Stephen Carlson wrote:But there is one aspect that can fit the forum and that is assessing whether and to what extent do variant readings mean different things. Sometimes, the different is obvious, but other times, especially for word order and article usage, the difference can be subtle. This particular inquiry may be appropriate for the forum.
The idea is sound, but the level of Greek required to do this is very high. It is a step up in student's knowledge of Greek to know for example the difference between τελέω (finished, no more to be done) and τελειόω (finished, resulting in perfection). In 1 Corinthinans 12:9 ἡ γὰρ δύναμίς (μου) ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ τελειοῦται (τελεῖται), there may have been a "correction" at some point to match the understood sense. To understand transmission as an individual engagement with the text (in a way that was possible for Greek proficient scribes that could do more than just copy could do) also requires us
to have a high level of Greek to follow what is going on when a scribe (or a church father) tried to improve (or adapt) a text.
SC's statement in reply to another question of mine suggests that the level of Greek needed for this kind of discussion of varients raised by textual criticism in terms of the Greek language is engaging with the langauge at a more difficult level...
Stephen Carlson wrote:This is the kind of question, where it would take some digging in the lexica, finding a study, or trawling through a concordance.
(When we get stuck on the Greek that's too hard, we scurry for the reference materials)
Stephen Carlson wrote: especially for word order and article usage, the difference can be subtle
I assume, and would like to test that during copying in Greek speaking areas is that there would be a de-"semitisms"-isation of the text by straightening out word order and adding and deleting articles where the imporovement would be deemed to be more natural ("better") Greek.
My (untested) assumption with the post about Judas (in Word Meanings) is that at the time of writing he was known to be one of the sicarii, but after the story left the context of Roman (occupied) Palestine it was only taken as a family name or toponymic. Again, the level of Greek required to test that idea is quite high.
"αἴκα" (The Spartan Ephor's reply to Philip II of Macedon) is even better than "nuts" (General Anthony McAuliffe reply to General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz).