Petzer is obviously aware of this,so why is he channelling research into text-type concepts that barely function?And, practically speaking, what does this assertion mean, and can it ever be given a meaningful application ? What text-types are Petzer referring to, and how are they to be represented?
PETZER IN THE ARTICLE AVERY DIDN'T READ
"The state of the extant evidence also means that one has to take individual view of the history of each book, for the Fathers that seem important witnesses to text-types of one book do not cite from another at all." (120)
"Not only does one find that one book has no trace of evidence of a text-type that is well documented in another, but often a single witness attests to two text-types with differing qualities in two different books. It is impossible to use the same symbols for denoting text-types in all the editions, for the witnesses and qualities of the identifiable text-types differ." (120)
"Tertullian's text is consequently represented by the symbol X in the Vetus Latin editions. Only with the citations of Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage in the mid-third century, does one start to tread on firmer ground, for it is clear that Cyprian cites from an identifiable text-type - probably the first textus receptus of the Latin Bible - not least because these citations can often be realted to MSS. The association of Cyprian with Africa has led to this text being called the African text...It is denoted by the symbol K in the Vetus Latina editions." (121)
"It is from this mixture, characterizing the state of the text in the fourth century that the Vg was produced. Unlike its character in the OT, where it represents a new translation from a Hebrew Vorlage, its character in the NT is that of a revision of a European text. In general it seems as if it represents a revision of some witness(es) to the I- (in Paul and Acts) or T-texts (in the Catholic epistles), but it also reveals ties with other Europeran texts." (121)
Are there some special, secret Critical Texts that exist that we do not know about? And why are these text-types more meaningful than their component elements? In other words, why is Petzer implying that, while it may make sense to talk about some Old Latin manuscripts, text-type glasses is in some way superior to, and even necessary?
PETZER IN THE SAME ARTICLE:
"It is important to see that each text-type represents only one Greek witness, the one that is assumed to have formed the Vorlage on which the revision was based."
"With respect to the OL tradition, however, a text-type is defined somewhat differently than in the textual criticism of the Greek NT. In the latter it refers to forms of text that developed largely as as result of copying mistakes. In the former it has a more formal definition and refers in general to revisions and/or new translations of the Vorlage, whereby a deliberate attempt was mde to revise an existing version." (118-19)
Rather than sharing precisely what is in each Old Latin manuscript. After all, often in a study there are only 10 Old Latin manuscripts involved anyway and they are virtually impossible to classify in any regular system.
PETZER SECTION AVERY DIDN'T READ
"What do these editions look like? Their overarching goal is to present as comprehensive and as detailed a picture as possible of the evidence concerning the (Old) Latin Bible up to the ninth century. Consequently, the editions include the redaings of all Latin MSS with an at least predominantly OL text and all Vulgate (Vg) MSS up to the ninth century. In a patristic apparatus every citation from and allusion to the Latin Bible in ecclesiastical writings up to this time are recorded in full." (115).
And it is unclear to me at this pointalso if Petzer is trying to apply this to the Vulgate. Petzer does mention the Peregrinus, Alcuin and Theodolf revisions, but what he considers textually significant is not stated. Let us remember what Petzer is not saying. The Old Latin line was developed way before, and largely independent of, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and any precursor Alexandrian papyri. Petzer is also not mentioning that Jerome's textual analysis would have included Greek and Latin manuscripts from before B and Aleph. So I wonder, why all the effort to awkwardly hand-wave their significance? (at least in this section of this paper).
No doubt individual Fathers and scribes did have passing contact with Greek evidence,
This I believe is a major understatement. In the early centuries bilingual skills were commonplace among the early church writers.
Petzer mentions the case of Tertullian where even today it is unclear whether he was quoting Greek or Latin manuscripts. Such bilingual elements are commonplace.
and this contact did influence their Latin text on occasion. But that this contact was in passing and inconsistent makes it worthless for reconstructing the history of the Greek text, as it cannot really be evaluated.
This is a conceptual category confusion by Petzer. The issue of such influence is not so much that it can be pin-pointed,
but simply that it adds to the authority of the Latin text, since it was not being read and copied in isolation. There was not individual vectors of transmission as might be theorized say for the major Syriac versions, where, after each version was translated, the textual transmission was largely uninfluenced by Greek. Thus the Petzer hand-wave is what is itself "worthless".
Furthermore, in evaluating the evidence of these text-types, it is important to see that each text-type represents only one Greek witness, the one that is assumed to have formed the Vorlage on which the revision was based.
This is another strained exposition. First, I would like a list of the text-types. Second, with all the Latin-Greek interplay (including dual-language manuscripts like Bezae, why would you impose an artificial limit. However, the most puzzling aspect is this. Say you count three Old Latin text-lines and have them "represent" 3 Greek witnesses of, say 200 AD. This would make the evidence incredibly significant, far more important than any Greek manuscript, Vaticanus included. So why not state that truthful understanding?
PETZER PORTION AVERY DIDN'T READ
"From a thematic point of view the most serious problems seem to be age-old. The first is the problem of the origin of the Latin version - where, when, why, how? Traces of a Latin Bible have been found fairly early in the second cnetury - well before Tertullian. There is, however, no direct evidence thereof, neither in MSS nor in citations, cine up to Tertullian most Fathers still wrote in Greek. Consequently it is still not possible to form a comprehensive picture of when, where, or why biblical passages were translated into Latin for the first time. Second, the most important biblical citations in the writings of Tertullian need to be assessed comprehensively, since Tertullian is the first to cite from the Bible consistently in Latin. But these citations do not fit into the rest of the Latin tradition." (126)
PETZER (AVERY QUOTE)
The Latin version's relation to the Greek text is, as can be seen, fairly complicated, fluctuating between the Alexandrian and Western texts.
And this is of course circular to the famous Hortian Box-out of the majority Greek evidences.
Which has been artfully dismembered by Professor Maurice Robinson and other writers and is barely worth more than a circular