Friday, November 17, 2023

Piscator's Comments at Revelation 16:5

Piscator's comments on Revelation 16:5 are of interest to our discussion of Beza's view of the text.  (pp. 821-22 of the 1658 edition - the fourth edition)

Similarly, from the 1613 edition:

5. Angelum aquarum ] Sive angelum illum tertium qui phialam suam effuderat in fontes aquarum : sive alium aliquem angelum cuftodia aquarum prafectum. llle Ens, & ille Erat, & ille Sanctus ] ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὅσιος. Pro, ὅσιος omnino legendum videtur ἐσόμενος, id est, Futurus: si quis consideret rem ipsam & descriptiones Dei similes suprà cap. 1. v. 4. & 8. item cap. 4. v. 8. & cap. 11 vers. 17. ubi pro ἐσόμενος habetur ἐρχόμενος. Cujus rei ratio probabilis affertur hac, quòd illic sermo sit de Deo ut judice venturo hic autem ut de exsequente judicia sua, idꝗ in aternum. Quòd hæc judicasti ] Quòd has plagas, sive hanc plagam (nempe tertiam) bominibus istis immisisti. 

Angelum aquarum ] "The angel of the waters" – Either that third angel who poured out his vial upon the fountains of waters: or some other angel appointed as the guardian of the waters. Ille Ens, & ille Erat, & ille Sanctus ] ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὅσιος. For, ὅσιος it seems that ἐσόμενος should be read, that is, the Future: if one considers the matter itself and similar descriptions of God above in chapter 1, verse 4, & 8. Also chapter 4, verse 8, & chapter 11 verse 17. where for ἐσόμενος is read ἐρχόμενος. The probable reason for this is suggested here, because there the discourse is about God as the coming judge, but here as executing his judgments, and that forever. Quòd hæc judicasti ] "Because you have judged these things" – Because you have sent these plagues, or this plague (namely the third) upon these people.


I suppose I should add that although Piscator was alive before 1582, and even published at least one book before 1582, there does not seem to be any reason to think that Piscator preceded Beza in coming to this conclusion regarding ἐσόμενος.  The vast majority of his works that were published were published after 1582, from what I can deduce from the PRDL selection (link).  Additionally, according to the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, he seems to have prepared his New Testament commentaries from 1595-1609, and thus after Beza's introduction of the ἐσόμενος substitution.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Beza's Sources as it relates to Revelation 16:5

Jan Krans devoted two appendices of Beyond What is Written to the identification of the Greek manuscripts and editions used by Erasmus (Appendix One) and the Manuscripts used in Stephanus' third edition (1550)(Appendix Two).  At p. 206, Krans begins section 8.3 "Beza's Sources" thus:

1. Stephanus' 1551 edition at Revelation 16:5 has (link):

2. Stephanus' 1550 edition at Revelation 16:5 has (link):

3. The Complutensian Polyglot (printed 1514-1517, pub. 1520), referenced by Stephanus' 1550 has (link): 

You will notice that the difference is the inclusion/omission of the word for "Lord."

4. Coline's 1534 Greek NT (also called Colinaeus) is another possible source for Beza (link), although it appears to align with the Erasmus text in Revelation (Krans mentions it briefly at p. 147 in an unrelated section of Beyond What is Written):

6. Aldine 1518 Greek NT is also a possible source for Beza (link), but this appears simply to repeat the Erasmus Greek text, and is somewhat harder to use, in view of the absence of chapter marks.

At p. 207, Krans goes on to identify "Froben's edition" (probably the 1535 edition of Erasmus' NT or Volume VI of the 1540 Opera Omnia) and to "Greek scholia," which refers to Bernardus Donatus' 1532 edition.  

7. Erasmus' 1535 NT (link to page) at Revelation 16:5

8. Erasmus' 1535 Annotations (link to page) at Revelation 1:4

9. Erasmus' 1535 Annotations (link to page) at Revelation 16:5

10. Bernardus Donatus' 1532 edition, (Exegeseis palaiai kai lianophelimoi brachulogian te sapheneian... Expositiones antiquae ac valde vtiles breuitatem vna cum perspicuitate habentes mirabilem, ex diuersis sanctorum patrum commentariis ab Oecumenio et Aretha collectae in hosce noui testamenti tractatus. Oecumenii quidem In Acta Apostolorum. In septem epistolas quae Catholicae dicuntur. In Pauli omnes. Arethae vero In Ioannis Apocalypsim By Oecumenius de Tricca, Donato (aka Bernardus Donatus) · 1532) was one of the sources that Beza relies on.  The edition includes, corresponding to Revelation, a commentary identified as being of Arethas.  Bernardus Donatus' 1532 text from patristic sources including the "Arethas" commentary on the Apocalypse, has (both in the text and the commentary): 

11. Erasmus, Opera Omnia (1540), Vol. 6, New Testament at Revelation 16:5 (p. 421

12. Erasmus, Opera Omnia (1540), Vol. 6, Annotations at Revelation 1:4 (p. 777)

13. Erasmus, Opera Omnia (1540), Vol. 6, Annotations at Revelation 16:5 (p. 781)

Response to Castellio (1563) (Responsio ad defensiones et reprehensiones Sebastiani Castellionis, (etc.) By Theodore de Beze · 1563).  According to Krans (Beyond What is Written, p. 195), Beza aimed to provide a better Latin translation than either Erasmus or Castellio.  Beza's Response to Castellio's work includes an interesting comment on Passover (relevant to the Easter discussion that Nick Sayers and I had):

There were a few places where Revelation came up in the Response, but nothing significant and nothing clearly pertinent to Revelation 16:5.

