I'm taking this from Nazaroo's blog and placing it here where it is more appropriately grouped with similar articles.
Streeter on Lucian
Jerome tells us that the Churches of Antioch and Constantinople preferred a text revised by the martyr Lucian, while at Alexandria the text approved of was that of a certain Hesychius.
Alexandria et Aegyptus in Septuaginta suis Hesychium laudat auctorem, Constantinopolis usque Antiochiam Luciani Martyrii exemplaria probat, mediae inter has provinciae Palestinae codices legunt, quos ab Origene elaboratos Eusebius et Pamphilus vulgaverunt: totusque orbis hac inter se trifaria varietate compugnat.
[From Jerome's Preface to the Vulgate version of Chronicles.]
Lucian of Antioch died a martyr AD 312.
The identity of the Hesychius here mentioned is uncertain, but he is generally supposed to be the Egyptian bishop of that name who also, in 307, suffered martyrdom.
In the passage just cited, Jerome is speaking of the Old Testament. (LXX)
But in the open letter to Damasus (cf. App. IV.), which stands as a preface to the Gospels in the Vulgate, he makes it clear that the recensions of Lucian and Hesychius included the New Testament as well.
The evidence for this conclusion may be briefly summarised. It is stated in the Menologies - short accounts of a Saint for reading on his day - that Lucian bequeathed his pupils a copy of the Old and New Testaments written in three columns in his own hand.
A famous representative of the school of Lucian is John Chrysostom, who wrote at Antioch from 381 onwards. Towards the end of his life he was for a short time, over the turn of the century AD 400, Patriarch of Constantinople. The quotations of the New Testament in his voluminous works are numerous;
and they prove that the text he used was substantially the Byzantine, apart from its mediaeval corruptions.
But the Byzantine text, we shall see, when closely examined looks as if it was formed as the result of a revision made on the principle of following alternately or, if possible, combining Alexandrian, Western and Eastern texts.
Also, a text giving just these particular combinations and alternations of readings is not found in the quotations of any Father earlier than Chrysostom;
but after that it becomes more and more common, beginning with writers connected with either Antioch or Constantinople, until it replaces all others.
The conclusion, then, seems obvious that the text of Chrysostom represents a revision made at or near Antioch early in the 4th century, and speedily adopted not only there but in Constantinople. And since Jerome, who had himself studied in both these cities before 380, expressly says that these Churches used the revised text of Lucian, it would seem gratuitous skepticism to suppose that the apparently revised text used by Chrysostom was other than that of Lucian.
But, if it be asked for, there is further evidence. Ulfilas who converted the Goths, translated the Gospels and parts of the Old Testament into Gothic. As he died about 380, the Gothic version must be earlier than that date. The Gothic is the first of the early versions to show a predominantly Byzantine text; and in 341 Ulfilas, we know, was consecrated Bishop at Antioch.
It may be added that the great LXX scholars, Field and Lagarde, starting from certain readings definitely marked as Lucianic in the Syro-Hexapla, produced convincing reasons for supposing that in some books certain MSS. of the Old Testament give the text of Lucian. [H. B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, p. 82 ff.] The text of these MSS. agrees with the Old Testament quotations of Chrysostom, and also with such fragments of the Gothic version of the Old Testament as survive. It is also remarkable that the Lucianic recension of the Old Testament appears, like the Lucianic text of the New Testament, to be a revision that aims at combining earlier texts.
The contention that the Byzantine text is an essentially revised text — following sometimes one, sometimes another of the earlier texts — made in or near Antioch about 300, was the foundation-stone of Westcott & Hort's theory of the textual criticism of the New Testament. To appreciate its full force, the student must read the relevant parts of Hort's Introduction. And nothing that has been discovered since appears to me to have weakened their case, so far as the main issue is concerned. Hort himself believed that this revision was most probably the work of Lucian; but, to avoid committing himself on this point without further evidence, he gave this text the name "Syrian" to indicate that it originated in the Greek-speaking province of Syria of which Antioch was the capital. The name was unfortunately chosen. It is very confusing to the uninitiated, who naturally suppose it implies some special connection with the "Syriac" versions — which belong, as a matter of fact, not to "Syria," but to the Syriac-speaking Church, whose centre was Edessa in Mesopotamia.
