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Neues Testament


Hrsg. v. Institut f. Neutestamentliche Textforschung. Editio Critica Maior. Hrsg. v. B. Aland, K. Aland (Ý), G. Mink, H. Strutwolf u. K. Wachtel.


(1) Novum Testamentum Graecum. Bd. IV: Die Katholischen Briefe.

(2) Lfg. 4: Der Zweite und Dritte Johannesbrief. Der Judasbrief.


Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 2005. XVII, XVIII, S. 31*­38*, 369­436 u. VI, S. B 127­155. 4°. Kart. Euro 18,50. ISBN 3-438-05603-8.


J. K. Elliott

This is the fourth instalment in the volume on the Catholic Epistles. The original plan to have only three instalments was abandoned when it was decided to publish 1 John separate from 2, 3 John and Jude. The earlier fascicules on 1 John were reviewed in ThLZ 129 (2004), 1068­1071. Those familiar with ECM are appreciative of the spacious presentation, careful setting out of the alternatives and a well-controlled apparatus criticus. Complicated variation units like Jude 5 (words 12­20) throw up 30 v.ll. and Jude 23 (words 2­22) 15 v.ll. The clarity with which these, and all, alternatives are set out continues to serve as a model of how an apparatus ought to be constructed. At 2 John 8 a cross-reference to link apolesomen at word 10 with apolabomen at word 22 may have been useful. The edition of ECM under review now has 68 quarto pages of text and apparatus. Compare that to the 7 cramped pages for 2, 3 John and Jude in the Nestle hand edition.

From the list of 142 manuscripts listed on p. B127 135 have been used in the apparatus to 2 John, 135 in 3 John and 138 in Jude. Of these 142 manuscripts (3 papyri, 14 majuscules, 119 minuscules, 6 lectionaries) in 2, 3 John and Jude, 44 are Byzantine (p. B128) of which one (365) is used only in 2, 3 John; these Byzantine mss. are 5 majuscules, 33 minuscules and all 6 lectionaries. (Those figures compare with 167 in James, of which 97 are Codices Byzantini; 152 in 1 Peter [54 Byz.], 149 in 2 Peter [54 Byz.]; 143 in 1 John = 2 papyri, 13 majuscules, 117 minuscules, 11 lectionaries [52 Byz. = 4 majuscules, 37 minuscules and all 11 lectionaries].) A fragment of Jude, 0316, is newly added to the list of mss. used in the Catholics. Compared with the immediately previous fascicule (on 1 John) 206S is used (not 206 ­ do we need to be told about the nature of this supplement and its date here?), 181S (not 181); L921 (not L921S). 1831S for 2 John-Jude is another later supplement to an earlier manuscript. And what is the significance of the bracketed S after 1831? (That siglum is not in the tables of abbreviations.) L60, L590, L1126, L1442S no longer appear beyond 1 John.

Some mss. which in 1 John were Byzantine are not so labelled in 2, 3 John, Jude: 69, 93, 431, 665, 876, 1270, 1297, 1751, 1842, 1845; conversely, the following are now Codices Byzantini, not having been so in 1 John: 025, 0142, 206S, 398, 429, 522, 1448, 1490, 1799, 2718 and 1831S. If these have been correctly judged, then it shows just how the influences on mss. from one book to another fluctuate, even in the same corpus.

Of the six lectionaries one (L596) is, according to the Kurzgefasste Liste, lasel. The others are all lae. Page B129 links L596 with L921, L938, L1141, L1281 and separates these from L156. The reason for this is not clear.

The new introductory matter (pp. 35*­48*) explains how the editors are well satisfied with the coherence-based genealogical method (CBGM) adopted here; there is much talk about 'textual flow'. The methodology has identified different manuscript allegiances in 2 and 3 John compared even with 1 John. If this approach is sound, it certainly behoves us to treat all mss. carefully as we move from book to book, and even within one book in the larger texts, of course. For example, 1845, as will be seen above, was Byzantine in 1 John; now it is one of the 15 closest allies of A (= Ausgangstext) in 3 John, and one of the 9 second closest to A in 2 John. Cf. also how 431, previously Byz., is now among the mss. next closest to A in 3 John and among those closest to A in Jude. 025, now Byz., is listed on p. 36* as among the 3rd­5th most closely related to A in 3 John alongside seven other Byz. mss. We must, however, not be mesmerized into concluding that the Ausgangstext is necessarily the »original« text, but merely the text that seems to explain the origin of the variants deviating from it.

The seven manuscripts described as 'nearly pure' Byzantine mss. in the three letters are 18, 35, 319, 398, 607, 1175, 2423. Several of those differ from the seven isolated in 1 John. We are told (p. B128) that there are only 37 variants (out of 400+) where the undivided Byzantine witnesses differ from the primary line of text printed here as the Ausgangstext. (In the event, the list following gives us only 36!) Thus, apart from those places, the Byzantine mss. witness to the »early« text. In James the figures are 69 distinctive Byzantine readings out of 800 variants; cf. 1 Peter 52/700; 2 Peter 33/400; 1 John 47/700.

Although the main benefit of the ECM edition is the display of variants, there will be those who turn to it to see how its running line (a) compares with the text of the Nestle edition. As usual, the number of changes is disappointingly small.

There are no alternatives from the Nestle text in 2 or 3 John. In Jude only 3 changes occur:

1) Jude 5 (words 12­20). This is a notorious textual crux and the text in UBS Greek New Testament is rated 'D'. The running text now reads hymas hapax panta hoti Jesus, although a question mark still surrounds Iesus (see below). The new reading has the effect of removing brackets from the Nestle edition, which is no bad thing.

2) Jude 18 (word 7 ­ not word 8 as announced on p. 37*). ECM here removes a word previously bracketed (oti).

3) Jude 18 (words 8­18, not 10­18 as announced on p. 37*). Here too a word previously bracketed now disappears (tu).

These changes in v.18 are hesitant because in both bold dots occur (see below).

What is perhaps of greater interest than these tentative changes to the text of the running line are those places where the editors place a bold dot against the text in the running line and (in all cases, bar one) indicate an alternative reading which may be of equal value ­ although in some cases need only be of interest or »special critical consideration«. (The explanation of the significance of the dot on p. 24* in the fascicule on the letters of Peter is preferred to the earlier explanation on p.11* in the James fascicule). We are told (p. 37*) that there are »many« places where dots are to be found. »Many« here means 15 in the 53 verses of the three epistles, cf. 41 dotted places throughout 1 and 2 Peter.

There are no matters of great moment here, although the change at 3 John 9 is of interest. At Jude 5 authorial style should decide in favour of de (Ch. Landon, A Text-Critical Study of the Epistle of Jude, 68); and the recognition that scribes often avoided Semitic word order should favour the running line at Jude 17. It is of interest to see in the list above how often the alternative represents a reading by a or B or both!

68 extra mss., appear in the additional apparatus found in section 5.1, two of them, 209 and 2242 occurring for several variants. These are mss. and readings taken, for the most part, from the Teststellen in the Text und Textwert volume on the Catholic Epistles I (ANTF 9; Berlin, 1987). Not surprisingly, most concern additional variants in Jude. As is often the case, there are problems between the list of mss. and the apparatus following. Among the mss. listed I have been unable to locate any readings attributed to 133 or 592 (although 582, found at Jude 5, is probably intended). Among the mss. in this additional list are 456, 631, 676, 1066, 1367, 1509, 2180, 2242, 2523, all said on p. B127 not to have been included in the apparatus beyond James! (I assume therefore that that statement must refer only to the main apparatus, not to this supplementary apparatus.)

The apparatus now benefits from work being undertaken in Münster on the Harklean and Philoxenian Syriac. 11 Philoxenian witnesses have been added to the 19 used by Gwynn. Harklean mss. too have been added to this fascicule. 14 Sahidic Coptic mss. are utilized for 2, 3 John and Jude. The selection differs somewhat from those seen in the previous fascicule on 1 John. Work on these versions should therefore eventually yield addenda to the introductory matter and apparatus of the earlier fascicules. The Latin Vulgate is close to the Greek and is to be found regularly in the apparatus supporting a Greek reading. The Old Latin occurs in 3 John 11­15 in Codex Bezae. (The abbreviation D after L[atin] here needs to be added to the lists of abbreviations (Latin R is also missing from those lists.) There are few Patristic citations to include in these books. We observe several changes in ECM from the TuT Teststellen in the 1987 edition (cited above), especially regarding the readings of first hands, e. g. ms. 326* 2 John 8 (words 10­14 e and f); 2 John 9 ff. where 048 now seems to have been available; previously it was in the category »Lücke«; the readings of 629 and 1523 differ at 2 John 9 (words 20­22); 1678 and 2186 differ at 2 John 12 (word 26) etc. One may assume that the Münster Institut¹s ongoing investigation into all readings found in the ECM apparatus is more accurate, but a statement to confirm that hunch would be helpful. ­ Corrigenda to the earlier fascicules in this series are to be found added to the inserted blue sheet, »Abbreviations and Symbols«. (That sheet is only in English, in contrast to the rest of the edition where all editorial matter is bilingual [Greek and English].)

We congratulate the editors on another fine achievement and express the hope that their supplementary studies, which should elucidate many of their earlier decisions and working practices, will appear shortly.

On pp. B127 and B145 we are promised volume IV, 3: »Begleitende Untersuchungen«. This seems to be different from the promised 5th instalment »Begleitende Studien«, although the English for both promised publications is »Supplementary Studies«!