The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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ebion
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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DCHindley wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:37 pm To my untrained eye, the Syriac versions seem to be summaries of sections of the shorter Greek recension. I am not afraid of being shown the error of my ways, though.
Do you have a feel for if the shorter Syriac leters of Ignatius refer to the Pauline Epistles in a way that is above and beyond what could be a reference to Paul-in-Acts?
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MrMacSon
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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ebion wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:33 pmDo you have a feel for if the shorter Syriac leters of Ignatius refer to the Pauline Epistles in a way that is above and beyond what could be a reference to Paul-in-Acts?
Have a read: https://www.google.com.au/books/edition ... YAAJ?hl=en
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MrMacSon
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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MrMacSon wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 11:43 pm Have a read: https://www.google.com.au/books/edition ... YAAJ?hl=en
In the preface, on pp. x-xvi, Cureton discusses the 12 manuscripts he used to give the Syriac versions he does. Then in § IV, p.xvi, he notes,
Cureton wrote: "In viewing the Syriac version of the Epistles of St. Ignatius, as exhibited in these three which we have now before us, the first thing which strikes our notice is their comparative brevity, even with respect to the shorter version published in the Medicaen MS."
He then refers to "the 'omission' of words, sentences, and even long passages, found in that edition ..." Then says,
William Cureton wrote:The first point, therefore, which we are all naturally led to consider, is, whether these passages have been omitted by the Syrian 'translator,' or whether they have been introduced into the Greek text subsequently to the period when the Syriac translation was made."
He says,
Cureton wrote:"We can hardly suppose that the Syriac translator...should have made such omissions for the sake of brevity, more especially when these Epistles in themselves are so short."
After much discussion, including brief discussion of the passages from the Pauline letters which are in the non-Syriac versions, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (which Cureton notes, "might have been inserted with the intention of more effectively opposing the heretics"); addition of the Pauline Ephesian's v.2 to the Ignatian Ephesians (ch.1 p.76 n.5.); and addition of 2 Cor, 4:8 and 1 Cor. 3:1 to the Ignatian Romans.

Cureton comes down on the side of skilful interpolation, "to conceal the additions which he made," also noting, "we know of no instances of such abridgment in any Christian writer; which examples of fabrication, additions, and interpolations, are most numerous," and "these passages that seem to be of great weight...are so directly opposed to numerous heresies that sprang up long after the time of St. Ignatius."

After more discussion,
Cureton wrote:
Screenshot 2024-04-03 003621.png
Screenshot 2024-04-03 003621.png (530.18 KiB) Viewed 211 times
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GakuseiDon
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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Cureton wrote:"We can hardly suppose that the Syriac translator...should have made such omissions for the sake of brevity, more especially when these Epistles in themselves are so short."
No doubt Cureton was more knowledgeable than I'll ever be, but surely this is an argument from incredulity. There are no reasons why the Syriac didn't contain brief summaries, even brief summaries of brief documents. We know that some early letters had brief summaries added to them as chapter headings, for example.

Here is the Syriac version (short recension) of "To the Romans", Chapters 6&7:

CHAP. VI.

The pains of the birth stand over against me.(6)

CHAP. VII.

And my love is crucified, and there is no fire in me for another love. I do not desire the food of corruption, neither the lusts of this world. I seek the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ; and I seek His blood, a drink which is love incorruptible.

Here are the same chapters from the middle recension:

CHAPTER VI.--BY DEATH I SHALL ATTAIN TRUE LIFE.

All the pleasures of the world, and all the kingdoms of this earth, shall profit me nothing. It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth. "For what shall a man be profited, if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?'' Him I seek, who died for us: Him I desire, who rose again for our sake. This is the gain which is laid up for me. Pardon me, brethren: do not hinder me from living, do not wish to keep me in a state of death; and while I desire to belong to God, do not ye give me over to the world. Suffer me to obtain pure light: when I have gone thither, I shall indeed be a man of God. Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my God. If any one has Him within himself, let him consider what I desire, and let him have sympathy with me, as knowing how I am straitened.

CHAPTER VII.--REASON OF DESIRING TO DIE.

The prince of this world would fain carry me away, and corrupt my disposition towards God. Let none of you, therefore, who are [in Rome] help him; rather be ye on my side, that is, on the side of God. Do not speak of Jesus Christ, and yet set your desires on the world. Let not envy find a dwelling-place among you; nor even should I, when present with you, exhort you to it, be ye persuaded to listen to me, but rather give credit to those things which I now write to you. For though I am alive while I write to you, yet I am eager to die. My love has been crucified, and there is no fire in me desiring to be fed; but there is within me a water that liveth and speaketh, saying to me inwardly, Come to the Father. I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.