Moreover, the term "Syrian," though applicable to the original recension of Lucian, is not appropriate to the standard text of the Byzantine Empire if, as Hort himself thought, this is the result of a later revision. Whether the Byzantine text of the 9th century is identical with the text of Lucian or a slightly revised form of it is a question not easy to answer.
But, paradoxical as it sounds, it is this 9th century text that really concerns us most; for it was by the Byzantine standard, not by that of the actual text of Lucian — supposing these to be different — that MSS. of mixed texts, which are of such importance to the critic, have been corrected. It is, therefore, by deducting actual Byzantine, not hypothetical Lucianic, readings that we get back to the older element in their text. For these reasons I have reverted to Griesbach's nomenclature, and speak of this text, not as "Syrian," but as BYZANTINE.
But there are some important respects in which Hort's view of the constituent elements in the Lucianic revision must be modified in the light of subsequent discovery. As Burkitt points out, in the Additional Notes contributed by him to the 2nd edition of Westcott/Hort's Greek Testament (p. 330),
"a text like Syr. S. stands in places against א B D united, entering not infrequently as an independent constituent element into the Antiochian (Syrian) text."
A notable instance is the famous
'On earth peace, goodwill towards men.'Here the reading of Syr. S. has passed into the Textus Receptus, against the united testimony of א B D Latt., which read
'peace among men in whom he is well pleased.'So again the Byzantine text reads ἄριστον, with Syr. S. and C., Arm., against the ἄρτον of א B D Latt. in Lk. 14:15.
Conflate readings, in which the Lucianic text puts side by side a variant found in א B with the alternative given in D Lat., formed one of the most striking pieces of evidence adduced by Hort to prove that the Lucianic text was a revision based on texts of the other types. Hence a "conflate reading," in which Syr. S. supplies one member and א B and D Lat. combined provide the other, is striking evidence, not only of the independence of the Syr. S. type of text, but of the importance attached to it by the revisers.
Of the instances quoted by Burkitt, Mk. 1:13 may be cited.
The Byzantine text reads ἐκεῖ ἐν τῷ ἐρήμῳ. One member of this phrase, ἐκεῖ , is found in Syr. S., supported in this instance by some representatives of fam. Θ; the other member, ἐν τῷ ἐρήμῳ, is in א B D Latt.
Another very pretty example is noted by Prof. Lake. [J.T.S., Jan. 1900, p. 291.]
The Byzantine μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε μηδὲ μελετᾶτε (or προμελετᾶτε) (Mk.i.11) is a conflation of μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε B D Latt., etc., with μὴ προμελετᾶτε Ψ 047 Syr. S.
Another example is the reading of the T.R. in Lk.ii.5,
τῇ μεμνηστευμένη αὐτοῦ γυναικί "his betrothed wife."
Here ἐμνηστευμένη without γυναικί is read by א B;
but Syr. S., supported by a, b, c, ff 2, reads "wife,"
omitting the word for "betrothed."
Curiously enough, D and e in this case support B against the combined Latin and Syriac.
Nevertheless, the Byzantine text is fundamentally nearer to the Alexandrian than to the "Western" type. There was an ancient rivalry between Antioch and Alexandria, and antecedently we should not have expected an Antiochian revision to start off, as it were, from the Alexandrian text.
Burkitt suggests that the fall of Paul of Samosata, 270, may have had something to do with it. Certainly this meant the triumph of the "catholic" as opposed to the "nationalist" tendency in theology; and it is possible that Lucian definitely set out to produce a "catholic" recension of the Scriptures. That is, he may have sent for MSS. from Alexandria, Ephesus, and, perhaps, even Rome, and endeavoured, with the aid of these as well as the local text of Antioch, to produce a text representing the combined traditions of the Great Churches.
