Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Dating of P52

Expand Messages
  • Ken Olson
    ... Best Wishes, Ken Kenneth A. Olson at present a PhD Student at the University of Birmingham employed on the IGNTP: John [Non-text portions of this message
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
      The latest issue of Harvard Theological Review has an article by Brent Nongbri of Yale University on the dating of P52 [Brent Nongbri, "The Use and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth Gospel," _HTR_ 98.1 (2005) 23-48]. Nongbri reviews the conventional arguments a la Colin Roberts for dating P52 at 125 CE give or take 25 years as well as A. Schmidt's arguments for a later date. He also conducts a fairly detailed comparison between P52 and various other manuscripts. The article has some nice images of the manuscripts being considered. Nongbri's conclusion:

      >>What emerges from this survey is nothing surprising to papyrologists: paleography is not the most effective method for dating texts, particularly those written in a literary hand. Roberts himself noted this point in his edition of P52. The real problem is the way scholars of the New Testament have used and abused papyrological evidence. I have not radically revised Roberts's work. I have not provided any third-century documentary papyri that are absolute "dead ringers" for the handwriting of P52, and even had I done so, that would not force us to date P52 at some exact point in the third century. Paleographic evidence does not work that way. What I have done is to show that any serious consideration of the window of possible dates for P52 must include dates in the later second and early third centuries. Thus, P52 _cannot be used as evidence to silence other debates about the existence (or non-existence) of the Gospel of John in the first half of the second century_. Only a papyrus containing an explicit date or one found in a clear archaeological stratigraphic context could do the work scholars want P52 to do. As it stands now, the papyrological evidence should take a second place to other forms of evidence in addressing debates about the dating of the Fourth Gospel.<<

      Best Wishes,

      Ken

      Kenneth A. Olson
      at present a PhD Student at the
      University of Birmingham employed on the
      IGNTP: John




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Ken, Thanks for this. P52 contains almost the complete set of Paul s letters, doesn t it? Its a pretty important document, as I recall. Bob ... [Non-text
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
        At 05:46 AM 8/10/2005, Ken Olson wrote:
        >The latest issue of Harvard Theological Review has an article by Brent
        >Nongbri of Yale University on the dating of P52 [Brent Nongbri, "The Use
        >and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth
        >Gospel," _HTR_ 98.1 (2005) 23-48]. Nongbri reviews the conventional
        >arguments a la Colin Roberts for dating P52 at 125 CE give or take 25
        >years as well as A. Schmidt's arguments for a later date. He also conducts
        >a fairly detailed comparison between P52 and various other manuscripts.

        Ken,
        Thanks for this. P52 contains almost the complete set of Paul's letters,
        doesn't it? Its a pretty important document, as I recall.

        Bob


        >The article has some nice images of the manuscripts being considered.
        >Nongbri's conclusion:
        >
        > >>What emerges from this survey is nothing surprising to papyrologists:
        > paleography is not the most effective method for dating texts,
        > particularly those written in a literary hand. Roberts himself noted this
        > point in his edition of P52. The real problem is the way scholars of the
        > New Testament have used and abused papyrological evidence. I have not
        > radically revised Roberts's work. I have not provided any third-century
        > documentary papyri that are absolute "dead ringers" for the handwriting
        > of P52, and even had I done so, that would not force us to date P52 at
        > some exact point in the third century. Paleographic evidence does not
        > work that way. What I have done is to show that any serious consideration
        > of the window of possible dates for P52 must include dates in the later
        > second and early third centuries. Thus, P52 _cannot be used as evidence
        > to silence other debates about the existence (or non-existence) of the
        > Gospel of John in the first half of the second century_. Only a papyrus
        > containing an explicit date or one found in a clear archaeological
        > stratigraphic context could do the work scholars want P52 to do. As it
        > stands now, the papyrological evidence should take a second place to
        > other forms of evidence in addressing debates about the dating of the
        > Fourth Gospel.<<
        >
        >Best Wishes,
        >
        >Ken
        >
        >Kenneth A. Olson
        >at present a PhD Student at the
        >University of Birmingham employed on the
        >IGNTP: John
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >The XTalk Home Page is
        ><http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/>http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
        >
        >To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >SPONSORED LINKS
        ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Different+religions+beliefs&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=tnsXdBbWPClK2p0GfdpEqA>Different
        >religions beliefs
        ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Historical+jesus&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=uaILvkDBJUpwCKXW0k14Cw>Historical
        >jesus
        ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Beyond+belief&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=HfgWyXvQq7wyODO6zZjTFA>Beyond
        >belief
        ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Jewish+belief&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=6nnMOCvMSwMm3CJPHXUSNQ>Jewish
        >belief
        ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=X2pP-CrM3sy8RKta-GePmA>Jehovah
        >witness beliefs
        >
        >
        >----------
        >YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
        >
        > * Visit your group
        > "<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2>crosstalk2" on the web.
        > *
        > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > *
        > <mailto:crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > *
        > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
        > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>Yahoo! Terms of Service.
        >
        >
        >----------


