About Philip B. Payne Man and Woman, One in Christ Philip B. Payne, and the cover of his latest book, Man and Woman, One in Christ
May 1st
2019
written by phil

Priscilla Papers 33, No. 2 (Spring 2019) 24­-30 has just published my article, “Is 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 a Marginal Comment or a Quotation? A Response to Kirk MacGregor.” It demonstrates that Kirk MacGregor’s claim that 1 Cor 14:33b-38 is a “Quotation-Refutation Device” is false. It argues, instead, that 1 Cor 14:34-35 was originally written in the margin as a reader comment and was inserted into the text, as copyists normally did with text in the margin, either after verse 33 or after verse 40. It provides evidence that 14:34-35 was a marginal gloss from the oldest Bible in Greek, Codex Vaticanus, one of the oldest Latin manuscripts, Codex Fuldensis, transcriptional probability, and internal evidence. It identifies all sixteen instances where Vaticanus’s original scribe left a gap in the text at the exact point at least four words were added. Four-or-more-word additions survive in multiple manuscripts on all seventeen distigme-obelos-marked lines. The two-dot distigme marks the location of a textual variant. The obelos identifies what kind of variant it is, a multi-word addition that was not in the original text.

5 Comments

  1. Lizzie
    04/25/2020

    This is certainly impressive evidence. I’ve enjoyed reading your articles on the subject of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. But I have some questions. I found the claim that less than half of the western tradition has the verses moved. The same person also claimed that Latin texts in the Western tradition had arbitrary modifications of the text, out of haste and incompetence, and the Greek text followed. So that the easiest and best explanation for 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 being transposed is haste, an arbitrary modification, or incompetence. I also found out about western non interpolations, and wondered if that was relevant here? In addition, I was made aware of the textual problem of Romans 16:25-27 – is that not similar to 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 since it also is found is numerous places in the texts? But as far as I’m aware, Romans 16:25-27 is still regarded as authentic.
    Lastly, the NET has a note about 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 that argues the verses are authentic. They give four reasons for this, including the verses being in all known manuscripts, Paul himself putting the words in the margin, that the indications of where the marginal note was supposed to go got smudged and became obscure so it got transposed, and there being no asterisk or obelisk, etc. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this note in the NET?
    I apologize for such a long question. I have just started looking into the text critical question, and I want to be sure I understand the issue thoroughly.
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+14&version=NET

  2. Taylor
    05/08/2020

    I was reading through this article, and noticed your parallels of this case to Ephesians 5:22. I ran across an article that argues that “submit” was actually original to Ephesians 5:22. I do not know much about textual criticism, so I was wondering how persuasive these arguments are? Also, I read that the longer reading is supported by the fact that most manuscripts have submit in verse 22, and that there are reasons not to trust papyrus 46 and B in their omission. Since this verse is important in understanding the submission of wives to husbands and the text critical issue of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, I was wondering what you think of this as a text-critical scholar?

  3. phil
    05/10/2020

    Thanks for your commend, Taylor. Here is my (Phil Payne’s) response. Eph 5:22 exemplifies how quickly a widely acknowledged addition (“submit” in three verbal forms either after “wives” or “husbands”) became part of every surviving manuscript of Ephesians following its first surviving occurrence in Codex Sinaiticus. Based on the absence of “submit” in P46, B, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 4.8.64), Origen, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Jerome’s comment that in Greek manuscripts verse 22 never repeats the verb “submit” from verse 21, virtually all critical editions omit “submit”: NA, UBS, Nestle, Westcott-Hort, Tasker, Souter, Alford, Tischendorf. The inclusion of “submit” in The Greek New Testament: Tyndale House, Cambridge is inconsistent with its aim “to present the New Testament books in the earliest form in which they are well attested” (Cambridge/ Wheaton, IL: Cambridge University Press/Crossway, 2017), vii.

