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Re: [GTh] Another voicein the GosJesWife debate

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  • Mark Goodacre
    Timo s essay has been on the web for a couple of days and I am surprised that people apparently find it telling. It is an amusing parody of Watson s essay but
    Message 1 of 22 , Sep 30, 2012
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      Timo's essay has been on the web for a couple of days and I am surprised that people apparently find it telling. It is an amusing parody of Watson's essay but does not actually engage the case.  The key point about Watson's analysis is that the Jesus Wife Fragment appears to be dependent specifically on our Coptic Thomas from NH II.  In other words, we are not talking about literary parallels between Greek works (like Matthew and Mark or Egerton and John) but detailed parallels between one Coptic text (Jesus Wife fragment) and another Coptic text (Coptic Thomas from NH).  The reason the verbatim agreements + line breaks are important is that they suggest dependence on one specific textual witness.  As I see it, there are two options here.  Either the author of the Jesus fragment got hold of NH II before it went into the jar in the ? late fourth century or after it came out in 1945.  I don't think we can rule out that s/he got hold of it before it went into the jar but, on balance, it is much more likely that the author got hold of it in the modern period where that one witness has been reproduced so many times in both print and electronic versions.  All best, Mark

      On 30 September 2012 16:32, Ian Brown <ianbrown6796@...> wrote:
       

      Hey all,

      seems to me there is a lot of neigh-saying going on re: whether or not GosJesWife was written in the 4th or 20th century. Also seems to me this "debate" has been rather one sided with very little critique of the neigh-saying position to be found (or reported). Well I thought I would provide a little push-back in the form of a very nice critique of Watson's thesis by Timo S. Pannanen (finder's credit to Bill Arnal). Pannanen has written a short (5 pages) response to Watson, arguing that his methods for identifying GosJesWife as a modern forgery are fundamentally flawed. He concludes

      "Watson’s method, in which he hunts out parallel words from a large text mass, cannot tell the difference between authentic and fake passages, and has no bearing on the question of authenticity of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Once the question of authenticity is settled for (modern) forgery, however, it can be used to shed light on the composition procedure of the text."

      The entire paper can be found here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/09/timo-s-paananen-on-methods-of-forgery-detection-and-the-gospel-of-jesus-wife.html

      Also, as an aside, two predictions: ink analysis will NOT show that the ink in GosJesWife contains modern chemicals. And in spite of this, neigh-sayers as to GosJesWife's date will continue neigh-saying. It just seems to me the reasons for declaring GosJesWife a modern forgery are too politically and religiously loaded. But maybe I'm too pessimistic.

      Ian Brown




      --
      Mark Goodacre           
      Duke University
      Department of Religion
      Gray Building / Box 90964
      Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
      Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

      http://www.markgoodacre.org


    • Mike Grondin
      Response to Wieland and more for David: Wieland: As to the ink test, I have to apologize for bad wording. I was trying to say what you did, but it didn t come
      Message 2 of 22 , Sep 30, 2012
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        Response to Wieland and more for David:
         
        Wieland: As to the ink test, I have to apologize for bad wording.
        I was trying to say what you did, but it didn't come out right.
        As to Fecht, he died in 2006, according to King's paper.
         
        David: A possibility occurred to me after sending off my note.
        If the GJW fragment is from a dialogue in which Jesus is talking
        to the disciples about his childhood, then the expected frequency
        of 'my mother' would be substantially greater than its actual
        frequency in the NHC or NT. This is small consolation, though,
        since the possibility seems remote. Furthermore (if I may add
        another oddity), it seems odd that the scribe's lettering would
        change so dramatically from one side of a leaf to the other.
        Not only are the letters somewhat taller, but the space between
        lines is larger. King says that the writing has been judged to be
        from the same hand, and if that's so, it rules out multiple scribes,
        but the recto has 8 lines, while the verso has only room for 7.
        Why did the scribe decide to space his lines differently on
        the two sides of the fragment? (I don't think this can have been
        due to the varying direction of fibres on the two sides, as I
        can find no evidence of that in the NHC facsimiles.)
         
