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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Irony of Samaria: Σαμαρεια / Σαμαρειτης in the Greek NT

The following is a little long for a note, but hopefully fun.
There are several ironies in the spelling of Σαμαρεια/Σαμαρια in our Greek texts.

Readers of United Bible Societies Greek text and the Nestle Aland text will be familiar with the following spellings:

Σαμάρεια (the place), and
Σαμαρίτης (a person of the place, male)
Σαμαρῖτις (a person of the place, female)

The spelling of the two forms is inconsistent, though the root will sound identical when read with a first century pronunciation.
[[ ει is correctly pronounced like the ι [i] vowel sound rather than the [e] sound (close to ey in 'they') that is often heard in academic circles.]]
But this inconsistency is only the first in a series.

The world turns upside down when Westcott and Hort are brought in. Westcott-Hort have:

Σαμαρία (the place) and
Σαμαρείτης (the person, male)
Σαμαρεῖτις (the person, female)

Not only are both WH and UBS/NA internally inconsistent, but they are the opposite of each other. That is a rather unexpected result.

Do the manuscript traditions support either of these inversions or provide a solution? On the surface one would not expect that WH and UBS/NA would come to such doubly inverted results without some good manuscript support. These can be checked rather quickly and fairly comprehensively today because of the books of Swanson, who records manuscript deviances on points like these.

The Data from Swanson on –EI- versus –I- for Samaria.

Here are the data from Swanson on –EI- versus –I- for Samaria. Brief discussions will follow the data. The patterns are surprising.

Luke 17:11
Σαμαρεια Βc, p75, D, H, Y, K, M, N, S, U, Γ, Λ, Π, Ω, 33, 124, 157, 579, 700, 788, 1071, 1024, f1, f13,
Σαμαρια B*, א, A, E, F, G, L, W, Δ, Θ, Ψ, 2, 28, 69, 565

John 4:4
Σαμαρεια Β, p75, A, byz (FGHSYΩ), Κ, M, U, Λ, Π, Ψ, 28, 33, 124, 157, 579, 700, 1071, 1424, f1, f13,
Σαμαρια p66, א, C, D, E?, L, Wsup, Δ, Θ, 2, 565,

John 4:5
Σαμαρεια Β, p75mg, A, byz (FGHSYΩ), Κ, M, U, Δ, Λ, Π, Ψ, 2, 28, 33, 69, 124, 157, 565, 579, 700, 788, 1071, 1424, f1, f13,
Σαμαρια p66, אc, C, D, E, L, W, Θ, 565,

John 4:7
Σαμαρεια Β, p75, A, C, byz (EGvizHSYΩ), Κ, Lc, M, N, U, Δ, Λ, Π, Ψ, 28, 33, 69, 124, 157, 565, 700, 788, 1071, 1424, f1, f13,
Σαμαρια p66, א, D, F, L*, Wsup, Θ, 2, 579.

Acts 1:8
Σαμαρεια B, C, H2, Ψ, 056, 1, 33, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 614, 618, 927, 945, 1241, 1243, 1245, 1270, 1505, 16ll, 1739, 1828, 1837, 1854, 1891, 2147, 2344, 2412, 2492, 2495
Σαμαρια א, A, D, E, 049, 1175, 1646,

Acts 8:1
Σαμαρεια B, p74, A, C, H, P, Ψ, 056, 1, 33, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 614, 618, 927, 945, 1241, 1245, 1270, 1505, 16ll, 1739, 1828, 1837, 1854, 1891, 2344, 2412, 2492, 2495
Σαμαρια א, D, E, 049, 1175, 1243, 1646, 2147.

Acts 8:5
Σαμαρεια B, A, H, P, Ψ, 049c, 056, 1, 33, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 618, 927, 945, 1241, 1243, 1245, 1270, 1505, 16ll, 1646, 1739, 1828, 1837, 1854, 1891, 2147, 2344, 2412, 2492, 2495
Σαμαρια אc, p74, C, D, E, 049*, 614, 1175.

Acts 8:9
Σαμαρεια B, A, H, Ψ, 056, 1, 33, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 614, 618, 927, 945, 1175, 1241, 1243, 1245, 1270, 1505, 16ll, 1739, 1828, 1837, 1854, 1891, 2147, 2344, 2412, 2492, 2495.
Σαμαρια א, p74, C, D, E, P, 049, 1646.

Acts 8:14
Σαμαρεια B, A, H, L, P, Ψ, 049c, 056, 1, 33, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 618, 927, 945, 1175, 1241, 1243, 1245, 1270, 1505, 16ll, 1739, 1828, 1837, 1854, 1891, 2147, 2344, 2412, 2492, 2495.
Σαμαρια א, p74, C, D, E, 049*, 614, 1646.

