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Mark 16:9-20 - Continuation - Snapp and Wallack

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  • Mark 16:9-20 - Continuation - Snapp and Wallack

    [SIZE="3"](In an attempt to increase reader-friendliness, I resumed posting Part Three of the debate as a new thread. This is not a new debate; it is a continuation of the "Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20" debate.)

    The previous thread consists of Part One (Prefatory Comments) and Part Two (Patristic Evidence) in the debate. Part Three (Manuscript Evidence) will now be presented.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.
    [/SIZE]

  • #2
    PART THREE: Wallack - Manuscript Evidence (1)

    (Wallack)

    [SIZE="3"]The Greek Manuscript Evidence


    Now that we have gone through the Patristic category of evidence I would like to say that I consider my opponent here, Mr. James Snapp, Jr., the foremost authority the world has ever known now on the argument for the originality of the LE. It is an honor to debate him on the subject. I have forced him to try and apply criteria to the data on a more formal basis which has made him more aware of the weaknesses in his argument. A general observation regarding the Patristic category is that the qualitative criteria tend to favor against LE and the quantitative criteria tend to favor for LE. Perhaps the only criterion I and my opponent agree on right now is that there are more Patristic references for the LE than against it. Our key difference right now is the qualitative Age criterion. We each see it as strongly supporting our argument. Historically, these two criteria are the basis for my opponent’s argument which is that supposedly the earliest and most Patristic references are for LE.

    As we move now to the next category of evidence, Manuscript, I would like the reader to pay close attention to the relationship between categories of evidence. If a relationship of evidence can be established it is exponentially more valuable than a single piece of evidence as relationships are based on consistency and consistency gives statistical probablility.

    Analysis of Manuscript Category (from Metzger)

    The data against LE is:

    Sinaiticus (One of two oldest)

    Vaticanus (One of two oldest)

    Sinaitic Syriac

    Most of one hundred Armenian

    Two oldest Georgian

    Sahidic

    L Ψ 099 0112

    Several Bohairic

    Some Ethiopic

    Bobbiensis

    It(a)

    Codex Washingtonianus

    The first star witness against LE is W Codex Sinaiticus:

    "Codex Sinaiticus (Shelfmarks and references: London, Brit. Libr., Additional 43725; Gregory-Aland nº א [Aleph] or 01, [Soden δ 2]) is one of the most important hand-written ancient copies of the Greek Bible.[1] It was written in the 4th century in uncial letters. It came to the attention of scholars in the 19th century at the Greek Monastery of Mount Sinai, with further material discovered in the 20th century. Most of it is today in the British Library.[2] Originally, it contained the whole of both Testaments. The Greek Old Testament (or Septuagint) survived almost complete, along with a complete New Testament, plus the Epistle of Barnabas, and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas.[2]"

    Codex Sinaiticus has the following weighty attributes:

    1) Age
    It is one of the two oldest extant Manuscripts, c. 342.

    Compared to the Patristic category this is mid 4th century while we have copies of Patristic witness that originally wrote 2nd century. Keep in mind that these extant copies though are not nearly as old as Codex Sinaiticus (א). I accept that it is more likely that Patristic copies reflect what was originally written than it is that a Manuscript reflects what was originally written but there is still a risk, called “transcription” risk, that our extant Patristic copies do not show what was originally written. So the Age difference here is something less than comparing 4th century to 2nd century.

    2) Connection to older textual evidence
    It generally agrees to extant 2nd century papyri.

    It generally agrees to W Papyrus 75 which is early 3rd century.

    It generally agrees to Early Patristic support (Clement, Origen).

    The text-type is Alexandrian which authority claims goes back to the 2nd
    century.

    We have a good connection here than to the 2nd century which makes it comparable to the Age quality of the Patristic category.

    3) It has more difficult readings compared to other early Manuscripts. External force than had less effect on it.

    4) It has avoided some External force by being discovered 19th century.

    5) It has significant Editing from the early centuries with the original still
    detectable. This is an especially valuable quality relating to the key qualitative criteria of direction.

    6) It generally agrees with Vaticanus, the other earliest manuscript, against other early manuscripts. The confirmation criterion.

    7) Some editing is to the Byzantine text type indicating the Alexandrian text
    type was earlier. Direction.

    8) Authority generally considers Sinaiticus one of the best witnesses for the original.

    Note the coordination here with evidence from the Patristic category:

    Qualitative:

    1 – Age.

    The earliest Patristic evidence is against LE and is 2nd century. א has ties to the 2nd century. Eusebius testifies that in his time, early 4th century, most manuscripts are against LE. Eusebius indicates that either ending is acceptable to him so there is no external pressure at the time to change the ending. Jerome confirms Eusebius a century later and contemporary to א that most manuscripts are against the LE but both endings are acceptable, so there is still no significant external pressure in the Greek.

    2 - Direction (of change).

    א is evidence that the older Alexandrian text is being edited towards the newer Byzantine text and external force is present in general.

    Quantitative:

    1 - Confirmation – width.

    We have the same weakness here as the Patristic as א is Alexandrian text type and the Patristic support against LE has a concentration of Alexandrian/Ceasarean.


    The second star witness against LE after Sinaiticus is W Codex Vaticanus:

    "The Codex Vaticanus, (The Vatican, Bibl. Vat., Vat. gr. 1209; no. B or 03 Gregory-Aland, δ 1 von Soden), is one of the oldest and most valuable extant manuscripts of the Greek Bible. The codex is named for its place of housing in the Vatican Library.[1] It is written in Greek, on 759 vellum leaves, with uncial letters, dated to the 4th century.[2] It is one of the best manuscripts of the Bible in Greek. Codex Sinaiticus is its only competitor. Until the discovery by Tischendorf of the Codex Sinaiticus, it was without a rival in the world."

    Codex Vaticanus has the following weighty attributes:

    1) Age
    Together with Sinaiticus it comproses the two oldest extant Manuscripts and is c. 325.

    2) Connection to older textual evidence
    It generally agrees to extant 2nd century papyri.

    It generally agrees to W Papyrus 75 which is early 3rd century.

    It generally agrees to Early Patristic support (Clement, Origen).

    The text-type is Alexandrian which authority claims goes back to the 2nd
    century.

    3) It has more difficult readings compared to other early Manuscripts

    4) It has avoided some External force by being somewhat ignored until relatively modern times.

    5) It has significant Editing from the early centuries with the original still
    detectable

    6) It generally agrees with Sinaiticus, the other earliest manuscript, against other early manuscripts.

    7) Some editing is to the Byzantine text type indicating the Alexandrian text type was earlier.

    8) Authority generally considers Vaticanus one of the best witnesses for the original.

    In connection with Codex Sinaiticus there is some independence as the two show numerous differences which make it likely that they had different exemplars.

    We also have W Codex Washingtonianus

    “The Codex Washingtonianus or Codex Washingtonensis, designated by W or 032 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 014 (Soden), also called the Washington Manuscript of the Gospels, and The Freer Gospel, contains the four biblical gospels and was written in Greek on vellum and palimpsest in the fourth or fifth century.[1]”

    Codex Washingtonianus (“W”) than is c. 400 and has the Extended Ending.

    We also have the following Greek Manuscripts which contain the Short Ending followed by LE:

    L Ψ 099 0112 = four uncial manuscripts of the 7th, 8th and 9th century. The order is evidence that these manuscripts originally lacked the LE, which was subsequently added on but after the SE since that was already at the end of “Mark”.

    Note that W and the uncials are evidence that by the 5th century there is external pressure to add to the AE and the specific variation they evidence is a direct sign of editing. There was no original ending to follow.[/SIZE]

    Comment


    • #3
      PART THREE: Wallack - Manuscript Evidence (1.5)

      (Wallack, continued)

      [SIZE="3"]The Non-Greek Manuscript Evidence

      The above than is the extent of the quality Manuscript evidence against LE in Greek, which most assume was the language of the originals. The Greek Manuscript evidence than will strongly outweigh the evidence of other languages, which are translating, as opposed to copying, and therefore force different words to be chosen, unless the translated Manuscript has significant advantages over the Greek in other criteria. Comparing these Greek Manuscripts to Greek Manuscripts for LE let’s first consider a qualitative comparison:

      Qualitative

      The best individual Manuscript evidence of LE is W Codex Alexandrinus

      “The Codex Alexandrinus (London, British Library, MS Royal 1. D. V-VIII; Gregory-Aland no. A or 02, Soden δ 4) is a 5th century manuscript of the Greek Bible,[n 1] containing the majority of the Septuagint and the New Testament.[1] It received the name Alexandrinus from its having been brought by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Cyril Lucaris from Alexandria to Constantinople.[2] Wettstein designated it in 1751 by letter A,[3] and it was the first manuscript to receive thus a large letter as its designation.[4]”

      Codex Alexandrinus (“A”) has two weaknesses compared to S and V. It is a century later and the text type for the Gospels is Byzantine which is known to be a later text type of the Alexandrian text type of S and V. This means its ties to earlier Manuscripts does not go back as far.

      Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (“C”) is the next best Manuscript evidence for LE”:

      “Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (Paris, National Library of France, Greek 9; Gregory-Aland no. C or 04, von Soden δ 3) is an early 5th century Greek manuscript of the Bible,[1] the last in the group of the four great uncial manuscripts of the Greek Bible (see Codex Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus and Vaticanus). It receives its name, as a codex in which the treatises of Ephraem the Syrian, in Greek translations, were written over ("rescriptus") a former text that had been washed off its vellum pages, thus forming a palimpsest.[1] The later text was produced in the 12th century. The effacement of the original text was incomplete, for beneath the text of Ephraem are the remains of what was once a complete Bible, containing both the Old Testament and the New. It forms one of the codices for textual criticism on which the Higher criticism is based.”

      It’s not as old as A but has some Alexandrian text type for the Gospels.

      Codex Bezae (“D”) is the next best Manuscript evidence for LE”:

      “The Codex Bezae Cantabrigensis, designated by Dea or 05 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), δ 5 (von Soden), is an important codex of the New Testament dating from the fifth-century. It is written in an uncial hand on vellum and contains, in both Greek and Latin, most of the four Gospels and Acts, with a small fragment of the Third Epistle of John. Written with one column per page it has 406 parchment leaves (26 by 21,5 cm), out of perhaps an original 534, and the Greek pages on the left face Latin ones on the right.[1]”

      D has the further weaknesses that it is Western text type, later than Alexandrian, and in general has exponentially the most deviations from the earliest Manuscripts. As we move forward in time there are increasingly more Greek manuscripts for LE but all show the same weaknesses as these 3, less Age, newer text type and editing away from earlier manuscript and Patristic evidence.

      The qualitative criterion here than, Age, clearly favors against LE, while the quantitative criterion, confirmation, favors for LE. Keep in mind though regarding the relatively few early Manuscripts of the Alexandrian text type against LE, that this is a common observation in general and specifically as we look at Manuscripts in other languages here, that the earliest Manuscripts will be exponentially fewer than Manuscripts one or two centuries later. This is because once an earlier Manuscript has fallen out of favor due to its specifics the demand is than to retain it as a reference guide for what was originally written but not as a guide for current usage. Therefore it is not copied unless it is recognized to be in danger of becoming illegible. Thus the difference in quantity is not as significant here as the numbers alone would indicate.

      Notice that the general criteria observation for the Manuscript evidence also coordinate with the Patristic evidence as quality favors against LE and quantity favors for LE. We also have a coordinated chronology between the two. Eusebius/Jerome testify that to c. 400 most Greek Manuscripts are against LE. Victor c. 450 contradicts that quality supports LE and advocates changing to LE. This is exactly the time when we start to see changes in the Manuscripts away from AE. Also note that regarding Variation we have no evidence that there was ever any variation in the AE. The LE however initially competes with the SE and EE before it is standardized. A likely sign that all these endings are edits as they had nothing after the AE to follow.

      The most important translated language, Latin, provides similar evidence.

      The next star witness against LE after S and V is W Codex Bobbiensis/ita
      Quote:
      "Codex Bobiensis (k) is a fragmentary Latin manuscript of the bible. Specifically, it is an example of a Vetus Latina bible, which were used from the 2nd century until Jerome's Latin translation, the Vulgate, was written in the 5th century. The text contains parts of the Gospel of Mark (Mk 8:8-end) and Gospel of Matthew (Mt 1:1-15:36). The order of books was probably: John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew.[1]

      It is from North Africa and is dated to the 4th or 5th century. Later it was brought to the monastery in Bobbio in northern Italy. Traditionally asserted to St. Columban, who died in the monastery he had founded there, in 615.[1] Today it is housed in the national library in Turin.

      Researchers think, comparing the Codex Bobiensis with quotes from Cyprian’s publications from the 3rd century, that the Codex Bobienses is a page from the Bible Cyprian used while he was a bishop in Carthage.

      From a paleographic study of the scripture, it is a copy of a papyrus script from the 2nd century. Codex Bobiensis is interesting, in that it is the only known scripture which has the addition of Mark 16:9's "short ending", but not the later, "long ending" through Mark 16:20.

      The Latin text of the codex is a representative of the Western text-type in Afra recension."

