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Thread: healthy skepticism of 1860s scholars about Song of Solomon - and the complete NT - "not a word is wanting"

  1. Default healthy skepticism of 1860s scholars about Song of Solomon - and the complete NT - "not a word is wanting"

    While these gentlemen kept their tone measured, really they are asking .. "how could this be 4th century?".

    The sister thread shows that Sinaiticus is really akin to much later Vulgate mss. Thus, the Ockham solutions is simple. Benedict worked with the rubrics from a Vulgate text and applied them to Sinaiticus.

    Sister PBF thread
    Song of Songs - speakers identified in the text
    The Quarterly journal of prophecy, Volume 15 (October, 1863)

    Review of Bibliorum Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus - 4 Vols

    ... we should mention that, in the Song of Solomon, the speakers are marked, the bride, the bridegroom, &c., with red ink, and apparently from the band of the writer himself, because the letters are like the rest in shape and character, and fit into the spaces where they are inserted. This peculiarity is somewhat adverse to the alleged antiquity of the MS. It creates a doubt, at least, in our mind.

    It is also singular that the New Testament is complete. Not a word is wanting. Here the MS. stands alone, as far as we know. None other is perfect
    The writer may have been Horatius Bonar (1808-1889).

    Thus, the Song of Solomon ( Song of Songs ) will also be part of the Zosimas studies.

  2. Default

    Journal of Sacred Literature (April, 1863)
    The Codex Sinaiticus
    Benjamin Harris Cowper

    The Psalms have rubricated titles. Not only so, the Song of Solomon has a twofold division, a greater and a lesser one. The larger divisions are indicated by the capital letters A, B, F, A. ... These inscriptions distribute the dialogue among the interlocutors, stating who they are, and often adding other details. They are of undoubted Christian origin, and belong to a period when the allegorical interpretation was established. ... Meanwhile, we invite to the subject the attention of critics, and hope they will be able to say what bearing, if any, these rubrics have upon the question of the date of the Codex.
    Journal of Sacred Literature (1865)
    The Codex Sinaiticus
    Benjamin Harris Cowper

    In the somewhat particular account of the Codex, which we gave in April, 1863, we called attention to the peculiar arrangement and features of the Song of Solomon, and we expressed the hope that we should give a version of it. On reconsideration, it has seemed unnecessary to translate the whole of the text. In lieu of this, therefore, we will insert on this occasion a version of the rubrics, which divide the text into parts, indicate the speakers, and explain a variety of circumstances. We only render so much of the Greek text as is necessary to shew the precise position of the headings, and the arrangement of the whole. The portions in italics are in the original in red ink, and occupy a place in the columns of the MS.

    We shall not justify or explain any of the previous renderings, because our object is less a precise translation, than an exhibition of the plan and structure of the Canticles. The arrangement will strike every one as elaborate and highly artificial, wrought out with care, and probably due to some eminent divine or expositor. Was this in the copy of the Scriptures used by the scribe? Did he himself draw it out in accordance with recognized principles of expounding the book ? Has he borrowed it from some commentary on the Song of Songs, now lost? To these questions an answer may not be easy. But it may be possible to ascertain, what stage in the growth of Christian exegesis and interpretation is represented by this epitome. We have too little of the undoubted commentaries upon Canticles written by Origen, to compare it with them. We may say that other early commentaries on the same book are lost. But towards the latter part of.the fourth century wc come upon Gregory of Nyssa, and in the fifth century we have Theodorct. From all we are able to gather out of these two, and especially the latter, we are strongly tempted to suspect that the anatomy of Canticles here shewn, belongs to the period between the two. To the same period, or some part of it, we naturally enough refer the MS., because it may be supposed to represent the latest or the most generally accepted arrangement and explanation of the Canticles. An analysis so minute and circumstantial scarcely belongs to the times before Constantine; it reminds us rather of an age which had realized the labours of great expositors like Chrysostom or a Jerome. It required a firm and practised hand to allot the Song of Solomon as it is here allotted; and we know of nothing which should lead us to think that such a process finds any parallel so early as the date to which Dr. Tischendorf assigns the Codex. We would not insist so much on the negative side,—that we have no similar example, as upon the positive one,—that it savours of an age when labours like those of Chrysostom had been accomplished. Here again, however, we are open to correction, and rather intend to lay down a problem than definitely to solve it. We only add that we suspect the scribe was not the author of these divisions and subdivisions, but a simple copyist of them for the reason we are about to mention.
    The normal terminus post quem must be moved up. At least 100 years. Yet, what we know of Latin Vulgate mss with these rubrics should make it much later. The terminus ante quem is c. 1840.

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