Acts 9:31
Σαμαρεια B, p74, A, C, H, L, P, Ψ, 049, 056, 1, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 614, 618, 927, 945, 1175, 1241, 1243, 1245, 1270, 1505, 16ll, 1646, 1739, 1828, 1837, 1854, 1891, 2412, 2492c, 2495.
Σαμαρια א, E, 2147, 2344.

Acts 15:3
Σαμαρεια B, p45, p74, A, L, P, Ψ, 049, 056, 1, 33, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 614, 618, 927, 945, 1241, 1243, 1245, 1270, 1505, 16ll, 1646, 1739, 1828, 1837, 1854, 1891, 2147, 2412, 2492, 2495.
Σαμαρια א, C, D, E, H, 1175.

The Results for Spelling the Place Name Samaria:

B is consistently -EI-, 10/11, corrected 11/11.
א is consistently -I-, 11/11.
p75 is consistently -EI-, 4/4
p45 is -EI-, 1/1
p66 is consistently -I-, 3/3
A is predominantly -EI-, 9/11 (Lk 17 and Ac 1.8 exceptional)
D is predominantly -I-, 9/10 (Lk 17 EI)
C is mixed, -EI- 4/10, -I- 6/10
E is predominantly -I-, 10/11 (Jn 4.7 -EI?-)
H is predominantly, -EI- 10/11 (A15 -I-)
W is consistently -I- 4/4.
Θ is consistently -I- 4/4.
Miniscules are predominantly -EI-,
though a few show a mixture
like 565 = -EI- 2/4 , -I- 2/4;
614 = -EI- 5/7 , -I- 2/7 ;
1175 = -EI-3/7 , -I- 4/7 .

The place name was spelled -ει- in the old Alexandrian (p75, B, A in Acts)
and in the Byzantine traditions.
Another Alexandrian spelling was -ι-, which is also the Western reading.

It appears that Westcott and Hort abandoned the spelling of B because it lined up with the Byzantine reading and because significant Alexandrian witnesses and the Western witness agreed. However, this looks different today, since p75 and p45 have joined B's spelling. WH should have paid more attention to Σαμαρεια in the six examples where the old Alexandrian manuscripts B and A agree in Acts.

This becomes more telling when the gentilic noun 'Samaritan' is investigated.

The Data for the Gentilic Noun 'Samaritan'
John 4:9, first (feminine gentilic):

Σαμαρειτις Β, p66c, p75, A, byz (EFGHSYΩ), Κ, M, U, Δ, Λ, Π, Ψ, 2*, 28, 33, 157, 565, 700, 788, 1071, 1424, f1, f13,
Σαμαριτις p63, p66*, א, C, D, L, N, Wsup, Θ, 2c, 579.

John 4:9, second (feminine gentilic):
Σαμαρειτιδος Β, p75, A, C, byz (EFGHSYΩ), Κ, L, M, U, Λ, Π, Ψ, 2*, 28, 33, 157, 565, 700, 1071, 1424, f1, f13,
Σαμαριτιδος p63, p66, א, D, N, Wsup, Δ, Θ, 2, 579.

The consistent -ι- witnesses are the same manuscripts that supported WH's choice of Σαμαρία: p66, א, D, W, Θ. One must wonder: if these were strong enough in the gospels to lead Westcott and Hort to Σαμαρια, then why not with the gentilic Σαμαριτις? Before we answer definitively we need to complete the picture and add one more set of data for the masculine gentilic 'Samaritan'.

Matt. 10:5
Σαμαρειτων Β, byz (EFSYΩ), Κ, L, M, U, Δ, Λ, Πc,Ψ, 157, 700, 788, 1071, 1346, f1, f13.
Σαμαριτων א, C, G, L, N, W, Θ, Π*, 2, 28, 33, 565, 579.
Σαμαριτανων D.

Luke 9:52
Σαμαρειτων Β, p45, p75, D, byz (EFGHSYΩ), Κ, M, U, Δ, Θ, Ψ, 28, 33, 69, 118, 124, 157, 565, 1071, 1346, 1424, f1.
Σαμαριτων א, A, C, Hc, L, W, Y, Γ, Λ, 2, 579.
Σαμαρητων H*.

Luke 10:33
Σαμαρειτης Β, p75, A, byz (EGHSYΩ), Κ, M, U, Γ, Δ, Λ, Π, Ψ, 28, 33, 124, 157, 565, 700, 1071, 1424, f1, f13.
Σαμαριτης א, C, D, L, N, W, 2, 69, 579.
Σαμαρητης Θ.

