the Shem-Tiob Matthew used for Sinaiticus?

Steven Avery

Administrator
My understanding is that there are about 20 known mss. of the Shem Tob Matthew. This is considering the possibility that one was used by Benedict on Mt. Athos. And thus helped supply oddball readings into Sinaiticus. The point of Peterson about omissions being a common error is sound, up to a point.

Hebrew Gospel of Matthew (1995)
By George Howard
https://books.google.com/books?id=4tdEBdVXg3AC&pg=PA191
internet text
http://www.onediscipletoanother.org/id6.html

I. Shem-Tob and Codex Sinaiticus25 I have isolated five readings in Shem-Tob’s Matthew that are found elsewhere only in Codex Sinaiticus ( = Codex 01). An additional four are found in Codex Sinaiticus plus one or more of the Egyptian versions and a few minor witnesses. I list them here, using NA27 as a basis for the collation.

Codex 01 and Heb Matt

7:27 (Grk) omit 01* Heb Matt
13:44 (Grk) omit 01* Heb Matt
21:17 (Grk) omit 01* Heb Matt 25
23:4 (Grk) 01; + (Heb) Heb Matt
24:35

Codex 01, Egyptian Versions, and Heb Matt
5:30
6:16
9:10
9:24


The agreement between Codex Sinaiticus and Shem-Tob’s text is significant. Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century by Constantine von Tischendorf at the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai. Originally dating to the fourth century, a group of correctors, working perhaps at Caesarea, revised the text in the sixth or seventh century. The history of the manuscript after that time is unknown. The type of text it represents, Alexandrian with a strain of “Western” type readings, fell out of general use during the Middle Ages and was replaced by the Byzantine text. Codex Sinaiticus somehow came to St. Catherine’s monastery during the medieval period and remained virtually unknown to all but the monastery’s monks until the nineteenth century.29 The disparity in time and geography between Shem-Tob and Codex Sinaiticus strongly suggests that the polemist had no direct knowledge of or contact with this biblical manuscript. The roots for their agreement, therefore, must go back to the early centuries of the Christian era.

 

Steven Avery

Administrator
Here was how William L. Peterson responded (not putting in the Alephs yet).

Some Observations on a Recent Edition of and Introduction to Shem-Tob's "Hebrew Matthew" (1999)
William L. Petersen
The Pennsylvania State University
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies
http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/v03/Petersen1998a.html


2.2.4.1 Parallels with Codex Sinaiticus (), 01)


63. Another of Howard's lists consists of five parallels with Greek Codex Sinaiticus (), 01). To Howard, these five parallels are "significant" (Howard 1995: 192), for they once again link Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew with a text of Christian antiquity. Howard writes:

The type of text [Codex Sinaiticus] represents, Alexandrian with a strain of "Western" type readings, fell out of general use during the Middle Ages and was replaced by the Byzantine text. . . . The disparity in time and geography between Shem-Tob and Codex Sinaiticus strongly suggests that [Shem-Tob] had no direct knowledge of or contact with this biblical manuscript. The roots for their agreement, therefore, must go back to the early centuries of the Christian era (ibid.: 192, italics added).

Howard also states that these five readings are "found elsewhere only in Codex Sinaiticus" (ibid.: 191); in other words, they are unique to Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew and Codex Sinaiticus.
2.2.4.2 Critique of the Parallels with Codex Sinaiticus

64. None of these five readings shows up in the Liège Harmony, and your author has not invested the time necessary to check them against the twenty or so harmonies and other texts and editions necessary to test Howard's assertion. The possibility exists, however, that--as in the two other cases where Howard claimed uniqueness for his parallels--upon examination these readings will also appear in other documents. But leaving that speculation aside, a new problem bedevils this list. No less than four of these five readings are omissions (Howard's other lists also contain omissions: his list of parallels with the Vetus Syra contains three, his list of Vetus Latina parallels has four, his Thomas list has five omissions, etc.). Including omissions in such lists ignores two elementary canons of textual criticism.

65. First, it ignores the dictum that arguments from omissions are intrinsically weak. This is because omissions can arise from any number of reasons other than an omission in the exemplar: from fatigue, parablepsis, lacunae, homoioarcton, homoioteleuton, shortage of materials, etc.; none of these requires an omission in the archetype. In short, an omission marks a lack of evidence. (On when and with what restrictions omissions might be used in textual arguments, see Petersen 1985: 108-109.)

66. Second, and even more to the point, Howard appears oblivious to the fact that Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew is, by and large, an abbreviating text. He never comments upon this distinctive and patently obvious feature of its text (see supra, sec. 1.2.2). Even under the best of circumstances, arguments from an omission are highly suspect; in a case such as this, where the document itself is (generally speaking) an abbreviating text, venturing an argument from an omission is absurd.
George Howard:

A Response to William L. Petersen’s Review of Hebrew Gospel of Matthew
George Howard
University of Georgia
http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol04/Howard1999.html

28. I find this to be a very strange statement. Does Petersen actually believe that the Middle Dutch Liège Harmony is a "Matthean witness?" It strikes me as inappropriate to describe a gospel harmony as a "Matthean witness." Usually, we reserve this label for such documents as Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. But Petersen wishes to extend it to include the Middle Dutch Liège Harmony. I reviewed my list of readings and found that almost all of them belong to the double or triple traditions of the synoptic gospels. Just how the Middle Dutch Liège Harmony can be a Matthean witness in the double and triple traditions, where words and phrases of the synoptic gospels are intertwined and overlapped, is unclear.
Also the consideration of rope and camel, a favorite of Simonides, is often discussed in the semitic languages. Afaik, George Howard, however, does not go into discussion of this from the Hebrew Matthew.
 
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