        Mike Grondin
      • Bob Schacht
        ... Take a look at P46, in which the scribe ran out of room, and realized that he was going to run out of room several pages before the end, which he dealt
        Message 3 of 22 , Sep 30, 2012
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          At 10:09 PM 9/30/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:
          ...Why did the scribe decide to space his lines differently on
          the two sides of the fragment...

          Take a look at P46, in which the scribe
          ran out of room, and realized that he was going to run out of room several pages before the end, which he dealt with by decreasing the size of the letters, narrowing the margins, squeezing more lines on each page, etc. Writing size is tailored to the amount of space available. So, the obvious indication is that the scribe needed to get more on the page where the line spacing is tighter.

          Bob Schacht
          Northern Arizona University

          PS In case it didn't survive transmission through cyberspace, the words "Scribe ran out of room" were written above with increasingly smaller type.
        • Mike Grondin
          Hi Ian, Many thanks for your link to McGrath s blog entry on Pannanen s critique of Watson. I had been intending to reference both that and Michael Peppard s
          Message 4 of 22 , Oct 1, 2012
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            Hi Ian,
             
            Many thanks for your link to McGrath's blog entry on Pannanen's critique of
            Watson. I had been intending to reference both that and Michael Peppard's
            critique, because I think we should listen to both sides, but never got around
            to it. (Peppard's critique is linked to in McGrath's expression of concern about
            Watson's method on Sept 26th:)
             
             
            I read both Peppard's and Pannanen's critique, thinking at the time that the
            latter was much stronger than the former. I wasn't able to judge Pannanen's
            argument properly, though, since I couldn't understand the Greek without
            further research, and I never got to that. I did notice that he tied a single
            letter at the end of his fragment to a certain text, and that seemed rather in
            the nature of parody, as Mark suggests. Since then, I've become less entranced
            with Pannanen's view, for two reasons: (1) Watson has since revised his paper
            to incorporate Andrew Bernhard's results, thereby mooting Pannanen's major
            objection that Watson had linked the fragment to several different texts (or in
            one case, none), and (2) in the interchange between Pannanen and Ulrich
            Schmidt in the comments attached to the McGrath blog-entry you supplied,
            Schmidt seemed to have the best of it, as Pannanen admits:
             
            "Ulrich Schmid is absolutely right in claiming that the "real"
            (i.e. "palaeographically sound") context for this fragment is Jh 5.46.
            But that has nothing to do with my argument here."
             
            To which I would respond that it has very much to do with Pannanen's argument,
            in that he presented his "analysis" of the Koln fragment as a counter-example
            to Watson's kind of analysis. It could only be a counter-example, however,
            if the main contents of the Koln fragment didn't in fact come from Jh 5.46.
            Furthermore, Watson claims certainty only about derivation, which is exactly
            the case with the majority of the Koln fragment as I understand it.
             
            A couple other comments:
            1. It's not 'neigh-saying', it's 'nay-saying'. Or was that perhaps a tongue-in-cheek
            variation on Watson's term? At any rate, it's probably an implicit admission
            of the way things are going so far that Watson uses the polarizing term
            'nay-sayers', while the 'nay-sayers' (who actually don't strike me for the
            most part as rigid adherents of that position) aren't similarly driven to
            use the term 'yea-sayers'.
             
            2. I think it's unfortunate, though perhaps unavoidable, that disagreements
            about the Secret Gospel of Mark are being brought into the picture.
            It's probably well-known that Watson argued against the authenticity
            of that text (as did Stephen Carlson), but I don't think that anyone should
            use their position on SGM to confirm their position on GJW, or vice-versa.
            IMO, this just invites the polarization involved in the SGM debate to carry
            over unchanged into discussions of GJW.
             
            Mike Grondin
          • Mike Grondin
            Hi Bob, The same thing happened in NH Codex II, wherein the scribe realized that he wouldn t have enough room for the last tractate, so the writing became very
            Message 5 of 22 , Oct 1, 2012
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              Hi Bob,
               
              The same thing happened in NH Codex II, wherein the scribe realized that
              he wouldn't have enough room for the last tractate, so the writing became
              very cramped, with more lines per page. In fact, the density of lettering on
              the recto of GJW is very similar to that of NHC II,7 (contrary to my state-
              ment early on that the writing didn't look cramped). But that would imply,
              would it not, that the verso of the GJW fragment was inscribed before the
              recto? And that in turn raises the question of whether there was a usual
              practice, and, if so, what that was, and what might happen to disrupt it?
               
