Luke 14:5

Luke 14:5 [Textus Receptus (Elzevir) (1624)]256-257
Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς, εἶπε· Τίνος ὑμῶν ὄνος ἢ βοῦς εἰς φρέαρ ἐμπεσεῖται, καὶ οὐκ εὐθέως ἀνασπάσει αὐτὸν ἐν τὴ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ σαββάτου;

Luke 14:5 [Codex Sinaiticus (א or 01) (4th century)]q78f8vc1
Και αποκριθις προς αυτο<υς>ν ειπεν τινος ϋμων ονος η βους εις φρεαρ πεσειτε και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτο- εν <τη> ημερα του σαββατου

Luke 14:5 [Codex Alexandrinus (A02) (5th century)]33rc1-2
Και αποκριθεις ειπεν προς αυτους· τινος υμων ο ϋϊος η βους· εις φρεαρ πεσειτε· και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτο τη ημερα του σαββατου·

Luke 14:5 [Codex Vaticanus Gr. 1209 (B03) (4th century)]51ac3-51bc1
Και προς αυτους ειπε- τινος ϋμων ϋιος η βους εις φρεαρ πεσειται ϗ ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτον εν ημερα του σαββατου

Luke 14:5 [Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D05) (5th century)]244v|469
Και ειπεν προς αυτους τινος εξ υμων προβατον η βους εις φρεαρ ενπεσειται τη ημερα του σαββατου και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτον

Critical Apparatus :

(1) αποκριθεις : A, W, ℓ339, ℓ1086, Majority
(2) αποκριθις : א*
(3) OMIT αποκριθεις : א¹, B, D

(4) προς αυτους ειπε : ℓ339, Majority
(5) προς αυτους ειπεν : א¹, B
(6) ειπεν προς αυτους : A, D
(7) προς αυτον ειπεν : א*
(8) προς αυτους ειπεν ο ιησους : ℓ1086
(9) ο ιησους ειπεν προς αυτους : W

(10) τινος : א, A, B, W, ℓ339, ℓ1086, Majority
(11) ADD εξ : D

(12) ονος : א, ℓ1086
(13) υιος : B, W, ℓ339, Majority, Scholz
(14) ο υιος : A
(15) προβατον : D

(16) εμπεσειται : ℓ339, ℓ1086, Majority
(17) ενπεσειται : D
(18) πεσειται : B, W
(19) πεσειτε : א, A

(20) και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτον εν τη ημερα του σαββατου : א¹, ℓ1086, Majority
(21) και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασι αυτον εν τη ημερα του σαββατου : W
(22) και ουκ ευθεως ανασπαση αυτον εν τη ημερα του σαββατου : ℓ339
(23) και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτον εν ημερα του σαββατου : א*, B
(24) και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτο τη ημερα του σαββατου : A
(25) τη ημερα του σαββατου και ουκ ευθεως ανασπασει αυτον : D



ΡΟΖ / Ε :

A (f33rc1-2), D (f244v|469)



A Textual Commentary On Luke 14:5

(a) Sometimes the reading of a passage which is supposed to contain something incongruous, is not merely that of the ancient copies, but also of so many others as to be perhaps the numerical majority. Thus, in Luke xiv. 5, our Lord says, in the common text, “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox (ὄνος η βους) fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?”

But, instead of ὄνος, the reading υιος is found in (A) B E G H M S (U) V A, with many later copies (in A U preceded by the article ο) ; the same reading has been cited from the Peshito and Harclean Syriac (to which I may now add the Curetonian Syriac ܒܪܗ ܐܘ ܬܘܪܗ), the Thebaic, and two copies of the Old Latin (corrected). Προβατον is the reading of D ; while ὄνος, as found in the common text, is that of K L X, the Old Latin ; the Vulg., Memph., Arm., Æth. The other ancient MSS. not cited by name are here defective, as is the Gothic version.