Whether because of the special prestige enjoyed by Alexandrian scholarship in regard to textual criticism in general, or from the accident that of the MSS. he used the Alexandrian happened to be the oldest, he seems to have taken that text as the basis for his revision.
Strange, then, as it sounds, it really does look as if Lucian and his fellow-revisers were in very much the same position as the English and American revisers after another 1500 years. All desired to restore the true original text of the Gospels, all desired to retain the traditional text of their own Church, except in so far as the latest researches in textual criticism made this impossible, and all accepted MSS of the א B . type as the best
It would, however, seem a fair presumption that the majority of readings in which the earliest form of the Lucianic text differs from that of א B L is likely to represent a text traditional at Antioch.
This leads us to take a slightly different view of the so-called "Western" element in the Lucianic text. Most of the "Western" readings adopted by Lucian might have been derived from either Syr. S. or D, since there is so much in common between these two. But if, on other grounds, we regard Syr. S. as descended from the old text of Antioch, then we should suppose that Lucian did, as a matter of fact, adopt these readings because they occurred in the current text of Antioch, and did not go abroad, as it were, to derive them from MSS. of the type of D.
What, then, are we to say of the readings in the Lucianic text which occur in D but not in Syr. S.? They may, as suggested above, have been derived from MSS. brought from Ephesus or Rome for the use of the revisers.
But this hypothesis is not absolutely necessary; for obviously the phenomenon cannot be considered apart from the occurrence in Syr. C. of D readings not found in Syr. S. and of the occurrence in the text of Eusebius of D readings not found in fam. Θ.
The text of Syr. C., it is generally agreed, is later than that of Syr. S.;
Eusebius is later than Origen, who in Eusebius' own city seems to have used the fam. Θ text; and Lucian of Antioch is later than the translator of Syr. S., who may be presumed to have used the old text of Antioch.
In each case we have evidence that the D element is later. We have already seen that the later text of Alexandria suffered considerably through infiltration of Western readings. It would look as if the same thing happened everywhere. Indeed, if Italy and Asia both used a text of the D type, it would be inevitable that copies of the Gospels brought by Christians from these provinces should everywhere be a source of mixture.
We conclude, then, that the old text of Antioch had suffered a degeneration similar to that we find in the later Alexandrian MSS, and that the Antiochene MSS used by Lucian had much the same relation to the Greek text underlying Syr. S. as C L 33 579 have to B.
That is, he used a form of the old text of Antioch corrupted by stylistic amendment, assimilation of parallels, and an infiltration of readings from texts of both the D and the א B L type.
The importance of this point is largely indirect. It bears on the question, whence did Lucian get the readings known to us only from their occurrence in the Byzantine text. Most of the readings of the Byzantine text, which do not also occur in one or other of the earlier texts, are of the nature either of minor stylistic improvements or of assimilation of the text of one Gospel to a parallel passage in another.
Very few look original; but Lucian must have found them somewhere.
Hort held that the Lucianic revision was based solely on texts of the three types of early text which he distinguished —
the NEUTRAL, represented by B א
" the ALEXANDRIAN," C L;
and the WESTERN, D Old Lat.
He concluded that any readings of the Lucianic text not to be found in our existing authorities for these earlier texts were either very late or due to the editorial efforts of the revisers.
The discovery of Syr. S. has shown that some readings of the Lucianic text were older than Hort supposed. But two incomplete MSS of the Old Syriac form but slender evidence for the old Greek text of Antioch, and it is probable that some of the readings of the Lucianic text that do not appear in the Syriac were derived from the old text of Antioch.
It is even possible that some of the agreements with the Byzantine text found in Origen's Commentary on Matthew may be original. Most of these are no doubt due to scribes and translators who have modified what he actually wrote to conform with their own Biblical text. But some may well be readings common to the texts of Antioch and Caesarea.
