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CAUSES OF CORRUPTION CHIEFLY INTENTIONAL.
‘GLOSSES,’ properly so called, though they enjoy a conspicuous place in every enumeration like the present, are probably by no means so numerous as is commonly supposed. For certainly every unauthorized accretion to the text of Scripture is not a ‘gloss’: but only those explanatory words or clauses which have surreptitiously insinuated themselves into the text, and of which no more reasonable account can be rendered than that they were probably in the first instance proposed by some ancient Critic in the way of useful comment, or necessary explanation, or lawful expansion, or reasonable limitation of the actual utterance of the Spirit. Thus I do not call the clause νεκροὺς ἐγείρετε in St. Matt. x. 8 ‘a gloss.’ It is a gratuitous and unwarrantable interpolation,—nothing else but a clumsy encumbrance of the text353353 See The Traditional Text, pp. 51-52..
[Glosses, or scholia, or comments, or interpretations, are of various kinds, but are generally confined to Additions or Substitutions, since of course we do not omit in order to explain, and transposition of words already placed in lucid order, such as the sacred Text may be reasonably supposed to have observed, would confuse rather than illustrate the meaning. A clause, added in Hebrew fashion354354 St. Mark vi. 33. See The Traditional Text, p. 80., which may perhaps appear to modern taste to 173be hardly wanted, must not therefore be taken to be a gloss.]
Sometimes a ‘various reading’ is nothing else but a gratuitous gloss;—the unauthorized substitution of a common for an uncommon word. This phenomenon is of frequent occurrence, but only in Codexes of a remarkable type like BאCD. A few instances follow:—
1. The disciples on a certain occasion (St. Matt. xiii. 36), requested our LORD
‘to explain’ to them (ΦΡΑCΟΝ ἡμῖν, ‘they said’) the parable of the tares. So every known copy, except
two: so, all the Fathers who quote the place,—viz. Origen, five times355355
iii. 3 e: 4 b and c: 442 a: 481 b. Note, that the ῥῆσις in which
the first three of these quotations occur seems to have been obtained by De la Rue
from a Catena on St. Luke in the Mazarine Library (see his Monitum, iii. i). A large
portion of it (viz. from p. 3, line 25, to p. 4, line 29) is ascribed to ‘I. Geometra
in Proverbia’ in the Catena in Luc. of Corderius, p. 217.,—Basil356356
ii. 345.,—J. Damascene357357
ii. 242.. And so
all the Versions358358
The Latin is edissere or
dissere, cnarra or narra, both here and in xv. 15.. But because B–א, instead of
ΔΙΑCΑΦΗCΟΝ (‘make clear to us’),—which
is also once the reading of Origen359359
iv. 254 a., who was but
too well acquainted with Codexes of the same depraved character as the archetype
of B and א,—Lachmann, Tregelles (not Tischendorf), Westcott and Hort, and the Revisers
of 1881, assume that διασάφησον
(a palpable gloss) stood in the inspired autograph of the
Evangelist. They therefore thrust out
φράσον and thrust in διασάφησον. I
am wholly unable to discern any connexion between the premisses
of these critics and their conclusions360360
In St. Matthew xiii. 36 the Peshitto Syriac has ‘declare to
us’ and in St. Matthew xv. 15 the very same words, there being no various
reading in either of these two passages.
The inference is, that the translators had the same Greek word in each place, especially considering that in the only other place where, besides St. Matt. xiii. 36, v. 1., διασαφεῖν occurs, viz. St. Matt. xviii. 31, they render διεσάφησαν by = they made known.
Since φράζειν only occurs in St. Matt. xiii. 36 and xv. 15, we cannot generalize about the Peshitto rendering of this verb. Conversely, is used as the rendering of other Greek words besides φράζειν, e.g. of ἐπιλύειν, St. Mark iv. 34;
of διερμηνεύειν, St. Luke xxiv. 27;
of διανοίγειν, St. Luke xxiv. 32 and Acts xvii. 3.
On the whole I have no doubt (though it is not susceptible of proof) that the Peshitto had, in both the places quoted above, φράσον. N.B. The Cureton and Lewis have, in St. Matt. xiii. 36, } = Peshitto. in ” xv. 15, ” in ” xviii. 31, for the διεσάφησαν, ,
The Cureton (Lewis defective) has a word often used in Syriac for ‘shew,’ ‘declare.’ [Rev. G. H. Gwilliam.].