      Codex Bobienses has the following weighty attributes:

      1) Age
      It is one of the oldest extant Manuscripts, c. 400.

      2) Connection to older textual evidence

      It generally agrees to Early Patristic support (Cyprian).

      The style of Bible, Vetus Latina, goes back to the 2nd century.

      3) Variation in additions to AE
      Codex Bobbiensis (itk) is also likely supported by ita, which is
      considered the second best Itala witness. Part of the ending of "Mark" is
      missing but an analysis of the related space indicates either the ending
      was 16:8 or the SE. itk has the SE with no LE and ita either has the AE or
      SE with no LE. The variation in additions after the AE (LE or SE) is
      evidence that AE is original.

      4) Western
      Its provenance and text-type is Western adding scope to all of the
      Eastern evidence against LE. It further solidifies Direction from AE to
      LE as now there is East and West support for such change as well as Greek and Latin.

      5) Authority
      Generally considers Bobienses the most authoritative Latin manuscript of
      Western text type and ita the second most authoritative.
      The Latin witness here follows the same pattern as the Greek. The extant exemplars are both against LE with subsequent manuscripts supporting LE. There is the same criteria pattern, qualitatively, Age favors against LE while quantitatively, confirmation favors LE. The Latin coordinates with the testimony of the outstanding Latin textual critic of the early Church, Jerome. The Greek is clearly against LE. Latin has more support for LE but Jerome observes more variation in Manuscripts of his time. The translated Latin provides the opportunity to change the Greek original.

      The next star witness against LE after S, V, itk and ita is W Syriac Sinaiticus:
      Quote:
      "The Syriac Sinaitic (syrsin), known also as Sinaitic Palimpsest, of Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai is a late 4th century manuscript of 358 pages, containing a translation of the four canonical gospels of the New Testament into Syriac, which have been overwritten by a vita (biography) of female saints and martyrs with a date corresponding to AD 778. This palimpsest is the oldest copy of the gospels in Syriac, one of two surviving manuscripts (the other being the Curetonian Gospels) that predate the Peshitta, the standard Syriac translation of the Bible. The manuscript is designated by syrs."

      The Syriac Sinaiticus has the following weighty attributes:

      1) Age
      It is one of the oldest extant Manuscripts, c. 385.

      2) Connection to older textual evidence

      It is supported by early 3rd century Western readings

      3) Western
      It is supported by early 3rd century Western readings which further solidifies Direction from AE to LE with Western support for such change as well as in Greek, Latin and Syriac.

      4) Authority
      It is considered the Oldest and best Syriac witness and therefore the most authoritative Syriac manuscript.

      The same type observations can be made for Armenian, Georgian and Sahidic languages. What we see than is almost every important translated language made before the dominance of the Byzantine text type in the 7th century shares the same criteria observations = quality Age favors against LE while quantity Confirmation favors for LE. The Manuscript evidence than not only coordinates with the Patristic evidence but is even stronger evidence against LE as every significant translated language shows qualitative edge to against LE. [/SIZE]

      Comment


      • #4
        PART THREE: Snapp - Response (2)

        (Snapp)

        [SIZE="3"]As we begin a new stage, I thank Joseph for his kind words, and for taking the time and effort to engage in this discussion.

        Over 1,700 Greek manuscripts of Mark are known to exist. We will review eleven of them today. When we examined the patristic evidence, we saw that only one writer offers an independent judgment against Mark 16:9-20: Eusebius of Caesarea. Similarly, we shall see that in the extant Greek MSS, there are two copies that end with Mark 16:8 followed by a subscription, and that they emanate from a single source.

        First, though, we should become acquainted with the earliest MS of Mark: Papyrus 45, a mutilated copy of the Gospels and Acts produced c. 200. In 1981, Larry Hurtado analyzed P45’s much-mutilated text of Mark 5:31-12:28 and concluded that in this section, P45 and Codex W have a distinctly high 69% rate of agreement. This means that in Mark, neither P45 nor Codex W is a strong “Caesarean” witness. Instead, they both imperfectly echo another ancient transmission-stream.

        This information about P45 helps us evaluate references to “the earliest manuscripts.” Although damage has claimed the text of P45 after 12:28, it is probable that P45, like its closest textual relative, contained 16:9-20 when intact. Also, when we encounter claims that the Alexandrian text of Mark “goes back to the second century,” we should recall that that no second-century or third-century Alexandrian MSS of Mark are extant other than P45, and its text in Mark 5:31-12:28 tends to agree with Codex W rather than the Alexandrian text.

        We now turn to two Greek MSS from the 300’s: Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.

        Codex Sinaiticus () is a bit younger than Codex Vaticanus. Codex Sinaiticus was produced in about 350, almost certainly at Caesarea. In the Gospels, its main exemplar was Alexandrian, but in John 1:1-8:38, a “Western” exemplar was used. Some researchers have proposed that  may be one of the 50 copies which Eusebius produced for Constantine in about 330. In 1999, T.C. Skeat even offered a theory in which  and B were both made under Eusebius’ supervision. However, while several features in  support a production-location at Caesarea, it is unlikely that Eusebius would supervise the production of copies with texts significantly different from what he employed when he made the Eusebian Canons. Eusebius’ text did not contain the extended version of Mt. 27:49 (attested by  and B), and contained Mark 15:28 (not included in  and B). Also, the Eusebian Canon-numbers in  were written imprecisely, as if the person who added them was not very familiar with them. So, the historical link between Eusebius and  is close but not immediate. It is more likely that  was produced under the supervision of Acacius the One-eyed, who succeeded Eusebius as bishop in 339. Jerome reports that Acacius preserved the contents of papyrus copies in the library of Caesarea by transferring them to parchment. Acacius’ main exemplars of Biblical texts would have thus been copies handed down from his predecessors: the same Alexandrian copies Eusebius had regarded as “the accurate copies.”

        In , the four pages containing Mark 14:54-Luke 1:56 are not in the handwriting of the main copyist. The main copyist’s handwriting stops in Mk. 14:54. Then we encounter four pages (made of one folded sheet of parchment) containing Mk. 14:54-Luke 1:56. The main copyist’s handwriting resumes at the beginning of the next page. The missing pages by the main copyist must have contained something which his supervisor considered problematic. The supervisor wrote four new pages to replace the pages made by the main copyist, tightly compressing his lettering in Luke 1:1-56 so that the text in the replacement-pages would end where the main copyist’s text of Luke 1:56 began.

        What was in the four pages that the supervisor replaced? We cannot tell, because we only have the replacement-pages. But the creator of ’s replacement-pages left a feature after 16:8 which is rather suggestive. Normally when this copyist reached the end of a book, he added a relatively simple decorative line. (Examples occur in  at the end of Tobit, Judith, and First Thessalonians.) After Mark 16:8, though, he made the decoration more emphatic than usual: a wavy line immediately follows the end of 16:8 so as to fill the rest of the column-width, and the next column-width is filled by his usual red-and-black decorative design combined with another wavy line. This unique feature indicates deliberation of some sort on the part of its creator. Inasmuch as the SE was unknown at Caesarea just a few decades before  was made (when Eusebius wrote to Marinus without mentioning the SE), it is likely that the producer of this page deliberately rejected 16:9-20 and consequently made this emphatic decoration.

        Metzger’s short description of Sinaiticus as a witness for the non-inclusion of Mark 16:9-20 did not treat the evidence adequately. Whenever the testimony of  is mentioned, we should remember that we are discussing a replacement-page, the creator of which, by emphasizing the ending at 16:8, suggested his awareness of 16:9-20.

        I will not delve into another feature in : the broad variation in the rate of letters-per-column on the replacement-pages. We might revisit this; in the meantime J. K. Elliott’s observation must suffice: “The strange calculations suggest that the scribes were aware (as was the scribe of Codex Vaticanus) that the ending of Mark was disputed.”

        On to Codex Vaticanus (B), which is usually assigned a date around 325. Contrary to the impression given by my opponent, the text of B in Mark does not especially agree with second-century papyri; nor does it especially agree with citations of Mark by Clement and Origen. Codex B has two remarkable features after Mark 16:8. First, it displays the same decorative design that is normally found in  at the ends of books by the copyist who made the cancel-sheet at the end of Mark. Second, after the blank space below the subscription, B contains An Entire Blank Column before Luke begins on the opposite side of the page.

        B’s blank column between Mark 16 and Luke 1 is unique. Throughout the New Testament in B, after the end of a book, the next book begins at the top of the next column – except here. In the Old Testament portion of B, there are three places where blank spaces occur between books, but none of them suggest anything unusual. The mechanisms that elicited the seams at the following places are not operating at the end of Mark:

        (1) Between the end of the OT and the beginning of the NT. This was elicited by the copyist’s normal desire to begin the NT on a fresh page.
        (2) After Second Esdras, on the last page with a three-column format, before a two-column format for the Books of Poetry begins on the next page. This was necessary (unless the text of Second Esdras had happened to end in the last column on the page) because of the shift from the three-column format to the two-column format.
        (3) Between the end of Tobit and the beginning of Hosea. Here a change of handwriting occurs; this is merely leftover space, where one copyist had completed his assigned portion of text.

        Why did B’s copyist deliberately leave this blank column after Mark 16:8? It is as if his exemplar ended at the end of v. 8, but he recollected 16:9-20, estimated the amount of space the missing passage would occupy, and left space in which it could be added. He slightly underestimated: if one begins writing Mark 16:9-20 from the point where 16:8 stops (erasing the decorative line and subscription) in normal lettering, four more lines remain to be written when the end of the last line of the last column is reached. However, by slightly reducing the size of some letters and slightly reducing the space between letters (a space-saving technique used in  in Luke 1:1-56), a copyist could fit 16:9-20 in the space after 16:8.

        The impact of this feature in B is already colossal. Already, B attests to the existence of 16:9-20 in at least one exemplar recollected by its copyist. But there is more: as J. K. Elliott has written, “Scribe D of Sinaiticus was also very likely to have been one of two scribes of Codex Vaticanus.” (Scribe D is the supervisor-copyist who made the pages in  containing Mark 14:54-Luke 1:56.)

        Plenty of evidence renders Elliott’s conclusion not only very likely but practically irresistible. This evidence includes this copyist’s orthography, his selection of sacred names to contract, his method of indicating OT-quotations, and the decorative design he placed at the end of books.

        So, when we view the end of Mark in B and , we view the work of a copyist who, when he worked on B, formatted the page so as to allow the inclusion of 16:9-20, and who, when he supervised the production of  later in life, produced replacement-pages that reflected his decision to adopt the abrupt ending. Who was this copyist? Acacius is the only individual whose name is known who, as a young low-level copyist, could have participated in the production of B in the early 300’s, and who, as bishop of Caesarea decades later, could have overseen the production of .

        Now we proceed to Codex W. I cannot explain why my opponent listed Codex W as a witness against Mark 16:9-20; it contains all these verses. Between v. 14 and v. 15 we find the “Freer Logion,” which Jerome mentioned in his composition Dialogue Against the Pelagians 2:15, (c. A.D. 417). Jerome stated that he had found this material “in certain exemplars and especially in Greek codices near the end of the Gospel of Mark.” Thus we observe, first, that Jerome regarded Mark 16:20, not 16:8, as the end of Mark; second, that he expected this to be the case in his readers’ copies; third, that Codex W was not the only MS that contained this interpolation.

        An additional piece of evidence provides further insight about Codex W’s background: after the subscription to Mark, there is a benediction-note – “Holy Christ, be with your servant Timothy and all of his.” The name “Timothy” (more precisely, Timotheus) appears over an erasure; the erased name was probably “Sinuthius.” The name-changes appear to echo changes in the leadership of the Egyptian church in the 400’s: Shenute (i.e., Sinuthius) founded the White Monastery there in the late 300’s, and his successor in the mid-400’s was the patriarch Timothy (i.e., Timotheus). Considering this connection between Codex W and the White Monastery, and considering that Charles Freer obtained Codex W while in Egypt, we may confidently conclude that Codex W exhibits a local Egyptian (or “Nitrian”) text of Mark, of the same sort that Jerome saw when he visited the area in 386.

        The next four witnesses listed by my opponent are L, Ψ, 099, and 0112. In L, after 16:8, there is a framed scribal note: “this also appears.” This is followed by the SE. Then there is another framed scribal note: “esthn de kai tauta feromena meta to efobounto gar,” which means, “There also appears this after ‘efobounto gar.’” This is followed by 16:9-20, which is followed by the subscription.

        The claim that these MSS “originally lacked the LE” is not true. Every one, when produced, contained Mark 16:9-20. The Short Ending was placed after 16:8 because there it could be employed to end the preceding lection on a positive note; whereas if it had been placed after 16:20 it would be completely useless.

        (Continued in the following post.)

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.[/SIZE]


        (Note: the symbol "Aleph," representing Codex Sinaiticus, is not properly represented.)

        Comment


        • #5
          PART THREE: Snapp - Response (2.5)

          (Snapp, continued)

          [SIZE="3"]Also, L and its allies contain variants which are not in the Byzantine, “Western,” or “Caesarean” text-types. The phrase “And in their hands” in 16:18 is particularly important. This indicates that the text of Mark 16:9-20 in L and its allies is indigenous; it is not borrowed from another text-type.

