|dc.description.abstract||Transposition of words and word-groups is one of the most
common phenomena in the manuscripts of the Greek New Testament.
The frequency of variation in word-order can undoubtedly be ascribed to the freedom of Greek in the arrangement of words in
a sentence or phrase. Because of this freedom of word-order,
relatively little attention has been given to word-order variants
in the history of New Testament Textual Criticism. Most critics
put variation of word-order on the same level as variation of
spelling, and with that they dismissed the problem. The result
is that the evaluation of word-order variants is still based
almost entirely on external evidence, while internal evidence
apparently receives little consideration or is even neglected.
Hitherto few critics have made a special study of word-order
variation, and, as far as could be ascertained, no attempt has
been made to establish a method which can lead to the determination of internal evidence of word-order variants as such.
The ultimate purpose of this study is to establish a method
by means of which word-order variants can be evaluated. Since
external evidence of a variant reading does not depend upon the
nature of the reading itself, word-order variants do not need a
special method for the determination of external evidence. Accordingly this study is focused on internal evidence. This does
not imply that the author regards external considerations as dispensable or as inferior to internal considerations.
The study is divided into two sections: a section which deals
with linguistics and stylistics, and a section which deals with
the methodology of New Testament textual criticism.
1. Linguistic and stylistic section:
This section is based on the results of linguistic and stylistic research and studies which have been (a) published by scholars over the past ten decades, and (b) undertaken independently
by the author of this thesis. A special study has been made in
this thesis of the word-order employed.by Luke in his Gospel,
since, in addition to general tendencies, it is necessary to take
into account the personal preferences and stylistic usage of authors individually.
From the data thus collected it is clear that, in spite of
what is generally assumed, word-order in Greek is not free, but
that it is determined by linguistic and stylistic determinants.
1.1 Linguistic determinants: There are various linguistic determinants of Greek word-order,
of which some are more dominant in character and some less dominant.
Certain words prefer or avoid certain positions in the sentence, depending on their lexical or semantic status. These words are called preferential words. Some preferential words
preferential position in the sentence or phrase, e.g. the accentuated personal pronouns; some words avoid initial position, e.g.
uév and oé; some words avoid final position, like most prepositions.
The different parts of speech often prefer certain positions
in the sentence or phrase. Adverbs, for instance, generally follow the verb which they qualify, while prepositions precede the substantive which they qualify.
Sometimes the position of nouns is dependent on morphological
determinants, e.g. the adnominal genetives, which have a very
strong affinity for the position directly following the substantive.
1.2 Stylistic determinants:
Writers very often depart from the word-order prescribed by
linguistic determinants. In such cases the word-order is dependent on stylistic determinants. The most common stylistic determinants in the New Testament are the following:
(1) Emphasis -
For the sake of emphasis words are placed in positions where
they are conspicuous, normally the initial position, or separated
from the elements to which they belong, or sometimes, the final position.
(2) Figure of speech -
Sometimes word-order serves a certain figure of speech or is
influenced by a figure of speech, such as parallellismus membrorum, chiasmus, antithesis, antistrophe, anastrophe, casus pendens, climax and prolepsis.
(3) Rhetoric structures -
Structural analysis of a text sometimes conceals the reason
for the word-order employed by the writer. Examples of such cases
are given and discussed.
(4) Aesthetic considerations -
The writers of the New Testament definitely maintained clearness and neatness in their language. They did not, however, strive after anything artificial, such as euphony, rhythm and the
avoidance of hiatus, which was deliberately employed by the Atticists.
(5) Social and traditional considerations -
Certain groups of words were so often used by the early
Christian community that an almost conventional phraseology developed, which became fixed "formulas" in the New Testament xolvn.
The sequence of words in these formulas was most often determined
by the social estimate of the ideas which they express. Writers
did not easily deviate from the word-order of these "formulas".
(6) Influence from other languages -
Sometimes a writer arranged •words in .an order which was determined neither by linguistic considerations, nor by stylistic
purposes, but which conforms to the word-order of another language
well known to the writer. Aramaic influence is very common in
the Greek of the New Testament; Latin influence is found occasionally; Persian, Egyptian and Coptic influence is rare.
(7) Contextual considerations -
When the position of non-preferential words is not determined
by any of the above-mentioned considerations, it is often possible
to explain their sequence in contextual terms: Words are either
predictable from the context or unpredictable. From statistical
observations it is clear that there are certain fixed patterns of
arrangement of predictable and unpredictable words. These patterns often offer an explanation for the sequence of non-preferential words.
(8) The habits of the writer -
Undoubtedly the order of words can sometimes be ascribed to
no other determinant than the personal preference of the writer.
Whenever a writer does not depend upon any of the above-mentioned
determinants of word-order, he arranges words in the sequence
which he is used to, which he uses spontaneously. This section
contains tables of statistics on the habitual word-order of Luke.
Observations have been made on the position of adverbs, adverbial
substantives, adverbial prepositional phrases, verbs, participles,
substantives, adjectives, and adjectival adjuncts.
The study of the different stylistic determinants led to the
following conclusion: It is clear that the writers of the New
Testament did not employ word-order at random, but were led by
clearly defined determinants, normally in the following order
a. Linguistic determinants:
b. Stylistic determinants:
Figures of speech
Social and traditional determinants
Influence from other languages
The habits of the writer.