2. Take another instance. Πυγμῇ,—the obscure
expression (Δ leaves it out) which St. Mark employs in vii. 3 to denote the strenuous
frequency of the Pharisees’ ceremonial washings,—is exchanged by Cod. א, but by
no other known copy of the Gospels, for
πυκνά, which last word is of course nothing else
but a sorry gloss. Yet Tischendorf degrades πυγμῇ and promotes
honour,—happily standing alone in his infatuation. Strange, that the most industrious
of modern accumulators of evidence should not have been aware that by such extravagances
he marred his pretension to critical discernment! Origen and Epiphanius—the only
Fathers who quote the place—both read πυγμῇ. It ought
to be universally admitted that it is a mere waste of time that we should argue
out a point like this361361
In St. Mark vii. 3, the translators of the Peshitto render whatever
Greek they had before them by
, which means ‘eagerly,’ ‘sedulously’;
cf. use of the word for σπουδαίως, St. Luke vii. 4; ἐπιμελῶς,
St. Luke xv. 8.
The Root means to ‘cease’; thence ‘to have leisure for a thing’: it has nothing to do with ‘Fist.’ [Rev. G. H. Gwilliam.].
A gloss little suspected, which—not without a pang of regret—I
proceed to submit to hostile scrutiny, is the expression ‘daily’ (καθ᾽
ἡμέραν) in St. Luke ix. 23. Found in the Peshitto and in Cureton’s Syriac,—but
only in some Copies of the Harkleian version362362
Harkl. Marg. in loc., and Adler, p. 115.: found in most
Copies 175of the Vulgate,—but largely disallowed by copies of the Old Latin363363
Viz. a b c e ff2 l q.: found also in Ephraem Syrus364364
Ὀφείκει ψυχή, ἐν
τῷ λόγῳ τοῦ Κυρίου κατακολουθοῦσα,
τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ
καθ᾽ ἡμέραν αἴρειν, ὡς
γέγραπται· τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν,
ἑτοίμως ἔχουσα ὑπομένειν διὰ
Χριστὸν πᾶσαν θλῖψιν καὶ
πειρασμόν, κ.τ.λ. (ii. 326 e). In the same spirit, further
on, he exhorts to constancy and patience,—τὸν ἐπὶ τοῦ
ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ πάντοτε πρὸ
ὀφθαλμῶν ἔχοντες, καὶ (καθὼς εἴρηται ὑπὸ τοῦ Κυρίου)
καθ᾽ ἡμέραν τὸν σταυρὸν
αἴροντες, ὅ ἐστι θάνατος (ii. 332 e). It is fair to assume that
Ephraem’s reference is to St. Luke ix. 23, seeing that he wrote not in Greek but
in Syria; and that in the Peshitto the clause is found only in that place.,—but
clearly not recognized by Origen365365
Ἄκουε Λουκᾶ λέγοντος,—i. 281 f. Also, int.
iii. 543.: found again in אAB and six other
uncials,—but not found in CDE and ten others: the expression referred to cannot,
at all events, plead for its own retention in the text higher antiquity than can
be pleaded for its exclusion. Cyril, (if in such a matter the Syriac translation
of his Commentary on St. Luke may be trusted,) is clearly an authority for reading καθ᾽
ἡμέραν in St. Luke ix. 23366366
Pp. 221 (text), 222, 227.; but then he elsewhere twice quotes
St. Luke ix. 23 in Greek without it367367
ii. 751 e, 774 e (in Es.)—the proof that
these quotations are from St. Luke; that Cyril exhibits ἀρνησάσθω instead of
ἀπαρν. (see Tischendorf’s note on St. Luke ix.
23). The quotation in i. 40 (Glaph.) may be from St. Matt. xvi. 24.. Timotheus of Antioch, of the fifth century, omits
Migne, vol. lxxxvi. pp. 256 and 257.. Jerome again,
although he suffered ‘quotidie’ to stand in the Vulgate, yet, when for his own purposes
he quotes the place in St. Luke369369
After quoting St. Mark viii. 34,—‘aut juxta Lucam,
dicebat ad cunctos: Si quis vult post me venire, abneget
semetipsum; et tollat crucem suam, et sequetur me.’—i. 852 c.
This is found in his solution of XI Quaestiones, ‘ad Algasiam,’—free translations probably from the Greek of some earlier Father. Six lines lower down (after quoting words found nowhere in the Gospels), Jerome proceeds:—‘Quotidie credens in Christum tollit crucem suam, et negat seipsum.’,—ignores the word. All this is calculated to inspire grave distrust. On the other hand, καθ᾽ ἡμέραν enjoys the support of the two Egyptian Versions,—of the Gothic,—of the Armenian,—of the Ethiopic. And this, in 176the present state of our knowledge, must be allowed to be a weighty piece of evidence in its favour.