          In , there is no intervening note between 16:8 and the SE. There is a normal “end-of-lection” mark, and a “beginning-of-lection” mark is in the left margin parallel to the beginning of 16:9, along with a liturgical lection-title. Between the end of the SE and the beginning of 16:9 is a note that is virtually identical to the note that precedes 16:9 in L.

          In 099, which is very fragmentary, 16:8 is followed by the SE. The SE is followed by a repetition of the last half of 16:8 (eicen gar autas tromos kai ekstasis kai oudeni ouden eipon efobounto garwhich is followed immediately by the beginning of 16:9, at which point the fragment stops due to damage. The same treatment of the SE and 16:9-20, with the text of 16:8b presented twice, is found in the Greek-Sahidic lectionary #1602 (from the 700’s). So, again, we are looking at a witness to a distinctly Alexandrian text-form that included Mark 16:9-20.

          083 (which is the same MS as 0112+0235) is a badly mutilated fragment discovered by J. Rendel Harris at St. Catherine’s Monastery. A couple of lines after the end of 16:8, 083 has the subscription “Gospel According to Mark,” just above the fragment’s lower edge. Harris acknowledged that the MS would have had, when intact, sufficient room for the same note that precedes the SE in L. In the next column (on the same page), the extant text resumes at tauta kai autos, about a third of the way through the SE. After the SE, 083 has the same phrase that appears in L. Then 16:9 begins, and the text of 16:9-10 continues until the edge of the fragment is reached.

          When we scrutinize these four witnesses, it becomes obvious that they all originally contained Mark 16:9-20. Their identical or nearly identical notes shows that all four (along with Lect. #1602) descend from a common ancestor: a MS produced by someone who had access to at least one copy that ended at 16:8, and at least one copy that ended with the SE, and at least one copy that ended with an Alexandrian form of 16:9-20. Unsure what to do with his disagreeing exemplars, this individual attempted to echo them all by placing a subscription after 16:8, followed by the SE and 16:9-20 (each with introductory notes), followed by a second subscription. The copyist who did this probably worked in an isolated location – possibly at St. Catherine’s monastery itself in the mid-600’s.

          Thus L, , 099 and 083 testify about three forms of the text of Mark (including a form with 16:9-20) which were merged at some point in these MSS’ shared ancestry.

          The next MS my opponent mentioned is Codex Alexandrinus (“A”), from the early 400’s. Its text of Mark is essentially Byzantine. In Codex A, 16:9 immediately follows 16:8. It include the phrase “from the dead” in v. 14; it does not contain “And in their hands” in 16:18, and it reads “the Lord” instead of “the Lord Jesus” in 16:19.

          My opponent proposed that because Codex A’s Gospels-text is Byzantine, “its ties to earlier Manuscripts does not go back as far.” However, the number of extant Alexandrian MSS of Mark from the 100’s is the same as the number of Byzantine MSS of Mark from the 100’s and 200’s: zero. My opponent is overstating a theory. Mark 16:9-20 is the reading with verifiably ancient ties; it is used in patristic writings from the 100’s and 200’s.

          Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C), from the mid-400’s, is next. It contains 16:9-20 immediately after 16:8 (with “And in their hands” in 16:18, and with “Lord” (not “Lord Jesus”) in 16:19). Also, although Eusebius numbered only 233 sections in Mark, in C the section-numbers continue into 16:9-20, up to section #239.

          Next is Codex Bezae (D), a damaged Greek-Latin codex which contains the Gospels and Acts, and a bit of Third John. In the 1800’s, most researchers thought it was made in the 500’s, but recently David Parker has proposed a date around 400. The text of D is “Western.” Due to damage, the Greek text on its original pages stops midway through 16:15, at the end of a page. However, when intact, D contained 16:9-20.

          Despite being damaged, D supplies enough variants to show that its text is independent of other text-types: in 16:9, 16:10, 16:11, and 16:12, it displays non-Byzantine readings. This shows that D did not derive Mark 16:9-20 from a Byzantine source.

          So far, the manuscript evidence tells us the following:

          (1)  and B show that exemplars with the abrupt ending and exemplars with 16:9-20 were known at Caesarea in the first half of the 300’s. Eusebius’ letter to Marinus confirms this, and shows that the Short Ending was not known at Caesarea at that time.

          (2) L, , 099, and 083 (especially 083) show that copies with the abrupt ending, copies with the SE, and copies with 16:9-20 were circulating in Egypt when an ancestor-MS of these witnesses was made, perhaps in the mid-600’s.

          (3) A, D, C (supplemented by L, , 099, and 083), and W disallow what my opponent has proposed. Instead of seeing a large Byzantine variant grafted onto local Alexandrian, “Western,” and Caesarean forms of Mark 1:1-16:8, we observe distinct Alexandrian, “Western,” and Caesarean forms of Mark 16:9-20 – plus another form in Egypt attested by Codex W and its allies mentioned by Jerome.

          These three observations correspond to what is shown by the patristic evidence: Mark 16:9-20 was perpetuated as part of the Gospel of Mark throughout Christendom, except in part of Egypt and at Caesarea where some cherished copies from Egypt (and copies of Egyptian copies) were kept.

          There is still much to say about other Greek MSS, and about the non-Greek evidence my opponent mentioned. However, this post is already thick with details and it’s a lot to digest. So I will stop here for now.

          Yours in Christ,

          James Snapp, Jr.[/SIZE]

          (Note: "Aleph," the symbol for Codex Sinaiticus, and some other symbols, are not properly represented.)
          Last edited by James Snapp Jr; 03-16-10, 08:19 AM. Reason: Addition of Note to mention formatting errors.

          Comment


          • #6
            PART THREE: Wallack - Manuscript Evidence (3)

            (Wallack)

            [SIZE="3"]As I review my opponent's review of the two star witnesses for the AE, Sinaiticus (A), and Vaticanus (B), it's useful to consider the likely context for the environment they were written in. Eusebius, c. 310, has provided a qualitative assessment of the issue in his time. The accurate texts and most of the texts of his time have the AE. Eusebius says though that the LE is very old. Old enough so that he is not sure which is original. His works though generally use the AE so presumably his conclusion followed his evidence.

            For Eastern scribes 50 years later presumably they were aware of Eusebius above. Their exemplars than are likely to have had the AE and while they did not realize that "Mark" is the original Gospel so whether it had any post resurrection sighting should have been a bigger issue than they thought, we have already seen the increasing external pressure, based on the Patristic testimony, to change to LE.

            Mr. Snapp writes:
            Quote:
            First, though, we should become acquainted with the earliest MS of Mark: Papyrus 45, a mutilated copy of the Gospels and Acts produced c. 200. In 1981, Larry Hurtado analyzed P45’s much-mutilated text of Mark 5:31-12:28 and concluded that in this section, P45 and Codex W have a distinctly high 69% rate of agreement. This means that in Mark, neither P45 nor Codex W is a strong “Caesarean” witness. Instead, they both imperfectly echo another ancient transmission-stream.

            This information about P45 helps us evaluate references to “the earliest manuscripts.” Although damage has claimed the text of P45 after 12:28, it is probable that P45, like its closest textual relative, contained 16:9-20 when intact. Also, when we encounter claims that the Alexandrian text of Mark “goes back to the second century,” we should recall that that no second-century or third-century Alexandrian MSS of Mark are extant other than P45, and its text in Mark 5:31-12:28 tends to agree with Codex W rather than the Alexandrian text.
            "it is probable that P45, like its closest textual relative, contained 16:9-20 when intact."

            JW:
            Obviously we don't know what P45 had for an ending. A minor part of my (and authority's) argument for the superiority of A and B is that as Alexandrian text type they tend to be supported by the earlier fragments.

            Wiki Papyrus 45
            Quote:
            The textual character of the manuscript varies between each book: Mark is the closest to Caesarean,
            Wikipedia dates it to c. 250. Presumably Eusebius was familiar with its family as by an act of providence Eusebius was in Caesarea, as was Origen, who as we saw, seemed unaware of the LE. They also had a Scriptorium at Caesarea. Do I take this indirect evidence and project P45 as a witness for AE? God forbid. Than I would sound like my opponent. I'll also note once again that Codex W has the Extended Ending and not the LE so it is evidence against LE. I'll remind my opponent that the subject of this debate is:

            Is the LE original?

            and not:

            Which ending is original?

            Regarding Sinaiticus (A) my opponent spends a good deal of time looking through a text which has the AE for evidence that it had the LE. Now there was a scribal sign used to indicate that a verse was an addition but there is no such sign here (as there is in a number of later Greek manuscripts indicating the LE is an addition). So my opponent than has to look for evidence that the scribe hid the evidence that the text had LE. My opponent even confesses to us that this scribe would have inherited Eusebius' collection of manuscripts without the LE:
            Quote:
            Acacius’ main exemplars of Biblical texts would have thus been copies handed down from his predecessors: the same Alexandrian copies Eusebius had regarded as “the accurate copies.”
            My opponent's conclusion here is:
            Quote:
            J. K. Elliott’s observation must suffice: “The strange calculations suggest that the scribes were aware (as was the scribe of Codex Vaticanus) that the ending of Mark was disputed.”
            JW:
            Well I would hope so. Eusebius at Caesarea already indicated he was not sure which was original. I'm at a loss here to even summarize my opponent's position that A is evidence for the LE:


            Even though the exemplars in general had AE, the exemplar for A had LE. The supervisor did not supervise the ending of LE until after it was done and than hid it but made a point that it was hidden.

            I would like to thank my opponent though for confessing that there must have been many manuscripts here with the AE. I suggest he decide before the next debate whether or not he will argue that A and B are the exceptions.

            On to Vaticanus (B) which is more of the same. My opponent looks at a manuscript which has AE and lacks the scribal sign of a change, for evidence that the manuscript had LE and had scribal evidence of a change.

            My opponent argues about whether B is supported by the Papyri or early Church Fathers. Wikipedia says:

            Wiki Alexandrian text-type
            Quote:
            Most textual critics of the New Testament favor the Alexandrian text-type as the closest representative of the autographs for many reasons. One reason is that Alexandrian manuscripts are the oldest we have found, and some of the earliest church fathers used readings found in the Alexandrian text. Another is that the Alexandrian readings are adjudged more often to be the ones that can best explain the origin of all the variant readings found in other text-types.
            This is why authority considers the Alexandrian text-type, such as B, authoritative.

            My opponent spends a lot of words claiming as remarkable that there is blank space after the AE while confessing to us that there would not be enough room for the LE. Again, since there is no scribal mark here of textual variation, there is no direct evidence against the AE here. If the blank space is evidence of a variant it would be evidence of the Short Ending, since that would fit. And again, I wouldn't have a problem anyway even if the intent of the blank space was an option to include the LE. The LE was clearly known at Caesarea, thought to be old and possibly original and was building Patristic pressure to be changed to. The final note though is that B was subsequently heavily edited to different text types and in all that time, with space available, no one ever added the LE. So with apologies to my opponent, not only is B clear evidence of AE it is also evidence that it was recognized as likely original for some time after (The same thought applies to A).

            The conspiracy theory offered by my opponent than becomes somewhat comical as the conspirator (in my opponent's mind) was unable to hide the evidence in the later manuscript even after going through the same problem in the earlier and presumably my opponent would tell us that we just happen to have the only 2 out of 50 manuscripts that this occurred in.

            My opponent writes:
            Quote:
            Jerome regarded Mark 16:20, not 16:8, as the end of Mark; second, that he expected this to be the case in his readers’ copies; third, that Codex W was not the only MS that contained this interpolation.
            JW:
            Remember the context here. Eusebius, c. 310, testifies that the evidence indicates AE is original and this is Eusebius' conclusion, before the extant texts. Jerome, c. 400, confirms Eusebius that the manuscripts support AE as original and this is confirmed by the extant texts here, A and B. But due to the increasing external pressure to change to LE, Jerome concludes that LE should be the text. Jerome further indicates that the EE was not limited to Codex W, creating further doubt as to the originality of LE due to variation.

            The important point here is the difference at this point between what one of the most important textual critics of the early Church indicates was his evidence and his conclusion. Jerome is clear that the evidence indicates AE is original but concludes that the text of his time should be LE. Exactly the explanation we are looking for. As was repeated ad nauseam in the God awful trilogy, Highlander, " There can be only one!" (original ending). Therefore, change from one of our candidates to the others must have occurred at some point in time. Here we have provenance for the change, c 400. This coordinates with the evidence categories. Patristic and Manuscript before 400 support AE. Patristic and Manuscript after 400 support LE.


            My opponent has properly corrected me regarding L Ψ 099 0112. They are not evidence of originally lacking the LE. They are only evidence that their exemplars lacked the LE.


