Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-cf9d5c678-j7tnp Total loading time: 0.365 Render date: 2021-07-30T01:37:02.068Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

The Usefulness of Pre-Genealogical Coherence for Detecting Multiple Emergence and Coincidental Agreement: Matthew 16.2b–3 as a Test Case

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 June 2021

Charles L. Quarles
Affiliation:
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 120 S. Wingate Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587, USA. Email: cquarles@sebts.edu
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Since other evidence strongly suggests that the omission of Matt 16:2b–3 is the result of multiple emergence, this variant unit serves as a helpful case study to evaluate the usefulness of pre-genealogical coherence for detecting multiple emergence of a reading, an important premise of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM). This article adapts the Wasserman–Gurry method of assessing pre-genealogical coherence in the Synoptic Gospels (for which full collation of the relevant witnesses is presently lacking) in several ways to approximate more closely the approach used in the CBGM. It also attempts to refine the data generated by the Parallel Pericopes: Manuscript Clusters tool of the INTF at certain points. The study confirms that the assessment of pre-genealogical coherence is useful in detecting multiple emergence, coincidental agreement and contamination even based on the limited data in the Parallel Pericopes volume of the Editio Critica Maior.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 For a similar assessment, see Gurry, P., A Critical Examination of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method in New Testament Textual Criticism (Boston: Brill, 2017) 110CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The purpose of this article is to examine only one feature of the CBGM rather than to introduce and evaluate the method as a whole. For a helpful concise explanation of the CBGM, see Houghton, H. A. G., ‘Recent Developments in New Testament Textual Criticism’, Early Christianity 2 (2011) 245–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. 254–55. For a more detailed introduction, see Wasserman, T. and Gurry, P., A New Approach to Textual Criticism: An Introduction to the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (Atlanta: SBL, 2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 K. Wachtel, ‘The Coherence Method and History’, TC (2015) 1–6, at 4. Some subjective elements nevertheless remain such as defined limits for variation units and decisions regarding what constitutes the text of a manuscript in instances in which the manuscript was corrected perhaps before leaving the scriptorium. These and other concerns were raised in D. Jongkind, ‘On the Nature and Limitations of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method’ (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the SBL, San Diego, 22 November 2014). For an abstract and summary, see T. Wasserman et al., ‘Special Feature: The Coherence-Based Genealogical Method Editorial Introduction’, TC (2015) 1–3. Gerd Mink agrees that necessity of delimiting variant units ‘is subject to philological assessment’ (G. Mink, ‘Re: Use of Pre-Genealogical Coherence to Detect Multiple Emergence and Coincidental Agreement’, email, 19 November 2019). I am deeply indebted to Gerd Mink for evaluating my previous efforts to apply considerations of pre-genealogical coherence in an evaluation of variant readings in Matt 16.2b–3 and for clarifying explanations of his own method at several points. I cite portions of his comments in our correspondence with his permission.

3 For the purposes of the CBGM, a ‘witness’ or ‘text’ refers to the wording contained in a manuscript rather than the artefact itself. See Mink, G., ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research (ed. Wachtel, K. and Holmes, M. W.; Text-Critical Studies 8 (Atlanta: SBL, 2011) 141205Google Scholar, at 143. Mink helpfully compares sequences of variants with ‘DNA chains’ that imply relationship (146).

4 Mink, G., ‘Problems of a Highly Contaminated Tradition: The New Testament – Stemmata of Variants as a Source of a Genealogy for Witnesses’, Studies in Stemmatology ii (ed. van Reenen, P., den Hollander, A. and van Mulken, M.; Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004) 1386CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 33 (emphasis original). Pre-genealogical coherence is distinct from ‘genealogical coherence’, which includes a ‘genealogical assessment of differences’ (Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 144). Although pre-genealogical coherence indicates that texts are related, genealogical coherence indicates how they are related by showing that one text was derived from the other. Genealogical coherence considers the stemma of variants in specific passages and not just the level of agreement.

5 Mink, ‘Problems of a Highly Contaminated Tradition’, 33. Readers should not confuse pre-genealogical coherence within an attestation with ‘analysis of genealogical coherencies at places of variation’. The latter is very different and requires first composing a local stemma of variants as well as lists of potential ancestors for witnesses. For a description of this procedure, see ibid., 39–46.

6 Mink, ‘Problems of a Highly Contaminated Tradition’, 29.

7 Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 141–205, esp. 141–52. See also K. Wachtel, ‘Towards a Redefinition of External Criteria: The Role of Coherence in Assessing the Origin of Variants’, Textual Variation: Theological and Social Tendencies? (ed. H. A. G. Houghton and D. C. Parker; TS 3.6; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2008) 109–29.