    The Greek New Testament (5th rev. ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2014), 8* and (4th rev. ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1998), *3 ranks the omission of “submit” as “almost certain.” Since none of the thousands of NT manuscripts written after Codex Sinaiticus removed “submit,” removal cannot reasonably explain its absence from the earliest manuscripts and many early citations. Consequently, “submit” must not originally have been in the letter. The addition of “submit,” like 1 Cor 14:34–35, reinforced “conventional wisdom” regarding women. This probably accelerated the adoption of both. The rapid universal adoption of “submit” shows that the addition of 14:34–35 even well into the second century could explain every surviving manuscript.

    Peter Gurry’s suggestion regarding Eph 5:22 seems strained: “ὑποτασσέσθωσαν (“they should be in submission”) explains the shorter reading (found only in P46 B Clem Hier) by simple homoioteleuton, the word being omitted because of the repeated ν on ἀνδράσιν just before it.”

    A single letter nu, one of the most common letters in Greek, especially at the end of words, is not what is normally regarded as “simple homoioteleuton”. This same point is made by several who comment on Gurry’s suggestion: Joey McCollum rightly criticizes Gurry’s homoioteleuton explanation: “In defense of the shorter reading, homoioteleuton on the basis of a single letter is less plausible than it would have been if larger common ending were involved. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible here, but it seems a bit strained, especially given the length of the word being omitted.”

    Peter Head agreed with Joey McCollum: “I agree with Joey on caution about a single letter justification for a homoioteleuton leap.” To which Joey added, “I agree with you that it is quite unlikely”. Maurice Robinson also criticizes Gurry on this point, “do not call it homoioteleuton when only a single letter may be a proximate cause.” Note: most English on-line dictionaries, like Bruce Metzger’s The Text of the New Testament, spell this word “homoeoteleuton.”

    Gurry acknowledges correctly that “to add a verb here (as, I readily admit, would be natural).” He should recognize this as evidence that the text originally did not have “submit.” The only reason a verb is needed is if the copyist regards v. 22 as separated from v. 21, and this is only possible after the addition of “submit.” Once it is separated, it no longer constitutes a continuation of the preceding second person plural imperatives. Consequently, it is understandable why there is variation in both the form and location of the insertions of “submit.” Such variations are signs that “submit” was not original but added later in various places and verbal forms. Any of the three forms of the command “submit” in either location fits if v. 22 as a new command is separated from the previous context.

    Gurry separates v. 21 from v. 22: “v. 21 should be read more with what precedes and v. 22, more with what follows. The paragraph break thus belongs after v. 21 not before it.” This is contrary to the NA28 and UBS4 editors’ judgment. Both treat vv. 21-22 as part of the same sentence.

    Gurry writes, “Let no one say that textual criticism doesn’t influence interpretation and application.” It appears to me that in this case it is Gurry’s interpretation that influences his textual criticism. By separating v. 21 from v. 22 he divorces Paul’s call to women to submit to their husbands from its original context as an expression of mutual submission. This fits his complementarian theology and is in harmony with his dismissive rejection of evidence that a reader of 1 Cor 14:34-35 added this text in the margin, which most naturally explains its location either after 1 Cor 14:33 or after 1 Cor 14:40.

    Bruce Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed.) 541 notes, “A majority of the [UBS GNT] Committee preferred the shorter reading, which accords with the succinct style of the author’s admonitions.” Bill Wartman’s comment regarding Gurry’s suggestion illustrates Paul’s tendency to be concise: “Col 3:17 also “drops” an expected imperative that otherwise would repeat the preceding verb. “καὶ πᾶν ὅ τι ἐὰν ποιῆτε ἐν λόγῳ ἢ ἐν ἔργῳ, πάντα ἐν ὀνόματι ⸂κυρίου Ἰησοῦ⸃.” “And whatever you do, in word or deed, [do] everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Paul’s concise style favors that Paul’s original text did not include “submit.” Maurice Robinson’s comment to Gurry gives another even closer example, both contextually and conceptually, of Paul’s tendency to be succinct: “a parallel construction, where 5.21-22 is paralleled by the 5.24 follow-up in which υποτασσεται is initially mentioned (in relation to the church), followed by ουτως και οι γυναικες without any form of υποτασσω present.”

