Monday, April 4, 2011

The Interesting Case of Codex Delta (Δ) and the PA

Codex Δ - Sang. 48

The scribe has begun to copy out verse 8:12 on line 5 of pg 348. This shows that the exemplar he was copying from omitted the verses beginning from 7:53-8:11. He then crosses this out, perceiving that the passage is missing. He carefully leaves 19 lines blank, including 2 lines at the top of the next page, and a further spare line at the bottom of that page (p.349), to allow the passage to be restored. The planned recovery was never followed up. The scribe was likely copying out an ancient codex modified for lectionary/ecclesiastical use. Ecclesiastical marks are visible in the margins of the copy.
Pages 348-350
Click to Enlarge:  John 7:52 ends here, with a bit of 8:12 crossed out

Space left here as well as on previous page, suggesting pre-planned inclusion



Waltz's online Encyclopedia of Textual Criticism offers the following description of Codex Delta:
Location/Catalog Number Saint Gall, where it has been as long as it has been known (hence the title Codex Sangallensis). Catalog number: Stiftsbibliothek 48.
Contents: Contains the gospels almost complete; it lacks John 19:17-35. The Greek is accompanied by an interlinear Latin translation (designated δ). It has been argued that Δ was originally part of the same volume as Gp; for the arguments for and against this (e.g. their similar appearance and identical size), see the entry on that manuscript.
Date/Scribe: Usually dated paleographically to the 9th century. (It can hardly be earlier, as reference is made to the (heretical) opinions of Godeschalk at Luke 13:24, John 12:40. These references appear to be in the original hand, and Godeschalk died in 866.) A few sources prefer a 10th century date.
The hand is quite awkward and stiff, resembling Gp in this as in many other ways. The Latin is written above the Greek, and the scribe seems to have been more comfortable with that than with Greek. (There are many reasons for believing this; one of the more noteworthy is his regular confusion of certain Greek letters.) It has been widely suggested that his native language was (Irish) Gaelic [?].
The form of the manuscript again reminds us of G: It is written in continuous lines, but appears to have been made from a manuscript written in sense lines of some sort; there are enlarged, decorated letters in almost every line. (Though the decorations are very inartistic; Gregory suggests that "[t]he larger letters are rather smeared over than painted with different colours." The enlarged letters do not really correspond with sentences, but rather are quite evenly spaced. Spaces are supplied between words, but these are very inaccurate (more evidence of the scribe's weakness in Greek). There are only a few accents and breathings, not always accurate. Gregory notes that "[t]he titles for the chapters often stand in the middle of the text."
Rettig believed that several scribes worked on the manuscript. This is a difficult question to say the least. The style of the manuscript is very similar throughout. At first glance -- indeed, at any number of glances -- it appears that the scribe is the same throughout. But this is because the hand is so peculiar. The evidence of G indicates that this was more or less the normal style at Saint Gall. So it is possible that there were several scribes -- but the matter really needs to be investigated with modern resources.
Description and Text-type: For once there is almost universal agreement [?]:
Δ is block-mixed. The usual assessment is that Matthew, Luke, and John are Byzantine, while Mark is Alexandrian.
(Indeed, Δ was the single most important prop in Streeter's argument that manuscripts should be examined first in Mark.)
Interestingly, most formal investigations have not precisely confirmed this division into parts; von Soden listed Δ as H, and the Alands list it as Category III.
Even Wisse does not find it to be purely Byzantine in Luke 1; his assessment is that it is Mixed in Luke 1 and (von Soden's) K x in Luke 10 and 20.
It should be noted, however, that both the Aland and von Soden were listing text-types for the gospels as a whole; they are not book-by-book assessments. (The Alands, at least, did not so much as examine John.)
An examination of the actual readings of the manuscript shows that conventional wisdom is correct at least in general: Δ is Byzantine in Matthew, Luke, and John, and is Alexandrian in Mark. We should however add that it is not purely Alexandrian even in Mark; nowhere does it approach the quality of B (Vaticanus), or even of L.
It is a late Alexandrian/Byzantine mix. It is also my personal impression that Δ has rather more Alexandrian readings in the early part of Mark, and that the Byzantine component increases somewhat in the final chapters -- but I have not formally verified this.
The interlinear Latin version is sometimes listed as an Old Latin version, and designated δ. This is probably at least technically a misnomer; the Latin version was probably prepared after the translation of the Vulgate. But since it has been made to correspond to the text of Δ , it is not a pure vulgate text. Still, it has no real critical value.
Other Symbols Used for this Manuscript:
von Soden: e76


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