Monday, September 26, 2016

Septuagint and Canon (2)

Here is a second post in my occasional series taking note of articles that deal with the issue of the relationship between the Septuagint and the canon of scripture. Today's article:

W. Edward Glenny, "The Septuagint and Biblical Theology," Themelios 41.2 (2016): 263–78.

This is a useful article. It is an introduction to issues surrounding the appropriation of the LXX for Christian theology, and the approach it takes is to survey five perspectives on this question. 

1. LXX Priority and Canon. This is Glenny's longest discussion of any particular perspective. He discusses the work of Hartmut Gese (esp. his contribution to this book), Martin Hengel, Peter Stuhlmacher, Timothy McLay, and Michael Law. Glenny interacts with these works a bit (see n.41 for his rejection of Hengel's interpretation of Luke 16:16), but mostly he summarizes their positions. These scholars see the LXX as part of a continuous stream of tradition within the development of the OT, and they think that the OT canon was still open at the time of the NT, so that the deuterocanonical literature should be included in the Christian Bible. 

2. LXX Priority, Hebrew Canon. Here he includes Mogens Müller and Robert Hanhart (intro to Hengel's book). Müller and Hanhart both believe that the canon was more-or-less settled by the NT era, so there's no question here about including the deuterocanonical literature in the Christian Bible. Rather the text of the LXX (for the books of the Jewish canon) is authoritative for the church because of its use in the NT and because the LXX stands at the end of a long process in the growth of the OT. In Müller's mind, the LXX was translated as the redaction process of the OT was coming to an end, so that that process in a sense is brought to completion in the LXX. 

3. Hebrew Priority and Canon, LXX Bridge. Here we find Jobes and Silva. The LXX was the Bible of the early church, its authority was derivative of the Hebrew, and was so understood by the early church. The LXX certainly influenced the theology of the early church, by its unique readings, but even these unique readings were in harmony with the theology (if not the wording) of the Hebrew scriptures. Glenny points to criticisms by Jobes and Silva in regard to the first two positions listed above. 

4. Hebrew and Greek Are Sanctified as Scripture by the Spirit. Ross Wagner is the example. Using the work of John Webster, Wagner argues that the Spirit has sanctified the LXX by means of its use within the church and by the apostles. Glenny compares the position of Augustine and Origen; but, whereas Origen perhaps would have shared Wagner's view, Augustine actually thought that the LXX was inspired in its composition, not just sanctified by its use.

5. Hebrew Priority and Canon, LXX Commentary. Glenny interacts with J. Julius Scott Jr., but it is a little obscure as to what position Glenny attributes to Scott, and how it differs from that of Jobes and Silva. And he ends by saying that Scott would probably not agree with the position that Glenny has attributed to him (or something close to that). 

After this survey of approaches, Glenny concludes that "the importance and function of the LXX in Christian biblical theology is at least fourfold": 
  1. "the LXX can function as the source of Christian biblical theology." Glenny's explanation of this point focuses on the possibility that the LXX might attest an original Hebrew text (which is not the direction I thought he would take under that heading). 
  2. "the LXX is valuable for biblical theology in its role as a commentary on the biblical text." Background to the NT (similar to the fifth position surveyed above) and commentary of sorts on the OT. 
  3. "perhaps most important, the LXX is a bridge or link between the Christian OT and NT." It's not that the LXX is part of a continuing tradition (like for Gese), but there is, instead, a "unique literary connection" that "reflects and interprets" the Hebrew scriptures. The LXX influences the NT in the form of text quoted, but also in vocabulary, grammar, syntax, style, and theology. 
  4. "a complement to the Hebrew Scriptures." The NT sometimes quotes the LXX where it diverges from the MT, e.g., Acts 15:16–18 quoting Amos 9:11–12. "I contend that Christian biblical theologians should understand theological statements that are unique to the LXX to complement and extend the understanding of the Hebrew Bible, as far as they reflect and repackage the theology found in the Hebrew Bible or as far as that reflected and repackaged theology of the LXX is picked up and used in the NT." 

