Friday, August 12, 2016

Alexandrian Canon

The Alexandrian Canon hypothesis is the idea that Jews in Alexandria maintained a different, wider canon than Palestinian Jews. Whereas Palestinian Jews in the first century basically adhered to what would become the rabbinic canon of 24 books--attested, more-or-less, by Josephus at the end of the first century--Alexandrian Jews accepted all of these books and then some, especially the deuterocanonical books that are found in LXX manuscripts. The idea is often associated with Semler.

The main monograph that is always cited about the Alexandrian Canon is Albert Sundberg's dissertation (at Harvard) published as The Old Testament of the Early Church (1964), which attempted to undermine the theory. Sundberg's main arguments were that Alexandrian Jewish writers (e.g. Philo) show no signs of maintaining a canon wider than the Palestinian Jewish canon, and the Palestinian Jewish canon was not settled in the first century anyway, and the Dead Sea Scrolls show us that a large body of literature was considered sacred. This last point makes the Alexandrian Canon theory useless, because the theory is supposed to explain why Christians ended up with a wider canon than Jews, and it does so by saying Jews adopt the Palestinian Jewish canon whereas Christians inherited the Alexandrian Jewish canon (via the LXX). Sundberg said this scenario was not the reason Jews and Christians ended up with different canons, but rather there was no Jewish canon in the first century--neither in Palestine nor in Alexandria--there was just a bunch of religious literature. It was only after Judaism and Christianity split off from each other that each formed its own canon.

(Actually, Sundberg advocated the three-stage theory of canon development, whereby the Torah was canonized sometime in the fifth century BCE, and the Prophets were canonized maybe around 200, and the Hagiographa were canonized at the Council of Yavneh at the end of the first century CE. So, in the first century, Christians inherited from Jews a closed section of Torah and a closed section of Prophets and an open third section consisting of a wide array of religious literature. It was this third section that the two groups 'closed' in different fashions after their split. The Jews closed it at Yavneh, the Christians later on.)

Sundberg (pp. 18–19) says the theory of an Alexandrian canon was first formulated by John Ernest Grabe at the beginning of the eighteenth century in an edition of the LXX based on Alexandrinus. But Sundberg (p. 18 n. 47) reports that Grabe's work was not available to him (which is strange, considering Sundberg did his dissertation at Harvard--I would have thought Harvard had almost everything). So Sundberg didn't realize that the theory was actually not formulated by Grabe but by another fellow named Francis Lee, who wrote the Prolegomena to the second volume of Grabe's edition of Alexandrinus in 1719. Later scholars (post Sundberg) have been more precise in making this distinction. The second volume of Grabe's edition is available here; it doesn't have page numbers, but I think the relevant section is chap. 1 of the Prolegomena, Proposition 24, §§ 75–77.

The Alexandrian Canon idea was well accepted at the time of Sundberg's dissertation, and his work has proved to be a powerful influence against the hypothesis. A representative of the idea before Sundberg is Robert Henry Pfeiffer, one of Sundberg's teachers at Harvard whom Sundberg critiques throughout the monograph, especially at the beginning. (See Pfeiffer's Introduction to the OT, pp. 65–70.) Sundberg wanted to make the idea look like it had been around and widely accepted for a couple of centuries; apparently he exaggerated a bit. In a recent article (in this reference work, 2013) by Stephen Chapman we read in a note:
On the basis of the present study, it would seem that Sundberg, Canon (1964), misreads the history of scholarship when he characterizes the Alexandrian canon hypothesis as an unquestioned assumption prior to his own work in abolishing it. In fact, the hypothesis appears to have been widely known but largely unpersuasive throughout the nineteenth century. (685n118)
One final note about the Alexandrian Canon: it seems that the theory is making a comeback. While scholars largely abandoned the idea in the wake of Sundberg's monograph, several recent studies have sought to affirm it in some modified form. In a recent article (in this collection, 2014), Armin Lange, while arguing against the Alexandrian Canon idea, cites several recent scholars as favoring it (661–62): Hanhart (in the introduction to Hengel), Guillaume (pp. 26–31), Fabry (his contributions here and here). Most recently, Jan Joosten has come out in favor of it (article here, published here). 

I might comment on these recent defenses of the idea sometime in the future. 

Incidentally, the opposite position is also known in scholarship, such that the Alexandrian Jews did not have a bigger canon than the Palestinian Jews but rather a smaller canon, the Torah alone; see Carr (here, p. 35), Aejmelaeus (here). 

