b-greek-digest V1 #96

b-greek-digest           Wednesday, 31 January 1996     Volume 01 : Number 096

In this issue:

        Re: Sigma
        Re: Future subjunctive
        My (unofficial) Shorter Guide to Perseus on the Web 


From: Carlton Winbery <winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 19:48:55 +0400
Subject: Re: Sigma

Eric Weiss wrote;
>I understand (I learned 1st year Greek from Mounce's book) that in verb
>formation, the sigma normally drops out when it's between two vowels, and the
>two vowels then contract. (also see Smyth 120)
>Why is this not true for the sigma in the tense formatives for the 1st aorist
>and future tenses?  Smyth (666 -- cf. 20.b., 35.c.) seems to be addressing
>this for the aorist, but only explains how the alpha came to be added to the
>aorist tense formative, not why the sigma, now that it's between two vowels,
>doesn't drop out.
What we have to say is that the intervocalic S often drops.  There are many
exceptions; a single S which results from the simplification of SS does not
drop eg. EQNESIN; SA of the aorist following U or a verb stem ending in a
short vowel causes the short vowel to lengthen but does not drop.  Sigmas
that come between two simple short vowels are more likely to drop.

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. Religion
LA College, Pineville, La


From: Carlton Winbery <winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 19:59:55 +0400
Subject: Re: 

Russell Williamson wrote;
>Philippians 1.28
>To what does the KAI TOUTO APO QEOU refer?  Can you provide the basic rule
>of grammar/syntax on which you base your decision so I don't have to continue
>beating my head against the wall?
It is also difficult to know exactly what the hHTIS refers to.  I assume
that it refers to the fact that the opponents oppose the Christians.  That
would mean that the same thing is an indication of the salvation of the
readers.  TOUTO (neuter) seems to be used by Paul to refer to the whole
situation.  He often used the neuter gender when referring to a general

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. Religion
LA College, Pineville, La


From: Carlton Winbery <winberyc@popalex1.linknet.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 21:46:56 +0400
Subject: Re: Future subjunctive

Maurice Robinson wrote;
>On Mon, 29 Jan 1996, Carlton Winbery wrote:
>> I would like to comment on the textual problem at I
>> Cor 12:3.  I am persuaded that the original is KAUXHSWMAI supported by P46,
>> aleph, A B and others.  Some scribe (perhaps in a scriptorum) heard that
>> word and wrote KAUQHSWMAI (Psi, and a many others).  Another scribe saw
>> that reading and changed it to KAUQHSOMAI (C D F G L the whole latin
>> tradition and some others).  The aorist deponent subjunctive with hINA
>> makes good sense here, "in order that I might boast."
>(Let me insert a small but significant addendum to the data above: the
>reading KAUQHSWMAI of Psi "and many others" actually encompasses the
>entire Byzantine/Majority tradition, and this fact should not be minimized
>in the discussion which follows).

In addition to a number of Fathers beginning with Tertullian, but I do not
think that counting mss is the name of the game.

>The problem I see with the above approach is that KAUQHSOMAI/KAUQHSWMAI is
>clearly the "more difficult" reading.  Paul uses the concept of "boasting"
>almost to excess, particularly in the Corinthian correspondence. Nowhere
>else does he speak of giving one's body to be burnt, and even the
>particular locus of that reference in the immediate context is problematic.
>By applying the principle of favoring the reading most likely to give rise
>to the other(s), as well as acknowledging the reading which was most
>difficult (to the scribe), either KAUQHSWMAI or KAUQHSOMAI would be
>favored over the "easier" and "more familiar" Pauline verb KAUXHSWMAI.

There must be a distinction between "more difficult" and absurd.  The
origin of KAUQHSOMAI is difficult to account for unless a scribe made the
mistake that introduced the bogus form KAUQHSWMAI.  The latter is clearly
the middle of this equation.

>Even were dictation utilized in a scriptorium (which from my own
>examination of variants and their causes I consider to be the extremely
>rare case when speaking of NT Greek MSS), an error of hearing between the
>phonemes Chi and Theta would not be all that likely, since one is a
>gutteral and the other a labial.  Yet even if phonetic confusion occurred,
>the tendency of a scribe then would be to favor what he in his own mind
>and hearing THOUGHT was a more common reading over one which would be less
>common, and especially a concept of giving one's body "to be burned," which
>would be unique to Paul.

We have ample examples of confusion of sounds more desparate than this.
However, the suggestion of an error of hearing was only a suggestion.
Others have suggested that a scribe would have changed KAUXHSWMAI to
KAUQHSWMAI because of other difficulties (Metzger, p. 564).

