Reconciliation of Mark 15:25 and John 19:14 by Textual Emendation?

It could be thought overly rash, and a cutting, rather than a loosing, of the knot, if we should correct Mark out of John, by reading ἕκτη/sixth in the place of τρίτη/third, or John out of Mark, by reading τρίτη/third in the place of ἕκτη/sixth, to which one is allowed to come only when all else has altogether failed; which sort of necessity is not perceived to be present here yet.  Nevertheless, it is one thing as a result of bare conjecture to change the Reading of the Sacred Codex; it is another thing again to prefer to the Vulgar Reading another, somewhat less common Reading, but which is nevertheless supported by the authority of some Codices, by the testimony of the Ancients, and which is able to be accommodated without any incongruity to the matter which the speech concerns; especially if in addition one might detect the source of the error that caused or was able to cause the Copyists to veer from the genuine reading.  That the matter thus stands in John in the Reading of the number ἕκτη/sixth in the place of τρίτη/third, following BYNÆUS, de Morte Jesu Christi, book III, chapter IV, § 37, 43, most recently BENGEL, in his Apparatu Critico ad Novum Testamentum, contends, who hence believe with others that the Reading of τρίτη/third in the place of ἕκτη/sixth here in John is to be vindicated by right of restoration.  Thus Bengel, among other things, after he had observed that in no case is it easier to be led astray than in numbers; and that copyists often import a number, sticking in their mind from one passage, into another:  “Eusebius of Cæsaria thinks that Γ,[1] a note of the ternary, was changed by the copyists into the ἐπίσημον/distinguishing mark of the senary:[2] to which opinion subscribe Severus of Antioch,[3] Ammonius of Alexandria, and Theophylact, as they have it, Wettstein’s[4] Prolegomenis, page 6.  I saw on parchments the distinguishing mark, most exactly resembling Γ…. Moreover, the use of such notes, and the similitude of these two, have great antiquity….  Therefore, we readily allow this reason to be added to those above, that the change, introduced early and widely circulated, is inscribed in them either individually or conjointly…. Cam. has [τρίτη], and also the codex which is with Wettstein, that is, Bezæ, that is, Cantabrigensis.[5]Nonnus,[6] as we have seen:  the Chronicon Paschale Alexandrinum;[7] and in it an ancient writer (whom some falsely think to be Peter of Alexandria[8]), asserting thus to have τὰ ἀκριβῆ βιβλία αὐτό τε τὸ ἰδιόχειρον τοῦ εὐαγγελιστοῦ, the accurate books and autograph of John preserved unto his own age in the Ephesian Church.  The authority of the assertion concerning the autograph of John Johann Frick[9] defends in his exceptional book de Cura ecclesiæ veteris circa canonem, page 130 and following.  Certainly in a matter of this sort the Alexandrian writer appealed to that autograph, in which everyone would wish to become acquinted with the very thing itself, as being ready sharply to criticize the writer, if he had been mistaken….  But nevertheless, if anyone is uncertain about the autograph, it must be the case that he thus had exemplars at that time certainly of impressive antiquity.  And so, if the writer of the Chronicon and the author cited in it, if Nonnus, were engaged in the function of copyists, and Johannine codices proceeded from their hand, and this reading in the codices, which they approved, was extant:  I would imagine that we are going to concur.  Why now otherwise?  With good reason do we rejoice when the true reading depends upon the greatest number of codices possible:  but certainly in this place the matter compels that we be content with a lesser number of codices.  There are elsewhere genuine readings, not resting upon a great many codices, which nevertheless, acknowledged by Erasmus, and familiar to us, we defend.”  Certainly, unless the sentence stand that I strive below to commend and to render probable in the highest degree, this opinion of Bynæus, Bengel, and others approves itself to me more than the other methods of reconciliation.  But it hinders that, as Bengel cautions, nearly all Codices today, together with the Versions, have ἕκτη/sixth, and that a convenient way of bringing the Evangelists into concord with the common Reading preserved remains, as shall be apparent further on.

[1] Γ is the third letter in the Greek alphabet, with a numerical value of three.

[2] Σ has a numberical value of either six or two hundred.

[3] Severus of Antioch (465-538) was the Monophysite bishop of Antioch, a controversialist, and a prolific theological writer.

[4] Johann Jakob Wettstein (1693-1754) was a Swiss Theologian.  His career was stormy; he was suspected of Arianism and Socinianism.  Nevertheless, his work in the collation of New Testament manuscripts has had enduring value.

[5] Codex Bezæ Cantabrigensis is a fifth century uncial of the Gospels and Acts, and is categorized as a Western text-type.

[6] Nonnus of Panopolis (flourished c. 400) was a Greek epic poet.  His Dionysiaca and Metabole (a poetic paraphrase of the Gospel of John) survive.

[7] The Chronicon Paschale Alexandrinum, composed in the seventh century by a Greek Christians, is a history of the world from the time of Adam to the time of the author.

[8] Peter I served as the head of the catechetical school at Alexandria, but ultimately was installed as Patriarch of Alexandria from 300 to 311, shepherding the church through the Diocletian persecution.

[9] Johann Frick (1670-1739) was a Lutheran Minister and Theologian.

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