That ὄνος η βους is the best-supported reading is most certain ; ὄνος seems to have sprung from Luke xiii. 15, where our Lord is also defending his having healed on the sabbath, saying, “Doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass (τον βουν αυτου η τον ὄνος) from the stall, and lead him away to watering?” Here we have ὄνος so connected with βους on the subject of the sabbath, that it would be surprising indeed if some copyists had not introduced the word into this second passage ; translators, also, would have the same tendency quite as strongly ; for they ever sought to make intelligible what they rendered ; and υιος might be as much a difficulty to them as it has been to some later critics. IIpοβατον, as found in D, seems to be simply another correction, taken from the “one sheep” (προβατον εν) falling into the pit on the sabbath, Matt. xii. 11.

And yet the reading υιος has been opposed by many, who have thought that almost any conjecture is admissible in such a case. Michaelis says (ii. 394), “The first editors of the Greek Testament so sensibly felt the impropriety of the reading υιος η βους, Luke xiv. 5, that they unanimously inserted ὄνος, though they found it not in a single MS. It is true that they had the authority of the Vulgate, but even there the alteration had probably been made from mere conjecture.” It is probable that Michaelis mistook in thinking that the early editors did not find ὄνος in any of their copies ; but still he approved of this, which he considered to be a purely conjectural reading of theirs. It seems, in fact, to be a conjecture of an earlier period.

Mill had suggested, that for υιος we should read OIΣ : and, though Lachmann of course inserted υιος in his text, yet he mentions this conjecture most approvingly in the Prolegomena to his second volume, page vij. He says, “Luke xiv. 5. τίνος ὑμῶν ΥΣ (or rather Ο ΥΣ) ἢ βοῦς εἰς φρέαρ πεσεῖται ; that which pleased the early correctors is devoid of skill, namely, to substitute ὄνος or πρόβατον. Mill was most true in his conjecture ΟΪΣ. For I prefer writing ὄϊς rather than οἶς, a form perhaps too Attic, and which by the ancients was not written ὖς.”

Very similar conjectures have been put forth by a writer in the Edinburgh Review,* who traces however the reading υιος or ο υιος to the Latin ovis . This writer says that the reading υιος is “obviously an absurd one,” “a senseless reading,” etc.

But this conjecture has not nearly as much to recommend it as that of Mill and Lachmann: it is complicated ; and probably the writer would not have thought of it, and afterwards believed it to be so certain, if he had not been engaged in maintaining a new theory, on the supposed Latinising of the most ancient Greek MSS. (on this subject a word presently).

If we had not the most ancient MSS. as witnesses, Mill’s conjecture might have had much in its favour : for the later of the uncial codices do so confuse vowels, as to exchange OI and Υ : thus go and ou are confounded ; and so οις might have been written υς, identical in letters with the contraction υς for υιος. But the oldest MSS. are free from vowel changes such as this, and besides, the versions do not support the word sheep (be the Greek όϊς ο πρόβατον) in the passage.

The investigation then shows, that, without license of conjecture, the reading vios cannot be rejected : is it, then, so absurd and senseless as has been asserted ? Let the whole context be examined, instead of narrowing the question just as if we had to inquire, whether we should have expected the collocation “son or ox”?

Our Lord is here speaking of the sanctification of the sabbath, which the Pharisees deemed that he had violated by healing on that day. Now the law of the sabbath, as given in the decalogue, Deut. v. 14, runs thus : “In it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle.” This law, then, is divided into two parts ; the former relating to the rest of the persons, the latter to that of the animals of him to whom it is addressed. At the head of the former stands the son, of the latter stands the ox. But, though persons and animals were alike to rest, yet, if either had fallen into a well, our Lord shows (in full conformity with the decisions of the Jewish doctors, so that no one could answer a word), that he should be delivered from this danger and inconvenience, even on the sabbath ; and similarly had he acted in healing the man that had the dropsy. Was there, then, any thing strange in his referring to the son and the ox in the very terms of the law of Moses, as the heads of the two classes whose rest was commanded? “Which of you shall have a SON or an OX fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?” Though you are commanded to let them rest, yet, on emergency, you may act for their welfare.