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Zeba Crook
        Bob, P52 is a tiny fragment with about a dozen word-parts from John 18. Its importance, I think, rests entirely on the date one gives it, since it s too small
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
          Bob,

          P52 is a tiny fragment with about a dozen word-parts from John 18. Its
          importance, I think, rests entirely on the date one gives it, since it's
          too small to be useful text critically.

          Zeb

          Bob Schacht wrote:

          >At 05:46 AM 8/10/2005, Ken Olson wrote:
          >
          >
          >>The latest issue of Harvard Theological Review has an article by Brent
          >>Nongbri of Yale University on the dating of P52 [Brent Nongbri, "The Use
          >>and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth
          >>Gospel," _HTR_ 98.1 (2005) 23-48]. Nongbri reviews the conventional
          >>arguments a la Colin Roberts for dating P52 at 125 CE give or take 25
          >>years as well as A. Schmidt's arguments for a later date. He also conducts
          >>a fairly detailed comparison between P52 and various other manuscripts.
          >>
          >>
          >
          >Ken,
          >Thanks for this. P52 contains almost the complete set of Paul's letters,
          >doesn't it? Its a pretty important document, as I recall.
          >
          >Bob
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >>The article has some nice images of the manuscripts being considered.
          >>Nongbri's conclusion:
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>>>What emerges from this survey is nothing surprising to papyrologists:
          >>>>
          >>>>
          >>paleography is not the most effective method for dating texts,
          >>particularly those written in a literary hand. Roberts himself noted this
          >>point in his edition of P52. The real problem is the way scholars of the
          >>New Testament have used and abused papyrological evidence. I have not
          >>radically revised Roberts's work. I have not provided any third-century
          >>documentary papyri that are absolute "dead ringers" for the handwriting
          >>of P52, and even had I done so, that would not force us to date P52 at
          >>some exact point in the third century. Paleographic evidence does not
          >>work that way. What I have done is to show that any serious consideration
          >>of the window of possible dates for P52 must include dates in the later
          >>second and early third centuries. Thus, P52 _cannot be used as evidence
          >>to silence other debates about the existence (or non-existence) of the
          >>Gospel of John in the first half of the second century_. Only a papyrus
          >>containing an explicit date or one found in a clear archaeological
          >>stratigraphic context could do the work scholars want P52 to do. As it
          >>stands now, the papyrological evidence should take a second place to
          >>other forms of evidence in addressing debates about the dating of the
          >>Fourth Gospel.<<
          >>
          >>Best Wishes,
          >>
          >>Ken
          >>
          >>Kenneth A. Olson
          >>at present a PhD Student at the
          >>University of Birmingham employed on the
          >>IGNTP: John
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>The XTalk Home Page is
          >><http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/>http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
          >>
          >>To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >>To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >>List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>SPONSORED LINKS
          >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Different+religions+beliefs&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=tnsXdBbWPClK2p0GfdpEqA>Different
          >>religions beliefs
          >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Historical+jesus&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=uaILvkDBJUpwCKXW0k14Cw>Historical
          >>jesus
          >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Beyond+belief&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=HfgWyXvQq7wyODO6zZjTFA>Beyond
          >>belief
          >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Jewish+belief&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=6nnMOCvMSwMm3CJPHXUSNQ>Jewish
          >>belief
          >><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=X2pP-CrM3sy8RKta-GePmA>Jehovah
          >>witness beliefs
          >>
          >>
          >>----------
          >>YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
          >>
          >> * Visit your group
          >>"<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2>crosstalk2" on the web.
          >> *
          >> * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          >> *
          >><mailto:crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >>
          >> *
          >> * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
          >><http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>Yahoo! Terms of Service.
          >>
          >>
          >>----------
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
          >
          >To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          --