>More problematic than either of these matters is the supposition that a
>single scribe creating a more difficult reading by an error or hearing
>would somehow produce a MS copy which then would become the mother of
>virtually all subsequent MSS.  This hypothesis assumes that no
>contemporary or later scribe would ever notice the difference, let alone
>simply correct such an error by cross-comparison with another pre-existing

You speak as though every scribe or even most scribes knew many other mss.
Such was not the case. The Alexandrian tradition was hidden from most of
the scribes for a very long time.

>A major problem with modern eclecticism (whether reasoned or rigorous) is
>its failure to ignore the problems of the historical transmission of the
>text throughout history; this is one such case where attention to the
>historical possibilities of manuscript transmission weighs heavily in
>determining a conclusion.
>That an error producing a "more difficult" reading could so easily corrupt
>the mass of the MS tradition bodes ill for the certain recovery of the
>original text by any currently-recognized and responsible principles of NT
>textual criticism.

I don't quite understand this assertion.  You seem to be saying that the
flow of mss traditions was an unbroken stream.  Such was not the case.
There were major interruptions in the transmission of the text of the NT,
the fact that Latin eclipsed much of the tradition in the west, the north
African and middle Eastern traditions went underground because of the
Muslim takeover there, the Byzantine traditions eventually flooded into
Europe in the Crusades and with the fall of Constantinople.  Majority text
people speak as though none of these happened.

>It is also significant that the Western tradition (D F G, as well as the
>Old Latin, known to be 2nd century in origin) would have virtually
>unanimously accepted such an "difficult" erroneous reading and perpetuated
>it (though changing the apparent subjunctive to an indicative -- another
>case of moving toward an "easier" reading, but this time grammatically).
>Yet under such a hypothesis, there still remained MSS of that era (P46)
>and even two or more centuries later (Aleph A B) which still maintained
>the supposed "original" reading whereby the "difficult reading" error
>could easily have been corrected.

Apparently they did and for an even longer period if the bonehead reading
were original.

>Allowing the Byzantine "more difficult" reading of KAUQHSWMAI to be
>original on the other hand, everything explains itself well.  The tendency
>of some scribes to gravitate to a more usual Pauline expression or
>"boasting" may have played some part, but also the grammatical issue of
>the peculiar subjunctive (?) form might on the one hand cause some scribes
>to alter -SWMAI to -SOMAI, leaving the -Q- intact and other scribes to
>seize the opportunity of presuming an error in their exemplar, and to
>correct the text from a -Q- to a -X-, with a grammatically "normal"
>KAUXHSWMAI (Middle Deponent Subjunctive) in its place -- again a
>temptation to move to the "easier" reading, both in content and in
>grammar.  From this standpoint, it then is no surprise to find a SMALL
>minority of scribes reading either KAUXHSWMAI or KAUQHSOMAI as opposed to
>the 98%+ Byzantine reading of KAUQHSWMAI, which is grammatically and
>contextually "more difficult", and thus more liable to give rise to the
>remaining readings.

I find it very difficult to think that scribes would have corrected
>The problem comes down to this: WHY -- on what reasonable grounds --
>should the vast majority of all MSS ever have perpetuated a reading which
>they knew was grammatically questionable and contextually problematic,
>assuming that a perfectly good alternative existed in variant readings
>known and perpetuated in either the Latin or Alexandrian traditions.

This assumes that the Byzantine scribes knew those mss, which simply was
not the case.  Tischendorf found aleph in 1854.  Vaticanus was descovered
in the Vatican in the 17th century.  P46 was discovered in this century.
Its easy to imagine different scenarios, but the reality is that a reading
in the vast majority of the ms tradition can be wrong.

>It hardly seems likely that any alteration to the text of a MS which would
>produce a grammatically questionable and "more difficult" reading would
>ever be perpetuated in the vast majority of MSS.  If this indeed be the
>case, the reading in question seems far more likely to be a reflection
>of the autograph text than any alteration to such.

For the Byzantine scribes who preferred KAUQHSOMAI, KAUXHSWMAI would have
been a more "difficult" alternative.  If a person gave up one's body, how
could they "glory" in it.

The reading KAUQHSWMAI/KAUQHSOMAI would have been very unlikely in the time
of Paul.  (Daniel is most likely not the catelist here.)  After Nero used
Christians to light his games and martyrdom came to be practiced, the
alteration of the text to include burning is much more likely.  It is very
difficult to reject the reading of P46, aleph, A, B, the "queen" of the
cursives, the Coptic tradition, Clement Origen and Jerome on such shaky
ground as you present.

Carlton L. Winbery
Prof. Religion
LA College, Pineville, La


From: Shaughn Daniel <shaughn.daniel@student.uni-tuebingen.de>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 06:08:41 +0100
Subject: My (unofficial) Shorter Guide to Perseus on the Web 

X-Mood Rating: Quick & Dirty

           My (unofficial) Shorter Guide to Perseus on the Web
              by Shaughn Dallas Daniel, Tuebingen, Germany.



          1.0 My Equipment
          2.0 My Questions & Strategies/Tricks
          3.0 Notes


1.0 My Equipment
    - Macintosh Performa 5300, 100 MHz, 14.400 modem
    - SLIP connection
    - Netscape 2.02b6a with 8 megs allocated to RAM in get info window
    - Settings for fonts in Netscape:
        proportional font = Helvetica
        fixed font = Attika

2.0 My Questions & Strategies/Tricks

I want to know the following: a. all the Greek words in LSJ in which the
word "blessed" is given as a rendering, b. all the texts on Perseus where
those Greek words occur, and c. all the texts not listed in LSJ, but on
Perseus, where those Greek words appear.

I type in the following URL into Netscape:


This returns a list to my browser of all the Greek word entries in LSJ
(either complete or intermediate) which include the word "blessed". There
are also other links on each Greek word: the LSJ for direct viewing of the
definition, frequencies link, and Search link. Set the floating menu "Greek
Display" to Greek and press the "Search" button. This gives you the words
in Greek font now. Skip all this for the moment and press the line above
the list of words: See ALL THE OCCURRENCES of these words in Perseus [all
caps here means a link on the web page]. Now you have yourself a whopper
page in which you can look at the Greek texts. The definition link is
included under each Greek word, so you can click and hold down on
"DEFINITION" and to select "New Window with this Link" from the Netscape
hidden popup menu feature. The page brought up is either LSJ complete or
intermediate with links to the texts appearing on Perseus. Look at the LSJ,
compare that to the list in the previous window which has references and
you can see what is "missing" in LSJ.

Hint: Actually, this is where you can "contribute" to Greek studies,
actually, by looking up and categorizing these references uncited in LSJ.
Further, take this list of words and all their texts, digest them into a
nice word study, and you've got the basis for doing a word study with the
TLG and Hellenistic texts, including the LXX, seeing the variety of
vocabulary the translators of the LXX may have had at their disposal, and
then comparing that to NT words and concepts.

Viewing the texts on Perseus with two frames (one with Greek, the other
with English):
 A. If in the LSJ entry web window, then click on a link and you should
    get two framed with Greek in one side and English in the other.

 B. For citations not in LSJ, do the following:
    1. put your cursor over a link in the big whopper page;
    2. look at the link that appears at the bottom of the window
       in Netscape when the cursor turns to a hand;
    3. quickly slide the mouse to the other web window (this one
       has the LSJ entry with links in alltext?lookup format already)--
       this should result in you being able to select the other window
       but keeping the link in the bottom of the whopper page window.
    4. type in the citation into the URL below replacing "xen.+anab.+5.6.4"
       with the reference you want (the one at the bottom of the whopper
       page window).


    5. if all goes well, then you will have Greek and English in two
       frames for cutting and pasting to your favorite word processor.

3.0 NOTES:

"Netscape", "Perseus", "Macintosh", "Big Whopper", "Attika", "Helvetica",
and probably some other words I've missed in this post are trademarks of
some cool companies. Search at www.yahoo.com under those words to find out
about them, if you wish.

Corrections, suggestions, improvements, etc. can be directed to me at the
address listed below. And, yes, they are appreciated! =)

|                                                               |\
| Shaughn Daniel        shaughn.daniel@student.uni-tuebingen.de | |
| Tuebingen, Germany                                            | |
|                            ~~~~~                              | |
| I put tape on the mirrors in my house so I don't accidentally | |
| walk through into another dimension. --Steven Wright          | |
|_______________________________________________________________| |

The sagacious reader who is capable of reading between these lines
what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied,
will be able to form some conception.
          Goethe. Autobiography. Book xviii. Truth and Beauty.


End of b-greek-digest V1 #96


To unsubscribe from this list write


with "unsubscribe b-greek-digest" as your message content.  For other
automated services write to the above address with the message content

For further information, you can write the owner of the list at


You can send mail to the entire list via the address: