I see that this has been discussed previously (see the thread starting atLuke 6 (Scrivener) wrote:Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν σαββάτῳ δευτεροπρώτῳ διαπορεύεσθαι αὐτὸν διὰ τῶν σπορίμων.
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-gr ... 53116.html), but I still don't quite know what to make of it. Whether or not it is original, it presumably made sense to the person who inserted it into the text - what would it have meant?
Plummer's explanation seems as good as any I've seen, but is completely inconclusive:
This passage is a well-known crux in textual criticism and exegesis. Is δευτεροπρώτῳ part of the true text? If so, what does it mean ? The two questions to some extent overlap, but it is possible to treat them separately.
Wow, an interesting mystery! So how did this get there? He continues ...1. The external evidence is very much divided, but the balance is against the words being original.1 The reading is Western and Syrian, and "has no other clearly pre-Syrian authority than that of D a ff. The internal evidence is also divided. On the one hand, "The very obscurity of the expression, which does not occur in the parallel Gospels or elsewhere, attests strongly to its genuineness" (Scriv.), for "there is no reason which can explain the insertion of this word, while the reason for omitting it is obvious" (Tisch.)
On the other hand, "all known cases of probable omission on account of difficulty are limited to single documents or groups of restricted ancestry, bearing no resemblance to the attestation of text in either variety or excellence" (WH.). Moreover, if any sabbath had really borne this strange name, which is introduced without explanation as familiar to the readers, it would almost certainly have been found elsewhere, either in LXX, Philo, Josephus, or the Talmud. In the life of Eutychius (512-582) by his chaplain Eustathius δευτεροπρώτη κυριακή is used of the first Sunday after Easter, but the expression is obviously borrowed from this passage, and throws no light. In the whole of Greek literature, classical, Jewish, or Christian, no such word is found independently of this text. The often quoted δευτεροδεκάτη, "second tenth" (Hieron. ad Ez. xlv. 13), gives no help. The analogy of δευτερογἀμος, δευτεροτόκος, κτλ., suggests the meaning of " a sabbath which for a second time is first"; that of δευτεροέσχατος, which Heliodorus (apud Soran. Med. vet.) uses for "last but one," suggests the meaning "first but one," i.e. "second of two firsts." But what sense, suitable to the passage, can be obtained from either of these ? The more probable conclusion is that the word is spurious.
But ... seriously? This implies that the phrase was written in by a copyist who had no idea what it meant? Surely it meant something to whoever wrote it, no? Plummer continues ...How then did it get into the text and become so widely diffused ? The conjecture of Meyer is reasonable. An early copyist inserted πρώτῳ to explain ἐν ἑτέρῳ σαββάτῳ in ver. 6 ; this was corrected to δευτέρῳ because of iv. 31 and the next copyist, not understanding the correction, combined the two words. A few MSS. have the reading δευτέρῳ πρώτῳ, among them R (Cod. Nitriensis), a palimpsest of the sixth cent, in the British Museum. See Knight's Field.
OK, Latinists, can you translate that for me? Plummer continues ...2. If the word is genuine, what can be its meaning? Jerome put this question to Gregory Nazianzen, and the latter eleganter lusit, saying, Docebo te super hac re in ecclesia (Hieron. Ep. lii.).
BDAG does not shed much more light on this either.Of the numerous conjectures the following maybe mentioned as not altogether incredible. (1) The first sabbath of the second year in a sabbatical cycle of seven years. This theory of Wieseler has won many adherents. (2) The first sabbath in Nisan. The Jewish civil year began in Tisri, while the ecclesiastical year began in Nisan ; so that each year there were two first sabbaths, one according to civil, the other according to ecclesiastical reckoning : just as Advent Sunday and the first Sunday in January are each, from different points of view, the first Sunday in the year. It would be possible to call the second of the two "a second first Sunday." But would anyone use such language and expect to be understood? (3) The first sabbath of the second month. It is asserted that the story of David obtaining the shew-bread would often be in the lesson for that sabbath. But the lectionary of the synagogues in the time of Christ is unknown. See on iv. 17. For other guesses see Godet, McClellan, and Meyer. Most editors omit or bracket it. Tisch. changed his decision several times, but finally replaced it in his eighth edition.
What a curious mystery - can anyone help me out with this?