Saturday, December 11, 2010
NOVATIONS TEXT TINKERED WITH - PART 5
THE HISTORY OF THE TEXT OF THE DE TRINITATE:
[SUBHEADING]: E. Conclusion
“...Some time in the 240’s CE, the Roman presbyter Novatian wrote a treatise, which was basically a commentary on the creed, and which was intended to show the errors of alternative christologies. This document has come down to us as the De Trinitate, the first truly theological work to come from the Roman church, written in the Latin language. While no early manuscript has survived, the current editions are based on the work of sixteenth century editors who had early manuscripts at their disposal. Although the editio princeps shows evidence of some theological “doctoring,” the earlier manuscripts survived long enough for later editors to correct the text. Today we can be reasonably certain that the latest editions accurately reflect the thought of Novatian. The only serious critique of the textus receptus [by Pamelius] is Petitmengin and Pelland’s reconstruction of the ending of the document, both versions of which are included in the appendices for the reader’s comparison. Novatian’s work was clearly accepted by the greater Roman church as consistent with the direction in which it was going. This fact is shown by his subsequent appointment to the office of “acting bishop” after the death of Fabian in January of 250. As the Roman church completed the transition from Greek to Latin in the third century, Novatian’s De Trinitate is a window into the thought of his time, in which we can see how one writer, who spoke for the church of Rome, interpreted the Scriptures, and defended his interpretation as the orthodox Catholic position. Having established the text, we can now turn to the language and content of that interpretation...” - (Chapter III, Pages 8-15, “Between Two Thieves”The Christology of Novatian as “Dynamic Subordination,” Influenced by His Historical Context, and His New Testament Interpretation. By James Leonard Papandrea Ph.D. Dissertation, 1998, Northwestern University.)
I disagree that we have a text that “accurately reflect[s] the thought of Novation”.
Mr Papandrea himself argues for a Trinitarian view of Novation and I believe his translation reflects a certain amount of bias in that regard as well.
Also we only Pelland's reconstruction to go on. Which as Mr Papandrea admits is conjectural in places, in other words reflects a certain amount of guess work. And he cannot be regarded as being totally beyond suspicion of Trinitarian bias either.
Nonetheless, his work is very interesting and welcome for it's honesty and expose of the Tampering and “tinkering” with Post-Biblical Christian writers texts.