Editing the Gospel of John

September 30, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 10:04 am

I have been enjoying myself this week exploring the Johannine text of the manuscripts containing the catena by Nicetas of Heraclea. Apart from the frustation of not being able to find my photocopy of Reuss’s Matthäus-, Markus- u. Johannes-Katenen, I have made good progress. The MSS I looked at were 249 317 333 423 430 743 841 and 869. There are probably more, not necessarily with a Gregory-Aland number, but without Reuss I can’t check that . . . Without going into the ins and outs of it, a study of the Teststellen from Text und Textwert for John 1-10 reveals signs of a strong group, with some of the Nicetas MSS sharing a high proportion of non-majority readings. One striking variant showing evidence of grouping is 3E at Test Passage 69 – the only three MSS with this reading are all Nicetas MSS – 249 333 423.

430, which in date is close to Nicetas (who compiled the catena in about 1080), is an important witness. So is 423, copied in 1556 by a Vatican scribe. In fact 423 is 430’s closest relative, closely followed by 249 and 333. So the relationship of 430 and 423 may be a classic example of the way in which the date of a MS doesn’t necessarily tell us very much about a MS’s place in a stemma.

This all preliminary, and it would take a lot more work to begin to produce such a stemma. But at any rate I have found that at least so far as Nicetas is concerned, the MSS with the same commentary have a similar form of text. Curiously, when I first began thinking about this particular question a decade (or possibly more) ago, Neville Birdsall claimed that I was wasting my time because it had been demonstrated that there was no such correlation between catena type and NT text. I wonder what research he had in mind. Can anyone enlighten me?

Now it’s off to write about Codex Sarzanensis for the introduction to Vetus Latina Iohannes.


September 23, 2010

An update at last

Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 11:03 am

I may be one of the world’s worst bloggers. Instead of writing about editing the Gospel of John, I have been too immersed in the research questions to write about them. But I do have plenty to write about.

Since the last post (was it really so long ago?), a lot has happened. We received a large grant from the AHRC which keeps our editorial team going to the end of John. Mostly I have been engaged in work on the Latin text. I made a list of all the readings in Greek MSS which are found in the Latin MSS which we will include in Vetus Latina Iohannes. I say all the readings, but in accordance with scientific practice I limited the MSS I included to the papyri, majuscules, MSS included in our edition of the Byzantine text of John, and Families 1 and 13 according to research in Birmingham. These readings appear in the edition as variants against the text of Nestle-Aland 27, which is given as a point of comparison for the Latin tradition.

It has been fascinating work. The interplay between the oldest Greek and Latin witnesses, and interestingly between the early Byzantine and Carolingian ones, has proved a good way into the process of understanding the wide picture of the textual transmission of John.

As members of the Latin team compile the patristic evidence for each chapter, I go back over it looking for Greek readings attested in Latin citations but not in MSS. The number we find will be a test of the measure to which the extant Latin MSS preserve the entire tradition (with the proviso that both MSS and citations from certain geographical areas may be better preserved than those from others). Here is a sample, the readings I have noted from Chapter 2:

2.3 oινος ουκ εστιν 01*; uinum non est; 2.9 OM αυτω 01; OM ei; 2.19 OM εν 03; OM in ; 2.21 OM αυτου 01*; OM sui; 2.25 OM οτι 02 083 0233; OM quoniam/quia

The frequency of  01 is intriguing. The question of course is, how likely are these variants to have arisen independently, through textual development in MSS and the common natural tendencies of citations to adapt and smooth a phrase?

Another question, which I am not going to begin to answer yet, is how often the Latin tradition may preserve a reading which began in the Greek tradition but no longer survives in a Greek manuscript. For example, the omission of ουν at 20.21 (cf 2 6 35).

On the Greek front, we have been pressing on with transcribing the MSS we will need for the edition, and I have been admiring the skill and dedication of our large team of professional and amateur contributors.

That will do for the moment. More to follow.

October 30, 2009

A duplication

Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 10:53 am

I noticed an interesting thing in 47 (St Gall 60, an Irish MS written in about 800. It is on page 60, and consists of a repeated section of text: lines 1-13 are repeated on lines 13-26. The scribe got mixed up with the repeated references to standing at the fire in vv. 18 and 25. There is of course no proof that this was done by the scribe and wasn’t in the exemplar already. But if we work on the basis that such an error was likely to have been screened out quite quickly. Admittedly, there is no sign here that anyone ever spotted a problem, and it’s weird that the section numbers in the margin just ignore the repeat and then carry on. But assuming that this was the scribe’s doing, we have the chance to assess his consistency. This is what I came up with:

47 screenshot

A few thoughts:

1. Verse 21 shows a place which the scribe got wrong twice. Hii/hi sciunt is probably intended (isti sciunt 13). Was there a confusing correction or mistake in the exemplar.

2. The layout comes out differently each time, so we can assume that the line lengths in the exemplar were different. Does the superline for m in verse 23 the second time give a hint as to the exemplar’s line break?

3. The rubrication comes out lighter the second time.

4. The punctuation is identical apart from the end of verse 20.

It would be very useful to build up a list of such places, as a way of assessing scribal accuracy. Here in 105 words (taking the repeat with only one ergo in verse 19, we have 6 textual differences, of which 4 are presentational. So there is about one difference in 50 words which might lead to a different form of text in a MS copied from 47.