UPDATE: I see now that Chapman's characterization of Sundberg is unfair, since Sundberg does in fact recognize that throughout the nineteenth century the idea of an Alexandrian Jewish canon was not widely accepted in scholarship. See especially ch. 3 of his monograph, pp. 25–40. Sundberg shows that the Alexandrian Canon hypothesis could not prove persuasive as long as it was still generally believed that the Men of the Great Synagogue had settled the canon during the days of Ezra, a theory first formulated by Elias Levita in 1538 (e.g., p. 120; and see Ryle, excursus A). This idea was mortally wounded only in 1876 by Abraham Kuenen (see here for the reference). "The way was now open for the general acceptance of Semler's hypothesis of an Alexandrian canon that included the books of the Apocrypha as the Old Testament canon adopted by the Christian church" (Sundberg, p. 39). So, I think even in Sundberg's telling, the Alexandrian Canon hypothesis was popular for only about 60-70 years. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Esdras in the Latin Bible

Just like the Book of Baruch, the role of Esdras in ancient manuscripts and authors can be confusing, though for different reasons. There are 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 different books of Esdras, and sometimes they switch the numbers around, so that what one author calls 1Esdras will not necessarily correspond to what someone else calls 1Esdras. This confusion doesn't really affect Hebrew sources--where we are dealing with the book of Ezra, in any case--because we have extant in Hebrew only the single book of Ezra that is found in the Jewish Bible. The only possible confusion here is whether Nehemiah is included with Ezra, as it is in the Masoretic Text, so that Ezra-Nehemiah forms one book (one set of Masoretic notes for both books).

But Greek and especially Latin sources can be mighty confusing when Esdras is mentioned. Fortunately, again, Pierre-Maurice Bogaert has written an article that sorts out some of the confusion: "Les livres d'Esdras et leur numérotation dans l'histoire du canon de la Bible latine," Revue bénédictine 110 (2000): 5–26. This post will summarize Bogaert's article.

The Paris Bible (13th cent.) usually contained four books of Esdras:
  • 1Esdras = canonical Ezra (in the Jewish canon, 10 chapters)
  • 2Esdras = canonical Nehemiah (in the Jewish canon, 13 chapters)
  • 3Esdras = Esdras A of the LXX (usually now called 1Esdras by scholars)
  • 4Esdras = Apocalypse of Ezra (16 chapters, thus including what scholars now call 4Ezra, 5Ezra, 6Ezra, all sometimes called 2Esdras by Anglophone scholars)
The Sixto-Clementine Bible (1592) maintained these four books, even though the Council of Trent had declared only the first two of them to be canonical.

The text known in the LXX as Esdras A (which I will call 1Esdras from now on) is very closely related to canonical Ezra. Wikipedia has a helpful table showing the similarities. The main difference is that 1Esdras has an extra story, the 'Story of the Three Youths'. 

Donatien De Bruyne argued (p. xl n. 1) in 1932 that the Latin tradition knew only 1Esdras and Nehemiah, until Jerome translated Ezra-Nehemiah at the end of the fourth century. Three decades later Thomas Denter in his dissertation confirmed the total absence of Latin citations from canonical Ezra. But Bogaert points out that the main contention (no VL Ezra-Nehemiah) is wrong because we have a manuscript of the text, the ms. Vercelli from eleventh-century northern Italy (still unpublished; see below).

La nomenclature

The Hebrew Bible contains one book of Ezra (= Ezra-Nehemiah). The Greek Bible contains two books, Esdras A (i.e., 1Esdras) and Esdras B (= a literal Greek translation of Ezra-Nehemiah). The Latin Bible has four books of Esdras, as explained above for the Paris Bibles. 

L'unique livre d'Esdras-Néhémie

Here Bogaert stresses that Ezra-Nehemiah counts as one book in Hebrew and Greek. He asserts that the first time Ezra-Nehemiah was divided in a Hebrew Bible was in the First Rabbinic Bible edited by Felix Pratensis and published by Bomberg in 1516–17. The LXX has a single book in 23 chapters, though some later manuscripts do signal a new book with Nehemiah (citing Hanhart, pp. 144, 249). Same goes for the Latin. Jerome insists in his preface that he is translating only a single book that he finds in Hebrew, and no ancient Vulgate manuscript divides Nehemiah from Ezra (see the Roman edition, pp. 76–77). Further arguments support this notion. 

Esdras-Néhémie divisé en deux livres

The division of Ezra-Nehemiah into two books seems to have happened first in the Latin tradition in the 8th century (Cologne manuscript) and became popular first in Spain, then gradually spread geographically. These two books were first called 1Esdras and 2Esdras, which makes little sense because Ezra is almost wholly absent from 2Esdras. To explain the popularity of this move, Bogaert appeals to a 'motivation canonique', since the earlier lists often mention two books of Esdras. 

Deux livres d'Esdras dans les listes anciennes des livres canoniques

Ancient Latin lists frequently mention two books of Esdras: Breviarium Hipponense, Augustine, Pope Innocent, Decretum Gelasianum, etc. They must mean 1Esdras (= Esdras A of the LXX and VL) and Ezra-Nehemiah (= Esdras B of the LXX and VL), rather than Ezra and Nehemiah in Jerome's translation, because Jerome's version is explicitly and deliberately presented as a single book (thus matching the Hebraica veritas) and Jerome's version hadn't had time to circulate so widely anyway. But once Jerome's version became dominant, these lists mentioning two books of Esdras probably served as the motivation to divide Jerome's translation into two and name them 1Esdras and 2Esdras, so that the Bible would agree with the lists. 

Omission d'Esdras dans les listes

Several ancient lists completely omit reference to Esdras (perhaps accidentally): Mommsen catalogue from 359 CE; some liturgical material; some manuscripts of the Decretum Gelasianum

Esdras plutôt que Néhémie

Lucifer of Cagliari (De non parcendo 14) and Quodvultdeus (Liber Promissionum II, xxxvii) both attribute to Esdras words or an attitude of Nehemiah, showing once again that Ezra-Nehemiah was perceived as a single book. 

Le Troisième d'Esdras chez Amroise

Ambrose (De Spiritu Sancto 2.6) cites 4Ezra 6:41 as coming from the third book of Esdras. He must mean that his first book of Esdras is 1Esdras, and his second book is Ezra-Nehemiah, so what we think of as 4Ezra becomes for him 3Esdras. 

Le Prologue de Jérôme à sa nouvelle traduction d'Esdras

Jerome says in the prologue to his translation of Ezra-Nehemiah that it shouldn't surprise anyone that this is a single book, and that the third and fourth books of Ezra are just apocrypha that don't exist among the Hebrews and should be rejected. Bogaert thinks Jerome's third book of Ezra would be the same as Ambrose's, that is, our 4Ezra. But what about Jerome's fourth book of Ezra. Bogaert: "As for the fourth book of Ezra according to Jerome, one can only take guesses. One could see 5Ezra or 6Ezra. I prefer the hypothesis according to which it is both (5Ezra and 6Ezra), for in one part of the tradition of 4Ezra they follow the Jewish apocalypse (= 4Ezra 3–14) and they are not distinguished (chap. 15–16 + 1+2)" (p. 16). Bogaert cites (16n38) some manuscripts of 4Ezra that attest this procedure. If this argument is accepted--and Jerome's assertion that Ezra-Nehemiah form only one book in Hebrew makes it a pretty strong argument--then the two other books of Ezra, Jerome's 1Ezra and 2Ezra, will not be Ezra and Nehemiah (which would both count only as 1Ezra) but rather Ezra-Nehemiah and our 1Esdras. Jerome does in fact cite 1Esdras 5:64–65 in his Comm. Ezech. (Bogaert cites CCSL 75, p. 551). Bogaert also points out (16n39) that in the Prologus Galeatus Jerome mentions that Ezra is divided into two books among Greeks and Latins. So, Bogaert thinks that Jerome regards 1Esdras as some sort of corrupted form of Ezra-Nehemiah. 

Esdras-Néhémie dans le manuscrit de Verceil

Old Latin Manuscript XXII (76) of the Archivio Capitolare of Vercelli. Eleventh century. 1Esdras precedes Ezra-Nehemiah. Nehemiah is not distinguished at all from Ezra. There is a textual inversion that Bogaert discusses. 

La version latine du Vercellensis et son modèle grec

The first Latin translation of 1Esdras is ancient and from Africa. Latin Fathers cite rarely the Nehemiah section of Ezra-Nehemiah. They almost always prefer 1Esdras to Ezra-Nehemiah in their citations. But the Vercelli manuscript proves the existence of an Old Latin Ezra-Nehemiah. Bogaert argues against De Bruyne and especially Denter. 

La numérotation des livres d'Esdras au moyen âge

Bogaert presents a chart of the different books of Esdras and which number was assigned to them in the different editions and manuscripts. 

Conclusion et bilan

Mostly a summary of the article. 

Appendice: le Prologue de Jérôme à Esdras en français

Bogaert closes with a French translation of Jerome's preface to Ezra, along with some notes. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Book of Baruch in the Manuscripts of the Latin Bible: Disappearance and Reinstatement, Part 3

This post continues the series on Bogaert's article on Baruch (see part 1 and part 2). Here we will just look at the final major section of the paper. I won't summarize as much of this section because, frankly, I don't find it as interesting. You'll find summary below for the parts I thought were interesting.

IV. Les bibles latines à partir de 800

A. La réintégration: quatre types de textes

1. Théodulfe: type Θ

Theodulf's Bibles have the order Jer-Bar-EpJer-Lam. Baruch is without prologue. 

2. Le Cavensis: type C

This single manuscript attests the text of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah--after the 16 prophets--preceded by the prologue Liber iste (see the second post on this) and a title attributing the work to Baruch. 

3. En Espagne, le texte recomposé: type L

Some Spanish manuscripts attest a different text: Baruch begins with Incipit (liber) Baruch, then an unusual order for the book (1:1–4; 3:9–5:9; 1:5–3:8). These manuscripts have the order Jer-Baruch-Lam-EpJer, though some do switch the last two books.