          Zeba A. Crook

          Assistant Professor

          Religion and Classics

          2a Paterson Hall

          Carleton University

          1125 Colonel By Drive

          Ottawa, Ontario

          K1S 5B6

          613-520-2600, ext. 2276

          www.carleton.ca/~zcrook




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ken Olson
          Bob, P52 is the tiny fragment of John 18 that is--or has been taken to be--the earliest manuscript evidence for any gospel. The conventional argument is that
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
            Bob,

            P52 is the tiny fragment of John 18 that is--or has been taken to be--the earliest manuscript evidence for any gospel. The conventional argument is that it was written around 125 CE plus or minus 25 years. On the basis of that and the guestimate it would take 25-30 years to circulate outside the Johannine community and reach Egypt (where the fragment was found), it has been argued by many scholars that John must have been written by 100 or 110 CE at latest. I have always been suspicious of the "cirulation time" argument. It might have taken 30 years; it might have taken several weeks. In fact, the usual process of ekdosis or "publication" was to make a fair copy of a work as soon as it was completed and then make several copies of that for distribution (see some of the the essays in _The Gospel for All Christians_ edited by Richard Bauckham). Now Nongbri is arguing that the 125 CE base date is very uncertain because P52 has various similarities to various MSS, including some of the late second and early third centuries. P52 might be a good bit later.

            Best,

            Ken

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Bob Schacht
            To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2005 5:17 PM
            Subject: Re: [XTalk] Dating of P52


            At 05:46 AM 8/10/2005, Ken Olson wrote:
            >The latest issue of Harvard Theological Review has an article by Brent
            >Nongbri of Yale University on the dating of P52 [Brent Nongbri, "The Use
            >and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth
            >Gospel," _HTR_ 98.1 (2005) 23-48]. Nongbri reviews the conventional
            >arguments a la Colin Roberts for dating P52 at 125 CE give or take 25
            >years as well as A. Schmidt's arguments for a later date. He also conducts
            >a fairly detailed comparison between P52 and various other manuscripts.

            Ken,
            Thanks for this. P52 contains almost the complete set of Paul's letters,
            doesn't it? Its a pretty important document, as I recall.

            Bob


            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... That s P46. P52 contains bits of John 18. Stephen Carlson -- Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@mindspring.com Weblog:
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
              At 06:17 AM 8/10/2005 -1000, Bob Schacht wrote:
              >Thanks for this. P52 contains almost the complete set of Paul's letters,
              >doesn't it? Its a pretty important document, as I recall.

              That's P46. P52 contains bits of John 18.

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
              Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
              Author of: The Gospel Hoax, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
            • Bob Schacht
              ... Thanks; I should have checked. Bob [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
                At 06:48 AM 8/10/2005, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                >At 06:17 AM 8/10/2005 -1000, Bob Schacht wrote:
                > >Thanks for this. P52 contains almost the complete set of Paul's letters,
                > >doesn't it? Its a pretty important document, as I recall.
                >
                >That's P46. P52 contains bits of John 18.


                Thanks; I should have checked.
                Bob


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... Another difficulty of the circulation time argument is the apparent assumption that P52 was copied in Egypt. It could have been copied in Ephesus, for
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
                  At 05:47 PM 8/10/2005 +0100, Ken Olson wrote:
                  >P52 is the tiny fragment of John 18 that is--or has been taken to be--the
                  >earliest manuscript evidence for any gospel. The conventional argument is
                  >that it was written around 125 CE plus or minus 25 years. On the basis of
                  >that and the guestimate it would take 25-30 years to circulate outside the
                  >Johannine community and reach Egypt (where the fragment was found), it has
                  >been argued by many scholars that John must have been written by 100 or 110
                  >CE at latest. I have always been suspicious of the "cirulation time"
                  >argument. It might have taken 30 years; it might have taken several weeks.
                  >In fact, the usual process of ekdosis or "publication" was to make a fair
                  >copy of a work as soon as it was completed and then make several copies of
                  >that for distribution (see some of the the essays in _The Gospel for All
                  >Christians_ edited by Richard Bauckham).

                  Another difficulty of the circulation time argument is the
                  apparent assumption that P52 was copied in Egypt. It could
                  have been copied in Ephesus, for example, and only later
                  brought over to the Egypt where it was later found.

                  Stephen
                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                  Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                  Author of: The Gospel Hoax, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
                • David Hindley
                  ... make a fair copy of a work as soon as it was completed and then make several copies of that for distribution (see some of the essays in _The Gospel for All
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
                    Ken Olson says:

                    >>In fact, the usual process of ekdosis or "publication" was to
                    make a fair copy of a work as soon as it was completed and then
                    make several copies of that for distribution (see some of the
                    essays in _The Gospel for All Christians_ edited by Richard
                    Bauckham).<<

                    Isn't that statement based on Horace's (65-8 B.C.E. and lived in
                    Rome) opinion that "the appropriate setting for the circulation
                    of literature was a small circle of friends[,] and regarded the
                    marketing of texts to the *vulgus* as an unworthy, if
                    unavoidable, aspect of the fate of a literary work"? (So Harry
                    Gamble, in _Books and Readers_ page 282 footnote 34 to chapter
                    III). Gamble cites works of Horace upon which he bases this
                    summary.

                    Martial (Born in Africa between 39 and 41 C.E. and went to Rome
                    ca. 63-64 C.E., remaining there for the next 34 to 35 years) on
                    the other hand directs potential buyers to specific booksellers,
                    although it is not known whether this was his principal means of
                    publication or only that he tolerated it well.

                    In any event, these were elites.

                    To be honest, I would be really surprised if the NT gospels were
                    published in any sort of comparable manner! When we deal with
                    Origen, maybe even Clement of Alexandra, these Christians were
                    operating in the open enough and had connections with elites
                    (whether their slaves, or of the landowning class, or whatever)
                    to publish the way the elites preferred, but not when it was an
                    illegal movement known to follow a crucified master. In fact,
                    I'd think booksellers would be the principal means by which the
                    gospels were first circulated outside of Christian circles,
                    although inside Christian circles private copying seems to
                    predominate. There certainly would not have been any public
                    readings, although they may have recited it in individual house
                    churches.

                    FWIW, Gamble devotes all of chapter III to "The Publication and
                    Circulation of Early Christian Literature" (pp. 82ff), including
                    sections on "The Publication and Circulation of Greco-Roman
                    Literature (pp 83-93) and of early Christian literature
                    specifically (pp 93-143). Well worth the read.