            Joseph[/SIZE]

            Comment


            • #7
              PART THREE: Wallack - Manuscript Evidence (3.5)

              (Wallack, continued)

              [SIZE="3"]In the process of trying to claim support for LE by appealing to the variety of text types which support it my opponent exposes himself to a side effect of this variation discussion which is worse than the attempted cure. Variation in the LE. Variation is probably the most important clue for scribal addition. They go together like salt & pepper, politics & corruption and eggs & turkey sausage bacon

              Let’s present the majority textual LE and than backtrack to references to the text of the LE in the Greek to consider the history of variation in the LE:

              Mark 16
              Quote:
              9 Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.
              10 She went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
              11 And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved.
              12 And after these things he was manifested in another form unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country.
              13 And they went away and told it unto the rest: neither believed they them.
              14 And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen.
              15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
              16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.
              17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
              18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
              19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
              20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
              Irenaeus c. 180 gives the first clear reference to the LE with one verse:
              Quote:
              So then, after the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God
              Tatian c. 190 appears to have included most of the LE within his Diatesseron.

              Tertullian c. 210 refers to verses 9, 15 and 19.

              Eusebius c. 300 gives this description of the LE:
              Quote:
              For in this [manner] the ending of the gospel according to Mark is circumscribed almost in all the copies. The things that seldom follow, which are extant in some but not in all, may be superfluous, and especially if indeed it holds a contradiction to the testimony of the rest of the evangelists. These things therefore someone might say in avoiding and in all ways doing away with a superfluous question.
              The implication here from my bold is that Eusebius observes variation in the LE in his time.

              A few other 4th century Fathers have limited quotes/references to the LE.

              Note that at this point, before the 5th century, we have nothing extant, either Manuscript or Patristic copy of an original written before, that shows us either all of the LE, most of the LE or even a significant part of the LE by itself. Compare this to “Matthew”/”Luke”, Eusebius/Jerome and A/B which make clear that the AE was long since established at 16:8 with little related variation.

              The earliest extant manuscript with most of the LE is The Codex Washingtonianus, c. 400, which contains the Extended Ending.

              The first extant Manuscript supporting LE is Codex Alexandrinus which is c. 415. Normally in debates regarding the original ending of “Mark” neither side mentions variation in Manuscripts with the LE. The For LE side wants to avoid the issue and the Against LE side doesn’t think it necessary. I applaud Mr. Snapp for the information he has provided here. Per Mr. Snapp Codex Alexandrinus' variation is:
              Quote:
              It include the phrase “from the dead” in v. 14; it does not contain “And in their hands” in 16:18, and it reads “the Lord” instead of “the Lord Jesus” in 16:19.
              The next extant Manuscript supporting LE is Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, c. 425. Mr. Snapp writes:
              Quote:
              (with “And in their hands” in 16:18, and with “Lord” (not “Lord Jesus”) in 16:19). .
              One less variant.

              Let's stop at this point and consider. We have the most influential family of Manuscripts here, A, B, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus. A and B are written after Eusebius, who concluded AE is original, but before Jerome, c. 400, who confirmed Eusebius that the evidence was still AE but concluded LE for his text. The two manuscripts after Jerome, the most influential textual critic of his time, both agree with Jerome that LE is the text but do not agree with each other.

              Next is Codex Bezae, c. 500. Mr. Snapp writes:
              Quote:
              Due to damage, the Greek text on its original pages stops midway through 16:15, at the end of a page. However, when intact, D contained 16:9-20.

              Despite being damaged, D supplies enough variants to show that its text is independent of other text-types: in 16:9, 16:10, 16:11, and 16:12, it displays non-Byzantine readings. This shows that D did not derive Mark 16:9-20 from a Byzantine source.
              Now the variation increases.

              Regarding the later manuscripts with SE and LE my opponent writes:
              Quote:
              Also, L and its allies contain variants which are not in the Byzantine, “Western,” or “Caesarean” text-types. The phrase “And in their hands” in 16:18 is particularly important. This indicates that the text of Mark 16:9-20 in L and its allies is indigenous; it is not borrowed from another text-type.

              , there is no intervening note between 16:8 and the SE.In There is a normal “end-of-lection” mark, and a “beginning-of-lection” mark is in the left margin parallel to the beginning of 16:9, along with a liturgical lection-title. Between the end of the SE and the beginning of 16:9 is a note that is virtually identical to the note that precedes 16:9 in L.
              These manuscripts are a few centuries later and indicate that at this time scribes were still not sure what exactly the LE was.


              As always, note the coordination of the categories of evidence here. In the Patristic category Eusbius implies variation in the LE of his time and Jerome explicitly identifies LE variation in his time. Subsequent manuscript evidence for the LE all has variation in the LE for the next several hundred years. This tells us that the main question facing scribes here hundreds of years after the AE was fixed at 16:8 was not what exactly the LE was but whether to use an LE. If you compare variation in 16:1-8 with variation in 16:9-20, there is no comparison. The logical explanation is that scribes wanted to use an LE but had no clearly defined LE in their exemplars because the LE was not original.


              Joseph[/SIZE]

              Comment


              • #8
                PART THREE: Snapp - Response (4)

                (Snapp)

                [SIZE="3"]I will address my opponent’s nine concerns point-by-point.

                (1) Regarding Eusebius: although my opponent and I seem to disagree about the significance of some of the nuances in the statements of Eusebius in “Ad Marinum,” we agree that Eusebius has provided a qualitative assessment of the issue. His statements about the quantities of MSS present differing ratios; this indicates that Eusebius, as he made those statements, was only presenting, as he says, things that a person might say. Otherwise he would have mentioned one factual ratio rather than several possible ratios. It is understandable that Eusebius, writing so soon after the Diocletian persecution in which copies of NT books had been targeted for destruction, was reluctant to attempt to declare precisely how many copies included or omitted the passage.

                It is the “accurate copies” which mattered most to Eusebius: copies at Caesarea which he inherited from Pamphilus, based on copies inherited from Pierius, based on copies inherited from Origen, who brought copies to Caesarea from Egypt. This interlocks with the theory that the Abrupt Ending at 16:8 originated in an early Egyptian copy, and this variant spread to Caesarea from there.

                (2) Regarding P45: my opponent appealed to Wikipedia to answer the data I provided about the special textual affinity between P45 and Codex W. However, the Wikipedia-writer seems unfamiliar with Hurtado’s research. That research shows that P45’s text of Mark is much more closely related to the text of Mark in Codex W than the text in either MS is related to any Caesarean witness. That is why I wrote, “In Mark, neither P45 nor Codex W is a strong “Caesarean” witness. Instead, they both imperfectly echo another ancient transmission-stream.” The incorrect statements in the Wikipedia article have misled my opponent into imagining that Eusebius was familiar with the family of P45 at Caesarea, whereas P45 represents an isolated Egyptian text instead.

                (3) Regarding Codex W: The interpolation between 16:14 and 16:15 in Codex W is a large variant, but it is still just a variant; it does not turn 16:9-20 into some other ending. To consider Codex W evidence against LE would be like saying that a picture of a ship with a barnacle on its hull is evidence that the hull is not original.

                (4) Regarding the unusual features in Sinaiticus at the end of Mark: my opponent stated that because there is not an obvious scribal symbol to indicate the presence of a variant in Sinaiticus, I have sought “evidence that the scribe hid the evidence that the text had LE.” However, my claim is not that the copyist who made the replacement-pages “hid the evidence that the text had LE.” I would even go so far as to say that the replaced pages containing Mk. 14:54-Lk. 1:56 almost certainly did not contain 16:9-20. The inconsistent rate of letters-per-column and the uniquely emphatic decorative line after 16:8 in the replacement-pages shows that the copyist was aware of at least one alternative to the abrupt ending; it does not mean that the copyist was not following his primary exemplar.

                With this point established, it seems that my opponent misunderstood me when he wrote, as if summarizing my position, “the exemplar for (Aleph) had LE,” and that the supervisor of Aleph hid the LE “but made a point that it was hidden.” Perhaps it would be helpful to state my observations about the ending of Mark in Sinaiticus again:

                (a) We don’t have the main copyist’s pages; we only have replacement-pages.
                (b) The person who made the replacement-pages appears to have been aware of an alternative to the abrupt ending, and inasmuch as Aleph was produced at Caesarea, where Eusebius had written about the end of Mark without any hint of awareness of the Shorter Ending, this alternative was 16:9-20.

                (5) Regarding Vaticanus: as I mentioned already, claims about the correspondence between B and the early papyri do not pertain to the present subject because there are no early papyri containing Mark 16. Claims such as the ones in the Wikansayanythingipedia article cited by my opponent are merely diversionary. Turning to the MS itself, I shall briefly address some claims my opponent made:

                I agree that there is no direct evidence against the abrupt ending in B; the deliberately placed blank column, however, is strong indirect testimony of the copyist’s awareness of 16:9-20. In addition, I again note that the blank space is sufficient for 16:9-20 if a copyist used compressed lettering, as any competent copyist could do (and as we see in the replacement-pages in Aleph); this is demonstrated at the Curtisville Christian Church website.

                The claim, “If the blank space is evidence of a variant it would be evidence of the Short Ending, since that would fit,” is unsound. A copyist reserving space for the SE would have no reason to leave an entire column blank, because all the necessary space was below the end of 16:8, in column two. Also, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus appear to have been made at Caesarea, where Eusebius, though aware of the contents of his MSS there, was apparently completely unaware of the SE.

                When my opponent claimed, “B was subsequently heavily edited to different text types;” perhaps he was thinking of Aleph. Nevertheless I will address his concern about later correctors’ failure to insert 16:9-20 in Aleph and B. This is attributable to some copyists’ tendency to treat old readings with relic-like veneration, simply because they were old. The abrupt ending, having been explicitly mentioned by Eusebius in “Ad Marinum,” would be among the most famous such readings.

                My opponent assumed that a copyist’s failure to correct a variant is “evidence that it was recognized as likely original.” This is not the case. Some correctors did their work spottily rather than exhaustively. Some highly disciplined copyists were capable of reproducing their exemplars so exactly that they even reproduced obvious incorrect readings. And, as I just mentioned, some copyists felt that the antiquity of a variant was a sufficient reason not to correct it. We see this phenomenon in Codex B; at Hebrews 1:3, after someone replaced the incorrect reading “faneron” with the correct “ferwn,” another copyist erased “ferwn,” rewrote “faneron,” and jotted a Greek note in the margin: “Fool and knave! Spare the old reading; do not change it.”

                (6) Regarding copies at Caesarea: my opponent wrote, “I would like to thank my opponent though for confessing that there must have been many manuscripts here with the AE.” The question is not whether B and Aleph were the only copies at Caesarea in which Mark ended at 16:8; Eusebius’ comments show that other copies there did so. The question is whether copies at Caesarea (such as Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) were typical or exceptional compared to the copies used elsewhere.

                I agree with, and even celebrate, my opponent’s statement that “The LE was clearly known at Caesarea, thought to be old and possibly original,” a claim based on the statements of Eusebius in “Ad Marinum.” It should be clear that, in addition to the other pieces of evidence we have reviewed, we thus have in “Ad Marinum” the evidence of copies of Mark (one belonging to Marinus, and at least one belonging to Eusebius) that included 16:9-20, as old as our two oldest extant copies of Mark 16.

                My opponent has misread the evidence as if it indicates that the abrupt ending was once dominant. It is clear that 16:9-20 dominated the rival variants after 400. But that is not the same as evidence that the situation was previously different. Before 400, and before 300, and before 200, 16:9-20 was used in different locales, while all manuscript evidence for the abrupt ending (none of which is earlier than the early 300’s) is traced to Egypt.

                Continued in the following post . . .

                Yours in Christ,

                James Snapp, Jr.[/SIZE]

                Comment


                • #9
                  PART THREE: Snapp - Response (4.5)

                  (Snapp, continued)

                  [SIZE="3"](7) Regarding Jerome: as my opponent revisited the evidence from Jerome, he encouraged us, “Remember the context here.” Amen! The context, in “Ad Hedibiam,” is the middle of a loosely translated extract from “Ad Marinum.” By the time Jerome wrote to Hedibia, Mark 16:9-20 was in the Greek MSS used by Hippolytus, by Vincentius of Thibaris, by the author of “De Rebaptismate,” by Marinus, by the author(s) of Apostolic Constitutions, by the author of Acts of Pilate, by the author of the Leucian Acts, by Wulfilas, by Porphyry/Hierocles, by Macarius Magnes, by Augustine, by the translators of the Peshitta, and by the copyists of Codices A, D, W, and C. This compels the conclusion that the statement that “almost all the Greek codices lack the passage” is an abridgement of the words of Eusebius, not an observation by Jerome.

                  Now we turn to Jerome’s statement in “Against the Pelagians.” Jerome had already included Mark 16:9-20 in the Vulgate (which, we may again notice, he states that he made on the basis of old Greek manuscripts) in 383/384. As he refers to the Freer Logion, he states that he had seen it in the end of Mark following 16:14 “in certain exemplars, especially Greek codices.” (As I explained earlier, these were probably copies he had seen in 386 when he visited the White Monastery in Egypt.) Jerome expected his readers to recognize the verses surrounding the Freer Logion as the normal end of the Gospel of Mark; the Freer Logion, not the surrounding verses, was the anomaly.

                  Regarding the statement, “Jerome further indicates that the EE was not limited to Codex W, creating further doubt as to the originality of LE due to variation,” this is merely a way of attempting to claim that because Codex W has the Freer Logion, it is evidence against 16:9-20. Such a claim is illogical, since the existence of the Freer Logion depends on the prior existence of 16:9-20.

                  (8) Regarding L, Ψ, 099 and 0112: my opponent’s description of them has improved, but rather than saying that “Their exemplars lacked the LE,” we should say that some of their ancestors or exemplars lacked Mk. 16:9-20 while other ancestors or exemplars contained the passage. This evidence interlocks with the reconstructed transmission-history of the abrupt ending that I have proposed: the abrupt ending circulated in Egypt in the second century; copies with the abrupt ending were taken to Caesarea in the 200’s; meanwhile in Egypt, the Shorter Ending was created to round off the otherwise abrupt ending. Everywhere else, including in the Egyptian transmission-stream represented by P45 and Codex W, the Gospel of Mark circulated with 16:9-20. L, Ψ, 099 and 0112 display the result of the earlier convergence of two Egyptian transmission-streams.

                  So: Eusebius’ “accurate copies” were at Caesarea; Sinaiticus was produced at Caesarea; one of the copyists involved in the production of Vaticanus was also involved in the production of Sinaiticus. The “accurate copies” at Caesarea were entrusted to Eusebius by Pamphilus, who received his exemplars from Pierius, who received his exemplars from Origen, who had brought his exemplars from Egypt when he left Alexandria around 234. Consider this line of descent carefully and you will see that the Egyptian text represented by the earliest stratum of the Sahidic version (with the abrupt ending) is in the same transmission-stream as Aleph, B, and Eusebius’ “accurate copies.”

                  (9) Finally, regarding textual variants in Mark 16:9-20: my opponent attempted to use this as evidence that the passage is spurious, stating, “Variation is probably the most important clue for scribal addition.” We may reckon that if this “most important clue” turns out to be utterly meaningless, then his less important evidence deserves even less attention. Before testing the essence of his claim, though, some of his preliminary statements bear correction:

                  JW: “Irenaeus c. 180 gives the first clear reference to the LE with one verse.”

                  But, as we have seen, Justin Martyr’s use of Mark 16:20, blended with Luke 24:52-53, in 160 in his First Apology ch. 45, is clear, especially when his use of a Synoptics-Harmony is recognized.

                  JW: “Tatian c. 190 appears to have included most of the LE within his Diatesseron.”

                  The date for Tatian’s composition of the Diatessaron should be assigned to 172. (My opponent’s date of 190 is no more justifiable than Dr. Morna Hooker’s date of 140.)

                  JW: “A few other 4th century Fathers have limited quotes/references to the LE.”

                  A few??? The fourth-century writers who quoted or otherwise used material from Mk. 16:9-20 include Aphraates (337, loosely cited 16:16-18), Wulfilas (350, translated 16:9-20 into Gothic), “Acts of Pilate” (incorporated 16:15-16), Marinus (c. 325, quoted 16:9), “Apostolic Constitutions” Book VIII (380, quoted 16:17-18 and alluded to 16:15), Jerome (383, included 16:9-20 in the Vulgate), Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 385, cited 16:19), and the author of “De Trinitate” (probably Didymus the Blind, cited 16:15-16).

                  My opponent wrote, “At this point, before the 5th century, we have nothing extant, either Manuscript or Patristic copy of an original written before, that shows us either all of the LE, most of the LE or even a significant part of the LE by itself.” If he meant that there is no evidence of the entire contents of Mk. 16:9-20 prior to the 400’s, then such a claim is clearly wrong, inasmuch as Tatian used all 12 verses, and Wulfilas translated 16:9-20 into Gothic in 350, and the Vulgate (383) includes the passage. (Also, Augustine, c. 400, commented on the whole passage and, in his comments on 16:12, cited Greek copies, which, unless they were very new, were from the 300’s.) Plus, the sort of logic that says that a citation of part of Mk. 16:9-20 is not evidence of the existence of the whole passage is the sort of logic that says that a citation of only a part of the Gettysburg Address is not evidence of the existence of the entire composition.

                  By reviewing the differences in Mark 16:9-20 among the text-types (Alexandrian, Byzantine, “Western,” “Caesarean,” and the Egyptian type represented by P45 and W), I have shown that the presence of Mk. 16:9-20 in these copies is not due to the influence of one local text upon another, inasmuch as each has retained its own distinct readings. If we had found a lack of textual variation among these witnesses, we would deduce that we have an orchard, so to speak, in which branches from one tree have been grafted onto others, causing them to bear fruit that would not otherwise be in their nature to produce. But when we see different fruit on different trees, we deduce that the trees are bearing their natural fruit. Likewise when the different text-types contain Mk. 16:9-20 with differences, we conclude that the passage is part of their natural textual genotype.

                  My opponent claimed that “Eusebius implies variation in the LE of his time,” but Eusebius is really only concerned with the presence or absence of 16:9-20; none of his statements imply an awareness of variant-readings within 16:9-20. Also, it does not follow from the fact that “Jerome explicitly identifies LE variation in his time” (namely, the Freer Logion) that he or his readers had doubts about the entire passage. Jerome elsewhere mentions textual variants in Mt. 5:22, 11:23, 13:35, 16:2-3, 22:31, and 24:36, without suggesting that the adjacent parts of Matthew are spurious. He endorses Mk. 16:9-20 in “Ad Hedibiam.”

                  My opponent also claimed, “If you compare variation in 16:1-8 with variation in 16:9-20, there is no comparison.” Actually, if you look at 16:1-8, you will see the same sort of variation that we see in 16:9-20 (though not quite as much, because 16:1-8 is not quite as long).

                  D (“Western”) omits most of verse 1 and lacks ELQOUSAI in v. 1b and transposes phrases in v. 4 and adds “the angel” in v. 6 and omits “the Nazarene” in v. 6.

                  In family-1 (“Caesarean”), the phrase “He is risen from the dead, and behold,” is inserted in v. 7.

                  In B and Aleph (“Alexandrian”), in v. 2 TWN precedes SABBATWN and in v. 4 the prefix ANA- appears instead of APO- and in v. 8 the word TACU does not appear.

                  In Codex W (“Egyptian”), KAI LIAN is absent from v. 2a and QEWROUSIN appears in v. 5 instead of EIDON and OIDA GAR OTI is inserted in v. 6.

                  In Old Latin k, there is a substantial interpolation between 16:3 and 16:4, and the last phrase of 16:8 is omitted.

                  And the Byzantine text varies from the others.

                  More variants could be listed, but the point is already demonstrated: the presence of variants of this sort does not imply a higher or lower degree of authenticity of the passage in which they are found. This can be shown in a dozen different ways but I hope the proof I have given here, using for comparison the sample-passage selected by my opponent, will be sufficient. The variants within 16:9-20 do not suggest scribal uncertainty about Mk. 16:9-20; to the contrary, they demonstrate that Mark 16:9-20 was distributed throughout early Christendom and, unlike the abrupt ending, the passage was disseminated in several text-types as part of the Gospel of Mark.

                  The textual variants in Mark 16:9-20 do not suggest inauthenticity or scribal uncertainty about the passage. But what about paratextual features, such as the scribal notes found in about 20 medieval MSS? Metzger wrote that “Not a few manuscripts which contain the passage have scribal notes stating that older Greek copies lack it.” Could this be evidence of scribal hesitation? Perhaps we can explore the evidence from those manuscripts soon, and then explore the versional evidence and lectionaries.

                  Yours in Christ,

                  James Snapp, Jr.[/SIZE]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    PART THREE: Wallack - Manuscript Evidence (5)

                    (Wallack)

                    [SIZE="3"]Mr. Snapp writes:
                    Quote:
                    Regarding Eusebius: although my opponent and I seem to disagree about the significance of some of the nuances in the statements of Eusebius in “Ad Marinum,” we agree that Eusebius has provided a qualitative assessment of the issue. His statements about the quantities of MSS present differing ratios; this indicates that Eusebius, as he made those statements, was only presenting, as he says, things that a person might say. Otherwise he would have mentioned one factual ratio rather than several possible ratios. It is understandable that Eusebius, writing so soon after the Diocletian persecution in which copies of NT books had been targeted for destruction, was reluctant to attempt to declare precisely how many copies included or omitted the passage.
                    My opponent first of all needs to decide whether or not Eusebius was familiar with texts outside of his area. Otherwise someone might think that Mr. Snapp only limits Eusebius' authority as the official Church Historian to the context of disputing evidence against the LE.

                    Ben Smith has the relevant information here:

                    textexcavation.com/marcanendings.html#eusebius

                    [Eusebius:]
                    Quote:
                    The solution of this might be twofold. For the one who sets aside the passage itself, the pericope that says this, might say that it is not extant in all the copies of the gospel according to Mark. The accurate ones of the copies, at least, circumscribe the end of the history according to Mark in the words of the young man seen by the women, who said to them: Do not fear. You seek Jesus the Nazarene, and those that follow, to which it further says: And having heard they fled, and said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

                    For in this [manner] the ending of the gospel according to Mark is circumscribed almost in all the copies. The things that seldom follow, which are extant in some but not in all, may be superfluous, and especially if indeed it holds a contradiction to the testimony of the rest of the evangelists. These things therefore someone might say in avoiding and in all ways doing away with a superfluous question.
                    Eusebius is clear that most manuscripts end at 16:8. Likewise, authority is clear that Eusebius is clear that most manuscripts end at 16:8. The seldom claimed argument that Eusebius is not clear only seems to come from defenders of LE. Actually, if Mr. Snapp can not tell by the above that Eusebius thought that most manuscripts were AE his level of doubt regarding Patristic witness should prevent him from making any such conclusions on the subject. On the contrary he keeps making amazing conclusions based on little or even no implication.

                    My opponent writes:
                    Quote:
                    (3) Regarding Codex W: The interpolation between 16:14 and 16:15 in Codex W is a large variant, but it is still just a variant; it does not turn 16:9-20 into some other ending. To consider Codex W evidence against LE would be like saying that a picture of a ship with a barnacle on its hull is evidence that the hull is not original.
                    Well sure Codex W is better evidence for LE than AE but that is not the subject of the debate. The subject of this debate is whether the LE is original:
                    Quote:
                    I am defending the view that Mark 16:9-20 was part of the Gospel of Mark when the Gospel of Mark was initially disseminated for church-use.
                    Codex W is evidence of the EE and not LE. Therefore it is evidence against LE as is AE and SE.

                    My opponent writes:
                    Quote:
                    My opponent has misread the evidence as if it indicates that the abrupt ending was once dominant. It is clear that 16:9-20 dominated the rival variants after 400. But that is not the same as evidence that the situation was previously different. Before 400, and before 300, and before 200, 16:9-20 was used in different locales, while all manuscript evidence for the abrupt ending (none of which is earlier than the early 300’s) is traced to Egypt.
                    Eusebius (and Jerome) are clear that AE was dominos. As I said, Eusebius was the outstanding textual critic of his time as was Jerome in his. Both were considered international authorities. Eusebius especially was the authority of choice for Constantine, based in Rome, and was considered an authority by the West and had ecumenical conferences with textual critics of the entire Church. It’s likely than that his awareness of texts extended far beyond the East. The objective student should also note the scholarly superiority of the East in general (Origen, Eusebius, Jerome) over the West (Irenaeus).

                    Victor and Severus both testify that the AE was still dominant in the 6th century. This further supports Eusebius and Jerome.

                    My opponent writes:
                    Quote:
                    (7) Regarding Jerome: as my opponent revisited the evidence from Jerome, he encouraged us, “Remember the context here.” Amen! The context, in “Ad Hedibiam,” is the middle of a loosely translated extract from “Ad Marinum.” By the time Jerome wrote to Hedibia, Mark 16:9-20 was in the Greek MSS used by Hippolytus, by Vincentius of Thibaris, by the author of “De Rebaptismate,” by Marinus, by the author(s) of Apostolic Constitutions, by the author of Acts of Pilate, by the author of the Leucian Acts, by Wulfilas, by Porphyry/Hierocles, by Macarius Magnes, by Augustine, by the translators of the Peshitta, and by the copyists of Codices A, D, W, and C. This compels the conclusion that the statement that “almost all the Greek codices lack the passage” is an abridgement of the words of Eusebius, not an observation by Jerome.
                    Again, referring to Ben Smith’s page:

                    textexcavation.com/marcanendings.html#eusebius
                    Quote:
                    The solution of this question is two-fold; for either we do not accept the testimony of Mark, that is carried in few gospels, almost all the books of Greece not having this passage at the end, especially and since it seems to speak various and contrary things to the other evangelists; or this must be replied, that both speak truly: Matthew, when the Lord rose again on the evening of the Sabbath, Mark however, when Mary Magdalen saw him, that is, on the morning of the first day of the week.
                    Jerome does look like he is paraphrasing Eusebius on the issue but is clear that this is also his opinion. Note especially that Jerome qualifies with Greek copies making it clear that it is his opinion also. Again, the level of doubt required here not to accept that this is Jerome’s opinion would prevent one from making any Patristic conclusions.

