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July 25, 2010

Scholz - Byzantine Text (1830)

Excerpts & Reviews on Scholz' GNT

Page Index

Scholz: - description, reviews:
    Scholz' Vol. 1 - review by Horne (1831)
    Scholz' Classification - review by Porter (1848)
    Scholz - a dismissal by Ezra Abbott (1908)

Horne on Scholz

Review of GNT, Vol. 1 (1830)

52. Novum Testamentum Grace. Textum ad fidem Testium Criticorum recensuit, Lcctionum Familias subjecit, e Gnecis Codicibua Manuscripts qui in Europe et Asia Bibliothecis reperiuntur fere omnibus, e Versionibus Antiquis, Conciliis, Saudis Patribus et Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis quibiucunque, vel primo vel iterum collatis, Copias Criticas addidit, atque Condi tionem horum Testium Criticorum, Historiamque Textus Novi Testament! in Prolegomenis fusius exposuit, pneterea Synaxaria Codicum K. M. 262. 274. typis exscribenda curavit Dr. J. Martinus Augustinus Scholz. Vol. I. Lipsie, 1830. 4to.

The preceding copious title-page of this beautifully executed work will convey to the reader an idea of the plan adopted by the learned editor, Dr. J. Martin Scholz, who devoted twelve years of incessant labour to his arduous undertaking. In order to obtain materials, he visited in person the libraries of Paris, Vienna, Landshut, Munich, Berlin, Treves, London, Geneva, Turin, Florence, Venice, Parma, Rome, Naples, of the Greek monasteries at Jerusalem, of Su Saba, and the Isle of Patmos; and collated, either wholly or in part, all the manuscripts of the New Testament which are to be found in the libraries just enumerated (in Greek, Latin, Arabic, &c.), comparing them with the text of Griesbach. He also professes to have examined anew most of the ancient versions, as well as the passages cited from the New Testament in the writings of the Fathers of the Christian Church, and of succeeding ecclesiastical authors, and in the acts of councils. In addition to all which sources, he has availed himself of the printed collations of preceding critical editors of the Greek Testament.

(a) The Prolegomena, which fill one hundred and seventy-two pages, contain a critical history of the text of the New Testament, together with a copious history and critical estimate of all the sources of various readings consulted by Professor Scholz, distinguishing the MSS collated by others from those which he had himself collated for the first lime, either wholly or in part. These MSS form a total of 674; of which number 343 were collated by his predecessors in this department of sacred literature, — 286 of various portions of the New Testament, and 57 evangelisteria or lesson-books extracted from the four Gospels; and 331 were for the first time collated by Dr. Scholz himself, viz. 210 MSS. of parts of the New Testament, and 121 evangelisleria. Of the theory of recensions adopted by Dr. S. in his Prolegomena and in his Biblico-Critical Travels, and of the two classes of instruments or documents to which he refers all the MSS. of the New Testament, an account is given in Part I. pp. 309—212. of the first volume.

(b) The Four Gospels: To the Prolegomena succeed the four Gospels, which fill 452 pages, separately numbered. The text, which is generally that called the Textus Receptus, is judiciously printed in paragraphs, with the numbers of chapters and verses placed in the side margin: not a word is altered without the support of the most decisive critical testimonies. In the inner margin of the text are placed the families of readings, as Dr. Scholz terms them; that is, the genera! reading found in the two great classes of manuscripts, viz. the Constantinopolitan, and the Alexandrine: and beneath these, in the outer margin, are given the more detailed specifications, which are very clearly and commodiously disposed of in two columns, and in the following order, viz.

1. Manuscripts of the greatest antiquity, which are written in uncial or capital letters: these are designated by the letters of the alphabet, from A - Z, and by the two Greek letters Gamma (Γ) and Delta (Δ) ;

2. Manuscripts written in cursive or ordinary Greek characters;

3. Evangelisteria. The references to these two classes of manuscripts are by Arabic figures;

4. The readings found in the several ancient versions; and

5. The quotations found in the writings of the fathers and other ecclesiastical authors and in the acts of councils.

Dr. Scholz is proceeding in the second volume of his most valuable work with all the despatch practicable, considering the minute end various objects which necessarily demand his attention. It is expected to appear in the course of the present year, or early in 1835.

Porter on Scholz

Intro. TC of NT, (1848), pp. 402 fwd

"Professor Scholz, as is well known, had been led to a conclusion as different as possible from that to which these eminent critics [Griesbach, Hug, previously discussed] have arrived.

He asserts that an accurate examination and diligent comparison of the documents employed in criticism, manifestly proves that they consist of two classes only:

(1) One which, for the most part, agrees with the Textus Receptus,

(2) The other which differs from it almost every line, both in particular words and entire sentences.

But this distinction is founded, not upon individual words or phrases, but upon the universal condition of the text, or rather upon certain continuity and connexion of testimonies. * The distinction between the two classes is easy. The documents of the first class seldom differ among themselves, but every codex of the second has many readings peculiar to itself, yet their general condition is the same; they appear to have originated in the same region, and they have many or most of their readings in common; for these reasons he considers that they must be ranked in the same class.