8 G. Gäbel, A. Hüffmeier, G. Mink, H. Strutwolf and K. Wachtel, ‘The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts: Methodological Background’, TC (2015) 1–3.

9 Gäbel et al., ‘The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts: Methodological Background’, 1. This principle was articulated earlier by Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 158: ‘A variant is likely to have arisen only once if all the witnesses in its attestation are connected by high pre-genealogical coherence. A variant is likely to have arisen more than once if one or several witnesses show weak pre-genealogical coherence with the rest of the attestation. Multiple emergence is probable as well if the attestation consists of difference groups with strong coherence within themselves.’

10 Gäbel et al., ‘The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts: Methodological Background’, 3.

11 Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 146.

12 Strutwolf, H. and Wachtel, K., Parallel Pericopes: Special Volume regarding the Synoptic Gospels (Editio Critica Maior; Stuttgart: Deutsche Biblegesellschaft, 2011)Google Scholar. The Introduction to the volume describes it as ‘a special edition of 41 parallel pericopes’ (5*). Wasserman and Gurry refer to ‘fourteen parallel pericopes’. See Wasserman and Gurry, A New Approach to Textual Criticism, 42. The difference is not due to an accidental transposition but to different uses of terminology. The Editio Critica Maior counts each Gospel's version of a pericope as a separate pericope (Parallel Pericopes, 5*–13*), but Wasserman and Gurry count a single unit of material preserved in multiple Gospels as a single pericope (38). The Introduction to Parallel Pericopes states that the apparatus is based on all the variants of ‘154 manuscripts’ (5*, 8*), but 159 manuscripts appear in the ‘List of included manuscripts’ (9*) and the correct number is given in the introduction to the ‘Parallel Pericopes: Manuscript Clusters’ feature of the INTF website (http://intf.uni-muenster.de/TT_PP/PP_Clusters.html). By comparison, the Editio Critica Maior volume on Acts examined 183 manuscripts in a total of 7,446 variant units. See M. Holmes, review of Novum Testamentum Graecum, Editio Critica Maior, vol. iii: Acts of the Apostles (ed. Holger Strutwolf, G. Gäbel, A. Hüffmeier, G. Mink and K. Wachtel), BBR 28 (2018) 321.

13 Mink has warned that the data drawn from the Text und Textwert volumes is based on a sample of test passages that is too small to provide a sufficient basis for detecting coherence. See Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 145–6. Thus the user should select the Parallel Pericopes Manuscripts Clusters to display data from a much larger sample.

14 G. Mink, ‘Re: Use of Pre-Genealogical Coherence to Detect Multiple Emergence and Coincidental Agreement’, email, 22 September, 2019.

15 T. Wasserman, ‘Historical and Philological Correlations and the CBGM as Applied to Mark 1:1’, TC (2015) 1–11.

16 Wasserman, T. and Gurry, P., A New Approach to Textual Criticism: An Introduction to the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (Atlanta: SBL, 2017) 3758CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. 43–56.

17 See Wasserman and Gurry, A New Approach to Textual Criticism, 46 n. 20. The additional apparatus appears in Wasserman, T., ‘The “Son of God” Was in the Beginning (Mark 1:1)’, JTS 62 (2011) 2050CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 22.

18 The approaches applied to the two different texts by Wasserman and Gurry are not identical. The approach that they applied to Matt 16.27 benefited greatly from the treatment of the variant unit in Parallel Pericopes and is superior to that applied to Mark 1.1 in several ways. It utilises data from all the relevant manuscript texts treated in Parallel Pericopes and better identifies possible breaks in the coherence chain. However, most gospel passages (such as Matt 16.2b–3 and Mark 1.1) are not treated in Parallel Pericopes. This article compares the method applied to Matt 16.2b–3 with the Wasserman–Gurry method applied to Mark 1.1 since the goal is to develop a reliable method that may be more widely applied rather than one that can be utilised on only the select passages covered in Parallel Pericopes.

19 Although Matt 16.2b–3 is the lengthiest bracketed variant unit (the brackets indicating that the editorial committee could not establish the text with any degree of certainty), this is not to say that it is the lengthiest variant unit. The variant supported by D Φ it vgmss syc.hmg in Matt 20.28 is sixty words long compared to thirty-one words in Matt 16.2b–3. However, this variant is almost universally recognised as a later expansion that did not belong to the initial text.

20 Quarles, C. L., ‘Matthew 16.2b–3: New Considerations for a Difficult Textual Question’, NTS 66 (2020) 228–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

21 An example appears in the commentary on the next pericope (16.5–12). Origen skipped Matt 16.9–10 in both the citation and in his comments although no extant manuscripts omit these verses. See Quarles, ‘Matthew 16.2b–3’, 240. This feature of Origen's commentary was noted earlier in K. W. Kim, ‘The Matthean Text of Origen in his Commentary on Matthew’, JBL 68 (1949) 133. Unfortunately, Kim did not cite examples of Origen's omission of verses.

