[b-hebrew] Byzantine Text

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Nov 18 13:07:08 EST 2004

On 18/11/2004 14:35, Peter Kirk wrote:

> ...
> To bring this back to the original point, which really does concern 
> the pronunciation of biblical Hebrew:
> We need to dissociate this discussion from the contentious but very 
> general issue of Byzantine vs. Alexandrian text and look at the 
> evidence for individual readings, and the earliest Greek MSS (and 
> perhaps early translations) which have these readings. Here is a 
> start, taken from the Nestle-Aland 27th edition apparatus:
> Matthew 4:13:
> Evidence for KAPERNAOUM: C L W ͨ (Θ) 𝒻1,13 𝕸
> Evidence for KAFARNAOUM: ℵ B D W* Z 0233. 33 pc lat(t) co
> The oldest evidence for KAPERNAOUM is C, 5th century. ℵ (alef = 
> Sinaiticus) and B (Vaticanus) are a century earlier. But I accept that 
> this is by no means decisive one way or the other. What might be 
> decisive would be evidence from early papyri. There is no such 
> evidence for this verse, so maybe I should look elsewhere.
Looking into this a little further:

Nestle-Aland doesn't note variants for every occurrence of 
KAPERNAOUM/KAFARNAOUM etc. But it does give data in two other places:

Mark 1:21:
KAFARNAOUM: ℵ B D W Δ Θ f13 33. 565. 700. 2427 pc latt samss bo; Or

i.e. A (Alexandrinus) gives additional 5th century evidence for 
KAPERNAOUM but there is otherwise more evidence for KAFARNAOUM

Luke 4:31:
KAPERNAOUM: A C L Θ (Ψ) 0102 f1,13 𝕸 q
KAFARNAOUM: ℵ B D W 33. 579. l 844. l 2211 pc lat; McionT,A Or

Unfortunately no data is given for John, because there is good papyrus 
evidence for John which predates the 4th century.

With the name Matthew, Nestle-Aland simply spells MAQQAIOS and notes no 
variants (Q = theta).

Nazareth is more promising:

Matthew 2:23:
NAZAREQ: C K N W Γ (Δ) 0233vi. 0250 f(1),13 565 pm lat co
NAZARA: P70vid; Eus
NAZARET: ℵ B D L 33. 700. 892. 1241. 1424. l 2211 pm

No clear consensus here for the Byzantine text, and 4th century evidence 
for NAZARET (plosive) but 5th century for NAZAREQ (fricative). This is 
the other way round from Capernaum, where the 4th century evidence is 
for the fricative KAFARNAOUM.

Matthew 4:13:

NAZARET: B² L Γ 565. 700. 892. 1241. 1424. l 844. l 2211 pm aur
NAZAREQ: ℵ* D K W Θ 0233 f1,13 579 pm lat sa bo
NAZARA: ℵ¹ B* Z 33 k mae

This is just confusing. So I will leave it there. My guess is that some 
useful information could be gained by looking carefully at all the dated 
MSS and their provenances, but it would be quite a complex study.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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