I'll look forward to the new analysis suggesting that the short recension were from an earlier source, but they look like summaries to my (admittedly amateur) eyes.
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MrMacSon
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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GakuseiDon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:27 pm
Cureton wrote:"We can hardly suppose that the Syriac translator...should have made such omissions for the sake of brevity, more especially when these Epistles in themselves are so short."
No doubt Cureton was more knowledgeable than I'll ever be, but surely this is an argument from incredulity. There are no reasons why the Syriac didn't contain brief summaries, even brief summaries of brief documents..
You've cherry-picked but one of several points that Cureton made in that preface.

Read the other points. In the book (coz I haven't reproduced them that well, if at all).

You're being extremely superficial and disingenuous to the point of despicable gaslighting, again.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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MrMacSon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:50 pmYou've cherry-picked but one of several points that Cureton made in that preface.

Read the other points. In the book (coz I haven't reproduced them that well, if at all).
True enough, I'm cherry-picking one of several points. I'm looking forward to reading more on the analysis about the primacy of the short recension when it becomes available.
ebion
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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MrMacSon wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 11:43 pm
ebion wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:33 pmDo you have a feel for if the shorter Syriac leters of Ignatius refer to the Pauline Epistles in a way that is above and beyond what could be a reference to Paul-in-Acts?
Have a read: https://www.google.com.au/books/edition ... YAAJ?hl=en
Thank-you, but they're queued up behind looking more carefully at the Cureton Gospels, which are higher on my (infinite) list because they directly bear on the question Was the New Testament Originally Written in Aramaic?. The Cureton Gospels are an oddity, and bear on the relationship between them - the base of the Old Syriac - the Peshitta and the Diateseron. I want to keep an open mind and see if I can come to my own view of the relationship, espcially if the differences align with things that are Ebionaen. (I'm also somewhat suspicious of the Sinaitic Palimpsest.)
MrMacSon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:41 am After much discussion, including brief discussion of the passages from the Pauline letters which are in the non-Syriac versions, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (which Cureton notes, "might have been inserted with the intention of more effectively opposing the heretics"); addition of the Pauline Ephesian's v.2 to the Ignatian Ephesians (ch.1 p.76 n.5.); and addition of 2 Cor, 4:8 and 1 Cor. 3:1 to the Ignatian Romans.

Cureton comes down on the side of skilful interpolation, "to conceal the additions which he made," also noting, "we know of no instances of such abridgment in any Christian writer; which examples of fabrication, additions, and interpolations, are most numerous," and "these passages that seem to be of great weight...are so directly opposed to numerous heresies that sprang up long after the time of St. Ignatius."
Thank-you for that EW/Reader's Digest of the crucial point. Just so I can be clear: are there any passages in the shorter Syriac that you/he feel are clearly identifiable as passages from the Pauline letters, or are they largely free of them? If they are clearly identifiable, and the Ignatians are authentic, then they are evidence of the Paulines at the time of Ignatius. If not (either) then I'll take the absence of evidence as proof that there's no evidence of the Paulines before Marcion (I know, I know, my standards are low...)

Whilst you quote Cureton to lean towards the feeling that the shorter Syriac are the originals, do you have a feeling/opinion as the whether they are authentic? I am led to deny the authenticity of the Ignatian letters which is a little rich as I've barely read them: rebuttal welcomed.

This is of the Ignatians, but also can bear on the differences between the Cureton/Syriac gospels. For example, the examples of fabrication, additions, and interpolations, are often blatant in adding things dear to the Constantian/Nicean church, e.g. the Trinity, as well as fighting later heresies.
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MrMacSon
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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ebion wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:39 pm
MrMacSon wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 11:43 pm
ebion wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:33 pmDo you have a feel for if the shorter Syriac leters of Ignatius refer to the Pauline Epistles in a way that is above and beyond what could be a reference to Paul-in-Acts?
Have a read: https://www.google.com.au/books/edition ... YAAJ?hl=en
Thank-you, but they're queued up behind looking more carefully at the Cureton Gospels, which are higher on my (infinite) list
Do you realise that that link is to an online version of Cureton's 'The Antient (sic) Syriac Version of the Epistles of Saint Ignatius' published in MDCCXLV [1745(?)] 1845. The epistles in English are only 10 pages or so.

ebion wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:39 pm
MrMacSon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:41 am
After much discussion, including brief discussion of the passages from the Pauline letters which are in the non-Syriac versions, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (which Cureton notes, "might have been inserted with the intention of more effectively opposing the heretics"); addition of the Pauline Ephesian's v.2 to the Ignatian Ephesians (ch.1 p.76 n.5.); and addition of 2 Cor, 4:8 and 1 Cor. 3:1 to the Ignatian Romans.

