The older layer of the Gothic version

This concludes a series of articles exploring places where the use of synonyms could indicate that the biblical text was translated into Gothic at two different times or by two different translators. The main attraction of this article is the table where we compare the conclusions of my vocabulary study of Gothic Luke with Dieter T Roth’s reconstruction of Marcion’s version of Luke.

It is colour-coded according to how strongly it indicates the presence or not of the text in the respective early version.
Blue = maximum certainty of presence.
Green = probably present.
Yellow = hard to say.
Orange = probably absent.
Red = maximum certainty of absence.
Roth doesn’t use colours to designate levels of certainty, but I allowed myself to interpret from descriptions like “[…] attested but no insight into wording can be gained.” to the colour displayed for Luke 18:12, and so on.

Reference Greek corr. Gothic lexeme Rec. Marcion
1:9   峒斘肝肯   biuhti   鈥
2:8   蠂蠅蟻伪   land   鈥
2:27   蔚峒拔肝瓜兾嘉轿课   biuhti   鈥
2:42   峒斘肝肯   biuhti   鈥
3:1   蠂蠅蟻伪蟼   land   鈥
3:17   魏伪蟿伪魏伪委蠅   intandjan   鈥
4:14   蠂蠅蟻伪蟼/蟺蔚蟻喂蠂蠅蟻慰谓   gawi   鈥
4:16   蔚峒跋壩羔礁蟼   biuhti   鈥
4:37   蟺蔚蟻喂蠂蠅蟻慰谓   land   鈥
4:40   峒∥晃肯   sunno   鈥
7:41   未畏谓维蟻喂伪   skatts   鈥
8:16   峒呄埼毕   tandjan   鈥
8:26   蠂蠅蟻伪谓   gawi   鈥
9:3   伪蟻纬蠉蟻喂慰谓   skatts   鈥
15:8   峒呄蟿蔚喂   tandjan   鈥
15:12   渭苇蟻慰蟼   dails   鈥
15:13   蠂蠅蟻伪谓   land   鈥
15:14   蠂蠅蟻伪谓   gawi   鈥
15:15   蠂蠅蟻伪蟼   gawi   鈥
18:12   expr.   dails   鈥
18:20   魏位苇蠄峥兿   hlifan   魏位苇蠄峥兿
19:13   渭谓峋断   dails/daila   渭谓峋断
19:16   渭谓峋   skatts   鈥
19:18   渭谓峋   skatts   鈥
19:20   渭谓峋   skatts   鈥
19:24   渭谓峋 … 渭谓峋断   skatts … daila   鈥
19:25   渭谓峋断   dails/daila   鈥
20:24   未畏谓维蟻喂慰谓   skatts   未畏谓维蟻喂慰谓

The first minus (absence of text) in Marcion recounts Jesus birth and youth (Luke 1:1 鈥 2:52). It is commonly beleived by textual critics to be non-original, but this study rather indicates that it probably was in the first translator’s exemplar, and so would be very old. The indication is very weak as it hinges heavily on the usage of biuhti rather than sidus and the fact that such a long text, if it were translated by the second translator, would probably contain one or another clue to its lateness.

The second minus (Luke 15:11-32) is the parable of the prodigal son. It is very popular. Here, the vocabulary indicates that it may well have been absent from the first Gothic translator’s exemplar. Again, the indication is somewhat weak as it hinges heavily on the use of gawi in the sense of land/country.

Vocabulary indicates that the text of Luke’s gospel is relatively safe, compared to the other gospels and pauline epistles. However, there seems to have existed a text with several minuses compared to the present Byzantine (and Alexandrian) textual type(s), so it is not safe to say that Marcion would have excised all, or even most, of the portions of text that are missing when compared to the prevailing text. They may have been missing in some of his vorlages.

Many of the oldest manuscripts and fragments of the gospels were preserved in Egypt, thanks to the dry climate. These were often corrected/altered to read more like the standard text of the Byzantine Empire. I suggest this was done to the Gothic version aswell, in the sense of adding that text from the Byzantine standard manuscripts which was absent in the Gothic, and that this would have been the task of the second translator.

Here is a list of the artcles I have written as part of this study:
Hlifan vs stilan,
Skatts vs dails/daila,
Tandjan vs *brannjan,
Biuhti vs sidus,
Sunno vs sauil and land vs gawi

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