But the case assumes an entirely different aspect the instant it is discovered that out of the cursive copies only eight are found to contain καθ᾽ ἡμέραν in St. Luke ix. 23370370 This spurious clause adorned the lost archetype of Evann. 13, 69, 346 (Ferrar’s four); and survives in certain other Evangelia which enjoy a similar repute,—as 1, 33, 72 (with a marginal note of distrust), 131.. How is it to be explained that nine manuscripts out of every ten in existence should have forgotten how to transmit such a remarkable message, had it ever been really so committed to writing by the Evangelist? The omission (says Tischendorf) is explained by the parallel places371371 They are St. Matt. xvi. 24: St. Mark viii. 34.. Utterly incredible, I reply; as no one ought to have known better than Tischendorf himself. We now scrutinize the problem more closely; and discover that the very locus of the phrase is a matter of uncertainty. Cyril once makes it part of St. Matt. x. 38372372 i. 597 c (Adorat.)—elsewhere (viz. i. 21 d: 528 c: 580 b: iv. 1058 a; v2. 83 c) Cyril quotes the place correctly. Note, that the quotation found in Mai, iii. 226, which Pusey edits (v. 418), in Ep. ad Hebr., is nothing else but an excerpt from the treatise de Adorat. 528 c.. Chrysostom twice connects it with St. Matt. xvi. 24373373 In his Commentary on St. Matt. xvi. 24:—Διὰ παντὸς τοῦ βίου τοῦτο δεῖ ποιεῖν. Διηνεκῶς γάρ, φησι, περίφερε τὸν θάνατον τοῦτον, καὶ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἕτοιμος ἔσο πρὸς σφαγήν (vii. 557 b). Again, commenting on ch. xix. 21,—Δεῖ προηγουμένως ἀκολουθεῖν τῷ Χριστῷ· τουτέστι, πάντα τὰ παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ κελευόμενα ποιεῖν, πρὸς σφαγὰς εἶνα ἕτοιμον, καὶ θάνατον καθημερινόν (p. 629 e):—words which Chrysostom immediately follows up by quoting ch. xvi. 24 (630 a).. Jerome, evidently regarding the phrase as a curiosity, informs us that ‘juxta antiqua exemplaria’ it was met with in St. Luke xiv. 27374374 i. 949 b,—‘Quotidie (inquit Apostolus) morior propter vestram salutem. Et Dominus, juxta antiqua exemplaria, Nisi quis tulerit crucem suam quotidie, et sequutus fuerit me, non potest meus esse discipulus.’ —Commenting on St. Matt. x. 38 (vol. vii. p. 65 b), Jerome remarks,—‘in alio Evangelio scribitur,—Qui non accipit crucem suam quotidie’: but the corresponding place to St. Matt. x. 38, in the sectional system of Eusebius (Greek and Syriac), is St. Luke xiv. 27.. All this is in a high degree unsatisfactory. We suspect that we ourselves enjoy some slight 177 familiarity with the ‘antiqua exemplaria’ referred to by the Critic; and we freely avow that we have learned to reckon them among the least reputable of our acquaintance. Are they not represented by those Evangelia, of which several copies are extant, that profess to have been ‘transcribed from, and collated with, ancient copies at Jerusalem’? These uniformly exhibit καθ᾽ ἡμέραν in St. Luke ix. 23375375 Viz. Evan. 473 (2po).. But then, if the phrase be a gloss,—it is obvious to inquire,—how is its existence in so many quarters to be accounted for?
Its origin is not far to seek. Chrysostom, in a certain place, after quoting our Lord’s saying about taking up the cross and following Him, remarks that the words ‘do not mean that we are actually to bear the wood upon our shoulders, but to keep the prospect of death steadily before us, and like St. Paul to “die daily”376376 ii. 66 c, d..’ The same Father, in the two other places already quoted from his writings, is observed similarly to connect the Saviour’s mention of ‘bearing the Cross’ with the Apostle’s announcement—‘I die daily.’ Add, that Ephraem Syrus377377 See above, p. 175, note 2., and Jerome quoted already,—persistently connect the same two places together; the last named Father even citing them in immediate succession;—and the inference is unavoidable. The phrase in St. Luke ix. 23 must needs be a very ancient as well as very interesting expository gloss, imported into the Gospel from 1 Cor. xv. 31,—as Mill378378 Proleg. p. cxlvi. and Matthaei379379 N. T. (1803), i. 368. long since suggested.
Sincerely regretting the necessity of parting with an expression with which one has been so long familiar, we cannot suffer the sentimental plea to weigh with us when the Truth of the Gospel is at stake. Certain it is that but for Erasmus, we should never have known the regret: for it was he that introduced καθ᾽ ἡμέραν into the Received 178Text. The MS. from which he printed is without the expression: which is also not found in the Complutensian. It is certainly a spurious accretion to the inspired Text.
[The attention of the reader is particularly invited to this last paragraph. The learned Dean has been sneered at for a supposed sentimental and effeminate attachment to the Textus Receptus. He was always ready to reject words and phrases, which have not adequate support; but he denied the validity of the evidence brought against many texts by the school of Westcott and Hort, and therefore he refused to follow them in their surrender of the passages.]