                    Respectfully,

                    Dave Hindley
                    Cleveland, Ohio USA
                  • Bob Schacht
                    After citing works by Horace and Martial, at 08:54 AM 8/10/2005, David ... Don t forget the chapter in Crossan s Birth of Christianity in which he provides
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 10, 2005
                      After citing works by Horace and Martial, at 08:54 AM 8/10/2005, David
                      Hindley wrote:

                      >...In any event, these were elites.
                      >
                      >To be honest, I would be really surprised if the NT gospels were
                      >published in any sort of comparable manner! When we deal with
                      >Origen, maybe even Clement of Alexandra, these Christians were
                      >operating in the open enough and had connections with elites
                      >(whether their slaves, or of the landowning class, or whatever)
                      >to publish the way the elites preferred, but not when it was an
                      >illegal movement known to follow a crucified master. In fact,
                      >I'd think booksellers would be the principal means by which the
                      >gospels were first circulated outside of Christian circles,
                      >although inside Christian circles private copying seems to
                      >predominate.

                      Don't forget the chapter in Crossan's Birth of Christianity in which he
                      provides some evidence-based speculation on transmission of the earliest
                      written copies. Based on an analysis of the handwriting style, Crossan
                      suggested that many of the copies were made, IIRC, by lower middle class
                      accountants. The earliest collection of Paul's letters, P48, for example,
                      provides an almost comical example of bad planning. Examiners of P48 could
                      tell by looking at the binding setup, could extrapolate how many pages the
                      original papyrus probably consisted of (the first and last pages are lost).
                      Towards the end of the letters, the writing becomes progressively smaller
                      and smaller, and the lines become closer together, as one approaches the
                      end. This particular copy was certainly not copied by a clerk specializing
                      in literary works!

                      Rather than being "published" in the manner we are familiar with (that is,
                      many copies made from an original, with intent to distribute to persons
                      unknown), the copies of the books of the NT were most likely commissioned,
                      one by one, on demand. As I envisage the process, a book owner would allow
                      friends and esteemed visitors to read his books (probably in the owner's
                      quarters). If the visitor wanted a copy, a scribe would be hired from the
                      market place to come pen in hand, with adequate writing supplies, to the
                      owner's quarters to copy the book.

                      Is this right? or is there evidence to the contrary?

                      Bob

                      >There certainly would not have been any public
                      >readings, although they may have recited it in individual house
                      >churches.
                      >
                      >FWIW, Gamble devotes all of chapter III to "The Publication and
                      >Circulation of Early Christian Literature" (pp. 82ff), including
                      >sections on "The Publication and Circulation of Greco-Roman
                      >Literature (pp 83-93) and of early Christian literature
                      >specifically (pp 93-143). Well worth the read.
                      >
                      >Respectfully,
                      >
                      >Dave Hindley
                      >Cleveland, Ohio USA
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >The XTalk Home Page is
                      ><http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/>http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                      >
                      >To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >SPONSORED LINKS
                      ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Different+religions+beliefs&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=tnsXdBbWPClK2p0GfdpEqA>Different
                      >religions beliefs
                      ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Historical+jesus&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=uaILvkDBJUpwCKXW0k14Cw>Historical
                      >jesus
                      ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Beyond+belief&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=HfgWyXvQq7wyODO6zZjTFA>Beyond
                      >belief
                      ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Jewish+belief&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=6nnMOCvMSwMm3CJPHXUSNQ>Jewish
                      >belief
                      ><http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&w1=Different+religions+beliefs&w2=Historical+jesus&w3=Beyond+belief&w4=Jewish+belief&w5=Jehovah+witness+beliefs&c=5&s=122&.sig=X2pP-CrM3sy8RKta-GePmA>Jehovah
                      >witness beliefs
                      >
                      >
                      >----------
                      >YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                      >
                      > * Visit your group
                      > "<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2>crosstalk2" on the web.
                      > *
                      > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > *
                      > <mailto:crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > *
                      > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
                      > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                      >
                      >
                      >----------


