|Samson on the RV (1881)|
Samson's review of the over-correcting of the Revised Version (RV 1881) led to his publication of his booklet, The English Revisers' Greek Text. In this substantial treatment, which includes a detailed description of Hug's work, he summarizes the rules of Textual Criticism of three main editors, Poole, Hug, and Tregelles, comparing and contrasting their ideas and the results:
|Tregelles as Napoleon|
"RULES FOR DECIDING THE TRUE GREEK NT TEXT
Three of the leading writers, whose combined researches must guide the impartial student, namely, Poole, Hug and Tregelles, state the principles which have guided Christian scholars of all ages in the determination of the true text of the New Testament Greek Scriptures.
The grounds of Poole's judgment, though not formally brought together, are learned from his repeated arguments in discussing especially the omissions in certain Greek uncial manuscripts and in some versions. Thus as to the omission of the doxology in the Lord's Prayer, found in the uncial manuscripts (MSS), now indicated as C and D, which he had examined, as also in the Latin of Jerome and of the Vulgate, Poole states these principles:
The doxology is found in the "mother language"; meaning in the Greek text as received to this day in the Greek and Oriental Church. As to the omission of the doxology in the uncial MSS, he argues that an insertion in the sacred text necessarily implies studied invention and designed alteration; while an omission implies merely unintentional neglect.
As to the versions the Latin is but one of many "daughters"; and that one more remote from its "mother" than the Oriental versions which retain it. As to the Latin fathers, who omit the doxology in quoting the Lord's Prayer, it may have been, he suggests, Luke's briefer statement of that prayer which they had in mind; while, on the other hand, he urges that the quotation of that doxology by leading Greek fathers is positive, and not like the Latin omission of it, mere negative testimony.
HUG'S ELABORATE RULES OF JUDGING
Hug presents more formally his "Principles of Criticism" in a chapter following his exhaustive discussion of the Greek MSS and of the varied ancient versions. He is emphatic in rebuking those who, from doctrinal or philological prejudice, fix on a class of manuscripts or on a selection of variations in differing classes of manuscripts of versions and of patristic citations which chance to favor their previous opinions. He says : "It has ceased to be the case that a scholar, irresolute which of the multitude he should follow, can, according to his taste, or his preference for a particular manuscript, or a liking for some peculiarity, some new various readings in a particular Codex, or other grounds not at all better, select and form a text which may be destroyed by the next editor; who does it only to see the same right exercised upon him by his successor."
Hug classifies all the authorities, including Greek manuscripts, versions and patristic citations, under four heads ; those following
(1) the koine ekdosis (common text)(2) the Hesychian recension,(3) the Lucian recension,(4) the recension of Origen ;
and he enumerates the manuscripts and the versions or parts of versions which respectively follow these four classes of authorities. Among these the following are important as guides in forming a just decision as to the omissions found in the Canterbury revision.
The text of the "koine ekdosis" rules the Gospels, Acts, Catholic and Pauline Epistles in the codices D, Cambridge and Parisian ; it prevails throughout the Syriac Peschito and pervades the Syriac of Charkel ; and it controlled in the early Latin versions.
On the other hand the Hesychian recension guided the Egyptian copyists in the Gospels of codices B and C, or the Vatican and Ephraeem manuscripts ; and also in the Acts and in all the Epistles of codices A, B, C ; or the Alexandrine, Vatican and Ephraeem manuscripts. Thus, according to this most comprehensive as well as logical collator, the uncials, now trusted as supreme authority, were made from a text which Origen, and after him every branch of the Christian Church has regarded as influenced by doctrinal views opposed to the Divine nature and to the expiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Hug had not the third of the three most complete uncials, the Sinaitic; but Tischendorff's collation of the three shows their common character. Referring to the "common text," Hug says : "The koine ekdosis, as we have shown, exhibits the ancient text ; but with many alterations which it underwent during the second and a part of the third century." This statement, as to the "koine ekdosis," the unbiassed student perceives, has received from Hug this qualification only to prepare the way for the author's defence of the omissions incorporated into the Latin Vulgate; which, as we shall see Hug tacitly admits, follow the Egyptian uncials and the Hesychian recension.
The three recensions of Lucian, Hesychius, and Origen were all made nearly at the same time, at the close of the 3rd century. The settled judgment of the Greek Church, in the beginning of the 4th century, established the text of the MSS prepared by Constantine's order; and that early decision as to the respective merit of each recension as compared with the "koine ekdosis," is still authoritative in all branches of the Oriental Church.
With great elaborateness Hug lays down rules to guide in deciding as to interpolations and omissions in the true Greek text. He recognizes as undeniable the fact that the "koine ekdosis" was the standard when the several recensions and versions were made; and that, therefore, when all agree, which is the case in the great body of the different manuscripts, the true text is assured.
Interpolations, which are rare, have arisen mainly from "harmonies " [harmonization]; in which the fuller text of one evangelist might come to be inserted by a careless copyist in another; while, in cases very rare, marginal notes, not belonging to the text, may have been incorporated.
A careful comparison of the Egyptian uncials reveals cases of both these kinds; though they are so infrequent in comparison with the omissions as to give special weight to Poole's rule on this point. The causes which have led to the numerous omissions are mainly these :
First, where one clause ended with words similar to those in a clause following, the eye of the copyist, especially of the mechanical Egyptian copyists, wandered past the intervening clause.
Second, omissions were made intentionally, when synonymous expressions followed each other and were regarded by the copyist as expletives [redundant].