4. En France, le type G 

This type of text has an incipit and explicit attributing the book to Baruch. It begins its text at Jer 52:12 (on which see the first posting in this series). There are 3 types of these witnesses, and Bogaert lists quite a number of them. Both this type of text, and L above, want the book that Baruch writes and reads to be Baruch itself, rather than looking back to Jeremiah as that book (with the LXX; on this idea, see the first post in this series). 

5. Les quatre formes conservées du texte de Baruch 

B. La diffusion du type Θ

The Theodoulfian text finally prevailed. 

1. Première diffusion du type de Théodulfe (Θ)
2. Copies ultérieures de bibles de Théodulfe
3. Baruch de deuxième main ou à diverses places
4. En Angleterre et en Catalogne
5. En Italie: a. Le Mont-Cassin; b. Les bibles 'atlantiques' 
6. L'Ysagoge in theologiam
7. Rareté des commentaires de Baruch

C. Baruch dans les bibles à partir due XIIIe siècle (aperçu)

1. Les Biblia Parisiensia

The Paris Bibles standardize the order Jer-Lam-Bar-EpJer. Bogaert notes that it is in these Bibles that the EpJer tends to become a part of Baruch rather than its own Bible, though this practice preceded the Paris Bibles by a few decades (325n166). 

2. Baruch cité de façon éclectique
3. Contaminations
4. Hésitations théoriques
5. Bibles imprimées

a. Les bibles de Gutenberg

Here Lamentations is its own book (of four chapters, and the fifth chapter is now the Prayer of Jeremiah, almost a book unto itself; some earlier mss had done the same, such as the Paris Bibles), Baruch is its own book, and the EpJer is treated like the last chapter of Baruch. 

b. La bible de Louvain de 1547

Here the Prayer of Jeremiah is more clearly a part of Lamentations, and Baruch is labeled a prophet.

c. La Bible Sixto-(Clémentine) de 1593 

Lamentations numbers 4 chapters, then the Prayer of Jeremiah, and then the prophecy of Baruch, from which the EpJer is hardly distinguished. 


Bogaert concludes with a table illustrating the transmission of the text, and several points summarizing the important results of his research. This conclusion is followed by these useful appendices. 

Appendix I: Citations patristiques attribuées à Jérémie
Appendix II: Les bibles sans Baruch
Appendix III: Les mss utilisés par Sabatier
Appendix IV: Liste de bibles dans lesquelles Baruch est ajouté de deuxième main ou copié à une place anormale
Appendix V: Baruch (type Θ) avant ou après Lamentations dans les bibles antérieures à 1100 (sans les bibles italiennes)
Appendix VI: Ba/EpJr (Θ) avant ou après Lm dans les bibles atlantiques italiennes
Appendix VII: Échantillons du ms. Madrid, BN 12906
Appendix VIII: Ba 4,20-30 dans le ms. Escurial b.II.17 (notes de D. De Bruyne)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Book of Baruch in the Manuscripts of the Latin Bible: Disappearance and Reinstatement, Part 2

This post continues the summary of Bogaert's article on Baruch that I began in the previous post. The current post covers only the third section of the article, on Latin Bibles before the year 800. A final post will survey the rest of the article.

III. Les bibles latines avant 800

A. 'Baruch' dans le vetus latina 

No VL manuscript is sufficiently preserved to know for sure whether Baruch was included as a part of Jeremiah. But the Liber de divinis scripturis cites passages from Jer-Bar-Lam all under the heading Hieremia propheta. But Bogaert considers the best evidence for understanding the book of Jeremiah in the VL to be the way Baruch was reintegrated in different forms after its long absence. The forms are the following: C (= Cavensis, in a single Spanish ms); Θ (= Theodulfe); L (= Spanish tradition); G (= French tradition, text of Sabatier). He discusses some of these. 

1. Le témoignage du type G 

G begins Baruch at Jer 52:12. Bogaert thinks the scribe wanted to include Baruch, but was not sure where it began, because his VL exemplar did not indicate the end of Jer and the start of Baruch, so he made an error in dividing the books. At the head of Jer 52:12, he says Incipit liber Baruch

2. L'explicit Hieremias dans les bibles de Théodulfe

In the most ancient manuscript of Theodulfe's text (Θ-s), the text of Baruch is continuous with Jeremiah, and after Baruch 5:9 there is the note: Explicit hieremiae prophetae. No explicit in any manuscript names Baruch until some Bibles of the thirteenth century. There is another explicit in Theodulf's Bibles after Lamentations. The one (after Baruch) he got from the VL tradition, the other (after Lamentations) he got from Jerome. This is evidence that in the VL tradition Baruch was not distinguished from Jeremiah. 

3. Les rubriques dans Θ 

The Theodulfian text of Baruch has some rubricated titles in the text, thus: 

1:1, De oratione et sacrificio pro vita Nebuchodonosor
3:9, De doctrina ecclesiastica initiat
3:36, Hic de Christo dicit Deus
4:12, Vox ecclesiae in persequutione de paenitentibus et martyribus
5:1, De gloria ecclesiae et de resurrectione sanctorum

B. Diffusion de la version de Jr par Jérôme; disparition de Ba et de l'EpJr

1. Le regroupement des traductions de Jérôme 

The most ancient witnesses to the grouping of Jerome's translations are a palimpsest from León (VL 67) and the Amiatinus (mentioned earlier). Neither of these contains Baruch. There are several manuscripts--though fragmentary--that date before 800 and contain Jerome's Jeremiah. Bogaert lists 11. 

