Re: Anonymous posting on textual criticism

From: Mark O'Brien (Mark_O'
Date: Fri Oct 27 1995 - 10:32:13 EDT

Original message sent on Thu, Oct 26 9:07 AM by (Edward
Hobbs) :

>> Actually, due to the work of Colwell, Clark, Streeter, Royse,
>> and Head, it has been shown that due to various factors scribes
>> were more likely to omit than to add to the text.

> This statement is nonsense. Colwell was my teacher. Clark was
> my friend. Royse was my student (I was on his dissertation
> committee, one of three, and the only text-critic). And Streeter's
> writings on this subject were my bread and butter long before I took
> my Ph.D., almost half a century ago. The ONLY one of them who
> argued that scribes tended to add rather than omit was my student
> Jim Royse (at that time also teaching philosophy at San Francisco
> State, where he may still be), who over-generalized the results of
> his extremely limited study of a few papyri. If several dozen more
> dissertations on the issue, studying some uncials, above all
> post-300CE uncials, were to show the same, we would have to

> rethink this question.

I think I do recall recently reading some article by Keith Elliott that
espoused the view that scribes tended to omit rather than add. I think
that his argument revolved around the notion that it takes a lot more
mental effort to add something than it does to just drop it out, either
accidentally or intentionally. I don't think he spent a lot of time on
this point, but I do definitely recall him making it. (I can dig up the
reference at home if anyone desires it.)

Mark O'Brien
Grad. Student, Dallas Theological Seminary

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