22 Timothy Barnes suggested a slightly earlier date in the 290s ce in the basis of the view that Eusebius did not originally assign a section number to Mark's longer ending. Martin Wallraff suggests that the apparatus was compiled in the final decade of Eusebius's life (330s), but this seems rather late due to the evidence (briefly discussed below) that the exemplar of Sinaiticus contained the Eusebian apparatus. Jeremiah Coogan recently suggested that Eusebius’ work on the apparatus occurred ‘sometime in the first half of the fourth century (or perhaps even in the last decade of the third)’. See T. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981) 122; Wallraff, M., ‘Canon Tables of the Psalms: An Unknown Work of Eusebius of Caesarea’, DOP 67 (2013) 114Google Scholar, at 13; and J. Coogan, ‘Mapping the Fourfold Gospel: Textual Geography in the Eusebian Apparatus’, JECS 25 (2017) 337–57, at 350.

23 Jongkind, D., Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus (Text and Studies Third Series 5; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2007) 118–19Google Scholar.

24 Quarles, ‘Matthew 16.2b–3’, 234–7.

25 See Table 3.1 in Wasserman and Gurry, A New Approach to Textual Criticism, 47. The table combines rankings and percentages from both Manuscript Clusters tools. Note that witness 1426 has the rank 263 and witness 530 (in terms of proximity to 037) has the rank 161. These two ranks greatly increase the average rank of the closest relatives with the b reading. Yet, such rankings are impossibly high within the Parallel Pericopes database since it compares only 159 witnesses.

26 I am grateful to Peter Gurry for reading an early draft of this article and suggesting improvements. In our correspondence (4 July 2019), he offered the statement above as a helpful clarification to the principle in A New Approach to Textual Criticism, 42: ‘Look up each witness's closest relatives to see whether they share the same reading; the fewer that do, the weaker the coherence.’ I initially read ‘the fewer’ as a reference to ‘closest relatives’. However, as the clarification shows, Gurry intended to refer to the fewer witnesses whose closest relative (sg.) shares the same reading.

27 Attempting to assess pre-genealogical coherence within an attestation based on averages of rank and percentage of agreement is problematic since a break or two in the coherence chain may not reduce the overall averages significantly, especially if the attestation is large and the agreement of the other witnesses with their closest relative is of a high percentage. The method may, in some cases, inadvertently privilege readings with the greater number of supporting witnesses and the witnesses with the greater uniformity characteristic of the Majority Text.

28 Mink is referring here to pre-genealogical coherence within an attestation, not to that between two witnesses (which can be measured). My initial efforts adapted the approach utilised by Wasserman and Gurry and yielded results that seemed consistent with previous findings. Mink's comments in our personal correspondence helpfully clarified the use of pre-genealogical coherence in the CBGM and highlighted important differences between the CBGM and the Wasserman–Gurry method, some of which I highlight here (Mink, ‘Re: Use of Pre-Genealogical Coherence’, email, 22 September 2019). However, Mink emphasises that the differences between the CBGM and the Wasserman–Gurry method do not suggest that they misunderstand or misappropriate the CBGM. They sought to assess the pre-genealogical coherence of variant units in the Synoptic Gospels for which full collation of the relevant manuscripts does not yet exist, and thus adaptation of Mink's method for assessing pre-genealogical coherence was necessary. Mink correctly views their work as ‘an important attempt at application to limited material’ (‘Re: Use of Pre-Genealogical Coherence’, email, 19 November 2019).

29 Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 138 (emphasis added). The references to ‘high’ and ‘weak’ pre-genealogical coherence do not contradict Mink's statement (cited earlier) that the goal of assessing pre-genealogical coherence within an attestation is ‘to detect the presence or absence of pre-genealogical coherence, but not to measure it’. Pre-genealogical coherence between two individual texts can be measured, hence the references to higher and weaker pre-genealogical coherence here. But the pre-genealogical coherence of the attestation as a whole is assessed, not measured. The options are binary, rather than graded. The attestation either has pre-genealogical coherence or it does not. Wachtel expresses the standard thus: ‘The closely related potential ancestors of a manuscript will usually witness to the same variant. If the attestation of a variant can be described as a consistent network of closely related ancestors and descendants, it is perfectly coherent. If for more than one witness there is no potential ancestor within the same attestation, the attestation is lacking coherence’ (‘Towards a Redefinition of External Criteria’, 116). Wachtel and Mink assess coherence using a stemma-like diagram which provides a comprehensive picture of all the relationships between witnesses in a particular attestation. Unfortunately, this approach is not yet possible except for Acts and the Catholic Letters.