Cureton comes down on the side of skilful interpolation, "to conceal the additions...made," also noting, "we know of no instances of such abridgment in any Christian writer; which examples of fabrication, additions, and interpolations, are most numerous," and, "these passages that seem to be of great weight...are so directly opposed to numerous heresies that sprang up long after the time of St. Ignatius."

Thank-you for that EW/Reader's Digest of the crucial point. Just so I can be clear: are there any passages in the shorter Syriac that you/he feel are clearly identifiable as passages from the Pauline letters? Or, are they largely free of them?
No (as far as I can tell).* They are free of them (as far as I can tell).*
  • Jack Bull looked at a number of possible parallels
The Ignatian Epistle to the Romans includes:

"Then am I a disciple in truth to Jesus Christ when the world seeth not even my body[?] Intreat our Lord for me, that, by these instruments, I may be found a sacrifice to God. I am not commanding you like Peter and Paul, who are Apostles, but I one condemned. They, then, are free, but I am a slave even till now. But, if I suffer, I am [to be(?)] the freedman of Jesus Christ, and I shall rise form the dead in Him free."

ebion wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:39 pm If...the Ignatians are authentic
iiuc, the Syriac versions come across as the most authentic (of those three epistles), all things considered, but, even then, the versions we have, ie. the Cureton versions, likely include some later additions (they date to the 6th century, iiuc).
Last edited by MrMacSon on Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
ebion
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

Post by ebion »

MrMacSon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:34 pm Do you realise that that link is to an online version of Cureton's 'The Antient (sic) Syriac Version of the Epistles of Saint Ignatius' published in MDCCXLV [1745(?)].
Yes - I do (1845). The Cureton Gospels I refer to are much more modern: 1864.
MrMacSon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:41 am No (as far as I can tell).* They are free of them (as far as I can tell).*

* Jack Bull looked at a number of possible parallels
Great thanks - I'll work these into a followup to my "too much of a mess" post to clarify that at least insofar as the shorter Syriac Ignatians are concerned, they are free from Faulunisms.
MrMacSon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:34 pm
ebion wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:39 pm If...the Ignatians are authentic
iiuc, the Syriac versions come across as the most authentic (of those three epistles), all things considered, but, even then, the versions we have, ie. the Cureton versions, likely include some later additions (they date to the 6th century, iiuc).
"most authentic" - OK. I assume that too, hence my "too much of a mess" post. The bit about going to Rome in chains whilst still having the spare time to preach in the churches was too much for me.

Thanks very much for the help of your summary because the mess versions of the Ignatians were the only possible trace of the Faulines I could find before Marcion.
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DCHindley
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Re: The Short Recension of Three Letters of Ignatius

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ebion wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:33 pm
DCHindley wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:37 pm To my untrained eye, the Syriac versions seem to be summaries of sections of the shorter Greek recension. I am not afraid of being shown the error of my ways, though.
Do you have a feel for if the shorter Syriac leters of Ignatius refer to the Pauline Epistles in a way that is above and beyond what could be a reference to Paul-in-Acts?
That I do not know. If you were the one person who downloaded the 4 PDFs, you will see that I did not place any scriptural notes from the Greek edition, but there weren't many in the ANF translations of the Syriac. Another problem was that the editor/translators appear to have been drawing rather freely from the shorter and the longer Greek recensions, when they didn't think the recension made sense here and there, without making any note of it in their footnotes. Basically, the ANF translations were crappy, compared to others in the later ANF volumes, so I was forced to make wording changes based on the actual Greek. Yes, I looked the Greek words up in Perseus first.

IRC, there was one "doubtful" allusion to Philippians 1:4 in the Peshitto translation, I think in the 2rd Syriac epistle (to the Ephesians) which the ANF translation equates with ch 8 of the Greek short (middle) recension.

There is that mention of Peter & Paul in third Syriac epistle (to the Romans, ch 4 of the Greek recensions), who are said to have issued orders and are "Apostles."

As mentioned in the Synoptic gospel "Damn you Q" threads, it is difficult to detect whether (when you have two related works) which one may have abbreviated or expanded upon the other. According to E. P. Sanders (et al) Tendencies in the Synoptic Tradition, the "commonly assumed" characteristics that were supposed to point to movement of tradition, were not precise enough to be helpful. Goulder, Goodacre & Ken O think they have it nailed down, though, to do away with the need for a hypothetical Q. There is, also, always the possibility of common tradition (always interpreted differently) or the ideas were so common that the similarity is by chance.

DCH (Back to work ... :goodmorning: )
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