                    Mr. Snapp wrote:
                    Quote:
                    My opponent wrote, “At this point, before the 5th century, we have nothing extant, either Manuscript or Patristic copy of an original written before, that shows us either all of the LE, most of the LE or even a significant part of the LE by itself.” If he meant that there is no evidence of the entire contents of Mk. 16:9-20 prior to the 400’s, then such a claim is clearly wrong, inasmuch as Tatian used all 12 verses, and Wulfilas translated 16:9-20 into Gothic in 350, and the Vulgate (383) includes the passage. (Also, Augustine, c. 400, commented on the whole passage and, in his comments on 16:12, cited Greek copies, which, unless they were very new, were from the 300’s.) Plus, the sort of logic that says that a citation of part of Mk. 16:9-20 is not evidence of the existence of the whole passage is the sort of logic that says that a citation of only a part of the Gettysburg Address is not evidence of the existence of the entire composition.
                    Well this is why I wrote “copy of an original” to limit to the Greek. Translations are much weaker evidence as they force a use of different words. Regarding Tatian, this is why I wrote “by itself”. Regarding Augustine, this is the Manuscript category, isn’t it.

                    Mr. Snapp wrote:
                    Quote:
                    My opponent also claimed, “If you compare variation in 16:1-8 with variation in 16:9-20, there is no comparison.” Actually, if you look at 16:1-8, you will see the same sort of variation that we see in 16:9-20 (though not quite as much, because 16:1-8 is not quite as long).

                    D (“Western”) omits most of verse 1 and lacks ELQOUSAI in v. 1b and transposes phrases in v. 4 and adds “the angel” in v. 6 and omits “the Nazarene” in v. 6.

                    In family-1 (“Caesarean”), the phrase “He is risen from the dead, and behold,” is inserted in v. 7.

                    In B and Aleph (“Alexandrian”), in v. 2 TWN precedes SABBATWN and in v. 4 the prefix ANA- appears instead of APO- and in v. 8 the word TACU does not appear.

                    In Codex W (“Egyptian”), KAI LIAN is absent from v. 2a and QEWROUSIN appears in v. 5 instead of EIDON and OIDA GAR OTI is inserted in v. 6.

                    In Old Latin k, there is a substantial interpolation between 16:3 and 16:4, and the last phrase of 16:8 is omitted.
                    Since my opponent belabors the point I’ll go beyond my original point. I believe that the ending of “Mark” has more variation than any other area of the Christian Bible. If we go to Wieland Willker’s online textual criticism:

                    -user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html

                    we see that the ending of “Mark” has its own section:

                    -user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/TC-Mark-Ends.pdf

                    Regarding minor variation, a word or a few words, my opponent already confesses that the LE has more. In the context of possibly creating text that was not in the exemplar though, minor variation can be explained by editing, or trying to improve what’s there. Large variation though, such as a verse or verses, is much better evidence that the variation is significantly adding to the exemplars and not just editing.
                    As far as significant variation for the LE we have:
                    1) The entire LE (compared to the AE). This by itself would create significantly more variation post AE than pre AE but would be similar to a few other variants in the Christian Bible.
                    2) The SE. Probably two verses (compared to the 12 of the LE)

                    3) The EE. About 5 more verses than the LE.

                    4) The SE and the LE.[/SIZE]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      PART THREE: Wallack - Manuscript Evidence (5.5)

                      (Wallack, continued)

                      [SIZE="3"]Weighting of Evidence for Manuscript Category

                      Now to weigh the evidence for the category of Manuscript by individual criterion and in total. Again, the Manuscript sources:

                      Against LE:

                      Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Sinaitic Syriac, Most of one hundred Armenian,
                      Two oldest Georgian, Sahidic, L Ψ 099 0112, Several Bohairic, Some Ethiopic, Bobbiensis, It(a), Codex Washingtonianus

                      For LE:

                      Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, Codex Bezae, most of the other 1,700 Greek manuscripts and most of the other translations

                      For purposes of comparing evidence for and against LE the weighting will be as follows:

                      High advantage = 3

                      Medium advantage = 2

                      Low advantage = 1

                      Criteria ranked in order of relative weight to each other:

                      Qualitative:

                      1 – Age. Older = more weight. The most commonly identified criterion and an important one.

                      The oldest Manuscript evidence against is Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Sinaitic Syriact and Bobbiensis which are 4th century. The oldest evidence for is Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, Codex Bezae which are 5th century. I give against a rating here of 2.

                      2 - Direction (of change). Away from = more weight. What is the direction of change over time for the category. Importance depends on the existence. If it exists it is one of the most important as it helps explain the relationship.

                      Big advantage to against as there is a definite movement from against to for in every significant language. 3 to against.

                      3 - Confirmation – width. Wider = more weight. The context is geographical. Confirmation is an important quality as it helps reduce sampling bias.

                      Big advantage to for as there is a concentration of against in the East combined with relatively few manuscripts in total. 3 to for.

                      4- Common sense. Potentially one of the most important criteria if there is a common sense issue. Here there is. Why is the LE always placed after the SE? The logical explanation is because it was thought to be later. This is a deduction though so only 1 to against.

                      5 – Consistency. Greater = more weight. Does the evidence for the category coordinate with the evidence for other categories?

                      The evidence here for Manuscript points to against LE. This coordinates well with the Manuscript and Scribal categories which all not only show support against LE but the same development of change in evidence from against LE to for LE. 3 against.

                      Quantitative:

                      1 - Confirmation – quantity. Larger = more weight.

                      Huge advantage to for based on numbers. 3 to for.

                      2 – Variation. Lesser = more weight. What is the quantity of variation in the category?

                      Big advantage to against as the ending of "Mark" after 16:8 probably has more variation than any other section of the Christian Bible. 3 to against.

                      Summary of Patristic evidence separated by Qualitative and Quantitative and in order of weight:

                      Qualitative:

                      1 - Age. Against = 2

                      2- Direction (of change). Against = 3

                      3 - Confirmation – width. For = 3

                      4 – Common sense. Against = 1

                      5 - Consistency. Against = 3

                      Quantitative:

                      1 - Confirmation – quantity. For = 3

                      2 – Variation. Against = 3


                      Totals:

                      Against 3 = 3 criterion

                      Against 2 = 1 criterion

                      Against 1 = 1 criterion

                      For 3 = 2 criterion


                      Conclusion = The Manuscript category of evidence is clearly against LE due to:

                      1 - 5 of 7 criteria favoring Against.

                      2 - 3 of these 5 criteria being 3

                      3 - The top 2 qualitative criteria being Against.

                      And so, the Manuscript category falls to Against, as did the Patristic before it. Now on to the Categories I think my opponent will readily confess are even worse for his conclusion than the Patristic and Manuscript, namely Scribal and Authority.[/SIZE]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        PART THREE: Snapp - Response (6)

                        (Snapp)

                        [SIZE="3"]My opponent has repeated some claims that I’ve already answered. I will focus on his fresh objections, re-expressing each one as a question. We begin by revisiting some patristic evidence.

                        (1) Do Eusebius’ statements in his letter to Marinus reflect an awareness of MSS of Mark in locales other than Caesarea?

                        No. As Hort stated in 1881, the author of the statements in “Ad Marinum” “must of course be understood to speak only of the copies which had come directly or indirectly within his own knowledge, not of all copies then existing in his time.” Eusebius makes it pretty clear in his other writings that he cherished the MSS he received from Pamphilus, as a son values an inheritance from his father. He shows no awareness of the Shorter Ending. When describing the Diatessaron, he shows that he was not familiar with it, although it was very popular in Syria. Whatever one may speculate about what Eusebius should have done, there is no evidence that he had, or could have had, the means to conduct a manuscript-census throughout the Roman Empire (especially so soon after the Diocletian persecution).

                        (2) Are Eusebius’ statements in “Ad Marinum” clear?

                        As we have already seen, Eusebius mentions different proportions of attestation for the abrupt ending, and he frames them all as things that someone could, or might, say. Then he proceeds to show how Mk. 16:9 can be harmonized with Mt. 28:1-2, and thus be retained. That is not a clear statement of how many MSS lacked Mk. 16:9-20, or of what ratio of MSS lacked Mk. 16:9-20. The only clear part of Eusebius’ description of manuscript-evidence is his affirmation that the “accurate copies” conclude at the end of 16:8. He is, at that point, describing cherished MSS at Caesarea, which, as I already explained, were descended from a narrow transmission-stream in Egypt.

                        (3) Was Eusebius renowned as a textual critic?

                        No. Eusebius was mainly a historian, an apologist, and a bishop. In the real world, Eusebius’ most original textual project, the Eusebian Canons, consisted of cross-referencing the Gospels-text, not revising it. In the real world, in all of Eusebius’ voluminous writings he made exactly four text-critical comments about passages in the Gospels: Matthew 13:35, Matthew 27:9, Mark 16:9-20, and John 19:14. In every case, Eusebius was clearly motivated by a defensive agenda; he wanted to convince his readers of the accuracy of the Evangelists’ statements, and of their agreement with one another.

                        (4) Does the evidence from Victor and Severus show that the abrupt ending was dominant in the 500’s?

                        No. Victor and Severus essentially repeat Eusebius’ earlier statement. Victor realized his inability to refute any claim about how things stood in Caesarea in the 300’s, but he affirmed the presence of 16:9-20 in many manuscripts. Severus used “Ad Marinum” in his 77th Homily, and mentioned “Ad Marinum” by name in his 108th Epistle; further along in the 77th Homily, Severus explicitly cited Mark 16:19. The evidence from Victor and Severus shows that “Ad Marinum,” or extracts from it, were widely circulated in the 500’s. Meanwhile, the patristic testimony for the dominance of Mark 16:9-20 in the 400’s and 500’s is overpowering and irrefutable. Only a determined blindness can cause anyone to fail to see the implications of the support of Codices A, C, D, and W, and the use of the passage by Wulfilas, the Peshitta, Apostolic Constitutions, Augustine, Macarius Magnes, Nestorius, Marcus Emerita, Augustine’s lectionary, Augustine’s Greek copies, Leo the Great, Patrick, Peter Chrysologus, Doctrine of Addai, several Old Latin copies, Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae, Leontius of Jerusalem, Eznik of Golb, Gildas, and so forth. It would be absurd to interpret all these witnesses as exceptions.

                        (5) Does Jerome’s statement about “almost all the Greek copies” in “Ad Hedibiam” reflect his own observations?

                        The entire portion of “Ad Hedibiam” in which this statement appears is a loosely rendered extract from “Ad Marinum.” As Jerome dictated this letter, he consulted his copy of “Ad Marinum” and spontaneously put it into Latin. Jerome’s letter to Hedibia is like a letter from an experienced guide to a new traveler, and Jerome consulted “Ad Marinum” as if it were a 100-year old map. We cannot read Jerome’s mind to see if he repeated Eusebius’ statement about the manuscripts because he (Jerome) had personally verified that it was up-to-date, or simply because he figured that the task of going into detail about the side-roads in Eusebius’ map would be more trouble than it was worth. But we can see that he encouraged Hedibia to retain Mark 16:9-20, and we can see from his other works that he included Mk. 16:9-20 in the Vulgate, and that he expected his readers to recognize Mark 16:14 as part of the ending of Mark.

                        For further study, readers can consult the entire letter from Jerome to Hedibia (#120) in English at Roger Pearse’s Tertullian website.

                        (6) Is Codex W a witness against Mk. 16:9-20?

                        No. Metzger stated that the Freer Logion “probably is the work of a second or third century scribe who wished to soften the severe condemnation of the Eleven in 16:14.” Whether we accept Metzger’s date, or assign the Freer Logion to the 300’s instead, the existence of an expansion requires the earlier existence of something to expand. This is obvious.

                        Having addressed those concerns, we now turn to my opponent’s statement that “Before the 5th century, we have nothing extant, either Manuscript or Patristic copy of an original written before, that shows us either all of the LE, most of the LE or even a significant part of the LE by itself.” When I expressed puzzlement about what such a statement might have been intended to mean, and when I submitted evidence from Tatian, etc., to disprove its apparent meaning, my opponent answered that this is why he wrote “copy of an original” – “to limit to the Greek.” That approach has four problems.

                        (a) It would defy reason to dismiss non-Greek evidence simply because it is non-Greek, or to dismiss non-exhaustive evidence simply because it is non-exhaustive.

                        (b) Greek sources, such as Irenaeus’ Greek copy of Mark, and Jerome’s old Greek copies, are obviously echoed by these witnesses.

                        (c) One witness I mentioned – Augustine’s Greek copies – is explicitly identified by Augustine as Greek.

                        (d) After my opponent asserted that “Translations are much weaker evidence as they force a use of different words,” he listed eight translations among “the Manuscript sources” against Mark 16:9-20! Yes, out of the 15 “Manuscript sources” my opponent listed against Mk. 16:9-20, eight are not Greek manuscripts! His own assertion, if it were correct, would compel him to categorize over half his witnesses as “much weaker evidence.”

                        Let’s briefly revisit his list of “Manuscript sources” for the abrupt ending. Apparently my earlier descriptions of this evidence have been forgotten, and we must once again notice some very important details.

                        Sinaiticus: produced at Caesarea c. 350, probably under the supervision of Acacius. Aleph has replacement-pages from Mark 14:54-Luke 1:56 and an emphatic arabesque under Mk. 16:8.