Luke 17:16
Σαμαρειτης Β, A, byz (EGHSYΩ), Κ, Lc, M, U, Γ, Δ, Θ, Λ, Π, Ψ, 28, 157, 565, 700, 788, 1071, 1346, 1424, f1.
Σαμαριτης א, D, L*, N, W, Δ, Θ, 2, 579, f13.

John 4:9
Σαμαρειταις Β, p63, p75, אc, A, C, byz (EFGHSYΩ), Κ, M, N, U, Θ, Λ, Π, Ψ, 1, 28, 69, 118, 124, 565, 700, 1071, 1424, 1582, f13.
Σαμαριταις p66, L, Wsup, Δ, 2, 33, 579.

John 4:39
Σαμαρειτων Β, p75, A, C, byz (EFGHSYΩ), Κ, M, U, Λ, Π, Ψ, 2*, 28, 33, 69, 157, 565, 700, 1071, 1424, f1, f13.
Σαμαριτων p66, א, D, L, Wsup, Δ, Θ, 579.

John 4:40
Σαμαρειται Β, p75, A, C, byz (EFGHSYΩ), Κ, M, U, Δ, Λ, Π, Ψ, 2, 28, 33, 157, 565, 579, 700, 1424, f1, f13.
Σαμαριται p66, א, A, D, L, Wsup.
Σαμαριτε 1071.

John 8:48
Σαμαρειτης Β, p75, C, D, byz (EFHSYΩ), Κ, L, M, U, Λ, Π, Ψ, 33, 69, 118, 124, 565, 700, 788, 1071, f1, f13.
Σαμαριτης p66, א, G, N, W, Δ, Θ, 2, 1582c.
Σαμαριτις 579.
Σαμαρειτις 28, 157, 1424.

Acts 8:25.
Σαμαρειτων Β, p74, A, C, D, H, L, P, 049c, 056, 1, 33, 69, 81, 88, 104, 226, 323, 330, 440, 547, 614, 618, 927, 1241, 1243, 1245, 1270, 1505, 1611, 1645, 1828, 1837, 1854, 2147, 2412, 2492, 2495.
Σαμαριτων א, Ε, 049*, 1245, 1646, 2344.
Σαμαρητων 1175.

Results and Conclusions

The spelling for Σαμαρειτης is a little more inconsistent than for the place name Σαμαρεια, but the same manuscripts are basically lining up with the same relationships.

B is consistently -EI- 9/9.
א is consistently -I- 8/8 (plus one correction of a lacuna with -EI-)
p45 is consistently -EI- 1/1
p75 is consistently -EI- 6/6
D is mixed -EI- 3/8, -I- 5/8. But still in the same direction of its 9/10 preference of Σαμαρια over Σαμαρεια.
W is consistently -I- 8/8.
A is predominantly -EI- 6/7 (Lk 9:52 -I-.) In Acts [Alexandrian] it is -EI- 1/1.
C is mixed -EI- 5/8, -I- 3/8. The three -I- are in Matt and Luke.
The Byzantine manuscripts are predominantly -EI-

How does one distill this?

There is no consistent evidence that would support either UBS/NA or WH ! Differentiating the vowel EI/I in the place name 'Samaria' from the gentilic name 'Samaritan', whichever flip-flop one chooses, appears to be an artificial introduction into the spelling tradition by both published critical texts. UBS/NA may be faulted for following the -I- traditions in the gentilic names Σαμαριτης and Σαμαριτις. The manuscripts that they were following for this tradition would have led them to choose the place name Σαμαρια as well. Likewise, Westcott and Hort should have stuck with their acknowledged preference of B and old Alexandrian witnesses. The papyri p75 and p45 have reinforced the spelling Σαμαρεια. But again, there is no consistent support for maintaining a distinction between Σαμαρια and Σαμαρειτης. The only old witness that moves a bit in that direction is D, Codex Bezae. But Bezae is hardly a reliable tradition, and it only scores 3/8 with Σαμαρειτης. One might also point to the mixed attestation of C, but it, too, is hardly a sterling example of a tight manuscript. It means that there are no manuscripts that consistently support either UBS/NA or Westcott-Hort.

But the manuscripts do support consistency. B, p75, A, and K are on one side (-ει-), and א, p66, and D (-ι-) on the other. Whatever the original authors may have written, the various ancient publishing houses seem to have passed on one tradition or another, though with occasional inconsistencies and some evidence of cross-contamination.

A final irony for this situation is the resulting spelling. The old Alexandrian and the Byzantine manuscripts share a bed here. Together, they both point to Σαμαρεια and Σαμαρειτης as the preferred forms for the Greek NT. The Byzantine text (Robinson-Pierpont) has this spelling right. Fortunately, a person can read both the WH and UBS/NA texts correctly when one is trained to hear the old language.

