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Re: [GTh] Controversey? What Controversey?

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  • Mike Grondin
    Francis Watson has now added an addendum to his online paper, posted by Mark Goodacre at http://markgoodacre.org/Watson3.pdf. Noting that samples of the NH
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 22, 2012
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      Francis Watson has now added an addendum to his online paper,
      posted by Mark Goodacre at http://markgoodacre.org/Watson3.pdf.
      Noting that samples of the NH codices contain around 25 letters
      per line, and that GTW has around 19, Watson writes:
       
      If a hypothetical intact GTW contained lines of around 25 letters, this would 
      make space for an additional 3 letters at either end of the extant lines, and the
      connecting passages would then be confined to around 6 letters each. One might
      of course double the available space by envisaging longer lines of around 31 letters;
      but even 12 additional letters might not be enough to close the gap between Jesus’
      defence of his wife’s discipleship and his condemning an unnamed evildoer to an
      inflationary future. If that is the case, then GJW has never been anything other than
      a damaged fragment. Or rather: it was designed to resemble or impersonate a
      damaged fragment.
       
      I myself had been thinking of the matter of line-length, but from a
      different starting-point. I start with Bagnall's conjecture that a dealer
      had divided a codex-page into parts so as to sell the parts separately,
      thus increasing his profit. If that had happened, how would the dealer
      likely have proceeded? I can think of no reasonable alternative other
      than that he would have torn the page vertically into at least two parts.
      If this had occurred, then the fragment contains about half the length of
      the original written line, which of course implies that the original line
      contained around 38 letters. That would be too long for the length
      of a page in any NH codex unless the letters were tightly compressed,
      which they aren't. So it seems that if the GJW fragment was the
      result of basically tearing a codex page vertically in half (to start), the
      breadth of the page must have been significantly greater than that of
      any NH codex. (Based on this scenario, one can get a rough idea of
      what the breadth of the page must have been by multiplying the
      breadth of the fragment by two and adding some space for margins
      right and left.) This isn't good news for Watson's thinking, since a
      line-length of 38 letters allows significantly more room to provide
      what is missing, but it casts doubt on the authenticy of the fragment
      from another direction. Why, for example, didn't the dealer leave
      the margin, if he was simply tearing the page vertically in half?
      Why go to the trouble of trimming off the margin? And why cut
      or trim the top of the fragment horizontally, but not the bottom?
       
      Mike Grondin
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