Paul’s Panegyric Of Love — A New Critical Text, Translation, And Digest -- By: A. W. Tyler
BSac 30:119 (July 1873) p. 482
Paul’s Panegyric Of Love — A New Critical Text, Translation, And Digest
No. II. — Text And Digest Of Authorities
In the Introduction to the former part of this Article it was stated that “many and serious difficulties beset the use of citations from the ecclesiastical writers; but these difficulties render it none the less imperative that we should sift the wheat from the chaff, and avail ourselves of whatever the Fathers, so called, have preserved for us.” In examining these difficulties we find that the works of the early writers were not only liable to the same accidents of transcription, which have been mentioned as corrupting the text of the New Testament itself, but that scripture quotations especially encountered many peculiar obstacles to their perfect preservation and correct transmission to us. All these hinderances must be carefully considered before we can make an accurate estimate of the value of the citations which we find strewed in such wonderful profusion up and down the pages of the Fathers. The obstacles are of two classes, those proceeding from the Fathers themselves, and those which have arisen from the frailties and faults of the copyists.
In the first and second centuries scriptural quotations seem to have been given with but little regard to mere verbal accuracy; but rather with a looseness which would be quite startling to some of the modern advocates for the integrity of the text of the authorized version. Now, every word must be given in its exact relation to every other in the sentence:1 then, the grand central truth, or the idea of the
BSac 30:119 (July 1873) p. 483
passage, was the only thing desired or thought of. And frequently this was all that was requisite to illustrate or enforce the argument which the writer had in hand. Accordingly we find that the citations of those two centuries, as given by Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, and others, are often but the merest references, sometimes so remote that it is difficult or impossible to determine which of several passages is the one referred to. Such citations are of tout little value in settling the words of the sacred text, though their weight may be great when thrown into the balance to determine the question of the omission, retention, or insertion of a passage.
In the third and succeeding centuries the discussions, contentions, and disputes which occurred, and the rise of so many heresies, caused the words of scripture to be carefully studied and more accurately quoted. Both sides referred to the same writings as the ultimate arbiter, and neither, with comparatively rare exceptions, dared falsify their text, which was...
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