              Oh, BTW, you and others will no doubt notice (and be dismayed) that
              my last note to the list suffered the problem of varying fonts which
              couldn't be corrected. Don't know why, but when I paste something
              into a note, my emailer (Outlook Express) not only picks up the pasted font
              thereafter, but allows only partial (and unexpected) changes to it. The only
              fix I can think of is to do the pasting only after I've put some verbiage on
              either side of where it's going to go. (Anybody have another solution,
              contact offlist.)
               
              Mike
            • Bob Schacht
              ... It is hard to say, either way, unless it can be established that one side is a continuation of the text on the other side. But either way, it would depend
              Message 6 of 22 , Oct 1, 2012
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                At 12:37 AM 10/1/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:
                ...But that would imply,
                would it not, that the verso of the GJW fragment was inscribed before the
                recto? And that in turn raises the question of whether there was a usual
                practice, and, if so, what that was, and what might happen to disrupt it?

                It is hard to say, either way, unless it can be established that one side is a continuation of the text on the other side. But either way, it would depend on how much space the scribe needs to write (or copy) the words he needs to fit into the space. Normally, I suppose, the amply-spaced side would come first. requiring a more cramped spacing on the other side to complete the text in hand. This assumes bad planning. But suppose on the other hand excellent planning of a multi-page document, so that the scribe gets down to the last page and discovers that he has more space than he needs?

                WRT "usual practice," that would imply a body of work from which one might calculate the "normal" number of lines per page, and the "normal" number of letters per line. I could see this vary according to many different considerations, rendering it difficult to establish what "normal" means. In the case of P46 and NHC II,7, there is enough additional text to determine what is "normal", for that manuscript. But we don't  have that for GJW, unless by reference to your collated copy of GTh  :-)

                Bob Schacht
                Northern Arizona University



              • Mike Grondin
                Bob, I ve learned a few things that may clarify some of the questions raised in our latest discussion, although in the end it seems that no further progress
                Message 7 of 22 , Oct 2, 2012
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                  Bob,
                  I've learned a few things that may clarify some of the questions raised in
                  our latest discussion, although in the end it seems that no further progress
                  can be made in answering those questions (I'll say why below). With respect
                  to 'recto' and 'verso', I have to start by admitting that I had a wrong idea of
                  what those terms meant. I thought it had to do with the direction of the fibers
                  on papyrus, but no - except perhaps in special cases like the GJW fragment.
                   
                  As you and others probably know quite well, in an open book (or codex), the
                  recto is simply the page (not leaf) on the right, the verso the page on the left.
                  How, then, could it have been determined that the recto of the GJW fragment
                  was the side with the most visible writing and the horizontal fibres, while the
                  other side was the verso? I suspect that there must be a scholarly convention
                  for orphan fragments, and that that convention, whatever it is, must have been
                  used for the GJW fragment. The reason I say this is that it isn't possible to
                  determine recto/verso in a papyrus fragment by direction of fibres alone, in
                  spite of the fact that it may at first seem so from what James Robinson wrote 
                  in the Preface (p.xv) to the Facsimile Edition of Codex II:
                   
                  > In the usual construction of a quire, the sheets lie with horizontal
                  fibres
                  > facing upward and folding inward.
                   
                  Here's the problem: Even if nothing happens to disrupt this orderly arrangement
                  of the pile of blank papyrus sheets (and something did in Codex II, BTW), the
                  situation will be this:
                   
                  1. In the first half of a quire, recto = vertical fibres, verso = horizontal, but
                  2. in the second half of the quire, recto = horizontal fibres, verso = vertical.
                   
                  Anyone doubting this should do or imagine the following: Take a few sheets
                  of typing paper, place them in a pile long-side vertical, label the front side of
                  each sheet "HF" (for 'horizontal fibres'), then fold the pile of sheets in half
                  vertically (to form a "quire"). You'll see that in the very middle of the quire,
                  both verso and recto sides are "HF", resulting in the above reversal.
                   