2. Methodological section
This section is based on the data compiled and the conclusions drawn in the section dealing with linguistics and
stylistics. Prior to the final formulation of criteria for the evaluation of word-order variants, it was necessary to formulate a clear description of the object of the intended method. Therefore
this section includes a chapter dealing with the nature of word-order
variation in the New-Testament, in which the following categories are distinguished:
(1) Changes affecting the sense -
This type of word-order variation includes:
a. variation of combination (fluctuation between two combinations
in the same sentence, or movement from an ambiguous position
to an unambiguous position, or transferal of an element from
one sentence to another);
b. transposition of entire sentences;
c. confusion of homonyms.
(2) Changes not affecting the sense
This type of variation includes:
a. ataE yeyoueva ;
b. separation of clusters (disjunction);
c. "harmless" changes of word-order (transposition of syntactical
elements, or transposition of words within a cluster, or transposition of words with parallel function in the sentence).
2.1 Transcriptional considerations -
Taking into account all the different causes of change in
word-order, the following criteria for the determination of the
transcriptional probability of variant readings were formulated:
(1) Unintentional change of word-order can be suspected in cases
of homoioteleuton - scribes would sometimes commit haplography, immediately realize the error, and then insert the
omitted section into the text, but in the wrong place.
(2) Unintentional change of word-order can be suspected when a
reading agrees in word-order with a more or Jess parallel
phrase elsewhere in the New Testament or in the Septuagint -
an imperfect memory sometimes led a scribe to adopt the word-order
of a passage which he remembered from elsewhere in the
New Testament or Septuagint.
(3) Unintentional change of word-order can be suspected when the
word-order of a reading corresponds with the word-order of a
phrase often used in the Early Church or early Christian community - an imperfect memory sometimes led a scribe to adopt
the word-order of a phrase which he was wont to use in conversation.
(4) Unintentional change of word-order can be suspected when the
word-order of a reading exhibits a definite similarity to a
phrase in the immediate context - a scribe might absentmindedly adopt the word-order which he had written a little while before.
(5) Intentional alteration of word-order can be suspected when the
word-order of a reading agrees with typical Atticistic tendencies - Atticistic scribes would often change the word-order
to what they regarded as better Classical language or style.
(6) Intentional alteration of word-order can be suspected when the
word-order of a reading is in agreement with the word-order
generally used elsewhere in the New Testament 7 style-conscious scribes would sometimes change the word-order to what
they regarded as better New Testament language or style.
(7) Intentional alteration of word-order can be suspected when the
word-order of a reading is exactly the same as the word-order
in a parallel passage elsewhere in the New Testament - sometimes scribes tried to harmonize parallel passages in the New
Testament, espec1ally in the Gospels.
(8) Intentional alteration of word-order can be suspected when the
word-order in the Greek text of a bilingual manuscript exhibits
a numerical verbal equality to the accompanying version -
scribes of colometrically arranged bilingual manuscripts were
tempted to assimilate the Greek text and the text of the versi on for appearances’ sake.
(9) Intentional-alteration of word-order can be suspected when
matters of doctrinal interest are involved in the variation
- scribes would sometimes alter the sequence of words if
such an alteration would support their personal convictions.
(10) Intentional interpolation can be suspected when some witnesses
omit the fluctuating word or words - different scribes would
sometimes add the same words to the text (for the same or for
different reasons, e.g. harmonization, doctrinal purposes,
addition of details), but not necessarily in the same place.
2.2 Intrinsic considerations
Taking onto account the different determinants of word-order,
the following criteria for the determination of the intrinsic probability of variant readings were formulated:
(1) The word-order of a reading has intrinsic excellence when it
is in harmony with general usage, provided that it is clear
that the word-order is determined only by linguistic determinants.
(2) In the sections of the Gospels according to Matthew and Luke
which are believed to have had Mark as a source, readings
which resemble the word-order used by Mark have a slight preference.
(3) The word-order of a reading has intrinsic excellence when it
is in harmony with the style of the writer.
(4) The word-order of a reading has intrinsic excellence when it
is in harmony with the habits of the writer, if it is clear
that the word-order was not determined by some other stylistic
(5) When the word-order in a reading from a section of non-Greek
origin in the New Testament corresponds with Aramaic (or Latin,
etc.) word-order, it has intrinsic excellence, on condition
that no other determinant, except habitual determinants, is
likely to have determined the word-order.
(6) The word-order of a reading has intrinsic excellence when it
corresponds with a fixed phrase used in the New Testament or
in the early Christian community or Jewish community.
(7) The word-order of a reading has intrinsic excellence when it
serves. a figure of speech, a rhetorical structure, emphasis
and aesthetic or contextual arrangement of words, on condition
that these determinants prove to be in harmony with the context.
(8} The word-order of a reading which serves a figure of speech
or a rhetorical structure has intrinsic excellence, especially
when the reading occurs in one of the epistles, in a speech or
parable or in sections which have a prophetical (apocalyptical)
character. In narrative parts these determinants do not
function very often.
(9) When apparent excellence and real excellence of word-order
are both to be found in only one reading of a variation unit,
such a reading should not be rejected on account of transcriptional considerations, but should be accepted on intrinsic
In order to demonstrate the proposed method, the study is
concluded by a chapter in which an analysis is made of the
internal evidence of selected passages from the Gospel according to
Luke. These passages include all the word-order variants mentioned in the critical apparatus of the third edition of the
United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (1975). Naturally
the proposed method can lead only to a preliminary evaluation
of word-order variants, since a final evaluation is impossible
before external evidence has been taken into account.||en_US