[B-Greek] Matthwe 18:2 called a little child unto him, Semitic idiom ?

Schmuel schmuel at escape.com
Sat Jun 7 10:26:02 EDT 2003

Hello b-Greek,

Matthew 18:2
And Jesus called **a little child** unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 

There is some variation  in the verse between the Byzantine Text, and the Alexandrian,
but they agree on "a little child", the point at issue.

Putting aside for a moment the question as to whether there can be 
said to be a "western" text-type, and the big differences between the 
Codex Bezae Greek and any other manuscripts....

It seems "Western" (ie in Greek, Codex D) has its own reading as follows...

>Codex D has:   kai proskalesamenoj o ihs paidion en...
>“And Iesus called the one boy

It is claimed that this maintains a "Semitic idiom" as is also used in the Old Syriac
(Peshitto) text, which "has no place in the Greek language".

The Byzantine and Alexandrian readings are
>kai proskalesamenoj paidion...
>“And he called a boy

Ergo, it is claimed that the Codex D (Bezae) reading is a "clear semitism" supporting the
idea that this reading was "part of the original Aramaic".

Essentially the following reasons are conjectured..

1) Bezae represents a Semitic to Greek translation ..  AND/OR
2) Bezae has the "harder Greek reading" that was smoothed later in the
   great majority of Greek manuscripts. (by the much-debated "harder reading" principle)


Would anyone like to comment on this idea that Codex D has readings like this
that should be attributed to being from older, more semitic manuscripts ?

Perhaps (if in fact it is "no place" Greek) other, simpler Ocaam Razor reasons are
offered for such readings (eg weak Greek, Old Latin influence, Semitic background of the scribe)

So, using this as a fairly straightforward "test-case" I would like to hear what
our Greek experts feel about the Codex Bezae "semitic reading" here.

Thanks :-)  (If more appropriate on textcrit, I will jump over, but it is largely Greek-based :-)

Steven Avery
Queens, NY

schmuel at escape.com
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