                  It follows, then, that even if every scribe followed exactly the same
                  practice in handling papyrus sheets, we still wouldn't be able to determine
                  recto/verso from the papyrus fibres alone, because we wouldn't know
                  whether an orphan fragment was from the first half of a book (assuming
                  it was from a codex) or the second half. Whether the best side of the
                  GJW fragment was called the 'recto' because it has horizontal fibres,
                  or because it's the best side, I don't know, but it must have been due
                  to some convention or other.
                   
                  With respect to the question of which side was inscribed first, my examination
                  of those facsimiles of the NH codices that I have doesn't show a pattern
                  of increasing letter-sizes and/or decreasing lines per inch when there's space
                  left on the last page. Sometimes an end-prayer or some such is added, other
                  times the space is just left blank. Admittedly, the sample is small, since I don't
                  have all the facsimiles, and the last page is missing or obscured in some, but 
                  from what I can tell, the more probable direction (when there is one) is from
                  looser to tighter lettering and spacing, rather than vice-versa.
                   
                  Mike
                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: GThos In Response To: Mike Grondin On: Recto and Verso From: Bruce Mike: , in an open book (or codex), the recto is simply the page (not leaf) on the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Oct 2, 2012
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                    To: GThos

                    In Response To: Mike Grondin

                    On: Recto and Verso

                    From: Bruce

                     

                    Mike: , in an open book (or codex), the recto is simply the page (not leaf) on the right, the verso the page on the left.

                     

                    Bruce: That works out, but isn’t the sense rather recto = front, verso = back, even in a bit of papyrus that was never bound? Then the recto would be the first side written, and the verso would be the second. Text would be assumed to be continuous from recto to verso.

                     

                    E Bruce Brooks
                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                     

                  • Mike Grondin
                    ... Assuming that the relevant meaning of the Latin words rectus and versus was right and turned (or opposing , but not left ), I suppose that the OAD
                    Message 9 of 22 , Oct 3, 2012
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                      > Bruce: That works out, but isn’t the sense rather recto = front,
                      > verso = back, even in a bit of papyrus that was never
                      bound?
                      > Then the recto would be the first side written, and the
                      verso
                      > would be the second. Text would be assumed to be continuous
                      > from recto to verso.
                       
                      Assuming that the relevant meaning of the Latin words rectus
                      and versus was 'right' and 'turned' (or 'opposing', but not 'left'),
                      I suppose that the OAD definition could be improved by saying
                      that the recto is the page on the right (in an open book), while the
                      verso is the back of that (i.e., the opposite side of the leaf, or the
                      next thing you come to when you "turn the page"). I agree that
                      the equivalent formulation 'front/back' is better, though, because
                      it has the virtue of being easier to remember, and is applicable also
                      to non-book-related fragments, as you say. The GJW fragment is
                      a case, however, where both sides are inscribed, but we can't tell
                      which side was the "front" (assuming authenticity, of course). So
                      I figure that the powers that be must have followed some special
                      rule for cases like this, say "best side = front = recto"?
                       
                      Mike
                    • David Inglis
                      Here s something I wrote here https://sites.google.com/site/inglisonmarcion/Home/what-did-p46-originally-contain re. P46: The extant portion of P46 is in the
                      Message 10 of 22 , Oct 3, 2012
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                        Here’s something I wrote here https://sites.google.com/site/inglisonmarcion/Home/what-did-p46-originally-contain  re. P46:

                         

                        “The extant portion of P46 is in the form of a single quire, i.e. it was created by laying sheets of papyrus on top of each other and then folding them in the middle, much like a modern magazine. The outer (verso) sides of the sheets have vertical fibers, and the inner (recto) sides have horizontal ones. The text also flows as in a magazine, from verso to recto, until at the center (which consists of two recto pages from the same sheet of papyrus) it switches to flowing from recto to verso. The edges of the leaves were trimmed so that they were aligned, thus making the inner leaves smaller than the outer ones.”

                         

                        So, as I understand it, recto and verso have nothing to do with left and right.

                         

                        David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

                      • Mike Grondin
                        ... Well, I think you ll find that the dictionary definitions of recto and verso indicate otherwise. This, for example, from the AHD: recto: The
                        Message 11 of 22 , Oct 3, 2012
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                          [from David Inglis]:
                          > ... as I understand it, recto and verso have
                          nothing to do with left and right.
                           