14. Castellio's Latin Bible (published in Basle by Oporinus in 1551) has  (Testamentum novum, interpr. Sebastiano Castalione, 1551, at Rev. 16:5):

... Iustus es, Domine, qui es, quinque fuisti, quique augustus es, qui haec ita facienda iudicaveris ... 

Beza also relied on editions of Tremelius (Syriac) and Junius (Arabic). Krans, p. 208, says:

15. Tremelius' 1569 (first volume: available here), has the following at Revelation 16:5:

Why is there no Syriac here? Presumably because the Peshitta does not include Revelation.

Junius (who assisted Tremellius and married his daughter) provided comments on Revelation, but they seem to have been published in 1591, and the Greek text seems to follow Beza without additional comment on the textual issue. His Acts of the Apostles translation, however, was available sooner (link to a copy here).

16. David Chytraus (1563). I don't recall Beza specifically mentioning David Chytraus, but he was a notable enough Lutheran (one of the authors of the Formula of Concord) that one would assume that Beza would be interested to read his work. As you can see from the following excerpt from his Revelation commentary Chytraus was viewing the name of God given in Revelation 1:4 as related to YHWH and as involving the past, present, and future.

(Explicatio apocalypsis Johannis perspicua & brevis By David Chyträus · 1563) (see also, Chytraus' Exodus commentary at Exodus 3:14)

Of course, I mention this Lutheran writer as merely one example of a pre-1582 view that is similar to the underlying argument that Beza used.

Beza did have, as Krans acknowledges (p. 208) "a rather large scholarly network." Krans identifies (pp. 208-10 the following scholars as folks that Beza appears to have consulted regarding his New Testament (not specifically Revelation 16:5): Calvin, Joachim Camerarius, Pierre Pithou (who lent him an old manuscript, that Krans thinks is Codex Claramontanus), Patricius Junius, Johannes Grynaeus, Girolamo Zanchi, Meletius Pigas, Johannes Piscator (mentioned in the fourth and fifth edition prefaces), Johannes Drusius (mentioned in the fourth edition preface), Tussanus Berchetus (fifth edition preface), Corenlius Bertram (mentioned in the annotations at Acts 7:14), Matthaeus Beroaldus (Annotations at Acts 13:20), Isaac Casaubon (annotations Mark 5:38). 

Irena Backus, "The Reformed Roots of the English New Testament," pp. 2-3, provides some discussion of Beza's sources, according to Beza himself.  The 1598 edition of Beza contains a dedicatory epistle to Queen Elizabeth I and a preface to the Christian reader.  Backus informus: "in the the epistle Beza says that, as well as referring to the works of his contemporaries and Greek and Latin fathers (all of which he diligently collated), he also had access to an 'exemplar' from the library of Robert Stephanus. This 'exemplar' had been collated by Henri Stephanus (Robert's son) with 'more or less' twenty-five Greek MSS and nearly all the printed versions. Beza says that this 'exemplar' provided the sole source for his minuscule MS variants." (pp. 2-3, endnote omitted) Backus tells us that in the preface to the Christian reader, "Beza is more specific stating that he referred to nineteen ancient MSS." (p. 3).

Backus identifies the first three of Beza's nineteen as being D, D*, and the 'versio Arabica'.  Backus then indicates that Beza's other 16 were the 16 identified by number in Stephanus' edition.

Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples French New Testament · 1523 (link to page) via a 1600's reproduction, apparently:

Appendix I: Estienne and Textual Criticism

Henri Estienne was not only a printer of the Bible, but of other works as well.  

(Joseph Scaliger, a Study in the History of Classical Scholarship, by Anthony Grafton, pp. 86-97)

As may be gleaned from the above, Estienne has an interest in textual criticism, but not necessarily a bondage to the manuscripts as such, at least not when it came to non-biblical literature, like Aeschylus.

Appendix II: Erasmus' Manuscripts

There are eight "undisputed" manuscripts used by Erasmus.

In addition to these eight, various others have been proposed
("Structure and History of the Biblical Manuscripts Used by Erasmus for His 1516 Edition," p. 84)

("Structure and History of the Biblical Manuscripts Used by Erasmus for His 1516 Edition," p. 85)

I realize it is popular in certain pro-TR circles to speculate that Erasmus had access to and used many other manuscripts beside these, but I think it's worth noting what the study of history has shown so far.

Appendix III:

(Collected Works of Erasmus, vol. 41, Palpable and Unpardonable Solecisms Perpetrated by the Translator, a Few Examples out of a Great Many, pp. 882-3) 

[44] Revelation, chapter 1:4. There is a quite extraordinary solecism in the Greek text ἀπὸ τοῦ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος [‘from him who is, and was, and is to come’]. For how can ὁ ὤν be construed with the preceding ἀπό? Second, what possible meaning has ὁ ἦν? Then, how does ὁ ἐρχόμενος square with ἀπὸ τοῦ? Let those who think the Apocalypse was written by John deny, if they will, that the apostles ever spoke bad Greek! For this is the view of certain people, the defenders of the apostles.[FN22]
[FN22] Erasmus held that the apostles learned their Greek from contemporary speech, a form of the language corrupted by popular and vernacular influences. The contrary view, that the apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore could not write bad Greek, was expressed, for example, by Eck (Ep 769:69–92), claiming to speak for the majority opinion; cf Translator’s Note to ‘Solecisms’ n3. For the controversy see Ep 844:63–108, and the annotations on Matt 2:6 (et tu Bethlehem) and on Acts 10:38 (quomodo unxit eum); also López Zúñiga Assertio E 3V–F 1r (Rome 1524).