2. Le colophon d'Esther et le premier 'pandecte' 

This colophon appears in two manuscripts: ms. Paris, BNF, lat. 11553 (VL 7, 9th cent.); and ms. Paris, BNF, lat. 6 (VL 62, 11th cent.). The colophon reads: 
Here ends the Old Testament, all the 24 canonical scriptures, which the presbyter Jerome translated from the hebraica veritas and turned into Latin speech. With the greatest zeal and care, wandering through various codices, I have searched out editions, and I have collected and, by writing, poured into one corpus and I have made a pandect. But there are other scriptures that are not canonical but are called ecclesiastical, that is, the book of Judith, Tobit, two books of Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon and the book of Jesus son of Sirach, and the book of the Shepherd
That last bit is borrowed from Rufinus, who lists the same ecclesiastical books (though Rufinus also has the Two Ways and/or the Judgement of Peter), and uses the same terminology. But Rufinus had assumed the presence of Baruch within Jeremiah, while this colophon comes in a manuscript containing Jerome's version of Jeremiah, without Baruch. The colophon dates to maybe the fifth century. 

3. Cassiodore 

Cassiodorus includes in his Institutes three canon lists, those of Jerome, Augustine, and the LXX. None of them mention Baruch outright. 

4. Isidore 

There's not enough evidence to say, but Bogaert is confident that Isidore's Bible did not include Baruch. 

5. Un prologue pseudo-isidorien 

No Baruch. 

C. Absence et réintégration: les prologues

Thus, one Jeremiah containing Jer-Bar-Lam-EpJr has been banished by another Jeremiah containing only Jer-Lam. 

1. Le prologue à Jérémie Haec interpretatio 

This preface was noted by Donatien De Bruyne (see now here). Bogaert presents the text from two manuscripts, one from the tenth century (VL 209) and one from the twelfth century (Brussels ms BR II 2524), though there are other witnesses. Rough translation: 
This translation is by Jerome. If anything in it is found to be moved according to the Hebrew codices. There is another of the Seventy translators used in the churches. Although several things are found to be different from the Hebrew codices, yet both--that is, according to the Septuagint and according tot he Hebrew--are confirmed by apostolic authority. For it is not an error or reprehension of something higher, but by sure counsel the Seventy are understood to have said or composed some things differently. But I warn that no one should want to emend one from the other, because the truth is observed in each kind individually. 
Bogaert notes that the preface is reminiscent of Augustine (City of God 18.42–44; for analysis see here) or Dominique Barthélemy. The preface does not mention Baruch but Bogaert says that we must assume its presence in the VL Jeremiah.

2. Le petit prologue à Baruch Liber iste

Another preface is found in the Cavensis, the later Theodulfian Bibles, and in Paris, BNF, lat. 6. Rough translation: 
Here ends the corpus of books of the 16 prophets, to whose jar we have pressed Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah. That book which is prefixed with the name of Baruch is not contained in the Hebrew canon, but rather in the vulgate (common) edition [= LXX / VL]. Likewise the Epistle of Jeremiah. But they are written here for the information of readers, because they signal many things concern Christ and modern times. 
This preface must precede 800 CE.

3. Le petit prologue aux Lamentations 

The LXX has a brief prologue to Lamentations situating it within the lifetime of Jeremiah: after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the prophet was weeping over the ruins. This prologue made its way into the VL, but not Jerome's translation, until much later when a scribe did insert it. This action signals the break between Jeremiah and Lamentations that Jerome had wanted to establish. The prologue is found in many later manuscripts and became a part of the Paris Bibles. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Book of Baruch in the Manuscripts of the Latin Bible: Disappearance and Reinstatement, Part 1

The place of Baruch in ancient Bibles can be a confusing topic. In modern times, Baruch is considered a separate book of 5 or 6 chapters, with the sixth chapter actually being the Epistle of Jeremiah, originally a distinct work. But often in antiquity Baruch was considered a part of the book of Jeremiah, as was Lamentations (sometimes) and the Epistle of Jeremiah. So an ancient Christian might list the books of the Bible, and simply mention Jeremiah, but this title might include Lamentations, Baruch, and the EpJer, or it might not. 

For the Latin tradition, thankfully we have the work of Pierre-Maurice Bogaert. Any article by Bogaert is worth reading. He's one of those scholars who actually deals with evidence, cites that evidence, and thinks carefully about it. In 2005 he published a long article dealing with the Latin evidence for the transmission of Baruch. 

Pierre-Maurice Bogaert, “Le livre de Baruch dans les manuscrits de la Bible latine. Disparition et réintégration,” Revue bénédictine 115 (2005): 286–342. 