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Ethiopian Canon

I mentioned previously that the new issue of The Bible Translator is devoted to the canon of scripture. In this post I want to take a look at the article on the Ethiopian canon:

Bruk A. Asale, "The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Canon of the Scriptures: Neither Open nor Closed," The Bible Translator 67.2 (2016): 202–22.

[By the way, he refers to his own published work as 'Bruk 2014', etc., so I take it that the name listed first is his surname. That's why I'll refer to him as Bruk rather than Asale. The journal, however, puts 'Asale' in the running head to the article.]

Bruk's article is part of a growing area of interest in the Ethiopian Bible. At least, it seems to me that I've seen a lot more publications on this subject in the last 4-5 years than I had before that. Which makes sense because study of the biblical canon as a whole is so popular, and usually pursued with a focus strictly on Western attitudes, that of course broadening our view to include other perspectives would help us have a better informed idea of what a biblical canon is. I learned quite a bit about the Ethiopian canon from Mroczek's recent book (pp. 156–61), who provides good recent bibliography.

I found Bruk's article to be quite excellent. I am not expert on the Ethiopian Bible, so I am not competent to critique it anyway. But I found it to be helpful because it is written by an insider, it surveys the history of the Ethiopian Church, it references opinions held by Ethiopian clergy and laymen, and it was very sane in the implications it drew. The article does not actually get into the different possibilities for the list of books, or which books are definitely in and which books might be either in or out. It rather focuses on the concept of a biblical canon, arguing that the Ethiopian concept is different from the Western concept.

Bruk reveals where he is going at the very beginning of the article, saying that "the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) asserts its own canon of the Scriptures traditionally identified as eighty-one books," but in reality "the concept of a canon as a strict list of books and the requirement to limit oneself to that list is possibly alien to the EOTC's understanding of canon" (203).

Bruk conducted interviews with "high-level scholars, theologians, clergy, and lay members of the EOTC," asking them the following questions:
  • How do you define the canon of Scripture?
  • What constitutes Scripture or the canon of Scripture in the EOTC?
  • Is the canon of the EOTC closed or open?
Before getting to the results of these interviews, Bruk tutors us in the basic history of the EOTC (204–11). He identifies five major periods. 
  1. Before and at the birth of Christianity. The EOTC teaches that Judaism was introduced to Ethiopia from the time of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, and that some of the Hebrew Scriptures were translated at this time. Recent discoveries of manuscripts dating to the fourth–sixth centuries suggests the presence of Christianity before the fourth century, along with the possibility of Ge'ez translations. 
  2. Fourth century, Christian had become the state religion, during the reign of King Ezana (first half of fourth century), with St. Frumentius as bishop. Probably at this time a formal translation was made, without distinction between canonical and non-canonical books. Ge'ez itself changed, with the introduction of vowels and the reversal of the direction writing from right-to-left to left-to-right. Frumentius was consecrated by Athanasius, and the EOTC was under the authority of the Coptic Church (until the twentieth century). 
  3. fifth–sixth centuries, the time of the arrival of "the Nine Saints" from Syria, who not only helped to consolidate the church but also produced a translation from the LXX with some reference to Syriac. "[T]he evidence indicates the Saints translated 'canonical' and 'pseudepigraphical' books without making any distinction" (208). 
  4. fourteenth–fifteenth centuries, major reform. This period followed the Ethiopian 'Dark Age' (7th–13th centuries), characterized by a weakened central state, isolation of the EOTC from the Coptic Church, oppression at the time of Queen Judith's invasion (208n16). During the reform period the Ge'ez version was revised according to an Arabic version, itself based on the Hebrew, producing a Ge'ez text with both a LXX-base and an MT-base. It is at this time that the number 81 became important for the EOTC canon. This number is found in the Fetḥa Nagast, the Law of the Kings, a legal code compiled around 1240 in Arabic and translated into Ge'ez, which says, in part, that there are 81 "divine books which must be accepted by the holy church," and then it lists 73 or 74 books. According to Bruk, "The problem is that it is not known which council recognized this list as such and which books make up these eighty-one. There was no debate as to the extent and the concept of the canon in this period either, with the most prominent theological controversy of this period being Mariology, among others" (209). 
  5. twentieth century, formal autonomy and language shift from Ge'ez to Amharic. Bruk mentions several challenges faced by the EOTC at this time (e.g., invasion by Jesuits, invasion by Muslim sultanate of Adal, etc.). But the EOTC came through it, and finally gained autonomy from the Coptic Church. 
Then Bruk presents the findings from his interviews of 15 people "deliberately chosen because of their capacity and expertise in Scripture and canon" (213).