Indeed, a great many ‘various readings,’ so called, are nothing else but very ancient interpretations,—fabricated readings therefore,—of which the value may be estimated by the fact that almost every trace of them has long since disappeared. Such is the substitution of φεύγει for ἀνεχώρησεν in St. John vi. 15;—which, by the way, Tischendorf thrusts into his text on the sole authority of א, some Latin copies including the Vulgate, and Cureton’s Syriac380380 Lewis here agrees with Peshitto.: though Tregelles ignores its very existence. That our Lord’s ‘withdrawal’ to the mountain on that occasion was of the nature of ‘flight,’ or retreat’ is obvious. Hence Chrysostom and Cyril remark that He ‘fled to the mountain.’ And yet both Fathers (like Origen and Epiphanius before them) are found to have read ἀνεχώρησεν.
Almost as reasonably in the beginning of the same verse might Tischendorf (with א) have substituted ἀναδεικνύναι for ἵνα ποιήσωσιν αὐτὸν, on the plea that Cyril381381 iv. 745. says, ζητεῖν αὐτὸν ἀναδεῖξαι καὶ βασιλέα. We may on no account suffer ourselves to be imposed upon by such shallow pretences for tampering with the text of Scripture: or the deposit 179will never be safe. A patent gloss,—rather an interpretation,—acquires no claim to be regarded as the genuine utterance of the Holy Spirit by being merely found in two or three ancient documents. It is the little handful of documents which loses in reputation,—not the reading which gains in authority on such occasions.
In this way we are sometimes presented with what in effect are new incidents. These are not unfrequently discovered to be introduced in defiance of the reason of the case; as where (St. John xiii. 24) Simon Peter is represented (in the Vulgate) as actually saying to St. John, ‘Who is it concerning whom He speaks?’ Other copies of the Latin exhibit, ‘Ask Him who it is,’ &c.: while אBC (for on such occasions we are treated to any amount of apocryphal matter) would persuade us that St. Peter only required that the information should be furnished him by St. John—‘Say who it is of whom He speaks.’ Sometimes a very little licence is sufficient to convert the oratio obliqua into the recta. Thus, by the change of a single letter (in אBX) Mary Magdalene is made to say to the disciples ‘I have seen the Lord’ (St. John xx. 18). But then, as might have been anticipated, the new does not altogether agree with the old. Accordingly D and others paraphrase the remainder of the sentence thus,—‘and she signified to them what He had said unto her.’ How obvious is it to foresee that on such occasions the spirit of officiousness never know when to stop! In the Vulgate and Sahidic versions the sentence proceeds, ‘and He told these things unto me.’
Take another example. The Hebraism μετὰ σάλπιγγος φωνῆς μεγάλης (St. Matt. xxiv. 31) presents an uncongenial ambiguity to Western readers, as our own incorrect A.V. sufficiently shows. Two methods of escape from the difficulty suggested themselves to the ancients:—(a) Since ‘a trumpet of great sound’ means nothing else but a loud 180trumpet,’ and since this can be as well expressed by σάλπιγγος μεγάλης, the scribes at a very remote period are found to have omitted the word φωνῆς. The Peshitto and Lewis (interpreting rather than translating) so deal with the text. Accordingly, φωνῆς is not found in אLΔ and five cursives. Eusebius382382 In Ps. 501., Cyril Jerus.383383 229 and 236., Chrysostom384384 vii. 736: xi. 478., Theodoret385385 ii. 1209., and even Cyprian386386 269. are also without the word. (b) A less violent expedient was to interpolate καὶ before φωνῆς. This is accordingly the reading of the best Italic copies, of the Vulgate, and of D. So Hilary387387 577. and Jerome388388 i. 881., Severianus389389 Ap. vi. 460., Asterius390390 Ap. Greg. Nyss. ii. 258., ps.-Caesarius391391 Galland. vi. 53., Damascene392392 ii. 346. and at least eleven cursive copies, so read the place.—There can be no doubt at all that the commonly received text is right. It is found in thirteen uncials with B at their head: in Cosmas393393 ii. 261, 324., Hesychius394394 Ap. Greg. Nyss. iii. 429., Theophylact395395 i. 132.. But the decisive consideration is that the great body of the cursives have faithfully retained the uncongenial Hebraism, and accordingly imply the transmission of it all down the ages: a phenomenon which will not escape the unprejudiced reader. Neither will he overlook the fact that the three ‘old uncials’ (for A and C are not available here) advocate as many different readings: the two wrong readings being respectively countenanced by our two most ancient authorities, viz. the Peshitto version and the Italic. It only remains to point out that Tischendorf blinded by his partiality for א contends here for the mutilated text, and Westcott and Hort are disposed to do the same.
