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Why the Cureton is a Fake.

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Paul Younanmoderator

 
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Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-29-2001 at 01:48 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Shlama l'Kulkhon,

I would like to thank Akhi Keith Fuller for faxing these 2 pages from Dr. George Kiraz's work, which aligns all the major Aramaic/Syriac versions of the Gospels.

In the two images below, you will find the various texts lined up, of the Genealogy in Matthew 1:6-1:11 (a timely topic, no? )

In the images, the line beginning with : s S is the Siniatic Palimpset of the so-called 'Old-Syriac' manuscripts, discovered in a monastery in Egypt by Agnes Lewis.

The line beginning with : c C is the Cureton Manuscript - the other of the so-called 'Old-Syriac' manuscripts, discovered in a monastery in Egypt by Cureton.

The line beginning with : P P is the Peshitta.

The line beginning with : X H is the Harklean Version - made by Thomas of Harkel, based on the earlier work of Philoxenus of Mabbug, who revised the Peshitta to make it read closer to the Greek texts of Byzantium.

Can anyone see the problem with the Cureton, and why it cannot have come from the hands of Matthew ?


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James_Trimm
 
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1. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 02:19 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
 

The fact that the Cureton contains a scribal gloss does not make it a "fake" (whatever "fake" is supposed to mean in terms of textual criticism).

Trimm

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2. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 02:22 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #1
 
I'll add that this scribal gloss in the Cureton is pointed out and footnoted in footnote 3 of the HRV.

Trimm

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3. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 10:12 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #2
 
pardon for asking obvious questions (again)...but what exactly is a scribal gloss?...thanks ..judge

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8. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 11:36 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #3
 
Shlama Akhi Michael,

Think of scribal glosses as "footnotes" a scribe places in a manuscript, usually on the side or bottom of a page (so as not to interfere with the main text.)

This example is not a scribal gloss - it's part of the main text of the Cureton version.

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9. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 05:35 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #8
 

A Scribal Gloss is a case where a scribe intentionally adds to the text.

There are four types of intensional alterations:

Emendations of the Scribes (Tikkun Soferim) - This takes place when a scribe attempts to fix what he percieves as a problem in the text.

Omissions of the Scribes (itture soferim) - This takes place when a scribe intentionaly omits a passage because he sees the passage as a problem.

Explanitory Glosses - These take place when a scribe adds to a text a phrase intended to clarify or explain it.

Euphemisms - Take place when a scribe substitutes a euphamism for an actual term.

In the Cureton here we have an example which would fall somewhat as an Emendation of the Scribe and somewhat as an explanitory gloss.

In either case the gloss does not appear in OS(s) so it is certainly a gloss and not part of the original Old Syriac text.

Trimm

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11. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 09:44 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #9
 
Shlama Akhi James,

I know there are many types of glosses - the type that are outside of the main body of text are marginal glosses. I just wanted to clarify, although I did it incompletely, that this is not a marginal gloss - it's part of the main text of Cureton.

As for the Sinaitic Palimpset (the only other manuscript of the so-called 'Old Syriac') - I'll deal with that in a different post.

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10. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 08:23 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #8
 
Actually, as I define the term, a "scribal gloss" is like Mark 5:41, "talitha cumi, which is interpreted as, little girl get up." There are more than one type of gloss as well- such as Mark 3: 17 where the Aramaic clarifies itself.

Shlama,

Andrew

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12. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 09:44 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #10
 
Shlama Myaqra Andrew,

Mark 5:41 is only present in the Greek versions. It was definitely a gloss added by a later scribe to translate the statement into Greek.

Mark 3:17 is a gloss added by Mark himself.

This example in Cureton is most like Mark 5:41, except that it was not done to innocently explain a passage in Aramaic.

It was deliberately added by the scribe responsible for the Cureton manuscript we have today.

It's not from Matthew's hand - unless we are to believe he really meant 17 generations in the second series.

If the scribe took the liberty to "add words" to scripture in this verse - can we trust anything from this manuscript?

Perhaps that's why it lay forgotten on a dusty bookshelf in the basement of a Greek Orthodox monastery.


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6. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 10:13 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #2
 
Last edited by Paul Younan on Aug-30-2001 at 10:14 AM (CT)

Shlama Akhi James,

It's not a scribal gloss. It's part of the main text (verified by an email from Dr. George Kiraz - ask him!)

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5. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 10:12 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #1
 
Shlama Akhi James,

What scribal gloss are you talking about ?


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4. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 10:12 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
 
Akhi Paul,

Obviously, aside from a variant spelling, Curetonian adds three extra generations in verse 1:8 between Joram and Uzziah making for seventeen generations between king David and the Babylonian exile, and proves beyond a doubt that Matthew gave up tax collecting because he couldn't count...Come on, smile, that last part's a joke!

Your point is taken akhi, but I'm afraid I have to object to the title of "fake." You frequently apply this term to all the non Peshitta Aramaic manuscripts, but "fake" implies an intent to deceive.

Maybe I'm just terribly ignorant, but to my knowledge there is no written documentation that specifically proves these manuscripts where written to replace the Peshitta. They could very well have been made simply to give Aramaic readers the opportunity to follow the Greek theological debates that were based upon readings specific to the Greek texts.

The assertion that these manuscripts where intended for general liturgical use and somehow prove that all Aramaic versions were translated from the Greek is a modern scholastic invention. To disparage ancient Christian authors on the basis of this modern and tendentious assumption is to credit your opponents with a genuineness of fact that they don't possess.

Let's stick to the actual objective facts when presenting our case for Aramaic primacy, not give our opponents credit they haven't earned, and move forward with our cause in a truly Christian manner..

Shlama,
John

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7. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Aug-30-2001 at 10:46 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #4
 
Shlama Akhi John,

Obviously, aside from a variant spelling, Curetonian adds three extra generations in verse 1:8 between Joram and Uzziah making for seventeen
generations between king David and the Babylonian exile, and proves beyond a doubt that Matthew
gave up tax collecting because he couldn't count...Come on, smile, that last part's a joke!


Your point is taken akhi, but I'm afraid I have to object to the title of "fake." You frequently apply this term to all the non
Peshitta Aramaic manuscripts, but "fake" implies an intent to deceive.

Your objection is warranted - perhaps 'fake' is the wrong term for the situation.


Maybe I'm just terribly ignorant, but to my knowledge there is no written documentation that specifically proves these manuscripts where written to replace the Peshitta. They could very well have been made simply to give Aramaic readers the opportunity to follow the Greek theological debates that were based upon readings specific to the Greek texts.

You are correct - we have no written documentation on any of the versions in Aramaic, or Greek for that matter, that shed any light on origins. We can only make educated conclusions based on the content of the manuscripts themselves - a highly subjective process, but what isn't ?

Our opponents are doing it - we should, too.


The assertion that these manuscripts where intended for general liturgical use and somehow prove that all Aramaic versions were translated from the Greek is a modern scholastic invention.

Yes - and quite an annoying invention, too.

To disparage ancient Christian authors on the basis of this modern and tendentious assumption is to credit your opponents with a genuineness of
fact that they don't possess.

I know - but the fact that *they* are in control of academia really irks me.

Let's stick to the actual objective facts when presenting our case for Aramaic primacy, not give
our opponents credit they haven't earned, and move forward with our cause in a truly Christian manner..

Just to remind you how this started - Akhi Keith Fuller asked how we can be sure that the Peshitta is the best representative of the original Aramaic gospels (in this case, at least, that of Matthew) - as opposed to the two 'Old Syriac' versions.

As this example shows - either Matthew was, as you say, very bad at counting (which could explain why publicans were hated so) - or, may I propose, NOT the original and a translation from some other text, like the Bezan Greek version - which it follows so closely 90% of the time.

Also, Dr. James Trimm supports the widely accepted academic explanation - that the Peshitta is a revision of these 2 (!) versions (that don't even agree with one another).

And he also holds that even these 2 versions aren't the *original*, but somehow translations from a Hebrew original. But the medieval Hebrew manuscripts that he claims hark back to that Hebrew original, don't even agree with each other, let alone with this reading in Cureton.

Are we, in our approach to prove Aramaic primacy, to learn from the example of our opponents - and have a smorgasbord of differing, and more often than not conflicting, versions and try to make some sense of it all - even at the expense of nearly 2,000 years of unanimous tradition in the Aramaic churches (most of whom have disliked each other for about that much time) ?

How about letting the groups who preserved these things, tell their own version of how they preserved them for us - rather than trying to teach them their own history!


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13. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Sep-05-2001 at 09:48 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #7
 
Hello dear Paul,

My friend read in Nestle-Aland 26 that the Cureton is not so old that you state but it is from 4th century or later. And he said this is a generally accepted opinion.
What is the thruth with Cureton manuscript ?

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14. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Sep-06-2001 at 07:29 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #13
 
Shlama Akhi,

The Cureton is indeed a 4th century, or later, manuscript. I agree with your friend.


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15. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Sep-07-2001 at 08:38 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #14
 
Thank you Paul,

can you write a few words to my question in the Hebrew-Aramaic NT Roots topic?

God bless you!
Gbor

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16. RE: Why the Cureton is a Fake.

Sep-07-2001 at 03:41 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #15
 
Shlama Akhi Gabor,

I saw your reply to James Trimm on that thread, but I only agree with him on the translation of 2 of those examples (the jar-maker/leper and the eunuch/believer), so I think it's best that he answer your questions on the other verses himself.

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