    Textual critics generally hold B (Codex Vaticanus) and P46 as two of our most reliable manuscripts. For a detailed explanation of this, see my 2017 NTS article downloadable from this website under Publications: Articles.

    In summary, the overwhelming consensus of textual critics for centuries, even some critical editions before the discovery of P46, has been that Paul’s original text of Eph 5:22 did not include “submit.” Since none of the post-Sinaiticus NT manuscripts removed “submit,” removal cannot reasonably explain its absence from the earliest manuscripts and many early citations. If removal were justified by some scribal tendency, such as Gurry suggests, surely that same tendency would have caused at least some of the many hundreds of subsequent copyists after Sinaiticus to remove “submit.” The fact that not even one copyist after Sinaiticus ever removed “submit” once it was in the text, shows that all the earliest NT manuscripts of this verse and so many early citations of it cannot plausibly be explained as having removed “submit” from a text that originally included “submit.”

    For more about the text and teaching of Ephesians 5, please see Philip B. Payne, “What-about Headship? From Hierarchy to Equality” in Mutual by Design: A better Model for Christian Marriage (ed. Elizabeth Beyer; Minneapolis: CBE International, 2017), downloadable from this website under Publications: Articles.

  4. phil
    05/10/2020

    Thank you for your thoughtful questions, Lizzie. Please find answers and comments introduced with “COM:” interspersed following statements from your message introduced as “Lizzie:”.

    Lizzie: This is certainly impressive evidence. I’ve enjoyed reading your articles on the subject of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. But I have some questions. I found the claim that less than half of the western tradition has the verses moved.

    COM: Do you have a bibliographic reference for this assertion? It sounds like someone is using the word “western” in a way contrary to its usual meaning within NT textual criticism, name those manuscripts whose text closely reflects the “Western Text” tradition. Gordon Fee, one of the foremost NT textual scholars, in his 1 Corinthians commentary, p. 699 n. 1 lists manuscript support for 1 Cor 14:34-35 following 14:40 and summarizes, “thus the entire Western tradition.” As cited below, the NET Bible agrees with Fee. Note that the NET Bible agrees with Gordon Fee’s judgment that it is “uniform Western tradition of having the verses at the end of the chapter.”

    Lizzie: The same person also claimed that Latin texts in the Western tradition had arbitrary modifications of the text, out of haste and incompetence, and the Greek text followed.

    COM: Who claims that the Greek “Western text” followed after the Latin text made this change? Does this person identify any Latin “Western text” manuscript written before any Greek “Western text” manuscripts? Indeed, are there any early Latin “Western text” manuscripts that are not part of a bilingual text along with the Greek text?

    Lizzie: So that the easiest and best explanation for 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 being transposed is haste, an arbitrary modification, or incompetence.

    COM: There are no truly comparable instances that explain this transposition. My Man and Woman, One in Christ pages 227-232 show that attempts to explain it in this way fail miserably, such as that by Antoinette Wire.
    COM: P. 28 of the Priscilla Papers study regarding which you posted your question states, “The most detailed attempt to find long transpositions in “Western” manuscripts identifies only three instances. The longest moves a seven- or eleven-word benediction three verses forward for the obvious reason, to make “an apt conclusion to the letter.” J. J. Kloha, “A Textual Commentary on Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians” (PhD diss., University of Leeds, 2006), 549.
    COM: A thirty-six- to forty-word transposition five verses away with no obvious reason is unprecedented in any Pauline manuscript.

    COM: One early copyist apparently inserted vv. 34–35 from the margin into the text after v. 40, which gave rise to their “Western” location. Another early copyist apparently inserted vv. 34–35 after v. 33, which gave rise to their usual location. This is the only explanation of this text’s two locations congruent with common scribal practice. A marginal gloss far better explains both locations of vv. 34–35 than does an unprecedented transposition for no obvious reason. See Philip B. Payne, “Vaticanus Distigme-obelos Symbols Marking Added Text, Including 1 Corinthians 14.34–5,” NTS 63 (2017): 616.

    Lizzie: I also found out about western non interpolations, and wondered if that was relevant here?

