Who axed Acts 8:37?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:03 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:49 am
refers to them as Gospels
Unless I am mistaken he refers to his text as 'gospel' for the most part and once or rarely 'gospels.'
I think gmx was referring to that spot where Justin says that the memoirs "are called gospels" (καλεῖται εὐαγγέλια), plural. But yes, elsewhere Justin refers to a singular "gospel" at a couple of spots.
gmx wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:22 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:02 am
gmx wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:16 am
However, from the surviving ancient manuscript evidence of the NT, given the number of copies of each document likely to have been in circulation by 400 CE (arbitrarily chosen), and given the length of the major NT documents, does the manuscript record indicate a "free for all" attitude to adding / modifying the source material, or does the manuscript record indicate a high degree of reverence for the text itself and a reluctance to modify it en masse?
Add into all of this the oral traditions from which Papias and Hegesippus are said to have drawn, and the fact that already, from the time of our earliest extant manuscript and textual evidence, there is a split between the so-called Western text and (at the very least) the Alexandrian text, and I think that the idea that there was a lot of textual variation early on deserves a very serious hearing. As you pointed out, gmx, the nomina sacra permeate our extant manuscripts; but, at the same time, variation also permeates our manuscripts:
Thanks Ben for your brilliant post.
No problem. :)
So, in our earliest manuscript evidence, we have at least two established text types, which are now essentially stable, and which exhibit a pervasive use of nomina sacra. What are we thinking the year is? 300 CE?
Well, it all depends on the dates for those manuscripts. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are usually dated to century IV, Bezae and Alexandrinus to century V, but there are some lengthy papyri which are apparently earlier, including Ƿ45 and Ƿ75, for example.
Irenaeus (180 CE) names the four gospels. Has the Western / Alexandrian schism occurred yet?
Irenaeus names more than four gospels, but emphasizes that only four are (to be) accepted in the churches.

That schism is usually argued to have occurred sometime in century II, before Irenaeus. Irenaeus himself appears to use the Western text type. (His readings often agree with, say, Bezae over and against, say, Vaticanus.)
Justin (140 CE) refers to memoirs of the apostles, and possibly (interpolation?) refers to them as Gospels. He seems primarily familiar with Matthew or its sources.
He also shows familiarity with Lucan material and, at least once, distinctively Marcan material.
Papias (95 CE) refers to "the oracles" and says:
  • The Elder also said this, “Mark, being the interpreter of Peter, whatsoever he remembered...
  • Concerning Matthew these other things were said, “Therefore, Matthew set in order the logia (“divine oracles”) in a Hebrew dialect, and...
So, what possibilities exist that make sense describing a transition from 95 CE -> 140 CE -> 180 CE -> 300 CE ?
Well, it appears to me that our canonical Luke and John postdate Papias, who refers only to Matthew and Mark in Eusebius' quotations of him. I think Eusebius would have quoted Papias' words about those two gospels had he mentioned them (the possible exception to this being that perhaps Papias said something supremely unflattering about one or both of them which Eusebius thought best not to repeat). I doubt that Papias knew the disciple John; and I have given reasons to doubt that Papias considered his informant John to have been a disciple.

I suspect that somebody named Mark probably penned some kind of gospel text; at least, the reasons I have seen for imagining that the obscure figure of Mark was attached to this text artificially fail to convince me, and similar hypotheses about Marcion do likewise. Whether that Mark is the same as John Mark from Acts and/or the Mark mentioned in 1 Peter and the Pauline epistles is still an open question for me; those connections could well be coincidental, since Mark was an extremely common Roman name. On the other hand, a decent but purely circumstantial case can be made for the connection, as well. Overall, my mind is hardly made up on any of these points about Mark!

I suspect that somebody named Matthew penned "the logia," but note that "logia" can mean more than just dominical sayings. A place for this Matthew was later made in the apostolic lists, in a process by which Matthew basically displaced Levi.

When Papias says that Mark was "not written in order," I think he had a Johannine order in mind: not that he knew the gospel of John, which (as I said) I think postdates Papias, but rather that both Papias and John drew from the emerging Asian chronological tradition (which was probably at least partly oral) that eventually led to the Quartodeciman controversy. The early church took notice of the chronological differences between John and the synoptics to a greater degree than (and seemingly long before) it concerned itself with the comparatively paltry differences among the three synoptic gospels themselves. The Muratorian canon probably also has this controversy in mind when it says that the miracles in John are listed "in order."