This post surveys the first two sections of Bogaert's article. I include below all of his section headings, in French, followed by my comments in English in blue type, almost always simply a summary of Bogaert's argument and evidence. In a future post I plan to conclude summarizing Bogaert's article. 

I. Les Antécédents en grec: Baruch comme deutero-Jérémie

A. Les livres 'jérémiens' dans la Bible hébraïque

In Jewish tradition (as we know it from the Rabbis and the Masoretic codices), although Jeremiah is considered the author of Lamentations, the two books are distinct, in fact located in different divisions of the Tanak. Jerome brings them together, thus against the hebraica veritas

B. Les livres 'jérémiens' dans la Septante

LXX mss usually maintain the order Jermeiah-Baruch-Lamentations-EpJer. Examples: Vaticanus (check it here: Baruch starts at image 1127, Lam at image 1133, Ep.Jer. at image 1140); Alexandrinus, Theodoret's commentary (PG 81), and the majority of manuscripts. Exceptions: Sinaiticus, which follows Jeremiah with Lamentations, and then there's a lacuna so that we can't be certain what came next (check it here); 106 has the order Jer-Lam-Bar-EpJer; 538 has Jer-Lam-EpJer-Bar. According to Bogaert, these exceptions point to the desire to group together the books available in Hebrew. All witnesses attest the original independence of EpJer (which now forms Baruch ch. 6). Bogaert also notes some Coptic evidence for the sequence Jer-Bar. 

C. Baruch supplément à Jérémie sans titre propre (critique interne)

"Just as Baruch, in the place of imprisoned Jeremiah, read before the king Jehoiakim the scroll that he had written by the dictation of Jeremiah, with negative results--the king burned the scroll (Jer 36 = Jer 43 LXX)--so now Baruch reads before the king Jehoiachin in Babylonian exile all or part of the book which precedes--and not the book which follows--, this time with positive results: the people repent. The οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι at the beginning of the book of Baruch naturally point back to what precedes, as Theodoret already affirmed [PG 81.760c]." So, what Bogaert means, is that with Jeremiah ending and the book of Baruch immediately following it, he thinks readers would have taken the very beginning of Baruch as simply the next episode of the book of Jeremiah. He further says that Baruch 1:1–15 looks like the conclusion of a narrative and not its beginning, and he points out that in the LXX sequence of Jeremiah, the salvific oracle to Baruch (Jer 45 = Jer 51:31–35 LXX) appears near the end of Jeremiah (thus right before Baruch). Thackerary and Tov have shown that the Greek vocabulary demonstrates the close relation between the second part of LXX Jeremiah and the Greek of Bar 1:1–3:8. All of this leads Bogaert to believe that Baruch was originally a Greek supplement to Jeremiah without a proper title of its own. That is, in this scenario, Baruch would have been composed in Greek as a supplement to Greek Jeremiah, and there would never have been a Hebrew of Baruch. The idea that Baruch originated in Greek and not Hebrew has gained some popularity in recent scholarship (see Adams, for instance), though the opposite has been the traditional view. 

D. Baruch cité sous le nom de Jérémie chez les Pères grecs les plus anciens 

Greek Fathers from the fourth century and later tend to cite Baruch under the name of Baruch (Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Apostolic Constitutions, the Asceticon of Isaiah, Severus of Antioch, and earlier Origen and Dionysius of Alexandria), whereas earlier Fathers had cited Baruch under the name of Jeremiah (e.g. Athenagoras, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Methodius of Olympus), a practice that is also sometimes found in later Fathers (e.g. Eusebius, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria). Bogaert briefly suggests that Origen is the one who recognized that the supplement in the Greek version was not found in the Hebrew text of Jeremiah, so he separated it and gave it the name Baruch, since he found that name at the beginning of the work. 

E. Quand Baruch devient-il auteur? 

If Origen is the first one to separate Baruch from Jeremiah and to make Baruch its author, then the first datable text that is attributed to Baruch becomes the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, which Bogaert dates to 95 CE. 

II. Les Pères latins et les liturgies latines

A. Le nom de Baruch ne renvoie qu'à des pseudépigraphes 

Among Latin Fathers, the name Baruch does not refer to our book of Baruch but to other pseudepigrapha (examples in Cyprian, Evagrius, Sedulius Scottus). 

B. Ba 1–5 est toujours cité sous le nom de Jérémie 

Whenever Baruch is cited in Latin patristic literature, it is cited under the name of Jeremiah. The first appendix gives the details. The big example is Augustine, who remarks at City of God 18.33 (citing Bar 3:36–38) that some attribute the quotation to Baruch, but it is more likely from Jeremiah. 

