Revised and expanded excerpt from R.A.Kraft, "Reassessing the 'Recensional
Problem' in Testament of Abraham" (= pp. 121-137 in Studies on the Testament
of Abraham, ed. G. Nickelsburg. Septuagint and Cognate Studies 6. Missoula,
Montana: Scholars Press, 1976), 122-123.
"Recension" Problems in Other Literature. --
There is nothing particularly unique about the existence of differing "recensions"
of the same material in the literature preserved by Christians throughout late
antiquity and the byzantine/medieval period. A wide range of phenomena, from relatively
simple textual variation within a rather closely related group of MSS (similar
to that within NT MSS, including the "western text" problem in Luke-Acts!)
to extremely divergent and complex situations (like the "synoptic problem"
in NT), is well attested. With particular reference to writings with a strongly
"Jewish" flavor, including Greek Jewish scriptures, the following examples
may help to illustrate the extent of the problem:
(1) largely "quantitative" differences, with longer or shorter
versions of what seems to be virtually the same base text.-- E.g.
(2) largely "qualitative" differences, with alternative ways
of stating the same things and no clear reflection of a single Greek vorlage behind
the differing forms.-- E.g.
- Job or Jeremiah in the Old Greek forms compared with Hexaplaric
forms "corrected" towards the known Hebrew text;
- various versions of the Hebrew Psalter (but not strongly represented
in Old Greek MSS);
- the two Greek forms of Tobit;
- the form of T Job in MS V compared with that in S or P;
- the longer and shorter forms of Paraleipomena Jeremiou, and probably
of Joseph and Aseneth;
- various forms of the Lives of the Prophets.
- On the whole, the difficult situation regarding Greek forms of T Solomon
also seems to fit here, at least according to its editor, McCown,
- and perhaps "Apocalypse of Moses"/Life of Adam and
Eve as well.
- On the strictly Christian side of things, the longer and shorter versions
of the Ignatian Corpus provide an excellent example of this phenomenon
worked out in a relatively mechanical manner. [[p.123]]
(3) a combination of (1) and (2) with largescale quantitative differences
in versions of the same material which do not seem to share a common Greek base.
- in material that is translated from semitic such as the Old Greek vs. Theodotion-Aquila-Symmachus
(etc.) in general (and especially in Daniel) or
- the Old Greek vs. the Barberini version of Habakkuk 3 in Greek Jewish
- Perhaps the relationship of Old Greek Ezra-Nehemiah to "1
Esdras" also fits best under this heading.
- Perhaps the two Greek forms of Esther illustrate this phenomenon (if
indeed they represent different Greek base texts);
- at least in some passages, the Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs also
seem to fit into this category.