Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

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Stephen Nelson
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Stephen Nelson » November 6th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Thank you so much for all of the help and resources!

I guess my remaining question, which I'm still researching, is why the Rahlfs-Hanhard Septuagint encloses the section in question (matching Romans 3) in square brackets and why the NETS felt the need to omit it completely, considering its wide textual support in the key LXX mss.

Is this done simply in deference to the MT? Or is there manuscript evidence for the idea that this section was NOT in the "OG Greek Septuagint"? The omission from NETS strikes me as quite odd.

Here's what it says in the NETS in Albert Pietersma's introduction to the Psalms:
At not a few places, Rahlfs enclosed within square brackets items of text, which, although they could not in his judgment justifiably be regarded as original, nevertheless have widespread support in the textual traditions. Since in all of these cases I agree with Rahlfs' conclusion, I have taken the next step and have excluded these items from NETS without comment.

Further improvements to Rahlf's edition have been made in the light of additional textual information (chiefly II-V CE; especially the famous P. Bodmer XXIV [Rahlfs 2110]) and more recent study. All these, however, have been included in the footnotes to NETS. Nevertheless, there remains good reason to emphasize that a liturgical text such as the Psalter, with its long and intensive transmission history, can hardly be expected to have been fully restored as yet to its pristine purity.
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Ken M. Penner » November 6th, 2019, 1:04 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 12:54 pm
I guess my remaining question, which I'm still researching, is why the Rahlfs-Hanhard Septuagint encloses the section in question (matching Romans 3) in square brackets and why the NETS felt the need to omit it completely, considering its wide textual support in the key LXX mss.

Is this done simply in deference to the MT? Or is there manuscript evidence for the idea that this section was NOT in the "OG Greek Septuagint"?
It’s not in deference to the MT. As Rahlfs noted, scribes brought words from Romans into psalm 13.
It’s easy to explain why those extra words would be added in B and S. it’s harder to explain why they would be omitted in A. So A is considered original. B and S are corrupted at this point.
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Stephen Nelson » November 6th, 2019, 5:12 pm

Thanks for correcting me on the paleography.

That blurry facsimile of Codex Alexandrinus is hard to decipher. But it clearly lacks that addition to Psalm 14(13):3. So that's good to note.

The only textual variant I can detect is "εὐφρανθήσεται Ἰσραήλ" for "εὐφρανθήτω Ἰσραήλ" at the end.

Also, Ἰσραήλ seems to be represented by 2 distinct nominem sacra - ΙΣΛ (4 lines from the end) and ΙΗΛ (at the end). Is that correct? Or am I misreading?

How do we determine whether scribes brought the words into B and S from Romans, as opposed to copying from a vorlage that contained the longer version?

It seems easy to explain why they would be omitted in A - either in deference to the MT or copying from a shorter Greek vorlage. Am I missing something?

Presumably, Paul got this from whatever version of the LXX he was quoting (the OG or the Kaige Revision). Right?

As far as I know, both Alexandrinus and Vaticanus are supposed to represent the Theodotian revision (not sure about Sinaiticus, but I imagine - the same). So if Theodotian's revision moved closer to the MT, then it makes sense to see the shorter version of Psalm 14(13) in Alexandrinus. And it would make Vaticanus an outlier.

Where am I going wrong here?
Psalm 14 LXX.jpg
Psalm 14 LXX.jpg (113.23 KiB) Viewed 154 times
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Ken M. Penner » November 6th, 2019, 10:13 pm

Stephen Nelson wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 5:12 pm
Also, Ἰσραήλ seems to be represented by 2 distinct nominem sacra - ΙΣΛ (4 lines from the end) and ΙΗΛ (at the end). Is that correct? Or am I misreading?
Right. The nomen sacrum for Israel is not entirely consistent.
Stephen Nelson wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 5:12 pm
It seems easy to explain why they would be omitted in A - either in deference to the MT or copying from a shorter Greek vorlage. Am I missing something?
There was no MT at this point. The earliest Masoretes were in the 6th century CE. So I'm guessing you are simply using MT as shorthand for "Hebrew".
But the copyists of the Septuagint probably had no idea what the Hebrew text said. We know of only a few Christians from the second to fifth century who knew Hebrew. Origen and Jerome are unusual in that regard.
Stephen Nelson wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 5:12 pm
Presumably, Paul got this from whatever version of the LXX he was quoting (the OG or the Kaige Revision). Right?
Do you agree that Paul wasn't quoting just Psalm 13[14] in Romans 3, but that he was quoting a catena of several scattered verses (including Psalm 53)?
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Stephen Nelson » November 7th, 2019, 12:57 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 10:13 pm
There was no MT at this point. The earliest Masoretes were in the 6th century CE. So I'm guessing you are simply using MT as shorthand for "Hebrew".
But the copyists of the Septuagint probably had no idea what the Hebrew text said. We know of only a few Christians from the second to fifth century who knew Hebrew. Origen and Jerome are unusual in that regard.
No. By "MT" I mean what's typically represented by 𝕸 (which I refer to anachronistically as "M.T."). Alternatively - "Proto-MT", or "𝕸-like texts", or the 𝕸-group, which gave rise to revisions (recensions) of the Septuagint like kaige-Th+ (1st century BC), Aquila+ (mid-2nd century AD), Symmachus (late 2nd century), Origen's Hexapla (early 3rd century). All of these recensions (revising the OG Greek LXX toward 𝕸) pre-date codices S, B and A.

