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Yoder, James D.
Concordance to the distinctive greek text of Codex Bezae 1963
Brock, Sebastian P.
Theologische Literaturzeitung 8 8. Jahrgang 1963 Nr. 5
für sündlos und war überzeugt, daß der Jüngste Tag 6ie um
ihrer Sündlosigkeit willen „direkt zu Gott führen" werde
(S. 78); sie taufte deshalb die Kinder erst „in einem Alter, welches
der Reinigung von der Sünde bedurfte", vermutlich zur
Zeit der Pubertät (S. 78. 82). Ein Wandel trat erst Ende des
2. Jahrhunderts mit dem Aufkommen der Erbsündenlehre ein.
„Sobald 6ich die Überzeugung durchsetzt, diß auch der Säugling
, selbst wenn er von christlichen Eltern abstammt, Anteil
an der Sünde habe, ist die Säuglingstaufe als Forderung bzw.
als Praxis unausweichlich" (S. 75).
Da ich auf Alands Heft in einer eigenen Schrift „Nochmals:
Die Anfänge der Kindertaufe" geantwortet habe (ebenfalls in der
Reihe „Theologische Existenz heute": H. 101, 1962, 72 S.), kann
ich mich hier kurz fassen und mich auf drei Sätze beschränken.
1. Der Ausdruck „das (ganze) Haus" (l.Kor. 1,16; Apg. passim)
bezeichnet nach festem und einheitlichem Sprachgebrauch die
Gesamtfamilie mit Einschluß der Kinder. 2. Für eine bei etwa
14 Jahren liegende Altersgrenze bei der Taufe, wie A. sie für
die beiden ersten Jahrhunderte postuliert, findet sich kein einziger
Beleg; Aristides, Apol. 15,6 und Justin, Apoll 15,6 scheiden
aus, weil Alands Übersetzung sprachlich nicht haltbar ist.
3. Die Ansicht, daß man die Taufe der Kleinkinder für „überflüssig
" gehalten habe, weil sie der Vergebung nicht bedürften,
geht von einer verkümmerten Taufauffassung aus, die sich im
2. Jahrhundert herausbildete, und ist unvereinbar mit dem
eschatologischen Taufverständnis des Neuen Testamentes.
Göttingen Joadiim Jeremias
Yoder, James D., Prof. Th. D.: Concordance to the Distinctivc
Greek Text of Codex Bezae compiled. Leiden: Brill 1961. VI, 74 S.
I 4° = New Testament Tools and Studies, ed. by B. M. Metzger,
Vol. II. Lw. hfl. 16.-.
Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D), after a Century or so of
intensive study, still remains the most controversial of NT mss.
Professor Yoder's Concordance is a welcome addition to the
literature devoted to this ms, supplementing Eb. Nestle's handy
collation (Novi Testamenti Supplementum, 1896), long out
of print. A brief introduetion explains the layout of the
work, and an appendix contains a useful list of proper names
whose spelling differs frem that in Wescott and Hort's edition.
Y. has used Scrivener's transcription, checking it against the
Photographie faesimile of the original. No use has been made of the
reconstruetion of the torn f. 504 (part of Acts xxi; Scrivener p 446 f,
and further Ropes, H. T. R. 1923, 163 f, and Casey ibid 392 f, and
1926, 213 f)- Though all is not clear, D's addition in v. 16 is certain
enough, and rightly included in Nestle" ad loc.
By 'Distinctive Text' Y. means 'those words that are not
present in the corresponding text of Wescott and Hort's edition
of the Greek New Testament' (the basis of the Moulton-
Geden Concordance). Thus all cases where D goes against the
whims of B followed by W-H are included (eg 'Icodwqsl
'Icodvr]?, ävleav, ev&bs Ie&Mcos). Y's definition excludes
simple transpositions, although Mk xvi 3 /irt]/ielov}+riv yaQ
fisyas oyodQa D ( + ) is included under all four words: it is
simply misplaced from v. 4 (where D omits). A more notable
inconsistency i6 with regard to scribal errors and curiosities:
some, as Mt xxiii 4 aSvnßaaray.rd (for ihm-) are included,
others are not; (Nestle's reading at Mk xvi 3 ti nrj/uiov
anoxakvipet (for tlg rjßuv fozoxvMoet), as far as the verb is
concerned, seems to be a figment of his imagination; -/mov
is due to the neighbouring fivrjfMov (sie). Y. rightly has no
In one case he appears to have been misled by an error in
Scrivener's transcription: at Lk vii 22 (s.v. Ity&nXpot) D's reading is
given as '"xp&i xal a (sie)'. The scribe indeed began by writing this,
but at once erased-IKAlA and corrected his error.
Where D Substitutes a different word for that of the W-H
text the latter is given in Square brackets. It is unfortunate
that 6uch aids to the user could not have been employed
elsewhere. For instance a Symbol to denote an addition would
have been welcome, eg to differentiate, s. v. 71qö? Acts xiii 46
ebtav ngog amove; and xx 18 elnev Jtgog amoi'n;; in the
former case nnog a&to&S is added, in the latter subsrituted for
Changes of tense are evidently excluded by the definition
of 'distinctive' text, and, consequcntly, since eljinv is included
s. v. Xiyca there are no references to the interchange of dicev,
Myet etc. These may be minor criticisms, but in a work of
this character 6uch things could be misleading to the user.
The text of D, as the main representative of the 'Western'
text, has had many advocates, notably Clark, Glaue, and, from
a different Standpoint, Wensinck and Black. Neverthcless its
value is still very much sub judice. Let us hope that Y's
concordance will stimulatc further study with a view to solv-
ing this problem.
Zuntz, in his exemplary 'Text of the Epistles' (Schweich
Lcctures for 1946, p. 8 5 and passim), has warned that the loose
use of the terminology 'Western' can only lead to confusion.
And in using this concordance it must always be kept in mind
that it contains entries ranging from the support of the whole
ms tradition against B, to the idiosyncrasies of the scribe
of D. Moreover Y. has also done a good Service when he
points out elsewhere (Nov. Test. III, 241 f., esp. 246) that the
text of D is by no means homogeneous (eg a preference for
de in Lk but y.al in Acts). He also finds that the Semitic
colouring of the text varies in different books and even parts
The question of Semitisms is as eomplex as it is important and
has featured much in recent discussions. Weiss long ago stressed the
carelessncss of the scribe and his tendency to guess the next word.
and, if wrong, simply to add the correct reading afterwards. This
adcquatcly explains the proleptic nviör etc before an objeet, claimed
by Black (Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts2, 71 f) as an
Aramaism. Rendel Harris, von Soden and recently Hacnchcn (for Acts,
Z. Th. u. K 19 57 22 f and his Kommentar 41 f) have emphasized the
influcnce of the latin as a source of supposed Aramaisms and other
corruptions. An example which sugge6ts that D's relationship to d
had a prehistory is D's AyijnX!e)i).aiii<: in Mt xxvii 5 5 and Lk xxiii
55, with the A- from the latin a galilaia, which is d's reading
in Lk, while in Mt it has d c against the rest of the old latin a.
Two cases will 6how how much care is needed before pronouncing
something a Semitism: Lk i 26 tfe x6iif Hft raXtlatae} ttc n. PnMmttv
Dd, is prcbably caused by v. 39 sk nAltv'lnvda where it is generally
admitted that the ambiguous nr:,1-: 'city' or 'province' undcrlies the
Greek (the sense required is now exellently illustrated for Pal. Aram.
by the Genesis Apocryphon, col XX, lines 27—8 p*13M r:""^). At
Lk ix 16 D rcads tbli/ft/oi* hi nvrovt;, where the hl ist claimed as
a direct Semitism (h? "p") by Wensinck and Black. The use, however,
of evi-oysTv im in the Clementine Homilies (I. 22. 4 cvkoyqoag de
im Ttj? zoorpiji) suggests rather that this was the technical expression
for the blessing of food in Jewish/Judaeo-Christian Greek.
Even so there remain some Semitisms peculiar to the
'Western' text, which require cxplanation. These must necessa-
rily play an important part in judging the value of this text:
are they Aramaisms (Wensinck, ToiTey, Black), giving the
'Western' text a character of authority, or are they Syriasms,
ie most probably influenced by a Syriac Diatessaron (/!)?
As long ago as 1827 Schulz suggested a connection with the
Syriac, and at the end of the Century a similar thesis was
developed independently by Chase. More recently Vogels,
Plooij, and Baumstark and his pupils have done much, cspecially
in connection with the Diatessaron, which must of necessity
take its place in any discussion despite its intangible character.
Although there are still dissentients, it now seems most likcly
that the Diatessaron was written in Syriac (perhaps at Rome),
after Baumstark's demonstration that the Greek fragment from
Dura (P. Dura 10) is a translation from Syriac (Oriens Christianus
III. 10., 244 f.); also that it was prior to the old syriac
(so Vööbus). Peters, in his useful 6urvey 'Das Diatessaron Ta-
tians' (Or. Christ. Analecta 123), has pointed out that Wen-
sindc's material can just as well be interpreted on these lines.
Unfortunatcly it is ncarly alway6 impossible to 6how for certain
that something is a Syriasm rather than an Aramaism, unless examples
can be found of misreading of Syriac Script. Thus Baumstark (Or.
Chr. III. 14. 19f.) claimed Lk XXIV 13 D OviafifMOVt (d Ulammaus)
as the rcsult of the Syriac copula h u taken as part of the namc and
'ayin misread as lamedh (only possible in Syriac Script). The connec-