I think that all of the gospels which can lay claim to being early, both canonical and noncanonical, bears signs of layering. In the case of Matthew we can tell that one of its layers probably looked a lot like our canonical Mark. In the case of Luke I think that both Luke and Marcion drew from a common gospel text, one to which Luke added more extra material than Marcion (including the infancy narrative). In the cases of Mark and John we probably do not possess the proto-gospel texts upon which they drew. There are also materials upon which both Luke and Matthew drew, though I seriously doubt that our modern reconstructions of Q come anywhere close to those materials; sometimes (as proponents of the Farrer theory have shown) Luke betrays dependence upon materials found in Matthew, while elsewhere (as I have attempted to show) Matthew is the one betraying dependence upon materials found in Luke. In the case of Thomas we know that the Oxyrhynchus papyri differ from the Coptic version so far as order of the sayings is concerned in at least one spot (the location of saying 77b, and there are reasons to think that sayings 6 and 14 were once connected. In the case of Peter there are some significant differences between the papyri Oxyrhynchus 2949 and Cairensis 10759, possibly implying two different recensions even of this strange gospel.
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John T
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by John T » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:28 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:29 am
John T wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:24 pm
andrewcriddle wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:24 am
The verse is missing in P45 which is our oldest manuscript containing this passage.

Andrew Criddle

Thanks.
By any chance can you pull up the image of Act 8:37 in Papyrus 45?

I would like to translate it for myself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_45

Sincerely,

John T
See http://csntm.org/Manuscript/View/GA_P45

Andrew Criddle

Thanks for the link but I can't translate P45 due to it being badly damage. I tried looking for the word 'eunuch'(eunouchos #2135) as a reference point but I can't locate it.

http://csntm.org/Manuscript/View/GA_P45
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John T
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by John T » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:21 am

The doctrine of Jesus being God as stated in Acts 8:37 is not only confirmed by the Ante-Nicene Fathers but also confirmed in archeological evidence at the ancient (230 C.E.) Jewish village of Kefar Othnay.

The mosaic reads: “The god-loving Akeptous has offered the table to God Jesus Christ as a memorial,

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/MAG ... -1.5866058

Acts 8:37 is one of the very few places in the New Testament where someone who actually knew Jesus considered him God.
The removal of such a profound passage could have not been done by accident.

Who would have such power and motive to remove it?
Emperor Constantine? :scratch:
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Secret Alias
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:29 am

The Emperor Constantine thought Jesus was god.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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John T
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by John T » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:38 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:29 am
The Emperor Constantine thought Jesus was god.
I'm not so sure of that.
If I recall correctly, during the Council of Nicaea (325) the debate over Homoiousian vs. Homoousian was quite contentious.

Homoiousian: Jesus and God the Father were similar but not the same substance.

Homoousian: Jesus was consubstantial with God the Father.

The doctrine of the Trinity had not yet been defined.

Of course I'm assuming the removal of Acts 8:37 took place after the Council of Nicaea but during the Byzantine Empire.
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:01 pm

John T wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:28 am



Thanks for the link but I can't translate P45 due to it being badly damage. I tried looking for the word 'eunuch'(eunouchos #2135) as a reference point but I can't locate it.

http://csntm.org/Manuscript/View/GA_P45
Try looking for spirit in verse 39 it is a nomina sacra PNA with a line on top.

Andrew Criddle

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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:21 pm

I'm not so sure of that.
Whatever.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:40 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:01 pm
Try looking for spirit in verse 39 it is a nomina sacra PNA with a line on top.
I have underlined only a few key words for reference:

P45 (Acts 8.36-39).png
P45 (Acts 8.36-39).png (823.22 KiB) Viewed 2697 times
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John T
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by John T » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:07 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:40 pm
andrewcriddle wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:01 pm
Try looking for spirit in verse 39 it is a nomina sacra PNA with a line on top.
I have underlined only a few key words for reference:


P45 (Acts 8.36-39).png
Thanks for the help. However, I do not see the slot where Acts 8:37 can't possibly fit in, if it was ever there in the first place.
p45 is so damaged and missing so much from the left and right margins that it could have been there but was lost due to deterioration and wear.
Simply a case of guessing what the missing puzzle pieces actually said.

I'm no biblical scholar and can barely read Greek without a concordance. *Still, I can think of only one way to prove that Acts 8:37 wasn't there (p45) in the first place and the notes by Kurt Aland are not at all convincing for or against inclusion of Acts 8:37.

p45 is not proof that Acts 8:37 no longer existed by 250 A.D.

The mystery continues.

* edit made for clarity.
Last edited by John T on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who axed Acts 8:37?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:49 pm

P45 (Acts 8.36-39, Including Verse 37).png
P45 (Acts 8.36-39, Including Verse 37).png (12.35 KiB) Viewed 2670 times
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