Sunday, January 20, 2013

Euebius of Caesarea: Single Word Inconsistencies May be Scribal Errors

Now, if the fact that the name "Magdalene" occurs in both evangelists confuses the meaning - no, it is inappropriate to introduce confusion into divine scripture on account of a single word or name, which often turns out to be actually due to a scribal error. Either we are to suppose that there were two women, both from the same town or village of Magdala; or that the appellation of "of Magdala" belonged to only one of them, and that once the scribe had made an error at the outset, subsequent scribes then followed the original error. A little further on, we shall be proving that this did in fact occur in another instance; meanwhile, just as it has happened in similar cases that something had originally been dictated correctly, but since then an erroneous alteration, not subsequently put right, has given rise to a problem, so one could say that the same thing has happened in the case of the appellation "the Magdalene", wrongly attached to one Mary. Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263 - 339), Gospel Problems and Solutions, Ed. Roger Pearse, pp. 109 & 111, Chieftan Publishing (Ipswich, 2010), David J.D. Miller, section translator. Cf. Quite apart from that, immediately after what the young man said to the final group of women, whose names are not given,[fn18] Mark adds: "When they heard that, they ran away and said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid". Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263 - 339), Gospel Problems and Solutions, Ed. Roger Pearse, p. 199, Chieftan Publishing (Ipswich, 2010), David J.D. Miller, section translator. Fn18: This is puzzling. The corresponding sentence of To Marinus 4:2, and the text of fragment Nicetas-Marinus 8 in Mai both agree with the received text of Mark 16.1, which does give the women's names: Mary Magdalene; Mary, James's mother; and Salome. Interestingly, Codex Bezae omits these names at that point in Mark, though its text follows directly from 15:47 in which the first two of them are named; while Codex Sinaiticus omits the whole of 15:47 and "when the sabbath was over" in 16.1, but has the rest of 16.1, which includes the three names. It is possible that the MS used by Eusebius where is a witness to a fourth, presumably the earliest, tradition, which contained neither of the lists in the received text of Mark but just read, e.g., "Some women bought spices..."? In that case, the epitomator of To Marinus 4 will have known what is now the received text and changed this passage in accordance with that; and the epitome used by Nicetas will have been either inconsistent or interpolated in fr. 8 with the word ὀνομαστί. Surprising though this suggestion is, it would seem even more surprising for Eusebius to make a mistake over this point.