives between which καρδίας stands, and tempted by the consequent jingle, a surprising number of copies are found to exhibit the ‘perfectly absurd’ and ‘wholly unnatural reading252252 Scrivener’s Introd. 254.,’ πλαξὶν καρδίΑΙC σαρκίνΑΙC. And because (as might have been expected from their character) A253253 A in the Epistles differs from A in the Gospels. BאCD254254 Besides GLP and the following cursivcs,—29, 30, 44, 45, 46, 47. 48, 55, 74, 104, 106, 109, 112, 113, 115, 137, 219, 221, 238, 252, 255, 257, 262, 277.127are all five of the number,—Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and Hort, one and all adopt and advocate the awkward blunder255255 That I may not be accused of suppressing what is to be said on the other side, let it be here added that the sum of the adverse evidence (besides the testimony of many MSS.) is the Harkleian version:—the doubtful testimony of Eusebius (for, though Valerius reads καρδίας, the MSS. largely preponderate which read καρδίαιςin H. E. Mart. Pal. cxiii. § 6. See Burton’s ed. p. 637):—Cyril in one place, as explained above:—and lastly, a quotation from Chrysostom on the Maccabees, given in Cramer’s Catena, vii. 595 (ἐν πλαξὶ καρδίαις σαρκίναις), which reappears at the end of eight lines without the word πλαξί.. Καρδίαις is also adopted by the Revisers of 1881 without so much as a hint let fall in the margin that the evidence is overwhelmingly against themselves and in favour of the traditional Text of the Authorized Version256256 [The papers on Assimilation and Attraction were left by the Dean in the same portfolio. No doubt he would have separated them, if he had lived to complete his work, and amplified his treatment of the latter, for the materials under that head were scanty.—For 2 Cor. iii. 3, see also a note of my own to p. 65 of The Traditional Text.].128
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