                          Well, I think you'll find that the dictionary definitions of 'recto' and
                          'verso' indicate otherwise. This, for example, from the AHD:
                           
                          recto: "The right-hand page of a book or front side of a leaf ...
                          [Latin recto ... ablative of rectus, right, straight.]"
                           
                          verso: "The left-hand page of a book or the reverse side of a leaf ...
                          [Latin verso ... ablative of versus, turned.]"
                           
                          'Inner/outer' will do as well if we understand 'inner' as 'facing the
                          middle' and if we're talking about a fragment from a book.
                           
                          Mike G.
                        • Bob Schacht
                          At 11:41 PM 10/2/2012, Mike Grondin wrote: [snip] ... and then he wrote ... Your middle paragraph above is the best. However, I suspect that other
                          Message 12 of 22 , Oct 3, 2012
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                            At 11:41 PM 10/2/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:



                            [snip]

                            ...Anyone doubting this should do or imagine the following: Take a few sheets
                            of typing paper, place them in a pile long-side vertical, label the front side of
                            each sheet "HF" (for 'horizontal fibres'), then fold the pile of sheets in half
                            vertically (to form a "quire"). You'll see that in the very middle of the quire,
                            both verso and recto sides are "HF", resulting in the above reversal.
                             
                            It follows, then, that even if every scribe followed exactly the same
                            practice in handling papyrus sheets, we still wouldn't be able to determine
                            recto/verso from the papyrus fibres alone, because we wouldn't know
                            whether an orphan fragment was from the first half of a book (assuming
                            it was from a codex) or the second half. ...

                            and then he wrote

                            recto: "The right-hand page of a book or front side of a leaf ...
                            [Latin recto ... ablative of rectus, right, straight.]"
                            verso: "The left-hand page of a book or the reverse side of a leaf ...
                            [Latin verso ... ablative of versus, turned.]"

                            Your middle paragraph above is the best. However, I suspect that other considerations may be involved.

                            I've always thought of recto/verso simply as front/back but, as you point out, if all you have is a fragment, you don't really know which is which. I suspect that the matter is settled by the first publisher of the fragment. If s/he calls one side recto and the other verso, then that's the way it gets cited in the literature, even if it is "wrong."

                            BTW, this is all ethnocentric, isn't it? Consider what would be "recto" or "verso" in a book written in Chinese.

                            Bob Schacht
                            Northern Arizona University
                          • Mike Grondin
                            ... I should have mulled this over longer before posting a response. It now appears to me that the above is wrong with respect to recto/verso. Those terms
                            Message 13 of 22 , Oct 3, 2012
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                              [from David Inglis]:
                              > “The extant portion of P46 is in the form
                              of a single quire, i.e. it was created
                              > by laying sheets of papyrus on top of each other
                              and then folding them in the
                              > middle, much like a modern magazine. The outer
                              (verso) sides of the sheets
                              > have vertical fibers, and the inner (recto)
                              sides have horizontal ones. The text
                              > also flows as in a magazine, from verso to
                              recto, until at the center (which
                              > consists of two recto pages from the same sheet
                              of papyrus) it switches to
                              > flowing from recto to verso."
                               
                              I should have mulled this over longer before posting a response. It now
                              appears to me that the above is wrong with respect to recto/verso. Those
                              terms don't apply to sheets, but to the two leaves of a sheet after it's been
                              folded in half. At the center of a magazine (which is a great example, BTW),
                              you don't have two recto pages, but verso and recto, just like at any other
                              location to which the magazine is opened. Thus, as I said earlier, and contra
                              the above, verso/recto aren't related to the direction of fibres (in papyrus).
                               
                              Mike
                               
                            • David
                              Mike, I m still not happy with this recto-verso thing. I think it s clear (to me anyway) that in the case of single papyrus sheets, the recto is the front
                              Message 14 of 22 , Oct 3, 2012
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                                Mike, I'm still not happy with this recto-verso thing. I think it's clear (to me anyway) that in the case of single papyrus sheets, the recto is the 'front' and the verso is the 'back,' as defined by the direction of the fibres, and there is no issue of left or right. The question then is whether this definition carries over to sheets that are folded in half. I strongly suspect that, at least in papyrus codices (where there was still a physical difference between the two sides of a sheet) it did.