Unfortunately we cannot detect such readings in Θ and its allies, supposing any occur there, simply because we have no means of distinguishing them from the admixture of Byzantine readings due to later revisers. Thus we have really no means of identifying those readings of the old text of Antioch, which survive in the Byzantine text, but which do not happen to occur in the Old Syriac, except internal probability.
That criterion is, as a matter of fact, unfavourable to most characteristically Byzantine readings; but there are some few that I think are deserving of more serious consideration than was accorded them by Hort.
For the old Alexandrian text we have MS evidence not substantially inferior to that possessed by Lucian, and we know how to use it better; but for the various types of Eastern text Lucian must have had MSS. of a greater variety and better quality than any we possess. Hence, though the principles on which he made use of them may have been the reverse of critical, to say offhand that he has never preserved an ancient reading for which we have no other authority seems over-bold.
The fifth-century Codex A is the earliest Greek MS. giving a text which is approximately that of Lucian, though it seems to have a small proportion of readings belonging to earlier texts. The name Alexandrinus which it bears (it was given to Charles I. by a Patriarch of Alexandria) is thus another pitfall for the innocent student, who naturally supposes that the text it represents is Alexandrian; and, curiously enough, outside the Gospels its text is Alexandrian;
for the rest of the NT, A is a most constant ally of B .א
[The evidence for the ordinary view that it was written in Alexandria has been seriously shaken by Burkitt (J.T.S., 1910, pp. 603 fi.), who suggests that it came, via Mt. Athos, from Constantinople. Personally, I should rather assign it to some place like Caesarea or Berytus (Beyrout) halfway between Antioch and Alexandria — for three reasons.
- It contains, immediately after the New Testament, the two Epistles of Clement. An attempt to assign to these canonical or quasi-canonical authority is made in the Apostolic Constitutions, a late fourth-century work which undoubtedly emanated from that part of the world.
- The combination of an Antiochian text of the Gospels with an Alexandrian text of the Acts and Epistles suggests some place where the influence of Antioch and of Alexandria met.
- Its text of the Old Testament appears to be a non-Alexandrian text heavily revised by the Hexapla, which we know was the dominant text of Palestine.
The quotations of the LXX in New Testament writers and Josephus more often than not agree with A against B, which MS. seems to represent a pre-Origenic Alexandrian text (H. B. Swete, op. cit. p. 395).
But the Gentile mission started from Antioch, not Alexandria; and the New Testament writers and Josephus wrote in Antioch, Asia Minor, or Borne;
and would be likely to have used the Antiochian rather than the Alexandrian recension of the Jewish Bible.]
But once it is conceded that Lucian's revision was based on the eclectic principle of choosing, now an Alexandrian, now a "Western" reading, it ceases to be of any great importance to know, in the case of any particular reading, whether as a matter of fact it is the one which Lucian happened to prefer.
All that really matters is the broad fact that the Byzantine text is ultimately descended from his revision.
Whether the oldest form of it is to be found in A or E or S is a comparatively small matter. The difference between the text of A and that of most of the uncials in the long list headed by E and ending with S V in an ordinary Apparatus Criticus is really very small. (Ω was unknown to Tischendorf, and von Soden does not give its readings.
[Von Soden assigns Ω to VIIIcent., but Dr. Blake (having photographed the original on Mt. Athos) tells me he feels certain it is late IXcent. or Xcent.. If so, no MS. earlier than IXcent. gives the K1 text; but von Soden holds that it is found in the VIcent. Purple MSS. (apart from their I mixture).)]
In fact, the group A E S would be found supporting one another far more often than the leading members of the Egyptian group א B L.
The one really important reading which was certainly absent from the text of Lucian, although it is found, sometimes with, sometimes without, asterisks or obeli, in a majority of the Byzantine MSS., is the Pericope Adulterae (Jn.7:53-8:11).