The article in the Edinburgh Review, to which allusion has just been made, repeats the charge of Latinising against the oldest MSS., and not against these only, but also sometimes (as in the passage just given) against even the numerical majority. A new theory is, however, brought forward, as explaining and accounting for the alleged “Latinising.”

After speaking of “the alteration of Greek MSS. from Latin ones” as a “fact,” “to which it would be desirable that the attention of scholars should be more carefully directed than has hitherto been the case,” the Reviewer develops his theory thus :-

“The main origin of the comparison of Greek MSS. with Latin ones, is probably to be looked for in the intercourse which took place between some of the principal ecclesiastics of the Greek church and the church of Rome, during the time of the Arian troubles. Among others, Athanasius and his successor Peter, in the fourth century, and John, also bishop of Alexandria, in the fifth, passed a considerable time at Rome, and probably brought from thence not only an intimacy with the Latin language, but also copies of the Scriptures as used in the Latin churches. Now nothing would be more natural than for the possessor of any one of these, when he found a discrepancy between the Greek codex used in his own church, and his new acquisition, to note the variation in the margin, either in Latin (as it existed) or in its Greek equivalent, or perhaps in both ; the former for his own satisfaction, the latter for the information of his successors who might not be ‘docti sermones utriusque linguæ.’”

* Edinburgh Review, No. CXCI., July 1851, p. 34. “ Luke xiv. 5. The reading of the Textus Receptus is, τίνος υμων ὄνος η βους εις φρέαρ πεσειται ; if there were no variations in the MSS., there would be nothing here but what might be expected. The two animals, ‘the ass’ and ‘the ox,’ are continually coupled together in the Old Testament, and therefore may be naturally expected in connection with one another here. But how to account for the extraordinary variation of the older Greek MSS.? With two exceptions [this is not quite correct : see above] the uncial codices all have the reading τίνος υμων υιος η βους εις φρέαρ πεσειται ; “Which of you shall have a SON Or an ox fall into a pit? ‘ — a reading which is obviously an absurd one, but which is sanctioned not only by a large number of uncial MSS., but by some versions and ecclesiastical writers. Of the two exceptions, the one is the Vatican Codex (this is an erroneous statement ; the Alexandrian MS. probably is meant, but that is not alone ] which has ο υιος (a reading which would witness against itself by the article, even if there were nothing suspicious about υιος) ; and the other the Codex Bezæ, which furnishes a clue to the whole difficulty. That MS. has τινος εξ υμων προβατον η βους εις φρέαρ πεσειται ; The Latin equivalent of πρόβατον (ovis) being written in the margin of a Greek MS. by way of explanation of the word, was, no doubt, taken by transcribers for a Greek word erroneously spelt, and indicating an alternative reading. One probably thought the initial letter forced out of its proper place, and that for ουις was to be read υιος. Another, taking the initial letter for the article, thought that the ο of the last syllable had been omitted, and that by ουις was meant ο υιος, the reading of the Vatican [read Alexandrian] Codex. Whether ὄνος is an arbitrary correction of the senseless reading υιος, or whether there were two very early alternative readings, τίνος υμων πρόβατον η βους, and τίνος υμων ονος η βους, we will not pretend to determine. But we think no one, whose attention has been once called to the matter, will doubt for an instant that the reading τινος υμων η βους (which has far more weighty MS. authority than any other) grew up in the way we have described, through the intervention of a Latin version.”

To this I say, in the words of a German of the last century, on a different subject, Then I am that no one” : even if a conjecture had been needful and jus why should we wander to the Latin for ovis, when the Greek tongue itself supplies us with ΟΙΣ? To do this, would be like making an immense circuit to reach a point near home.

(S.P. Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, pp. 197-201)






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