    COM: “Western” non interpolations are where the “Western” text does not add text where other textual traditions do add text. In these cases there is a tendency among textual critics to regard the “Western” non-interpolated text as the earlier test. This is not relevant in this case.

    Lizzie: In addition, I was made aware of the textual problem of Romans 16:25-27 – is that not similar to 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 since it also is found is numerous places in the texts? But as far as I’m aware, Romans 16:25-27 is still regarded as authentic.

    COM: It is similar in that Rom 16:25-27 does occur in different locations in manuscripts. But it is different because there appears to be an obvious reason for its different locations. Its variant locations correspond to the end of Romans in versions of the letter without chapter 15 or without chapter 15 or 16. See n. 40 on p. 616 of my 2017 NTS Distigme-obelos article, available for free download from this website under Publications: Articles.

    COM: No Pauline manuscript transposes any other passage nearly this large this far without an obvious reason. The different endings of Romans best explain the different locations of its doxology: at 16:25–27, after 14:23 and after 15:33, as argued by D. Parker, An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 270, 272, ‘there is compelling evidence that fourteen and fifteen chapter forms existed … the Doxology is evidently a concluding formula,’ Harry Gamble, Jr., The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans: A Study in Textual and Literary Criticism (SD 42; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977) and, particularly insightful, L. Hurtado, ‘The Doxology at the End of Romans’, New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis. Essays in Honour of Bruce M. Metzger (ed. E. Epp and G. Fee; Oxford: Clarendon, 1981) 185–99.

    Lizzie: Lastly, the NET Bible has a note about 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 that argues the verses are authentic. They give four reasons for this, including the verses being in all known manuscripts, Paul himself putting the words in the margin, that the indications of where the marginal note was supposed to go got smudged and became obscure so it got transposed, and there being no asterisk or obelisk, etc. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this note in the NET?
    I apologize for such a long question. I have just started looking into the text critical question, and I want to be sure I understand the issue thoroughly.

    COM: I will address the NET Bible statements in my part to response, following.

  5. phil
    05/10/2020

    Lizzie response part 2: a detailed response to the NET Bible statements

    COM: As in the previous comment, I (Phil Payne) will copy text from the NET Bible statements introduced with “NET Bible:” followed by my comments, introduced with “COM:”

    NET Bible: the women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak. Rather, let them be in submission, as in fact the law says.
    NET Bible Note 2 states: “Paul would be indicating that the women should not speak up during such an evaluation, since such questioning would be in violation of the submission to male leadership that the OT calls for (the law, e.g., Gen 2:18″

    COM: It is not true that “let them be in submission” is something that “in fact the law says”. Nowhere does the OT command either the silence of women in congregations of God’s people nor their “submission to male leadership.” The OT Law never teaches either.

    COM: Gen 2:18 states what will occur as a result of the fall. It does not state what should result. Indeed, all the results of the fall are contrary to God’s creation design. “He will rule over you” only makes sense if prior to that man did not rule over woman. God’s creation design is for man and woman together to rule over the earth. They were both given dominion with no distinction hinted at in the text. Nothing in Genesis implies that woman was designed by God to be in submission to man. Even Chrysostom emphasizes this (see my book).

    NET Bible: If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home, because it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.

    COM: Even Wayne Grudem asserts that Gen 2:18 should not be used to support the subordination of women. The NET Bible correctly notes that 1 Cor 11:2-16 gives permission for women to pray or prophesy in the church meetings. But it is only by ASSUMING that 14:34-35 is Paul’s command that it interprets the meaning of the words in ways that distort their obvious meaning in Greek and in a such as way that what is permitted by v. 34 under this interpretation is prohibited by v. 35. This internal contradiction is inevitable if Paul taught that the women should not speak up during such an evaluation [of the prophets] but that their speech is not limited otherwise.

    COM: This NET Bible interpretation restricts the meaning of “speak” to the judging of prophecy. According to this interpretation, v. 34 permits what v. 35 prohibits. This is because, on this view, v. 34 permits speech unless it judges another’s prophecy, but v. 35 prohibits questions asked out of a desire to learn. Questions asked out of a desire to learn do not inherently or normally judge another’s prophecy. Verses 34 and 35 both prohibit a woman “to speak” in church. Consequently, any interpretation that v. 34 permits speech by women that v. 35 prohibits is incoherent. The same logical problem is entailed by the interpretation that the silence prohibited is only disruptive speech because speech asking questions out of a desire to learn is not inherently or normally disruptive.

