Source of hHNWMENHi

Richard Allan Stauch RStauch at
Sat Jul 28 00:22:26 EDT 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric B. Sowell [mailto:bradyman at]
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2001 10:26 PM
>If text critical arguments are used in reference to this little problem of
>hENOW being a dative or accusative, I think that the accusative form will
>more likely.  I couldn't tell what the relative dates of the witnesses are
>from my text (The Apostolic Fathers, 2nd ed, trans. by Lightfoot and
>ed. and rev. by Michael W. Holmes) unfortunately.  However, there is a
>principle in text critical circles that the more difficult reading is to be
>seen as more likely original rather than an easier reading.  In this
>instance, hHNWMENHn rather than hHNWMENHi is the harder reading, because it
>seems to cause a grammatical difficulty (if it is accusative, I have no
>what it is modifying grammatically...maybe he made a grammatical booboo.  I
>would like some input from someone on this issue, if possible.).  But, I
>could be wrong.

Could you, please, explain why the more difficult reading would necessarily
be more likely the original? I vaguely remember hearing the argument, but
don't remember at all an acceptable reason for it. I can't imagine why the
ease of reading, or lack thereof, might be used as evidence of its
antiquity. Perhaps of a manuscript family line, ergo a date range, but not
by itself as a fact. I mean, if that is right, then there are some posters
here who must not have touched a keyboard since before the things were
invented. ;)

Anyway, since Goold (1912) references Lightfoot's work (19th Century, I
believe), I have to accept Goold (my text) as being more likely correct. The
apparatus would be more authoritative than that known and easily available
in the prior century, and the state of scholarship would be more developed.

This "text critical" notion sounds to me, with all apologies if I am wrong,
like a sneak attack on the source. It seems to be an assumption that puts
the burden of proof where it does not belong. If a text even contains a
"booboo," it is on the text critic to prove who made it. Putting the burden
of proof anywhere else is unfair and unscientific, so unacceptable. There
are many factors, besides, that could explain our difficulty in reading it.
For instance, the original author may have been following the rules exactly
as everybody was taught them in his time and place, ergo no "booboo" by
definition. While that may seem far fetched, it is a valid explanation until
shown to be otherwise.

>Check on pg 141 in Hewett (I am assuming that you are looking at his little
>grammar).  He does not say much about it, however.

You are right, he doesn't. Then again, he does say early in the book
(Preface, page xiv) that he isn't going to cover everything, and the words
he will cover are only those that appear in the GNT more than a number of
times. Actually, what he says is, "The first twelve chapters contain all
words of the first and second declensions, the omega conjugation, and the
particles that occur more than fifty times in the GNT. The remainder of the
text presents all other words occurring more than thirty times." In sum, he
presents about 475 items. That leaves lots of room for growth beyond his
little book, while covering a major portion of the GNT, the subject of

Thanks again,
Richard Allan Stauch
Long Beach, CA

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