vendredi 11 novembre 2016

Was Lack of Autographs a Major Problem to Bart Ehrman?

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : Answers to Grace and Frank Turek · somewhere else : Was Lack of Autographs a Major Problem to Bart Ehrman?

somewhere else : Was Lack of Autographs a Major Problem to Bart Ehrman? · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : The leper

I am listening to J. P. Holding on this one:

Bart Ehrman: Deceit and Cunning - J. P. Holding
Theology, Philosophy and Science

J. P. Holding refers to Bart Ehrman as saying the lack of the "original piece of paper" (or more likely papyrus or vellum) was a major problem to Ehrman in his studies. 8:20. At 8:47 J. P. starts psychologing about Ehrman's wondering about the attitude of the others.

We do have autographs for quite a lot of later texts. Say the text I was perhaps going to edit if I had stayed in Academia back in 1993, I think there was one manuscript, namely the autograph by Matthias Sunnessen of Skenninge, the confessor of St Bridget, or perhaps two manuscripts, one of which is autograph. That text was not related to St Bridget otherwise, it was his devotional given to the then king of Sweden for betterment of his life - a meditation on the seven penitential psalms, or on the seven "O psalms." Psalms like "O radix Iesse" and so on.

We have an autograph now, and it is about 650 or more years old.

For Shakespear studies, the Folio edition plays a role, not quite as autograph of Shakespear, but as close enough.

So, would the gospellers not have chosen vellum for such a momentuous task (it had been know since BC)? And would the Church not have preserved it with very great veneration?

Well, that is basically what the Church actually did.

The autographs were displayed in Constantinople up to when Iconoclasm attacked the veneration of the Gospel autographs. Not sure what exactly happened, whether they were destroyed or hidden, but they are no longer on display, and it did not wait till the Turkish conquest in 1453.

This means that if we don't have a very solid foundation left now, in the normal text critical sense, we do know it existed - unless we take the line that the Gospel Autographs were fakes, like some have taken the line that the relics of the Holy Cross are fakes. We know it existed for centuries and was consulted.

But Bart Ehrman was studying among people who either never heard of Gospel autographs in Constantinople - or who dismissed as a matter of course the genuinity of relics displayed by Iconodules. He had a reason to ask questions about their logic. It was not personal megalomania to be annoyed by both the "lack of autographs" and the lack of reaction to the lack of autographs.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Paris XI
St. Martin of Tours

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