    The NET Bible continues with a note on textual criticism:
    tc Some scholars have argued that vv. 34-35 should be excised from the text (principally G. D. Fee, First Corinthians [NICNT], 697-710; P. B. Payne, “Fuldensis, Sigla for Variants in Vaticanus, and 1 Cor 14.34-5,” NTS 41 [1995]: 240-262).
    COM: My book, pp. 226-227 identified 58 studies concluding that 34-35 were not originally in the text of 1 Corinthians after v. 33 or after v. 40.

    NET Bible: This is because the Western witnesses (D F G ar b vgms Ambst) have these verses after v. 40, while the rest of the tradition retains them here.
    COM: This is one of seven external and nine internal reasons for regarding this passage as not in Paul’s original letter in my book, pp. 227-267.

    There are no mss that omit the verses.
    COM: Statements that 1 Cor 14:34–35 is in every manuscript are misleading unless they acknowledge evidence that Vaticanus’s original scribe marked 14:34-35 as a later addition, that Fuldensis and 88 provide alternate texts without 14:34–35 after 14:33, and that Clement, Paed. 3,11 on the silence of “woman and man,” appears to presuppose a text without 14:34–35. See Philip B. Payne, “Ms. 88 as Evidence for a Text without 1 Cor 14.34–5,” NTS 44 (1998), 152–158; Payne, “Fuldensis,” 240–62 (download both from this website under Publications: Articles); Payne, Man and Woman, 246–251. The key evidence from transcriptional probability that 14:34–35 was originally a marginal gloss is unique to 1 Cor 14:34–35. No manuscript of any of Paul’s letters moves this large a block of text this far away without an obvious reason. Consequently, evidence like this does not undermine any other Pauline passage.

    NET Bible: Why, then, would some scholars wish to excise the verses?
    COM: Fee, I, and most others who conclude that these verses were not originally in Paul’s letter do not do so out of a “wish to excise the verses” but out of compelling evidence that this is the best explanation of the data of the manuscripts and of this text. See the “Odyssey” chapter of my book on this point.

    NET Bible: Because they believe that this best explains how they could end up in two different locations, that is to say, that the verses got into the text by way of a very early gloss added in the margin. Most scribes put the gloss after v. 33; others, not knowing where they should go, put them at the end of the chapter. Fee points out that “Those who wish to maintain the authenticity of these verses must at least offer an adequate answer as to how this arrangement came into existence if Paul wrote them originally as our vv. 34-35” (First Corinthians [NICNT], 700). In a footnote he adds, “The point is that if it were already in the text after v. 33, there is no reason for a copyist to make such a radical transposition.” Although it is not our intention to interact with proponents of the shorter text in any detail here, a couple of points ought to be made. (1) Since these verses occur in all witnesses to 1 Corinthians, to argue that they are not original means that they must have crept into the text at the earliest stage of transmission. How early? Earlier than when the pericope adulterae made its way into the text (late 2nd, early 3rd century?), earlier than the longer ending of Mark was produced (early 2nd century?), and earlier than even “in Ephesus” was added to (upon reception of the letter by the first church to which it came, the church at Ephesus) – because in these other, similar places, the earliest witnesses do not add the words. This text thus stands as remarkable, unique. Indeed, since all the witnesses have the words, the evidence points to them as having been inserted into the original document.

