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Greeven, Heinrich, u. Eberhard Güting [Hrsg.]:


Textkritik des Markusevangeliums.


Münster: LIT 2005. VIII, 768 S. gr.8° = Theologie, 11. Geb. EUR 99,90. ISBN 3-8258-6878-8.


David C. Parker

Heinrich Greeven¹s most significant contribution to the textual study of the Gospels is his revision of the Huck Synopse, which he thoroughly revised in a thirteenth edition (1981), establishing a new text and apparatus. The latter was constructed in a manner especially appropriate to a synopsis, in that it set out to include all harmonising variants of which the editor was aware, as well as those readings which other editors had deemed the earliest. This work began in 1952. When Greeven died in 1990, he left behind an incomplete manuscript of a work which would discuss the textual variants and the decisions he had made. He entrusted this document to Professor Wolfgang Schrage, who sought out a scholar who would complete this work in the spirit of Heinrich Greeven. This scholar was Dr Eberhard Güting, and thus, with some assistance from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a work that began in 1952 was published in 2005.

The work takes the following form.

1. It begins with a summary list of conclusions with regard to all passages studied, such as ðMk 1,1 Ô Ô ist sekundärer ZusatzÐ or ðMk 3,31 (1) ¯ ist ursprünglich, nicht ¯Ô Ð.

2. A list of 40 corrections indicates changes to the textual evidence as it was known to Greeven (e. g. at 1.4 minuscule 892 does not have Reading III, but supports 73 in Reading IV). Differences from Nestle-Aland and the Aland Synopsis are often discussed.

3. A list of variants not discussed in their own right but included in the discussion of other discussions, with cross-references.

4. There follows the main part, ðGreevens Analysen und die textkritischen Entscheidungen anderer neutestamentlicher Exegeten mit einem Exkurs zur Syntax der ersten Worte des EvangeliumsÐ. For each variant there are three sections: a statement of the states of the text, an analysis of the textual tradition with an indication of the decisions made by other editors, and finally a statement of the views of other scholars. The second sections are the work of Greeven, the third of Güting (if there are exceptions to this I have yet to find them).

The commentary does not include any of the forms of the ending, although the Longer Ending was included in the Synopsis (as Section 275). There are 22 pages of bibliography, and no indexes.

Typically, the coverage of a reading covers about a page of text. The list of variants starts with that selected by Greeven, and then indicates the others as they are given in his apparatus (though not necessarily presented in the same way). Nor do the decisions always go the same way: at Mk 8.36, the text of the Synopsis reads â¿ F . . The commentary abandons this (wisely in my judgement, since it looks like a harmonisation to Matthew) in favour of É with other editors. At 10.39, the µ¤ found in the Synopsis text is abandoned. Here too the new reading is that of all other editors.

A wide range of authors is cited. Commentators from the nineteenth century are found, such as Meyer (1860: see 1.25), although the cut-off date is not so recent ­ the first volume of Joel Marcus Anchor Bible commentary (2000) is not used, for example. We find breadth also in other respects. The bibliography is truly international, with the inclusion of many English-speaking scholars such as C. H. Turner, J. K. Elliott, and M. Black, along with French writers (Lagrange) and many German editors and other writers. In terms of the subjects included, writers on the Synoptic Problem such as Neirynck or Ennulat appear alongside textual scholars, grammarians and exegetes. Among the editors, it is very informative to see the decisions of the earlier nineteenth-century editors Tregelles and Lachmann (the second edition) included alongside later editors. For this alone the volume is to be praised.

Not the least value of the Greeven Synopsis is that it offers an alternative to the text found uniformly in Nestle-Aland and the Münster Synopsis Quattuor Euangeliorum, thereby keeping textual debate alive. With this in mind, I took Mark Chapter 10 and tabulated the differences between it and four of the major editions ­ Lachmann, Tregelles, Westcott-Hort and Nestle-Aland. Out of 32 readings, they all agree in ten. Greeven and Güting disagree with all the others in 6, and agree in the remaining 16 with Lachmann twelve times, Tregelles eleven, Westcott and Hort 6, and Nestle-Aland 5. The authors agree frequently also with Kilpatrick (a dozen times), with whose emphasis on internal criteria their work has similarities.

But, in contrast to Kilpatrick, Greeven has a good deal of interest in the geographical spread of his witnesses. At 10.21, for example, he suggests that the text supported by B is an Egyptian reading, a local alteration which became established in its region (510). Such comments are commonplace, and show that a spread of geographical attestation is important in Greeven¹s decision-making. This is stressed by Güting in the account which he provides of Greeven¹s methodology (4): ðDie Gesichtspunkte Streeters sind bei Greeven überall präsentÐ.

Of course all editorial decisions are open to debate, and many of these places are ones where the decisions are very difficult and finely-balanced. It is as important to have the issues presented as it is to receive guidance towards a particular conclusion. There is certainly a shortage of systematic discussions of variant readings (the commentary on the UBS text is valuable but all too brief). And to have comments on the earlier editorial decisions is very valuable. Many exegetes should be far more aware than they are of the different decisions made by the great critical editors.

Some things are not so easy to understand. How as an abbreviation, found sometimes in the list of editions, means Hort, but there is no separate entry under Hort in the Bibliography, and sometimes we find WH instead, a clear reference to the 1881 edition. Only someone who knew the editions would understand the references to marginal readings, whose status is defined differently in different editions. The Greeven system of sigla is followed, and naturally it is not so easy to use if one is not used to it. And without a list of them in this volume, the user will have to use either the Huck-Greeven Synopsis or at least the loose card with it. This is surprising, since the presence of a footnote on p. 41 explaining that »z« represents the Old Latin MS Codex Aureus (normally »aur«) indicates some awareness of a possible problem. It is also often not clear why the attestation for readings differs from that given in Greeven¹s Synopsis where there is no guidance provided in the Berichtigungen. For some reason the Synopsis¹ Rpl (reliqui plerique) has become all lowercase.

There are thus a few technical problems with using this volume. Hopefully, this will not deter scholars from using it. Apart from its insights into Greeven¹s decisions, this volume is extremely valuable for the valuable bibliography to which it directs the reader, and above all for its disclosure of text-critical issues at stake in the study of the Gospel. It is a book which should be used by everyone undertaking any thorough study of Mark.