But first he talks for a couple of pages (213–15) about this Amharic book by Dibekulu Zewde called in English The 81 Holy books and the Scripture-Canons in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (1995), which is apparently the best book on the subject. Apparently this is the book, not that that entry helps a lot. Anyway, Bruk provides a substantive summary of the book, and draws the implication that "the canon of the EOTC has never been closed in a strict sense with a binding list of books, on the one hand, and on the other hand, that there is nonetheless a limited set of books that are up for consideration as part of the canon" (215). But whereas Dibekulu recommends that the EOTC officially close the canon--whether it ends up with 81 books, or 84, or 73--Bruk does not share this view. He rather believes that the EOTC canon "is not an open canon so long as the option to include whatever books one may want to include is closed and it is not a closed canon so long as there is still the possibility of including or excluding certain books" (215).

Now to the interviews. There were five basic responses that Bruk discusses (215–18).

  1. The EOTC canon is closed. Here he lists four respondents, who, nevertheless, seem to take slightly different positions, according to whether the important thing is the number 81 and it doesn't matter so much which books are included, or whether the important thing is the books included and the number is not so important. Or maybe I'm just misreading this paragraph. Anyway, included here are (1) a university theologian and (2) "the vice-chairperson of the scholars' committee of the EOTC, second to the patriarch," who seem to hold the view that the books are important even if the way they are counted is variable; and (3) a seminary instructor and (4) an accountant who is active in the church, both of whom mention the 81 books, and seem to recognize that there are different ways to get to 81, which I take to mean that the actual books (within a limited range) don't matter so much. 
  2. The EOTC canon is open. Two respondents: (1) a leading scholar of the EOTC and a Bible translation consultant, and (2) a university theologian. While there is no difference between canonical, non-canonical, deuterocanonical, and pseudepigrapha, for any book to be considered Scripture it must conform to "the overall teaching of the Scriptures." 
  3. Not strictly closed or open. One respondent, a university theologian, who sees the number 81 as a non-binding tradition since the actual number of books in the canon are fewer than 81. 
  4. Not comfortable with the question. Five respondents (with n. 42): (1) the General Secretary of the Bible Society of Ethiopia, (2) a translation consultant for the Bible Society, (3) a PhD student and seminary instructor, (4) head of a mission organization for the EOTC, and (5) a lay member. Since the church has not said whether it has an open or closed canon, it is difficult to say which is right. 
  5. Both closed and open. One respondent, a prominent church leader and scholar. "He argues that so long as there is a clear principle that permits a book to be among Scriptures, it is a closed canon. However, that does not mean that there is a rigid number of books counted as part of a canon; this would make it an open canon." 
[I guess there are two interviewees that he did not mention in his results. Or I messed up somewhere.]

Bruk does not like it when scholars describe the EOTC canon as "fluid," calling this description "meaningless and misleading if it does not consider the EOTC's deeper understanding of the concept of canon" (218–19). On the one hand, the issue simply has not come up within the EOTC until very recently, probably due to external influences. On the other hand, the EOTC concept of the canon of scripture is more in line with the ancient teaching regarding the 'canon' of faith rather than the later definition of the biblical canon as a list of books. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Septuagint and Canon (1)

This post starts an occasional series on the subject of the relationship of the LXX to the canon. I will be posting notes from and responses to articles (and books?) on this theme. There are several such articles in a pile on my desk, and the speed with which I go through them will be the speed at which I post on them. Don't expect frequent posts.

Today I'm posting on an article that just came out in The Bible Translator. The whole recent issue of The Bible Translator is on the biblical canon, so I may try to go through each article and post some thoughts. But I had a similar thought earlier this year when the same journal devoted an entire issue to Erasmus' New Testament, but I never got around to it.