    COM: Nothing in NET Bible’s statement above requires that 14:34–35 was inserted into the text at an extraordinarily early time, let alone inserted into the original document. Eph 5:22 exemplifies how quickly a widely acknowledged addition (“submit” in three verbal forms either after “wives” or “husbands”) became part of every surviving manuscript of Ephesians following its first such occurrence in Codex Sinaiticus. Based on the absence of “submit” in P46, B, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 4.8.64), Origen, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and Jerome’s assertion that in Greek manuscripts verse 22 never repeats the verb “submit” from verse 21, virtually all critical editions omit “submit”: NA, UBS, Nestle, Westcott-Hort, Tasker, Souter, Alford, Tischendorf. The inclusion of “submit” in The Greek New Testament: Tyndale House, Cambridge is inconsistent with its aim “to present the New Testament books in the earliest form in which they are well attested” (Cambridge/ Wheaton, IL: Cambridge University Press/Crossway, 2017), vii. The UBS text—The Greek New Testament 5th rev. ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2014, 8* and 4th rev. ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1998, *3 ranks the omission of “submit” as “almost certain.” Since none of the thousands of NT manuscripts written after Sinaiticus removed “submit,” removal cannot reasonably explain its absence from the earliest manuscripts and many early citations. Consequently, “submit” must not originally have been in the letter. The addition of “submit,” like 1 Cor 14:34–35, reinforced “conventional wisdom” regarding women. This probably accelerated the adoption of both. The rapid universal adoption of “submit” shows that the addition of 14:34–35 even well into the second century could explain every surviving manuscript.

    NET Bible: Who would have done such a thing? And, further, why would scribes have regarded it as original since it was obviously added in the margin?

    COM: It was common convention for scribes to copy text from the margin, including reader comments, into the body text. The reason for this is simple. All scribes at times omitted words and added them in the margin, so when they found text in the margin, they risked being criticized if they did not put it in the body text they were writing. U. Schmid, “Conceptualizing ‘Scribal’ Performances: Reader’s Notes,” in The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research, ed. K. Wachtel and M. Holmes (Atlanta: SBL, 2011), 58 provides examples showing that “The inclination of scribes, at least in the view of the ancients, seems to have been toward the inclusion of marginal material into the main text.”

    NET Bible: This leads to our second point. (2) Following a suggestion made by E. E. Ellis (“The Silenced Wives of Corinth (I Cor. 14:34-5),” New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis, 213-20 [the suggestion comes at the end of the article, almost as an afterthought]), it is likely that Paul himself added the words in the margin.
    COM: This acknowledgement is essential to explain the two locations of this passage in manuscripts. Nevertheless, it does not take into account or answer any of the 9 internal evidences explained in my book, on pages 253-265 that 14:34–35 is incompatible with authorship by Paul. Furthermore, It is doubtful that vv. 34–35 could fit in a papyrus margin if written in Paul’s ‘large hand’ in which he gives his final greetings in Gal 6:11, “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand” and 2 Thess 3:17, “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter, it is the way I write.”

    NET Bible: Since it was so much material to add, Paul could have squelched any suspicions by indicating that the words were his (e.g., by adding his name or some other means).

    COM: We know that signing his name was not Paul’s convention because we have preserved in 2 Thess 3:17 and Gal 6:11 Paul’s own description of how his readers recognized his distinctive large handwriting.

    NET Bible: This way no scribe would think that the material was inauthentic.

    COM: Seventeen of the twenty instances of readable small uncial text in the margins of Matthew in Codex Vaticanus appear in the body text of most later manuscripts as evidenced by each of these seventeen being in NA28’s body text and being listed in the NA28 apparatus as occurring in the majority text. This exemplifies the tendency of scribes to put marginal text into the main text. Given the scribal convention of inserting marginal material, scribes could not be expected to have assumed that marginal material was inauthentic.

    NET Bible: (Incidentally, this is unlike the textual problem at Rom 5:1, for there only one letter was at stake; hence, scribes would easily have thought that the “text” reading was original. And Paul would hardly be expected to add his signature for one letter.) (3) What then is to account for the uniform Western tradition of having the verses at the end of the chapter?

    COM: Note that the NET Bible agrees with Gordon Fee’s judgment that it is “uniform Western tradition of having the verses at the end of the chapter.”

