HumaReC blogposts archive (24 months SNSF project 2016-2018)

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Where did Cilicia go? About Gal 1:21

While transcribing the letter to the Galatians, I came across an interesting reading in the verse Gal 1:21: "Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia" (KJV).

In Greek, in Latin and in Arabic, the mention of Cilicia is missing in Gal 1:21. This appears on the folio 208v.

  • Greek: Ἔπειτα ἦλθον ἐπι τα κλίματα τῆς συρίας
  • --- Remark: we find ἐπι instead of εἰς (variant not mentioned in NA28) 
  • Latin: deinde veni in partes sẏriae
  • Arabic:   ثم من بعد ذلك اقبلت الى نوحى سيريه 
  • --- Remark: one must surely read نوخة instead of نوحى ("stopover")

The Greek text does not contain the second geographical indication that we usually find καὶ τῆς Κιλικίας; NA28 did not report this omission. Likewise, the Latin text omits et Ciliciae. This reading is not noted in the Weber-Gryson's edition. The Arabic text does not make mention of Cilicia either.

This reading is interesting for several reasons:

First, many places in the manuscript indicate that the three versions are independent from each other: see last blog article. However, it is very unlikely that this specific reading comes into the three languages independently. This example shows that there was a kind of coordination in establishing the three texts.

Moreover, the omission of this region raises questions. Did the scribe(s) find necessary to set Cilicia aside in order to lead the focus on Syria? Is it related to the fact that Cilicia is where Apostle Paul comes from?

To complete this file, a look into the book of Acts in the manuscript would be necessary, where there are several occurrences of Cilicia (in pair with Syria as well, 15:23; 15:41). 

In the meantime, I would be very interested to have your feedback, or additional information if you have seen anything similar in other witnesses.