Third, tautological expressions, common to Hebrew writers, seemed to Greek copyists of limited experience, to be unimportant, and so were omitted.
To every thoughtful student it must be apparent that these causes for omissions would be specially operative in the Egyptian copyists, as they are faithfully characterized by Hug; men ignorant of both the subject and wording of what they transcribed ; not discriminating between the inspired and uninspired Christian writings; and working as paid laborers on what had for them no interest, since even the language of the records was not understood by many of their number.
Hug's rules for restoration of such omissions are substantially these : In the first case "what is omitted must be restored to the text," without hesitation. In the second and third cases, the omission of one copy must be restored from an accordant text in other copies. The elaborately considered and for the most part impartially balanced decisions of Hug, the Roman Catholic, so in keeping with those of the earlier judgment of the Protestant Poole, must rule in the close of the 19th century; for their rule has been legitimate alike in Origen of the 3rd, in Jerome of the 5th, in Poole of the 17th and in Hug at the opening of the present century [1800s]. The legitimacy of this ruling is made demonstrative by the fact that the "common text," subjected in every important age of the Christian Church to precisely the same tests which now are trying it, has constantly received new and growing confidence among the earnest Christian scholars of each succeeding era of investigation.
TREGELLES' RULES FOR DETERMINING THE TEXT
The carefully considered rules of Tregelles are laid down under nine heads; the 6th of which has six subdivisions. These are stated in his own words where their ruling is at variance with those of other judges,
(1) Where authorities agree the text is assured.(2) If authorities differ but slightly, assurance is little shaken.(3) " If the reading of the ancient authorities in general is unanimous, there can be little doubt it should be followed, whatever may be the later testimonies ; for it is most improbable that the independent testimonies of early manuscripts, versions and Fathers should accord with regard to something entirely groundless."(4) A reading found in versions alone can claim but little authority.(5) A reading found in patristic citations alone is of still less authority.(6) Where authorities are divided, "other things being equal," these rules must guide.(a) An early citation, in express terms, may alone be decisive. In cases where decision cannot be thus assured, the following guides may be successively sought and trusted;(b) if one of two readings accords with a parallel passage ;(c) if one gives an amplification found elsewhere ;(d) if one of two seems to avoid a difficulty ;(e) if one reading has been copied by others ;(f) if well-known principles of variation can be applied.(7) When certainty is unattainable, the doubtful passage should be retained, but put in brackets.(8) When it is certain that a reading was received in the second or third century, this outweighs all later authorities.
(9) Readings sustained by the larger number of authorities may be unsustained by the superior authorities.
These rules of Tregelles call for attention less in their statement than in their application.
Rule 3 is at variance with Poole and Hug when the oldest existing Greek manuscripts, seen to be the Egyptian uncials never trusted by the Greeks themselves, are accepted as supreme authority.
Under rule 6, item (a), such students of the early Christian writers as Poole and Hug think they have found in early Christian writers express quotations from the New Testament records which would on Tregelles' principle set aside the authority of the Egyptian uncials.
As to rule 6, item (e), it should be carefully observed that while Tregelles applies it to hundreds of cursive manuscripts, which he regards as copied one from another, he forgets to apply it to the Egyptian uncials ; all of which Hug finds to be but copies of a class.
Under rule 8 the argument of Poole and Hug, based on the acceptance " from time immemorial " of the "koine ekdosis," or "common text," by the Greek as well as the combined Oriental and Western Churches, is a testimony which the Egyptian uncials have never been supposed to countervail ; and these testimonies show that the reading of the second and third century is preserved in that "common text."
As to rule 9, where the reference to the numberless "cursive" Greek manuscripts is apparent, this fact is specially to be noted. Hug, as before mentioned, specially describes 6 only ; beginning with the commonly recognized MS #1 and ending with #579.
Tregelles cites in his rules only MSS 1, 33, 69; whose original text, though oft corrected, as his use of them shows, seems to sustain his view of the Egyptian uncials as authoritative.
As to cursive MSS 1, the only cursive manuscript cited in common by Hug and Tregelles, Hug traces its history; showing that the copy was made in the time of Leo V. ; who, though he ruled as Pope only a few months, had special influence at the close of the 9th and at the beginning of the 10th century. Of its text, conformed manifestly to the spirit of the age.
Hug says: "The text of the Gospels is very different from the text of the rest of the manuscript." - but Tregelles states as to it: "A manuscript in the Library at Basle, containing all the N. Test, but the Apocalypse; but only of importance in the text of the Gospels. Of the 10th century: examined by many, and collated independently by Tregelles and Roth ; when these collations disagree 1-T or 1-R indicates the respective collators."
As to the text to which this cursive manuscript was originally conformed, Hug states that in "the Gospels" it followed the "koine ekdosis." Its use by Tregelles is illustrated on Matt. 18:11 ; where it is indicated that the statement, "For the Son of man is come to save the lost," is omitted from the original text of this cursive MS, but was afterwards inserted by a 2nd corrector of the MS. The fact that Tregelles differed from Roth in his reading of the manuscript as a collator shows how liable to err the modern examiner as well as the original copyist may prove.mr.scrivener
The setting aside by Tregelles of the authority of the hundreds of cursive manuscripts trusted as reliable by the world of Christian scholars in the past, the special devotion of such a mind as that of Tregelles to three selected copies regarded by him as supporting the Egyptian uncials, and the fact that the judgment of Hug as to the actual character of that special cursive MS differs so materially from that of Tregelles — these facts justify certainly the doubt expressed by the Bishop of St. Andrews as to the actual "consensus of scholarship" which now demands the omission of this and other passages."