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • David Hindley
                      ... with (that is, many copies made from an original, with intent to distribute to persons unknown), the copies of the books of the NT were most likely
                      Message 10 of 12 , Aug 11, 2005
                        Bob Schacht says:

                        >>Rather than being "published" in the manner we are familiar
                        with (that is, many copies made from an original, with intent to
                        distribute to persons unknown), the copies of the books of the
                        NT were most likely commissioned, one by one, on demand. As I
                        envisage the process, a book owner would allow friends and
                        esteemed visitors to read his books (probably in the owner's
                        quarters). If the visitor wanted a copy, a scribe would be hired
                        from the market place to come pen in hand, with adequate writing
                        supplies, to the owner's quarters to copy the book.<<

                        Even this sounds so middle class-ish (as we would think of the
                        term), when in antiquity very few really fell into that
                        category.

                        I'd agree with Crossan that the transmitters of NT books were at
                        first people like "accountants", although I'd call them
                        retainers of the elite classes (meaning their slaves who handle
                        their mundane affairs, like selling & buying and
                        recordkeeping/accounting, freedmen and children of freedmen
                        performing similar functions, merchants and some free artisans).
                        This would be about as close as we might find to "middle class"
                        (except the artisans and minor house slaves).

                        The use of the codex from the git go and the writing of the
                        books in the *koine* dialect all suggest that the authors and
                        the transmitters fit squarely in the retainer class. Some of
                        these would be educated enough to copy books, maybe even author
                        them. Not like a professional mind you, but they could do it if
                        they had proper motivation.

                        I'm convinced that the key to understanding early Christian
                        authorship and text transmission practices lies in studies of
                        the city social systems and the voluntary associations (which
                        would include house churches, synagogues, guilds and household
                        associations) that were popular within the retainer classes.

                        It seems very unlikely to me that retainer class folks would be
                        in positions to commission much of anything, or afford to pay
                        for the cost of a professional scribe, at least as individuals.
                        As part of a group, that could pool money, etc, that's another
                        thing.

                        Respectfully,

                        Dave Hindley
                        Cleveland, Ohio USA
                      • Bob Schacht
                        ... And this is an argument for, or against, what? Actually, its not very middle classish, so much as patron-client in its background. In a middle-class model,
                        Message 11 of 12 , Aug 11, 2005
                          At 03:52 AM 8/11/2005, David Hindley wrote:
                          >Bob Schacht says:
                          >
                          > >>Rather than being "published" in the manner we are familiar
                          >with (that is, many copies made from an original, with intent to
                          >distribute to persons unknown), the copies of the books of the
                          >NT were most likely commissioned, one by one, on demand. As I
                          >envisage the process, a book owner would allow friends and
                          >esteemed visitors to read his books (probably in the owner's
                          >quarters). If the visitor wanted a copy, a scribe would be hired
                          >from the market place to come pen in hand, with adequate writing
                          >supplies, to the owner's quarters to copy the book.<<
                          >
                          >Even this sounds so middle class-ish (as we would think of the
                          >term), when in antiquity very few really fell into that category.

                          And this is an argument for, or against, what?
                          Actually, its not very middle classish, so much as patron-client in its
                          background. In a middle-class model, the book would be taken to the ancient
                          equivalent of Kinko's-- that is, a scribe's shop in the marketplace. In my
                          scenario, the book-holder is playing patron to the designated recipient--
                          depending, of course, on who winds up footing the bill. The patron might
                          wind up footing the bill if he believes that the recipient of the book will
                          put it to good use. So I don't really see this as being a middle-class
                          model at all.

                          >I'd agree with Crossan that the transmitters of NT books were at
                          >first people like "accountants", although I'd call them
                          >retainers of the elite classes (meaning their slaves who handle
                          >their mundane affairs, like selling & buying and
                          >recordkeeping/accounting, freedmen and children of freedmen
                          >performing similar functions, merchants and some free artisans).
                          >This would be about as close as we might find to "middle class"
                          >(except the artisans and minor house slaves).

                          No, I think that in Alexandria, there were scribes who were, in essence,
                          hired guns. "Have pen, will travel" might have been their motto, but their
                          chief service was to write letters or contracts or tally accounts on
                          limited contracts. Of course, elites might retain scribes on a more regular
                          basis, but there were lots of people who needed scribes for a few tasks
                          every now and then, but couldn't think of retaining one on a regular basis.
                          Actually, the model I have in mind is the scribe in 19th century Middle
                          East and India, who can be found at a known place in the bazaar, and who
                          were available to write letters on the spot for petitioners and various
                          sorts who needed them.

                          BTW, for my dissertation I worked on Old Babylonian land contracts in SW
                          Iran ("Elam"), and spent some time with accounting tablets in cuneiform,
                          and so I've been paying attention to the role of the scribe in Middle
                          Eastern city life for some time.


                          >The use of the codex from the git go and the writing of the
                          >books in the *koine* dialect all suggest that the authors and
                          >the transmitters fit squarely in the retainer class.

                          I think this is too neat, and an oversimplification. The facts speak to me
                          more of scribes and accountants in the Alexandrian bazaar as copyists, and
                          a small subset of those who became literati of the popular sort. There was,
                          after all, the famous Alexandrian library, which probably hired clerks for
                          limited jobs. Of course, they would hire only the more erudite literati for
                          the more important jobs, but for lesser tasks there were others. The number
                          of people who were literate was not large, but they were probably diverse,
                          and varied in their circumstances.

                          > Some of
                          >these would be educated enough to copy books, maybe even author
                          >them. Not like a professional mind you, but they could do it if
                          >they had proper motivation.

                          They *were* professionals. But there were many different jobs for a
                          literate person to do, all the way from keeping simple accounts to writing
                          complex incantations used in secret rites. And I think it was Crossan's
                          point that the early Bible copyists came from the bottom of that ladder,
                          not the top. The authors are another story.


                          >I'm convinced that the key to understanding early Christian
                          >authorship and text transmission practices lies in studies of
                          >the city social systems and the voluntary associations (which
                          >would include house churches, synagogues, guilds and household
                          >associations) that were popular within the retainer classes.

                          Except for that last bit about the retainer classes, I whole-heartedly agree!
                          I'll even agree a little bit about the retainer classes!


                          >It seems very unlikely to me that retainer class folks would be
                          >in positions to commission much of anything, or afford to pay
                          >for the cost of a professional scribe, at least as individuals.

                          I think you're hung up on the wrong model. And don't forget, a group of
                          marginal people could pool enough resources to hire out a scribe to copy
                          one or more of Paul's letters, if it was important to them, as you point out:

                          >As part of a group, that could pool money, etc, that's another thing.

                          Indeed. Anyway, I want to close with a ringing endorsement of your idea that
                          >the key to understanding early Christian
                          >authorship and text transmission practices lies in studies of
                          >the city social systems and the voluntary associations (which
                          >would include house churches, synagogues, guilds and household
                          >associations)...

                          Amen!

                          Bob




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Rikk Watts
                          Bob, ... I believe this practice is found in poorer areas of Brazil today. An individual sets up a desk in the market or near a railroad station (any place
                          Message 12 of 12 , Aug 12, 2005
                            Bob,

                            On 11/8/05 11:50 PM, "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...> wrote:

                            > Actually, the model I have in mind is the scribe in 19th century Middle
                            > East and India, who can be found at a known place in the bazaar, and who
                            > were available to write letters on the spot for petitioners and various
                            > sorts who needed them.
                            I believe this practice is found in poorer areas of Brazil today. An
                            individual sets up a desk in the market or near a railroad station (any
                            place that the public frequents) and reads/writes letters for individuals
                            for a small sum. In fact if I recall correctly the practice featured in a
                            major Brazilian international film about three years ago.

                            Regards
                            Rikk
                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.