Sorry not to have posted for a couple of days. I am out of the country and did not have the wifi connection that I was told I’d have. I confess, it was nice being incommunicado! But I’m back, for the duration I should think.
And to return to the topic of original conversation on this thread – before getting sidelined with all that discussion of Luke 3:22 — the importance, but problems, with patristic evidence (that is, citations of the New Testament in the writings of the church fathers) for the tasks of textual criticism.
Of the three kinds of evidence available for establishing the text of the NT and for determining how it was altered over the years, the Patristic evidence has received the least attention. Most attention has been paid, as you would expect, to the Greek manuscripts; after them, to the versions – although some versions have been notoriously neglected, in no small measure because they involve languages few people know (Armenian, Goergian, Gothic, Old Church Slavonic, etc.) and because their manuscript traditions are tricky. But even less attention has been paid – until recent years – to the patristic evidence, both because there have been doubts about its ultimate value and because getting at this evidence has proved frustratingly difficult.
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