Re: [GTh] Controversey? What Controversey?
- 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 lettersper line, and that GTW has around 19, Watson writes:If a hypothetical intact GTW contained lines of around 25 letters, this wouldmake space for an additional 3 letters at either end of the extant lines, and theconnecting passages would then be confined to around 6 letters each. One mightof 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 aninflationary future. If that is the case, then GJW has never been anything other thana damaged fragment. Or rather: it was designed to resemble or impersonate adamaged fragment.I myself had been thinking of the matter of line-length, but from adifferent starting-point. I start with Bagnall's conjecture that a dealerhad divided a codex-page into parts so as to sell the parts separately,thus increasing his profit. If that had happened, how would the dealerlikely have proceeded? I can think of no reasonable alternative otherthan 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 ofthe original written line, which of course implies that the original linecontained around 38 letters. That would be too long for the lengthof 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 theresult of basically tearing a codex page vertically in half (to start), thebreadth of the page must have been significantly greater than that ofany NH codex. (Based on this scenario, one can get a rough idea ofwhat the breadth of the page must have been by multiplying thebreadth of the fragment by two and adding some space for marginsright and left.) This isn't good news for Watson's thinking, since aline-length of 38 letters allows significantly more room to providewhat is missing, but it casts doubt on the authenticy of the fragmentfrom another direction. Why, for example, didn't the dealer leavethe margin, if he was simply tearing the page vertically in half?Why go to the trouble of trimming off the margin? And why cutor trim the top of the fragment horizontally, but not the bottom?Mike Grondin