Dittography in Mark 14.47.

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Ben C. Smith
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Dittography in Mark 14.47.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:23 pm

I just ran across this little eventuality and thought this was interesting. Codex Athous Lavrensis (044 or Ψ) is a Greek uncial manuscript from century IX or X. Mark 14.47 reads as follows in the manuscript:

Mark 14.47: 47 Εἷς δέ τῶν παρεστηκότων σπασάμενος τὴν μάχαιραν ἔπαισεν τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως Καίαφα καὶ ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον. / 47 But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest Caiaphas, and cut off his ear.

Mark famously omits the name of the high priest during the passion of Christ, but in this manuscript the priest is named as Caiaphas. It may be tempting to assume that this is an instance of harmonization with Matthew or John (or less likely Luke, who mentions Caiaphas only in 3.1, and not in connection with the passion), but another reason is at hand. Look at the name in the Greek as compared to the two words immediately following it:

ΚΑΙΑΦΑ
ΚΑΙΑΦΕΙΛΕΝ

This could easily be dittography, the writing of two sequences of letters twice because they are the same (or very close to the same). The opposite of dittography is haplography, which is the omission of a sequence of letters because it is repeated in the text; haplography is what we might have on our hands if this manuscript happened to preserve the original text of the Marcan archetype while all/most other manuscripts omitted the name.

It is funny how close Mark came to actually printing the name of the high priest in his text (assuming that what we find in Ψ is not original), but as the result of the conjunction of two completely unrelated Greek words.

Ben.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: Dittography in Mark 14.47.

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:28 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:23 pm
I just ran across this little eventuality and thought this was interesting. Codex Athous Lavrensis (044 or Ψ) is a Greek uncial manuscript from century IX or X. Mark 14.47 reads as follows in the manuscript:

Mark 14.47: 47 Εἷς δέ τῶν παρεστηκότων σπασάμενος τὴν μάχαιραν ἔπαισεν τὸν δοῦλον τοῦ ἀρχιερέως Καίαφα καὶ ἀφεῖλεν αὐτοῦ τὸ ὠτάριον. / 47 But a certain one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest Caiaphas, and cut off his ear.

Mark famously omits the name of the high priest during the passion of Christ, but in this manuscript the priest is named as Caiaphas. It may be tempting to assume that this is an instance of harmonization with Matthew or John (or less likely Luke, who mentions Caiaphas only in 3.1, and not in connection with the passion), but another reason is at hand. Look at the name in the Greek as compared to the two words immediately following it:

ΚΑΙΑΦΑ
ΚΑΙΑΦΕΙΛΕΝ

This could easily be dittography, the writing of two sequences of letters twice because they are the same (or very close to the same). The opposite of dittography is haplography, which is the omission of a sequence of letters because it is repeated in the text; haplography is what we might have on our hands if this manuscript happened to preserve the original text of the Marcan archetype while all/most other manuscripts omitted the name.

It is funny how close Mark came to actually printing the name of the high priest in his text (assuming that what we find in Ψ is not original), but as the result of the conjunction of two completely unrelated Greek words.

Ben.
A nice find. The text of the Codex runs as follows
την μαχαιραν επαισεν τον δουλον του αρ
χιερεως καιαφα και αφειλεν αυτου το ωταριον̣

One could surmise that the scribe scanned the lines, picked out the letters "καιαφ" and assumed that the name Caiaphas would follow.

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