                                Here I enlist the help of Comfort & Barrett, who on pp 270-271 of 'The Text of the Earliest Greek Manuscripts' (2001 edition) give the text of "leaf 52 recto" of P46, immediately followed by "leaf 53 recto" (this is the middle of the codex). How and when the meaning changed, I don't know, but I suspect the publishing industry had something to do with it. Note that the definition of recto and verso currently depends on whether the text is read from left to right, or from right to left. Also, I believe that in single printed sheets it STILL refers to front and back.

                                David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

                                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > [from David Inglis]:
                                > > "The extant portion of P46 is in the form of a single quire, i.e. it was created
                                > > by laying sheets of papyrus on top of each other and then folding them in the
                                > > middle, much like a modern magazine. The outer (verso) sides of the sheets
                                > > have vertical fibers, and the inner (recto) sides have horizontal ones. The text
                                > > also flows as in a magazine, from verso to recto, until at the center (which
                                > > consists of two recto pages from the same sheet of papyrus) it switches to
                                > > flowing from recto to verso."
                                >
                                > I should have mulled this over longer before posting a response. It now
                                > appears to me that the above is wrong with respect to recto/verso. Those
                                > terms don't apply to sheets, but to the two leaves of a sheet after it's been
                                > folded in half. At the center of a magazine (which is a great example, BTW),
                                > you don't have two recto pages, but verso and recto, just like at any other
                                > location to which the magazine is opened. Thus, as I said earlier, and contra
                                > the above, verso/recto aren't related to the direction of fibres (in papyrus).
                                >
                                > Mike
                                >
                              • Mike Grondin
                                ... Me either, David, but I think I see a way through the confusion. Based on a couple things I ve read this afternoon, it now seems to me that papyrologists
                                Message 15 of 22 , Oct 3, 2012
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                                  > Mike, I'm still not happy with this recto-verso thing.
                                   
                                  Me either, David, but I think I see a way through the confusion.
                                  Based on a couple things I've read this afternoon, it now seems to me
                                  that papyrologists have a special meaning for these terms that doesn't
                                  carry over into - indeed contradicts in some situations - the use of the
                                  same terms in, say, printing or codicology in general. First, from the
                                  University of Michigan Papyrus Glossary:
                                   
                                  > The term recto denotes the 'front' side of a papyrus.
                                  Generally, recto
                                  > refers to the side of a papyrus roll which would be written on first, where
                                  > the papyrus fibers ran horizontally, parallel to the
                                  writing. This can also be
                                  > thought of as the side of the papyrus that would be inside
                                  when rolled up.
                                   
                                  Then from Larry Hurtado, The Earliest Christian Artifacts, p.44, fn.4:
                                   
                                  > In many cases, what survives is as little as a single piece of
                                  writing
                                  > material. But papyrologists can often judge whether it is a
                                  portion of
                                  > a larger manuscript ... If the writing on one side appears to be
                                  part
                                  > of the same text as that on the other side, we probably have a
                                  leaf
                                  > from a codex. If there is writing only on the "recto" (the side
                                  with
                                  > the papyrus fibres running horizontally), then it is likely
                                  part of a roll.
                                   
                                  So, yes, papyrologists evidently use the terms with respect to both sheets
                                  and leaves, and the (horizontal) direction of fibres on the best side of the
                                  GJW fragment is evidently why it was called the 'recto'. One can't, as I did,
                                  appeal to dictionary definitions of 'recto/verso', since they're apparently
                                  not only inapplicable to papyrology, but actually contradict its judgements
                                  upon occasion. (Ex: what we might intuitively think of as the "front side" - 
                                  hence the recto - of a papyrus leaf may have vertical fibration, hence would
                                  be verso to the papyrologist. That's because they think in terms of the
                                  "front side" of papyrus in general, not of individual leaves in a codex.
                                  So they take a couple of perfectly good words and turn 'em inside out, eh?)
                                   
                                  Mike Grondin
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