Tobit - the failure in trying to make Sinaiticus the missing phantom long recension Greek that was the Vetus Latina source

Steven Avery

The Antehieronymian Latin Version, published by Sabatier, from the Greek
If you are trying to say that this Latin was from a Sinaiticus text, using the false date for Sinaiticus, there are various problems.

What happened to the Hebraisms in Sinaiticus?
Why did they get lost in the Latin?

Paul Jouon

All of the Hebrewisms of the Codex Sinaiticus can only be explained by translation from the Hebrew. It remains to be seen whether the Hebrew text is the original. If need be, it could itself be the translation of an Aramaic text.
From the French:

L’ensemble des hébralsmes du Codex Sinaiticus ne peut guère s’expliquer que par traduction de l’hébreu. Il resterait à savoir si le texte hébreu est l'original. A la rigueur il pourrait être lui-même la traduction d’un texte araméen.
Paul Jouon (1871-1940)üon

was a top Hebrew grammarian, and his Grammaire de l'hébreu biblique of 1923 has been edited, updated and republished in recent years by Takamitsu Muraoka (b. 1938) as A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew .

Author of a philological and exegetical commentary on the Book of Ruth (1924), he also wrote A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew for which he received the Volney Prize from the Institute of France. First published in 1923, Joüon's grammar, enjoying numerous editions as well as an English translation, continues to serve as an important reference to this day.

Steven Avery

The Wisdom Instructions in the Book of Tobit (2011)
Francis M. Macatangay
Finally, certain textual differences between the Sinaiticus and the Vetus Latina indicate that the Sinaiticus text is not necessarily equivalent to the 'original' long Greek version.40
40 Cf. WEEKS, Some Neglected Texts of Tobit, 23-24.

Some neglected texts of Tobit the third Greek version (2006)
Stuart Weeks

Since, at the very least, it seems probable that the Reginensis version derives from a Long Greek version rather different from both Sinaiticus and ms. 319, this would seem to indicate that either the Oxyrhynchus or the Reginensis text must reflect the existence of yet another Greek text-type within the Long tradition.

As with the post above about the Sinaiticus Hebraisms, also ending your try to make Sinaiticus the missing phantom long recension Greek Tobit source for the Vetus Latina.

Steven Avery

"Consequently, one has to begin the study of the Latin Long Recension of Tobit with that given by Brooke-McLean-Thackeray,19 which reproduces a form of the Latin text of P. Sabatier." p.7 Fitzmyer, "Tobit".

Now, remember, all sides are trying to accept the Sinaiticus date error.
So they will be tripping over one another.

Ernest Cadman Colwell reviews this 1940 edition here:

The Old Testament in Greek According to the Text of Codex Vatican us, Supplemented from Other Uncial Manuscripts, with a Critical Apparatus Containing the Variants of the Chief Ancient Authorities for the Text of the Sepluagint,
Vol. Ill, Part I: Esther, Judith, Tobit.
Edited by the late A. E. Brooke, Norman McLean, and the late Henry St. John Thackeray. Cambridge:
At the University Press; New York: Macmillan Co., 1940.

But, while the editors are not prepared to express a definite opinion on the old problem of the relation of the two Greek texts of Tobit, they seem inclined to repudiate Swete’s opinion that the Sinaitic text is secondary. They explain the closeness of the Old Latin MS C to the Greek of Sinaiticus as due to the correction of C from an older form of the text into agreement with Sinaiticus. It may be worth noting that Hermann von Soden and H. J. Vogels have argued that Sinaiticus in other areas has been corrected to an Old Latin text.

Or, more succinctly, the Old Latin was one of the sources for Sinaiticus Tobit, as correctly stated by Tischendorf!

"C (Codex Reginensis, Rome, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, lat. 7), containing the text only as far as Tob 6:12 (the rest being a copy of the Vulgate)."

Steven Avery


Your problem is to account for the existence of the Vetus Latina independently of a Long Greek recension: as to which, the existence of Sinaiticus is irrelevant.
The problem with the long Greek recension manuscripts that were a source for the Vetus Latina is that they don’t exist. Such theoretical manuscripts do not have a lot of pizazz! :)

Apparently, Antoine Augustin Calmet (1672-1757) theorized such a source and that was noted by Pierre Sabatier (1682-1742), p. 706 in his preface to Tobit in his Bibliorum Sacronum in his Vetus Latina edition, which goes up to p.743. It would be interesting to find the Calmet waiting, which is in French and Latin. His writing will have a “clean room” element, not polluted by the Sinaiticus hodge-pudge.

Other early scholarship, like Richard Simon (1638-1712) contra Isaac Vossius (1618-1689), is focused more on the Jerome question, is Jerome’s Vulgate account trustworthy? Which still arises today! Johann Albert Fabricius (1668–1736) is noted as a source by Swete. Also Swete references Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette (1780-1849), and he is before the Sinaiticus scholarship pollution and confusion, caused by the faux date.

As explained above, Sinaiticus fails as the proposed answer to the missing link. And it becomes a square peg in a round hole. Sinaiticus fits better as a result, rather than a cause, of influences that can include Latin and Hebrew and Syriac. Ironically, this was first noted by a fella named Constantine Tischendorf. He was hoping it would be a deal-breaker for the Athos production position. (He may have had inside knowledge on the production, as in his quote about mountains of Athos manuscripts.) However, the more we study Benedict, Athos and Sinaiticus, the more we see the linguistic and textual versatility and skill required. Note: Stuart Weeks properly raised some of these issues in our conversation, he gets a nod of appreciation.

So, it has been fun learning about the Tobit sources. It can be an ongoing inquiry. Some of your quotes have been very helpful, either for direct use or as a springboard.