                        Vaticanus: produced c. 325, in part by one of the same copyists (probably Acacius) who produced Sinaiticus. Has a deliberately placed blank space, including a blank column, after 16:8, as if the copyist recollected 16:9-20 and attempted to reserve space for it.

                        Sinaitic Syriac: influenced by the transmission-stream of Codex Bobbiensis; both have been influenced by “Gospel of Peter” and both have been consciously adjusted at Mk. 8:32.

                        Most of one hundred Armenian: descended from Caesarean copies; the copies which lack Mk. 16:9-20 represent one of a series of fifth-century revisions of the Armenian version.

                        Two oldest Georgian: translated from Armenian exemplars.

                        Sahidic: the Barcelona 182 copy is the strongest witness to the abrupt ending, showing that this is indeed the reading of an early Egyptian text-type.

                        L Ψ 099 0112, several Bohairic, some Ethiopic: all echo a secondary stratum of an Egyptian text in which the Shorter Ending was attached to 16:8; they also echo another local transmission-stream that contained 16:9-20.

                        It(a): This is the Old Latin Codex Vercellensis, which is not clear evidence for or against Mark 16:9-20.

                        Codex Washingtonianus: this is actually a witness for Mark 16:9-20.

                        (continued in the following post)

                        Yours in Christ,

                        James Snapp, Jr.[/SIZE]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          PART THREE: Snapp - Response (6.5)

                          (Snapp, continued)

                          [SIZE="3"]Moving right along. When my opponent claimed, “If you compare variation in 16:1-8 with variation in 16:9-20, there is no comparison,” I showed that 16:1-8 contains the same sort of variation. Now my opponent says that I have belabored the point. If he means by this that I have provided a Q.E.D. refutation of his claim, I agree.

                          Regarding Willker’s Textual Commentary on the Gospels, Mk. 16:9-20 gets special attention (including a discussion of internal evidence, not just textual variants) because it is a very important passage. But Willker only lists six variant-units, and he does not affirm my opponent’s notion that the mere presence of variants within 16:9-20 indicates inauthenticity. The list of variants in 16:1-8 that I already provided is proof that my opponent’s claim is unsustainable; further proof can be obtained via a perusal of Swanson’s Horizontal-Line text of Mark.

                          Now let’s analyze the Greek manuscript evidence: B testifies to the abrupt ending, but its blank column also testifies to the copyist’s awareness of 16:9-20. The replacement-page in Aleph testifies to the abrupt ending, but its emphatic arabesque suggests its corrector’s awareness of further material after 16:8. When we take into consideration the high probability that one of the copyists who produced part of B was the same individual who made the replacement-pages in Aleph, and when we consider that Caesarea was the place where Aleph was made, and when we consider that a series of textual features shared by both of these MSS indicate that they were not produced by Eusebius, then it becomes clear that these two MSS combine to affirm what Eusebius stated: in the “accurate copies” at Caesarea, Mark ended at 16:8. They also affirm (along with Eusebius) that copies of Mark with 16:9-20 were known at Caesarea in the first half of the 300’s.

                          And that is that. Aleph and B are the only two Greek manuscripts that display the abrupt ending, and all they show is that their copyists at Caesarea in the early 300’s used exemplars with the abrupt ending, and knew of exemplars with 16:9-20. No one is denying that this evidence should be placed on the scales. But let’s not pretend that it is more momentous and decisive than it is. Since there are witnesses for Mark 16:9-20 earlier than B and Aleph, these two MSS do not indicate any “direction of change.” Nor do they indicate a wide geographical range of attestation for the abrupt ending.

                          Regarding the testimony of L  099 0112 274 and 579, my opponent claimed that the Shorter Ending is placed before 16:9-20 “because it was thought to be later.” This is not the case; the Shorter Ending was placed after 16:8 because at that location, and only there, it can be used to sensibly round off the preceding pericope.

                          We now turn to the final pieces of Greek manuscript evidence that advocates of the abrupt ending have used (or misused) to support their case: marginalia in some medieval MSS. Metzger, in his Textual Commentary, ambiguously stated, “Not a few manuscripts which contain the passage have scribal notes stating that older Greek copies lack it.” These scribal notes take the following forms:

                          (1) In MSS 1, 205, 205abs, 209, and 1582: “Now in some of the copies, the evangelist’s work is finished here [that is, at the beginning of 16:9], as is also Eusebius Pamphili’s Canon. But in many, this also appears.”

                          (2) In MSS 20, 215, and 300: “From here to the end forms no part of the text in some of the copies. In the ancient copies, however, it all forms part of the text.” (20 and 300 are half-brother MSS, based on a common exemplar.)

                          (3) In MSS 15, 22, 1110, 1192, and 1210: “In some of the copies, the evangelist’s work is finished here. But in many, this also appears.” (In MS 22, the note appears not in the margin but between the end of 16:8 and the beginning of 16:9.)

                          (4) In MS 199: “In some of the copies this [that is, 16:9-20] does not occur, but it stops here.”

                          Four observations are in order:

                          First, while it is obvious that any MS mentioned in a scribal note would be older than the scribal note itself, none of the notes specify that the “older copies” lack the passage; note #2 even states that the ancient copies contain it. Second, the number of MSS with these notes is relatively small, consisting of less than 2% of all Greek manuscripts. Third, Notes #1, #2, and #3 are not independent scribal notes. Notes #2 and #3 are descended from Note #1; after the Eusebian Canons had been re-adjusted to include Mark 16:9-20, the phrase about the Eusebian Canons was removed (although in Codex 1, the expanded Canons are in the left margin anyway). And, fourth, these annotations, with the exception of the neutral note in 199, tend to favor the inclusion of the passage.

                          So, what we have here are not 14 independent scribal notes; we have essentially one note preserved in MS 199, and a family of related notes in the other, older copies, descended from a common ancestor. Furthermore, the notes in f-1 and its cousins constitute positive evidence for Mark 16:9-20, rather than negative evidence against it. No annotator attempting to persuade his readers that a passage was spurious would briefly state that although the passage is not in some copies, it is attested by most copies, or by the ancient copies.

                          We now turn to another rather misleading statement made by Metzger. After mentioning the annotations I have just described, he stated, “In other witnesses the passage is marked with asterisks or obeli, the conventional signs used by copyists to indicate a spurious addition to a document.” I have yet to actually see any MS of Mark with an asterisk or obelus accompanying Mark 16:9-20, unless the asterisk was added simply to alert the reader to commentary-material.

                          Willker states that five MSS (138, 264, 1221, 2346, and 2812) are said to have “inserted obeli to separate the passage,” but I am not willing to give this evidence any place on the scales whatsoever until it is shown that these obeli actually exist, and are not in fact some more ordinary and benign symbol misidentified by some hasty collator. Burgon denied that 138 has an obelus here; he stated that it has, instead, a cross (“+”) that refers the reader to an annotation. I have seen a photograph of the page of 2346 that contains the end of Mark, and the symbol before 16:9 is not an obelus; it’s a simple superscripted lozenge. So I suspect that the claim about obeli is only the latest in a series of red herrings (such as misleading claims about Arabic lect. 13, Ethiopic MSS, MS 2386, 1420, 304, and Sahidic lectionaries) which advocates of the abrupt ending have found convenient to mention but not to display.

                          It is all too easy, when describing the pertinent manuscript evidence, to focus only on the witnesses for the abrupt ending and the Shorter Ending, and on anything and everything that can be misconstrued against the usual reading. Let us take a moment to survey some of the Greek manuscripts that support Mark 16:9-20:

                          Codex A (early 400’s) – uncial; primarily Byzantine text.
                          Codex C (mid-400’s) – uncial; primarily Alexandrian text; includes expanded Canon-numbers for Mark 16:9-20.
                          Codex D – uncial; Western text in sense-lines with accompanying Latin.
                          Codex W (c. 400) – uncial; Egyptian text with the “Freer Logion.”
                          Codices N, O, Sigma, and Phi (late 400’s-500’s) – a family of purple MS; despite some mutilation their combined text supports Mk. 16:9-20.
                          Codex E (700’s) – uncial; asterisks accompany some disputed passages (Mt. 16:2-3, Lk. 22:43-44, Jn. 8:2-11) but not Mk. 16:9-20.
                          Codex F (700’s or 800’s) - uncial; mutilated but retained a scrap of 16:20.
                          Codex G (800’s) – uncial.
                          Codex H (800’s) – uncial, mutilated but retains Mk. 16:15-20.
                          Codices K and Pi (800’s) – uncials; contain a Gospels-text related to Codex A; Pi has expanded Canon-numbers accompanying Mk. 16:9-20.
                          Codex Theta (800’s) – uncial; primarily Caesarean text.
                          Codex L (700’s) – uncial; Alexandrian text (with double-ending).
                          Codex M (800’s) – uncial.
                          Codex S (989) – uncial.
                          Codex U (800’s-900’s) – uncial, Byzantine text.
                          Codex X (900’s) – uncial, mixed Byzantine/Alexandrian text.
                          Codex Delta (uncial) – primarily Alexandrian text based on an exemplar written in sense-lines.
                          Codex Lambda/566 (800’s) – one of a group of MSS with notes stating that its text has been corrected on the basis of ancient and carefully prepared manuscripts in Jerusalem.
                          Codex Omega (800’s) – uncial.

                          And then there are the manuscripts written in minuscule lettering. Here is a sample of the most ancient or otherwise interesting copies and their assigned production-dates: 461 (835), 33, 2142 and 2224 (800’s), 399 and 1424 (800’s-900’s), 548 (c. 900), 115, 262, 338, 371, 411, 468, 565, 607, 652, 892, 1076, 1079, 1097, 1120, 1120, 1143, 1166, 1172, 1203, 1225, 1357, 1378, 1392, 1421, 1458, 1709, 1720, 1816, 2193, 2195, 2290, 2324, 2369 (all from the 900’s), 89 (1006), 516 (c. 1000), 126 (1000’s), 700 (1000’s), 230 (1013), 348 (1022), 504 (1033), 164 (1039), 174 (1052), 278 (1072), 160 (1123), 496 (1300’s), 1556 (1068), 1340 (1000’s), 2181 (1054), 1241 (1100’s), and 713 (1100’s). These minuscules are not all twigs from one branch; their place on the scales is earned not only by their overwhelming quantity but also, and especially, because they represent a broad range of transmission-streams, different exemplars, different locales, and different text-types.

                          Much more could be said about the manuscript-evidence, but having answered all major and minor objections, I am ready to proceed to the remaining classes of evidence, especially evidence from the early versions and from lectionaries.

                          Yours in Christ,

                          James Snapp, Jr.[/SIZE]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wallack Response (1 of 2)

                            JW:
                            My opponent writes:
                            (1) Do Eusebius’ statements in his letter to Marinus reflect an awareness of MSS of Mark in locales other than Caesarea?

                            No. As Hort stated in 1881, the author of the statements in “Ad Marinum” “must of course be understood to speak only of the copies which had come directly or indirectly within his own knowledge, not of all copies then existing in his time.” Eusebius makes it pretty clear in his other writings that he cherished the MSS he received from Pamphilus, as a son values an inheritance from his father. He shows no awareness of the Shorter Ending. When describing the Diatessaron, he shows that he was not familiar with it, although it was very popular in Syria. Whatever one may speculate about what Eusebius should have done, there is no evidence that he had, or could have had, the means to conduct a manuscript-census throughout the Roman Empire (especially so soon after the Diocletian persecution).
                            Of course my opponent rejects Hort’s conclusion, based on evidence, that LE is not original but accepts Hort’s assertion, based on nothing, that Eusebius’ only refers here to specific manuscripts rather than making a general and broad statement. Mr. Snapp than is in no position to use Hort as an authority since he does not accept Hort’s authority on the issue. Eusebius is an important witness against LE since his testimony is qualitative so I’ll repeat the reasons to think he is making a general and broad statement that the evidence is against LE:

                            1) He does not qualify the scope of his statement.

                            2) It can be assumed that a Bishop would be a textual critic as their
                            interests would consist of Christian reading and writing and they would
                            not have been distracted by TV, Internet, wives and children.

                            3) Eusebius was considered the outstanding Church Father of his time and
                            and an authority regarding Christian writings in general. He is
                            considered the official Church historian of his time.

                            4) Eusebius’ predecessor at Caesarea, had an Egyptian background, and
                            Caesarea is next to Syria. Egypt and Syria were the two big centers
                            of the Eastern Roman empire, so at a minimum, Eusebius was
                            probably familiar with the Egyptian and Syrian Greek textual
                            tradition.

                            5) Jerome, clearly a textual critic, considered Eusebius a textual critic.

                            6) Eusebius had an international reputation. Certainly more so than any of
                            the other Patristic witness. If his scope is qualified, all of the other
                            Patristic scope is more qualified. All of Christianity, East and West,
                            considered his canons authoritative. He was the Christian
                            Emperor’s favored Church Father, an Emperor from Rome (West).
                            Constantine sent Eusebius to Bishop conferences consisting of
                            representatives from all major Christian areas to resolve theological
                            disputes. Sure these Fathers main criteria in these disputes was
                            trying to argue based on what they wanted to believe, but I have
                            faith that the issue of what the text said in
                            different manuscript traditions also came up and to be an authority
                            Eusebius would have to be familiar with traditions outside his
                            geographical area.