C. Jérôme récuse Baruch; Isidore, Grégoire le Grand, Bède 

In the preface to his Vulgate translation of Jeremiah and in the preface to his commentary on Jeremiah, Jerome rejected Baruch as authentic, accepting only Lamentations as a supplement to Jeremiah. Some Vulgate manuscripts contain no title at the end of Jeremiah or beginning of Lamentations. Bogaert lists a few examples (p. 295), one of which is Amiatinus, the images for which are available online here. Lamentations starts at fol. 586r, and you can see that there is no title, not even a break after Jeremiah: the text is continuous within the same column. [You can contrast this practice with that of the Greek Codex Vaticanus, online here. The text of Baruch starts at image 1127, and you'll notice that Jeremiah has a closing title, and Baruch starts on a new column.] The first line of Lamentations in Amiatinus is in red, but this technique does not necessarily signal the start of a new book, since we have red lines sometimes within a book, such as within Jeremiah (e.g., fol. 580v, 584v). Bogaert guesses that this practice of not distinguishing Lamentations from Jeremiah goes back to Jerome, who wanted to preserve the number 22 as the proper number for the OT and therefore needed Lamentations to not be its own book. 

Eventually Jerome's translation overtook the Old Latin Jeremiah, which had included Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah, so that these latter two works virtually disappear in Latin literature for a while. Gregory the Great, Isidore, and Bede never--or hardly ever--cite or mention Baruch. Jerome's omission of Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah became a more decisive rejection of these works than, for example, his rejection of the Additions to Daniel and Esther, which he condemned in his prefaces but included in his translations. 

D. Les liturgies latines (type K) utilisent Baruch sous le nom de Jérémie 

The Roman liturgy features Bar 3:9–38 in the Easter Vigil, while other traditions read the same passage on the Saturday before Pentecost. According to Bogaert, "all ancient books cite this reading under the name of Jeremiah," and he then lists 16 examples, up to the fifteenth century. This liturgical use will contribute toward the reintegration of Baruch into Latin Bibles, though it had disappeared from many (due to Jerome's influence), such as the Amiatinus. 

E. Les listes latines de livres canoniques 

Some lists mention only Jeremiah: Melito (in Rufinus' translation of Eusebius), Mommsen catalogue, Rufinus' own list, Augustine, Breviarium hipponense, Innocent I, the Latin version of the Council of Laodicea, the Apostolic Constitutions book 8, Claromontanus, Ordo 14 (see here), and the list of the Bobbio Missal. Also Cassiodorus, Isidore. Hilary of Poitiers has Hieremias cum Lamentatione et Epistula, just like Origen's list in Greek (and Bogaert thinks both Hilary and Origen in this instance must assume Baruch as a part of Jeremiah, since the Epistle is listed). But Rufinus' Latin translation of Origen's list has only Hieremias, just as in Rufinus' own canon list. The Decretum Gelasianum has Hieremias cum Cinoth, in dependence on Jerome. Bogaert suspects that the original text of the decree had merely Hieremias (as in some witnesses) and that this short reference included Bar-Lam-EpJr. The Council of Trent said Ieremias cum Baruch, and the title Ieremias would have included Lam, and since the 13th cent. the EpJr had counted as Baruch ch. 6. 

F. Témoignages épigraphiques

Bogaert surveys four inscriptions (from centuries XI to XIV), each citing Bar 3:36 under the name of Jeremiah. 

That's all for now. Hopefully I will soon be able to finish summarizing Bogaert's article. The last two sections (before his eight appendices) have the following titles: "III. Les bibles latines avant 800" and "IV. Les bibles latines à partir de 800." 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Philaster of Brescia on the NT Canon

I've been working on a book on the canon lists from early Christianity: it's going to be a collection of lists of biblical books for both the Old and New Testaments. Recently I came across a list that I hadn't known about, even though it's mentioned (briefly) in Bruce Metzger's book on the subject. I thought I would give the basic evidence here.

Philaster of Brescia was a fourth-century Italian bishop. He wrote a work, Diverasarum hereseon liber, in about 384 that contains a partial list of biblical books. Here's the passage (copied from the Library of Latin Texts, Brepols):
(88) Alia est heresis, quae apocryfa, id est secreta, habet solum prophetarum et apostolorum, non accipit scripturas canonicas, id est legem et prophetas, uetus et nouum scilicet testamentum. Et cum uolunt solum illa apocryfa legere studiose, contraria scripturis canonicis sentiunt, atque paulatim dogmatizant, contra eas dantes sententias, contra legem et prophetas contra que dispositiones beatissimorum apostolorum consulta ponentes: e quibus sunt maxime manichei, gnostici, nicolaitae, valentiniani, et alii quam plurimi, qui apocrifa prophetarum et apostolorum, id est actus separatos habentes, canonicas legere scripturas contemnunt. Propter quod statutum est ab apostolis beatis et eorum successoribus non aliud legi in ecclesia debere catholica nisi legem et prophetas et euangelia, et actus apostolorum et pauli tredecim epistolas, et septem alias, petri duas, iohannis tres, iudae unam, et unam iacobi, quae septem actibus apostolorum coniunctae sunt. Scripturae autem absconditae, id est apocryfa, etsi legi debent morum causa a perfectis, non ab omnibus legi debent, quia non intellegentes multa addiderunt et tulerunt quae uoluerunt heretici. Nam manichei apocryfa beati andreae apostoli, id est actus quos fecit ueniens de ponto in greciam quos conscripserunt tunc discipuli sequentes beatum apostolum, unde et habent manichei et alii tales andreae beati et iohannis actus euangelistae beati, et petri similiter beatissimi apostoli, et pauli pariter beati apostoli: in quibus quia signa fecerunt magna et prodigia, ut et pecudes et canes et bestiae loquerentur, etiam et animas hominum tales uelut canum et pecudum similes inputauerunt esse heretici perditi. 
(89) Sunt alii, qui epistolam beati pauli ad hebreos non adserunt esse ipsius, sed dicunt aut barnabae esse beati apostoli aut clementis de urbe romae episcopi, alii autem lucae beatissimi euangelistae aiunt; epistolam etiam ad laodicenses scriptam beati apostoli quidam uolunt legere. Et quia addiderunt in ea quaedam non bene sentientes, inde non legitur in ecclesia, et si legitur a quibusdam, non tamen in ecclesia legitur populo nisi tredecim epistolae ipsius et ad hebreos interdum.
And an attempt at a translation:
(88) There is another heresy that has apocrypha--that is, secrete things--alone of the prophets and apostles, it does not accept the canonical scriptures, that is the law and the prophets, or the Old and New Testament. And since they want to read studiously only those apocrypha, they think things contrary to the canonical scriptures, and they gradually develop doctrines, giving opinions against them, against the law and the prophets and setting decrees against the dispositions of the blessed apostles: from whom there are especially the Manicheans, Gnostics, Nicolaitans, Valentinians, and very many others, who have apocrypha of the prophets and apostles--that is, separated acts--and spurn the reading of the canonical scriptures. 
Therefore it has been established by the blessed apostles and their successors that we ought to read nothing else in the catholic church except the Law and the Prophets and the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles and thirteen letters of Paul, and seven others: two of Peter, three of John, one of Jude, one of James, which seven are conjoined to the Acts of the Apostles. 
But hidden scriptures--that is, the apocrypha--even if they ought to be read by the perfect on account of morals, ought not be read by all, because heretics without understanding have added and produced many things that they wanted. For the Manicheans (have) apocrypha of the blessed apostle Andrew--that is, acts whcih he did going from Pontus to Greece, which his disciples then wrote following the blessed apostle, whence also the Manicheans  and other similar groups have acts of the blessed Andrew and of John the blessed evangelist, and similarly of Peter the most blessed apostle, and equally of Paul the blessed apostle, in which, because they have put great signs and wonders, so that sheep and dogs and beasts talk, and the reckless heretics even assert that the spirits of people are just like those of dogs and sheep. 
(89) There are others who assert the epistle of the blessed Paul to the Hebrew is not his, but they say it is by Barnabas the blessed apostle or Clement, bishop of the city of Rome, but others say it is by Luke the most blessed evangelist; some want to say also an epistle to the Laodiceans was written by the blessed apostle. And because they, not understanding well, have added to it some things, it is not read in the church, and if it is read by some, still there it is not read in the church to the people except his thirteen epistles and sometimes the one to the Hebrews. 
He goes on to explain that some people find the content of Hebrews problematic, and Philaster offers orthodox interpretations of the problematic passages.

Metzger (p. 233) writes that Philaster
...composed between 385 and 391 a treatise of 156 chapters designed to refute 28 Jewish and 128 Christian heresies. [Metzger's note: Besides condemning such notable heretics as Simon Magus, Philaster also stigmatizes (chap. 133) those whose sole aberration was to believe that the stars occupied a fixed place in the sky instead of being set in position every evening by God!] This work, entitled Liber de haeresibus, sweeps together an ill-digested assortment of comments compiled from Greek and Latin authors without much regard for logic or even internal consistency. As a sample of his confused and confusing compilation, in chap. 88 he names in the list of 'Scriptures' of the New Testament, authenticated by the blessed apostles and their followers, the Gospels, thirteen Epistles of Paul, and seven Catholic Epistles, passing over the Epistle to the Hebrews and even the Apocalypse in silence--but elsewhere he recognizes Hebrews as Pauline and the Apocalypse as apostolic [no citation except to a secondary work, pp. 14–21.] At the same time, Philaster stands almost alone in his opinion (expressed in the same chapter) that, though apocryphal books like the Acts of Andrew, John, Peter, and Paul should not indeed be read by all believers (because heretics had added many things to the text of these books), they 'ought to be read by the "perfect" for moral edification'. 
Interesting that John's Apocalypse doesn't even receive a mention. I'm not sure what to make of that. The Apocalypse had a bit of trouble being accepted in the East, but the West was generally more welcoming toward the book, so I'm not sure what to make of this complete absence. It's as if Philaster just forgot about it.