The article in this issue that is on the Septuagint is:

Simon Crisp, "The Septuagint as Canon," The Bible Translator 67.2 (2016): 137–50.

Crisp (see here, scroll down) presents a survey of the issues, really a basic introduction to the topic, arguing that the LXX played a crucial role in the expansion of the Christian canon over the Jewish one. The article contains one blunder that I saw, where it claims that scholars generally date the Letter of Aristeas to the late first century BCE (p. 139); surely he means late second century BCE. He does talk about the Letter of Aristeas, and the Christian reception of the translation legend, which really doesn't involve the canon so much as the text of the OT. He is equivocal on the idea of an Alexandrian Jewish canon, saying that it cannot be proven but that "there can be little doubt about the authoritative status of the LXX for Greek-speaking Jews" (p. 143, citing approvingly Rajak). Of course, this statement is true, but what he doesn't tell you is what Greek-speaking Jews thought the LXX was, or at least he doesn't tell you here. Earlier, he had said: "Historically, we should really apply the term 'Septuagint' only to the Greek translation of the five books of the Torah made in Alexandria in the third century B.C.E." (p. 138).

Next, he discusses Christians: "...it is clear that the Greek Old Testament did acquire authoritative status in the Christian community. It is equally the case, however, that it took some time for this corpus to attain a fixed shape" (p. 143). He brings up the three Great Codices (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus) and mentions their inclusion of books not in the Jewish canon and the order of the OT books (distinct from the Tanak structure). He thinks this different order has some big theological implications for the meaning of the OT (p. 144). I have my doubts.

Apparently based on these three manuscripts, Crisp feels he can assert: "The LXX canon, then, as a Christian collection of books, includes all the books of the Hebrew Bible together with a number of books which do not form a part of that corpus" (p. 144). He immediately follows this sentence with: "These books appear with varying degrees of consistency in the early Christian canon lists, which are themselves in the main based more or less firmly on the books of the Hebrew Bible."

Actually, the early Greek canon lists hardly ever include these extra books (see this post). Maybe Melito included Wisdom of Solomon, but maybe not. 1Esdras was often included in addition to Ezra-Nehemiah. Jeremiah often contained some additional books like Baruch. But Tobit, Judith, Maccabees? Those books that Crisp has told us appear in the biblical codices? They don't appear in the Greek canon lists of the first four centuries. They do appear in some Latin lists from the second half of the fourth century. What Crisp should have said is that these books "appear with varying degrees of consistency in the early Christian" codices (rather than canon lists), because he has already shown us that Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, and Vaticanus do not actually contain the same 'extra' books. One wonders, then, how they could form a canon in Ulrich's terms (as Crisp seems to claim; see p. 138 for a reference to Ulrich).

Crisp claims that these 'extra' books (books from outside the Hebrew Bible canon, p. 145) "were included among the wide range of sources quoted or alluded to by NT authors and early Christian apologists" (citing Hengel, 107–8; deSilva 34; Sundberg here, 82). I need to check those citations, but at this point I would accept this statement as true only if we nixed "quoted" and just went with "alluded to," since I am persuaded by Skarsaune (here) that none of these 'extra' books was actually formally quoted by a Christian author in the first two centuries (except for Jude's citation of Enoch, but some would even object there that it wasn't a 'formal' quotation--without a formula).

It is hard to understand why Crisp (p. 145) allows for the possibility that the 'extra' books were not canonical for Jews but only edifying, whereas he doesn't allow for this possibility for Christians, though this is precisely the way Athanasius described these books.

After all this, he concludes: "it might seem inappropriate to speak of a 'canon' at all with regard to the LXX" (p. 146). He again allows that for Jews these 'extra' books "possessed varying degrees of religious or spiritual authority ... but they did not constitute a formal or institutional canon." And finally: "What we can affirm with certainty is that specific forms of the LXX tradition subsequently became canonical for individual Christian churches--but that is the subject of another discussion" (p. 147). I guess I can live with that final statement. But the previous discussion confuses the issues.

He ends with some practical implications for the United Bible Societies in regard to their production of Bible translations for various faith communities.

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. 

Conclusion 

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.