And of course, we (BLC, www.biblicalulpan.org) do believe in listening to the old language.

(for a textcritical blog discussion on "Why spelling matters" see
http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2006/02/why-spelling-matters.html)
(for more information on Living Koine Greek pronunciation see
www.biblicalulpan.org
and http://www.biblicalulpan.org/pages/Common/Greek%20Pronunciation%20(2008).pdf)

Randall Buth

6 comments:

Matthew said...

Randall, So that's why my WH NT has funny spellings like Peilatos < Pilatus... I am a Catholic and very interested in study of the Holy Bible and also in languages. Can you answer a question about "Koine Pronunciation"? Do you intend to make a vowel-length distinction between eta and epsilon/ai?You don't seem to mention it in the article but on the free mp3's it sounds to me you are making a distinction of length rather than quality. Also do you consider phonetically double consonants to be a part of Koine? Cheers, Matt Murphy

Randall Buth said...

Yes, that's why PEILATOS in our old manuscripts and in Westcott-Hort.

On your question, length as a phonological feature dropped out of the KOINH. So η HTA and ε E-psilon should be considered different in quality rather than quantity. In other words, length was 'emic' in KOINH.

Of course, having said that, there are certain natural phenomena that will occur in most languages: vowels in open syllables may be measurably longer in time than vowels in closed syllables. Accent/stress may have a similar effect. Also, adjacent vowels or consonants may influence the quality of a sound so that it encroaches or overlaps the space of another phoneme in another environment. A listener/speaker learns to sort through these phenomena with a phonemic grid that is built up in the 'ears'/brain so that they hear the intended phoneme. And sometimes we speakers just need to enunciate more clearly.

Randall Buth said...

correction:
the sentence in my comment above should read:

"In other words, length was not 'emic' in KOINH."

Funny how little words can drop out of an email.

Matthew said...

Thank you.Keep up the good work!

a guy said...

Dear Mr. Buth,

I'm currently working to study Greek: let me explain that statement. I've studied Koine a bit, but have been dissatisfied with the quality of works and instruction: they're often not erudite, though rarely are any recommended works of terrible quality, either. For this I've assembled several beginners works to use comparatively, and have been researching, 'getting a feel' for the environment of studies, which includes, of course, pronunciation: this I've always felt to be of great importance: I want to memorize, quote, learn-at-length, and be able to speak and think it all audibly; I've also intuitively grasped that such 'unimpotant' matters may not always be significant-but can be at unexpected points of interpretation, textual criticism, etc.

In other words, I've been bogged down in details that some might gloss over for beginners, but intentionally because I don't want to have to learn, then un-learn (always seems worse than just taking much extra effort to begin with) to learn. I would like suggestions, if you have any, and also ask about any works you've published or recommend on reconstructed pronunciation of koine. For books on the basics of the language itself I have Machen, Funk's coveted beginner's-intermediate three-book set, and Mounce, to comparatively read and take notes; the traditional, revolutionary/structuralist approach, and cutting-edge (pedagogically).

Now the one thing to really get started that I need...is an erudite work serious about learning most accurate pronunciation. Thanks for your time!

Randall Buth said...

shalom Guy,

It's good to hear of your commitment to learn a very interesting language and literautre. I'm a little puzzled though in deciphering a comment. You list three books and list three categories (traditional, revolu-strucuralist, and cutting-edge), but they do not line up one-to-one. Both Machen and Mounce are traditionalist pedagogically (actually, all three books are traditionalist, what is called 'grammar-translation' in the field of second language pedagogy, an area that 'cutting-edge' pedagogy has long left behind). And structuralism was not even cutting-edge linguistics when Funk was published, let alone revolutionary. So I'm not clear as how to give directions.

In general, languages are learned through use, using a language in a meaningful context, at first primarily thru listening (augmented by reading) and then gradually adding production, primarily speaking (augmented thru writing). My recommendation is to begin listening to Greek in meaningful contexts, where you can understand most of what is going on. We have a 1000 picture series called Living Koine Greek, Part One, fully recorded in "κοινὴ προφορά (pronunciation)", to get you started. It will open up your mind to begin to think in Greek from the beginning, rather than to process/analyze from a mental English grid. There is nothing wrong with analyzing a language from an English grid, it's just that learning a language should call a person beyond that, to work toward and to enter a stage where the oppositions, links, and relationships in a language are processed from within the language itself. That takes extensive, rapid, use of a language if one wants these processes to be automatized in the way that we expect foreign learners of English to automatize their use of English.
You can see more on our website www.biblicalulpan.org where methodology is briefly outlined, a Greek pronunciation discussion is available on PDF, and Greek recorded materials are offered.
ἔρρωσο
"be well" (ancient Greek letter closing)