                            7) Constantine, the Western Christian emperor, selects Eusebius to
                            manufacture authoritative Christian bibles for him indicating
                            Constantine not only considered Eusebius a textual critic but the
                            textual critic.

                            To summarize the reasons to think Eusebius statement regarding
                            evidence against LE is very broad:
                            1) No qualification of his scope.

                            2) Qualifications of a Bishop.

                            3) Reputation of Eusebius in general.

                            4) Eusebius’ location between Egypt and Syria.

                            5) Jerome, a textual critic, endorsement of Eusebius as textual critic.

                            6) Eusebius’ international experience.

                            7) Recognition by Constantine as textual critic.
                            My opponent concludes with:

                            Whatever one may speculate about what Eusebius should have done, there is no evidence that he had, or could have had, the means to conduct a manuscript-census throughout the Roman Empire (especially so soon after the Diocletian persecution).
                            Another strawman, what a surprise. No one is saying that Eusebius was familiar with all textual traditions, only that he was probably familiar with a broad tradition and that his scope was probably relatively high by Church father standards.

                            My opponent writes:
                            (2) Are Eusebius’ statements in “Ad Marinum” clear?

                            As we have already seen, Eusebius mentions different proportions of attestation for the abrupt ending, and he frames them all as things that someone could, or might, say. Then he proceeds to show how Mk. 16:9 can be harmonized with Mt. 28:1-2, and thus be retained. That is not a clear statement of how many MSS lacked Mk. 16:9-20, or of what ratio of MSS lacked Mk. 16:9-20. The only clear part of Eusebius’ description of manuscript-evidence is his affirmation that the “accurate copies” conclude at the end of 16:8. He is, at that point, describing cherished MSS at Caesarea, which, as I already explained, were descended from a narrow transmission-stream in Egypt.
                            Again, if you can not see from Ad Marinum that Eusebius is making a qualitative and quantitative statement against LE, than your level of doubt regarding Patristic witness should prevent you from making any conclusion on the issue.

                            My opponent writes:
                            (4) Does the evidence from Victor and Severus show that the abrupt ending was dominant in the 500’s?

                            No. Victor and Severus essentially repeat Eusebius’ earlier statement. Victor realized his inability to refute any claim about how things stood in Caesarea in the 300’s, but he affirmed the presence of 16:9-20 in many manuscripts. Severus used “Ad Marinum” in his 77th Homily, and mentioned “Ad Marinum” by name in his 108th Epistle; further along in the 77th Homily, Severus explicitly cited Mark 16:19. The evidence from Victor and Severus shows that “Ad Marinum,” or extracts from it, were widely circulated in the 500’s. Meanwhile, the patristic testimony for the dominance of Mark 16:9-20 in the 400’s and 500’s is overpowering and irrefutable. Only a determined blindness can cause anyone to fail to see the implications of the support of Codices A, C, D, and W, and the use of the passage by Wulfilas, the Peshitta, Apostolic Constitutions, Augustine, Macarius Magnes, Nestorius, Marcus Emerita, Augustine’s lectionary, Augustine’s Greek copies, Leo the Great, Patrick, Peter Chrysologus, Doctrine of Addai, several Old Latin copies, Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae, Leontius of Jerusalem, Eznik of Golb, Gildas, and so forth. It would be absurd to interpret all these witnesses as exceptions.
                            The Patristic value of Victor/Severus against the LE is secondary only to Eusebius/Jerome. Eusebius/Jerome testify that to c. 400, the LE is the exception.
                            Victor/Severus testify of the conversion to LE in the 5th century. Victor confesses that the LE is still the exception in the 5th century but that he is actively adding the LE at that time. This coordinates with every category of evidence. No LE manuscript before the 5th century. Patristic references to the LE increase exponentially in the 5th century and there is extant manuscript evidence for the LE starting here. By the sixth century most evidence flips to LE.

                            My opponent writes:
                            (5) Does Jerome’s statement about “almost all the Greek copies” in “Ad Hedibiam” reflect his own observations?

                            The entire portion of “Ad Hedibiam” in which this statement appears is a loosely rendered extract from “Ad Marinum.” As Jerome dictated this letter, he consulted his copy of “Ad Marinum” and spontaneously put it into Latin. Jerome’s letter to Hedibia is like a letter from an experienced guide to a new traveler, and Jerome consulted “Ad Marinum” as if it were a 100-year old map. We cannot read Jerome’s mind to see if he repeated Eusebius’ statement about the manuscripts because he (Jerome) had personally verified that it was up-to-date, or simply because he figured that the task of going into detail about the side-roads in Eusebius’ map would be more trouble than it was worth. But we can see that he encouraged Hedibia to retain Mark 16:9-20, and we can see from his other works that he included Mk. 16:9-20 in the Vulgate, and that he expected his readers to recognize Mark 16:14 as part of the ending of Mark.
                            The dilemma for my opponent here, which I need to point out to him, is that if you think Jerome is simply relying on Eusebius here for textual criticism than you have to conclude that Jerome considered Eusebius a textual critic in general and that Jerome considered Eusebius clear on the subject since he largely repeats Eusebius.
                            Regarding Jerome using the LE for the Vulgate I fear that my opponent may never be able to tell the difference between what a Patrician’s evidence is and what their conclusion is. Jerome’s evidence here, like Eusebius’ before him, is that LE is not original. Unlike Eusebius though, Jerome uses it as Canon. Did Jerome think it original? Maybe, maybe not. But Jerome’s use here of the LE is evidence against its originality. Jerome knows the evidence is against the LE being original but still uses it. This coincides with the time period when the LE is starting to move from the exception to the dominant text. Thus Jerome, just like Victor after him, helps explain the conversion to LE. He prefers it and uses it and as a textual authority provides authority for its subsequent use. Again, Jerome uses the LE not because the evidence shows it is original but because he prefers it which coordinates with the difficult reading principle/common sense criterion.

                            Continued

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My opponent writes:
                              (6) Is Codex W a witness against Mk. 16:9-20?

                              No. Metzger stated that the Freer Logion “probably is the work of a second or third century scribe who wished to soften the severe condemnation of the Eleven in 16:14.” Whether we accept Metzger’s date, or assign the Freer Logion to the 300’s instead, the existence of an expansion requires the earlier existence of something to expand. This is obvious.
                              A false dichotomy. Again, this debate is not about choosing between LE and AE, it’s whether LE is original. W is not LE and is even referred to as EE, because it is not LE. It is evidence that EE is original. Maybe it will make my opponent feel better if I say that it is better evidence for LE than AE.

                              Mr. Snapp writes:
                              Having addressed those concerns, we now turn to my opponent’s statement that “Before the 5th century, we have nothing extant, either Manuscript or Patristic copy of an original written before, that shows us either all of the LE, most of the LE or even a significant part of the LE by itself.” When I expressed puzzlement about what such a statement might have been intended to mean, and when I submitted evidence from Tatian, etc., to disprove its apparent meaning, my opponent answered that this is why he wrote “copy of an original” – “to limit to the Greek.” That approach has four problems.

                              (a) It would defy reason to dismiss non-Greek evidence simply because it is non-Greek, or to dismiss non-exhaustive evidence simply because it is non-exhaustive.
                              Apparently there is no end to the Strawmen. “Dismiss”?

                              (b) Greek sources, such as Irenaeus’ Greek copy of Mark, and Jerome’s old Greek copies, are obviously echoed by these witnesses.
                              As my statement indicates, my observation is a weakness of scope.
                              (c) One witness I mentioned – Augustine’s Greek copies – is explicitly identified by Augustine as Greek.
                              My opponent needs to learn the difference between commentary and copying.
                              (d) After my opponent asserted that “Translations are much weaker evidence as they force a use of different words,” he listed eight translations among “the Manuscript sources” against Mark 16:9-20! Yes, out of the 15 “Manuscript sources” my opponent listed against Mk. 16:9-20, eight are not Greek manuscripts! His own assertion, if it were correct, would compel him to categorize over half his witnesses as “much weaker evidence.”
                              This is where Mr. Snapp has a point. A significant portion of the manuscript evidence against LE is translation evidence which makes an individual translated manuscript weaker evidence than a copy. This weakness is offset though by the scope of the translated manuscripts. Every significant translated language shows evidence of a change from AE to LE. The translation evidence also has strength of scope within its textual tradition. The Armenian for example shows a clear transition from AE to LE through a study of 200 + manuscripts. Manuscripts before the 13th century generally show AE and thirty something mid-range manuscripts show the LE but doubt its originality. As a minority language the Armenian likely had a higher respect for its own textual tradition than did the Greek. One of the Armenian textual traditions likely came from the Byzantine which is evidence that the Byzantine textual tradition was originally AE.

                              My opponent writes:

                              Let’s briefly revisit his list of “Manuscript sources” for the abrupt ending. Apparently my earlier descriptions of this evidence have been forgotten, and we must once again notice some very important details….

                              It(a): This is the Old Latin Codex Vercellensis, which is not clear evidence for or against Mark 16:9-20.


                              It(a) lacks sufficient space at the end for the LE (unless the scribe used the same size fonts as my opponent in his last several posts) so it is evidence against LE and is accepted as such by almost all authorities.
                              My opponent writes:
                              It is all too easy, when describing the pertinent manuscript evidence, to focus only on the witnesses for the abrupt ending and the Shorter Ending, and on anything and everything that can be misconstrued against the usual reading. Let us take a moment to survey some of the Greek manuscripts that support Mark 16:9-20:

                              Codex A (early 400’s) – uncial; primarily Byzantine text.
                              Codex C (mid-400’s) – uncial; primarily Alexandrian text; includes expanded Canon-numbers for Mark 16:9-20.
                              Codex D – uncial; Western text in sense-lines with accompanying Latin.
                              Codex W (c. 400) – uncial; Egyptian text with the “Freer Logion.”
                              Codices N, O, Sigma, and Phi (late 400’s-500’s) – a family of purple MS; despite some mutilation their combined text supports Mk. 16:9-20.
                              Codex E (700’s) – uncial; asterisks accompany some disputed passages (Mt. 16:2-3, Lk. 22:43-44, Jn. 8:2-11) but not Mk. 16:9-20.
                              Codex F (700’s or 800’s) - uncial; mutilated but retained a scrap of 16:20.
                              Codex G (800’s) – uncial.
                              Codex H (800’s) – uncial, mutilated but retains Mk. 16:15-20.
                              Codices K and Pi (800’s) – uncials; contain a Gospels-text related to Codex A; Pi has expanded Canon-numbers accompanying Mk. 16:9-20.
                              Codex Theta (800’s) – uncial; primarily Caesarean text.
                              Codex L (700’s) – uncial; Alexandrian text (with double-ending).
                              Codex M (800’s) – uncial.
                              Codex S (989) – uncial.
                              Codex U (800’s-900’s) – uncial, Byzantine text.
                              Codex X (900’s) – uncial, mixed Byzantine/Alexandrian text.
                              Codex Delta (uncial) – primarily Alexandrian text based on an exemplar written in sense-lines.
                              Codex Lambda/566 (800’s) – one of a group of MSS with notes stating that its text has been corrected on the basis of ancient and carefully prepared manuscripts in Jerusalem.
                              Codex Omega (800’s) – uncial.
                              My opponent has a tendency to date manuscripts somewhat early but I think the above is a reasonable presentation of support for LE except for W. Codeveat exemptor though (W, L. Lambda). I wonder what the textual variation for LE is in the above?

                              I accept that the criterion of confirmation here greatly favors LE. I think a weakness of my initial criteria rating system is an insufficient range of 1-3. Certainly, if I expanded the range, the LE would receive the highest rating for confirmation. I concede that on the other side, lack of confirmation, against the LE is a serious weakness. There are only two Greek witnesses that are clearly against the LE and they are definitely related to some extent. It is certainly possible that they are the exceptions as we are a long way from having a representative sample of manuscripts at their time. This confirmation weakness in the Greek though is offset some by quality support against LE in almost every significant translated language as well as the observation that it is not surprising that a writing which was no longer being used would be maintained in relatively few manuscripts as a reference guide. Traditional commentators, such as Metzger, tend to give the Manuscript category more weight, and declare the External evidence inconclusive. Newer commentators, such as Wallace and Carrier, give the Manuscript category less weight and declare the External evidence aganst LE.

                              Nonetheless, confirmation is only one criterion of the Manuscript category and when I go through all of my criteria, Against LE is clearly the result. I once again invite my opponent to come out of The Dark Age of subjective selection of conclusions and use a methodology with criteria by category of evidence. We largely agree on what the evidence is but have completely different conclusions. So the difference must be methodology. Either create one for me to critique or show me what is wrong with mine. The only thing more certain to me right now than the LE not being original, is that we can improve each other’s methodology.

                              The second part of Mr. Snapp's last post referred to Scribal evidence. I rate Scribal as sufficiently important, to deserve its own category of evidence, as it is primarily qualitative in nature and often directly related to the key criterion of change. So my next posts will deal with it as a separate category of evidence.
                              Last edited by JoeWallack; 03-22-10, 10:28 AM.

                              Comment

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