On January 2, I put a post on the Jesus Blog about MS 284 and the pericope adulterae‘s location in it.  I was interacting with some recently published comments by Maurice Robinson.  He then wrote me with some thoughts and I invited him to write them up for a post that I could then publish here as well.  He kindly agreed and I’m glad  to post them below.  I’m still much less certain than Maurice about the meaning of the obelus, but he seems to have a much better explanation for the missing patri that I had proposed.  Thanks for the discussion, Maurice.
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Regarding Dr Keith’s comments on MS 284, I offer the
following comments and clarifications (abridged and revised from a longer email
sent to Dr Keith).
Since I had not seen MS 284 since my initial microfilm
collation in Muenster in 1998, I had lacked a way to consult and verify the
data until Dr Keith noted that it had been added to the VMR and now with photos
of the pertinent sections made available on this blogsite.
Originally I had noted the lack of the PA at the Jn 7:52
location, with the inserted sheet placed (quite irregularly) between the page
ending Jn 10.36a
kosmon and the page beginning 10.36b umei=. Many
years later, I theorized that the inserted sheet may have been intended
to fit in a more appropriate location, namely, between Jn 10.38 and 10.39.
Since I no longer had access to the document, I asked Ulrich Schmid to see
whether an asterisk or insertion mark might occur in that location, which to my
surprise, he reported to be the case.
My database comment now reports that the original order
was 7:52; 7:53; 8:12, but with 7:53 erased and replaced by a widely spaced 8:12
in a significantly different hand. The PA subsequently was inserted on a
separate paper sheet in a very late (16th century? But not from a printed TR
edition) hand between Jn 10:35-36, with an obelus at the beginning of Jn 10:39
to indicate intended insertion. Further, the supplied leaf concludes with a
peculiar extraneous
kai following 8:11 (mhketi amartane kai sic) — peculiar since there is no suggestion in the
addition or main text that Jn 8:12 should begin with
kai (from
my collation data such is read only by the original hand of 2193,
subsequently corrected); nor would the inserted PA portion with
kai fit
the context in the middle of Jn 10:36 in any sensible manner.
Rather, the intent seems to have been the insertion of
the PA following Jn 10:38 which itself is marked by an obelus, with the
linking the passage to the first word (
ezhtoun) of Jn
10:39, where the PA does seem to fit quite well.
Although this scenario might not be the only possible
explanation regarding the observed phenomena, it certainly seems plausible and
best under the circumstances.
Regarding Dr Keith’s blog comments (“An Update on the
Location of the Pericope Adulterae in MS 284—Chris Keith”, Tuesday, January 2,
2018), some observations and correction are necessary.
CK: “If anyone has done more research on the paratextual
matters of 284, I’d love to know more about how the obelus is used elsewhere in
the manuscript.”
Frankly, so would I, since in my collation research on
the PA, I certainly did not examine every MS in its entirety. However, since
the obelus in this instance seems to be a late addition and not something from
around the time of the original scribe (13th century), there might not be much
to gain from further examination on this point.
CK: On the basis of Robinson and Text und Textwert, I previously
noted that a corrector of MS 284 placed PA “after John 10:36”
. . . . [also] Robinson, “The Pericope Adulterae: A Johannine
Tapestry with Double Interlock,” 119.
For whatever reason, this was a misstatement on my part
(and I knew better), since the inserted page is clearly between 10.36a (ending
one page of the original MS) and 10.36b (beginning the next page).
MAR: However, a previously unnoticed obelus was inserted
in the main text of MS 284 at the clearly more appropriate location following
John 10:39.
Again a misstatement (or typo?), since the obelus appears
between the end of 10.38 and the beginning of 10.39.
CK: It is not clear whether the “fact” that INTF
confirmed for Robinson was the obelus’s presence or that the obelus indicated
that PA should be read “following John 10:39.”
As mentioned, Ulrich Schmid (who is not to blame for any
of the misstatements or typos) confirmed for me some years ago the presence of
the obelus; at that time he seemed to be of the opinion that the obelus was a
marker for the PA insertion (whether he still would concur, one would have to
ask him). Now of course, the relevant photos are readily available (which they
were not when I had asked Ulrich).
CK: I cannot personally judge whether 7:53 had originally
been written in its normal location and then erased, but Robinson is correct
that original script was erased and 8:12 written over it.
When I worked with the microfilm in Münster, it appeared
to me that there were some indications (traces?) of 7.53 present in the erased
portion. This supposition seemed to be borne out by letter-count estimates.
CK: It almost certainly indicates the omission of patri at the
end of 10:38 by the original scribe, as the obelus occurs directly between
tw and ezhtoun, where
the missing word belongs.
Here is where I have to differ with Dr Keith’s
interpretation: the obelus does not involve the omission of
patri at the
end of 10.38, but the –
tw in question is merely the last part of autw, with
the first portion (
au-) appearing on the previous line.
Given that MS 284 is clearly a late Byzantine MS and a
component part of
Ï (according to NA27 p.713; this list no longer
present in NA28), it would not be expected to follow the
Alexandrian/Western reading
en tw patri
at that point. Rather, the text of
MS 284 simply followed the normal Byzantine reading
kagw en autw.
Thus, the obelus could not indicate a missing patri, but
would have to indicate something else. The insertion of a an initial
preceding 10.39 (such as concludes the inserted leaf) seems to be the only
viable possibility (Codex Bezae also includes
kai at
that point, with limited versional support) — yet that limited Western reading
normally would not affect late Byzantine MSS (Swanson shows various MSS
inserting the postpositive
de or oun at that point: Ì45 Ì66 Í A K D P Y f1 f13 2 69 346 565 579 1071 1424
— but none other than Bezae appear to insert an initial
kai before ezhtoun. So
also various other published collations of Byzantine MSS (Scrivener et al.).
CK: Furthermore, 284 also reflects a practice of reading
PA at John 7:53, though this evidence has not been mentioned by previous
scholars. Someone wrote “
L Jo” in the margin of 284 where John 7:53 would have been
and the same thing at the top of the separate sheet of paper containing PA.
This is correct, and that indicator is apparently in the
same late hand as that of the inserted leaf. Also at the 7.52/8.12 location is
an additional note, apparently
which serves as a reading instruction regarding omission of the PA in the
Pentecost lection, continuing with 8.12. However — not noted by Dr Keith — a
similar but barely visible note appears in the margin of 10.39 in close
position to the obelus. That note also appears to read
L Jo,
with what seems to be
gr (the usual indication for a variant reading) written
below. If this is correct, such would once more point to the insertion location
for the supplied PA leaf, in a location that otherwise would not interrupt
the Pentecost lection. This supposition if further supported by the fact that
Jn 10.38 also represents the specific end of a lection within the
Synaxarion (
sabb. e in the Johannine section), while Jn 10.39 begins a
separate lection (Jan 12 in the Menologion). In other words, the indicated
insertion point seems to have been selected specifically so as not to interfere
with the internal content of any particular lection.
CK: What can be said is there is a placement of a
separate sheet of paper containing PA between two pages that end and begin in
the midst of John 10:36, with a reading aid in the margin at John 7:53 that
corresponds to the separate sheet of paper.
That certainly can be said; but one should not ignore the
similar marginal “reading aid” that appears opposite the obelus between 10.38
and 10.39.
CK: Clearly, more analysis of this interesting manuscript
is needed.
So too for virtually all NT Greek MSS. Any takers?