So even if the copyists of the LXX had no idea what the Hebrew said (which you think is probable), there were several extant Greek versions back then had been harmonized with 𝕸. They may have had little-to-no access to the OG LXX. Or their mss could have had eclectic readings (i.e. εὐφρανθήσεται vs εὐφρανθήτω). Who knows...
Ken M. Penner wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 10:13 pm
Do you agree that Paul wasn't quoting just Psalm 13[14] in Romans 3, but that he was quoting a catena of several scattered verses (including Psalm 53)?
I was thinking that, like in many other instances, Paul was simply quoting from a Greek version that looked like codices S and B (with the long edition to verse 3). Emmanuel Tov argues that Paul quotes from a variety of texts - the OG and kaige-Th. And he may very well be quoting from one of those versions, but pulling together scattered verses, as you suggest. So yes, I agree that this seems plausible.

I think one of the points in the video was that Paul was doing precisely this; and that this patchwork quote was then interpolated into the Psalms in codices S and B. So ultimately, you agree with this thesis vis-àvis Psalm 13[14}, but you don't think this is evidence that such harmonization happened in other instances of the NT quoting the LXX?
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Ken M. Penner » November 7th, 2019, 7:30 am

Stephen Nelson wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 12:57 am
I think one of the points in the video was that Paul was doing precisely this; and that this patchwork quote was then interpolated into the Psalms in codices S and B. So ultimately, you agree with this thesis vis-àvis Psalm 13[14}, but you don't think this is evidence that such harmonization happened in other instances of the NT quoting the LXX?
Right. That's the scholarly consensus. Harmonization happened in Psalm 13[14] but that doesn't mean it happened systematically or pervasively.
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Ken M. Penner
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Ken M. Penner » November 7th, 2019, 9:15 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 7:30 am
Right. That's the scholarly consensus. Harmonization happened in Psalm 13[14]...
Apparently I'm a little behind the times regarding "the scholarly consensus" on this issue. This article reflects more recent research:
Karrer, Martin, and Ulrich Schmid. “Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament and the Textual History of the Bible-the Wuppertal Research Project.” In Von der Septuaginta Zum Neuen Testament: Textgeschichtliche Erörterungen, edited by Martin Karrer, Siegfried Kreuzer, and Marcus Sigismund, 155–96. Arbeiten Zur Neutestamentlichen Textforschung 43. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010.
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Re: Christian 'corruption' of Psalms 14/53 to match Romans 3:10-18

Post by Stephen Nelson » November 7th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Thanks Ken!

That article was a perfect treatise of this topic. Great find!

I'm a little confused by the concluding paragraphs, and the point the author is trying to make by observing the brackets ("deletion marks") surrounding Psalm 14 in Codex Sinaiticus (which I also noted), which are attributed to a comparison with the Lucianic text.

Here is my confusion (cf. page 171):
Hence "ca" knew the Pauline version of Ps 13:3 as well. Yet the corrections in the LXX and the NT are made independently: ca does not alter the marginal attribution at Rom 3:10.
So??? The corrector knew the Pauline version of Ps 13:3? Does that mean the corrector knew what it says in Romans 3? Romans was in the same codex... Or does this imply that the corrector knew of a longer version of Ps 13:3 from another LXX manuscript? I'm not sure what this is trying to get at. What alteration to the marginal attribution at Rom 3:10 does the author expect the "ca" corrector to have made?
The consequence is as follows: the corrector used further manuscripts of the LXX and the NT. His or her interest was agreement with the best available text of the biblical books (in his or her opinion). This purpose was best served by these additional high-quality manuscripts. In sharp contrast, the internal equivalence of LXX (quoted text) and NT (quotations) was not an issue. The corrector simply ignored it.
As a result, the work of the corrector corresponds to our main observation: the transmission of the New Testament and the Septuagint is less interdependent than is often expected.
So, conversely, it's often expected that the transmission (of the NT and the LXX) is more interdependent (than observed in this instance)? And this constitutes an exception to the rule? Why is that?

Essentially, if it were not for the NT quote of Romans 3:10-18, we would expect the shorter version of Psalm 14 to be copied into codices S and B. So it seems that the conclusion should be that the transmission IS, in fact, quite interdependent.

Maybe I'm missing the point that the author is trying to make in the conclusion. It seems a bit ambiguous. But maybe I'm just obtuse.
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