Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Précis: Carroll Osburn 2014 "The Greek Lectionaries of the New Testament."

A Précis of
Chapter four of Ehrman, Bart and Michael Holmes, Editors, 2014 The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis, Second Edition, Brill.

This volume is an updating and expansion on the first edition of 1995. The volume contains 28 articles to cover the current status of research on many basic areas in NT TC. The first 16 chapters survey the sources of the NT text available to us. The 12 chapters making up the second main part of the book focus on NTTC Theory and Method.

“Chapter Four: The Greek Lectionaries of the New Testament.” by Carroll Osburn, pp. 93-113

Osburn briefly introduces basic issues surrounding the data of the Greek Lectionaries. The inclusion of Greek Lectionaries “in the critical apparatuses of various editions of the Greek Testament” has been sporadic. The evidence this body of literature presents is “seriously neglected.” Earlier scholarship incorrectly assumed these texts “must preserve the earliest form of the NT text” on the assumption that liturgical tradition would keep the texts more pristine. More recently there is a common assumption that because the texts are later they must preserve TR readings, rendering them “of little value in the text-critical enterprise.” But the interrelationships of the NT text with the Lectionaries is more complex than these assumptions.

In the first division of his chapter Osburn describes the structure, use, and basic terminology of Greek Lectionaries. Here he also describes theories and evidence of their development, their historical and regional diversity, and relationship to theory about the establishment of the NT canon. Osburn highlights the lectionaries from Jerusalem, Byzantium, and Egypt. More study also needs to be done with respect to their relationship to patristic testimony.

Osburn’s second division is a more detailed historical presentation on how the Greek Lectionaries have been incorporated and used by various scholars in critical editions of the Greek New Testament. John Mill’s 1707 was the first to integrate Greek lectionary MSS. He used eight in preparation of his New Testament. The number of included lectionaries grew with the editions of Johann Wettstein(mid-1700s) and Johann Greisbach (late 1700s to early 1800s). In the 1830s Johann Scholz included one hundred seventy-eight gospel lectionaries and fifty-eight apostolos. In the mid-1800s Karl Lachmann’s scholarship changed the direction of TC away from the TR. He and scholars after him largely abandoned the use of lectionaries. This trend remains and influenced the choice of textual resources up to UBSGNT4. However, the Antoniades Patriarchal Edition of 1904, though arbitrary in its use of lectionaries, helped (along with Scrivener’s 1894 A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament) to raise interest and awareness of the lectionaries in NT textual history. In the 1930s Ernest Colwell helped initiate the Chicago Lectionary Project. Osburn relates significant results and problems with this project. In the late 20th century study of the lectionaries became relevant to the Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior. Newer research and analyses of lectionaries has led to a more systematic understanding of the development and propagation of lectionaries. The newer view is that lectionaries tended to develop after the 4th cent to 7th cent rather than developing in the 2nd cent as previously thought.

In the third part of his chapter Osburn presents how the text of the Greek lectionaries is handled in current scholarship. First, he outlines the approach of the International Greek New Testament Project for incorporating lectionary data. After this he presents the approach of the Novum Testamentum Graecum Editio Critica Maior. His discussion touches upon what is and is not included of the lectionaries in each case and why. He also briefly describes the apparatus of each of these editions.

Osburn closes with six conclusions about the status of lectionary studies in New Testament Textual Criticism.

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