The Byzantine Text-type

To the first class belong almost the whole of the MSS which have been written within the last 8 centuries, and all the printed editions [up to Lachman's GNT, 1842,1850]. When these documents agree in any reading we generally find the same in a few MSS of the 8th and 9th centuries - the Phyloxenian Syriac, the Gothic, Georgian, and Slavonic versions, and the Fathers and church writers who inhabited Asia (Turkey) and the Eastern part of Europe, if the passage be quoted at all in any of their surviving works.

The MSS of this class are proved by their subscriptions, by the notes occasionally found upon their margins, by the paintings which some of them contain, by the Menologies or list of 'lessons' appropriated to the commemoration of certain saints, by the nature of their writing, or by the Versions and Fathers with which they usually agree, to have been written either in Asia or in the East of Europe; ahdn having been employed at all times in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, they may properly be designated the "Constantinopolitan or Byzantine family. This class or family of documents he regards as presenting to us the true text of the New Testament.

The 'Alexandrine' Text-type of Scholz

The MSS of the second class are proved by the same or similar tests to have been written in Egypt, or in the Western regions of Europe. They abound in orthographical errors and other mistakes, and differ very much among themselves. MSS of this class were undoubtedly very widely diffused in ancient times, as is shown by the occurence of the readings peculiar to it in so many writers both of Alexandria and the Western Church; but partly in consequence of accidents, ill-treatment, the efforts of persecutors, and the malice of conflicting sects - partly in consequence of the fewness of those persons in the West who either wrote or could read Greek MSS. - very few of them have come down to our day. The Alexandrine family of Scholz embraces all those documents which Griesbach includes in his 'Western' and 'Alexandrine' recensions, and which constitute the 'koine exdosis' and Hesychian recension of Hug; together with most of those which the last named writer comprehends in his list of the documents of the Origenian text.

Such is the theory of Professor Scholz, as it is presented to us in its latest form, after mature reflection, in the Prolegomena to his NT. It is not needful to examine his previous classifications, or to call under review statements and opinions which their author himself has deliberately renounced. Nor is it any disgrace to a critic to have retracted what, on farther consideration, he had found to be erroneous in his former views, but highly to his credit; such candour and openness to conviction are at all times most creditable; but the approbation which we feel for these qualities does not exempt us from the necessity and duty of examining the foundation of his present opinions, as he has himself examined that of his former principles.

We must admit that he is perfectly correct in ranking by far the greater part of our present critical material among the documents of the Byzantine text. We must farther allow that there is among the more recent MSS of this class a uniformity of reading, from whatever cause this may have arisen, for which we look in vain among any other tribe of documents: and if it be laid down as a principle, that all our material is to be distributed into two great divisions - the first including those which agree with the Constantinopolitan recension, and the second all the remainder, whatever their character or relation to each other, we have no longer any option but to adopt the distribution made by professor Scholz.

More Subdivision of 'Alexandrine' Needed

But this is a principle which cannot be justified by sound reasoning; for if we are compelled to separate the Byzantine documents into a class distinct from all the rest, on account of their agreement with each other, and their [p.404] frequent dissent from those which this critic denominates Alexandrian, the same reason will require us to examine whether among the residuary group, as we may call it, there are not also some, which on the very same grounds must be separated from its other members so as to form a class, or two or more classes by themselves. And this is an inquiry which Scholz not only has not settled, but which he has not in any part of his writings even professed to discuss."

- Porter, Textual Criticism of the NT (1848) p.402-404

Ezra Abbott on Scholz

Encycl. Relig. Knowl., (1908)

Abbott's reference is part of a long propaganda-piece meant to promote the Unitarian-sponsored Greek NT texts of Lachmann, Tregelles, Westcott/Hort, and supress the popularity and prestige of the Traditional text (Textus Receptus). We have highlighted the biased language and inaccuracies in Abbott's statements with italic. For instance, as can be seen from the more detailed description above, Scholz did not abandon his basic position regarding the priority of the Byzantine text-type.

"... S. T. Bloomfield's Greek Testament with English Notes (London, 1832, 9th ed., 1855, 2 vols.), mark no progress in criticism beyond Griesbach, but rather a retrograde movement.

The same is true of the large edition of the Catholic scholar J. M. A. Scholz (2 vols., 4to, Leipsic, 1830-1836), whose extensive travels and researches in libraries enabled him to add a very large number of new manuscripts (according to Scrivener, 616) to the list of those previously known. But of these only thirteen were collated entire; a few others in the greater part; many in only a few chapters; many more simply inspected, or only enrolled in the list.

Scholz was a poor critic, and as an editor and collator incredibly careless.

He divided his manuscripts into two classes or recensions — the Alexandrian and the Constantinopolitan, giving the preference to the latter. But in applying his system, he was happily inconsistent, particularly in his 2nd volume, and at a later period of his life (1845) abandoned it.

His edition met with no favor from intelligent scholars; but in England, where Biblical criticism was at its lowest ebb, it was welcomed and praised by many, and its text reprinted."

Ezra Abbott, "Bible Text"
New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia
of Religious Knowledge,
vol. 2 (New York, 1908).

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