    NET Bible: Our conjecture (and that is all it is) is that the scribe of the Western Vorlage could no longer read where the verses were to be added (any marginal arrows or other directional device could have been smudged), but, recognizing that this was part of the original text,

    COM: It is unwarranted conjecture that readers writing comments in the margin (which is the most likely source for a long comment like vv. 34–35) would have intended them to be put in the text or would have included insertion arrows. While later scribes probably assumed the marginal text should be in the body text, it would be misleading to describe this as those scribes “recognizing that this was part of the original text”.

    NET Bible: felt compelled to put it somewhere. The least offensive place would have been at the end of the material on church conduct (end of chapter), before the instructions about the resurrection began. Although there were no chapter divisions in the earliest period of copying, scribes could still detect thought breaks (note the usage in the earliest papyri). (4) The very location of the verses in the Western tradition argues strongly that Paul both authored vv.34-35 and that they were originally part of the margin of the text.

    COM: Although the principles of textual criticism strongly support “that vv.34-35 were originally part of the margin of the text” of the Vorlage manuscript from which they were copied into the text after v. 40, nothing in their location gives any hint that “Paul authored vv.34-35”.

    NET Bible: Otherwise, one has a difficulty explaining why no scribe seemed to have hinted that these verses might be inauthentic (the scribal sigla of codex B, as noticed by Payne, can be interpreted otherwise than as an indication of inauthenticity [cf. J. E. Miller, “Some Observations on the Text-Critical Function of the Umlauts in Vaticanus, with Special Attention to 1 Cor 14:34-35,” JSNT 26 [2003]: 217-36.).

    COM: See my refutation of Miller unlikely interpretation of this distigme in “The Text-critical Function of the Umlauts in Vaticanus, with Special Reference to 1 Corinthians 14.34–35: A Response to J. Edward Miller. JSNT 27 (2004) 105–12 and the even more definitive refutation in my 2017 NTS article since obeloi are the standard symbols for spurious, later-added text. Both may be downloaded free from this website under Publications: Articles.

    NET Bible: There are apparently no mss that have an asterisk or obelisk in the margin.

    COM: My 2017 NTS article includes a photograph of an obelos marking the end of 1 Cor 14:33 and also the standard Vaticanus distigme marking the location of a textual variant.

    NET Bible: Yet in other places in the NT where scribes doubted the authenticity of the clauses before them, they often noted their protest with an asterisk or obelisk. We are thus compelled to regard the words as original,

    COM: My 2017 NTS argues that the original scribe of Vaticanus, scribe B, designated 14:34–35 a spurious added text. Since scribe B had access to more pre-Vaticanus text of the NT than every manuscript combined that we still have today, and since the NA28 and most textual scholars agree with every other one of the 15 distigme-obelos judgments made by scribe B (I discovered 8 more after the 2017 NTS article was published, see this web site’s May 2020 post), it would be unconscionable to dismiss the evident judgment of scribe B. So no, it is not true that “We are thus compelled to regard the words as original”.

    NET Bible: and as belonging where they are in the text above.

    COM: This seems to imply that vv. 34–35 belong after v. 33 since that is where they are in the text above. The prior note, however, has argued that they were originally not in the body text but in the margin. It can’t be both, so this conclusion contradicts the preceding argument.

    COM summary: It appears that the person who inserted the NET Bible tc comment on 1 Cor 14:34–35 is poorly informed about the fundamental principles of textual criticism and of Codex Vaticanus’s marking these verses as a later addition. That person also seems to be unaware that the interpretation proposed, namely that the silence that v. 33 commands is limited to the judging of prophets, interprets v. 34 as permitting (namely the asking of questions out of a desire to learn since it only prohibits standing over the prophets in judging them) what v. 35 prohibits. Such incoherence should not be attributed to Paul or the Scriptures as inspired by God.

    The normal meaning of the words of 1 Cor 14:34–35 in Greek is simple and repeated three times with varying words. They all match the Hellenistic “cultural wisdom” that is enshrined in many legal decrees that women should be silent in public gatherings. It would be perfectly natural for a typical reader of that day to want to add the qualification expressed in the marginal comment that we now call 14:34–35. That comment makes clear that the reader who added these words in the margin believed that Paul’s statements encouraging “all” to prophesy, teach, exhort, etc. throughout 1 Corinthians 14, should not apply to women.

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