Recent Editors are agreed that we are henceforth to read in St. John xviii. 14 ἀπο4ανεῖν instead of ἀπολέσθαι:—‘Now 181Caiaphas was he who counselled the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die’ (instead of ‘perish’) for the people.’ There is certainly a considerable amount of ancient testimony in favour of this reading: for besides אBC, it is found in the Old Latin copies, the Egyptian, and Peshitto versions, besides the Lewis MS., the Chronicon, Cyril, Nonnus, Chrysostom. Yet may it be regarded as certain that St. John wrote ἀπολέσθαι in this place. The proper proof of the statement is the consentient voice of all the copies,—except about nineteen of loose character:—we know their vagaries but too well, and decline to let them impose upon us. In real fact, nothing else is ἀποθανεῖν but a critical assimilation of St. John xviii. 14 to xi. 50,—somewhat as ‘die’ in our A.V. has been retained by King James’ translators, though they certainly had λέσθαι before them.
Many of these glosses are rank, patent, palpable. Such is the substitution (St. Mark vi. 11) of ὃς ἂν τόπος μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς by אBLΔ for ὃσοι ἂν μὴ δέξωνται ὑμᾶς,—which latter is the reading of the Old Latin and Peshitto, as well as of the whole body of uncials and cursives alike. Some Critic evidently considered that the words which follow, ‘when you go out thence,’ imply that place, not persons, should have gone before. Accordingly, he substituted ‘whatsoever place’ for ‘whosoever396396 The attentive student of the Gospels will recognize with interest how gracefully the third Evangelist St. Luke (ix. 5) has overcome this difficulty.’: another has bequeathed to us in four uncial MSS. a lasting record of his rashness and incompetency. Since however he left behind the words μηδὲ ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν, which immediately follow, who sees not that the fabricator has betrayed himself? I am astonished that so patent a fraud should have imposed upon Tischendorf, and Tregelles, and Lachmann, and Alford, and Westcott and Hort. But in fact it does not stand alone. From the same copies אBLΔ (with two 182others, CD) we find the woe denounced in the same verse on the unbelieving city erased (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμι̂ν, ἀνεκτοτερον ἔσται Σοδόμοις ἤ Γομόρροις ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως, ἤ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ). Quite idle is it to pretend (with Tischendorf) that these words are an importation from the parallel place in St. Matthew. A memorable note of diversity has been set on the two places, which in all the copies is religiously maintained, viz. Σοδόμοις ἤ Γομόρροις, in St. Mark: γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων, in St. Matt. It is simply incredible that this could have been done if the received text in this place had been of spurious origin.
The word ἀπέχει in St. Mark xiv. 41 has proved a stumbling-block. The most obvious explanation is probably the truest. After a brief pause397397 Augustine, with his accustomed acuteness, points out that St. Mark’s narrative shews that after the words of ‘Sleep on now and take your rest,’ our Lord must have been silent for a brief space in order to allow His disciples a slight prolongation of the refreshment which his words had already permitted them to enjoy. Presently, He is heard to say,—‘It is enough’—(that is, ‘Ye have now slept and rested enough’); and adds, ‘The hour is come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.’ ‘Sed quia commemorata non est ipsa interpositio silentii Domini, propterea coartat intellectum, ut in illis verbis alia pronuntiatio requiratur.’—iii2. 106 a, b. The passage in question runs thus;—Καθείδετε τὸ λοιπὸν καὶ ἀναπαύεσθε. ἀπέχει· ἦλθεν ἡ ὥρα· ἰδοὺ. κ.τ.λ.., during which the Saviour has been content to survey in silence His sleeping disciples;—or perhaps, after telling them that they will have time and opportunity enough for sleep and rest when He shall have been taken from them;— He announces the arrival of ‘the hour,’ by exclaiming, ‘Ἀπέχει,—‘It is enough;’ or, ‘It is sufficient;’ i.e. The season for repose is over.
But the Revisers’ of the second century did not perceive that ἀπέχει is here used impersonally398398 Those who saw this, explain the word amiss. Note the Scholion (Anon. Vat.) in Possinus, p. 321:—ἀπέχει, τουτέστι, πεπλήρωται, τέλος ἔχει τὸ κατ᾽ ἐμέ., Last Twelve Verses, p. 226, note.. They understood 183the word to mean ‘is fully come’; and supplied the supposed nominative, viz. τὸ τέλος399399 I retract unreservedly what I offered on this subject in a former work (Last Twelve Verses, &c., pp. 225, 226). I was misled by one who seldom indeed misleads,—the learned editor of the Codex Bezae (in loco).. Other critics who rightly understood ἀπέχει to signify ‘sufficit,’ still subjoined ‘finis.’ The Old Latin and the Syriac versions must have been executed from Greek copies which exhibited,— ἀπέχει τὸ τέλος. This is abundantly proved by the renderings adest finis (f),—consummatus est finis (a); from which the change to ἀπέχει τὸ τέλος ΚΑΙ ἡ ὥρα (the reading of D) was obvious: sufficit finis et hora (d q); adest enim consummatio; et (ff2 venit) hora (c); or, (as the Peshitto more fully gives it), appropinquavit finis, et venit hora400400 So Peshitto. Lewis, venit hora, appropinquat finis. Harkleian, adest consummatio, venit hora.. Jerome put this matter straight by simply writing sufficit. But it is a suggestive circumstance, and an interesting proof how largely the reading ἀπέχει τὸ τέλος must once have prevailed, that it is frequently met with in cursive copies of the Gospels to this hour401401 απεχει. Vg. sufficit. + το τελος, 13, 69, 124, 2Pe, cser, 47, 54, 56, 61, 184, 346, 348, 439. d, q, sufficit finis et hora. f, adest finis, venit hora. c, ff2, adest enim consummatio, et (ff2 venit) hora. a, consummatus est finis, advenit hora. It is certain that one formidable source of danger to the sacred text has been its occasional obscurity. This has resulted,—(1) sometimes in the omission of words: Δευτερόπρωτον. (2) Sometimes in substitution, as πυγμῇ. (3) Sometimes in the insertion of unauthorized matter: thus, τὸ τέλος, as above.. Happily it is an ‘old reading’ which finds no favour at the present day. It need not therefore occupy us any longer.
As another instance of ancient Glosses introduced to help out the sense, the reading of St. John ix. 22 is confessedly ἵνα ἐάν τις αὐτὸν ὁμολογήσῃ Χριστόν. So all the MSS. but one, and so the Old Latin. So indeed all the ancient versions except the Egyptian. Cod. D alone adds εἶναι: but εἶναι must once have been a familiar gloss: for Jerome retains 184it in the Vulgate: and indeed Cyril, whenever he quotes the place402402 iii. 105: iv. 913. So also iv. 614., exhibits τὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι. Not so however Chrysostom403403 vi. 283. and Gregory of Nyssa404404 i. 307..
There is scarcely to be found, amid the incidents immediately preceding our Saviour’s Passion, one more affecting or more exquisite than the anointing of His feet at Bethany by Mary the sister of Lazarus, which received its unexpected interpretation from the lips of Christ Himself. ‘Let her alone. Against the day of My embalming hath she kept it.’ (St. John xii. 7.) He assigns to her act a mysterious meaning of which the holy woman little dreamt. She had treasured up that precious unguent against the day,—(with the presentiment of true Love, she knew that it could not be very far distant),—when His dead limbs would require embalming. But lo, she beholds Him reclining at supper in her sister’s house: and yielding to a Divine impulse she brings forth her reserved costly offering and bestows it on Him at once. Ah, she little knew,—she could not in fact have known,—that it was the only anointing those sacred feet were destined ever to enjoy! . . . . In the meantime through a desire, as I suspect, to bring this incident into an impossible harmony with what is recorded in St. Mark xvi. 1, with which obviously it has no manner of connexion, a scribe is found at some exceedingly remote period to have improved our Lord’s expression into this:—‘Let her alone in order that against the day of My embalming she may keep it.’ Such an exhibition of the Sacred Text is its own sufficient condemnation. What that critic exactly meant, I fail to discover: but I am sure he has spoilt what he did not understand: and though it is quite 185true that אBD with five other Uncial MSS. and Nonnus, besides the Latin and Bohairic, Jerusalem, Armenian, and Ethiopic versions, besides four errant cursives so exhibit the place, this instead of commending the reading to our favour, only proves damaging to the witnesses by which it is upheld. We learn that no reliance is to be placed even in such a combination of authorities. This is one of the places which the Fathers pass by almost in silence. Chrysostom405405 viii. 392. however, and evidently Cyril Alex.406406 iv. 696., as well as Ammonius407407 Cramer’s Cat. in loc. convey though roughly a better sense by quoting the verse with ἐποίησε for τετήρηκεν. Antiochus408408 1063. is express. [A and eleven other uncials, and the cursives (with the petty exception already noted), together with the Peshitto, Harkleian (which only notes the other reading in the margin), Lewis, Sahidic, and Gothic versions, form a body of authority against the palpable emasculation of the passage, which for number, variety, weight, and internal evidence is greatly superior to the opposing body. Also, with reference to continuity and antiquity it preponderates plainly, if not so decisively; and the context of D is full of blunders, besides that it omits the next verse, and B and א are also inaccurate hereabouts409409 E.g. ver. 1. All the three officiously insert (ὁ Ἰησοῦς, in order to prevent people from imagining that Lazarus raised Lazarus from the dead; ver. 4, D gives the gloss, ἀπὸ Καρυώτου for Ἰσκαρίωτης; ver. 13, spells thus,—ὡσσανά; besides constant inaccuracies, in which it is followed by none. א omits nineteen words in the first thirty-two verses of the chapter, besides adding eight and making other alterations. B is far from being accurate.. So that the Traditional text enjoys in this passage the support of all the Notes of Truth.]
In accordance with what has been said above, for Ἄφες αὐτήν· εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ ἐνταφιασμοῦ μου τετηρήκεν αὐτό (St. John xii. 7), the copies which it has recently become the fashion to adore, read ἄφες αὐτήν ἵνα . . . τηρήσῃ αὐτό. This startling innovation,—which destroys the sense of our 186 Saviour’s words, and furnishes a sorry substitute which no one is able to explain410410 ‘Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of My burying’ (Alford). But how could she keep it after she had poured it all out?—’Suffer her to have kept it against the day of My preparation unto burial’ (McClellan). But ἵνα τηρήσῃ could hardly mean that: and the day of His ἐνταφιασμός had not yet arrived.,—is accepted by recent Editors and some Critics: yet is it clearly nothing else but a stupid correction of the text,—introduced by some one who did not understand the intention of the Divine Speaker. Our Saviour is here discovering to us an exquisite circumstance,—revealing what until now had been a profound and tender secret: viz. that Mary, convinced by many a sad token that the Day of His departure could not be very far distant, had some time before provided herself with this costly ointment, and ‘kept it’ by her,—intending to reserve it against the dark day when it would be needed for the ‘embalming’ of the lifeless body of her Lord. And now it wants only a week to Easter. She beholds Him (with Lazarus at His side) reclining in her sister’s house at supper, amid circumstances of mystery which fill her soul with awful anticipation. She divines, with love’s true instinct, that this may prove her only opportunity. Accordingly, she ‘anticipates to anoint’ (προέλαβε μυρίσαι, St. Mark xiv. 8) His Body: and, yielding—to-an overwhelming impulse, bestows upon Him all her costly offering at once! . . . How does it happen that some professed critics have overlooked all this? Any one who has really studied the subject ought to know, from a mere survey of the evidence, on which side the truth in respect of the text of this passage must needs lie.
Our Lord, in His great Eucharistic address to the eternal Father, thus speaks:—I have glorified Thee on the earth. I have perfected the work which Thou 187gavest Me to do’ (St. John xvii. 4). Two things are stated: first, that the result of His Ministry had been the exhibition upon earth of the Father’s ‘glory411411 Consider ii. 11 and xi. 40: St. Luke xiii. 17: Heb. i. 3.’: next, that the work which the Father had given the Son to do412412 Consider v. 36 and iv. 34. was at last finished413413 Consider St. John xix. 30. Cf. St. Luke xxii. 37.. And that this is what St. John actually wrote is certain: not only because it is found in all the copies, except twelve of suspicious character (headed by אABCL); but because it is vouched for by the Peshitto414414 Lewis, ‘and the work I have perfected’: Harkleian, “because the work, &c., “because’ being obelized. and the Latin, the Gothic and the Armenian versions415415 The Bohairic and Ethiopic are hostile.: besides a whole chorus of Fathers; viz. Hippolytus416416 i. 245 (= Constt. App. viii. i; ap. Galland. iii. 199)., Didymus417417 P. 419., Eusebius418418 Mcell p. 157., Athanasius419419 i. 534., Basil420420 ii. 196, 238: iii. 39., Chrysostom421421 v. 256: viii. 475 bis., Cyril422422 iii. 542: iv. 954: v1. 599, 601, 614: v2. 152.—In the following places Cyril shews himself acquainted with the other reading,—iv. 879: v1. 167, 366: vi. 124., ps.-Polycarp423423 Polyc. frg. v (ed. Jacobson)., the interpolator of Ignatius424424 Ps.-Ignat. 328., and the authors of the Apostolic Constitutions425425 Ap. Gall. iii. 215.: together with the following among the Latins:—Cyprian426426 P. 285., Ambrose427427 ii. 545., Hilary428428 Pp. 510, 816, 1008. But opere consummato, pp. 812, 815.—Jerome also once (iv. 563) has opere completo., Zeno429429 Ap. Gall. v. 135., Cassian430430 P. 367., Novatian431431 Ap. Gall. iii. 308., certain Arians432432 Ap. Aug. viii. 622., Augustine433433 iii2. 761: viii. 640..
But the asyndeton (so characteristic of the fourth Gospel) proving uncongenial to certain of old time, D inserted καὶ. A more popular device was to substitute the participle (τελειώσας) for ἐτελείωσα: whereby our Lord is made to say that He had glorified His Father’s Name ‘by perfecting’ or ‘completing’—‘in that He had finished’188—the work which the Father had given Him to do; which damages the sense by limiting it, and indeed introduces a new idea. A more patent gloss it would be hard to find. Yet has it been adopted as the genuine text by all the Editors and all the Critics. So general is the delusion in favour of any reading supported by the combined evidence of אABCL, that the Revisers here translate—‘I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished (τελειώσας) the work which Thou hast given Me to do:’ without so much as vouchsafing a hint to the English reader that they have altered the text.
When some came with the message ‘Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master further?’ the Evangelist relates that Jesus ‘as soon as He heard (εὐθέως ἀκούσας) what was being spoken, said to the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not: only believe.’ (St. Mark v. 36.) For this, אBLΔ substitute ‘disregarding (παρακούσας) what was being spoken’: which is nothing else but a sorry gloss, disowned by every other copy, including ACD, and all the versions. Yet does παρακούσας find favour with Tischendorf, Tregelles, and others.
In this way it happened that in the earliest age the construction of St. Luke i. 66 became misapprehended. Some Western scribe evidently imagined that the popular saying concerning John Baptist,—τί ἄρα τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο ἔσται, extended further, and comprised the Evangelist’s record,:—καὶ χεὶρ Κυρίου ἦν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ. To support this strange view, καί was altered into καὶ γὰρ, and ἐστὶ was substituted for ἦν. It is thus that the place stands in the Verona copy of the Old Latin (b). In other quarters the verb was omitted altogether: and that is how D, Evan. 59 with the Vercelli (a) and two other copies of the 189Old Latin exhibit the place. Augustine434434 v. 1166. is found to have read indifferently—‘manus enim Domini cum illo,’ and ‘cum illo est’: but he insists that the combined clauses represent the popular utterance concerning the Baptist435435 Ibid. 1165 g, 1165 a.. Unhappily, there survives a notable trace of the same misapprehension in א–BCL which, alone of MSS., read καὶ γὰρ . . . ἦν436436 Though the Bohairic, Gothic, Vulgate, and Ethiopic versions are disfigured in the same way, and the Lewis reads ‘is.’. The consequence might have been anticipated. All recent Editors adopt this reading, which however is clearly inadmissible. The received text, witnessed to by the Peshitto, Harkleian, and Armenian versions, is obviously correct. Accordingly, A and all the uncials not already named, together with the whole body of the cursives, so read the place. With fatal infelicity the Revisers exhibit ‘For indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.’ They clearly are to blame: for indeed the MS. evidence admits of no uncertainty. It is much to be regretted that not a single very ancient Greek Father (so far as I can discover) quotes the place.
It seems to have been anciently felt, in connexion with the first miraculous draught of fishes, that St. Luke’s statement (v. 7) that the ships were so full that ‘they were sinking’ (ὥστε βυθίζεσθαι αὐτά) requires some qualification. Accordingly C inserts ἤδη (were ‘just’ sinking); and D, παρα τι (‘within a little’): while the Peshitto the Lewis and the Vulgate, as well as many copies of the Old Latin, exhibit ‘ita ut pene.’ These attempts to improve upon Scripture, and these paraphrases, indicate laudable zeal for the truthfulness of the Evangelist; but they betray an utterly mistaken view of the critic’s office. The truth is, βυθίζεσθαι, as the Bohairic translators perceived and 190as most of us are aware, means ‘were beginning to sink.’ There is no need of further qualifying the expression by the insertion with Eusebius437437 Theoph. 216 note: ὡς κινδυνεύειν αὐτὰ βυθισθῆναι. of any additional word.
I strongly suspect that the introduction of the name of ‘Pyrrhus into Acts xx. 4 as the patronymic of ‘Sopater of Beraea,’ is to be accounted for in this way. A very early gloss it certainly is, for it appears in the Old Latin: yet, the Peshitto knows nothing of it, and the Harkleian rejects it from the text, though not from the margin. Origen and the Bohairic recognize it, but not Chrysostom nor the Ethiopic. I suspect that some foolish critic of the primitive age invented Πύρου (or Πύρρου) out of Βεροιαῖος (or Βερροιαῖος) which follows. The Latin form of this was ‘Pyrus438438 Cod. Amiat.,’ ‘Pyrrhus,’ or ‘Pirrus439439 g,—at Stockholm..’ In the Sahidic version he is called the ‘son of Berus’ (υἱὸς Βεροῦ),—which confirms me in my conjecture. But indeed, if it was with some Beracan that the gloss originated,—and what more likely?—it becomes an interesting circumstance that the inhabitants of that part of Macedonia are known to have confused the p and b sounds440440 Stephanus De Urbibus in voc. Βέροια.. . . . This entire matter is unimportant in itself, but the letter of Scripture cannot be too carefully guarded: and let me invite the reader to consider,—If St. Luke actually wrote Σώπατρος Πύρρου Βεροιαῖος, why at the present day should five copies out of six record nothing of that second word?191
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