October 22, 2009

More Greek variants for the Latin

Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 11:17 am

Dear blog, I have been away a long time, with one thing and another. But now I am back working through Jn 18, selecting Greek variants to include in our edition of Old Latin John. Yesterday we (Rosalind, Philip Hugh and I) sat down and reviewed my work so far and discussed guidelines for including them. Here are some highlights of what I noted and we decided:

18.14: + και μη ολον (το) εθνοc αποληται is found in a number of minuscules, and + et no̅ tota gens pereat 3

This comes from 11.50. Looking at 11.50, we have:

et non omnis gens pereat 3

et non uniuersa gens pereat 14

et non tota gens pereat cet (periet 5)

It’s common for a MS to harmonise to a different form of text from that which it contains. So that 3 has omnis in 11.50 and tota here is not surprising. Ways of ranslating παc in 3 would shed more light.


ειcηγαγεν ] ειcηνεγκε 01 ειcηνεγκεν 032

induxit 3; introduxit cet

Other occurrences in the Gospels (, data from Jülicher; 1 and 2 always explicitly cited):


induco Mt 6.13 (1 cet); Lk 5.18 (5); Lk 5.19 (5); Lk 11.4 (par. Mt 6.13); Lk 12.11 (2 cet)

inferre Lk 5.18 (2 cet); Lk 5.19 (2 cet); duco Lk 12.11 (4 13); adduco Lk 12.11 (3 5); perduco Lk 12.11 (6)


induco Lk 2.27 (2 cet); duco Lk 2.27 (6); introduco Lk 14.21 cet; Lk 22.54 (6) (see below); adduco Lk 14.21 (5); perduco Lk 14.21 (2)

Lk 22.54 is more complicated because we have a v.l.

ηγαγον 05 038 family 1; ηγαγον και εισηγαγον cet

ducebant et introduxerunt 6; adduxerunt 3 5; duxerunt 2 cet

So the reading of 3 at Jn 18.16 is more likely to represent εισαγω than εισφερω. The edition will provide the bare evidence. It will need this kind of analysis before the likelihood that there is a relationship between the Greek and Latin variants can be assessed.

The working position we have reached is that Greek variants we provide will have to be collected and provided consistently. So we will provide it where it is attested as a variant in the papyri and majuscules, or a single text attested by later MSS such as Family 1. We will also provide it on the basis of certain types of evidence even where there is unlikely to be a geneaological link between the readings. An example is transposition (e.g. the variants at 18.15 ην γνωcτοc] γνωcτοc ην in the Greek and erat notus notus erat in the Latin). We think it probably unlikely that they are related. But we will consistently supply all examples of transposition in Greek witnesses where it is found in the Latin MSS. It’s the job of the edition here to give the evidence, not to interpret it. We will also include places where there are references to Latin support in the Nestle apparatus.

August 17, 2009

18.5 and a movable Jesus

Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 11:51 am

At 18.5, the subject of the second sentence, Jesus, causes a few problems. Most MSS read απεκριθηϲαν αυτω ιν̅ τον ναζωραιον λεγει αυτοιϲ ο ιϲ̅ εγω ειμι ειϲτηκει δε. But P60, P66 (possibly) and 05 omit it, as do some versions. 03 transposes it, to read λεγει αυτοιϲ εγω ειμι ιϲ̅ (I think the Nestle apparatus is misleading here to treat it as an omission with P60 and 05 followed by an insertion). So instead of taking ιησους as the subject of λεγει, the text in 03 makes it part of the answer. Then we find an Old Latin MS, 3 (Vercellensis), which reads dixit illis ego sum ih̅s aute̅ stabat. This is a reading which seems to start with a Greek text like 03 and then puts Jesus in the next phrase, as part of the subject of ειστηκει. The interesting point is that it is further attestation for the reading in 03, which casts light on the question whether ο ιησους should be in the text. It would be fairly obvious to think that the text originally read απεκριθηϲαν αυτω ιν̅ τον ναζωραιον λεγει αυτοιϲ εγω ειμι ειϲτηκει δε, and that ο ιϲ̅ was added to make it clearer. But the situation may be more complicated. The fact that both 01 and 03 read ιησους without the article is possibly significant but needs exploring. P60 shows a general tendency to omit which weakens its support here. The case for an addition seems strong, but one will need to consider the idea that ιησους was originally present.

It is rather typical of the way textual variation is inconsistent that there is virtually no variation in the Greek in verse in the phrase απεκριθη Ιησους in verse 8.

August 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 2:55 pm

Someone has pointed out that the I of yesterday’s post is unidentified (thank you Stephen). I’m sorry about that, it was a case of overlooking the obvious, something I hope itsn’t going to happen too often. The human author of this blog is David Parker.

August 5, 2009

Getting started

Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 11:44 am

Now that the IGNTP edition of John for the Editio critica maior is getting towards the final stages when the editorial decisions are made, I am starting this blog so that people can see what we are doing.

Today I started assessing what Greek variants should be included in our edition of the Old Latin for the Vetus Latina Institut. The edition will, like all the others, contain a line of Greek text with variants underneath which are likely to be the source of variants in the Latin text. So I went through our evidence for the first 11 verse of Chapter 18. ten or eleven variants might be relevant. But some may have arisen in the Latin independently.

So how likely is the variant in verse 4 itaque/ergo/autem likely to come from the Greek variant ουν/δε ? What about word order? In verse 10 I think that it is possible that there is a correlation between του αρχιερεωϲ δουλον/δουλον του αρχιερεωϲ and pontificis seruum (Vulgate) /seruum principis sacerdotum (most VL MSS), but seruum pontificis (30) is a corruption of pontificis seruum, and so an inner Latin reading.

August 4, 2009

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — igntp @ 2:04 pm

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