30 Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 158.

31 Mink, ‘Re: Use of Pre-Genealogical coherence’, email, 22 September 2019 (emphasis original).

32 This additional step is necessary in light of Mink's observation that ‘[i]f a variant emerged more than once coincidentally, then there will be no strong genealogical coherence comprising the entire attestation. The coherence will be imperfect. Nevertheless, it is possible that the attestation consists of several coherent groups’ (Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 175; emphasis added). If the coherent groups bear no close relationship to each other, the coherence chain is broken and the attestation must be said to lack pre-genealogical coherence. When Wasserman and Gurry assess the pre-genealogical coherence of the attestations for the variants in Matt 16.27, rather than computing averages of percentage of agreement and rank for the witnesses within each attestation as with Mark 1.1, they list the witnesses with each attestation whose closest relative does not share the same reading (A New Approach to Textual Criticism, 50–6). The Parallel Pericopes: Find Relative tool greatly expedites this process. This is a significant improvement over the method utilised for Mark 1.1. The weakness of the approach is that it may overlook two witnesses within the attestation which have each other as their closest witness but may not be closely related to any other witnesses in the attestation. In other words, the approach may fail to identify isolated groups of coherent witnesses that are in fact breaks in the coherence chain. This analysis may also be negatively affected by the issue of coincidental ranking discussed below.

33 Gäbel et al., ‘The CBGM Applied to Variants from Acts: Methodological Background’, 1. Mink acknowledges the hypothetical nature of the reconstructed text: ‘The initial text is a hypothetical, reconstructed text, as it presumably existed, according to the hypothesis, before the beginning of its copying’ (‘Problems of a Highly Contaminated Tradition’, 25).

34 𝔓45 𝔓46 𝔓66 𝔓75 02 022 024 039 040 044 0233 28 31 69 427 1337 are not included in the tables since they did not contain Matthew or are lacunose at this variant unit.

35 Mink made a similar observation regarding genealogical (not pre-genealogical) coherence. He describes scenarios in which ‘potential ancestors with rank numbers like 16 or 20 may be taken into account, if the connectivity of a variant is high owing to its character or if percentages of agreement decrease slowly in the relevant tables. In this case, agreement percentages may be high enough to allow for genealogical relationship’ (Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 177). ‘Connectivity’ is a measure of the importance of a particular variant for understanding the genealogical relationship of texts and is often related to the philological nature of the variant.

36 These are identified by ‘—’ in the columns for which data is not currently available.

37 Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 158.

38 See Mink (‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’ 146) for a related concern regarding missing links which preclude the possibility of constructing a reliable genealogy of preserved manuscripts.

39 Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 158.

40 Although the CBGM is concerned with texts and not manuscripts (Mink, ‘Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence’, 146), an examination of the manuscripts in the 826 cluster may support the theory that 346 copied the longer reading from a marginal note. A corrector of 826 placed an asterisk before the shorter reading which directs the reader to the longer reading inserted in the left-hand margin. (The marginal reading is not visible in the microfilm available through CSNTM (GA_826_0031.jpg), although the asterisk remains clearly visible.) The marginal note is clearly in a different ink colour and a later hand. 826 and 346 agree in placing υποκριται in the middle of verse 3, in using γινωσκεται rather than the much more common γινωσκετε, and in using a form of συνίημι (826: συνιετε; 346: συνιεται) rather than δυνασθε at the end of the longer reading. The agreement of texts on all three of these variant readings appears to be relatively rare. The only other text in the CNTTS apparatus (currently the most comprehensive available) to contain all three of these variant readings is 118. The συνιεται in 346 is probably a correction of a prior συνιετε reading that matches the person, number and voice of the verb to the preceding γινωσκεται. The longer reading in 983 is that of the NA28 and lacks each of these distinctives. It was clearly taken from another exemplar.

41 Mink correctly notes that larger attestations increase the probability of perfect pre-genealogical coherence. ‘Re: Use of Pre-Genealogical Coherence’, 19 November 2019.

42 Mink, ‘Problems of a Highly Contaminated Tradition’, 33.

43 Wasserman and Gurry, A New Approach to Textual Criticism, 58.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Usefulness of Pre-Genealogical Coherence for Detecting Multiple Emergence and Coincidental Agreement: Matthew 16.2b–3 as a Test Case
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Usefulness of Pre-Genealogical Coherence for Detecting Multiple Emergence and Coincidental Agreement: Matthew 16.2b–3 as a Test Case
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Usefulness of Pre-Genealogical Coherence for Detecting Multiple Emergence and Coincidental Agreement: Matthew 16.2b–3 as a Test Case
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *